Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Counting down the minutes...

These Four Friends are almost reunited!
Only 4 more days!
We can't wait to all be crammed
into our little apartment and have a
7-day-and-night party
with Jen, Eric, and Rubie.
(Conveniently, Karl will be in Portland next week...)

Of course, Max and Noah have been talking about it since...
well... ever since we moved here.
It was quite a big change for them.
These four have been hanging out at least 3 days a week
ever since they can remember.
Jen was their second mom. Jen's house was their second home.

Whenever Max is sad or mad at me, he cries:
"I want to go to Eric's house."
And he means it.
It's been hard for Noah to lose his best buddy
but, fortunately, he understands a little better.

We are absolutely ecstatic to have them come visit us here.
We are busy making plans and hope no one will be disappointed.
(Some kids around here have very high expectations.)

See you soon, Eric and Rubie!

PS: The reason I don't dwell on how much we miss Jen is because I am trying to save the laptop from drowning...

PPS: Remember Noah's shirt? He wore it every single day last summer. I am happy to report that it happened to get 'lost' during our move. Phew.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

1 Norwegian, 1 Policeman, 3 Firefighters

I sure love these kids!
But, I am getting a little tired of
playing "pretend" all day every day.
Is it September yet?

Even having friends over to play with
does not give me a free minute.
I am still needed as Penny, the firefighter.

This scene lasted about 1.4 seconds.

We taught Noah how to play Uno the other day.
He loves it and is a champ already.
It is a nice change but Max is still Max.

I love their energy, creativity, and health.
Sometimes I just get worn out and
would welcome some more independence.
Maybe I should just not be as good at "pretend"?
Then they might fire me.

Noah has discovered his awesome
Norwegian hat
that my aunt made for him.
If it fit me, I'd wear it!

Here is to a great week of playing!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Spring Surprise

We knew it was most likely going to snow today
but we had no idea that it was going to dump 10 inches
of beautiful, fluffy, powdery, yet sticky, perfect snow.

It snowed for about 12 hours straight.
We really wanted to go out and
enjoy the Winter Wonderland.
When, after lunch and nap and painting and legos,
it was still coming down strong,
we bundled up and ventured outside anyway.

We were loving it.
Even Max, who is usually done after about 20 minutes,
had to be dragged inside for dinner more than an hour later.

Snow was not quite what I was hoping for
on the First Day of Spring
but I will gladly take it over cold, rain, and wind.

It seems hard to believe that just 3 days ago,
the boys were running around naked,
splashing in streams
during our spring break camping extravaganza.
Very unfortunately, the camera got left behind.
But I am hoping our friend's camera survived its fall
into the river and we can have a few pics soon.

These pictures were actually taken in February,
during another wonderful snow storm.
Nothing like a little Sunday morning snow party
to wear the kids out for church at 1:30.

Today was not much different though:
Snow was even better than then.
Karl was at school.
We forgot to get the snow goggles out.

Now, if the snow could just all melt away by Saturday
so I can ride my bike outside,
I would be very happy!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Kahtoola Uphill Race

At Snowbowl. Just ignore the gross snow.

Karl's first race of the season!
He did not even know it existed until 4 days before race day
but, hey, this family is always game for a fun, local, inexpensive race.

We also had never been to Snowbowl (the local ski resort) in the winter
and the kids were excited.
I had not taken them up there because, honestly,
how fun is it to be at a ski resort and not ski???
It kills me and I know the boys would be sad, too.
But there is just no way we can afford downhill skiing right now.

So I put on their cross-country skis, we hiked up the hill a little,
and somehow made it back down a few times.
Sorry. No pictures.
As you can imagine both my hands were quite full.
I am hoping to somehow be able to get Noah on skis or a snowboard
next year. He really wants to and I know he would love it!

Waiting for the finishers

Karl did great!
Despite the fact that his footwear did not work out so well.
Here he is putting screws into his trail shoes the night before:

Although he was slipping all over the place on the steepest part
and almost tumbled down the mountain,
he managed to finished in 4th place!
Nice work, Papa!

The race went somethinglike this:
Start at the bottom of the ski resort.
Run (almost) all the way to the top of the mountain.
Then haul back down.

Karl was on a team of 2.
His mate, Evan, had a great race as well.
Their team finished 2nd overall.

After plenty of cheering down at the finish line,
the boys and I headed up the hill a little to cheer some more.
They could not get enough of it. Whenever I wanted to stop,
Noah would say: "But what if there's another runner coming?"
So we just kept on cheering.
They are usually not that excited at the end of a long racing season.

We also found a steep little hill where Noah had a blast doing tricks.

He is still wearing his XC ski boots.

Max, of course, was getting very tired of his snow clothes.
It is the hardest thing to try to get him to wear anything but a light fleece
over his t-shirt. Long sleeves? No way! Never!

Then Karl shared some of his post-race pizza with us.
"The best pizza ever!" according to Noah.

Later that evening we found out
that both Karl and Evan won a pair of Microspikes!
Karl is super excited. Now can he run even faster next year!

What a great race!
Close, inexpensive, short, fun to do and to watch.
A great way to get to know the locals.
Awesome prizes!
We need more of these kinds of races!

Friday, March 11, 2011

Noah is ready...

... to bike to preschool on a cold winter morning.

Whenever possible, Karl and Noah like to ride to school together.
First, Karl drops Noah off at Acorn Preschool.
Then he heads over to NAU.

At noon, Max and I pick Noah up
and the three of us ride our bikes home together.
Max has gotten so incredibly good at riding his balance bike,
he is constantly giving me heart attacks.
And I am not one to easily have a heart attack.
That kid is nuts!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Little Pill

Max can be such a pill.
Yet he cracks me up hourly.
It's a good thing he's so darn cute.
I love that kid.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

My Kind of Saturday

6 am
Masters swim. Empty lanes, good workout.

9-11 am
Playmobil. When am I not playing Playmobil??? Karl is running up Mt. Elden with a friend. I call him to tell him that we all want to go to Sedona. We are tired of winter in Flagstaff. I am tired of the mud. (See picture above. This is what they have been looking like all week!)

11 am
After I build the boys a cool garage for their fire truck, I sneak away for a second and catch my sister on Facebook. Then we get to skype!

Both boys fall asleep on our drive to Sedona. It would help if they did not wake up at 6:30! Also, Max wore himself out crying the entire time while we were getting ready. He always thinks he is getting left behind.

2 pm
I get to take my bike out for a recovery spin in the warmth and beautiful red rocks while the boys enjoy in the park in shorts and t-shirts.

2:30 pm
My right shifter breaks and I now have only 2 (pretty useless) gears available.

3 pm
My front tire explodes! I am just glad I did not get hurt. I am also wondering if Leslie passed her bad luck on to me... Good thing my bike mechanic and his little helpers were close by and could come to the rescue. Nonetheless, my ride was over.

3:30 pm
We find a great little trail head with a huge mud puddle at the beginning. Perfect! I know, I know. I wanted to get away from the mud. But since I had already brought their boots (just in case) and extra clothes, I just could not say No. Besides, who can pass up red mud?

3:30-4:30 pm
I am thoroughly enjoying myself running on a beautiful trail in Long Canyon. In the meantime, the boys play hard and take their bikes for a spin on the trail.

6:30 pm
Orange roughy, rice, veggies, and edamame for dinner.

8 pm
Kids are (almost) asleep in their new bunk bed.

Good night!

Oh, wait! I have yet to unpack all our stuff. Karl's been super helpful but the guy needs a break, too. At least every other week...

Thursday, March 3, 2011

It's a bunk bed!

The boys got their very own bunk bed!
Courtesy of Grandma and Grandpa.

Karl and I had been wanting
to start looking for used ones.
But I have been hesitant since Max (occasionally)
still takes naps and I was worried he would
give it up all together if we moved them into bunk beds.
I don't like moving my kids out
of their cribs until they're done napping,
although they can easily climb out.

Well, when I came home from my trip,
there it was.
New bunk bed all set up, new mattress covers,
new sheets, same great kids.

It's been a week and so far so good.
They go to bed just the same.
Max does (or does not) take his nap just the same.
No one has fallen out so far.
But someone has definitely jumped off a few times.

Max had a hard time waking up from his nap today.

I gave my old twin comforter to Noah
and he handed his little one down to Max.
Everyone is happy.
(No. I do not tuck my kids in.
I can see how the blanket would stay on them better
but I can't handle the whole sheet+blanket+quilt all-tucked-in thing.
Drives me nuts.
Too much work and I feel like I am in prison.
I dare say that I've converted Karl as well.
Just thought I'd let you know.)

Thank you, thank you, thank you,
Grandma and Grandpa!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

My Week Away

Matching PJs. From the thrift store. Bought on separate occasions.

Man. I have been a slacker in the blogging department.
Not that I have not been wanting to blog.
If it was up to me, I'd write a post every day.
But sometimes life just gets in the way of blogging
and, to be quite honest, I like it that way.
I'd rather live life to the fullest than have a full blog.

Back in December when visiting my in-laws,
I asked them:
Would you like to come visit in February?
They emphatically answered:
Then I added:
While I take a little trip to St. George for training?

they did not back out.
they packed their bags, the sewing machine,
Kirkland peanuts, granola, and home-dried fruit.
They added a lot of
patience and love
and made their way through a snowstorm
to take care of their son and grandsons.

Believe me:
These two cute guys can be quite a handful.
Actually, I am sure that is not hard to believe.

Fun in the dryer.
(We do wear clothes every once in a while.)

It was an incredibly nice gift to my sanity and fitness.
I really appreciate their and Karl's sacrifices,
just so I could bike and run all over the place
and be blissfully happy.

I am back. Life is good. I love my family.
This is where I belong. I am happy.

(Nope. I am not just trying to talk myself into this.
It's really how I feel.)

PS: Karl's parents gave the boys a very nice, very big gift before they left. I will tell you what it is once I take some pictures.

PPS: Have I mentioned that I love my in-laws???

PPS: I am going to talk more about my week in SG on my triathlon blog. Soon. Like, hopefully tomorrow.