Saturday, April 07, 2007

4/7/07 The Big Bunny Fun Run

I did it!!

I finished the Big Bunny Fun Run, my first 5K race! And ran the whole way!!

I had a major advantage: Sonia, a 2004 & 2006 Mom who's a serious runner and who's been giving me advice all week. I figured I'd see how far I'd get running behind her, and ended up drafting her the whole way. I didn't want her to feel like she had to pace down on my account, so figured I'd just stay in a "zone" (mental and physical) behind her.

Good call. Sonia's so experienced that she runs a good, even pace, and knows how to deal with the jogging stroller. Of course, she was barely out of breath, chatting with her son, while I was panting heavily behind her, hoping to stick it out just a little longer.

Then I realized we were getting close to the end! So I sped up and revealed myself to Sonia, then asked if she sprints the finishes. She said no, but sweetly and supportively suggested I do if I wanted to. I wasn't sure, but she was so encouraging I decided to try! A tactical mistake, as it was too far from the finish and much too long a sprint for me, but I made it!

It was actually harder than I expected. I am so not a runner! My whole body feels the effort now, and not really in a good way. I love exertion and effort, but the muscle stiffening I get from running makes the dancer in me cringe. Perhaps if I'm going to continue finding my inner athlete, I have to start swimming again. It gets me thinking about mini-triathlons....except that my tricky sacro-iliac joint rules out cycling.

But my accomplishment, if you can call it that, was more than matched by Betsy's -- she ran it with a double jogging stroller, and she hadn't even planned to run it! Not easy pushing 45 pounds of children, not to mention the stroller itself, and not having even intended to do it! Betsy's suggested that we try running at Rancho San Antonio before, and I always balked because, I repeat, I am not a runner...but it might be worth trying.

Oh yeah, it didn't occur to me to think about time, even though this was a race! Sonia told me later that I ran it in (under?) 28 minutes. Calibration for the next one?! I am NOT a runner!

Photos below!

One goofy comment about photos, but I hope there are other ladies out there who understand...: I have to admit, I had an odd vanity moment while choosing what to wear. I knew I'd be scrapbooking the pictures, and wanted a nice bright cheery color for the photos. But I absolutely love this "textured muscle tank" from Athleta -- it's light, soft, long, fits great...and it's dark brown. I almost chose a different tank, but then thought: Come ON! I always chooses function over form. The brown tank is perfect.

But later, I got a validation from an unlikely source: my husband. Dave said very sweetly that I looked great, but he'd have liked to see me in a brighter color for this grandiose event. He's right! What am I doing wearing earth tones on Easter?! Such a fashion faux pas. (p.s. note: Athleta seems to have discontinued this tank top; I remember now that I ordered the brown because it was the only color available. Too bad, I LOVE it.)

Now, time for a hot bath.

#276 and co-pilot checked in and ready to go! Errr...does anyone know where we're actually running?

Helen, me and Betsy before the race, surrounded by our sons. Helen is another 2004 double-boy-Mom (as Sonia, Betsy and I are), but she's such a trained athlete that this was barely a warmup for her. She was gone within seconds of the start.

Gabriel checks out the Big Bunny, which Julian, like many kids, was afraid of.

Katrina and the Bunny.

Surveying the competition.

Stretching nervously while chatting with Helen and Sonia.

Just about to start!

On your mark...get set...GO! (They really say that! With help from an air horn.) And they're off!

Sprinting to the finish line

Me, Betsy and Sonia afterward. We did it!

I'm still not so sure about running, but I definitely liked being part of this event and having such terrific friends to do it with. What fun!


4/7/07 Katrina's first high chair

This morning we all went to Bobbi's for a late breakfast. Katrina hasn't been there since being a tiny sleeping newborn! She loved it. All kids do.

She was happy sitting in the stroller for much of the time, but then got tired of that, so we tried her in a high chair for a few minutes. She seems to have the strength to sit up, but not the balance, so the chair supported her enough that she could sit in fine.

She really, really wants to sit up and look around, and got a big kick out of this new perspective.

Katrina loves being entertained by her brothers -- no one can make her laugh like they can. But it goes both ways, too. Here she is attempting to grab a spoon, to no end of amusement of the boys.

Of course the table itself was tasty too.

The boys were determined not to give me a good picture, so made faces instead of smiling. Little did they know how cute they were being anyway!

But they couldn't resist my sudden "blahp!" sounds.

Gabriel's chicken legs look even skinnier in his soccer socks.

More mini-naps from baby this afternoon. Agh! Good thing she's so cute. And, for the most part, agreeable. Just needs a lot of attention is all. Which I'm quite happy to provide during the day.


Friday, April 06, 2007

4/6/07 Katrina's spoons

Dave had the day off today, and all kids were in daycare/preschool/pre-K this morning. Yay!

You'd think this would have been a good opportunity to have a nice leisurely breakfast together or something, but my prime #1 goal was to catch up on sleep. Katrina, once again, up twice last night, and after the second time, didn't go right back to sleep. I'm building a serious sleep debt, and I'm hating life again. This has to change. So our time windfall was spent with me napping away the morning, and waking up needing more.

I tried feeding Katrina again today, this time when she was in a better mood, and it went pretty well. She might even have swallowed a few drops this time!

Still, at this stage, it's all about getting used to the process, and to that end, we succeeded. I gave her a spoon to play with so she could get used to the feel of it in her mouth, and she loved that.

She's quickly developed the technique of closing her mouth firmly juuust as the spoon arrives, but I managed to beat her to the punch this time.

My "training" goal for today was to rest, since tomorrow is the Big Bunny Fun Run (!). However, I was so desperately tired on Thursday, not to mention busy, that I didn't get to work out at all. So Thursday became my "rest" day (whatever "rest" means when you have a baby who doesn't sleep through the night and hardly naps...oh yeah not to mention the two brothers), and instead today became a workout day.

It's like cramming for a test. I've run exactly twice since deciding to run in this 5K. Not exactly a rigorous training schedule! But it's a perfect, low-key, fun event to try my hand -- er, feet -- in running.


Thursday, April 05, 2007

4/5/07 Katrina's 6-month birthday

Big day! Hence the retroactive blog entry.

My replacement camera arrived!

Took the little kids to the Grand National Rodeo.

We had to leave early to pick up Gabriel, which, in retrospect, was silly. I just should have brought him.

Katrina was very excited by her first show cow.

Julian, hesitant as usual, though I did persuade him to pet a cow later.

Mom seriously dragging all day, the lack of a full night's -- never mind good night's -- sleep, is taking its toll.

Katrina tried rice cereal for the first time, on her 6-month birthday. Not a fan so far. Nonstop grabbing a big impediment!

In fact, Katrina's grabbiness has really ramped up, turning many procedures, such as making dinner, from difficult to impossible.

Another Katrina development: signs of separation anxiety from Mom. This is new to Mom, who is always so ragged and tired and grouchy and mean that she doesn't feel deserving of it.

The day was rescued by a fruit dropoff from Betsy, which turned into a brief impromptu playdate with the White kids.

They sure all had fun running around together.

Last skating class tonight, wah! I'm still debating taking another 13-week session, though without Dave this time. He's done, but I'm just getting started!


Wednesday, April 04, 2007

4/4/07 Training

Wednesday morning, I have part of it "off," with Katrina and Julian at Tonya's.

This morning, I tried hard to get the younger two to Tonya's early enough to have time to do things before Julian's skating class. I succeeded...and failed. I got them both there by 8am, but was far too tired to do anything. In fact, I spent most of the day dragging around looking for a nap. Katrina now wakes me up reliably once a night, sometime between 3am-4am. I'm never sure if she's really hungry or not, but once I start feeding her for real (this weekend!), she'll lose the benefit of the doubt, and I'm going to be a lot less gracious about nighttime nursing.

Despite overwhelming tiredness, I succeeded in shopping at Trader Joe's this afternoon after picking them all up. I know, I have it backward. I'm supposed to use my time without the kids to grocery-shop, not grocery-shop after picking them all up, right?!

You'll never guess what I'm doing this week. Really, you won't. Ready?

I'm "training," if you can call it that, to run in a 5K race!

The Big Bunny Fun Run is this coming Saturday, and I got this wild hair just a few days ago. My goal is only to complete the race in a non-walking gait, but I'm prepared to drop down to a walk if need be. It's 3.1 miles, so the odds are high that the need will be.

I've never run in a real race before. The closest I've ever done were the "mile runs" at St. Ann's, when I was in elementary school. In 4th grade, I achieved a 5-mile pin, by running around a concrete track that was 1/7th of a mile, in a park somewhere in Brooklyn Heights. (I wonder if that track is still there?) I guess a 9-year-old can run 5 miles without any training or modern high-tech footwear. Let's see if this 43-year-old can accomplish far less than that!

My mom-pals are all going to a rodeo at the Cow Palace tomorrow, and I'm sorely tempted to join them. It was a lot of fun last year. Though I really need to go to the Y tomorrow to "train," I'm a lot less motivated to do outings like that without Gabriel (he'll be in pre-K tomorrow morning). So unfair, I know, because there's still Julian, and he might get a huge kick out of it. Certainly if I had just Gabriel at age 3-1/4, I'd have gone. So why not if it's just Julian? Yeah, partly it's dealing with a baby....but I'd do it if Gabriel were around. I guess the negative of dealing with the baby would be outweighed if I had two kids who'd get something out of it, not just one. Poor Julian. The middle-child syndrome abounds.

This is why I want to pull Gabriel out of every-day pre-K starting in June. I want to do things with him too this summer, and not be bound by a 1pm pickup every day. I hope I don't regret that, 'cause the boys together are often a major, royal, supreme, stunning pain in the rear end!


Tuesday, April 03, 2007

4/3/07 Appointments

Today Katrina had her 6-month appointment, and Gabriel had his 5-year-old appointment, including the final shots he needs to enter kindergarten. Julian was along for the ride, and mostly provided opportunities for displays of worn and futile parental nagging.

On the way to the doctor's, Gabriel asked me what he was going for, and I said, "Well, you're going to get s-h-o-t-s," you know, like you'd spell "v-e-t" for a dog. But he said right away, "Oh, shots!" So much for the spell trick. He is reading things around us ALL the time now -- signs, ads in newspapers, things on boxes; always pointing out words and phrases and sometimes even short sentences.

Checking in for the appointment, I was taken aback when the nurse handed me a Dixie cup with Gabriel's name on it. Oh great! After 3 pregnancies, I myself am very familiar with the "provide a sample" routine, but for someone else?! Even my own son? The nurse assured me that most boys think it's great fun to pee into a cup, and certainly Gabriel was no different.


Katrina: 13lbs 8oz (10%), 26-1/4" long (25%)

Gabriel: 34.5 lbs (3%), 42" tall (25%)

Katrina's only put on 8 oz since her 4-month appointment. Being 13-1/2 pounds by itself isn't a problem, but her rate of weight gain slid to a screeching halt. So, she'll be carrying on the fine tradition of weight checks for Doudna babies, in a month.

It's pretty clear we won't be forward-facing her at one year old -- she'd have to put on 6.5 pounds in six months, very unlikely. Even skinny Gabriel weighed 14 lbs 14 oz at 6 months old, and he didn't weigh the requisite 20 pounds for forward-facing until he was 19 months old! Katrina's on track to lag even more.

Other than that, there was little to say; she's boringly normal and perfect.

The big news, however, is that Gabriel didn't do so well on a routine hearing screning.

The test involved putting headphones on him, then playing a beep sound, and he'd respond by putting a block in a bowl when he heard something. Consistently at various frequencies, he needed the volume to be higher than normal, and overall this effect was more pronounced in his right ear than left.

We've had concerns on and off about his hearing before, but then he'd seem fine, then there'd be another time we'd wonder, then he'd be fine again, but we've never followed up. NOW we're following up with an audiologist next week, for a thorough analysis of his hearing ability -- or loss.

I ordered a new camera today -- same kind as my old one, thanks largely in part to the informative and entertaining Web site by an apparent volunteer enthusiast,
Ken Rockwell. I should get it Friday. I feel so....lost! without one.

I went to the Y and pounded my body again tonight. It makes up for the mental and emotional pounding I get during the day.


Monday, April 02, 2007

4/2/07 Camera shy

I'm still shy one camera! I tried to get one at Best Buy tonight, but they stopped carrying the model I have. Doing some brief research tells me that the Canon SD700 IS I had is still well-suited for my uses, and I have all the accoutrements. So I might as well get one of the same thing.

Hard to blog when I don't have any photos to remind me what happened today! It's all a blur. Gabriel and Julian in preschool, Katrina at home not napping as usual. I took her to Supreme Court, my old gym, for a "power weights" class. The afternoon was spent peeling the boys apart and frantically taking care of things in the office while she took a decent afternoon nap.

I need a camera!


Sunday, April 01, 2007

4/1/2007 Camera crash

I've made a shocking decision. Shocking for me, anyway.

Today is the last day I will post a blog entry. It's just too much to keep up with every day, and I don't seem capable of writing and summarizing just once a week. I have to break this blog habit. It torments me. I need it, but it controls me. It's not so much blogging per se, but my lifelong relentless urge to write. It's a demon that's time has come to be conquered. And this will be the first step. I'll leave this blog up for a few weeks, and then that's it.

Camera crisis! Again!!

The day I got my new Canon Powershot SD700 IS, with its slim and smooth design, I handed it to Dave -- and it promptly squirted out of his hands and clattered onto the floor. "Damn!" he exclaimed, picked it up, and then dropped it again. "PUT MY NEW CAMERA DOWN!!" I demanded. The camera was fine, and since has withstood much abuse.

Until this afternoon, when it met with what I appears to be its untimely demise. I dropped it with the lens open, and the lens took a direct hit. After that, it won't open or close the lens properly, and the photos are bleached and covered with striations. I'll ask first thing tomorrow about fixing it, but I have a feeling I'm in for another new one. Drat!!!!

Steph told me today that my niece Remi LOVES watching videos of her baby cousine Katrina, so I'll be putting up a lot more Katrina videos for her. Here's Katrina this morning, "reading" the Sunday Funnies with Dave. That's Julian at the end of the clip saying, "don't eat the newspaper!"

Wouldn't it be nice if Gabriel and Julian -- and Katrina -- could see videos and photos of their Eastern cousins too? Steph commented today that Remi was being very cute, and I said, "I can only imagine!"

Here is the last photo my sister sent me -- in March 2006. I have more recent photos that I took myself of Aidan and Remi last summer. (OK, there was the Christmas video of Remi dropping an instrument that the boys think is hilarious, but that's not the same thing.) Steph's life is packed, so don't harass her often for this lapse in visual communication -- until now that is. Perhaps this public humiliation will prompt her to send me pictures!! Ironically, my sister is a photographer and has an excellent SLR camera, and her husband is also an excellent photographer (and chef....oh, if only!!).

I told Gabriel and Julian today that the Engels are coming to visit in July, and ran through the list of the whole family. When I got to Andreas, Gabriel said with delight, "Uncle Andreas knows a lot about bugs!"

Today Dave hauled three pickup-loads full of JUNK to the dump. Yay! The boys took turns going with him, as there is no higher honor than getting to ride with Dad to the dump in the pickup.

Meantime, I took Katrina on a short jog around the neighborhood. I ran probably less than a mile, but it was hard to do. I think running outdoors is harder than on a treadmill, as there's wind, surface and elevation changes and all these other factors. However, in many ways, it is more enjoyable, especially when I can look down at the jogging stroller and see my baby's feet wiggling around.

This afternoon, Katrina spent some time lying on the floor playing. I thought I'd try a new angle to capture her...I don't know if this works, but I happened to get her losing her keys above her head, groping for the, finding them, and losing them again. Just like me with my keys.

Katrina tried sitting up briefly, but even this quick attempt at a photo resulted in a tipover.

She's still sort-of content lying on her back and kicking her feet around, for now.

Then Gabriel came in and hovered over her, playing. Though this often makes me nervous, since he'll do things like try to brush her eyelashes with his filthy fingers, he's really very tender and sweet to her. And she absolutely adores him.

Though Dave and I did a lot of work this weekend, it felt like a real weekend. Perhaps because of the work.


p.s. APRIL FOOLS! Of course I'm not stopping the blog!! The demon lives on!