Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Lets Get Physical


I think I've stumbled upon the most genius cure for summer boredom yet.

Wait for it....
Wait for it...

Jillian Michaels... for the KIDS.

I can't believe the answer was right under my nose all along and I didn't see it!

Dawson has been begging to do 'my workout video' on and off for weeks now.

With all the marathon training, I stopped 'shredding' during nap times. I had forgotten that months ago, Dawson was really, REALLY into doing this little bonding exercise with me.

Today, I caved in and put it on just for him.

He immediately requested level 3 (the hardest one). I had forgotten there were levels at all.

Anabelle made it thru the first couple rounds... and then joined her mom and a couple babies on the couch while we proceeded to watch Dawson do THE ENTIRE WORKOUT.

...with pretty great form, I might add.

At the end, he was dripping sweat, and I could practically see the endorphins glistening in his eyes.

My kids are so weird. And cool. And at this rate, nobody will ever dare to steal their lunch money. hiiii-YA!


Monday, June 21, 2010

Some Like It HOT!

Today may be the first 'official' day of summer... but we've been seeing some surefire signs of its impending arrival for weeks now...

Starting with the official end to my son's kindergarten year of school.

We celebrated with all his classmates and their sweet families at a local park one evening, where the kids played in the water and sang us silly songs, and then all the parents did the chicken dance.

This year was particularly special, since we hit the kindergarten experience jackpot with his gem of a teacher Mrs. Romera. She announced recently this was her last year of teaching as she is retiring. We were so blessed, those are some BIG shoes Mrs. Firstgrade will have to fill...

This is the final picture of my kid as a kindergartner, taken the last day of school.

What a rebel. He is ready to rock first grade in a few short weeks!

We recently harvested our first crop of CHERRY'S from the tree in our front yard.

When the little red berries appeared late this spring, I almost couldn't believe my eyes! We purchased the tree a couple summers ago from a local nursery, and the tag on the tree promised fruit with no cross pollination required. When we got it home and it started to mature and the first season produced no fruit, I assumed it had been mismarked.

Evidently, good things come to those who wait. And those little red cherry's... were... SPLENDID! I couldnt believe how many we got, and we can't wait to gobble them up again next year. SLURP!

With school ending I am trying to think of some fun activities to keep the kids busy. I plan to do a lot of reading with them, so imagine my delight when a dear family friend passed these sweet little books on to my children.

Anabelle has been bird watching and thank-you card writing, while Dawson has taken a particular interest in "How to make a water bomb."

...I might have to mind what he reads a little better. Its true what they say... knowledge IS power. The last thing I need around here is an evil genius of a first grade boy. ;) Just imagine when he discovers you can fill them with substances besides water!

Im kidding, of course. I just adore how he has taken such an interest in learning, and reading... and his insatiable sense of adventure and curiosity. He is a wonder.
Speaking of adventure... another sure sign of summer... THE CREATURES ARE LURKING!

(Yes, this is my sweet little girl, holding a giant gopher snake)
And yes, it is real. It was spotted slithering across the Hammys driveway one afternoon when none of their children were home, and we had the (mis)fortune of stopping by at just the (wrong)right moment. It spent the afternoon being passed through the hands of all 287 children on our street, and has been released back into the wild since Mom decided a brown paper bag stapled shut on the floor of Dawson's bedroom was NOT an acceptable place to keep such a pet. Call me crazy.
Moving right along... Miss Anabelle Lee has completed her first 2 weeks of swimming lessons already this summer.

We got really lucky, and she was able to take lessons from her preschool teacher at her home just around the corner. At the beginning of the session, she wouldn't even get her eyebrows wet. By the end of the session, she was swimming with arms and legs moving, eyes wide open under water. That woman is a miracle worker, and Anabelle is a quick study this year compared to last! I am proud.
I'm also proud of my husband, who recently ran a 5k leg with the torch for the Special Olympics with his academy.

He even got this picture published in the local newspaper (far right). Tyson has been a fast driving, torch running, bad-guy wrestling fool these last couple weeks at 'work,' (school) getting ready for graduation the second week in July.
He came home recently with his 'belt' which included a set of real live handcuffs.

The kids say they work great.
It feels like we've already done a lot this summer... and school has only been out for a week. So far, its been remarkably cool, but I know better than to believe that will last.
Looking forward to some sizzling hot days, a new routine for Ty (he should have a 'normal' schedule by the beginning of the school year), and lots and lots of down time with my two great kids in the long and lazy days ahead.

Monday, June 14, 2010


So... its finally over.

On 6.6.10 my little lost boy of a brother (KJ) turned 21 years old, became a real live bonafied grown up... and ran 13.1 miles in the San Diego Rock and Roll half marathon to commemorate it!

I'm proud.

Bangarang, KJ!!!

And I'm also proud of us:

These women I know are extraordinary. They make me better. I never EVER knew I had marathon potential. EVER. I have no words for these giants... but I'd like to think they already know what they mean to me.

That said, I would have been proud to WALK 26.2 miles in an entire day and live to tell the tale of it a few months ago.

But we ran hard, fought the good fight... and finished the race!

Bethany: 4:35:49
Elissa: 4:51:36
Beth: 4:51:36

It was one of the hardest and best things I've done so far in my life. It hurt like the blazes, and it was FUN. Isn't that a weird thing to say?

So true, though.

I keep comparing it to childbirth. Maybe that's not fair... because obviously my kids are more to me than ANY silly run... but its the same kind of experience. The anticipation, the fear, the thrill of knowing its going to be here soon, and you can't really turn back now that you've come this far. The feeling of utter panic when you realize the night before that YES, this is GOING to happen no matter what, and you were dumb enough to ASK for it... and the way the whoooooole time it seems impossible and hurts like a mutha*^&*#^&*#54784... you just keep picturing how amazing you will feel at the end (and dear Lord, it better not come out ugly...bwahahahah!).

...and then (as soon as the blisters are popped, muscles are iced, and the chafing has been slathered with enough diaper rash cream to supply Octomom for an entire year)...


This was a great experience for SO many reasons, but highest on the list to me was the support I felt of just about everyone I'm fortunate enough to have in my life.

I learned A LOT about myself (just for you, Kari).

I learned that other people think I'm capable of more than I think I am... which is sad, because I wonder how much I've missed out on because I've been afraid to fail.

I learned that I am way better and more motivated by being on a team than by being a competitor (which I already mostly knew). But honestly, I would NEVER have gotten my butt out of bed that early that often to train for this if I didn't have a couple hard core nazi's waiting in my driveway, salivating for an excuse to storm into my bedroom and drag me out by the hair.

I learned that its literally because if you look at the entire mountain, it seems completely overwhelming and unattainable.

I learned that running away only takes 'the edge' off a little bit... but every little bit counts.

I learned that apparently I am highly susceptible to peer pressure. Lets leave it at that. ;)

I've learned that heatstroke and stinging nettle are the enemy... and salt capsules and body glide are the light.

I learned that nothing feels better than seeing your kids take an interest in something that you are working at.

I learned that Tyson might not want to run a marathon with me any time in the near future... but he MAY do a half. Someday. And he happens to be one heck of a cheerleader.

Which is more than great by me.
Thank you SO much girls... husband... family... friends. If you care enough about me to read my blog regularly (NOT CHELSEA!!!), chances are you're sick of hearing marathon talk come out of my mouth between seeing it here and hearing about it again and again and again every time we talk in real life.
Now all you will hear about is how I'm sad its over, but glad its been conquered.
And how I am feeling a little confused about where to go from here... and whether to hike, bike, run, or swim there. But one thing is certain... there's always another mountain. (Boo-ya, Miley!)

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Getting Away With the Girls... and Boys.

Memorial Day weekend kiiiind of ruled.

It was the debut of SATC2. If you don't know what that is... you wont be into this blog at all... sorry bout that.

We've been planning this moment since the LAST movie came out. This time, we decided to bring the boys. I know what you are thinking. Why on EARTH would a bunch of dudes want to hang out with a bunch of girls painting their toenails and playing dress up all weekend? I think its because we all managed to find keepers that love us A LOT. But I dont feel that sorry for them, because they all seemed to manage themselves a good time.

I was a little nervous about leaving the kids. For some reason, when the opportunity to get away comes up, I always panic a little at the last minute. I know theyre in good hands when Im gone, its just the anticipation of leaving them behind. I definitely felt it this time, but the HUGE difference: when we called to check in, they had NO INTEREST WHATSOEVER in even SPEAKING to us. Like, we were inconvienencing their weekend away from us or something.

It was hilarious... and slightly heartbreaking. Our babies are independent kid-people now, who could care less about our whereabouts under the right circumstances.

Anabelle DID try to talk us in to coming along when she saw all the fancy things I was packing...

...of COURSE she had to try it all on. She almost could have fit right in... but in the end, I think we both had more fun our separate ways. ;)

Terese and Lyle have a beautiful new home in wine country! We spent lots and lots of time doing THIS kind of thing...

...that is to say... sitting around sipping something wonderful, and eating (emphasis on the eating).

Lynn taught me about these little beauties:

...I may forgive her someday for introducing the two of us if the little round balls of cellulose that suddenly appeared all over my body ever go away.

On Saturday night, after a nice long relaxing day of basking, sipping, chit-chatting, and primping... we were ready to hit the town for the big event.

Fun x infinity.

The movie was adorable. The theater we went to actually had nice appetizers (which we werent in the mood for since we had a nice time at a swanky hotel before we went...) but they also offered champagne and wine while the movie played. I had heard urban legend that such a thing existed in bigger metropolis outside the ragged edges of Atascabama, but it was ridiculously fun and unreal to actually get to do live in the flesh. That is what happens when you're the Charlotte (minus the hot nanny).

The whole night was nothing but a good time.

The next morning was Sunday, and Mike and Krista had to say goodbye. They have a little dude at home they had never left for 2 whole nights before calling their names. It was just as well for them... before they know it, he will be begging them not to call and interrupt his time with his fun grandparents.

We had a last supper at Starbucks to see them off, and took this perfect and adorable picture of the 4 of us in all our State Farm (alumnus for me) glory:

Awe. The good old days.

After the Biron send off, the remaining 6 of us packed a tasty picnic and headed out in search of some vino and spirits.

(...isnt he pretty?):
We found them.

This is such a great group of girls (who happen to also all have great taste in boys!), and I just treasure each of their relationships so much. Much has changed in all of our lives since we all worked in that little Goleta office on Fairview so long ago. Almost nothing is the same. I havnt been a working woman (outside of my house) for going on 5 years now! Most days, I wouldnt trade the opportunity I've had to watch my kids and all our friends grow up before my very eyes. But most days I also really do miss them, and how it used to be, too. And I really think its so special and extrordinairy that we've all managed to stay involved with each other the way we have since moving our separate ways.

Thanks, girls, for a fantastic weekend escape, for sharing your lives with me, and for showing this haggard mom a good time.

And Terese, for sharing your gorgeous new home and flawless hospitality, and planning a perfectly balanced agenda.

And Grandparents, for the opportunity to sneak away and know that our kids are in good hands and won't even notice we are gone.

Not gonna lie. It was a little more than tempting to stay... maybe just one more night...