Saturday, April 07, 2012

4/7/12 Big Bunny Fun Run

The race that started it all: the Cupertino Big Bunny Fun Run 5K! I've done this many, many times now, even before I was a runner.

I started running (instead of walking) the Big Bunny when Katrina was a baby, and have run it every year since. We have a LOT of Big Bunny Fun Run T-shirts now!
The Bunny itself got an upgrade: it's gray now (new suit).

Dave and Katrina did the official walk, which is 2.5K (so, about a mile and a half). Doing the walk is really just for goodwill and to support the Parks and Rec department -- and for the T-shirt.

The kids practiced an "on your mark!"

Julian entered the real 5K this year too -- this is the boys just before the starting siren.

I coached Julian to pace himself and to follow the crowd. He was ready and excited and started strong!

Gabriel started faster than I could keep up with, plus I was taking photos of Julian. But I caught him about halfway through the race, passed him, and stayed enough ahead that I was able to take a photo of Gabriel crossing the finish line.

And Julian made it! It took him a lot longer, but he made it!

Katrina's favorite place to be, holding Dad's hand. They both greatly enjoyed the walk together, with a little running in the beginning, but mostly walking.

The 5K runners -- we made it! The clock at the finish line said I did it in 24:40, Gabriel in 25:40 and Julian in 35:20.

I ran harder than I ever have in a race, keeping a pace that meant constant gasping and being out of breath. But once you get to a certain pace, it's almost harder to back off -- especially if you can hear your son's footsteps behind you. But if my time really was 24:40, that means my first 8-minute mile!

A grand success for all of us!


Friday, April 06, 2012

4/6/12 The Photos

What's this? Katrina voluntarily posing for a photo?

And not just any photo, either. Somehow we got the whole family to a nearby office-service business, for passport photos. It's taken months, but I think we finally have everything together, including filled-out applications, and now official photos, to apply for passports. The plan is to trek the whole clan to the post office tomorrow to submit the applications.

And just in time, because my plan is still to go to Vancouver B.C. with Gabriel over Memorial Day weekend.

Katrina just got a whole new bag of hand-me-downs, and is putting together some fascinating outfits. It's embarrassing; every stitch of clothing she's wearing, save underpants and socks, were hand-me-downs from the same family. You'd think I never buy her clothes....actually, I don't. All her pajamas are worn hand-me downs from her brothers, too.

This adorable plaid skort makes her pasty legs look even skinnier than they are.

We had to wait a few minutes while the photos were printing. Meantime, I enjoyed a rare moment, the boys being quiet, and quiet together. I look at my sons sometimes and just marvel. They're really not little kids anymore. They're getting so big and strong, they're so healthy and vigorous and bursting with life.

Not that they always welcome the photographic intrusion, of course. It's rare that they're this calm that I can actually enjoy that instead of angrily correcting them so that their vigor isn't a total nuisance to everyone around them.

After photos, we did something we rarely do anymore: go out to dinner, all of us. It's so hard to round everyone up that this was not an opportunity to be squandered!

Also, I worked really, really hard today -- and I'm glad for it, but I was so fried that I had no energy to cook or clean. Actually, this whole week has been very intense at work. My job is full of surprises, and it's becoming clear it will never be routine or boring. I'm glad my creative energy has an outlet, but it subtracts from any burning desires to try a new recipe.

When we got home from dinner, we did our new Friday night thing: watching "Burn Notice." It's really fun for me watching it with the boys and explaining all the spy stuff to them, and it's great incentive for them to get ready for bed quickly so we can cuddle up on the bed together. I don't think it's generally considered "family fare" but ... well, what can I say. Some families watch kid shows to spend time with the family; I watch Burn Notice to watch Burn Notice, and bonus, shows with lots of stuff blowing up are great fun to watch with boys! They love it. Julian wants to go to Miami now.


Tuesday, April 03, 2012

4/3/12 Heather girl

Last Sunday, many of our plants were ripped out and replaced with little teeny eensy new ones. It's not completely done, so I don't have a full set of photos yet, but this afternoon was the first time I really walked around and looked at the new plants, some in their infancy.

This was inspired by Katrina, who wanted me to take a picture of her with this glorious confetti heather -- one of the mature plants that survived the makeover.

Her fashion sense cracks me up!

Some of our new plants are already flowering, like this little saffron buckwheat (I think).

I love these little salvias too, scrappy and scruffy with small pretty hardy flowers. The first round of landscaping included another variety of salvia, and they are my favorites, flowering year-round. This one will probably do the same too.

The real piece de resistance for me: a manzanita. It's hard to tell in this photo; it's the lightest-green bush in the center of the photo.

These are amazing bushes, with dark, twisted bark, hardy and desert-y. This one is placed to eventually screen the neighbors' driveway across the street somewhat. Behind it is one of those favorite existing red-flowering salvias.

I love the two little plants in front of the manzanita too, I forget what they're called, but they too are California natives of some sort.

I absolutely love the new plants -- all CA natives, and a much larger variety than before. I am going to have so much fun over the years walking around and looking at them, seeing them grow and change, making adjustments and planting new ones from time to time. This is turning from a landscape to a garden, and I just love it!


Monday, April 02, 2012

4/2/2012 Belated April Fools'

The morning started with an impossible search for my iPhone. Turns out, it was right where I'd left it, by my bag to take with me into the car this morning -- but apparently its alarm was on. Gabriel heard it and with baffling, inexplicable kid-logic, took it up to his room, where I'd never find it. So I was iPhone-less today -- ssorry I didn't call you, Mom!

For some reason this weekend I was super tired and sleepy. I was such a zonk we really did nothing, aided by rainy days (yay!). Sunday our new landscapers came by and tore out a lot of mature plants and replaced them with teeny-tiny weed-looking little ones, but I have faith in our new CA Native landscape designer, who does a lot of maintenance work herself. It'll take some time for things to grow out, but I'll like them way better than the smattering of common high-maintenance cheap roses and day lilies we had before. I'm happy to move our landscaping into "gardens" with mostly CA natives.

Tonight, perhaps another April Fool's joke? Katrina ate chicken!! She wanted a drumstick and was actually excited about it -- and she ate some chicken!! This is huge!! She hates chicken! On principle, I think. Or maybe like me, she's just a dark-meat person.

For some reason, today, like the weekend, I feel horrendously exhausted and tired all day .... maybe this early schedule is catching up with me. Every weekday I have to get up so much earlier than I want to, and then to make matters worse, the one day I choose to get up uber-early, Saturdays, wipes me out for the whole day. And Sundays zonked until 11am just isn't enough to recover. But I'm not giving up my Saturday morning run!