Saturday, July 30, 2011

Nana Saves the Day

So last night after our trip to the clinic, Gideon was promised by Nana that she'd buy him a toy today to help him feel better. So this morning I heard him get up and come rushing up to my room. "Mom! Mom! Mom! My head feel better. Go to Nana's house please, please, please! Her have new toy for me!" So we got up and got dressed and went to Nana's house. By the time we got there he was insisting that he needed to go get a "Slinky Dog" (You know from Toy Story.) Gideon was so excited all morning he was practically shaking. First we went to lunch at the Red Robin (that was a pretty good treat in and of itself if you ask me.) And then to Toys R Us. And Nana learned why I don't take Gideon into that store!

It was a successful trip. We did indeed find a slinky dog as well as a Mickey Mouse playground set on clearance and he ended up with both. So Nana saved the day and managed to make this little guy extremely happy!

He's very thrilled about his slinky dog as you can see. As for Parker she wasn't left out, she got new teething rings.

Friday, July 29, 2011

The reason I'm Tired today....

Parker's top two teeth finally poked through but that means she's been VERY fussy & cranky!!!!!!! And she was extremely restless last night waking up at least once an hour just crying and fussing. She typically went back to sleep within a few minutes of me rocking her, but it was still a long night up and down and up and down.

Today Gideon got to make his first trip to the urgent care clinic. He managed to pull my laundry drying rack down on his face leaving a small, but deep gash in the center of his forehead. Naturally it bled. A lot. There was extra blood because after he hurt himself, he was screaming and grabbing his head and tripped over the rack into the brick wall and bit his lip, so that was bleeding too. Fortunately it didn't require stitches. The doctor patched it up with that special super glue and a bandage. He fell asleep on the way home from the clinic but they were kind enough to give him some Tylenol, so I'm hopeful he'll be comfortable enough to sleep through the night.

As for me, now that I have both kids in bed, I should probably be picking up the toys, sweeping & mopping the floors, cleaning the blood off the patio etc, etc, etc. But I'm tired. And it will be there tomorrow. So I'm going to sit here and watch swimming world championships (Hello Ryan Lochte!) and have another doughnut!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

A Good Place to Hide

So when I told Gideon Saturday morning that Daddy was coming home he got very excited (naturally) and said, "Me hide and surprise him!?!?!?" Sure, why not. (He likes to do that a lot lately.) Anyway he went downstairs to play or hide or whatever. What's funny is that when Travis came home, we couldn't find him. Turns out, his great hiding place also turned into a nice place for a nap.

This is the tub where we keep the coloring books and crayons and he was sound asleep. It was pretty cute.

We had fun with daddy, even if he was only able to be home for like 24 hours. We played in the yard and of course, daddy had lots of help mowing and watering the lawn. Speaking of the lawn, it's finally all put back together, although it kind of looks like Frankenstein's monster right now. But I know that by next summer it will look fine. Just as long as I can keep it alive until then.

Have I ever mentioned I have the best climbing trees ever? Gideon sure thinks so anyway.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

When the Going Gets Tough...

...The Sprinter's Go Home.

So here's the thing...
I like to watch sports. Not mainstream professional sports. I watch stuff like marathons, triathalons, surfing, swimming, track & field, skating, volleyball, skiing, etc, etc, etc. It inspires me. It motivates me to keep going even though I'm so far from an elite athlete that it's laughable. I'm a distance runner. Everyone knows this about me. I've mentioned countless times that it's easier for me to run 5 or 7 miles than 2 miles. I'm in no way a competitive athlete, but I train hard for what I do. And even a recreational runner like me knows that you have ups and downs in any sport. As I've said to so many people you're not going to have a brilliant race every time you step off the line. Some days you have a tough a day and that hurts a little, but you just learn what you can from the experience and move forward.

I've thought about this a lot this last week as two stories have come out of the sporting world that have caught my attention. One from gymnastics & one from swimming. (Yes, I follow Olympic sports in non-Olympic years. I'm a dork. I know. Get over it.) As I've read negative press about two former champions, Shawn Johnson & Michael Phelps, my contempt for people kind of grows. People are idiots.

So here's the buzz on Johnson, this week was her first international meet since the Olympics in '08 and the press was less than kind painting her as overweight and rusty and suddenly doubts about her ability to bring home any medals in next summer's Olympics began to surface. She didn't medal in either of the events she competed in, however she did extraordinarily well for a girl that's been away from the sport for 3 years. She may be taller and heavier but she's in no way overweight. And frankly she shouldn't be dismissed. I mean the truth is, yes, she's a little rusty. But the mistakes she made during the meet are all things that are definitely fixable and I'm more than confident she's already been back to the gym and is working on them.

As for Phelps it seems the media has been particularly critical. Everyone is wondering if he's lost his fire and competitive drive. There have been comments about how he's distracted by his new girlfriend and he's undertrained and unfocused. I'm actually shocked this conversation is even going on. The man has 28 world championships, 14 Olympic gold medals. What does he have left to prove? And who does he have to prove it to? The truth is even if he never wins another medal and retires tomorrow from the sport, never stepping a toe in the water again, he'll still be considered one of the greatest swimmers of all time. He's proved that already. It's true he lost the 200M fly 3 times throughout this season a race he hadn't lost in 9 years. But let's face it ALL winning streaks eventually come to an end. And so far at the World Championships he's not won a single gold medal yet. But he's only contested 2 of his 7 events so far and everyone will concede that the 4x100M Freestyle Relay wasn't his fault. He went out and did his job, he turned in a fast split time. Some of the other guys didn't have their best swims, so team USA leaves with a bronze instead of a gold in that relay. As for the 200M Freestyle in which he took silver behind teammate Ryan Lochte (who by the way, I kind of have a crush on. He's a HOTTIE and let's face it having a swimmer's body doesn't hurt!) During Phelps's 18 month hiatus from swimming Lochte has worked extra hard to try and come out of Phelps' shadow. In 2010 he was called, "The best all around swimmer in the world" by pretty much everyone. No one remembers that Lochte took 2 bronze's behind Phelps in Beijing, that he won a gold in the backstroke and was part of 2 of Phelps' gold medal relay teams there. The story in Beijing was Phelps, but let's not forget that Lochte has spent years training with and competing against him and is a gifted swimmer in his own right. I think Phelps has had a greater affect on the sport of swimming than even he realizes. He's caused the competition to become better simply because he's so good. Everyone else is working harder to catch him. Not that his feat in Beijing was easy, but I can tell you that his competition is tougher now because of what he accomplished there.

But there are two things the public (and the press) need to remember 1. The Olympics are still a year away. Both of these athletes have taken hiatus's from their sports and are using this year to gauge where they are and what they need to do to be ready for London next summer. 2. You're talking about two people who are CHAMPIONS. I mean that in every sense of the word. They'll use their recent defeats as motivation. This will become building blocks, something else to stoke the fire and come back even stronger next time. Because that's what Champions do.

Shawn Johnson and Michael Phelps will both win more Olympic medals. Will they all be gold? Probably not. Will they ever dominate their sports like they did 3 & 4 years ago? Doubtful. But why does it matter? The truth is neither one of these athletes should have to prove anything to anyone. So what if neither one of them earns a single medal ever again? (They will. They're competitive like that and they won't be satisfied until they each walk away with more hardware.) But they don't have to win or even compete ever again to have my respect and admiration for the accomplishments they've already achieved. Because dominating a sport like gymnastics or swimming is much more like a marathon than a sprint. And when the going gets tough, the sprinters go home.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Never Enough

When I saw the announcement in the paper last week, my heart almost stopped. I was so excited to learn that the wedding of the kids' birthmother had gone forward as planned. I immediately took the wedding gift I'd been saving for her over to the agency and dropped it off so they could get it to her. It wasn't much really. Just a set of dishes I found months ago that made me think of her. They were just her taste and personality. And since she'd told us she was engaged, I went ahead and bought them and saved them for whenever it became appropriate to give her a wedding gift.

Today we got some pictures and a copy of the invitation, with a nice note from her mother about the wedding. It made me so happy to see her looking so well and thrilled me to know that she's now married and won't ever again have to make the same sacrifice that she made for us not once, but twice.

Still my heart broke a little. I gave her dishes. DISHES! A perfectly respectable wedding gift for literally anyone else, but this is a woman who gave me my children. It's because of her that I get to be mommy to the sweetest boy and girl on the planet. And what do I give her? Dishes. Disgusting right? It's just never enough. The necklace for her birthday, the perfume at Christmas, the quilt we made for Parker's placement. I could lasso the moon and give it to her and it wouldn't be enough to express our gratitude. Every holiday and major milestone we celebrate, I try and send her a little gift of somekind. Just a small token to let her know that we love her and we think of her and we're still so grateful to her. But how on earth are these pathetic little material gifts ever supposed to compare with the gifts she's given us? She probably groans every time she opens one of our presents and thinks, "I gave you parenthood twice! And what do you get me? A handbag!?!?!?! Yeah. That's the same." But I know that there's nothing on this earth that can compare with what she's given us.

So for now I'll keep sending my paltry little gifts at the holidays. And just hope that she somehow understands we wish we could do more. Because nothing in life is ever going to match these beautiful babies that I get to wake up to every single morning and rock to sleep each night.

Saturday, July 16, 2011


So I'm very well aware of the fact that I will never be a competitive runner. As much as I enjoy running, and all the benefits that come with it, I know I'm not fast. Still, I feel like I'm a little bit stuck. In every race that I enter I expect to beat my best time. I'm very tough on myself I know, but I like seeing progress and when I can clock myself running faster at any given distance, that's very tangible progress. And I feel like I should be getting better. Even if I'll never be "fast" per se, I can at least be "Faster" than the last time. Because the more I work out, the stronger I'll get right? And I should see that in my race results.

Which is why it's inexplicable to me that I'm having such a mediocre summer. I've not set a personal best time at any single distance yet this year. In fact, I haven't come close. They've not been my worst races either, but still I feel like I should be progressing and somehow I'm not. Or maybe it's just that I'm not progressing as fast as I'd like to.

At first I figured it was because I was heavier this year than last year. (Having both kids in the hospital and an unemployed husband this past winter, really took it's toll. I packed on 15 pounds in a relatively short amount of time.) So I went on a diet. In 8 weeks I'm down close to 18 pounds, and while I can tell in my training that running is getting easier for me, it's not showing in my race results. My training runs seem to be a little faster over all. And most races start out excellent, but by the end I seem to run out of gas. Even in the short distances.

This morning at the Kelly Canyon Half Marathon I was once again on target to beat my personal best (and by a large margin too!) If I'd only done the 10K perhaps I would have. At 6 miles I was still 4 minutes under pace and even though I was tired, I felt okay. And then it kind of fell apart on me. Everything hurt and I just felt exhausted. Honestly the last 4 miles felt more like the last 4 miles of a full marathon than a half. And thus I ended up walking for the entire final 5K's and finishing a good 10+ minutes slower than my personal best half marathon time.

My dad always drilled into me that we don't choose to settle for mediocrity. (Have you ever noticed the quote on the top of this blog?) I mean I want to know that everything I attempted in life, running related or not, is something I put my very best effort into. And yet I'm struggling because I'm feeling like I'm putting in the time and effort to train and eat right and take care of myself and yet the results are disappointing, especially for someone like me who expects so much of herself.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011


I didn't destroy the picture. I just didn't want to be reminded of the fact that my son, (like the rest of the freaks in my family) seems to have no qualms about the fact that snakes are literally THE DEVIL!!!!!! (It's in the Bible people!)

Monday, July 11, 2011

All this fun and a FREE laptop too!!!!

I'd have to call this past weekend not only a great deal of fun but also a smashing success! I'll give it to you point by point.

1. Gideon got to help grandpa "drive" the big truck. - Several of you know my father-in-law is a truck driver. Every now and then he'll bring the truck home and let Gideon "help" him drive around the block. It's always great fun for both of them.

2. We left Friday afternoon & made it safely to Jake & Hillary's house in Provo. - It's always fun to visit because their dog, Toby, is seriously the best dog ever with kids and my kids LOVE him. Plus, they for some reason enjoy wrestling with Uncle Jake and he's a good enough sport to let them.

3. The Hobbler Half Marathon - The reason for the trip was so that I could run the half marathon out of Hobble Canyon. I was doing really great, actually on pace to FINALLY break 2 hours 30 minutes (which has been my elusive goal time for the half recently.) Up until mile 9 anyway, at that point my calves really started cramping up. I'm thinking it was the "gradual" downhill finally catching up with me. At any rate the last four miles were tougher than I expected and I finished in 2:41.15. Disappointing, yes, but definitely my best half so far this year. I have to admit I'm more sore after this race than I've ever been after a half marathon. But a soak in my favorite bath salts, frequent Bio-Freeze applications and a little ibuprophen and I should be ready to go this weekend at the Ririe Days Half Marathon.

(This is the only picture I have of Hillary from the weekend, a self-portrait of her holding Princess P.)

And here I come. Hobbling along (pun intended) to the finish. Oh well, as usual I may have looked rough, but at least I was dressed well.

Gideon didn't want to cross the finish line with me this time. I guess because there was too much else going on for the kids like face painting and a bouncy castle.

4. The trampoline & the swing - I think this is pretty self-explanatory. Gideon had a ball! Well, both kids did.

5. Yes, I said FREE laptop - One of the best things about having Jake as a brother-in-law is that he's a self-proclaimed computer geek. This really benefitted me over the weekend when he saw an ad for someone giving away two "broken" laptops. Unlike the rest of us who would steer clear and just buy new ones, Jake sees any kind of "broken" computer as an opportunity. Even if it's unfixable, he can still tear it down and keep the usable parts for future projects (because as Jake once explained to me years ago, the best computers aren't bought, they're built.) It turns out one of the computers only needed a new power cord & a virus removed and it worked perfectly. It's about 5-6 years old, but Jake reconfigured it and updated it and offered it to me. I've actually never had my own laptop so this is exciting for me. We have one, which Travis takes with him when he travels, and we have a 9 year old desktop at home that I use when he's on the road. The laptop I'd been using was a hand-me-down from my mom that was like 8 years old (and actually quit working on me a few weeks ago) I jumped at the chance. A working laptop & all I had to invest in was a new power cord?!?!?! SOLD!!!!!!!!

So yeah, a very successful weekend and definitely worth the trip to Utah. I'm actually considering going back down to run the Timp Half on the 30th, but I'll have to wait & see where Travis is going to be at that point.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

A Fabulous 4th!

Our holiday weekend started off not quite so fun. Gideon started running a really high fever on Tuesday evening. So after a trip to the Dr. and a diagnosis of Tonsilitis, we spent the next couple of days trying to keep his fever down with tylenol & trying to get him to drink enough not to get overly dehydrated.

Fortunately by Friday his temperature wasn't spiking up quite so high and he seemed to be acting well enough to go the cabin with Nana & Grandpa. They went up Friday afternoon and Parker and I went and joined them on Saturday morning. It was a fun weekend, Gideon "helped" grandpa put the addition onto his deck, I read a lot of books & magazines and Parker crawled around and got as dirty as possible. Of course we had to stop and get a few little fireworks to let off.

Parker liked watching them and chewing on the empty boxes (until of course we took them away from her.)

Dirty babies get bathed in the sink of course! (And the other reason I took this photo is because somewhere floating around in the world is a photo of Travis at about this age in this very sink....)

Sunday afternoon the kids & I packed up and left the cabin. After a quick stop at home we went to mom & dad's to spend the night with them. Of course Gideon had to have fireworks there too. Fortunately we found what was left of Uncle Cody's stash and were pleased to discover there were still some very fun things in it, like race cars and tanks. (You know the fun stuff for a 3 year old.)

And of course lots of sparklers!

On Monday morning I got up and left super early to make it back to Idaho Falls for the Firecracker 5K Freedom Run. It wasn't my best 5K but it wasn't my worst either. All in all we'll call it a success. While I was doing that, mom & daddy took the kids to the pancake breakfast in Menan. I joined them there once I was done. For such a small town Menan really puts on an amazing 4th of July celebration. There's a 3 on 3 basketball tournament, a 5K fun run and a softball tournament & a parade. As well as an all day "festival" with booths and vendors & food and games for the kids (fishing ponds, ring tosses, etc....) and all day entertainment consisting of local singers, dancers and musicians. (Yes, my mom performed, but I didn't happen to get a photo of that.) And their fireworks show is awesome. I won't say it's better than anyone else's, but it can hold it's own against any show in the area, which is pretty good coming from a town of 707 residents.

Gideon had fun on the seesaw & the swings and generally running around the playground like a wild man.

Gideon liked getting pushed by grandpa because he went really high! After the breakfast we went back to mom & dad's house where I showered & changed and then we headed back to the park for the festival.

First we did the fishing pond and the bouncy castles. Naturally we had to do everything like 7 times throughout the day.

Parker loves to give big sloppy wet kisses now! It's super cute!

Grandpa took Parker for a little walk and they came back with a pretty green beaded bracelet (which she was chewing on.) I asked him whose it was and he said, "Hers. She told me she wanted it." Uh-huh. Sure. I think grandpa just likes spoiling his kids. He bought his 3 unborn grandchildren all something from the festival as well as a hair bow for Parker and a ninja sword for Gideon. Plus he paid for him to do the fish pond and ring toss several times.

And what's Independence Day without a hot dog?

After my mom sang, we headed out to the truck to wait for the parade to start.

We were joined by Michael and Ashlynn who spent the rest of the day with us, so that was fun. And I got a kick out of the fact that my mom looks like she belongs at a polo match and not at a 4th of July parade. Sadly I didn't get any photos of the parade because I was taking all of those with mom's camera. but it was a good parade. Almost an hour long and lots of candy. Gideon would walk out in the road and just hold his hands out and then they had to throw candy at him, so he really cleaned up. After the parade we went back to mom & dad's to rest and get out of the sun for a while. The kiddos took naps and the adults relaxed. Then we headed back down to the park to wait for the fireworks.

Parker's cute jammies!

We were joined at the fireworks by some friends of Michael & Ashlynn & this super cute girl in the red & white is Hillary Crawford. A friend of the family from when they lived in Pueblo, CO who's now going to school at BYU-I.

That's our friend Doreen talking to mom. Her sons wrestled with Cody at Madison. As it got a little darker we broke out the glow sticks.

And of course we had to have some more sparklers!

My darling little toothless boy!

Sometimes I just wonder about this woman.....

The fireworks don't start until around 10:15 because it just doesn't get dark enough here until then. This was the first year Gideon actually stayed awake for the show. It was fun to watch and listen to his reactions. Although I do think he started getting a little bored and tired after about 20 minutes.

Parker fell asleep but then woke up a few minutes before the show actually started. And she amazed me. She was completey mesmerized by the show. She sat stock still and didn't make a sound, but just watched with wide eyes the entire time! It was super cute!

All in all we'll call it a success! The only downside was that we missed Travis and really wished he could have been with us. But oh well. Maybe next year.