Friday, June 28, 2013

My Big News

Well, I did it. After ten months of straight glasses, my eyes were finally ready for laser eye surgery. I didn't have Lasik, but its relative, PRK. The doctor said everything went perfectly. After surgery I could see far better than I could before without glasses so that was super exciting. Today my vision should be worse, and by Saturday and Sunday I should have more pain and discomfort. But come Monday, I should be on the up-and-up. PRK recovery is longer, so my vision shouldn't be perfect for weeks, but that's okay. Just thinking that maybe by my birthday I'll be able to see without glasses or contacts is just unbelievable. So anyway, that's my big news.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

It's a Miracle

My boys, yes MY BOYS, slept until 7:30 a.m. this morning. It's a freakin' miracle, I tell you. It may have something to do with the red-eye flight we took Tuesday night, but I'll take it. 7:30 a.m. people--even after a regular-time bedtime. I'm still in shock. And quite-well rested!

Something big is happening to me today, so bear with me as I don't post for a bit.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Father's Day

I post this so you can tell your husbands how lucky they are to not be married to me. I mean, you certainly don't make him and your sons wear matching ties. Noooo, because that would be ridiculous. (Chuck's tie is reversible so he can match either son, but not both at the same time.)

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

C & O Canal

Last week I took the boys to Great Falls with hopes of riding the boat on the canal. I'd never done it, and thought the boys might like it. After doing it I can confidently say that I enjoyed it more than they did, but also that they liked it. Going through a lock was super cool. We lucked out with the best seats on the boat and with good weather. Even the mules cooperated! We finished the morning with a walk to the Great Falls overlook. Good times.

P.S. Know what else was awesome about this trip? The booth was closed so we got in free, saving me five dollars. When we were done, we walked by a place to get some ice cream and since it was warm and since I had the cash and since I'm such a super-awesome-fun mom, I bought three ice cream bars. And they were not four dollars each, thankyouverymuch.

Monday, June 17, 2013

What is Chuck Up To?

Today marks the return to full-time work for me. It therefore marks the return of Chuck to full-time SAHD-hood. (It's short-lived, however, as tomorrow evening we head west for a family reunion.) What will Chuck do all summer, you ask? Among the kid-watching, grocery shopping, and house cleaning, THIS.

Yes, it is what it looks like. Can you believe this thing is in my house? I can. I know one of my faults is "ranking hobbies." Clearly running and sewing are superior to gaming, right? RIGHT. [ End sarcasm font.] So I'm trying to overcome that fault by supporting my husband. He built this (from a kit), did all the programming (not from a kit), and set it up. He also believes he'll make more friends. In adapted words from Field of Dreams, "If Chuck builds it, they will come." We'll see.

Friday, June 14, 2013

The Failed Experiment

After weeks of being woken up in the five o'clock hour, Chuck and I were done. DONE. Something had to change because we couldn't go on this way. We decided that maybe the kids really did need a later bedtime, as much as it killed us. For almost all of May, we put the boys down about an hour later than normal (eight versus seven). This was ridiculously hard for us. I mean, what do you do with your kids after seven o'clock? We didn't know. It was hard. But we wanted to give it a real go because we really wanted to sleep past 5:30.

But guess what? Major fail. The boys went to bed later, but got up no later, resulting in a sleep loss. They were cranky; we were cranky. It was horrible.

So now we're back to the seven o'clock bedtime. Sounds good, no? Unfortunately it's not been great. Ollie has somehow realized that he can climb up to Rhett's bunk. For the past three weeks (seems like three million weeks--yep, that's right--more than 56,000 years), one of us (cough, cough CHUCK) has had to stay in that room and pluck off Ollie from his ascent. So even though we've been putting them down at seven, they're still not going to bed until eight. Can someone remind me why we had kids?

A couple of times we've left before Ollie was fully asleep. This is what happens:

During naptime I don't bother staying in there. This is what happens then:

As of composing this, it seems to be getting better. Ollie has realized that we're just not going to let him climb up there. Tuesday night I was in there for only 10 minutes. Maybe we're turning a corner?!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Ragnar Wrap-Up in Words

I still have so many thoughts on this. But rather than say, "This totally sucked!" I am going to word it "How it could be better."

1. Better team name. Our official name as known on the Ragnar records was "The Church Ladies." Chuck came up with it on a whim, and we never bothered to change it. But while running my third leg, the perfect name came to me. It's so perfect I don't even want to share it; but if we run again, I will definitely go public with it.

2. Better camp situation. Most of this year's crappiness was due to the wet conditions. There's really not much you can do after two inches of rain and about eight inches of mud. But next time I'd really want a shelter (like this) and a table. We could set out the food and chairs, and it would be a more communal space that would encourage visiting. It has to be better than hanging out in a water-logged tent.

3. Better team spirit. With a better team name and a better camp, this one would be easy. Decorating would be super fun, and I'm sure I could find something to sew for it. Banner? Table cloth? Costumes? Who knows and who cares. It would be awesome. I want that baton.

4. More people. Instead of a team of eight (for the trail Ragnar you only need eight, which is unlike the road Ragnar teams of 12), we'd get a team of 16. That way everyone has a buddy for every leg. When we realized that our running paces were not likely to get us finished before the required 4 p.m., we ended up doubling up on some of our legs. Can I tell you how much more fun it is to run 6.2 miles with friends? So much more fun. Imagine if every leg was with a buddy. That would be awesome. My first leg nearly brought me to tears. But if I had someone to commiserate with on just how horrible it was, I'm sure I'd be able to laugh about it far earlier than I did.

5. More realistic expectations. About twenty minutes into my first leg, I thought I had gone about two miles. I looked at my Garmin and imagine my surprise when it told me 0.89. I was convinced it was broken. You know, I was in the wilderness and it wasn't registering; I was sure I was somewhere around two miles. I continued to be delusional about the watch until I reached mile which point I reached the sign that said, "One mile to go!" I about died. Seriously? How had five miles taken this long? Oh right: the nearly-impassible muddy trail. Next time I will not be so disheartened by the (much, much) slower pace.

That's it! I think that's pretty good, right?! Of course, number six should be the weather, but there is no controlling Mother Nature.

Looking back, it really is easy to say it was fun. But you better believe that I could not say that statement until I crossed that finish line..

P.S. So did I do anything right? Yes! I brought three entire changes of clothes, one for each of my legs. Because of the rain, this was key. It meant dry outfits for every run. Also, I brought two pairs of running shoes. This meant that if one got soaked, I had another dry pair waiting for me. But when both got soaked, well...

Monday, June 10, 2013

Ragnar Wrap-Up in Pictures

Because I'm already bored of telling the story, this will be short. Plus, my arms are killing me and holding them up to type is proving quite hard.

We arrived at camp shortly after 11 a.m. on Friday, which is the same time the rain began. Our first runner headed out promptly at 1:30 p.m. and came back shortly after 2, but that is, sadly, not when the rain left. I'm not sure it left even before dark. And when you're running a Ragnar Trail race, well, rain + dirt = MUD. And a LOT of rain + a LOT of dirt = a LOT of mud. But for 16 miles (split into a 3.6- and two 6.2-mile runs), we each ran in it. Through the dark of night, through the rock scrambling, and mud slides, we ran. For 22.5 hours somebody was running.

As soon as it was done I could finally say (and mean), "That was fun!" But not until then.

Sharon, runner 2, finishing her first leg.

Hanging out while runner 3, Angela, was out.

This was the route between the race village and our tent. We had no sun until the hour we left. Of course.

After my first (and worst) leg. I cannot even convey the amount of mud.

Chilling in the tent that ended up lake-like with all the water.

See all the clothes that we're hoping will dry?

Right before our last leg.

The mud. The evil, evil mud.

Kim, our awesome back-up runner, finishing her last leg.

Jennifer finishing one of hers.

At the very end. So tough.

Friday, June 7, 2013

I Spy, Rhett Doesn't: 1.0

Imagine my horror to find out that the inability to find things is hereditary. Is this really the next 15 years of my life? "I Spy, They Don't," times three?! DUDE. My life is going to be hard.

You are looking for two of these...

P.S. Running Ragnar today and tomorrow! Expect a report on Monday...or Wednesday if I sleep through Sunday.

P.P.S. To my mom: Rhett loves this safari shirt, in case you couldn't tell. Thanks!

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Really, People. Really?!

Three "REALLY?!" moments I'd like to share. I know the answer to only one of the three.

1. Really? Who steals a debit card number and uses it to buy stuff from a department store, a stereo store, and take-out? Who are these people who think it's okay to spend $1,600 of someone else's money on whatever they want? Who are these people that actually know how to do it?

2. Really? Who has a party at a local park only to leave 40-50 empty plastic water bottles scattered on the basketball court? Who is too lazy to walk to one of three close, empty trash cans to get rid of their bottles? Who thinks they're too good to do so?

3. Really? Who has the two cutest boys in the world? (Nope, not really a Really? question, but just an excuse to put in a picture of my boys. We went to the zoo, and Rhett insisted on wearing this shirt. Then he insisted on taking a picture of me doing this exact thing. I'll spare you.)

Monday, June 3, 2013

Can't. Stop. Thinking about It

Last Monday I ran a race. I have no hubris about my running ability; rather, I am fully aware that I'll need to be running when I'm 70 if I ever intend on winning my age division. But I do have hubris about my counting ability. I'm a mathematical statistician with degrees in math and statistics; I should be able to count, no?

On the course of this race they place little American flags in the ground. While running, you count them and then report your total when you finish. The closest to the correct number wins a prize. I was uber-confident going in; I thought I had this. I mean, three years ago I did have this.

Alas, I did not have this. Not even close did I have this. My reported number was 89. (My estimation of it was super awesome. Next year I'll have even a better plan of estimation, however.) The true number was 126. This is where I can't stop thinking about it. How in the world did I miss 37 flags. THIRTY-SEVEN. The only thing I can think of is that 75% of the race was on Rock Creek Trail and the remaining 25% was on a surface road. I didn't count any flags on the road, but maybe I should have. It's the only plausible reason. I didn't take my eyes off the ground once I was on the trail; there's no way I missed 37.

Do you see why I can't stop thinking about it? No? That's okay. My logical side tells me it's not a big deal. But my emotional/prideful side is totally maimed. It's good for me, I guess.

P.S. I included this picture to further humble myself.