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Showing posts from July, 2012

Smelling bad means a good day

Did Cole have a good birthday? Yes. Yes he did. In our house, between the marathon and the biking and playing outside, being sweaty and needing a bath are usually signs of a good time.

And by the time Cole was finished with his birthday yesterday evening, he really, really needed a bath. I'd run 14 miles in the morning so by the time I came home it was nap time for him. So we decided to push all the fun to after lunch. But that gave me time to bake his cake so it would cool.

It was a late start to the arboretum but we still got in a good 2 hours before we decided to not push it. We'd managed to get him back in his stroller--lured by a snack--and he was happy. Better to go home exhausted but happy than do too much and go home cranky. He loves the Children's Garden. Though we did manage to take a fairly long hike to a special temporary section they have about treehouses. Cole was unimpressed and would rather just wander around on the trails and through the fields. You're…

Natural Nutrition For Runners: Conclusions

Several of you have said you have enjoyed my posts about race-day fueling strategy. So I thought I'd offer a bit of a wrap-up with what I've settled into.

I looked at my training calendar last night and realized that after I return from our trip to Ohio there will be 8 weeks left until Race Week. Halfway there!

And I'm feeling good. I think it's a combination of many causes. The cross-training on the bike. The new nutrition plan. More experience in knowing when/how to push myself during workouts...and when to back off.

I loved the granola. There was even a sale on the half-bars I would have wanted to use. In the end, they're not for Race Day, I've decided. The North Shore Half was a nice, fair test drive for them and they proved to be too sticky, too crumbly, and hard to get down on a hot day. Granted, I hope the Chicago Marathon doesn't have a finish line high temp of 91, but you have to be prepared for anything.

Lately, on my long runs I've been takin…

Breaking Chicago Marathon news

The Chicago Marathon just e-mailed participants this afternoon with an update on a new Wave Start system for October...new lettered Start Corrals which have been added after the registration process last winter. Perhaps this is something they should have done between Race Day and opening registration the next year? 
All the details are here. 
Not only did I have to update my info to move up...they put me in Corral M...but I also sent an e-mail with a little feedback. In short, not happy with this change. It's definitely something I will consider when I plan for future racing seasons. 
I just wanted to give you some early feedback...I will remain open-minded as to how it will work on Race Day...but I have to say I was very disappointed to see the wave start e-mail just now. 
This is my 3rd Chicago Marathon, 5th marathon overall, plus I volunteered last year AT the Start Corrals. So many things wrong with this idea though I appreciate the effort to improve the time it takes to cross …

Problem of the day

Our kids all have issues.

An online friend just today posted that her young daughter is having trouble handling death...a cat, heaven, God is mean, no more toys, etc..

A friend from real life has long known her child is "on the spectrum" but only recently found out where and finally has a more complete answer.

The point is that each kid comes with a unique set of difficulties of the day. Sometimes parenting is more problem-solver in a "rig something up with duct tape" kind of way.

Cole's current issue is that he doesn't know the meaning of the world gentle. He's not mean-spirited about his lack of physical restraint. He just plays hard. But it's brought a few bloody lips and head bumps for mom and dad. And a lot of crying as he pushes over his sister or smacks her in the face with a toy. So there's been a lot of time outs and tantrums lately. You try telling a 2 year old little boy to be quieter, gentler, and less enthusiastic. Just yesterday he…

Happy Birthday, Cole!

Come Sunday, I will have a 2 year old.

If you told me 2 years ago about my life now I wouldn't have believed you. My oldest is pushing his wagon down the hall and throwing toy cars across the living room while my daughter is in the dining room chewing on plastic and banging on wooden toys.

It's a nice life. I'm doing marathons--coming up on number 5 in October. And thinking of switching to triathlons next season. We spend lots of family time together going to the farmers market, the zoo, my son has recently taken to making it all the way through picture books so it's fun to read to him.

And Kelly makes it all possible. She doesn't get nearly enough credit and, I think, sometimes feels most of the stress in making our family run. Yes, I'm the one "stuck" home all day with two children under 3. But if you can get past the screaming, crying, poop, and length of time it takes to pack and leave the house, the kids are the easy part. I wake up every morning…

A boring checkup

We're so far removed from last October's blur of NICU visits that it's hard to believe how difficult it was. Long gone are those days of gently holding a tiny 4 lb-something preemie who couldn't eat, we could barely dress her she was so delicate, and you had to hold her just so to prevent her heart rate from dropping. She'd stop breathing and the alarms would ring.

Now, she obsessively pursues air conditioner cords, the dog, and food she isn't possibly old enough to eat. She claps and crawls and falls down hard before sitting back up without so much as a cry. We knew all along she was a tough girl.

Yesterday's doctor appointment was notable for what it lacked...mainly, any bit of concern on the part of anyone. The main hiccup was the receptionist writing our time down wrong on the appointment card so that we arrived 30 minutes before any doctor. She may be a little on the small side still--17 pounds, 6 oz which is 25th percentile--but we've ditched the …

If I promise to talk about Cole at the end, will you please read this?

I apologize for the non-parenting post. Apparently, you folks don't like it when I don't talk about kids. They're my least read updates. Seriously. Half as many clicks! Go figure. Good thing this is a dad blog because apparently I'm bad at talking about everything else? My readership only finds children interesting? I dunno.

Anyway, you can quit reading now if you don't want to hear about cycling or me having a beer with one of the village trustees last night. That's what I've been up to, sorry!

Wednesday evening, on a whim, I decided to meetup with the Oak Park Cycle Club for one of their regular rides. I've been running again for 3 years and have never followed through with a group club run, so I don't know why I suddenly got the urge to be social about my recreation. The group organizes at a park near the library and about 5 of us showed up. I was hoping they'd take their "regular route" because it would have been new to me. But the…

They make you take it home

My son/firstborn turns 2 in a couple of weeks. Which absolutely blows my mind in the same way as if you told me I had a small fish living in the pipes underneath the kitchen sink.

We talk about parenting as if it's some sort of grand philosophical thing. We decide to become parents. We decide to not become parents. Parenting theories. Blah blah blah. If you're not a parent, it's completely alien, I promise. Ok, maybe not "alien." More like watching Congress work...how something can be so familiar yet so foreign.

Because what they don't tell you--what we don't talk about--is that in all the beautiful pregnancy and childbirth stories you hear...at the end, they make you take it home.

That's what has been sticking with me the last few days as I fall asleep at night or have a second away from the screaming tantrums to reflect. Regardless of one's view about "parenting," one doesn't usually think about parenting. (Unless you're a slig…

When your kid is THAT kid

We've been struggling with that line between teaching your child right and wrong and...well...not subjecting the general public to them along the way.

I don't know that I'd call it the terrible twos starting. The true tantrums really only happen when Cole is hungry or tired. But Saturday was fairly close to Kelly and me putting a "for sale" sign around his neck and seeing if there were any takers.

I made an executive dad decision Saturday morning when we switched up who took Cole in the water for swim lesson. The minute we jumped in the water, he screamed and wanted nothing to do with singing or chasing rubber ducks. I took him out, tried to calm him down--nope.

Fine, let's go get dressed.

Farmers market he was ok, but he had another fit in the parking lot at Target. And another episode trying to play in the side yard...we wouldn't have blamed our single, childless upstairs neighbor if she'd left the patio and gone inside.

He needs more sleep, growth …

Looking for a trail in all the wrong places

I've really taken to cycling. So much that I'm finding myself needing reminders that I'm in training for a marathon and a little running is needed. At least Kelly should feel like her gift is being appreciated. I can't stop thinking about it. If I'm not actually out riding, I'm thinking about the next ride. Something about the freedom and the ground you can cover. I love it. I got the Chicago bike map (city, not region though) so I can find the best/safest routes. And we're a very bike-friendly city.

We have tons of bike lanes, protected bike lanes where bikes and cars are separated, bike trails through parks. There's the famous Lakefront Trail along Lake Michigan. But, sadly, I'm finding none of the off-road trails are very accessible to me. That's the reason I got the style of bike I did, afterall, was to cross over from street to trail. But two of the promising ones nearby haven't panned out. One is an awesome, awesome 31 mile paved trail…

Swimming pool & parade

We're in the middle of our 3rd straight 100 degree day today. Yesterday was 103 while the hottest it has ever been in Chicago is 105. Yep, time to go replace our dying second air conditioner today!

By the end of the day on July 4, we'd resorted to filling a baby bathtub in the side yard with the hose and letting the kids climb in without even bothering with a swimsuit. Everybody was wet with sweat anyway.

Tuesday, I'd finally managed an epic trip to the pool--and by "epic" I mean both kids by myself. It took some juggling, but everybody had fun. No screaming or crying...me included. With Kelly taking the car to work, that meant about a 20 minute walk to the park where the pool is located. Plenty of snacks, and other than a sippy cup lost along the route somewhere, it was a good walk in both directions. We went to the pool via a less appealing route that happens to go by a favorite ice cream shop though...for future reference. The walk home was more shaded and in …

The Little Red Caboose

Cole has a new obsession. The 1953 Little Golden Book Classic The Little Red Caboose. He demands it be read over and over. And over. And over.

I'm sure it's the pictures because the story is...well, lacking. It's about, obviously, a little red caboose hooked to the back of a steam engine. But the oil cars, flat cars, box cars, and coal cars get all the love. Until one day the train attempts to scale a large mountain and the caboose essentially holds the train from sliding backwards until some other engines can come push the train from behind. Then everybody waves at the little red caboose.

But oh those pictures! Swiss-looking mountain climbers. A large village of very stereotypical Native Americans. Furry little critters everywhere. A circus. A horse and buggy and school bus on the same road. Suspension bridge. A farm. Boaters. Fishing. Church spires. Kelly and I mockingly ask where this is supposed to represent. It's like someone mixed up some Norman Rockwell with the…

Women, you can't have it all, sorry.

A couple of (female) friends of mine have recently posted questions about balancing work and family and the trend has taken off like a rocket with Anne-Marie Slaughters' "Why Women Still Can't Have It All" article burning up the internet with various responses.

Late to the game has been the men. Today's Dude, Get It Together over on Role Reboot offers an attempt to discuss the rise of dad-blogging, where men as caregivers fit, and why you don't hear more from the men on this topic.

Frankly, I'm here to give a big loud "get over it" to both sides. Life is full of choices. As I hinted at on this blog with the issue of Women In Science, my opinion comes down firmly on the side of personal freedom and individual responsibility with only a side dish of society/culture thrown in. If you or your daughter wants to be a scientist, have at it. I could be working at the museum right now. I'm not. I have chosen...key word there. Chosen to stay home with…