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Showing posts from September, 2012

Playgroup not storytime

The deal was that if Cole doesn't go to preschool this year, I have to make a real effort to socialize him. The initial idea being storytimes. But those have been a bust since all he wants to do is head to the library toy room, run around, and then throw a tantrum at the idea of being forced into a room for singing and books.

So today I took a different tack. Let's try playgroup instead.

I still had to lure him a bit. But this was a branch--not the main library--so it was a new-to-him tiny building to explore. Compared to our millions of dollars glass, sleek, modern structure with conveyor belt book return, this brick version was refreshingly old-fashioned.

I got him to get in the elevator--an easy sell--but the meeting room where the playgroup meets was a different bar to clear. The promise of toys (mainly) and other kids was too much to not give in though. He immediately found the plastic balls, blocks, wooden whatevers, danced to the cd they put on, and overall enjoyed play…

The year of the bicycle

This is the summer I've become obsessed with bicycles. If you want to know what I've been quietly doing the past few months in my spare time, the answer is learn everything a person can about cycling. Which is funny because I'm not "that" type of guy. I'm not a gearhead, mechanical, or in any way in my past someone who is drawn to pretty, shiny things.

But Kelly is tired of me asking if it's a compact crank on her Scott CR1 Team or what the gearing is...I'm not even sure she could have told you that was the make/model. Don't get me wrong, she loves her bike and I've been told not to change anything on it because it's just the way she wants it. I get it now...having advanced in knowledge significantly since the time I innocently wanted to take a water bottle cage.

Part of it is that Chicago is one of the most bicycle-friendly cities in the US. Part of it is my Father's Day present--a sporty little flat-bar road hybrid--that I've bee…

First haircut

We took Cole to get his first haircut yesterday--expecting the worst. For a kid who doesn't like anybody touching him or generally in his personal space, we came away quite impressed at the little guy. 
Of course, it helps that he got to watch a Thomas & Friends DVD while sitting in a race car. But considering the tears and screaming usually required to wash his hair or cut his fingernails, this was a nice change. 
Our driving theory was short. Short. Short. Short. The shorter it is, the longer before we have to come back. Buzz it off. But the lovely, patient, all-business keeper of the clippers at the kid-oriented shop we went to suggested starting off with scissors because the kids handle that better. The electric makes that awful sound and is a little more scary. You're the boss...experience counts in this department. It was something we hadn't thought of. 
And Cole sat still for the most part. Now, he was definitely annoyed and complaining that someone was touching…

"The End of Men" & gender wars revisited

Chicago's NPR station, WBEZ, has an interview with Hanna Rosin--author of The End of Men: And the Rise of Women--posted and it covers a wide range of topics on parenting the genders, analysis of her arguments on the book tour, etc..

Gender issues, particularly related to parenting...and particularly men and the parenting of boys...have caught my attention since we covered it in fairly great detail when I got my psychology degree in 2002. (Professors Dohrmann and Glass, hey!) I won't cover the actual book here or many of the same issues I've visited frequently. 
A few things, however, jumped out at me as a SAHD reading the Q&A. 
My concern about raising my sons has more to do with teaching them to meet whatever demands school places on them without making them frustrated or miserable or think they have to be just like girls. I try to be realistic — I can't make my sons into people they're not. I think the "William wants a doll" fantasy of the '70s i…

My kids crack me a good way

If you happen to know us personally, you probably wouldn't recognize the kids. Even if you've seen them early in the summer...they've changed that much. Later in the month, we're about to reconnect with some of our NICU buddies and we can't wait to see the little girl in the bed nextdoor. We hear she's in 18 month clothes now.

Cole is, well, he's a two year old little boy. If he's not running, he's hitting. If he's not hitting, he's screaming. If he's not screaming, he's eating. If it's not eating, he's playing with trucks.

The funny thing about Cole, however, is that as long as his sister's attention isn't focused on him he looks out for her. She's reached a point where she's just old enough to be dangerous. She can stand and wants to eat big people food. She is curious about everything. But Cole knows she's not supposed to be in the dog dish, the bathroom, the kitchen, or eating his slices of apple. And …

My daughter gets equal time

Cole has been getting a lot of press on the blog lately so it's Leda's turn. She's no less amazing. In fact, she's sort of sneaky like that. Cole is in your face. Just today I said we may be hearing from him as he hikes in Peru and talks with local tribes about the best way to cook exotic jungle animals. He's physical and over the top and a bit rough. He's Teddy Roosevelt.

Leda just stands up, smiles, and quietly forces her way into a situation because she will not be ignored. At lunch time, I have to restrain her because she won't let her brother sit in his chair and eat without her stealing cups, silverware, food. She laughs. A lot. And gets into a lot of places she knows she shouldn't. (Cole, for his part, has figured out that his sister isn't supposed to be in the dog's water dish and tries to stop her.)

We're giving Leda a marathon-themed birthday. It's entirely appropriate. This is, technically, the first race she's been around…

Bumps, bruises, & crashes (Ironman Wisconsin 2012)

Well, if I wanted an exciting welcome to the world of triathlon, this was it. And let me preface today's adventures at Ironman Wisconsin by saying that Kelly had to come home early from work on Friday because I'd called her to tell her that Cole had split his lip open in the living room and was bleeding all over the place. It stopped and I didn't have to call the doctor, but she came home anyway out of concern. 
Thankfully, our Saturday was busy-but-routine. Because we were up at 3:30am and had the kids in the car by 4am for the 3 hour drive to Madison from Chicago. It was dark and chilly and Cole was excited to figure out what was going on so he stayed awake staring out the dark window almost the entire way. By the time we arrived at the Start, the sun was up and the athletes were already in the water...well around the first turn. 
We walked from the capital, past what would become the Finish, to Monona Terrace--a Frank Lloyd Wright designed building that sits on the lak…

Toddler fashion

My son, literally, wiped my kiss off his cheek this afternoon. So it begins. He's also sitting, literally, on his sister as I write this. Yep, it's like that.

Cole's new obsession is picking out his clothes. We're not quite to the dress-yourself stage yet, but it's enough to require a change in drawer location for his shirts. It used to be his favorite thing in the world was running around in nothing but a diaper. No more. He immediately demands pants and a shirt. Preferably a shirt he's selected himself...usually with Thomas on the front.

And heaven forbid his shirt gets wet. Due to handwashing, sippy cup spills, or just plain spit, any dampness on a t-shirt is grounds for a fresh, dry top. Marinara he doesn't care so much's that feeling of wet shirt he doesn't enjoy.

His other amusing new behavior is that he likes to go in the big bed in our room and pretend to sleep. He climbs in, pulls the covers up to his neck, and then makes snoring…

Organic is about more than nutrition

This was interesting "news" this morning...I'll post a couple different links to various versions of it. Depending on the spin, it either made me angry or left me wanting to explain more. Runners World actually did it a bit better. Then there was the ridiculous NPR version.

Oooh, organic foods may not be nutritionally better than convention foods!

I take issue with the word "healthy" being thrown around so carelessly. If you're buying organic simply because you think the added price is getting you some unknown benefit to your body from a calorie standpoint, you do indeed have another thing coming. That's not why you should buy organic and the fact that we're wasting scientific time on such nonsense is a bit beside the point.

As proud owners of a weekly CSA box from a wonderful, hard-working family of farmers at Iron Creek Farm, I can tell you that nutrition has little to do with our choice to prefer organic. If you made the long list, it would be at…

A Sunday without a long run

Due to the hurricane moving north, my birthday, and the long holiday weekend, I'd decided to shift my workouts this week. So Friday's workout was on Saturday. And I'm doing today's long run tomorrow.

Which meant a rather bizarre Sunday for us.

Kelly had brought Leda into bed with us overnight. Cole never has taken to being in bed with us...or rather, he and I used to take long afternoon naps together when he was still an infant, but as a toddler he uses the big bed for wrestling and pillow fights, not sleep. Leda is still in the phase where we can stick her in the middle, snuggle up, and everybody sleeps well. Er, that's my solution to the problem of Leda getting up in the night so much lately. She had a streak of 8 months where every single night you'd put her down and she wouldn't stir until 6am. But those days are over. Sometimes she just needs a pacifier. Sometimes she needs a bottle. Usually she needs to be held back to sleep. Kelly thinks having her i…

New marathon kicks

I'm brand loyal.

I'm one of those people who meticulously researches major purchases before buying, is usually not disappointed, then sticks with that item.

I'm an Adidas guy. Or so I thought. When I first came back to running in 2009 after a decade away, I did my duty of going to my local running store and letting them evaluate my form and style to get a good fit. I came home with some Supernova Sequence and have been in them ever since--buying 2 more pairs online the fit for me is so good.

My current pair is 2 marathons old, 2 summers of training, quote the nice lady at the running store today..."shot."

My plan had been to simply log on to the Adidas website, buy my usual and be done. But the twists and turns of the story took me elsewhere. That's ok, it's only the single most important piece of equipment we have as marathoners. And, yes, I believe in shoes...sorry to all you barefoot let's run like our ancestor types. Civilization has inve…