Sunday, January 30, 2011

Me, the Miler

I hopped on the indoor track for another mile attempt, this time in a distance medley relay. I hadn't run a relay race in a few years, and I'd forgotten how much fun it is (and how nervous it makes me too!). My team, the Greater Boston Track Club, raced against a bunch of college teams. I ran the anchor leg (the last leg of the 1200-meter, 400-meter, 800-meter, 1600-meter relay), so unfortunately our final placing was up to me. And unfortunately I'm not a real miler. Four teams passed me, and then I nipped one back at the end (see the photo finish below).
After the race, I remembered why I used to carry cough drops with me to every indoor track meet: the "track hack" (I think it's the combination of deep, hard breathing and really dry indoor air?). After coughing for a solid 15 minutes, I went for a 10-mile cooldown with some teammates and felt much, much better by the end. 78 days until the Boston Marathon!

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Tuesday, January 25, 2011

If Bruce Made a Million

We read this book today and Bruce told me if he made a million dollars, he would 1) go to Chuck 'E' Cheese's, 2) buy a guinea pig, and 3) buy a piano.

He might have leftovers.

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Monday, January 24, 2011

Finally found what you're lookin' for

Every once in awhile, I check the stats on this web site to see who and how many are visiting. Apparently one person arrived on the blog yesterday for searching for, "thong shirt one piece" (is this a popular search term?! That is one phrase I don't think I'd ever want to type into Google). I'm assuming they arrived at this post. A few months ago, someone arrived at the blog after searching for "no desire to paint my nails," an exact phrase from this post. What did people do before search engines?! Encyclopedia Britannica was not nearly as fun.

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Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Happy Snow Day

There was a big blizzard last week that dumped a foot of snow on us. Bruce had the day off school, so we watched too much PBS Kids and went outside for a few minutes for a snowball fight.
We did the usual: played Uno, played with Transformers/Legos/K'Nex/Batman. Phoebe has a new hobby of squeezing herself into small spaces. Here she is behind the couch. You can also find her in the cupboards and under the table. Phoebe has some attachment issues: she has a few blankies that she drags around the house when tired, and she loves her bottle of milk. She had a well-child visit with the doctor this morning though, and it's time to phase the bottle out. Wish us luck!

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Boston or Bust

I just put down 250 stinking bones for the Boston Marathon! So it better be good!

My friend/ former BYU XC teammate/ college roommate, Anika, is coming to run, and we're planning on running a sub-3-hour marathon.

88 days to go....

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Wednesday, January 05, 2011

2010 in Review

Happy New Year to all. As we ring in the new year, I remembered a few events of the past year that somehow missed the blog. Here's what you've been missing:

1. A year-long battle with a medical equipment company.
Remember that awful apnea monitor? I had a love/hate relationship with it: I loved that it reminded us to coax Phoebe to breathe. I hated that it had several loud false alarms every night and I had to lug it everywhere for a few months. I was happy to get rid of it in February, but unhappy to get a big invoice from them a few months later. The insurance company paid up to the benefit limit, which the medical equipment company exceeded because they sent us new electrodes every week (which we didn't need). I returned 43 unopened packages of electrodes when they picked up the monitor in February. Apparently that was never accounted for. It took all year, three letters, and several threats to clear that one up.

2. Scott's awesome iPod.
I got Scott an iPod Touch for his birthday. I had big expectations of this little gadget: I wanted him to message me updates throughout the day, especially to let me know what random time he'd be rolling in that night. It hasn't quite worked out the way I'd planned, but it's still been a good investment: the iPod is Scott's new study buddy.

3. Turning into my mother.
Yes, it's happening. I'm getting so over-protective of my kids that every once in awhile, I blow a circuit and actually do something. When Phoebe was in the hospital for awhile, the nurses thought they would make my Halloween a little nicer by dressing Phoebe in a cowgirl costume and taking pictures of her to give to me. Other NICU parents were into it, but not me. I was furious. First, they used the same costume for all the babies (and the kid two beds down had whooping cough!). Second, dressing up my baby reminded me of Paris Hilton dressing up her little lap dog. Ugh. Nurses should stick to nursing. I wrote a letter this year complaining about the practice of dressing up NICU babies on holidays. The hospital called and said they'd "investigate."

4. Call me President.
I was elected as the President of our condo association. A few weeks into the job, someone decided to tag our garage door with some awesome graffiti. Cute, but it's going to take $400 to remove this baby:
It's become my mission to clean up my 'hood. I'm bugging our neighboring residents and businesses to clean up their junk and make our 'hood less like a 'Hood.

5. Bruce's brain expansion.
Kindergarten is amazing. Really. Bruce loves reading and learning. A few weeks ago, he asked me what the highest number was. I said there was no highest number because you could always add one to it and make it higher. "What about sixty-hundred-thousand?" he asked. "Sixty-hundred-thousand-and-one." He still has more to learn, but he's really thinking hard about these things.

6. The fiasco with work.
I purposely avoided blogging about this one, thinking that some future employer would google my name, come across this blog, read all my complaints about the job hunt, and get spooked. But it's the year-end review, so here's the story.

My old employer decided to just stop paying me on a regular basis. They would lead me on - "a paycheck is coming" and "I just couldn't get to the office to write the check today" - but after way too long of that, I started hunting for other jobs. Here are a few snippets from that experience:

There was the time when I got an offer for a full-time web editor job, but I would have had to commute an hour each way and it started at 6:30 a.m. Daycares don't open at 5:30 (and sometimes Scott isn't home at that hour), so that was out.

Then there was the three-hour-long interview for a corporate communications position. Five different people interviewed me, and one sent me home with an assignment to create a writing sample due in 48 hours. I went home and worked my tail off to get it done. I couldn't sleep that night because I was so worked up about it, so I stayed up until 3 a.m. to finish it. The next morning, HR called to say to not bother sending in the sample because I didn't have enough marketing experience. Ugh.

The final straw was interviewing at a tech magazine's web site, which offered a part-time editing position from home (with insurance too - perfect). They interviewed me over the phone twice and then asked me to "try out" by editing a story on deadline. The story they sent me had factual errors, grammatical errors, and part of it was plagiarized from another web site. I wondered if this was some kind of test, but this was a real story submitted by one of the magazine's writers to be posted that day. I hacked at it and practically rewrote the whole thing so it was ready to post. When I checked the site later, they posted the version that I wrote so I felt confident they would hire me. They called back and said they went with someone else "with more technical expertise." Thus, I am embracing freelance writing. I write while Phoebe takes her 2-3-hour daily nap, and then I get to be a full-time mom during her waking hours. Like motherhood, freelance writing does not pay well but the benefits are unbeatable.

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Sunday, January 02, 2011

This one is for Grandma Mars...

videoMy mom wanted to know how Phoebe liked her new toy, so here it is. Looks like a keeper.

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Seacoast Stroll

While Grandpa Bruce was here, we visited the New Hampshire coast at Odiorne Point State Park. Phoebe enjoyed the view from Scott's back and the rest of us plodded along snowy trails through the forest to the rocky beach.
I spy three generations of Raymonds in this picture.

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Merry Christmas from the Raymonds!

It's been another dry spell on the blog. We've been too busy having fun that we haven't stopped to update the blog this week. My birthday came and went; I got those sporty footed pajamas shown above (and that's Bruce jabbing at a "dino dig" kit that he got for Christmas). On Christmas Eve, we made a zillion treats and delivered most of them until Phoebe freaked out in the car and we went home. Grandpa Bruce came on Christmas Day and stayed with us for a week. He's done the Freedom Trail and most of the touristy stuff around Boston, so we mostly just hung out and enjoyed the company. Above, the two Bruces are checking out remote-controlled motorcycles while little Bruce is wearing duck slippers he got from Grandpa Bruce (they quack!). Bruce wanted science books, science experiments, Legos, and a hula hoop for Christmas. He got everything except the hula hoop, which I refuse to buy until spring since I don't want it around the house all winter.
Phoebe didn't ask for much this Christmas. She has mastered "mom" and "dad," but all her other jabber is nonsense. She got some toys, clothes, and bubble bath, which she happily shared with Bruce.

Scott has been off school for the past two weeks and it's been wonderful! After running many, many miles whenever I want and sleeping in past 4:45, it's going to be hard to go back to the daily grind.

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