Thankful For

As part of our usual bedtime routine, I read Kaija a number of stories before tucking her in. We usually read one book after she’s in bed. Tonight it was Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day. After we were done, I asked her if she ever had bad days. She replied with, “When you don’t play with me.”My heart just about broke with those words. Working from home means I see her at lunch, though I often have phone conferences I need to call in on around that time. She often wants to play after eating but sometimes my schedule doesn’t allow for it. And since I tend to work hours baised toward the West Coast, there’s not much time for me to play with her in the evening before she needs to go to bed (especially if she hasn’t napped).So for this Thanksgiving, I’m most thankful for having such a strong relationship with Kaija (and my family in general). And I’m going to make every effort to make more time to spend with her in the future.

Relay Recap

This past weekend I participated in the Detroit Free Press Marathon Relay with a number of friends that I met while training for the Bayshore marathon through Team in Training (well, plus my friend Matt that I’ve known for a while and ran the Bayshore half marathon).Participating in the relay was certainly a different experience than any of the events that I’ve done previously (5K, half marathon, marathon). There was quite a bit of logistics involved in preparing for the race… who needed to get on which shuttle, how would we pass the time while waiting (before and after our segment), how would we hand off any bags containing warm-up gear/time wasters, how would we meet up again, when could we expect the runner of the previous segment to arrive at the hand-off area. After the race was done, we felt like we had performed more in the way of mental gymnastics than a physical feet (considering we had all done marathons/half marathons previously)… especially with all of the half and full marathon runners around.Our team was called Dino Might… a play on words with TNT, the acronym used for Team in Training. SIDENOTE: Our team name was listed by one of the Free Press sports writers as an “interesting” team name.We decided to get t-shirts made, which was another fun logistical exercise in itself – one person bought some nice synthetic athletic t-shirts at a discount, I designed the artwork (the dinosaur graphic came from a clip art website), another person arranged to have the artwork printed. The final result was close to what you see above, which is mock-up I sent to the printers. The t-shirts that we were able to get for cheap were black, so I figured the orange might be appropriate considering the proximity of the race to Halloween. The orange is darker than what is shown above and I had to get rid of the weathered look to the font, but I think it turned out pretty well.With the exception of strong winds, we lucked out with the weather. We could potentially have had rain or snow as was predicted in the days leading up to the race but were graced with clear skies. Such is Michigan weather. Still, I’m glad this marathon was not my first. From what I understand the winds were brutal across Bel Isle and did not let up the whole way back to the finish (the hardest part of a marathon anyway).Due to a case of “runner’s knee” that I’ve been dealing with for the past few months, I decided to run the shortest segment (3 miles). I believe the runner’s knee was a result of pushing myself too much, too quickly in my training after the break I took when Amelia was born. As a result, the muscles around my left kneecap have become out of balance. My knee makes a grinding noise when I climb stairs, can be quite painful if I’m not careful about warming up before running, and can also be sore after running if I don’t stretch and ice it. So while I was waiting to begin my segment, I ran back and forth along one of the nearby streets for about 10 minutes, streched, then jumped up and down a bit to keep my muscles warm. It seems to have paid off, as I didn’t have any knee pain while running nor did I have much after the event. In fact, only my quad were sore the next day, likely because I had only been doing a small amount of running leading up to the race to maintain a minimal amount of fitness without causing more harm to my knees.We ran fairly well, finishing 42nd out of 194 co-ed teams with a time of 3:49:40. A friend of mine also ran the relay with some friends of his with a team name of *cough* Twigs and Berries. They finished 12th out of 34 in the all-male division with a time of 3:39:57.I’m still waiting for photos from the event to be posted. I’ll be sure to update this entry when they become available. UPDATE: Official photos have been posted.SIDENOTE #2: Included in our registration packet was a copy of Michigan Sports & Fitness magazine. My coach from Team in Training mentioned to us a few months ago that a friend of his wrote for the magazine and was soliciting “Sage Advice from Marathon Host Clubs”. I passed along a bit of advice about answering Nature’s call before hitting The Wall… and it was selected for the article! Here’s how it appeared on page 20 of the October 2006 issue:

“You have to make the mind run the body. Never let the body tell the mind what to do.” These words from famous military leader General Patton keep DTRW member Bridget La Forest going. And a bit of practical advice came from Brahm Windeler, who wishes he hadn’t experienced the discomfort first-hand: “Try to use a porta-potty before mile 18 or whenever you expect to hit The Wall, even if you don’t think you really need to go.”

Of all the things to be quoted on. 🙂

Kiddo updates

It’s been a while, so I figured I’d check in and share a bit about the kids these days.Amelia is growing by leaps and bounds these days. One of her most recent milestones was that she rolled from her back to front for the first time on Sunday. Exciting times. Next thing I know she’ll be doing summersaults like Kaija does in the livingroom these days. Amelia loves to smile at us, too, which is quite amusing considering she has no teeth yet (though Jennifer believes her eye teeth are starting to cut through)… gums from ear to ear. I am so glad she did not end up being as collicky as I thought she might in the first few months.Kaija has embraced toddlerhood with gusto. Currently she’s exploring the art of deception. If she’s doing something that she knows she shouldn’t be doing (e.g. trying to get a cookie from the cookie jar) and thinks we might be about to check on her, she’ll tell us “Don’t come in here, Momma/Dadda”. We’ll ask her if she’s doing something she shouldn’t be doing. Silence. Admittedly she still has a bit to learn.She’s also become very inquistive with regards to anything an everything. “Why?” seems to have become the question of month:Me: Let’s go, sweetie. We need to get your shoes on you.Kaija: Why?Me: Because we’re about to go to Poppie (her name for grandpa) and Grandma’s house.Kaija: Why?Me: Because they’ve invited us over for dinner.Kaija: Why?Me: Because they love us and want to see you.Kaija: Why?Me: *sigh* Because they do. Now come on. Help me get your shoes on you…orKaija: What are you doin’, Dada?Me: [insert activity here]Kaija: Why?Me: [tired of the hundreds of incessant Why? questions that I’ve answered dutifully as a supportive parent up to this point] Why not?Kaija: Why yes?Me: *sigh* Because.Kaija: *sigh* Why yes?Me: You tell me.Kaija has also become a bit more creative in exploring concepts. For some reason or another, sometime’s she’ll call me Momma. I think it initially happened on accident, but it has developed into a quasi-game. I’ll tell her, “I’m not Momma, I’m [some other relative].” Recognizing that this is not the case, she finds the suggestion amusing and plays along with something like: “No, you’re not grandma, you’re Amelia and I’m Poppie.” Tonight at the dinner table she went even further with “I’m Grandma Judy’s Poppie. I’m funny. I tell jokes”. Jennifer and I got a kick out of that.