Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Fall is upon us!

I'm making up for not racing much over the summer. Scott's schedule didn't allow much time for racing: he worked most weekends, and when he wasn't working, we wanted family time. Last month Scott had a radiology elective rotation (nice hours) and for the next two months, he is doing research in the lab (really nice hours). So I am back to racing...

...just in time for cross country season! Last weekend I ran the Codfish Bowl cross country invitational. It was mostly local colleges, but there were a few old ladies like me in the race. All those young'uns sprinted at the start and slow-me had to play catch-up for the rest of the race. The 5k course was muddy from several days of rain, and race day was warm and really humid. I wound up in 8th place after coming into the mile around 60th, and the two-mile around 30th.My posse came with me this time. The cross country course was next to a cool playground (and also next to the zoo too!) and there were plenty of trails to wander.

In other Raymond family news, Bruce's school had "Back to School Night." Parents got to meet and chat with the teachers and see the classroom and such. All of the kids in Bruce's class drew a picture and wrote a one-line answer to the question, "What do you want to learn this year?" Most kids had normal responses like, "I want to learn to draw better" and "I want to learn how to read chapter books." Bruce's response was, "I want to learn how to make a suitcase spider droid." He drew an elaborate picture of a thing that looked like the multi-armed bad robot from The Incredibles. I asked him what a suitcase spider droid was and he referred me back to the picture. I told him he already knew how to make one since he had already drawn it, and he said he wanted to build it out of metal. I told him he may need a few more years.

On that note, he is taking a "pre-engineering class" once a week after school. He builds robotic Lego stuff and plays with it. While he is doing that, I take Phoebe and Baby J to a music class. Baby J sits on my lap and tries to eat woodblocks, Phoebe dances around with a tambourine most of the time, and I add my terrible singing voice to the choir of parents (who all sound like they're professionals, of course!).

Next up for the Raymonds: a half-marathon for me this weekend, and a few days of playtime with Scott's sister, Nancy, who is here for PA school interviews!

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Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Potty time

Phoebe has been fascinated by the toilet for a month or two. The first day we sat her on her own little potty, she peed in it - twice. Beginner's luck.

She has since sat on the potty at least once a day, and within the past week she's sat on it 3-4 times a day. That may have something to do with the fact that she gets a piece of chocolate every time she sits on the potty.

Usually she announces that she needs to go potty, then starts ripping clothes off while stumbling to the bathroom. By the time she's there sans pants, shirt, socks (it all has to go), there's usually a freshly peed-in diaper.

But this morning, she made it. Pink undies, here we come!

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Monday, September 12, 2011

Rocking the weekend - Part II

Before I start gushing about the weekend, I should mention that school started this week and it's been wonderful! Bruce was a bit whiny during the last few weeks of the summer. Anytime he looked bored, I would say, "Find something to do or I'll find something for you." After a few episodes of matching socks and practicing handwriting, he knew better than to lounge around on the couch complaining about how there's nothing to do. Anyway, school whipped him into shape. He loves his new teacher and feels so much older as a first-grader.

Also this week was Scott's birthday. He always likes to ignore his birthday and pretend he's not getting any older, so we generally respected that this year. We did make a birthday cake and sang the traditional song, but that was about it. Since his birthday, Phoebe has been singing "Happy Birthday" for the rest of the week.

I ran a 10K on Saturday: the Run to the Rock 10K in Plymouth. The race was point-to-point, so it started in some random parking lot on an ugly industrial road but ended at the shore right next to Plymouth Rock. I ran 38:26 (according to race officials anyway. My watch said 38:19 and there was some question as to where the start line was and when the timing chips started), good enough for 7th overall, 1st woman. There was a big hill at the beginning of the race, and a few smaller ones throughout, so I'm hoping for a faster time at the Tufts 10K in October.
After the race, we headed to Crane Beach for the Arlington Ward annual Clambake. We caught up with old friends and enjoyed the sun and sand. We arrived late because of my race, so we missed out on the traditional food but still got platefuls of potluck food.
On Sunday, I listened to way too much NPR and thought of all those who were affected by 9/11. Bruce asked me why a lady on the radio was so sad and I replied that she'd lost her friends and coworkers. Bruce said that with the billions of people in the world, she should be able to find more friends. That's true, I said, but it's sad to lose individuals. There's only one Bruce, for instance. He understood that, and then asked about the 9/11 attacks. I tried to explain to him that some bad guys got on airplanes, killed the pilots, and steered the planes into some skyscrapers in New York City because they wanted to kill a lot of people. Bruce was baffled. He could not believe that people (even bad guys) would crash themselves into a building just to kill a lot of people and kill themselves while they're at it. "Was there a storm? Or a big cloud? Maybe they just didn't see the building," Bruce said. I told him there was no storm, that the bad guys knew what they were doing, and that it's not likely to happen now since there are more security measures taken than there were 10 years ago. I wrapped up the discussion by concluding that Bruce was right: none of it made any sense. Why did I even try to make sense of it?!

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Monday, September 05, 2011

Rocking the weekend - Part I

Scott had a real weekend (and will more often since he's on his advanced radiology elective rotation), so we hooked up with friends and headed for the hills. We went to the Blue Hills, where there is an old granite quarry with big rock walls and an enclosed grassy meadow. It was perfect for Phoebe because she tends to wander when given the chance, and this allowed her to wander safely. She chose to play with our friends' baby most of the time.

The old quarry also happens to be a popular spot for graffiti artists.Bruce took a turn climbing and almost made it to the top......with some help.Scott took a few turns and got his outdoorsy fix. I tried rock-climbing for the first time and liked it: I can see how people get into it. I looked at the wall and couldn't see how I was going to get up the blasted thing (There's nowhere to put my right hand! How am I supposed to support my body weight on my pinky toe that is perched on a centimeter-wide ding in the wall?!), but little by little I made my way up. It helped that Taylor kept yelling directions and encouragement: "Put your left foot where that chalky spot is!" "Reach your right hand up six inches higher!" It was a vertical game of Twister. Unfortunately no one thought to pick up the camera while I was up, so no photos of me. Maybe it's better that way though: watching climbers at the bottom of the wall isn't super-flattering since you mostly see their backsides.Taylor showed us up, scampering up a flat wall while tossing baby powder up and down (he forgot his chalk bag). His wife, Jodi, did some climbing too - even though she just had a baby four months ago. They're amazing.
More rocking the weekend coming up - but this time a different sort of rock. I'm racing the Run to the Rock 10K, where I will race to Plymouth Rock on Saturday. Stay tuned.

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Sunday, September 04, 2011

Bouncing in Ohio

videoVacation was awesome. Grandma and Grandpa got a new bounce house.

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Spying on the Boys

videoSo this is what little boys do on playdates: meditate.

* I spied on Bruce and his friend, so video footage isn't fabulous.

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