Friday, September 26, 2008

Racing on the brain

I have racing on the brain and, it being fall, there are a lot of big marathons happening around the world.  This leads me to think of the marathons I think I would like to run.  (I say "I think" because I will be running my second marathon in eight days and hopefully will be more successful than my first and will want to continue to run marathons.)

In no particular order - my dream list of marathons:

Boston Marathon
Chicago Marathon
London Marathon
New York Marathon
Berlin Marathon
Paris Marathon
Dublin Marathon
Venice Marathon
Athens Marathon
Marine Corps Marathon
Rome Marathon

Maybe.  Someday.

Thursday, September 25, 2008


F walks into the bathroom after he wakes up this morning.

He puts his two Webkinz stuffed animals - Shelly the turtle and Flip the dolphin - on the tank of the toilet, looking into the bowl. He lifts the seat, drops his pants and prepares to "use the facilities."

A & I chuckle.

F:  "What?  They wanna watch. It's no big deal, they're both boys."

Sunday, September 21, 2008

The Countdown Begins

The Countdown has begun.  What countdown?  The countdown to the Twin Cities Marathon.  Taper started yesterday.  It was supposed to be a 14 miler but I only did 9, which ended up being a wise choice as I am now battling a head cold.  So, now it is all easy runs and a little speed work.  Plus, I have to be careful not to gain any weight now that my mileage is down.  (The GIANT bowl of ice cream I just ate won't help that.)  The funniest part is how I count down.  My countdown consists of checking and looking at the 10 day forecast (yes - I realize that the race is 14 days away, but I look for the trend of the weather) and then reconsidering everything - race plan, clothing options, nutrition options, everything.  Inevitably, in the end I go with what I planned on all along.  So, let the countdown continue.

Friday, September 19, 2008

I have no idea how a six year old brain works

F: "Daddy, if someone is wearing a bow tie they are a spy, right?"
Me: "No, I think it just means they are a 'bow tie wearer'."
F: "Oh, but if they are wearing a black bow tie they are a spy."
Me: "No, it might just mean they are going somewhere fancy."
F: "Oh. I found Indiana Jones hat!"

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Finnism + Elise

Anatomy quiz at the dinner table last night:

Me:  What is the tube your food goes down?
E: Your asparagus.

Me: What is the little dangly thing in the back of your throat?
F: A mudflap.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

I am incredibly gifted/I have no idea what I am doing

** I just came across this unfinished draft - I am sure I was going to follow up with some screaming fit the kids had after such a glorious day, but I thought it was worth posting even if incomplete. **

I sit here basking  in what might be my most glorious day as a parent of a six and eight year old.  A had to work on Sunday so it was a "daddy day".  It was a glum, cloudy fall-ish day.  The kind of day where you want to curl up on the couch and watch football all day.  Or at least that is what I wanted to do.  A was having a bunch of friends over on Monday for coffee, so I had to make sure the house was picked up.  I definitely was not picked up when she left. 

After a leisurely morning of cartoons and computer games for the kids (usual for a "daddy day") it was time to get the day rolling.  I don't enjoy cooking.  I grew up mostly on dry cereal for breakfast, served to myself with way too much sugar.  Therefore, my preference is to go out for breakfast or brunch with the kids.  Off we go to Bruegger's for bagels, smoothies and coffee.  F asked if he could bring a book with. "Sure" - "Can I bring it in?" - "Sure" - "Can I read it in the car?" - "Sure".  What? No Legos?! No Nintendo?! No old, dirty rope?! E chimes in.  "Can I help F with the hard words?" - "Sure".  Oh my god, who kidnapped my children and replaced them with these bizarre creatures? 

In the car I gave my usual stern lecture regarding how to behave in a restaurant and how if they didn't behave they would lose privledges and I would be angry (or angrier).  "OK - Can we keep reading?"  Once in the restaurant I suggested they choose their seat and wait quietly while I stand in line and order.  They run to our usual spot and slide in to the booth next to each other.  As I get in line, I look over expecting to see punching, scratching, hair pulling or crawling on, over, around or under the table.  But what to my wondering eyes do I see?  The two of them reading - E patiently, calmly, quietly helping F with the "hard" words.  I am amongst the greatest parents, EVER!

It might be a bad sign when the kids' "usual" is so unique (and mildly disgusting) that you are recognized for it.  (The usual is a cinnimon sugar bagel with strawberry cream cheese and - wait for it - sliced turkey.)  

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Where Have I Been? What Have I Been Doing?

It's been about a week and much has happened, nothing of note on the employment front.  That is actually not true.  I am teaching at the U - Introduction to AutoCAD for Interior Designers.  The first day of class was shear brilliance.  I handed out the syllabus and laid down the rules and made the students chuckle a couple of times - 45 minutes, DONE!  Second day of class, not so glorious.  When I turned on my computer and opened the program all the menus, commands, buttons, etc. were gone.  I hate the way the U insists on having the absolutely most up to date versions.  Luckily, I have enough experience to just start right clicking on stuff until some familiar pops up.  Needless to say, I think I actually taught some stuff.  We will see when I go back tonight.

This past weekend I ran the City of Lakes 25K. It is a good tune-up for the Twin Cities Marathon in October.  I wanted to finish it in under 2 hours and have a faster half-marathon than my personal best.  Both goals achieved!  Final time - 1:59:42 (my watch said 1:59:14) and half marathon split 1:42:xx.  I ran to the start at Lake Harriet - two miles from home and then about another mile to the starting line, then of course I had to run back home after the race so I got in a nice long run all told.  The funniest part was running home with my commemorative mug in my hand.  This was the first race since I did the half-ironman in Door County. It amazes me how my body (and brain) didn't think twice about running for two+ hours, it seems like a short race after hammering for over five hours.  This should bode well for the marathon.

Now, I just have to find some full time employment.  Wish me luck!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

What a difference a day makes

It is always easy to forget the adage that tomorrow will be better, especially when for the last six months my lack of employment has clouded my perceptions.  But boy, let me tell you, the last twenty-four hours have seen some radical improvements in aspects of my world.  (Unfortunately, not in the employment arena.)

Yesterday morning was cloudy, oppressively humid and warm (76 degrees at 5:30 AM) for this time of year (in my opinion). It was a running day and we ran three miles, were so sweaty and overheated and miserable (especially me) that I suggested we pack it in and get coffee.  So we did.  Yesterday was also the first day of school - F is in first grade and E is in third.  We got them on the bus with no problems and everyone was excited.  A went to mass with the kids and when she asked F how it was going his reply was "I hate it!  It's boring!"  A pointed out that he had been in school for all of an hour and a half and an hour of that was mass.

By noon the temp was about 80 and still humid but it started to rain.  In the span of about an hour and half the temp dropped 15 degrees and the humidity was cut in half. F came running off the bus yelling "SCHOOL IS AWESOME!"  I ran 17 1/2 miles this morning in perfect fall running weather - 50 degrees, sunny, breezy, low humidity.  And I start teaching this evening.  

What a difference a day makes.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

First Day of School

Happy, Excited Kids waiting to get on the bus.  I wonder how long the joy will last.