Sunday, June 21, 2009

Staycation II

Here is what we did the second half of the week.

Thursday we had a much-needed date planned. Going to the temple and rock climbing at Rock Canyon. But then Karl kept experiencing these chest pains, especially while running and was concerned about it. So we decided he'd better have it checked out. He spent about five hours at the cardiovascular clinic, pretty much all day. So much for our date. But now we can rest assured that he has no heart problem. We spent a very pleasant evening at the Ellis'. Their other former German exchange student and his girl friend were visiting.

Friday we left on our second adventure of the week. First, we went to Arete Gymnastics. It is the coolest place for kids. They have all the gymnastic equipment for adults and kids you can possibly think of: two big tramps, huge bouncy floor, foam pits, ... I don't know what it is all called and our camera was having issues with the light but you get the idea.

We got to play, jump, run, bounce, slide, and do tricks there for an hour and only paid $3 for all four of us. Even Max had lots of fun cruising around and pulling himself up on things.

By the end we were all exhausted. Especially Papa.

Then we were off to the Zoo, just in time for animal nap time. Well, some were still awake... Nothing out of the ordinary happened and I guess I was too lazy to get the camera out.

Next we headed to Gateway for dinner. But first we played in their awesome fountains. Both Noah and Max were a little but wary at the beginning but they soon got into it.

Noah especially liked the steam. Note the shorts he is wearing. These are the same shorts Max is wearing at the gym. Who would have thought Noah fits into 9-month-old shorts? It is a good thing, otherwise he would have had to be naked. I can only bring so many outfits for one day.

Max exploring the holes out of which water shoots at random times. He got lucky though and did not get sprayed in the face.

We need some of these in our 'front yard'/parking lot!

Then we proceeded to dinner at the 'California Pizza Kitchen'. After we had just finished telling Noah the story about his diaper explosion in the exact same spot a few years earlier, Karl gets Max out of the high chair, smells his bum, and ... screams. Max decided he wanted to trump the Noah explosion and he sure did. I don't want to go into too much detail. Let's just say it took me about 30 minutes to get the kid (relatively) clean. Lots of people offered help, including a police officer. It was that bad. We still enjoyed our food.

We spent the night at our dear friends', Steve and Kjrstin Walters, house. They had just moved in and it is super nice. We had fun visit with them and then sprawled out on their living room floor.

On Saturday Karl ran the Wahsatch Steeple Chase, an 18 mile trail run up and in City Creek. Being in Utah after all and not having a heart condition, he was excited to run one of his favorite races. Steve, the photographer, took many pictures. I'll post them when I get them. Karl ran it in 2 hours 30 minutes and took 6th overall in a very competitive field. He had hoped for a better time but was happy with the run itself. Way to go, Karl!

We played for a little while at the finish but then ... yet another rain storm.

I love these guys!

Then we had pan cakes, played and ran in Liberty Park, (Steve) took more pictures, drove to Lehi in one of the worst thunder storms, didn't feel so good, went to the Lehi Legacy Pool, felt really bad, vomited, vomited, vomited...

Now we are better. We are still trying to decide whether it was food poisoning or the stomach flu.

We still consider the week a success.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Staycation I

Usually, when I hear the word "staycation", I think: Why on earth would you want to stay home when you could go on a fun trip? And if you don't have money, then go camping.

Well, our involuntary staycation did not turn out so bad. Monday we took things easy, because - why not?? Well, not really. I am not the person to take things easy. But I tried. I think Karl and the kids liked it.

Tuesday we went into the mountains. We started out by exploring Bridal Veil Falls.

Lots of water, mud, rocks. What more can a kid want?

I am not so sure about my let-the-kid-eat-mud-a-few-times-and-he-will-realize-it-is-gross approach anymore. It does not seem to work with Max. Maybe he just does not think it tastes gross.

Noah loves to ride his 'mountain bike' off-road.

Happy boys

Then we headed further up the canyon past Sundance to Grandpa Alan's little A-frame cabin. It is always a good place to escape to if you don't want to travel far. Just far enough away from home to make it feel special and exciting.

The minute we entered, we knew we needed a nice warm fire to heat up the place. So Karl and Noah went to work.

Building fires makes hungry. So we devoured a bowl of fresh guacamole and a bag of chips on the back porch.

Max kept busy as usual getting into everything. I had forgotten how un-child proof the cabin was.

So we went for a walk in the woods and found a bridge over a nice little raging river. Perfect. Except that the ground was very wet and Max has not learned how to walk just yet. That makes for a very dirty baby. What's new?

These two still thought he was very cute and tried to make him giggle.

The Wilsons (Scott, Jen, Eric, and Rubie) joined us for dinner. Due to the ensuing fun/craziness, I stopped taking pictures.

Except for this one. Don't ask me why. I guess I felt the need to document Eric's consistent interest in Noah's bathroom routine. And Noah loves the entertainment.

Thanks for joining us, guys. Sorry for the craziness. We won't come back here until Max has learned how to sit still for more than 20 seconds, how to go up really steep stairs, how to stay away from fire, how not to bonk his head on a coffee table, and how not to search for the rat poison in every corner. Yeah for 3-year-olds.

The weather spoiled our hike to Stuart Falls the next day. After walking around Sundance for a while, it was still raining, so we got in the car and drove to Thanksgiving Point. Max could finally roam around freely without getting into too much trouble. Dinosaur Museums are great!

Noah never gets tired of mud, so the wet sand table is ideal.

In the meantime, Max was getting acquainted with the dinosaurs and I think they will be friends.

After some yummy lunch at the Deli Cafe, the weather was looking better and we ventured to Farm Country. 3 pony rides, one cute calf, many beautiful horses, one loud donkey, and some ugly turkeys later, we called it a day.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

The Story

So here is what happened:

We have been planning a trip to see our dear friends Mitch and Mandy Warner and their cute kids Fay and Kimball for a long time. We are super excited to visit them in San Diego, hang out with them, and have lots of fun.

When we bought our Subaru in 2007, we knew we had to eventually replace the head gasket since it is an issue with all Subarus built that year. So, just to be safe, we decide to do it this spring before our summer trips. It is in the shop for a good 10 days. We drive it some (maybe not enough) and bring it back in for a check-up. Then we load it up and start the long drive to CA. We are going to stop and stay with our friends Melissa and Dan in Vegas but, unfortunately, never make it there.

Not too long into the drive, the "Check-your-Engine" light comes on and the car starts acting weird. Since the kids are (finally) sleeping, we keep going but, eventually, have to stop in Beaver. We call some car places but they are all closed or closing. We are told not to drive any further. We find one shop that is open Saturday morning.

So we get a hotel room. Funny, because in one of my last posts I am saying how hotels are not an option for us. Well, here we go. We try to keep the kids busy by swimming in the pool. It turns out to be freezing. The hot tub is slightly warmer, so we play in there. Then we all listen to Max making various sounds throughout the night.

It turns out, no one in Beaver can fix our car. We need to bring it back to Provo. They made a mistake when they replaced the head gasket. Sweet! Thanks, guys! You successfully ruined out vacation. We drive the car home slowly and start unpacking the bags.

Well, first we go to Cove Fort, an LDS Historic Site, and have a great time there. Then, we decide another 10 miles won't hurt the car any worse. So we go straight up the canyon to see the finish of the Squaw Peak 50 Mile Race. Karl runs for 2 hours and helps his team mates finish the long run. We play in the sand/park. I ride my bike up Southfork Canyon and Squaw Peak and home. Not so bad, after all.

So, there you have it. Now, excuse me. We need to make plans for our staycation. Fun plans.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Racing Season '09

So far, this season has been really good. I have done 4 races and have been able to stand on top of the podium 4 times. Yeah!

I am still far from where I could be and would like to be but, I guess, I'll take it. But I really need to get my act together...
Having nice gear always helps, though. And, thanks to Salt Lake Running Company, I have plenty of it. Unfortunately, in January when they ordered our stuff, I had big plans and was hoping to be back in shape by May. Well, I am not. So most of the beautiful stuff they sent is just sitting in the closet waiting to be worn for the first time. My fault. Should have ordered a bigger size. Maybe next season.

Luckily, the backpack fits! Noah loves the pink. So do I.

These are the fanciest running shoes I have ever owned. I love them. They are so comfortable, really light, and super fast to put on. Sadly, I only get to wear them on race day. If they were not so expensive, I would get myself a pair just to wear around. Okay, not really, I am not that goofy.

This is what came in the mail last week! Two new pair of ASICS training shoes. Courtesy of SLRC. Wow! I am slowly catching up to Karl when it comes to the number of running shoes owned. Now I am only, like, 10 pair behind.

After the BYU Splash&Dash and St. George, the Woman of Steel Triathlon in American Fork was next on the list. I was glad to be able to sleep in my own bed.

But even better: my sister-in-law, Brenda, and good friend, Jessica, were in for the fun as well. It was their first triathlon and they did awesome!

Lots of good competition (Alli, Caprice, Bri, Jana) was there, which made for fun pre-race chatter. I love racing with these girls. They make it so fun!

As you can tell, they also make it hard and fast. Alli and Caprice were trying to hunt me down but, luckily, the finish was too close.

Jessica and I in the finish area. Usually, I don't like this place because it stinks and is too crowded. Not this time. It was so nice not to have any men racing. Really. For a lot of reasons.

Two weeks later, it was time for the Salem Spring Triathlon

Did I mention I also got a new wetsuit from SLRC? It is a BlueSeventy Helix and way awesome! I love being on the Salt Lake Running Company team. Thanks so much for hooking me up with all this great gear.

It was my first open-water race in a long time. I had almost forgotten how much I love it. It is so much fun. Although the new wetsuit still makes me look like a walrus, it felt really nice in the water and helped me get out in first place.

Toward the end of the run, Travis, the race director, waited for me on a scooter and led me to the finish honking and yelling: "First woman!" That was super fun and made me feel really special. Little did I know that the second woman was only 10 seconds behind me and catching up. But either way, I ran about as fast as I could.

Jessica, Kathy, and I after the race. Thanks, ladies, for all the great fun and for wearing the SLRC company tops. A little extra advertising can never hurt. Thanks also to Jessica's sister for the pictures. Karl, of course, was way too busy with the boys and cheering to take any.

This was the first time I ever got to spray bubbly stuff at an award ceremony. I had no idea what I was supposed to be doing but it sure was fun. Don't ask me why I got a blow-up tiger but Noah fell in love with it and took it to bed that night. Then it broke. Sad.

That is it so far. Next race is on June 20th and we will be swimming in Utah Lake. I can't decide if that is just plain gross or if I should swim in there regularly since it is so close, or both. What do you think?

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Sad Update

We are supposed to be in California, having fun with the Warners, playing at the beach, swimming, visiting Sea World and the Zoo, right?

Well, we are NOT! Due to car issues we had to spend one night in Beaver and are now back home in Provo. It sucks! Big time!

I don't want to think about it anymore, so I won't blog about it anymore either. Maybe later.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Backpacking Adventure

A couple of years ago, when Noah was just a wee 8 months, we took him backpacking at Havasupai. I, Karl, had been wanting to take him again, so on Memorial Day weekend I decided to take the extra time off to go with him up Rock Canyon. In our preparations, we soon realized that Noah was a bit too big to carry in my backpack...

So we decided to have Noah hike and that we would split the load fair and square. Although my fair and square load was 98% of the weight, Noah carried the most critical gear of all - two trucks, and a piece of PVC pipe that is his hammer. Actually, he also carried our water filter.

Noah wasn't so sure about backpacking once we got to the trailhead, but he soon got into the groove.

We hiked up close to Red Slab, checked out the mini cave, went up by the climbers, and then continued on up the canyon. We set up camp across the stream a little ways beyond the green gate, played cards, and drank some hot chocolate.

Right as we finished up our hot chocolate, a heavy cloud started dumping rain on us, so we went into the tent and slept well.

I wasn't too excited about camping anymore in the morning and was about to start crying for Mama and going home, but Noah convinced me to go up farther in the canyon so we could at least check out some of the best stuff in Rock Canyon - a big boulder, bridges, rocks to throw in the stream, etc.

We threw rocks in the stream for most of the morning.

Then I carved a knife and a screwdriver out of a branch, and Noah made an excellent grin.

We checked out some more climbing sites before packing up.

Noah picked the pace, and he picked most of the side routes we explored. Of course, Noah went easy on the pace for me. So I could keep up. He paused every 15 seconds to check out beetles, snails, bristletails, cool rocks, sticks, and anything else we came across, so I'd have a chance to rest. Nice of him.

Noah fit best in this picture on my shoulders, but he really did walk everywhere we went.

Next time, maybe Max can come.