Saturday, August 27, 2011

First Bike Ride

At the end of August, I completed my first long distance bike ride. I was at a ward dinner last year talking to our friends, the Van Wagnens. Rod Van Wagnen loves to cycle and has done a lot of different bike rides. At the time, I was really pregnant, but I told him we should train for the Copper Triangle in 2011. I have done a lot of running races and triathlons and was ready to do something a little different. In April our early Saturday morning rides began, and every Saturday morning from then until August we were out riding. I loved it. Rod is in the Air Force, so most Saturdays we spent riding around the Academy in Colorado Springs which is so pretty and just perfect for cycling.

The Copper Triangle Course

The Copper Triangle is a really popular bike ride in Colorado because over the course of the ride you climb up three different mountain passes and end up climbing a total of about 6,000 ft. It is a beautiful scenic mountain ride and can be challenging, but to my surprise in all my cycling I found that I was better at climbing hills than anything else.

When I was training I was worried about making it up Vail Pass because I rode up it many years ago with Foote for one of our first dates and I remembered that it was a HARD climb. Foote had originally planned for our date to ride down Vail pass spend some time in Vail and catch a bus back up, but after riding down it I thought it can't be that hard to go back up. Lets just say after one of the longest most exhausting afternoons of my life. I spent about 70% of the ride walking my bike up the hill and getting passed by 70 year old men telling me to get back on my bike. It was not a great cycling moment for me.

Luckily, this time I trained for Vail pass and it was no problem. I completed the whole ride in just over six hours. I kept having to remind myself that I was on a ride not a race. It is a totally different mindset than running. You are supposed to take your time enjoy your stops on the course and despite my attempts to take it slow I still ended up flying through the course. I think I was afraid if I allowed myself to rest to long I would not get back on the bike. I am definitely going to have to do this ride again.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Why do you make me work so hard?

Tonight while eating Dinner. I was having a discussion with the girls about chores. Aly is usually a pretty good little helper, as long as she is in a good mood. Brooklyn, on the other hand, can not seem to manage doing a chore without first complaining about it for at least three times as long as it would actually take to complete the task. Tonight I told the girls they needed to empty the dishwasher. I have them do it as a team, so one can be up on the counter and the other can hand up the dishes. I know, most moms would prefer to keep their kids off the counter, but mine always climb up there anyways, so they might as well do something helpful in the process.

The deal was, that they had to complete the chore before they could have dinner. Brooklyn immediately began to whine "why do you make us work so much?". My responses are usually something like "Because I am a mean mom who loves to torture her kids." or "I love to pretend like I am Miss Hannigan, and you are my orphans and have you to clean the whole house".

Foote on the other hand trys to take the loving approach and help them realize the benefit of respondsibilities. At dinner Foote asks Brooklyn " When you grow up an have a house do you think you will want your house to be clean or dirty?" Brookie replied "Clean." Foote - "Will you want your house vacuumed?", Brookie - "yes" Foote - "How will you know how to vacume your house if you never practice." long pause Brookie -"Well, when I was at Grandma's house, she told Ann how to vacuum in a straight line and I was listening to her, so I know how to vacuum." Foote - "Don't you think you will need to practice" Brookie - "No I was listening so, I will just remember." Leave it up to brook to justify herself out of chores.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Kindergarten: This is serious stuff

Two weeks before school started, I had already received about ten different e-mails from Aly's school. We decided to enroll Aly in one of the Charter schools within our district, but I was beginning to panic by the amounts of information I was required to review before that first day. So here it is; first, uniforms. We were provided with very specific instructions on what qualifies as khaki and what is just khaki, colored denim. Polos - what are acceptable colors, no designs of any kind. Belts need to match the shoes. The instructions go on and on. I have to admit that the uniforms are great now that school has started. There have been no arguments on why she can't wear her favorite tie dye shirt that is two sizes to big, or why she can't wear an outfit of all the same color just different shades. It makes getting her ready for school fast and easy.

Next email: specific instructions on how traffic is supposed to flow at drop off and pick up. With 400 kids at the school and no buses...lets just say things get a little crazy. I have to say I am very impressed by how well organized things are, Although I did get in trouble by the traffic Nazi the first day of school, for allowing my child out of the wrong side of the car. This is serious stuff. School clubs, PTO, the list goes on and on. I am now officially part of the "My Child is in School and Will be for a Long Long Time" club. Not to mention the kids to follow. This craziness will get to be multiplied as each child enters a new school year.

Two weeks into the school year and, Aly has homework about every night. A spelling test and a phonogram test every week. I am glad that she is in a school that is challenging her, but I do not remember Kindergarten being so hard. I remember my biggest stress about Kindergarten, was what center I would get to play at during our indoor playtime.

Another drama that is part of the daily school routine is that Aly refuses to walk into her class by herself. This is a little challenging since three days a week Aly has to be to school at 12:00 and Brooklyn has to be at school a few miles away at 12:15. We have to try to time our arrival at school at the same time as her other classmates so she will have someone to walk into class with. Otherwise I have to park the car, get out, and spend an extra ten minutes saying goodbye and coaxing her into her classroom.

School time Seriously?

I may be the only mother that wants to stand up and protest, but these summers are just way to short. I always have a list of about 100 things I would like to do with my kids over the summer, and I am usually lucky to do five. This summer we spent our time poolside, camping, and at the library.

Colorado Springs, within the last few years, has become the target of the hardcore gyms. You know the ones that are "112,000 sq ft of healthy luxury" (whatever that's supposed to mean?) I guess working out is supposed to be more enjoyable if it is at a pretty the way, not true. Since these gyms were just getting their start I was able to get some good deals that would assure us that we could at least spend the summer at a pool. Alyson, Brooklyn and Dwyn logged a lot of swimming hours this year. Brooklyn was one of the youngest to pass the swimming test. She had to swim 25 meters on her own, in deep water. She passed with flying colors. Alyson is finally tall enough to go down the slide, which made Brooklyn determined that she should be tall enough also. Despite being told by life guards on multiple occasions, that Brooklyn was to small, she took every opportunity she could to sneak down the slide....Despite my continual warnings.

This is where we lived this summer or at least an exact replica of the our pool I think this one is in Texas.

Camping - I have decided that one of my dream vacations is to just camp all summer long. As soon as the kids get out of school we would take off on a road trip across the US and see some of the sites, camping all along the way. If we like the place we stay an extra night, if not we just move on to the next campsite. If kids are dirty, who cares were camping? If I eat completely unhealthy, who cares I am camping? I haven't quite figured out how Foote is supposed to work while we are camping all across the US, but I am determined that one of these summers we are going to do it.

Brooklyn loves everything about camping.

Foote wants the girls to learn how to set up their own tent. Aly had a great time helping.

The camping face.....Who cares? We're camping.

Library - Both of the girls really got away with slacking off on their reading this summer. I usually make them read at least 20 min a day during the week, but this summer we were just to busy playing and I let them slack off. They did the bare minimum to get all their prizes with the summer reading program and loved getting out of their daily reading.

Enjoying running through the fountains after listening to a concert in the park. This is what summer is all about

Alas...It has all come to an end. Aly started Kindergarten on the 3rd of August, and Brooklyn started preschool this week. So I will now have to move the other 95 items to my to do list for next summer. Hope you all had a great summer full of fun experiences and lots of adventures.

Aly ready for the first day of school