Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Run, Run, as Fast as You Can

Finally, I saw him round the corner, just yards from the finish line and moments away from the rest of his life as a marathoner. He said it felt like giving birth. I said, I'm so glad this is over, even as I prepared myself to hear the inevitable the next morning: Maybe I'll run another one. I knew he would say that, just like I knew he would finish the first one. Sometimes you just know. But it wasn't an easy road- are there any medals available for Babysitter of the Marathoner? I didn't think so. Just cheesy songs about being the Wind Beneath the Wings and so forth.

The night before the Utah Valley Marathon, I went to bed early. Ty was getting jittery- setting his alarm for 3;30 am, trying to decide what to wear in a rainstorm/windstorm/hot June day, and generally freaking out. My job was to leave the house with my 3 kids at 7:30 and get down to the finish line before Ty crossed it. I was necessarily worried a good deal myself about those logistics.

Even still, it wasn't my Christmas morning. I fell asleep without another thought, until 4:30 am when I was shocked awake by my panicked husband. The alarm never went off- he was an hour late to catch the bus up to the starting line. Old school alarm: 1. iPhone: 0.

I saw the past few months of 2 hour runs, counseling sessions, and indepth excruciating conversations about shoes, peppered with words like "pronate" and "IT band" flash before my bleary eyes. There was no parking up the canyon and no access to the starting line after 5:00 am. Even at 4 I can do that math. We were 45 minutes away with 20 minutes and counting.

I grabbed my shoes, grabbed my kids, and grabbed Ty, who was protesting a bit about the insanity of the situation. I started backing out of the driveway before he was even in the car, only to turn around a minute later when we realized the ipod was still on the kitchen counter. That catastrophy averted, we were on our way with three children wide awake in the back seat.

It was raining and chilly, but we were going to take a stab at this, and secretly I knew that nothing was going to stop me from getting him there. We had both invested too much, and I'm just not that flexible. I didn't care what road they closed, I was prepared to do whatever it took.

Luckily for me, I didn't have to find out because my Dad had decided to bring his state of the art camera to the starting line and was already en-route. We met at the freeway, and Ty jumped in. That wind helped as well. The weather delayed the race just enough to push the road block back to 5:30 and allow Ty a nice leather-seated ride right up to the starting line at precicely 5:27 am.

He ran the race. And he finished it. I was there at the finish line to see him cry. I cried a little too, and it was a very good good day.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Summer Fun

With my first year as the mother of a school aged kid under my belt, I figured it was time to bring out the big guns this summer. We only have so much time before it's off to school again, and yet we also have so MUCH time that I decided to get prepared. Well, and in the spirit of full disclosure, I also felt a little bit of guilt for all the time I spend working from home. I don't want that to get in the way of a proper summer. So here it is: The List. I compiled all the ideas we have done in the past and some new ones I wanted to try, and each day I pick one thing off the list.

The only rule is that we have to do it together. That way we spend time together, and the moments don't pass me by. I am only prepared through June though, so who knows about July.

1. June 1- Nature Scavenger Hunt from Hollie Hobby website
Think find a twig, something soft, something red etc. It's a classic. You can't go wrong with a scavenger hunt. When we were finished, they colored the paper and Alli drew pictures of each item she found outside.

2. June 3- Puppet Show
I helped them set up a coffee table stage and write a script- then we did the show for Dad when he got home. The Lion had to make the elephant laugh to get some Kool-aid because he ran out of money to buy it. (Just like real life!) He finally made him laugh with the bit about the Dark Dark House... When Maddie tells it, it's a "dawk, dawk howse in the dawk, dawk woods"

3. June 4- Learn to play Chinese Jump rope
I ordered one from amazon for a couple of dollars and taught the girls how to do the jumps. I used to play this game at recess, so it makes me all nostalgic...

4. June 7- Make Pictures with Colored "Glitter" Rice
I always have some of this on hand, but it is a pain to clean up. (I keep stepping on stray grains of rice for days) so it was a treat for them to get to use it. We drew letters with Elmer's Glue for Maddie and then she dropped the rice on top. You shake it off like glitter to reveal the picture underneath. Then we hid buttons in the leftover rice and played pirate "treasure hunt." Maddie counted the loot to see how much treasure she'd found.

To make: Mix 1 C rice with a few drops of food coloring and 1t vinegar. Bake in a 200 degree oven for 40 minutes on a cookie sheet. I make 2 or 3 colors at a time.

5. June 8- Library Story Time

6. June 9- Outdoor Bear Hunt
This is kind of a joke at my house. A couple of years ago I printed off some pics of bears and hid them in the bathroom. Then I got a flashlight and convinced Alli to follow me around on a "bear" hunt. She kept saying, "Mom, there aren't any bears in the house" When she found them in the dark bathroom with the flashlight, she was so shocked. So this time I made the pics bigger and hid them outside. We pretty much played hide and seek with the bear pictures. After I hid them, Alli and Maddie both wanted a turn to hide them and take us around on a bear hunt (through the river, up the tree etc) It was lots of fun.

7. June 10- Hide and Seek
After our bear escapades, it was time for the real thing.

8. June 11- Art Day
We pulled out the good old Usborne art book and made some cowboys with string arms. Then Alli and Maddie spent a good hour using those cowboys and sheriffs like paper dolls. I think there was even a wedding amongst the cast. Not very rough and tough, but we have a house full of girls and certain accommodations have to be made.

9. June 14- Google a Topic
Alli decided to look up Mozart and Louis Armstrong. (Um, I think they were both stories in the Magic Tree house series because I'm cultured, but not that cultured.) After we read some bios on Wickipedia, I put Louis Armstrong into the Pandora radio website. What an amazing site! Not only did she learn about Louis Armstrong and what he sounded like, but it played all the other major Jazz contributors from the era as well. There were even little information boxes that popped up with each new song. Wow. The Internet is amazing.

10. June 15- Make Father's Day Cards
See it was on my list, so I didn't forget. Handy.

11. June 16- Backyard Soccer
We set up deck chairs to mark the goals and kicked the ball around. I can't believe how willing they are to chase that ball all around the yard while exercising their little legs. That Hello Kitty soccer ball finally got put to use! It only took three years.

12. June 17- Maddie's Tea Party
I made some lemonade and little peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for Maddie and a few of her friends. I love tea parties, and I never miss an opportunity to pull out our little tin tea set. We even pulled out the glitter and sprinkled a little "fairy dust" on all the girls.

So far, we are having a great summer. We've also been swimming at the outdoor Lehi pool, gone to the Petting Zoo, and taken plenty of picnics to the park.

Stay tuned for the next week of fun.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Kindergarten come and gone

When I dropped Alli off for the last day of Kindergarten, I got all choked up and cried all the way home. I just can't believe she is going to go to first grade next fall. What will I do with myself all day long without her? What will Maddie do? It's just too much time. Where did the time go and did I make the best use of it? I know this can't be true, but I have this feeling like I'm losing her and whatever I've done up until now will have to be enough becasue now she's out there on her own.

I picked Alli up from school that day and she started to cry, which made me cry all over again- I know... this is getting rediculous, but we just sat there crying together. Isn't it wonderful having a house full of girls?

Mrs. Wright took some pictures during the school year that have been fun to remember. This is Alli at the Jazz read a thon. I think she won the kindergarten reading prize. I don't actually know- Alli wasn't clear on the details.

Here we are at Alli's doughnut date:

And then there was field day. I still remember field day when I was a kid. It was always really exciting, so it was fun to see Alli participate for the first time.

I love Alli so much! As hard as it is, it's fun to watch her grow up and learn new things. I am a lucky Mom, that's for sure.