Saturday, August 30, 2014

Santa Cruz Waves

We took Josh to Santa Cruz yesterday; he & Jeremy were able to enjoy some higher than usual waves! We've all enjoyed having Jeremy's brother out to visit. 

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

First Day of School '14: First Two Student Edition

Back in the day of little kiddom, I wondered how it would be when the kids were in school. I'd see people in the neighborhood walking to school, families at church with older school age kids, and now I'm living that zone with half of our kids. It's cool. I definitely loved having babies and toddlers, but I have to say it is nice when they get a little bit older into the preschool age and are able to talk to you. And then into school age and they can reason/debate/argue/have an intelligent conversation with you. 

So here we are, Hayley in 3rd grade now (like, when did she get that old?!) and Ada in Kindergarten. I'm one of those parents now with grade school age kids. 

Breakfast--waffles & bacon. Yeasted waffles, they're my latest thing. 

The traditional "by the door" pics before we walk out:

Ada gets out early until end of next month, so here are the kids after picking her up:

And after we picked up Hayley:

Around 10am Blake asks, "Where's Ada?" and starts looking through the house for her. I tell him, "Ada's at school, remember?" Blake slowly replied, "oh yeah", as he thought about it. 

Jeremy walked with us this morning (it's a first day tradition as Hayley reminded us last night), and we went to go look at the class lists and found out Sophia was in Hayley's class, BFF for the win! Hayley was super excited. They met in Kindergarten, but haven't been in the same class again until this year. And both of their younger sisters got to be in Kindergarten together this year just like them, with the same teacher! Ada was glad to have a friend going in.

All in all, a good first day. 

Oh yeah, after picking up Ada she asked if we were going to have lunch right when we got home, because she was really hungry. As soon as we got home she asked if we were going to have lunch because she was starving. She ate a lot of lunch!! Boys took a nap, and a little later Ada took a short power nap. She had a lot to say about her first day before that though. :)

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

CTTS Summer Style! [#5]

Jeremy's 5th run to the ocean from our house. I've blogged about the 1st, 2nd & 4th times; guessing I didn't for the 3rd since he did. (Here's his 4th.)

He's always gone at the beginning of the year, but decided to do an additional one August 9th. Power to him. 

The kids have fallen into a routine at this beach: run out to this side, pick stuff up, throw in water, repeat. This lasts a lot longer for the boys than the girls. The girls have usually started a game by the time the boys are getting really warmed up in their throwing fun. 

There was a lot of shallow water this time, so I let the kids run around in it and they had a lot of fun. They also scrambled up some big rocks near the highway. 

Then we went to explore this awesome fort someone made! And SO many kite surfers out. It was a great day for that. And we were very blessed to get a parking spot--God provided the best one we could possibly have! The lot was insanely crowded (people parked in the middle) as besides all the kite surfers, there was also a troop of boy scouts (you'll see in the picture below). We pulled in and the kids and I were all, "Thank you Lord!" We are very thankful for good parking spots. Or sometimes just having a parking spot. 

There's Jeremy! (Daddy to them.)

I at first wasn't going to share this one because it seems kinda personal. The pain/raw emotion/relief from running around 50 miles self supported in one day. Enjoying not moving anymore, the sun. Done. I decided to share it because this is ultra running, folks. It's dirty, hard, admirable, exhausting.

My favs!

Wednesday, August 06, 2014

2 Bunk Beds

Jeremy built the second bunk bed today (thank you Jeremy!!!), and after he was finished, he commented that it looked like army barracks. 

We live in a two bedroom house, so this is how our army of little people must dwell. It's all they know! Think of it--people used to live in one roomed houses. I'm sure there are those in other countries who still do. We are so blessed here in the US. Thankful for the shelter, the food, the comfort of life. We like our house! 

The middles: 

The bookends:

Hayley & Ada made pictures for me tonight while I was putting new sheets on all the beds in their room, so sweet of them!

Front of Hayley's (photo by H):

Back of Hayley's:


The girls really enjoy making pictures for other people, I love it! They have made so many for me, and some for Jeremy, and even some for the boys! I have a lot of random drawings/notes of theirs stuck in various places of mine, like my cooking binder has a few, and some books I read, stuff like that. I don't keep all, but I do try and take pictures of the really good ones. And save a few of those too. :) 

Today I took the kids out to lunch at Panera, where we got a few things to share, then sat outside where the kids could watch all the big construction vehicles at work right next door! It was awesome,  mom score on that one. Peaceful sitting there eating my food while the kids were totally entertained. The boys especially could watch that probably all day. Blake hardly took his eyes off the scene, he is very much into big trucks. Seth for the most part too, although I feel like he is slightly more diverse in his vehicular attractions. Blake likes most everything too, but he really loves trucks. 

Want to know what is entertaining? Taking the boys through the vehicle aisle at Target. Seth pushes all the buttons, and Blake sits in the cart and points out, "monster truck!" "big truck!" "VRRRRRMMMM" with a whole body shake, it's pretty awesome. 

Saturday, August 02, 2014

San Fran visit today

Parked at the Marina Green Triangle. Notice the cool workout spot in the background!

Alcatraz from the hill by the Fort Mason Center:

Some kind of temperature device for the [Golden Gate] bridge:

Anchor #1:

Anchor #2:

Heading up to Ghirardelli Square!

After sharing a hot chocolate and a chocolate malt:

I almost took a picture that I instantly regretted not taking. A herd of segways with a double decker bus behind, on Jefferson Street. Have to say, I LOVE the improvements they've done on Jefferson St.! They've expanded the sidewalk, which is awesome. Sure they had to take out the street parking to do so, but man, so much nicer to walk on that section now. (It gets insanely crowded.)

Went to Pier 39; had to ride the carousel. 

I was going to take a picture of the boys looking at sea lions at the end of the pier, but the people there were crazy, yo. People crowding everywhere, as if they had never seen sea lions before. Grown men trying to cut in between the boys and I (like, seriously?). A touch too much for me. I crouched by the boys so they could see for a little bit, and then we made our way out of there. We then proceeded to walk up and down the pier in search of sustenance, and we were all hitting low blood sugar craziness. Need food now type thing. We found food, then we were in the good. 

On the walk back the bush man got a twenty something guy in front of me and Hayley beside me, hilar. 

Pirate pose on the walk back:

Stopped in for some beach action. No surprise, Ada was soon in the water! This was the beach we were at with her when she was one, with Jeremy's parents, and I was pregnant with Seth. She had no fear of the water at that time, and just kept running out into it; she kept having to be picked up and removed because she was just too crazy!

After playing in the sand for awhile, Hayley joined her. Seth got his legs wet, so his jeans were all saggy, and he got cold fast because he has no insulation, but he still kept playing till Jeremy called the kids in to go. Blake is more cautious in some situations than the other kids have been, which has its perks! In other things he thinks he's a big kid which is not so good. But when it comes to water, he's been more cautious, so he didn't even get his feet wet. He chased the birds and charmed others sitting on the steps by the water. 

Since the girls were totally soaked, Jeremy suggested I run with the girls back to the van, which was a great idea. The guys:

And...... they're out.

Friday, August 01, 2014

The Half

July 19th, 2014. Lake Chabot. Our first half marathon!!!

This day had been anticipated for quite awhile. After Ben beat me in our first 10k trail race last summer, we decided to up our next conquest to a half the following summer. The taste for victory was wanting.

Last summer he beat me by six minutes, so basically he was running a minute per mile faster. 

This year he beat me by four minutes & 11 seconds. I jokingly said we need to up it to a marathon next year. He said maybe in a few years. 

Yes, he beat me, that still annoys me somewhat. Especially when I found out he hadn't run the whole month prior, he was just lifting! But then at the same time I was kinda glad for him, that he didn't have to tell his friends that his 30 year old sister beat him. (Just wait till that marathon, brother, third time's the charm!)

Honestly though, we both ran our best, and we both pushed each other to do our best because neither of us wanted to get beat. Our biggest mistake was in getting sunburned at Nevada Beach in Tahoe just a few days before. His shoulders were hurting, and I told him my back was the fire of hell. In fact, the sweat on my back just bubbled up under the skin, and it was HOT. No venting going on there. Not cool. 

I spotted my bro three times during the race. 

#1 We were about a 1.5 to 2 miles into the race at this point, and he was half a mile ahead of me. No problem, I thought, as I knew he would start faster than me. 

#2 Right after I left the second aid station, which was at 8.5 miles. I saw him 400 m ahead and thought, aha! My moment has come. (I predicted to Jeremy that I would pass him at the 8 or 9 mile mark.)

#3 My prediction did not come through. After I spotted him that second time, I saw him look back and thought he had spotted me, which made him go faster. Turns out he did not see me. So the third time I saw him was right near the finish, I had a little over a mile to go and he was about half a mile ahead of me again. It was at that point I knew it was over for my chances. But I still gave it my best shot!

Here is Ben finishing, picture thanks to Hayley:

Ada took this shot of me:

And let me just comment here that while I have been doing the most consistent running post kids this year, I have gained back some weight that I had lost last fall that I did not want back. To the tune of around 7 lbs, but still, not cool. Honestly I'd like to get rid of twenty pounds at this point to get me to pre-kid weight. I know what it takes but not sure I'm motivated yet. It's hard work losing weight! Not something I had experience with before having kids. 

Jeremy said this picture sums up the pain we felt:

Not sure what Ada was having us do here... or maybe we were just out of our minds happy to be done!

Also, this brother is 6'6", making my 5'7" look shorter. Just sayin'.

Not body hating up there or anything, very thankful for my health and that I can get out and run! I enjoy moving around with the kids. But it would help me be faster and more able to beat my brother (and my girls in the mile, sheesh), so it's a goal out there. It needs to communicate with my other hobby, baking, so they can hash out the details.

Anyways, after the glorious finish (so thankful to be done), I grabbed a muffin piece, ate that, then we walked over to a big picnic bench where I laid on part of the bench for awhile and I think Ben sat on the ground. Jeremy, my parents & the kids had all come to see us finish, which was nice! And they brought a picnic lunch which was nice too! I just wanted to rest for awhile though, felt good. 

Then I ate and drank some, and Ben & I discussed the race. He said at the beginning he wasn't sure if I was ahead or behind him, but he never saw me during the race so he didn't know for sure. He said at mile 7 is when the going got tough for him. And I was all like, no way, that's when it got tough for me too! I told him I looked at my watch (well, Jeremy's that he was letting me borrow) when I felt like I was having to mentally push myself forward, and it was at 6.99 miles. I'm guessing that meant we were in about the same shape. 

We finished 86th & 87th out of 96 people running the half, so we weren't last! We met our goal of finishing, and one of us with the goal of beating the other. 

Funny story--there was this older lady that was coming up on me during a climb.
Her: "You're walking faster than I am running!"(I typically hike the climbs.) 
As she passes me, "well, not anymore!"

Made me chuckle. She wasn't trying to be mean or anything, just openly commentating the race. Didn't see her again! 

I would like to do another trail half sometime for sure. No marathon for me until maybe next year, we'll see. Right now I'm content with this distance and learning its feel. The longest I had run beforehand was a 12 mile trail run at Rancho that was actually tougher elevation-wise; Ben had done a 10 miler once. I had wanted something hillier to compete on giving me more of an edge (we all know how mountainous Kansas is), but this one was available for the Saturday he would be here. And quite honestly this was good, being our first half. And I liked the trails and the scenery--we ran around the lake. Good race. Until next time brother! 

Thursday, July 31, 2014

The Blakenator

Last picture I took of Blake, which was a couple of days ago:

And this picture I ran across today, from Dec. '12, when he would have been 7 months old:

My baby is growing up! 

Yesterday night he climbed out of his pack n play for the first time. Physically I think he's been ready for a long time, but he liked the safety of his walls. 

He was in the pack n play because I gave away the crib and toddler bed earlier this year, knowing that  this year we'd be making the move to bunk bed #2. And we needed more room in the kids' room so Jeremy and I could sleep in there when our visitors came. Jeremy's parents in May, mine in July (plus my brother Ben, who slept in the tent out back).

So last night I packed up the pack n play and moved Blake to a big boy bed (right now the boys each have a twin mattress on the floor), and he slept there last night, for his nap today, and now tonight. Always somewhat of an adjustment when the kid makes that transition, but I'd say even with the bumps of learning this new way, he's probably been the easiest transition. 

The more kids you have, the easier it gets! Haha, not always true, but it sounded good. He is a smart kid from all that he observes and copies from the three above him though. He knows so many phrases, it's kind of ridiculous what comes out of his mouth. Too smart for a two year old, that's for sure! 

If you were wondering, he has passed Seth in weight, but not in height. The dude is a solid piece of boy. Our offspring is equally divided into two genetic groups. Which is slightly tempting to have a couple more to see if that continues, but then we're getting used to the idea of being done. Plus, we always did joke while I was pregnant with Blake, that if we had a red headed boy we were done. 

What were the chances. Honestly though, so blessed with the fam; thankful to God!! Jeremy gets awesome husband & father award, and the kids are the best ever (every mom should say that about her kids, so I'm not being overly proud here); God is good. 

Back to the visitor mention: had great times with all of our visitors so far this spring/summer! As I mentioned, Jeremy's parents came out first (in May), and they got to be here for Blake's birthday. It just happened to work out that way. Same with when my parents and youngest brother Ben came, they got to be here for Hayley's birthday in July. 

We love having our families come visit!! Thankful that they were all able to make the trip out, and the kids loved them too of course! Next up is Jeremy's brother Josh in August, and he'll finish off our summer of visitors. It's been nice to have family visits to look forward to!