Thursday, June 28, 2007

Happy Birthday Ruby!

Ruby was very excited about the cupcake. She wanted to get a closer look at the candle.

The cupcake was everything she dreamed of... and so much more. Ruby sucked the frosting off of each finger. She ate most of her cupcake. Alli ate the frosting off of her cupcake, and gave the rest to Ruby.
Ruby didn't go to sleep until almost 11pm. She was on a sugar fix.
I made a critical error with the cupcakes. I picked them up from Sweet Mandy B's in the morning. All day long Alli tried to convince me that we should eat them right away.
"We should just open the package to look at them."
"I know. We can share one."
"We could get more for Daddy."
"Ruby wants one now."
"Can we go smell the cupcakes?"
"I'm being a good girl. Can I get a cupcake?"
"Is it time yet?"
"I'm hungry for something sweet and soft with frosting."
I told her we had to wait for Daddy. It was a long day.

Puddles, Strollers and Laughter

Last night the girls were getting rowdy and cranky (Alli was not happy about waiting for Daddy to have cupcakes), so I took them on a meltdown-prevention walk (everyone is happy when we go for walks). Alli wanted to push her baby doll in the little doll stroller, and I was fine with that; it would make her extra tired.

So we set out at Alli's pace. I pushed Ruby in the stroller and Alli pushed her stroller.

Yesterday afternoon there was some rain, and in the evening there were still puddles, especially by the street curbs. We crossed a few small puddles. No problem.

We had to cross a street, and there was a bigger puddle in our way. As I stepped across pushing Ruby, I turned around to see if Alli had crossed too. She hadn't. She did not want her stroller to get wet in the muddy puddle.

A car was waiting at the stop for us to cross.

I stepped back while holding the big stroller so it wouldn't roll back into the puddle. I was straddling the puddle as gracefully as I could. I grabbed Alli's baby doll stroller and lifted it over the puddle while Alli fussed about keeping it dry. Once I got the doll stroller across, and while still holding the big stroller, I took Alli's hand to help her jump over the puddle. To my surprise, she slowly and deliberately walked through the big, dirty puddle, one small step at a time.

The car waiting for us was a convertible. Top down. There were two men in the car laughing out loud and cheering Alli on. They didn't seem to mind us taking our good old time crossing the street. They laughed the whole time.

Alli pushed her dry stroller the rest of the way in soggy wet shoes.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Every step counts

Andy is in the midst of a walking competition at work. He has been wearing a pedometer and keeping track of his step count for the last few weeks. As of last week, his team was winning (thanks to Charlene, I hear... definitely not because of Andy's effort).
In the spirit of (somewhat competitive) support, I have been wearing a pedometer too.
Today Alli joined the club. She clipped a plastic clip on her shirt and announced that she had her "pe-monitor" on. Later she looked at it and said, "I didn't take enough steps today."

Best Husband Ever!

Recently we have been on vacation. We spent some time with family in Utah and Ohio.
Most of the vacation I did with the girls while Andy worked in Chicago.
By the time we got to Ohio I really missed Andy... a lot.
On our second day in Ohio, I had a conversation with Andy and I said something to the affect of "I wish you were on your way here right now." Little did I know...
Just after midnight that night, I was awakened by a handsome, wonderful man (of course it was Andy). It took me a minute or two to realize that this wasn't a dream. He flew to Ohio and surprised us.
Everyone was asleep when Andy came, so my family was very surprised to see him the next morning.
We had a great weekend with my family. We celebrated Marissa's graduation, ran a race, got Ruby's arm put back in its socket, played with baby ducks, watched Chris take down a hot air balloon, drove the go cart, and relaxed a bit.
Andy scored some big points. What a man!

Sibling Rivalry

While in Ohio I ran a 5K race with 80% of my siblings. I was a little nervous because I have siblings on running teams, former state champions, collegiate athletes, etc. They are talented runners. The pressure was on for me.
The course was an out-and-back route, so we passed each other and cheered each other on. Runners nearby were impressed with all of the people I knew. There were nine of us in the race.
I had a good race. I would love to tell you my time, but they told me as I crossed the line and I promptly forgot it. I was pleased though (and a bit surprised at my speediness).
I finished sixth for the Mars family. I'll take that.
My brother David got second place overall. Marissa won it for the women. Ben won for his age group. I got third place in my age group for women. Alli wore my medal all day long. She was very excited about that.

Here we are (L-R): Chris, Marissa, Ben, Daniel "the Shirtless Wonder", Karyn (holding Ruby), Will, David, Janis, and my niece Margaret. We missed Erik (who had an injury) and Emily (far away in Boston).
There really wasn't much sibling rivalry in this race. It was fun to run with my family.

Sand inbetween my toes

This is what humidity looks like. Whew. Today is a hot one, so we loaded up the stroller and went to the beach. We met our friends Natalie and Dillon, Kaisa and Hyrum, and Beth for a play date and picnic.

Alli bravely ventured into the icy water and then rolled around in the warm sand. She managed to coat herself with sand from head to toe. She collected some little shells and built a sandcastle. She had yogurt infused with sand for lunch.

Ruby took a long nap in the stroller. When she woke up she played in the sand, mostly using her feet to push it around. She took a nosedive into the sand, and with a layer of sticky sunscreen on her face, she looked like she had a sand mask on when she got up. She did not like that.
We came home gritty, tired, pink, and very happy.

Monday, June 18, 2007


I love watching Ruby's personality blossom. She is like Alli in some ways. They have the same laugh. They are both adventurous and unafraid. They are climbers and risk-takers. They love books, baths, music, and each other.
Ruby is a bit shy, but she gets over it quickly. She is picky about food. She has a little temper, but she forgives quickly. She is a biter, but she only bites her mommy. She loves to be chased; she squeals with delight and turns around to make sure she is still being pursued. She hugs with her whole body; she pats your back and rests her head on your shoulder and squeezes you with her thighs. She gets silly when she is too tired.
Ruby is saying a few words now: baby doll, Alli, doggie, duck. She can walk, but she is still wobbly. She is a fast crawler.
It is amazing how much she has grown in one year.

Liberty Park

While in Utah, we spent an afternoon at Liberty Park in Salt Lake City. Liberty Park has an amazing new playground, a water park, pool, aviary, lake, folk art museum, sport courts... but the best part of Liberty Park is the amusement park area. There are just a few rides, and they are vintage. They aren't fancy or sleek or based on licensed characters, like most amusement rides. The rides are classics: a carousel, Ferris wheel, swings, little airplanes and cars.
Alli and Grandma rode the Ferris wheel, laughing together the whole time. Ruby and Alli loved riding the carousel and waving to Aunt Jen. Alli had to fly the pink and purple airplane. Of course. And Alli was a very focused driver in the car. She didn't take her hands off the wheel or her eyes off the road.
We had a picnic in the park and played on the playground too. Ahhh... the simple pleasures.

Second Tri

The first triathlon just wasn't enough. So we did another one. Betsy, Jory, Adam, me, Kendall, and Jen did the Pleasant Grove Triathlon on June 9th. All of Andy's family was in town, so we had a very large and enthusiastic cheering section.
This was another sprint tri (5K run, 8 mile bike, and 500M swim). The run started on the high school track. I ran with Adam. I didn't want him to pass me, and he probably didn't want me to beat him, so we ran together. I did pass him in the transition. I got on my bike faster. He flew past me on the bike though, and that was that. The swim was the last portion, and it was in a pool. I finished in 1:16:28 in 100th place overall.
Andy and his parents, siblings, aunts and uncles were there to cheer us on. Alli cheered too. Ruby didn't cry. My friend Stephanie and her husband Mike came to watch too (they ended up babysitting Ruby-- Thanks!). It was great having a loud cheering section. They made me run/bike/swim a little faster.
I was only planning on doing one triathlon this summer, and now I have two completed. Training has been fun, so maybe I will have to do another.

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Triathlon Picture Link

That is a link to triathlon pictures of me. There are six pictures of the triathlon. Four are of me. Someone must have been confused because two pictures do not belong. Can you guess which ones are not me?

*Andy looked at these and said, "No wonder your transition was so slow."

Monday, June 4, 2007


Drumroll please....

I finished the race! The Salem Triathlon was yesterday. Now that it is behind me, I can say it was fun. When I was in the thick of it, I thought, "What am I doing!?"

The swim was my least favorite part. The mountain altitude made breathing difficult and the open, murky water in the lake threw me off... oh, and the hundred other participants starting in my wave kicking and hitting the whole way made it a little more challenging. I finished the half mile swim in 19:29.

My first transition was slow. My foot got stuck in my wetsuit and I got a charlie horse in my calf as I tried to pull my foot out. 4:14.

The bike I was on was a borrowed mountain bike. It was a very nice bike, but I haven't done much bike riding and it took me a little while to get comfortable with turns and gear-shifting and getting my water bottle in and out. I did 12 miles in 46:25.

The transition from biking to running was much quicker, and less painful. 1:11.

The run started slowly. My legs were a bit tired and my leg cramp was still sore. Spectators along the way put out sprinklers which were very refreshing. The run was only 3.1 miles, and my legs woke up after half a mile or so. I finished strong (still running) in 25:33.

The entire race took 1:36:54. I did it.

(Pictures coming soon... or eventually)