Wednesday, August 30, 2006

I'll Show You Mine If You Show Me Yours.....

...That apparently was the saying of the day at the girls' daycare. Well, the unofficial saying of the day. Okay, so just the saying of the day for five of the children... Okay, so they didn't actually say, "I'll show you mine if you show me yours" but they meant it.

and Libby was one of the above mentioned five. And the only girl.

I got a call at work from Catherine, telling me that Libby was involved (okay, maybe an instigator) in a five child game of 'show and tell'. Five three and four year olds were caught with their pants down (literally) today, admiring one anothers privates. Catherine tells me that Libby was quite amazed by "K"'s penis.

She called them out of the play room and talked with them. Told them that they must keep their pants on at school and they went back to play.

And then Libby got caught doing it again.
That's my little hussy.....

Tonight I had a nice heart to heart with my three year old about keeping her pants on and then ran my personal best 5K. I'm still a minute and a half slower than my running partner, so I'd better kick it into gear on my speed training.

Monday, August 28, 2006

A Little Look Back

Somehow Amelia turns one year old in less than a month. She's starting to form words, walking along furniture (and as of today walking well with the walker toy that she pushes in front of her!!), eating better than her big sister, and standing on her own for short periods. Just over one year ago she was laying on her back, blinking, crying, pooping, sleeping, and giving us her first fleeting little smiles.
One year ago I was the size of a small rhino, stretching my maternity t-shirts to within a millimeter of their polyester lives, waddling around like I was doing a bad imitation of that "march of the penguin" movie, and moaning that I wanted my body to belong to me again. If it weren't for the loose belly skin (from being stretched to it's limit three times) I might actually think that it was all a strange science fiction dream....about aliens taking over my stomach and making me give up running and any sense of style. Here I am, back in all of my pants, at the same weight as I was before 'The Great U-Haul Incident' (let's just say Amelia was a surprise), and having run one full marathon and two half-marathons in Amelia's first year. A lot more tired than before, quite a bit more busy, and doubly happy.
She's been saying "hi" regularly now. It's officially her first real word. She says it, and waves, to herself in the mirror and to anyone else who will respond with a smile, wave, and a HI in return. And she's very proud of herself.
A little comparison of what a difference 11 months makes.....

Sunday, August 27, 2006


We went hiking today and came accross the most amazing red dragonflies. I think I got some good photographs. Hiking around and hunting for photos to take is one of my very favorite things to do. I wish it was my career :)
I also got a new favorite of Libby the Hiker-Girl

Monday, August 21, 2006

The (almost) weekly 38 Word Movie Review and 12 Mile Adventure Run Report

Jo and I ran twelve miles yesterday morning. It was the best run since the marathon by far. It was nice and cool out (which made a huge difference), my hip didn't hurt at all, energy level was great, and there was great scenery and conversation. Punctuated by one heck of a non-fat latte. We saw a gaggle of cranes (is that what you call a group of cranes? A flock? A herd? A swarm? A school? A gang? A crew? A Band?) two Blue Herons in two separate places, a baby bunny or two, and lots of native Wisconsin arm-swinging, beer-belly-bouncing, terry-cloth-headband-sportin' men and women.
Mr Banana Man who almost ran us over on his bicycle, completely unapologetically, twice was also a highlight. We were running on a blacktop trail out in some wetlands outside of town. There are signs posted right on the trail about 'bicyclists calling out a warning and slowing down' for walkers/runners. and Mr Banana Man (he had a banana peel hanging out of the back of his shorts....I don't think he was, in fact, happy to see me) came up from behind us, didn't say a word, and when we heard his bike and turned around, he just kept on coming. No "on your left!!" no "on your right!!" not even a "stand up, sit down, fight fight fight!!" We each jumped different directions and he swirved around, not knowing which way to go, and he came within a couple of feet of running down my running partner. I was just a little fired up. And when we passed him going the other direction a half hour later he did just the same.
Then there was the little military man. He was a short and stocky muscular man with a flat top who looked like he just got out of the army. He was a fast runner. He passed us going one direction and said a nice hello. When he got to the end, he turned around and chased us down, passing us with a nice little (but possibly condescending?) "nice job!" and we didn't see him again. Until we got off of the trail and were heading back into town and he drove by, honking, and saluting us. Gave him a salute, a wave, and a "thanks, here all week!". A couple of blocks later we heard a loud kissing noise and looked over to see a middle aged man literally hanging out of his car window and cat-calling us. How 'bout that? Oh yeah, baby, we're attracting the highest quality passers by out there!!!
We finished the run in our fastest time yet for a 12 mile training run. Next week we run a light one, maybe eight miles, then go for our half-marathon personal record the week after. Then it's tapering for me for two weeks before I run the Fox Cities Half-Marathon with Chris on the 24th of September.

38 Word Movie Review
The Gnomemobile
1960's Vintage Disney movie. Slow beginning but really livens up when twelve single female gnomes engage in a game of catch-the-greased-bachelor-gnome to decide who will be his mate. Seriously. Abundant chiffon, bubbles, and leaping.

Engagement Portraits

Yesterday I took my friend Megan's engagement portraits. I am also doing her wedding photos, but that's not for another year. She and her fiancee are not stiff-and-posed-formal-portrait-people, so I told them to bring their favorite bottle of wine (they are wine lovers), two nicest glasses, and a blanket. We would make it as fun and relaxed as possible and let the photos say something about them. I took them to a park at sunset and I think we got some great shots. Everyone is pleased and they seem to be leading to other work for me. Actually,I was asked to do another wedding today. Here are a few of the photos from yesterday.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

I went for a walk and got some new photographs today. This evening I'm taking Megan's engagement photos at a nearby park. Fun day!

Saturday, August 19, 2006


This morning Libby was wearing my wedding ring and I asked her for it back. She didn't want to hand it over but I told her that it was my special ring that says that I'm married to Daddy. She started sobbing and ran to Chris and told him through her tears that she needs a ring because she's marrying Ethan. Ethan is her boyfriend. They love each other (and tell each other often) and talk about getting married. They call each other boyfriend and girlfriend. It's adorable.

Jo and I are running twelve miles in the morning, bright and early. We should be home before 8:30 or so. Then we have to get the house ready for another open house. In the afternoon I am supposed to take engagement portraits of my friend Megan and her fiancee.I'm also doing her wedding, but that's not for a year or so. Speaking of photography, we bought Libby Fisher Price's new camera tonight. It's a real digital camera, made for children ages 3-6...made for being dropped and thrown and otherwise beaten up. It has two view finders, like a ViewMaster, so it's easy to see through. And it's pink and flowery and I love it. I may trade her.

Have I mentioned that I may go to prison for arson? It's true. If this house does not sell SOON, you can expect to see my mugshot in the news for setting a cute little 1950's ranch-style on fire using a blow-torch and diesel fuel. I wonder how I should do my hair...maybe pull it up to show off my cheekbones...those mugshot photographers are notorious for poor lighting and unflattering angles....

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Introducing The Shartlek!!!!!

I haven't been able to get very excited about running lately. I've been a bit burned out. I can't get motivated to push myself to improve on speed or distance. I have actually run a few 'easy three milers' in the last couple of weeks, which I have never really done before. With the half coming up in a month, I need to get the spirit back. So with my best friend and skinny running partner's advice, I came up with a new plan. I realized that i have given up my walk breaks without noticing. I used to take quick little recovery walking breaks every couple of miles and I somehow just stopped doing them. So I decided to shake things up again and try and make my workouts go faster, be more fun, and be more effective. Tonight I was actually *fairly* excited for my run again--and it went fabulous

I did my own version of the Fartlek.
I created the Shartlek.

I ran harder than usual for two miles, then walked a bit, ran an even harder one mile, walked a bit, and then ran one last hard mile. In the end I went 4.5 miles, with four of them run much faster than usual. My pace breakdowns:

First two miles in 19:10
One mile in 8:57
One last mile in 8:55
one half mile walked (in three chunks)
Total distance 4.5 miles in 44:55

I know that I'm not little-miss-speedy-Gnomezales, but i've never run a mile in under 9 minutes before tonight. So this was outstanding for me. and I had FUN!! and it flew by, and I got the runners high, and my legs are fatigued!


Gnomemama's got her running groove back, baby!!!!!

Monday, August 14, 2006

Melia's Spider and Mr Frog

Photos of the huge spider...keep in mind that those are large leaves that he's on, and these photos do not do him justice.

Two hawks, two turkey vultures, one deer, one dead porcupine, one enormous spider with babies, 10 hours on a motorcycle, and one accident.

Chris and I sneaked off this weekend for a motorcycle trip. His parents watched the girls and dogs and we had two wonderful days. We headed North, destination the deep woods. In the first half hour of the ride I saw two hawks. The weather was perfect for riding with blue sky painted with fluffy white clouds, suprisingly cooler air, and no wind. It was peaceful....beautiful....serene.... and then I nearly crashed my bike. I left the highway, so I guess that counts as an accident, though I stayed upright and neither Daisy (my bike) or I had a scratch on us.
Chris and I had agreed that I would follow him for the first leg of the trip because he knew the route better. So I was just looking around, spotting hawks, looking at the blue sky painted with fluffy white clouds, enjoying the suprisingly cooler air, and thinking how pleasant it was with no wind. I was not paying attention to signs or speed, just making sure I stayed about the same distance behind Chris all the time. We were going into a curve to the right when I saw Chris brake hard because it was much sharper curve than expected. Then I noticed all of the gravel blanketing the highway. I hit my brakes hard because I knew I'd never make that curve at the speed I was going, even without the gravel. I started to skid and my rear wheel was sliding out to the side. This has never happened to me before, yet I was keenly aware that this was not a good thing. Had I not let go of the brakes and decided to go for the ditch at that moment, I would have laid her down on the highway and slid who-knows-how-far on my pretty pink leather jacket.
I picked a spot ahead of me, crossed the oncoming lane, and rode hard down into a deep ditch. I felt Daisy's shocks bottom out and my spine took care of the rest of the shock absorbsion. I raised up on my foot pegs, eased off of my throttle, rode up the other side of the ditch, apparently just missed a fence (I had tunnel vision and a little adrenaline flowing, and don't recall seeing that), over a driveway, and back up the ditch and onto the highway. Never stopped, never looked back.
Chris saw the whole thing in his mirrors. He knew I was going too fast for the curve, he knew that I'd never make it with the gravel...and was at least somewhat relieved when he realized that I'd crash on grass. I'd be plenty broken up, but I wouldn't have road rash. Then he watched me disappear into the ditch, jump off the other side, miss the fence, and climb right back onto the highway with a huge smile on my face.
We pulled off of the highway, I let out a huge scream and then laughed hysterically for five minutes. Chris thought I may have actually been hysterical. We pulled back onto the highway once I had control of my maniacal laughter and within a few minutes I was pointing to pretty birds 300 feet up in the air. He wasn't amused.
On the trip we also saw one deer, two turkey vultures, and a dead porcupine. We found my sister's new house up in the woods and visited with she and her husband and my brother and his wife who happened to be visiting, also. It was wonderful. Melia's house is a dream. On a river. Ten acres of wooded land. Beautiful house with huge deck. A canoe. Set waaaaaayyyy off of the road. Heaven.
Oh, and by the river was the largest spider I've ever seen in the wild. It was the size of a turantula....and had a huge nest with little babies running around inside. If my photos do it justice, I'll show you.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006


Libby went to the dentist tonight and got her teeth all sparkly. It's the best dentist ever. The entire inside is murals and awesome jungle decor...monkeys hanging from the huge fake trees, fake parrots, etc. It's so cool. She did great, too. Got her teeth cleaned, fluoride treatments, and a check up. It's fun to go there with her, because all of the office staff and hygienists/dentist remember her from when she first came in a little before her first birthday. She was new to walking and fell in our living room, hitting her front teeth on a large ceramic planter that holds my big Ficus tree. I wasn't home, but Chris said that the sound was awful. Her top front tooth was gone. He took her to the ER and they said that it looked like it had snapped off at the gumline and to get her to the pediatric dentist the next morning. Well, as it turned out, she had actually hit it just so, so the tooth was shoved back up into her head and was sitting way up between two adult teeth that were already forming up in her jaw. We were horrified. The dentist said that it may 'grow' back out but be dead, may stay up in there and need surgery, or could possibly 'grow' back out and be fine, since the tooth (and Libby) was so young. We went back every couple of weeks, then months, for the next year. Incredibly, it came back out and was fine! A little crooked, but fine! We won't know if it affected her adult teeth until they come in, but for now all is well. Anyway, now she just goes in for six month check ups and cleanings and they love her. Tonight they all went on and on about how Libby was about Amelia's age when she first started going there. Libby got 'sparkles' on her teeth (she says this whenever we brush them or she gets them cleaned, no we did not have rhinestones attached to her teeth as is the big gangsta' fad right now...) got strawberry flavored goo, got to play with "Mr. Thirsty" (the suction tube thingie that they use to suck the water out of your mouth), got a new pink toothbrush, AND a 'diamond' bracelet. We won't tell her that it's actually multi-colored plastic beads....

Monday, August 07, 2006

Chris Has Committed

It's official, Chris has committed to running the Fox Cities Half Marathon with me on September 24th!! How 'bout that???
We agreed that my plan will be to go for my Half-Marathon PR during my last long run before the event and then run at his pace on race day, just enjoying the experience.

So it's out there in writing now. He can't back out or you'd all know it!

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Two 38 Word Movie Reviews

Thought I'd do two! (Netflix rocks)

All You've Got
MTV Films movie about rival volleyball teams being forced to play as one. Terrible acting, cheesy script, seizure-inducing camera work/effects. Really good for a laugh (at the acting, not the jokes) and learning new dance moves.

Tom Hanks plays a Russian who gets stuck in an airport when customs won't accept his passport. Tom looks old and lumpy, does great Russian accent, makes you laugh and go 'awwww'. Totally unique movie for a change.

I ran ten miles on the treadmill today because it was storming outside so Jo and I couldn't do our long run as planned. I was bummed because I got a Garmin Forerunner 205 to replace my Forerunner 101 and I am so excited to try it out!! (it's a GPS unit for running) I watched Forrest Gump while running, so watch out for more Gumpisms than usual. It's my favorite movie and I quote it a lot....and I'm not one of those people who quotes movies all the time. Those people drive me batty. I just really love Forrest. Forrest Gu-ump. And it was pretty fun to run with Forrest..although I hit 10 miles right as he was lacing up his shoes for his cross-country run, which was kind of a bummer, but I was not so coherent at that point, was starting to have minor flopping (bigger seizure activity than usual), and really needed some water. So I'll look forward to running with Forrest during my next treadmill run. I probably won't make it all the way to California and back, though. I'm still getting over this hip injury and all....

Thursday, August 03, 2006

New Stuff!

**New teeth!! Amelia has two new teeth on top this week. She has been a trooper about it. These two didn't seem nearly as hard for her as the first four. I cannot believe she is ten months old, has six teeth, and wants to walk SOOOO badly.

**New running PR!! I ran fast last night. Well, fast for me. I ran five miles and both the first 5K and the full 5 miles were the fastest I've run before!! And my hip only bothered a little.

**New toy!! I should receive my new Garmin Forerunner 205 tomorrow!! Right now I have the Forerunner 101, and I've wanted the 205 for AGES. The 205 comes with a docking station and software, so you plug it into your computer after a run and it does a full analysis of your performance. That's in addition to all of the other amazing things it does. (The Forerunners are little watch-like GPS systems for running...sort of like VERY fancy pedometers/mapping devices)

**New pants size!! Did I mention that when I went clothes shopping last week or the week before that all of the pants I bought were 1 or 2 sizes smaller than last time? Yep. It's true. My old, happy, pre-pregnancies size. And some of them are actually a little too big.

**New favorite movies!! I am loving Netflix. I have a new favorite movie, Amelie, about which I've talked here before... and another that I love is Shawshank Redemption. It's completely different than I always thought it would be.

**New (not replacing my other two, just adding to them) running partner maybe!!! Chris ran again last night!! I'm so excited. I really hope that we can go for some long runs together out on county trails, alone. It would be so good for us.

**New smell in my car!! I think I have managed to kill the wretched odor that has permeated my car since last week when I spilled an entire large non-fat latte on the driver's side floor...and had to let it sit, soaking in, for nine hours in 95 degree heat before I went home and could clean it. I'm pretty sure that I saw cottage cheese in there...or bleu cheese...or something....when I lifted out my floor mat. It seems that steam cleaning, scrubbing, and giving it an inch-thick (not exaggerating) coating of Arm and Hammer for a few hours has done the trick. I did not gag when I got in it tonight to get the girls. And it had been closed up all day in the heat.

**New Physical Therapist!!! Well, just for today. My regular one was on vacation. But I will say that I didn't mind all that much. He was pretty dreamy...and he kept touching my glutes.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Full or Half, That Is The Question.....

I'm considering running the Half-Marathon in September instead of the full. I am bouncing back and forth on this one.

Reasons to run the half instead:
1. I've missed some training due to my hip injury, and I'm worried that it will flare up again as I increase weekly mileage and do the marathon
2. Jo isn't running the marathon at all, and I don't think that I can get a PR (personal record) without her. After the Green Bay Marathon we set the goal of 4:45 for the next one, which is a ten minute improvement.
3. My other running partner, Dave, has a similar hip injury and therefore is also light on training miles. I don't think that we could gimp our way to a 4:45 finish with both of us hurting.
4. ....I'm scared. I'm scared that I can't do 26.2 by myself. I'm scared that I won't have the cajones to keep going without someone running with me. I'm scared I'd quit. I'm scared I'd fail. I'm scared that I'd end up walking more than running and getting my PW (personal worst)
5. This is huge--Chris might run a half-marathon with me! When I confided in him that I was thinking of doing the half and going for a new half PR, he said, "I could probably train up to a half by then...." and he ran last night!!!!!! I've wanted to run a race with Chris for a long time. I've always hoped that we would.

Reasons to run the full Marathon:
1. I said I was going to. And once I say I'm doing something, I pretty much don't change my mind. I'm a tad bit obsessive compulsive that way....
2. It would be an opportunity to prove something to myself...that not only can I run another marathon, but I can do it by myself. It would be my achievement and mine alone.
3. Another medal for the shelf (okay, so I'd get one for the half, too, but whatever)
4. To show Libby that anything is possible for us ladies.
5. The amazing feeling of accomplishment and pride when (if) I finish.
6. It would be pretty cool to say that I did two full marathons in my daughter's first year of life (her birthday is the day before, but close enough)

I'm pretty torn.
I don't know what to do.