Sunday, July 31, 2011

Quote of the Day

Tucker: What are you making?
Me: Diced tomatoes.
Tucker: Dust tomatoes? Ha! That's funny. [Driving around on his truck, looking around the kitchen] I see dust tomatoes!

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Quote of the Day

"I want to watch Build the Bobder!" Tucker (ie Bob the Builder)

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Climbing Stairs, Throwing Food and More

A day in the life of my kiddos....

Tucker singing "Patty Cake" to Molly... though for some reason he has turned it into "Peavey Cheek" instead of Patty Cake.

Molly crawling up the stairs and feeling very pleased with herself. She's only 9 months old, I can't believe she can do this already!

Oops... did I throw that? (Molly eating.)

Tucker explaining why it's necessary for Molly to swing with Ducky. I listen to these explanations all day long (and they are usually much more elaborate!)

Molly pics

Molly loves to smile for the camera so I get so many good pictures. She's a cutie!!!!

This is her doing her favorite activity: organizing our CDs/DVDs. It's Austin and my favorite activity too, because she doesn't ask to be held.

Garden of Eden

A month ago our garden looked impressive, but we weren't actually doing a lot of eating from it. The bounty arrived a couple weeks ago, and we are striving to keep up. Austin is an amazing, devoted gardener and Tucker is his little apprentice. Tucker can't help himself but spend his days in the garden. Every opportunity he is out there checking for raspberries and corn and cucumbers.
Amazing corn...

Next year we'll do bush beans so it's easier for Tucker to pick

Raspberries and blackberries are threatening to take over the world!

We planted lettuce in a pot on the north side of the house this year so we can have some even when it is really hot--we need to do more next year because it worked!

I love winter squash!

Good thing we have a whole field of it!!!

These are our cukes starting to climb a trellis (we succession planted them after the sugar snap peas).

LOTS of tomatoes. I think I have some canning to do! We are especially loving the Roma tomatoes.

We actually have peppers this year!

Tomatoes and blackberries from today...

Tomatoes from yesterday (plus the pot of tomato soup I made in the fridge!)

Carrots galore!

My gardening efforts with the flowers are so sad compared to Austin's green thumb in the vegetable garden. But then again, my "efforts" are just about nonexistent!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Quotes of the Day

"We're skipping rest time just like chickens!" -Tucker

Friday, July 22, 2011

Heat Wave

It's hot here today. The heat index was supposed to be 118 degrees because of the unprecedented humidity (and this is Virginia, it's always humid here), though the actual temperature was "only" in the low 100s.

What I really want to say, though, is that my beloved husband is crazy. He worked out today, outside, lifting weights, at 3 o'clock in the afternoon. The temperature in the weight shed? 107 degrees. Really? Who does that?

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Quote of the Day

"When will we blow dry the bananas?" -Tucker

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

T-minus Four Months...

...until my first marathon! I've always figured I'd do one sometime or other, so a couple of months ago I felt like I needed a personal challenge that broke the monotony of stay-at-home-motherhood and decided why not now?

So far training is going well. I have some nagging IT bands (knee) that like to get tight, but nothing that ice isn't keeping under control. This is impressive to me because I always get hurt when I run on treadmills, but because of the summer heat and a lack of childcare, I'm having to do a lot of my running in the gym where they will take my kiddos.

I'm doing a local training program, though I haven't actually started doing my long runs with them (apparently for Nov. marathons, you don't actually need to really increase your mileage substantially til end of July/beginning of August). But the great thing about this training program is that I'm learning a lot of interesting tidbits about running.
1) The less noise you hear when your foot strikes the road, the less pounding you're putting on your body. This is totally obvious, but I never knew that before.

2) The most common cause of shin splints after bad shoes is over-striding (taking too long of a stride). For every 20 seconds, one foot should land on the ground 30 times. This is easy to count when you run.

3) Hydration belts are awesome. I haven't been drinking anything on my long runs until this past week when I got a Nathan hydration belt. It was amazing, and it made 12 miles feel like a breeze.

4) The closer your long run gets to being 50% of your miles for the week, the likelihood you'll get injured goes way up.

5) The best treadmill ever is a Woodway. It is unlike any other treadmill I've been on. It's full suspension with rubber treads and feels like you're running on air.

6) Running at a 0% incline on a treadmill is like running on a .5% negative slope outside, so I always set my incline to at least 1%.

7) The first mile should always be your slowest, and the first 3 miles of a marathon should be your slowest.

The training program has all these pace charts about your marathon potential based on your average long run pace, and a two mile time trial. It's fascinating, but I feel like it's baloney. I can't imagine finishing in less than 4:30 but the pace charts say my race potential is closer to 4. Riiiight.

Probably the most helpful thing about the training program is that I have to fill out a detailed daily training log so it is keeping my nose to the grindstone and me on target to meet my weekly mileage targets. Right now I'm at 30, but I think the goal is to be at 55 before November.

Two Pleasant Surprises: Pingo and HP Customer Service

I have had two really great experiences lately with companies. First is Pingo, a calling card company. I know, no one uses calling cards anymore, except me, but if you do, Pingo's the way to go. It has an easy access number to remember (1-888-YO-PINGO) and it recognizes the phone you're calling from so you can just enter the number you want to call directly. Amazing. They need to do a better job advertising... or maybe the problem is that there are so many other random calling card companies out there advertising it's hard to wade through the junk and figure out which one's actually have a decent product.

My second commendation of the night is for Hewlett Packard customer service. My laptop has been having a power issue, and since it's under warranty, I've needed to be in contact with them. First, I didn't have to call and wait and talk to anyone at any point during my experience. Instead, I just had to email, and tech support got back to me within a couple hours EVERY SINGLE TIME. Amazing. The tech support didn't work and I had to mail it in for a repair (twice). Then they forgot to send my power cord back. Then they only sent half a power cord back. So I'm not saying HP necessarily has great computers, or that they are good at repairing them... but at least they are responsive and it is an easy process. THAT is worth a lot to me. If it was Dell I would have had to be on the phone for hours and hours to deal with these issues. I probably would have just given up.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Tucker's Steadfast Love

Over the past year Tucker's interests have broadened from a fixation on moving vehicles to art and music and books (along with enduring favorites gardening and home improvement). But two things remain that have stood the test of time: Tucker's ride-on plastic truck and the Wheels on the Bus CD. It is amazing to me the enduring charm of these two things. Tucker never tires of them. Obsessed is another word. I'll be interested to see if Tucker makes a fuss when Molly starts loving his ride-on truck too.

In other news, Tucker has started napping again. He's napped more in the past couple months than in the year before that. Bizarre but nice (except for the fact that I lose Molly's entertainment for the afternoon when he sleeps).

Molly's Accomplishments

Molly is taking off right now and I am running behind, trying to keep up. She has been scooching around a bit for several weeks, but yesterday she perfected a true let's-chase-a-ball-across-the-room crawl. A few days ago she also learned how to pull herself up. Yesterday I watched my little baby crawl over to her brother playing at the train table and pull herself up next to him to play with him. How can she possibly be that big already? It is amazing.

I've spent today trying to make our house a little bit more safe for her now that she has access to everything knee height and below. It's a challenge with Tucker around too. I sequestered all his tiny toys and removed the balloons Tucker loves to play with (choking hazard if they pop), and then vacuumed everything is sight, especially the bugs that somehow come into our house and die on the floor. Molly apparently finds them fascinating and tasty.

It's so fun watching her enjoy her new abilities, but it is a tough stage for me. She pulls up, but she has no sense to hang on. She pulls up but she's wobbly and falls backwards or forwards. And she has radar for little shiny objects like coins.

Her other amazing accomplishment is four new teeth that have poked through in the past week, all at once. She is celebrating this accomplishment with no longer wanting baby food. Her skills at regular food are a bit lacking at this point, so mealtimes consist of her yelling at us, not wanting to be in her high chair, and then trying to grab our food and fling it onto the floor when we hold her.

Wishing you a belated Happy Fourth of July! Here are pics from the neighborhood parade that Tucker and Molly marched in in Annapolis.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Warrior Princess Shouting

Today we were pondering the meaning of names on our ride back from spending the Fourth of July in Annapolis. Molly spent most of the ride home yelling at us, loudly. That girl is feisty! At 8 months old she is starting to crawl, can go from lying down to sitting up, and is generally about ready to conquer the world. She likes to yell during mealtime, regardless of whether she likes what she's eating or wants to continue to eat. Austin was speculating in the car that maybe "Molly" means "little lion ready to devour daddy" or something like that. The actual meaning is "bitter" (or, if you want to be all positive on us, "of the sea"). I don't think our Molly is bitter, I think the meaning really should be "warrior princess emitting blood-curdling screams" or something like that.

As for the rest of us...

Tucker: Derived from the Old English verb "to torment", for someone who softens freshly woven cloth by beating and trampling it under water. Hmmm... I'm not sure what else to say.

Jacqueline (female version of Jacques, which is a version of Jacob): 1) May God protect or 2) Supplanter (ie Jacob supplanted Esau's birthright). So I guess I'm a protector and poser at the same time.

Austin: Great or Magnificent. Boring (not you, sweetie!).