Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Might be back.  Might not.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Glissading at Lassen Volcanic National Park

I'm going to try to share some vacation photos but they'll be in a very random order since I know I'll not ever organize them! Today's photos are from after we hiked Bumpass Hell Trail at Lassen Volcanic National Park. On the drive "home" we stopped to play for a bit.
I went first as a trial. There was a 20' drop off at the end with boulders and a fast moving road at the bottom. I just wanted to be sure stopping was manageable.
Logan liked to ride on his feet.
Avery was nervous about the speed and distance so she went on my back.
This was more Avery's speed after all!
This was one of our best active days on vacation. The hike was snowy and everyone walked there and the little girls napped on our backs on the way out. The fact that there were warning signs about how dangerous the trail was helped to keep Logan and Avery's motivation high. It was snowy and slippery and muddy but also 75F and sunny. Once we got to the main event (the mudpots and active thermal areas) the kids could have cared less. Plus we had run out of food and they just wanted to get back.
The glissading was really exciting. The perfect grade and distance to get up enough, but not too much, speed. It was the only day of the entire trip that our rain gear got used.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Playing Catch-up

We've rode away from school for the summer.

We celebrated birthdays.

Graduated from 3 year old preschool.

We celebrated another birthday.

Finished 2nd grade.

Ended a soccer career.

Made Bee Hotels with SVT.

Went on his first overnight trip with school.

We've also been fighting with raccoons smarter than us and the chickens, searching online for hours for car rentals and open flights to SFO that don't require a 12 hour sit in DFW. We've been swimming at the lake, fishing, and eating too much ice cream at our dairy. Heather has been swimming with people from Boston Tri Team, running with people from Triumph and generally getting her ass politely handed to her on a platter. Cathy heads to DFW for training and has one last trip before we leave.

Logan thinks our house is a hotel but does come home most nights for at least 7 hours sleep. Avery's pals (aka "the giggle girls" according to multiple teachers at school) are all left or are leaving for the rest of the summer in the next week, so she is getting in as much time with them as possible. Not surprisingly the 4 "giggle girls" have been split into two classes next year. At some point my children need to friend other children who do not have second (or third!) homes.

We have one week to pack everything we need for 43 days of camping in 62" bags not weighing more than 50lb, clean the house enough that things don't mold while we are gone (I never claimed to be a good housekeeper!), clean out the fridge and instruct the chicken sitter in all the new things needing to be done to keep them out of the raccoons grasp.

Then I'll be ready for a vacation.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Race Report- 1M OWS

Swimming is weird. It never gets really painful like running or cycling. And even though you are surrounded by black-suited bodies you are very much alone. Even while someone is swimming half up your body and you elbow the guy next to you. Very much alone. And I like that.

I can easily imagine doing a 3M OWS. I'm not sure I can fully comprehend the 55F temps I'll encounter next month. 70F felt cold today.

28.16, 36th overall, 7th age group. I'll get total number of swimmers OA and AG but in the meantime I would guess 289OA, 77AG.

Next race is THE race. Well until the other race. The fun ones in the middle don't count.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

No More Teacher's Dirty Looks!

End of School Time=Hell

9.5 more days of school
15 birthday parties (and counting...)
1 birthday party for two of my kids.. please have decent weather
2 more field trips
1 more talent show
1 soccer game
4 end of the year class parties
2 books to type out for 2nd grade
1 field day
1 art show (for all 4 kids)
1 more day in the photocopy room
unknown gifts needed for-classroom teachers (6), specialists (8), admin staff, the janitor, the bus driver, the classroom aides (while not assigned to my kids I think they help everyone) and the school secretary, who is also a neighbor who drives Logan to school most days.

During that time I'm scheduled-
to run 47 miles
swim 4 times (Walden twice and Lake Boon twice)
plus I'd like shower on a few occasions and possibly sit down while I eat.

Wish me luck!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Girl Scouts

I think she had fun on her first "camping" trip.

This jumping rock provided hours of entertainment for my troop, much to the dismay of the other troop leaders who wouldn't let their kids climb on it (or pick up sticks, or run!)

Personally, after a year of being a troop leader GS programs are slowly growing on me. Now if I could just get past their oath, their promise and their extreme fears of legal action I'd be jumping in with two feet like Avery.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011


Finley can't pedal yet, but there is still hope. Watch this!

Freeride Kid

Sunday, May 15, 2011

13.1 Race Report in which I make excuses, blame other people and generally bitch and moan

Sigh....Where to begin?

Perhaps a pre-race day dinner of take out mexican and far too much watermelon wasn't ideal. It seemed salty so I didn't take my daily dose of 2T of salt (which thanks to my cardiologist's suggestion has almost fully eliminated my light-headedness and passing out at inopportune times by raising my blood pressure to a more normal level.) But my belly revolted a bit and I wasn't properly salted. One the positive side there were porta johns and real bathrooms all along this route since it was in tourist area.

Perhaps with the fact that every kid seems to be having more than normal amounts of bad dreams which necessitates me sitting by their bed during the night. So I was, as normal, tired.

I won't tell you too much about the yeast infection I realized I had too late pre-race day night to treat. Bleech.. scratch, scratch....

The weather was overcast, 70% chance of rain, but a comfortable 57F. It didn't actually rain but I heard thunder from about miles 5-8. It poured on the drive home.

So that is the background information.

Now to blame people. (everyone except myself of course!)

*My parents didn't give me beauty, brains or athleticism.

*Avery broke a glass, didn't tell me, and I had a sliver of glass in my big toe that required a fair bit of digging to get out. That cut blistered up.

*All my children share some responsibility for the state of my saggy boobs, but I mostly blame Meryl and Finley for the bloody raw spots under my bra. (My breasts have served me and my children well during the past 11 years. Now could they please go back to what they were like when I was 25!)

*Cathy for having a work schedule that doesn't give me regular times to run.

*I'm sure there are other people to blame whom I've missed. Don't worry I hold you accountable for my pathetic time too!

Random info-
*I was 10 minutes off my goal time. But my goal time was just something I pulled out of my ass, since I've done no prep for this race.
*I ran past a runner getting CPR at the 10 mile mark. I hope she is still living.
*My feet hurt and I'm going to try running barefoot more, which has been working well for me.
*I think my next half will be July 31 at Mammoth Lakes, CA. Since I do oh so well on those hills!

Things I've learned-
*I shouldn't use an ipod on race days. I can't hear myself talking to me.
*Don't drink the post race beer on an empty belly. Wait till you get home. But even then be careful of the post race beers. I think my metabolism was much faster than normal.
*Maybe my physical and mental fitness will never be where I want them to.

Blogging while beer is flying through one's metabolism may not be ideal either!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Simply 10 Good Things

*Nap time on the trampoline.

* Music on the stairs.

*Logan and Avery happily playing Monopoly for hours

*children all sleeping in children's rooms

*spring like weather

*striped shorts on skinny little girls

*Cat Stevens/Yusaf Islam playlists coming from the kid's bedroom

*running chickens

*kids reading books I loved as a kid

*a clothes line that holds two big loads

idea from soulemama

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Annual Egg Hunt

Happy Spring

We dyed our brown and blue eggs this year. I just couldn't bring myself to buy white eggs. Some colors worked better than others, but it is possible.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

My First Trail Race Report

I learned a lot today. I knew I had no idea what to expect from a trail race. Only 250 runner split between a 3 mile and a 10 mile course. Overall winner gets a loaf of banana bread, age group winners get cookies. This race is part of the TrailRunner Trophy Series so the parking lot was full of out-of-state license plates and rental cars. And 45 year old men with the twiggy bodies of 8 year old girls. In gear. The cool kind you see in magazines. Anyway, it was my first 10 mile race. And my first trail race so I didn't have any competition. Just me. Starting at the back of the pack. First off, a trail mile means nothing. I ran 7.5min miles and 17 min miles during this race. Water was available at 2.2, 5 and 7.2 miles. Always at the top of a hill! They should give water at the bottom of a rocky, steep section so you can walk and drink. Just my experienced opinion now that I've done one race! People should puke off to the side, not on the trail. Be respectful of those behind you. Please. I really don't like hills. Up or down. Give me a nice level dirt road any day. I know my next race needs to be a half-marathon on the road. Or perhaps a rail-trail would be nice. Oh and another important thing I learned- Those 45 year old twiggy men don't smell like 8 year old girls 10 miles later! Edit- I don't know where my paragraphs have gone or how to get them back. Ah well.....

Friday, March 18, 2011

My Day

I crawl out of bed not being able to open my eyes or breathe freely thanks to my mild but irritating head cold. Gotta get ready for Avery's birthday party today! Yee-haw!

Breakfast for 5. Brush 5 sets of teeth, comb 4 heads and put pony tails in all of them. Tie 3 sets of shoes. Get 4 kids to school on time! At school I talk to the secretary (more money for Avery's lunch account), the principal (pajama day again?), pto president (yes, I'll help harass the town about recycling), the school nurse (tick time) and the classroom teacher (Have fun!).

Off to the Natick library for "The Suite Life on Deck" for the mock-sleepover. They don't open till 10. Off to the fabric store for new waistband for Meryl's skirt. They don't open until 10. Wait. Make my $.39 purchase at the fabric store and head back to the library. Call the pedi about Logan's once again swollen knuckles. Get a noon appointment. Pick up girls and Logan from school. Teacher says Finley's ear has been bothering her.

Pediatricians with the kids. Logan needs to see a specialist. TODAY. Finley has an ear infection. Cathy gets the little girls while I take Logan to the specialist. I get lost. We are late. We wait. Did I mention the "Specialist" is a dermatologist? This "specialist" thinks we should see a rheumatologist TODAY. Huh? This is swollen knuckles that have been going on for 8 months. Not an emergency in my opinion. We do, however, have time to stop at dairy queen! First ice cream of the summer! But we eat it in the car. Hey- I've got eight 8 year old girls heading to my house. Drop Logan at school for the last half-hour. He needed to get his basketball for the weekend, not any books mind you.

Head home. Frantically clean and set up the scavenger hunt, Oreo pinata, laser games, etc. The bus arrives with a gaggle of chaos. 4 hour party goes great. Not a single hitch. Well, I spent $100 on Chinese take out and pizza. Most of the girls then requested plain pasta with butter. I could have save $98.71 and just bought a box of farfalle. Who knew?

Parents pick up their kids and it is at this point that I notice-

I am wearing two different shoes!

My shoes don't match. They didn't match all day. And how many people did I talk to? Sigh...... I did throw one mad crazy eight year old party though.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011


So I just signed up for something that will be a challenge for me. I like my sleep and I don't particularly like people. So why am I doing this? Haven't a clue! But wish me luck.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Dog and Vanessa

Dog chose ribs and french fries. I cooked the ribs (my first time) and they came out looking fine and the kids ate them all, so I guess it worked. For dessert he asked for "big chocolate chip cookies right out of the oven" and again I was successful.

Vanessa (Avery's dog, who sometimes answers to the name Rivers) chose Wonton soup with ice cream cake. The soup was pretty lousy. Did you know "wonton" means "swallowing a cloud"? I did take photos but they are still on the camera and the camera is currently in Guilford.

Meanwhile, I am child free for another 15 hours during which time I am supposed to do the taxes or clean the house or do something useful. But I think netflix may be calling my name and then I plan to sleep for 12 hours. :)

Monday, February 21, 2011

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Moose's 10th Birthday

School vacation week has begun! And amazingly enough, each child has one stuffed animal who will celebrate a birthday this week. Today we planned the menus and took care of the shopping. The first birthday- Meryl's moose. She is 10 years old. She chose tuna noodle with peas and chocolate cake with chocolate frosting.

The candles were difficult to blow out for a moose, but eventually she got it. Tomorrow is Finley's lamb's birthday. The menu is PB&J with apple wedges and Rainbow Jello. Better menus follow with Avery and Logan's animals.

A moms gotta do what a moms gotta do to get happily through winter vacation!
PS- Please don't ask Moose about the band aids on her antlers. 10 can be an awkward age for moose.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Roses are Red....

Roses are red
Violets are blue.
You are the best mom
I ever have knew.

I guess its the thought that counts!

Heart pancakes for breakfast. Although Finley insists they are mickey ears.

Heart shaped marshmallows in the morning ovaltine.
And the kids came home with tons of candy, plastic junk and pencils from school! Call me crazy but this holiday has gotton out of control. Finley and Meryl had exactly one child in their class make home made cards. Logan had one child. Avery didn't have a single one.
I like this woman's view on the holiday!
*ZWH is intriguing to me but feels like false advertising. No home can be ZW. If you drive a car there is waste. Not just in emissions but in parts like replacement wiper blades, tires, filters, etc. If you eat food and breathe there is waste. I'd like her so much more and not be a 'hater' if she called her home a Low Waste Home. LWH has a nice ring!
Happy Valentine's Day.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011


We check on the chickens several times a day and bring in the eggs regularly. But with the current temps in the negatives the eggs are still freezing faster than I can bring them in. This makes for neat cracks along the eggs and a little wait time before you can use the egg.
Avery likes to play with it as it thaws.

It also means the water heater can't keep up with the cold, so the water is freezing anyway. And yesterday the plastic was too cold and brittle and simply cracked. Ugh.... Who's idea was this chicken project? Off to spend more money on these little birds.

Friday, January 14, 2011

To do list

Perhaps I need to
1. Teach my children to shut the car door and
2. Clean out the car.
Then this might not happen. It kinda stinks to be driving to school and hear your 3 year old say "I smell chicken poop." Pun intended.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

I said I never would

But I'm going to.

We are taking a family vacation to (gulp) Disney World with my parents. Honestly, I think it will be fun. (ducking my head in shame.)

We are introducing the bazillion characters to the little girls and trying to watch some of the movies with the older kids. (If they ever get tv privileges back!) But the dilemma it is creating for Meryl is amusing. Meryl just can't decide which character to hug first. She likes Mickey Mouse, but his clothes are yucky. But she doesn't like Minnie Mouse even though she has a beautiful dress. Sigh... what to do, what to do.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Hello? What? This hasn't been updated in a while? Well look at that lovely winter scene on the mantel above. Isn't that sweet? My kids did a nice job. Just don't think about the fact the photo has been there since late fall of 2009. Okay? Okay. Have a nice day now.