Saturday, January 30, 2010

Face Painting

This is what we have been up to this week:

Face Painting and Big Cats

It all started on Monday morning. Someone rediscovered our Aqua Bunti. They are colored pencils which turn into face paint when wet. Pretty cool. Imported from Germany. We are all excited and Noah decides on a Tiger face. We find a picture and I get to work. When Eric comes over, he wants face paint too. Then Noah changes his mind and wants to be a different wild cat. Then Eric decides to be a snake. I am out running at this point and Jen is with all four kids. I am not sure how she does it, but they are all happy when I get back. Thanks for your patience and love, Jen!

That night Noah really wants to be a Husky. I am making dinner and so it's Karl's turn. But it does not turn out the way Noah had in mind and he is very upset. By this time I am slightly regretting having found the pencils.

Tuesday Noah goes to the library as a Bobcat. In the afternoon he is wearing Lynx face paint. We always have a photograph (book or internet) of the chosen animal next to us when painting, so I know what to do and Noah has no reason to complain.

Wednesday morning he gets up and first thing he says is: "I want to be a Leopard." Ugh, can we have breakfast first? I just swam for 1.5 hours and am starving. I barely manage to get him to eat breakfast with us. Then he is on my case again. Fine, I will paint your face now. After teeth brushing and face washing. He throws a small tantrum but then he's ok.

While I am turning Noah into a leopard Max is keeping himself busy by trying out all the toothbrushes, squeezing out tooth paste, exploring my make-up, coloring himself and his surroundings, and pulling the computer off the counter. Great!

Noah thinks his face turns out well and his happy. For a small moment. Until we realize he is still wearing his pajamas. He insists on putting on his hoodie and thus smears the paint all over. He wants me to fix it. NOW. My turn to throw a small tantrum.

Wednesday afternoon Noah is Poco, the Husky in Bob the Builder.

Thursday morning Noah wants to be a Panther. Sweet. We color his face black and draw white whiskers. Done.

Friday we go to gymnastics with a Jaguar in tow. I am worried about how long this infatuation with face paint will last.

Today we had a busy day with lots of sledding and playing in the snow and Noah did not even ask me to turn him into some wild cat! I am hoping this is more than just a short break.

Of course Noah acts like a wild cat, too. Here he is practicing his pouncing skills.

When he is not being a wild cat, or reading about them, or talking about them, or asking questions about them, he is Bob the Builder. Or Poco. I get to be Wendy. Max is Pilchard, the cat. He really wanted me to take these pictures of him. So I did.

How has your week been?

Sunday, January 24, 2010


I hope I have more patience now than when I was a kid.
But I am not so sure.

While reading an interview with Joanna Zeiger (2008 Ironman 70.3 World Champion), I thought:

This is exactly how I feel!

Joanna says:

"The most overrated virtue is patience. If everyone was patient, nothing would ever get done. I have spent years fretting over my impatience – I hate waiting in line, waiting for appointments, waiting for people to do things, waiting for people in general; I want things done yesterday. I have now embraced my lack of patience and would request that people stop asking me to be more patient."

I still think patience is a great thing and I am working on mine. But I have realized that there are different kinds of patience. As her next quote demonstrates:

"The most underrated virtue is resilience. Life is hard and unexpected. No matter what plans we make, what goals we set, what time-line we expect, curve balls are always thrown our way. It is those who are resilient that come through a crisis intact and ready to conquer the next battle. In my own life, I have encountered obstacles athletically, socially, and academically. It is through my resolve and
stubbornness that I been able to weather the storms."

Doesn't it sounds like resilience is part patience as well? Just a different kind.

Anyway, I am not trying to get too philosophical here. I just thought it was funny that Karl asked me tonight: "Did you read that interview with Joanna Zeiger? The part about patience TOTALLY reminds me of you." He knows me well...

Friday, January 22, 2010

I'm in the newspaper!

Hey friends,

Check it out: I am in our local newspaper, the Daily Herald. I am smack in the middle of the picture and in front of me is my buddy Dylan.

Here is the story:

Every Tuesday morning, Noah and Mama get their bikes out. Then they throw me in the trailer (without even asking if maybe I would like to ride my trike) and off we go. I am pretty cozy back there, even during a blizzard, but I feel somewhat neglected. Noah gets to have all the fun and attention while I try not to fall asleep. Because you know what happens when I dare fall asleep at the wrong time? Mama gets me out and makes me walk next to her. Anyway, I am digressing...

So on Tuesdays we bike to the library. I love the library! As soon as we get there I run off and explore everything. I also try to sneak into places I am not supposed to go, and when the security guard notices, she brings me back to Mama. I love adventures! Then Noah gets to wear a cool name tag and disappears through a little green door. Every time I try to get in, I get caught. I guess I don't look 3 quite yet. Then Mama drags me over to toddler time which is pretty cool. They sing silly songs, jump up and down, have a puppet show, and read a story. I'd rather be doing my own thing though.

Last week was different. There was this guy with a big camera taking lots of pictures of everything going on. I figured this would be my chance to show the world my skills. So I sat on the story blanket and just listened. No hair-pulling, no wrestling, no shirt-tugging.

And that is how I made it into the newspaper...

The end.

PS: This week I was back to my usual self.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Mr. Speedo

Usually there are at least 6 of us in a lane. Today it was just me and Mr. Speedo. Where was everyone else? Maybe they whimped out after we already got our butt kicked Monday and Wednesday. I usually whimp out.* But not this week. Or next week. Or the week after that. It is swim month! Because who wants to run in the nation's worst air? Or on a tread mill? Or on an indoor track? Not me! At least not a lot, so I am focusing on swimming instead. January is a good month to do that.

Jack and Jill Triathlon '09

Who knew that there are swimmers in this country who wear Speedos just for fun? I did not until yesterday. For a brief moment I thought I was back in Germany... Anyway, here is how today's practice went down:

After a few meters in the pool, I know I am going to die today. My arms feel like they have already swum 7000m this week and 1400 of those with paddles (yesterday). They also painfully remind me that I took a 8 week hiatus from swimming (more or less) while in G. Why did I do that??? So I am really hoping for some lane mates to draft behind. But no one comes. Except for Mr. Speedo who must have joined the squat while I was gone.

By the time we are done with the warm-up set my arms are definitely gone. Who does sprints for warm-up anyway. Luckily we get to kick for 800 meters and I find out that Mr. Speedo has a name. Dan. He is not a triathlete. What? Why would he be swimming if he is not training for a triathlon? Who swims just to swim? It's not THAT fun. He used to swim in high-school and wants to get back in shape. Aha. Great. He gets to lead. Our conversation only lasts 2 seconds because I can't kick as slowly as he does. It's my arms after all that are weak, not my legs. Maybe I will lead after all...

Echo Triathlon '09

Our main set: 4 * (8*25, 1*100, 4*50, 1*100)

The 100s are fast. Too fast for me today. I won't tell you how fast though, so you can't make fun of me. So after the first 8*25, I ask Dan: "You wanna lead the 100?" He says: "Yep." I say: "Great. GO!" He says: "WHAT?" In a very high-pitched voice and goes. I realize that he misunderstood my question and, in fact, does NOT want to lead. I never get to apologize because there is no time to talk. I don't feel too bad either.

During the first round we both realize that I should be leading after all but I don't want to. So when Mr. Speedo asks during our 20 second break, I suggest: "Why don't we swim next to each other?" It's a brilliant idea because I don't have to lead but I also don't have to feel bad about drafting the whole time. He does not like the idea too much (I think) but the 20 seconds are up and off we go. My idea works out really well because having him right there makes me push harder than I would otherwise. Except for the one time when I fall back a little and had his Speedo right in my face. I tried even harder to keep up after that.

Our conversation during round 2:
Me: "I think Coach is trying to kill us."
Mr. Speedo: "Me too."

After round 2 I tell Coach: "I need to put on fins."
He replies: "You don't need them."
I say: "I know. But I want to have a good run today, too."
He lets me put them on.

I don't care what Mr. Speedo thinks. I do the 8*25 and feel recovered. Recovered enough that I decide to get my act together and ditch the fins. I also don't want to let my only lane mate down. So I take them off. Just then I realize that Mr. Speedo put his on. Dang. I try to slip mine back on but there is not enough time... Go! I suck it up and do my best. I manage to do the fastest 100 so far. Sweet.

Coach calls it quits after round 3. Mr. Speedo and I high-five. Cool-down. I am pretty happy with my effort and think it made me just a little stronger. I can't wait for next week. It was also a good reminder that it's not only in your arms but in your head, too.

Mr. Speedo may think I am a nut. Who cares?

* Maybe that's because I have two other disciplines I need to work on. Maybe it's because I can't handle that much swimming. Who knows.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Schloss Neuenbürg

When you are in Germany and you have a son who likes to play knight, you need to see at least one castle. So we went to the one closest to our house. Part of it is a ruin, the other part restored beautifully. Everyone loved it.

PS: Yes, we are home now but I have a few more pictures to post. We are trying to recover from a full day (and night) of traveling, to adjust to Utah time, and to unpack. This is the not-so-fun part of a long trip.

PPS: Thank you to Oma and Opa for all the great pictures.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Feels Good to Be with Family

In Germany, Christmas is 3 days long. There is Christmas Eve, the 1st day of Christmas and the 2nd day of Christmas. They are all holidays. And Germans take their holidays seriously. You will not find an open grocery store (or any open store for that matter) on any of these days. This year, that meant that you'd better have bought a lot of groceries on Wednesday or you'd be starving by the time stores open again the next Monday. Maybe that's why Germans are so well organized...

We had the pleasure of spending Saturday at my aunt's family's house with my (only) 3 cousins. Here is part of the Henne clan. The other (small) part is in Australia vacationing for 6 months.

There was lots of singing...

more presents...

Max is in love with his new fuzzy jacket

playing around...

and even some circus action! The kids loved the juggling with balls and clubs on fire. But the highlight was the fire breathing. Good thing Noah, the fireman, is always ready... We are sure glad Laura has such an awesome boyfriend. Thanks, Thomas!

Sorry, no picture of the fire breathing. But it did happen. Ask Noah. He can tell you all about it.