Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Tri tri and tri again

This is going to be a long post... This past weekend was filled with fun, tears, blood and illness. And all that was before I even started my own tri. It all went down a little like this....

We woke the kids at 6:30am on Saturday for the big Chisago Kids Triathlon. Leo was with Omar's folks so we could take the rest of the happy family for a 45 minute drive to the kids' race on the shortened course that I would be racing on Sunday. Max was joining us as a cheering party. Having nothing but frustration in his attempts to master a bike without training wheels, he had no interest in being a racer. But the twins were totally excited to race, training wheels and all.

We feared this may have been a grave error when Spencer kicked things off with a HUGE meltdown. Kicking, tears, complete freak-out. Can you believe I DARED to put milk in his Frosted Flakes. Make them all squishy like that? I mean, really? What kind of a mother am I?

After a time-out and a touch of force feeding, we were in the car. Omar was looking at me with one of those "why must you share your tri mental illness with the rest of us" kind of faces.


We unloaded the car, and Cal and Spence both wanted to ride their bikes to the transition area. They were on the bikes ~3.5 seconds when they collided and both went down. This is on a road, mind you, and Spence's head landed far too close to a passing car's rear tire. But the bloodied knee was really his biggest concern. We were in the Med Tent before we even put our stuff down.

Ok. Knee bandaged. Bikes set. Kids excited. Friends from the 'hood all around. NOW we are set to have some fun! They call all racers to the beach. Here we go!

(yes, my kids all have faux-hawks...)

...Clearly, the race organizers aren't parents. They released the kids in reverse order of age, starting with the 12 year olds. Then waited ~7 minutes.... then the 11 year olds... 7 minutes... you get the idea. So there we are, at 9am in nothing but swim trucks, for 45 minutes of standing in the same place on the beach. Do you know how well 5 year olds stand in one place for 45 minutes with nothing to do? I will tell you. Not particularly well. Ooof.

NOW it's really race time. Really. The kids line up in the lake! Here we go! This is what it's all about! The love of racing that will carry my kids all the way to Kona! Why is Spencer weeping? There he is, clutching his bandaged knee, "It's burning!! It's burning." And with that, he's on the DL. Pluck him from the water. His race is done.

OFF goes Calvin. And this really was the highlight of the day. He LOVED it. Did the whole race (all ~10 minutes of it) with a huge smile on his face.

He looked like he had won the lottery when they placed the medal around his neck as he crossed the finish line. It was truly fantastic. Max was running along side him cheering him on and being such a proud big brother.

And god love Cal's kind little heart. When he saw Spencer was weeping at the news that there wasn't another chance to race, and he was not going to get a medal, Cal took his off and put it around Spencer's neck. Then Max bought his brothers donuts with his own money. (this is, of course, after we found Calvin... he got lost in the crowd for about 10 minutes after the race).

But we aren't done yet! Time for a photo of all the neighborhood kids! Yea! Let's capture all that we love about these friends and all of our kids, together! Why is Max crying... sobbing in fact, separate from the other kids? Well, one of the older kids told him he couldn't be in the picture because he didn't race. He was completely devastated. But this is one of those tough parenting moments. Do I force the issue, put him in the picture when, ya know, he DIDN'T race. Sure it would have been nice to have it be a neighborhood picture, not a racers picture, but when all was said and done, there was a bit of a lesson to be learned. If you choose not to participate, you won't necessarily be included.

So, I think we have all learned a lot of life lessons here today. Max came home and spend much of the afternoon trying to ride his bike (he's closer, but still working on it). Cal has worn his medal to summer camp every day. Spence... well, I'm not sure if Spencer learned much, but we will try to incorporate this experience into future decision making. And I learned that Omar should ABSOLUTELY not bring the kids back out on Sunday to cheer for me.

It was in the car ride home that we realized Omar was in the process of spiking at 102 fever. And when Cal was rifling through his race packet on the way home, he opened a little squeeze packet, sucked the contents out a bit and then asked us why it tasted yucky. That is lotion Calvin. Lesson learned.

And yes, I did leave my husband home with the kids the next day. I had a great time on Sunday, finished 3 minutes faster than last year, and took 2nd in the Athena. The winner was from Seattle?!!? So, the way I see it, I took 2nd in a national competition. Mary, Jen, Nathan, Jon and I were all pretty happy with the day.

And Mary took 3rd in her age group for the HALF IRONMAN. What a major stud that woman is...

See you all again next year, same crazy bat-place, same station.

Friday, July 23, 2010


Why would you sign up for a race that you have already won?

What an idiot I am. Here comes the Chisago Triathlon this weekend, the one I took first place in last year (as an ATHENA!...). Now, I'm all sweaty palmed about the race, wondering if I am going to repeat my previous glory or go down in pathetic 8th or 29th-place flames.

How does that old phrase go? "Quit while you are on top" or "No place to go but down?" And my training has been... fine? I haven't really been following a "plan," per se. I have just gone out there many times a week and worked out. When I was sick of running, I biked. When I was sick of biking, I swam.

Well. Wish me luck. I hope I don't curse profoundly when I look at the winner board. But hey, at least if I completely stink up the joint, there is no place to up but up...

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Keeps ya guessin

Spencer is the cuddly kid. Max is the kid that feels most comfortable around his home and his people. Leo's in that phase where he cries whenever I leave him.

But Calvin has always been the one that is rock solid when it comes time to part ways. He used to run into his Pre-K class and never look back. I would have to seek him out in order to get a goodbye hug. When the whole family is snuggling in bed in the morning, he's the kid that's sitting on the curb in his PJ's because he would rather see the garbage truck than hug.

Thus, I am completely stymied by the fact that he is now heave-sobbing when I drop him off at summer camp. Like crying to the point I can still hear him when I am 200 yards away.


I have tried to explore if there is something at camp that scares him, or someone who is being mean or nasty to him. His answer? "No mom. I just miss you."

And Max and Spencer are flitting off without a second glance in my direction.

Just when you think you have some things nailed down....

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Top Hat

When Omar was out of town, Max had a great soccer game. It was officially the first time he has ever won a soccer game, and we started soccer last summer.

So, I was encouraging Max to tell dad about the game. Here's how that went:

Max: Dad, we won!
Dad: You guys won! That's awesome.
Max: Yeah.
Dad: How did you play.
Max: Really good. I got a top hat.
Dad: You got a top hat?
Max: Yeah, a top hat.
Dad: What does that mean?
Max: You know, I got 4 goals.
Dad: Oh! You mean a Hat Trick?
Max: Yeah. A hat trick.

Then Max filled in our buddy Vince last night. He let him know that he had a Trick Hat.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Dear Omar

My dear husband is living the life every ex-liberal arts graduate dreams of... drinking beer in Prague while playing a week of Ultimate Frisbee. The wife, i.e. Me, is at home with the kids and workin' and getting lots of help from the fam. I have been in OKC for the past two weeks, only the first of which included my hubby. So, we are officially in the middle of the longest time we have ever spent apart.

The problem is that our communication is a little sketchy. So, you good people are going to have to bear with me while I use the blog as my main source of contacting him. Gotta love the Interweb.

Hi, my love. It's Tuesday night. I am trying to get all the 4 backpacks, lunches, bathing suits and sandals and such together tonight so I don't lose my mind tomorrow before work. The cabin was a blast. While Max and I had races running in the water from the edge of the dock back to the beach, Leo stood in the water (naked as a jaybird) just laughing his head off. He even started to try to race with us. This usually resulted in me losing because I had to stop and pluck his fallen-over self out of the water. The big three and I went around the lake in the speed boat for a long time this morning. Unfortunately that meant I ran of out gas shortly after the tubing began. I found that one paddle doesn't move a speed boat one solitary inch. The neighbors had to drag me back to shore.

Your dad was going to come out and get us (thankfully we were still in shouting distance of the dock), but the pontoon wouldn't start (big surprise). Never did get the thing to start for the entirety of our stay. And wouldn't you know it, the two kids stranded in the little tubing boat were Spencer and Alex. It was interesting.

I got two great swims in. I am ready for that Open Water part of the tri. We saw a bald eagle 3 seperate times. I wondered what I would do if one of the eagles thought I looked like a tasty morsel down on the water. The kids are all in bed and Spence even let me take out a splinter in his hand (with the promise of a quarter, the hand holding of big brother and the dancing of Cal all over the bathroom as comic distraction).

Oh, and Leo now says "Okey dokey!" which is pretty cute.

I love you and can't wait for you to be home.