Monday, April 28, 2008

The New Kitchen

Bruce's friend came over to play this morning. At the same time, there was a cherry picker just outside our window clearing branches from power lines. The boys had a blast watching it.
Last week we bought a used play kitchen. Bruce really likes playing with them at church and we didn't have any real "pretend play" toys, so this is his first pseudo-big toy (I did make sure not to buy one of those monstrous Victorian kitchens; it had to fit in this tiny corner of his room). He likes making me a fake breakfast of fried chicken, bacon, and eggs and he gets a big kick out of my "eating it." Bruce and his friend played with the kitchen for awhile.
Bruce made some music too.
The boys like to play hide-and-seek for hours on end. Bruce always hides under his blanket on the bed and his friend hides behind a chair in the corner of his room. It's the same game over and over: I count to ten, pretend to find them in silly places like the trash can and diaper bin, and then I find them where I always find them. Today Bruce got a little more creative though...
Another use for the play kitchen! Imagine my surprise when I couldn't find him under his blankets!


One day last week, the fire alarm went off. Bruce and I went outside - camera in hand, of course - and took pictures of the firetrucks and waved at the firefighters. It was so nice outside that we decided to go for a walk.

So we wandered to a trail and went for a little walk, which took us to...
...the park. (It seems like all roads lead to the park for some reason.)

We played for at least an hour before heading out for a little nature walk. Bruce picked some dandelions.
We saw turtles soaking up rays on rocks in the pond. We saw a hungry squirrel chowing on what looked like a chunk of bread. And we watched birds. I can't complain: life is good.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Marathon Monday

My bro, Dave, dyed his hair blue and made it very easy for us to find him. We stood at mile 19 and cheered him on; he even came over to give his wife and son a kiss before running to the finish.
He was hoping for a faster time, but kindof tanked in the last few miles of the race. He ran a smoking fast half-marathon; the last half just wasn't very forgiving.

After Dave ran by, the fam jumped in the cars. The toddlers headed home and I took a few downtown to go find Dave. Amazingly we found him without much trouble. He crossed the line at 2:54 and said it was one of his worst marathons yet. These blisters sure didn't help.
The women's race was one of the closest in a few years. The lady in dark blue (#7) ended up with the win - and $150,000.
This is my friend, Megha, who was my running partner for more than a year before she moved on to business school in California. We trained for Boston together last year. And here she is this year in the "elite start"! Way to go Megha! (I was so excited to see her that I totally forgot to take a decent picture...)
This guy smoked by and won his fourth Boston Marathon easily.
This is Dave's night-before pre-race ritual: an ice bath. His son, Eldon, took his clothes off and climbed in. Kids are nuts.
I would just like to say that I have the best husband ever. While the rest of us were glued to the sideline searching for Dave, Scott entertained two high-energy toddlers and changed Bruce's poopy pants twice this weekend! (potty-training lapsed this weekend, but has since returned to normal thank goodness) Scott has always been there to support my running, and here he is supporting my spectating of running! I love this guy!

The boys clapped and rang cowbells for a little bit. At one point, Eldon chucked a bouncy ball onto the course. Oops.
Here's my youngest brother, Ben, who woke up to see the Battle of Lexington with me and then came out to cheer for Dave. What a trooper!

Battle of Lexington

I've always wanted to see the re-enactment of the Battle of Lexington, and I figured this was the year to do it. I got up at the crack of dawn and biked to Lexington while my baby bro, Ben, ran beside me. I didn't think many people would be interested in a battle re-enactment at 5:45 in the morning. I was wrong: people brought ladders and scaffolding to get a prime view.
Ben and I got a good view of the British soldiers on our ride/run there. We stopped and took a few pictures before these guys started their march to the battle.
We saw the soldiers march in and saw gun-smoke and whatnot, but missed watching the major part of the battle. Too many crowds.

I did climb up on my brother's shoulders for a final photo. Here are the "dead" colonists; the troops marched on to Concord. But there it is: the start of the American Revolution!

Tub Time

Bruce and his cousin played outside a lot this weekend; it was so gorgeous! They got dirty though, so here they are in the tub.

We put in a DVD for them to watch so everyone could get a little break. TV works wonders sometimes: it can be the best sedative.

2008 Olympic Trials Marathon

I jealously watched the Olympic Trials Marathon on Sunday morning. I silently cursed the past year as the 26.2-mile race unfolded on Memorial Drive. For the first half of the race, I kept wondering where Deena was. That skeletal lady pictured above is minutes ahead of other American women in the marathon, and earned a bronze at the last Olympics. She was the heavy favorite, but she hung back in the pack for quite some time which is not her style.
Instead, this lady took off at the gun and led for about 20 miles. At one point she was almost three minutes ahead of Deena and everyone else. Everyone in the crowd kept wondering who this runner was: she's not sponsored and certainly wasn't expected to be a contender for the Olympic team. Nevertheless her giant lead paid off: Deena passed her with a few miles to go but she hung on for second place. The name? Magdalena Lewy-Boulet.
Rounding out the three-person Olympic team for Beijing is Blake Russell. She barely missed making the 2004 marathon team and finally got some redemption in 2008.
This chick, Desiree Davila, was considered the dark horse contender. She ran a great first half, then faded to 14th place. Ouch: marathons are rough.
Bruce was a pretty good spectator most of the time. He clapped for the runners but told me to stop yelling several times.
There were lots of people watching the Trials including big-name runners of other events. Pictured is Alicia Shay, who ran for Stanford and was married to Ryan Shay, the runner who died at November's men's Olympic Trials marathon. I also saw Alan Webb run by; he was the first high school runner to break 4 minutes in the mile in 20-something years and now runs for Nike.

And pictured here is Joan Benoit Samuelson, who won the 1984 Olympic gold medal in the marathon. She turned 50 this year and still pulled out a 2:49:08.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

2008 Boston Marathon Weekend

What a weekend! My bro, Dave, and his wife and son came to Boston this weekend. Dave has been training like a maniac for the Boston Marathon. He ran a 2:38 on the hilly Akron Marathon course so he was hoping for a huge PR on the not-quite-as-grueling-but-still-rolling Boston course. To make sure we recognized him in the sea of runners, he dyed his hair this lovely blue color.
Bruce loved playing with his cousin. We had to get them out of the tiny apartment frequently though.
They are both masters of the phrase "That's MINE!" Needless to say, there were plenty of fights...
...but some sharing at times too.

Bruce's friend came over to join in the fun one day. He fit right in.
This kid makes some great faces.
Scott said, "Our couch aged ten years this weekend." Here's why.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Thank You Massachusetts

Thank you Commonwealth of Massachusetts: we got our huge state income tax return today. One dollar. We'll try not to spend it all in one place.

The weather here is finally warming up - hopefully for good. I'm dying to get out and run (but alas, the hip...)! I joined a gym a few weeks ago. I am now up and out early in the morning to go do some form of exercise. The worst part is sitting on a bike and watching terrible morning news (traffic, weather, teaser for a story that won't be played for another half-hour - replayed every 15 minutes) and that awful, slow calorie counter that's always on exercise machines. The best part is the people-watching. The gym is a great place for people watching! Some of my favorite observations:
  • The other day there was a 30-something-year-old guy flexing his muscles in the mirror. I always thought it was a stereotype that perhaps wasn't true, but this guy had no shame in gritting his teeth and flexing until his veins popped out (and he wasn't lifting anything).
  • A few days ago I saw a hardcore "gym rat." She was about 5' and probably weighed about 90 pounds. Ripped. And she wore those little fingerless gloves.
  • I've seen zillions of the other kind of "gym rat." Tons of 20-something-year-old girls carrying around their trashy magazines and hogging the ellipticals listening to their iPods.
  • Earlier this week I saw a guy in his 60s who was mostly bald and had that wispy "professor" ring of hair around his head. He was wearing a nice button-up white-collared shirt complete with pocket protector, a permanent marker, and two pens. He was also wearing tall black socks with gym shorts and sneakers. Excellent look for him. He also happened to be doing some sort of high-speed tai chi or something.
  • On my way home from the gym, I saw a lady in her 70s wearing a maroon velor jogging suit and cruising by on one of those little razor scooters!
It is getting lighter in the mornings so hopefully soon I'll be able to bike outside. Last Saturday I went for a ride during the day, but I hadn't been on a bike since college and felt like I was going to fall over half the time (I have no coordination! Doggone shoe clips!).