Monday, December 24, 2007

All I Want For Christmas...

It's Christmas Eve - I can't believe it. It seems like we just celebrated Christmas, and now here it is a year later. Our house is decorated, we have a beautiful tree, all the shopping is done, presents are mostly wrapped and Christmas cookies for Santa are in the oven. I've steamed the clams for our clam chowder (Christmas Eve tradition).

Tonight, we'll have our little Christmas Nativity performance - this year it's a puppet show. Amidst all the gifts, it's important to me that the kids understand the real reason behind the gifts at Christmas. We have so much, and it pains me to think of Mary, giving birth to her Holy Child in a stable, full of animals. What thoughts must have been in her mind that Holy Night?

While I love opening presents and watching the kids do the same, the best gift I could give, or receive, this Christmas is a deeper understanding and appreciation of Christ and His holy gift to me.

Friday, December 21, 2007

The gifts are in the mail!

This year, I decided I'd be clever and make some gifts for some of our nieces, and give a digital picture frame to Steve's mom. A good idea in theory, however, I didn't decide to do this until 12th of December. They all took me longer to create than I had anticipated, and I was getting frantic when Tuesday rolled around and they still weren't done. After pulling an almost all-nighter, I got everything wrapped up and in the mail Wednesday afternoon. Now I just have to cross my fingers that they'll arrive in time for Christmas.

This is a scrapbook I made for each of our 15 & 16 year old nieces. It's a place for them to record the friends, loves, fun times, heartaches, etc. that go along with high school years.

This is a canvas wall hanging made for our 12 year old niece. It has little post-it-notes on one square, and a clear pocket for pictures, etc. on the other square.

I'm addicted...

A friend introduced me to these evil treats earlier this season. A chocolate cookie outside, with a creamy filling, complete with real crushed bits of peppermint candy. If you haven't tried them, run to your nearest Trader Joe's, and buy a box. They are addicting, and at 70 calories per cookie, results can turn catastrophic quickly. So consider yourself warned...but they're worth it!

And in case you're wondering, these aren't all for me...I included a box with each of my gifts to our families this year!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Smile for Santa!

Once again, we have a classic Santa photo. I don't know why I expect anything less...all year I tell my kids not to talk to strangers, not to sit on strange men's laps, etc. And then December rolls around, and I attempt to plop them right onto a perfect stranger's lap and make them smile and talk!

Jack had been eagerly anticipating seeing Santa for about a week. Our Ward Christmas party rolled around, and he began to experience cold feet. He copes with fear or anxiety by falling asleep - he can literally force himself to sleep. So, he sees Santa walk in the room, and immediately says "I'm tired. I want to sleep in the stroller." I naively thought that once we got up there, he'd jump right up and tell Santa everything he wanted.

We waited in line, and as were were almost at the front, I look down, and sure enough, Jack is fast asleep. At first, I was irritated - after all, this is our traditional December calendar picture. Then I thought, "Well, I'll just park the stroller between Mrs. & Mr. Clause, no big deal. Grant and Olivia will smile..." So we get up to our turn, Olivia plops down with a giant grin and I attempted to put Grant on Santa's lap. Grant wanted absolutely nothing to do with him! He screamed LOUDLY, arched his back and wailed for me with his arms out. We quickly snapped a photo, then I rescued Santa...and years from now, I'll look back and laugh at myself for thinking this motherhood thing would ever be easy.

Two tickets to paradise...

In commemoration of our 10 years of marital bliss, Steve and I spent a week in Mexico...alone! We left the kids with my mom, David & Rita (3 on 3 is a necessary ratio these days...!) and left all worries behind.

We stayed at an adults-only all-inclusive resort just outside of Playa del Carmen. The resort was beautiful, our view quite breathtaking!

As we were sitting in the San Francisco airport early Saturday morning, we made a vow to exercise each day, and return home in better shape than we left. Good intentions...and we actually did exercise on Monday. Unless you count rolling over on the lounge chair, or walking from the ocean to the pool, or from the pool to the bathroom, then I guess we exercised every day!

We did venture outside of the resort on Tuesday to see the Mayan Ruins of Chichen Itza. An amazing site for sure. It was incredible to see the detail and care that went into constructing these giant structures - without the help of modern tools, engineering or machinery. Truly a Wonder of the World.

I read 1 great and 3 good books (The Kite Runner, Wicked, Dear John and Because She Can) and enjoyed every moment with my hubby. It's a good thing to still like him after all this time. We had a lot of laughs, some much needed romance, and time to focus on each other. The food was great, drinks delivered all day right to our lounge chairs, and even nightly turn-down service in our room! We slept in (according to Cancun time...we still woke up around 6am Pacific time!)

We came home and found the kids in great shape. Grant is walking now, and got 2 new teeth while we were gone. He'll never know we missed that milestone! The time together strengthened us and gave us the "umph" we need to make it through the holidays, not to mention the next several months of busy life. What better gift can we give our kids than two parents who truly love each other?

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Why buy toys?

Grant has a new favorite pastime - climbing in the empty cabinet of the kids computer desk and playing catch...with himself. He throws a rubber ball against the wall, and it bounces right back to him! He's quite clever...and it keeps him busy and entertained for hours! I'm ready to get rid of all the clutter-creating toys with lots of little pieces. All this boy needs is a ball.

Friday, November 2, 2007

Olivia's first concert

Last night, Olivia and I had the rare privilege of attending a real concert together! Hannah Montana (a.k.a. Mylie Cyrus) was performing live at the Oakland Arena, with opening act by The Jonas Brothers. We bought her tickets for her birthday back in August...and it was a sold out show.

I definitely felt old...the fan base for these acts is primarily 15 and under. I was looking around at the other moms, accompanying their daughters (and a few sons) and it was like we were part of this club, the "I'm here because I love my child" club. And yet, strangely enough, I found myself bopping up and down to the beat, and screaming along with everyone else. My ears will be ringing for days...!

The end of the concert came, and Olivia really wanted a concert T-shirt. The line was about 150 people long. I suggested buying one online at the tour website, but she really wanted one before we left. So, being the devoted, patient mother that I am (or at least would like to be), we proceeded to wait in line for 1 HOUR for an overpriced t-shirt which Olivia absolutely loves. It was worth the wait.

At the end of the show, when Olivia was telling me how much she loved it and thanking me profusely, I realized how precious this time really is. A few years from now, she won't want to hang out with me, whether it's running errands or going to a concert. I took so many pictures, so I can record the moment forever in my memory. And if my hearing never returns to normal, it will still be worth it!

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Happy Halloween!

This is the "E-card" I sent out to friends and family...and it depicts how I feel some days! While I'm not necessarily skin & bones (and long blonde hair), I do sometimes feel a little haggard keeping up with 3 kids! And yet, I wouldn't trade it for anything. They're my greatest "Treat".

Happy Halloween!

I Feel the Earth Move Under My Feet...

So last night, as the boys were in the bath, and Steve & Olivia were cleaning up the pumpkin carving mess, we had an earthquake! All of a sudden, the bath water started sloshing a lot more than usual! I was on my knees washing Grant, and it took me a moment to figure out what was happening. It lasted about 10-12 seconds, with pretty solid shaking the whole time.

We quickly turned on the news, and found out it was a 5.6 on the Richter Scale, and was centered just a few miles away. It was the biggest earthquake to shake the Bay Area since the Loma Prieta, back in 1989. That's a little scary.

We didn't have any damage (nor are there any outside reports of damage), and no one was injured. But it got me thinking about what we'd do if a real BIG ONE hit us. I have 8 5-gallon water jugs in my attic. They're empty. I suppose those wouldn't do much good if we needed them. I think I'll have Steve pull them down this weekend, and I'll fill them up.

We have food in the house for at least a couple of weeks, if we ate sparingly. But what would I do if the house collapsed? Maybe I should have a backup plan.

I'm a master procrastinator when it comes to things like this. I always think that nothing will happen to us. Or that our house will be fine, or that the water will be fine. But what if it's not? I've got three little munchkins, who depend on me for survival. What about them? Time to get off my rear and do something about it.

Monday, October 15, 2007


Well, I did it. I actually RAN a 1/2 Marathon! Yesterday, I participated and completed the Rock & Roll San Jose 1/2 Marathon. It was an amazing experience, and I still can't believe I actually did it!

I had a great running buddy, Kristi, whom I met through the 10-week training at ClubSport. She motivated me and inspired me all throughout the training, and we had lots of laughs and crazy conversations.

15,000 people all running the same race makes for a pretty crazy start, but the race was very well organized. We crossed the start line at about 8:05am, and soon fell into a pretty steady pace. Our goal had been to finish in 2 1/2 hours, so we had a mile-by-mile pacer to help us stay on track. We did pretty good for the first 5 or 6 miles, then after a bathroom break, began to slow down a bit. By mile 9, I was feeling pretty tired and miserable...and still had 4 miles to go! We dragged ourselves along until mile 12, at which point I really wanted to die. Kristi grabbed my hand and pulled me along about 100 yards, reminding me that there was only one mile left to go. How could I quit when I'd come so far???

It was crazy to run with that many people, and it blew my mind to see the winners blowing by us at their 12 mile mark when we were at mile 6. Definitely humbling...

Steve was so supportive, and had Jack & Grant in a double jogging stroller at a few points along the course. It was so great to see them cheering and waving - being a healthy mom for them is my motivation. I couldn't have done the training without Steve - he played Mr. Mom while I was out running over the past 10 weeks.

When we came to the final stretch at the finish line, we tried to pick up the pace and "sprint", if you can really call it that! I ran across the finish line and I don't think I'd ever been so happy to stop running! I got a fun, colorful medal, a pair of cozy sport sandals (boy did it feel good to get those running shoes off!) and some water. I tried eating a bagel, but could barely swallow!

By last night, the exhilaration of finishing had been replaced by sheer pain. Every inch of my legs were throbbing, and I almost couldn't make it up the stairs to bed. During the night, even moving my big toe woke me up. But this morning, once the morning stiffness wore off, I felt pretty darn good. Just enough stiffness to remind me that I used my body yesterday. Amazing how quick recovery can be!

While I don't forsee any more 1/2, let alone full marathons in my near future, I am so glad that I can add this to my life list of accomplishments. And while my finish time of 2 hrs. 41 minutes didn't break any records, in my mind, I ROCKED this race!

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

A classic joke gives me the giggles...

Driving through the back roads of Sunol yesterday, on our way to pick up the kids from school, we came across six little chickens, playing in the middle of the road. Sunol has a plethora of agriculture, farm animals, and genuine "country" feel to it.

I pointed out the chickens to Jack as we were stopped waiting for them to get out of the way. Jack innocently asked "Why do the chickens cross the road?" I giggled out loud for a moment as I replied, "Well, to get to the other side." What more could I say???

Monday, October 8, 2007

Princes & a Princess in disguise

These two little frogs and a sassy witch have much to look forward to in the years ahead. While they sometimes (okay, often) drive me almost to drink, I can't believe how lucky I am to have two beautiful sons, and a wonderful daughter.

Last night at dinner, all three were screaming, whining, complaining, picking at their food or otherwise causing a big disruption. I looked at Steve and said "We're done. 3 kids is more than enough." He laughed in agreement. I meant it in a not-so-nice way then, just trying to deal with the chaos & confusion. But after their baths, when all were smelling sweet and acting like the angels they can be, I was just grateful to have been blessed with 3 beautiful babies. And while we are indeed done, and 3 is plenty, I will enjoy them and love them and cherish them every day that I live.

We've come a long way, baby...

Last week, Steve & I celebrated our 10th anniversary. I had all good intentions of posting that day - October 4, and writing something mushy, gushy to my sweetie. But between school volunteering, soccer practice and other errands, I just ran out of time. So here I am, 5 days later, writing a belated Happy Anniversary post! Better late than never, right?

Hard to believe how far we've come in 10 years. Several hairstyles, 4 houses, 11 cars (yes, I said 11) a few pounds, 3 kids and NO regrets later, I have to admit that it's nothing like I expected when I said "I do" 10 years ago. It's so much better!

When I think of how close I came to almost marrying someone else, I must say now that I believe in Divine Intervention. Walking into HNTB that first day as a temp receptionist, I had no idea that my life would take such a turn. Steve and I joke that it was love at first sight, but it wasn't really...I just saw something in him that I wanted more of. And who knew that my impressions of him as a "Huntington Beach Bad Boy" would turn out so wrong?

It doesn't feel like 10 years, and yet I can't remember my life without him - and if we live to be 150, it still won't be enough time together here on earth. Happy Anniversary Honey...I love you!

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Girls Just Want to Have Fun...

I just returned home from my first "Girls Weekend" as a mom of 3! Steve has taken off on "Guys Trips" a couple times a year for the past 10 years, and last spring, he announced to me that it was high time I did the same. So I called up my longest, bestest friend Amy and asked what she wanted to do! We've been friends since age 3, but due to distance, we see each other only once a year or so.
After a bit of discussion, we decided on Los Angeles, and seeing the Broadway Musical "Wicked". Steve had a couple of flight passes on SW Airlines, which he generously offered to us. So we went about booking hotel, car & planning activities!

I think the most fun part of the whole trip was the airplane ride! Amy boarded the plane in Seattle, which then stopped in San Jose to pick me up! I picked up Starbucks hot chocolate and Cinnabon rolls in the airport prior to boarding, and hopped on the plane...I was so excited I could hardly stand still! It was so fun to see her grinning back at me - we were just like little kids!

When we arrived in LA, we picked up our rental car...a bright red Mustang convertible!

We stayed in Manhattan Beach - or rather, we slept there. We had a beautiful hotel, just 1/2 mile from the beach, but we were only there long enough to drop off our suitcases and then fall into bed late at night.

We did what everyone should do while in Los Angeles - act like paparrazzi! We took a tour of the Movie Stars Homes, and didn't see a single star! But we did see Tom Cruise's house, Jack Nicholsen, Paris Hilton, George Marciano (founder of Guess Jeans) and his 14 red & yellow Ferrarri's, as well as the homes of several movie shoots.

We spent a whole day shopping in Beverly Hills...we drove down Rodeo Drive, but figured we wouldn't waste any time going into the stores since there wasn't even a keychain in our price range. But a couple blocks over, Banana Republic hit it big with my purchase of a new fall wardrobe!

Saturday night, we drove into Hollywood to see "Wicked" - the second time for both of us. We were giggling with excitement and singing all the songs in our heads - total dorks, I know. But it was so fun to watch this beautiful story of love and friendship with each other. When it was over, we both wanted to cry. But instead, we started looking for something to eat...not an easy task at midnight. We ended up buying some strawberries, watermelon and crackers at Ralph's and eating them in our room, while watching bad late night TV and laughing.

Sunday, we headed up to the Getty Center Museum, what an amazing place. Incredible architecture and beautiful art on display. Then, we headed to Santa Monica for a peak at the beach before heading back to LAX.

We shared our flight to San Jose, then Amy continued on to Seattle. We were both so sad to say goodbye, and not quite ready to get back to reality!

Steve and the kids did fine without me, and I came home to a cleaner house than I left. Steve did say that he doesn't want to be a single parent any time soon...good thing! I think we both appreciate each other a little more, him knowing what taking care of 3 kids 24/7 entails, and me because I got a break from it! I wouldn't trade my life for anything, but it was nice to be more than a mom for just a couple of days. Thanks Amy!!!

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Happy Birthday to me....

It's official - I'm now what could be considered middle-aged. 35 years old used to seem so old to me, back in my early to mid 20's. Women in their 30's seemed to have it all together and be so organized in their lives. So why is that I still feel 20-ish, and completely disorganized???

I remember my parents saying at various times that they still felt much like they did as a teenager, and couldn't believe how old they were getting. At the time, I thought that was a big crock. They were OLD and had no idea how it felt to be YOUNG. Hhhhmmmmm, I'm beginning to reconsider that point of view.

Driving home a teenage babysitter a few months back, I looked over at her and had this weird flashback in time, as I thought to myself "Wait a minute, I'm supposed to be the teenage babysitter. How did I get to be the mom of 3 kids picking up a babysitter to go to dinner with my husband?" So weird.

So, what did I do to commemorate my 35th birthday? In a momentary loss of sanity, I decided to push my training and run 12 miles. My best running buddy ever, Kristi, showed up at my house at 0-dark-thirty (6am) with flowers & chocolate cheesecake. We took off in the pitch dark and ran for the next 2 hours and 45 minutes. What was supposed to be 12 miles, turned into just about 13, which confirms that: 1. I'm crazy and 2. I can indeed complete the 1/2 marathon for which I'm training.

My aches are starting to sink in, and I'm ready for bed. But instead, I get to take Olivia to soccer practice, then go to PF Chang's for dinner!!! I'll come home and enjoy my chocolate cheesecake while I watch the season premiere of Grey's Anatomy. And I'll be thankful to be a middle-aged 35-year-old mom of 3 who can run 13 miles...Life doesn't get any better than this.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Help Wanted...

Steve's mom sent this to me in an email, and it seemed like the perfect post for today. I don't know any of us would have signed on for this position if we had the description ahead of time!

POSITION :Mom, Mommy, Mama, MaDad, Daddy, Dada, Pa, Pop


Long term, team players needed, for challenging permanent work in an often chaotic environment. Candidates must possess excellent communication and organizational skills and be willing to work variable hours, which will include evenings and weekends and frequent 24 hour shifts on call. Some overnight travel required, including trips to primitive camping sites on rainy weekends and endless sports tournaments in far away cities! Travel expenses not reimbursed. Extensive courier duties also required.


The rest of your life. Must be willing to be hated, at least temporarily, until someone needs $5. Must be willing to bite tongue repeatedly. Also, must possess the physical stamina of a pack mule and be able to go from zero to 60 mph in three seconds flat in case, this time, the screams from the backyard are not someone just crying wolf. Must be willing to face stimulating technical challenges, such as small gadget repair, mysteriously sluggish toilets and stuck zippers. Must screen phone calls, maintain calendars and coordinate production of multiple homework projects. Must have ability to plan and organize social gatherings for clients of all ages and mental outlooks. Must be willing to be indispensable one minute, an embarrassment the next. Must handle assembly and product safety testing of a half million cheap, plastic toys, and battery operated devices. Must always hope for the best but be prepared for the worst. Must assume final, complete accountability for the quality of the end product. Responsibilities also include floor maintenance and janitorial work throughout the facility.


None. Your job is to remain in the same position for years, without complaining, constantly retraining and updating your skills, so that those in your charge can ultimately surpass you


None required unfortunately. On-the-job training offered on a continually exhausting basis.


Get this! You pay them! Offering frequent raises and bonuses. A balloon payment is due when they turn 18 because Of the assumption that college will help them become financially independent. When you die, you give them whatever is left. The oddest thing about this reverse-salary scheme is that you actually enjoy it and wish you could only do more.


While no health or dental insurance, no pension, no tuition reimbursement, no paid holidays and No stock options are offered; This job supplies limitless opportunities for personal growth and free hugs and kisses for life if you play your cards right.

So when Steve asks again when I'm going back to work...I think I'll just show him this and tell him I never stopped.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

What's a Pig in a Blanket?

This was my reaction when Olivia's teacher asked if I'd bring them in for snack on Friday, concluding their "Pig Unit" in Language Arts. I set about polling friends, and had mixed responses. Either breakfast sausages, wrapped in a pancake and dipped in syrup, OR a cocktail weenie wrapped and baked in a crescent roll. I'm not a big fan of sausages or hot dogs, so these were not menu items I was familiar with!

Seeing as I had to make enough for 19 kids, plus teacher, I opted for the crescent roll variety. Early Friday morning, I was up and in the kitchen, wrapping 40 little weenies in their blankets. Not exactly my number one idea of what to do when I first wake up...but that's another story!

I baked them and delivered them hot from the oven to school, just in time for snack recess. They smelled okay, but I was pleasantly surprised to bite into one and find it was actually quite tasty!

Payoff came after school, when Olivia brought home a note signed by all her classmates and her teacher, which read: "Mrs. Whitaker- Thanks for the delicious Pigs (picture of pigs) in a blanket. We made Pigs (again, a graphic) of ourselves!"

I was the cool mom of the day, which can go a long way in the eyes of an 8-year old...

Tuesday, September 11, 2007


September 11 is a date that is hard to forget. It is the anniversary of the most awful event of my lifetime, when two airplanes hijacked by terrorists crashed into the World Trade Center, and two others were deliberately taken over and crashed as acts of terrorism. Six years ago today, the world as we knew it ended, and a new one began. One filled with increased security, a bit more fear, a bit more "racial profiling". It is a day that left many children motherless or fatherless, many parents with one less child.

I was thinking today how sad it is that my children don't know any other world. They don't really know what they're missing, but I do.

Even as I remember this awful day, I am thankful for all the good in the world, and in my life. And even though it might not always appear to be so, I know that good can, and will, triumph over evil.

Meet my two best friends...May & Tag

With 3 kids and a hubby, our household generates quite a bit of laundry. It's fair to assume that Grant will need to have at least one outfit change per day - due to food spillage, diaper leaks or just plain dirt. Jack & Olivia each go through 1 outfit per day. Add 1 pair of jammies per child per day (they usually can't get more than one night without smelling of something gross), "after work attire" for Steve, which ends up crumpled on the floor. I go through at least one shirt (I can usually get a couple of days out of my pants), plus workout clothes. Then add sheets, towels, dish towels, wash cloths, etc., and you've got a truckload of laundry!

We have a laundry chute, which in theory, is a great idea. We all drop our clothes from upstairs into this cabinet, which drops down into an enclosed cupboard in the laundry room. Out of sight...out of mind, right? That is, until I open the cupboard and can't see the top of the clothes. Then it's time to throw in a load.

I've tried different methods of staying on top of the laundry: once a week, all-day laundry sessions (I hated Tuesdays), one-load-a-day (the folded laundry seemed to stay on the laundry room counter all week), loads between my favorite TV shows. I haven't yet discovered the fool-proof way to keep it under control, but I'm convinced there is one.

I don't know how women did it in the old days...wash boards, buckets, lye soap, bloody thank you. I'm a fair-weather housewife...I like my conveniences. It's nice to put in a load before I go to the gym, then change it when I get home. Plus, it doesn't ruin my nails!

Monday, September 10, 2007

Back to School

Well, it's official - summer's over. While the weather may still be warm, school has started and I have a few hours to myself (almost...) each day.

Olivia is in Mrs. Owen's 3rd grade class. She's a wonderfully strict, no-nonsense teacher, exactly what my social butterfly daughter needs. I have high hopes for Olivia's academic and personal development this year. There are lessons she needs to learn that I can't teach, and I'm not talking algebra here.

Jack began his 2nd and final year at Little Lamb Preschool. He's in Ms. Kathy's class again this year, and is slowly emerging from his shy shell. He doesn't say much at school, or play with other kids too much. But he did coyly admit to the fact that he has a girlfriend this year...Peyton, the same one who sat on his imaginary friend Megan last year! Seems he's forgiven her for that thoughtless act!

Now, for at least 3 hours, 3 days a week, I am down to just one child at home. Sometimes I can't wait for the day when Grant is also in school, and I actually have some time to myself. But then, I realize that I have the rest of my life to have time to myself, but just a few short years with little ones around me. And so, I'll savor every moment of carpooling, diapers, homework and laundry...

Our family disaster plan

Jack had his 4-year physical last week. While we were there, Dr. Klint asked me if our family had a disaster plan in place. Jack, who was quietly sitting on the exam table, spoke up and said "Do you mean for Grant?". Both Dr. Klint and I looked at Jack, wondering what he meant. He then spoke up and said "Because at our house, Grant is the one making disasters!" How true that is....

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Call me crazy...

I just signed up for the San Jose Rock-n-Roll 1/2 marathon. It happened in a moment of weakness, and now that I've paid for both the race and the 10-week training, I'm wondering what in the world I was thinking! After running about 3.5 miles last week, I was add 10 miles to that! That's a long time to put one foot in front of the other.

But I will be able to add that to my "Life List" as something I never thought I could do and did. That will feel good. Plus, maybe it will help me get rid of the soft roll around my mid-section...

Bye, Bye Baby

Well, the "baby" stage of our family is nearly over. As of last week, my boobs officially belong to me again. It's a bittersweet feeling to know that Grant is done nursing, and I won't have the chance to do that again in this lifetime. I have so enjoyed that bonding time with each of my kids, and yet at the same time, it's nice to not have to worry about leaking, saggy nursing bras and easy-access tops. I can wear dresses again. I can wear a bra that actually places my boobs where they belong. But I will miss the sweet, milk-squirting-everywhere smiles Grant gave me.

Steve always reminds me that no matter how many babies we have, there will always be one who is last. He also reminded me yesterday that out of the past 8 years, we've had a child in diapers for 6 1/2. So I guess three is a good place to stop.

Now I can look forward to new adventures as my kids get older, and will savor the baby stages that didn't seem to last quite long enough...

Monday, July 16, 2007

I Tri because I can

I recently completed the Danskin Triathlon, in San Dimas, California. It was the second time I participated in this race, and it once again was an amazing experience.

I went through the 10-week training program through ClubSport, had a fancy new road bike and felt pretty darn good going into the race. My goal was to finish in under 2 hours (my previous time was 2hr 8min), which was pretty doable.

About 100 yards into the swim, I got kicked in the face and my goggles came off. I had to tread water for a moment, trying to get them back on my eyes, and catch my breath. I had a tough time establishing a good breathing pattern, but still managed to finish the swim in 16 minutes. I ran up the hill, stripped off my wetsuit and hopped on my bike!

The bike ride was great, I definitely felt the difference between my heavy hybrid bike and my lightweight, sleek road bike. I shaved 8 minutes off the bike ride!

The run started off okay, but I had to pee about 1 mile in. I had been so shaken up by the face kick in the swim that I was unable to relax enough to pee in the lake...gross, I know, but much more efficient than finding a porta-potty! Even with the potty break, I still shaved about a minute off my run, and finished the whole race in 1hr 58min! I'm already plotting what I can do differently next year...I figure I've got at least another 10 minutes to shave off!

It was quite humbling to see the many disabled women competing in this particular race, which raises awareness for breast cancer. There were breast cancer survivors, even a few women missing an arm, or a leg. It made me appreciate my health and strength so much. It's something that is often taken for granted, I just assume I'll always be healthy. Hopefully I will. But I also know enough to not be naive. So for now, I'll tri because I can. And I'll do it for all those who can't.

Not-so-invisible Invisible Friends

I love Jack. He has an imaginary friend right now, her name is Megan. I'm not sure where she came from, or how long she'll be with us, but for now, we're enjoying this extra family member. Sometimes she eats with us, sometimes she rides along in the car. Sometimes she does her own thing, or is off visiting some other family.
A couple of weeks before school was out, I picked Jack up from preschool and he was visibly upset. His shoulders were hunched forward, he had a scowl on his face and didn't say "Great!" when I asked how his day was. When I asked him why he was sad, his response was "Peyton sat on Megan". Turns out, Megan had gone to school with Jack that day (I wasn't aware that she'd been in the car with us that morning, but that's the trouble with invisible don't know when they're around!) and was sitting next to Jack at snack time. Peyton wanted to sit next to Jack, but he said Megan was sitting there, so she had to find another chair. Peyton disagreed, saying "Megan's not there, that's Mr. Nobody" and proceeded to plop right down in the chair, on top of Megan!
I reminded Jack that not everyone could see Megan, so we need to be patient with those "non-believers". He'll get over it, and I'll make sure I don't sit in an empty chair without double-checking with Jack to verify that it's really empty!

Saturday, April 28, 2007

I am NOT a chicken!

Okay, maybe I'm a little bit of a chicken. But only when it comes to some things. I would willingly throw myself in front of a semi truck or moving train to save one of my children. I have eaten escargot, tongue, and numerous other odd cuisine. I can clean a wound without getting queasy, give blood, watch my children get shots. I am brave in lots of ways.
But tonight, I was not brave. I was cleaning up the kitchen after dinner, and sent Olivia into the laundry room with some dirty clothes. She called out "Mom, there's a lizard in the laundry room". I did not believe her. Why and how would a lizard be in the laundry room? When she said it again, I dropped what I was doing and went to check it out. Lo and behold, there was a lizard, with about 6 inches of it's body peeking out from underneath a rug. I freaked out.
This is the part that makes me thankful for friends. I called my friend and neighbor Diedra, who loves all things creepy and crawly and is not afraid of anything. She dropped what she was doing, and came over to capture the intruder. After a few attempts, "Allie" (short for Alligator Lizard) was rescued and set free in our yard.
I have to ask myself why I am afraid of a creature much smaller than me, and as of right now, I have no answer. So THANK YOU DIEDRA!!!!!

Monday, April 23, 2007

Big People Crash, too

At 34 1/2, I had my first bike crash since I was about 6. It happened during triathalon training on Saturday morning, when I neglected to unclip my shoe from my pedal before stopping. Actually, I had unclipped my left foot, but for some reason, I leaned to the right. Oops! It happened so quickly, and yet seemed in slow motion. Pavement is not very forgiving! The scrape is healing, and no permanent damage was done...except to my pride, perhaps!

The fall was a good reminder for many areas of life. I pedal along, cruising at a good pace and then all of a sudden, a red light comes along, and if I'm not paying close attention, WHAM, I hit the ground with a thud. These times force me to examine my life, and figure out why I missed the warning signs.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

What is a "Blog" anyway?

Well, I've decided to jump on the "blogwagon" and start keeping track of my life. I had a resolution this year to be better at writing about what's happening in our family, how I feel about things, etc., and I think I've only written about 5 times so far this year. Not enough...

So, I'm hoping that this will be a good solution for me. I spend time at the computer every day, and I certainly type faster than I write, so we'll give it a try.

What's happening in my life? Olivia is on Spring Break from school right now, giving us an excuse to be a little lazy in the mornings. After 5 loads of laundry, we went to the gym for a run (training for the Danskin Triathlon in June), followed by errands and a stop at the park for a little playtime.

It's amazing to me how fast the kids are growing up. Jack swings on the big kid swings now, and can do it without pushing! Yahoo! His little legs pump him up so high, it makes me nervous. And Olivia can easily reach a bar now that she couldn't even jump to last year. How does that happen?

Grant got his first tooth today - it's been working it's way in for about 3 weeks now. Thus begins the next year of teething pain, biting, chewing, oral exploration, etc. It also marks the end of an era of toothless baby grins in our family. I'll miss those...but look forward to the toothy grins that are to come.

Three kids make for busy days, and nights too, sometimes. But I can't imagine doing anything else at this stage of life. I love being home full-time (a bit of an oxymoron, as I rarely am actually at home these days!) and feel completely fulfilled by my duties. Olivia asked me yesterday when parents get "Spring Break", and I giggled as I thought about it. I told her that I'd get my spring break when all my kids are grown up and moved out of the house. So for now, I'll enjoy my year-round job of mom, while I continue to define the other parts of me as well.