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Showing posts from April, 2013

Toddler nonsense

This morning I was sitting in Cole's room while he tried to lay his railroad tracks up the wall...since that wasn't working, he told me he'd be using a spoon to "cut" the radiator out of the way. Later, he was behind a window curtain in the living room playing with some nail clippers and hitting plastic blocks--only the clippers were "kicking" the blocks. Each time he would take a golf-style swing he'd shout "kick." Typical. Non sequitur life with the under 3 set sometimes feels like living inside French experimental theatre. The square root of 3 is turtle. He likes two spoons to eat yogurt. Leda likes to stick her tongue out at you and her newest trick is playing a game of "Leda says" where when she lifts her arms up you have to lift your arms up--and keep them up--until she puts hers down. The game can start or finish whenever she wants and is always hilarious no matter how many times we've played.

In other news, greetings …

Cole unplugs

Cole turns 3 in July and still has his pacifier. He calls it Soo (Soothie). My British friends call it a dummy. My aunt calls it "the plug." We've been anticipating the misery of taking it away for some time, but haven't wanted to deal with it. But he's talking about the world and trying to communicate nearly every minute of the day now so we've decided it's time. Rather than constantly ask him to take it out so we can hear him. Or have him constantly run to it at the slightest discomfort. Heaven forbid we lose it. We have no less than 6 replacements.

I haven't been that concerned about it. All the naysayers aside. Including our doctor--despite the fact that scientific evidence for it affecting anything dental or speech related is pretty slim. I haven't been that worried because, frankly, the blankie/milk/soothie combo has been all that keeps him manageable sometimes. And it clearly makes him happy...not like he'll go to college still sucking …


per·se·ver·ance[pur-suh-veer-uhns] noun
1300–50;MiddleEnglishperseveraunce < MiddleFrenchperseverance < LatinpersevÄ“rantia. On Sunday, I would have blogged to you my tale of my first flat tire about 10 miles into my long ride. About how I had to wait for the weather to clear before riding then had a rear flat with no spare tube, patch kit, inflation method, tire levers, etc.. They were all sitting in the closet at home and not yet in my saddle bag because I hadn't put my race tires on the bike yet. About how I had to call Kelly and the kids to come pick me up at a park I walked my bike to then had to return to the park after getting all the way home and realizing my bike computer had flown off while driving.

All this seems small compared to yesterday.

Monday morning, I would have told you about how we put the kids in the stroller and walked our beloved f…

Love is a greyhound

Many of our friends are wanting to know how our Kieran is doing...but I'm also writing this post to alert greyhound owners of potential health concerns AND encourage anybody out there looking for a loyal, brave, amazing four-legged companion to consider greyhound adoption. It's one of the greatest things we ever did!

Our 10 year old retired racer came off the track at the rather advanced age of 5 years old. Usually, most adoptable greyhounds you'll see are in the 2.5-3 years range when they can no longer win money for the owners. But we think they were going to breed our girl since she was moderately successful on the track...she never had puppies though. So she came to us in middle age. And has spent the last 5 years eating cookies, going on walks, getting belly rubs, being afraid of thunderstorms, leaving puddles of drool at the kitchen door waiting for us to come home. They're "velcro" dogs who want to only be wherever you are. She's a sweet girl who r…

Things my kids have taught me...

First of all, happy 18 months, Leda! 
If you talk to Kelly about the time she's known me, she'll tell you I've changed. Mostly for the better, I hope. I'm not intending this to turn into one of those "reasons you should have kids" posts. Nothing so political today. Just life lessons. Having little people you helped create is a two-way street. Knowledge and education goes both directions. 
I don't sweat the small stuff anymore. I let unimportant things go more easily. Peanut butter smeared on my pants in the old days would have necessitated a change of clothes. Today, I wipe it away and move on. (Though ask Kelly about my obsession with keeping certain toy parts together.)
On the other hand, I get more upset and more angry about the big stuff. The world we're leaving for our children for instance. Violence a world a way. The people are often unthinking, uncaring, uneducated about the world around them. Being a parent makes me both more compassionate an…

If it were only 2 sports, it'd be a duathlon

So I'm feeling great at the pool last night (even without a rest day after my first fairly intense bike ride of the season). I'm in the middle of a ladder set, good rhythm going, feeling effortless...when who should walk up but my swim instructor who had just finished up a class.

And she was willing to give me a few laps worth of free coaching so who am I to complain? So we talked for probably 10 min...she walked alongside me as I swam a couple lengths, noticed a few things, and tried to give some feedback for improvement. Apparently, I'm doing a weird flipper-thing with (only) my left arm where I'm pulling too far back. Good to know. As always, she yells "high elbows" at me to remind me to, well, keep my elbows high. But other than that, I look good. And by "good" I mean like someone who could possibly pass for a triathlete.

The bigger question that moves to the forefront now--even before my little chat with Lora--is bringing running back into the …

Celebrating 10 years of not being a lawyer

It started the other day with NBC doing a 10th anniversary tribute to journalist David Bloom who died while in Iraq in 2003. It was mostly a story about deep vein thrombosis and the education that has been done over the last 10 years about the condition. Mostly, I just sat and thought to myself, "wow, it's been a decade?"

Then, Cole and Leda were playing with a commemorative baseball that was given away as a souvenir during the first ever game at Great American Ballpark in Cincinnati...March 31, 2003. An Opening Day I attended. The baseball sat on my shelf collecting dust until the kids were born and now it's become a sort of symbol of our parenting philosophy...that things are only useful if they're being enjoyed. Better on their toy shelf being loved. As the ball rolled over to me the other afternoon, I picked it up, noted the date, and thought back to my skipping classes to go to it.

I was living in Columbus, in my second semester of law school, and miserable.…

Ebert, sand monsters, candy, & rest days

If you want to say something questionable to a movie geek, question Roger Ebert's taste in film. He, to be blunt, was probably the most accurate test of how good a movie was by how he judged the quality. The more I learned about film, the more I came to rely on Ebert's review as a shortcut to whether a film was worth seeing. After seeing a film, I'd read the Ebert review to see how close I came to impeccable movie taste. What did he see? What did I miss? How did Ebert explain the directing, the acting, the framing, the set design? 
In short, he was movies. The only other people on his level are named Spielberg, Kubrick...he'll be remembered in Hollywood as a great in the same breath as Hitchcock, Welles, Cary Grant. A legend. 
Being from Chicago, last night the local news/talk was filled with stories, clips, and people remembering Ebert. As a frequent reader of both his movie and non-industry writing, I knew quite a bit about what an amazing man he was. He could hold c…

The Tao of swimming

I'm both a science geek and a religion geek. And both help me in the world of endurance sports. I appreciate both the "nuts and bolts," nutrition and muscle fatigue component of it. But I also appreciate the more esoteric, mental game where you're battling something more than physics and biology.

So some of my recent gains in the pool have been the kind that make me turn my head and give the "confused dog" look while I stare at the pace clock. Unexpected gains are pleasant...but they can also be confusing. There are several levels going on...and I could write this post about stroke and technique and finding the most energy-efficient way to get across the pool as it relates to the way muscles burn fuel, hydrodynamics, perceived effort, lactate threshold, heart rate levels, blah blah.

In the end, the reason I'm in the sport is--unlike others, but if it's your thing that's cool--the more mystical side. The nuts and bolts of science tell me how...bu…

"Mawage. Mawage is wot bwings us togeder tooday."

I'm guessing any of my readers born after 1980 know where the title of this post comes from. (For those of you who are older or less pop culturally aware, that would be from the often-quoted Princess Bride.) You're probably doing the ridiculous voice in your head.

Being the unmarried, partnered-up, blogger-about-gender that I am, I figured I should probably weigh in on this whole controversy about Ivy League women being given the advice to find an Ivy League man while they can. My actual jumping-off-point is this NY Daily News opinion piece that criticizes feminism and the media.

What really--to use another pop culture catchphrase--grinds my gears was the way the author mocks “pushing women to define themselves by their spouses.” It's a legit gripe. Which I think she misses in complaining about feminists (whoever they are) and is what pushes this from minor issue to something I'd want to blog about. 

I'd really frame this as a side skirmish in the marriage equality …

I am not the Lone Ranger

One of the perils of showing your children classic television is that the black and white and fuzzy picture quality make for interesting opinions. Leda thinks I'm a cowboy. More specifically, a Texas Ranger.

For some reason, this morning she took a dvd out of the drawer with 3 episodes of the The Lone Ranger on it. Why I have that particular dvd we won't go into. Cole didn't want to watch it on the big tv, so I put it on my computer. Soon, I had two kids in my lap watching postwar heroes and villains melodrama with full attention.

Leda kept pointing at the screen to the man on the horse with the cowboy hat, rifle, and horrible 1950's "western" shirt: "Dada."

No, sweetie, Daddy isn't a cowboy. To her credit, the actor did have facial hair.

All Cole wanted was the theme song played over and over. You know, the cheesy run-along shot beside the horse while the Lone Ranger shoots a revolver again and again...straight ahead, at nobody in particular? L…

An 18 month old drama queen

Hope everyone had a good holiday weekend, end of spring break and whatnot. Our Easter was a quiet one other than the occasional toothbrush jammed in the dvd player. A lot of our usual weekend haunts were closed so the usual gym/grocery schedule had to be altered a bit. We managed to sneak in a family dinner out at a real, actual restaurant. With a playground trip sandwiched between an ice cream trip. The kids looked for "hidden" eggs. Really, more like Leda stood on the back patio while Cole scooped up our small stash of plastic eggs then wanted to go to the basement to play. But at least he rode his tricycle when he got down there! Kelly cooked a delicious chicken and noodles Easter dinner--yes, we love to be unconventional, even in our spare alone time.

The tricycle, Cole hasn't quite figured out how to keep his feet on the pedals and push. So dad grabbed the handle and did the work. He lasted a minute or two--the longest ride for him so far. And he was excited to get …