Wednesday, August 27, 2008
Sunday, August 24, 2008
The highlight of the week was definitely the Maybury Chapter Benefit Time Trial. Ryan has competed in this race every year, and for the past two years had entered the beginning category and won his age group. This year, with the time trial format, he felt comfortable moving up a category into Sport. The official results have not yet been posted online as of this post, but Ryan placed 5th in his age group from viewing the unofficial results at the race. It was an extremely hot day for a race, and Ryan was given the start time of 1:08:30, which was probably about the hottest part of the day. The nice thing about the afternoon start was that the whole family was able to come out to watch. Both of our parents were in attendance, and helped with Keira so that I could go run/bike around to see Ryan on the course. I used my mom's camera on the course, so I don't have those pictures available. Unfortunately, I should have brought her with me to take the pictures, because I did have a slight issue on my part with the camera, and missed the best shot, but did get a couple others that I think will be better than my practice shots. Here is Ryan at the start. Each rider was spaced 30 seconds apart, with larger breaks between the age group and category divisions to keep everyone apart somewhat.
Here is Ryan heading down the finish chute. My mom got a great shot of him from the front going across the finish line. I will have to add that to this post or as a new one once I get the photos.
This is probably the best picture of Keira during the wait. She was such a trooper, and it helped that there was a playground and swings nearby the finish. The slides were too hot to use, so she couldn't do as much as she wanted.
After the race, Kris, Linda, Bob, Miriam, Ryan, Keira and I ate at a Northville restaurant called The Deadwood. This is a popular place with the Northville Road Runners, so I guess we should not have been surprised that as we were leaving, the parking lot was filling with other racers from the Maybury race. It is apparently popular with runners and mountain bikers alike. Then we split up to do some shopping with my parents to pick out Ryan's upcoming birthday present from them. We randomly all met back up at REI, where they were having a great sale, and all traveled to Kris and Linda's for dessert. This was the scene at Kris and Linda's when we got there- 8 ducks on their roof! After a great dessert, Ryan, Keira and I went home, while my parents enjoyed the spacious accommodations for the night at Kris and Linda's before heading to Ohio.
On Friday, Ryan had his department picnic at Parr Park on Hines Drive. It was very very hot, and Keira did not nap prior to going to the picnic, so needless to say, she was a bit crabby. She only wanted to play on the playground or eat the m&ms off of cookies that were there. I eventually brought her home early while Ryan finished up socializing with his coworkers.
I had brought a fabulous dessert that was super easy to make. It came from Gina E from our ward, but it is very similar to a dessert that I saw on Minde's blog. I used 1 pack of oreos, put in a food processor, combined with 1 pack of cream cheese, and just formed them into balls, froze, and dipped them in chocolate. I didn't do any of the fancy decorating, but I believe that this recipe would work just as well to form into the cute cupcakes. It was pretty fast and easy to make, and I am sure they tasted just the same as if they had been decorated fancy.
After Keira got her nap, we went to Maybury so Ryan could get one final peek at the changes to the course specific to the race. He practiced the start and the finish, however, there was an additional section that he was not aware of until the race day. He handled it well, though.
Thursday was spent running a few errands in preparation for the picnic, including making the above mentioned dessert. We were originally going to meet up with a friend at the mall for lunch, but that fell through, so I did end up taking Keira over there to play for a bit. Here is a slightly blurry action shot of her jumping off of the lollipop, one of her favorite activities. My camera is just not set up for indoor/low light action shots.
We also went to the pool. Since we only have another week or so of it being open, we tried to take advantage of it this week.
Wednesday was a really busy morning. First, we had our second (and possibly final) gymnastics class at FGC. Keira really enjoyed it again, and I do hope to put her in a class this fall, but may investigate less expensive gym. Immediately following, we went over to Rebecca's house where we were expecting several others, but it was only us that made it. Rebecca had gone all out and brought out all of her fun outdoor toys, including a roller coaster from Step 2. I should have taken some pictures of Keira on it. She wasn't sure after her first ride, but after a second turn, couldn't get enough. We will be trying again next week or so to get the group together at her home, so maybe we will have some photos of it later on. We also hit the pool again.
On Tuesday, we started out the day with a Kindermusik class, that was very well attended by Keira's little friends (and my friends). I had a dr's appt immediately following, so we didn't have much time to corral everyone for a group shot. Valerie made it with Katie and Luke. Here is Katie giving Keira a big hug.
Here are Keira and Dominic. We tried to get Genevieve in the picture too, so she got her own shot.
The dr's appt went well, and we were able to meet up with Ryan for lunch at Chipotle. It was at this lunch that he received some odd work news- the reorg meeting that he had missed earlier in the morning had him going to Mexico (and not a good area where the rest of the family could come too), and his coworker wanted to go in his place! This created a flurry of confusion, and it is looking very very likely that this will not be happening. We are still waiting for the "official" word that he will have a different and safer assignment. After work, we went to Maybury so that I could practice more shots, and they still were not good, even playing with the settings on the camera. Here is a cute on of Keira playing with the infant carrier attachment strap that we never took off of the stroller.
Monday was a day that I had thought I had all carefully planned out, but it didn't work out entirely as I planned, but it was just as well. The Mazda had not been sounding right since we had some work done on it in April, in fact, it sounded worse after they worked on it, and we had been told that it was normal, but when the battery episode happened, the mechanics at the dealership confirmed our suspicions, and wanted us to bring it back once the battery was fixed. The noise was loudest and longest when it was hot and the car had been driven for a while, so I couldn't just take it straight there from our home. I was waiting for a day when we had a borrowed car from Kris and Linda that Ryan could use for going to work, leaving me with both our vehicles in case I couldn't get a rental right away. So, Monday was the day. We were going to go out to Kindermusik in the morning first, then Home Depot, then the dealership. We were worried about having enough time to do everything before lunchtime, and thought we would possibly do Home Depot later, after naptime. We didn't check the time for the kindermusik, and ended up getting there at the end and missing the majority of it. This was a new one to the calendar, with a new location. Fortunately, it was in the same shopping center as a different Home Depot than I had originally thought of, so we used the time we thought we would be at the class to go there, and then drove to the dealership. I waited until I had a large group of workers gathered around before turning the car off to have them listen to the noise, and they were horrified that I had been told by the same dealership that it was normal. They fixed it on the spot within a few minutes, and it was covered entirely under the warranty for the work done in April. We should have never waited this long. We didn't even need the spare car!
Also, I fixed our downstairs toilet. The handle had broken on Sunday (of course, and we had just been to Home Depot on Sat for a new garden hose), and it had to be flushed by removing the cover from the tank and pulling on the chain. It was a good day for inexpensive repairs! The part for the toilet was less than $5, and it only took a few minutes to fix. Go Me! My answer to plumbing issues is usually, "Call a plumber".
This is just a picture of Keira from Monday. It isn't really relevant to anything in the post, but I didn't think a picture of the toilet was necessary (as proud of it as I was). Then, we went to Maybury for more training and photo practice for me. This is probably the best shot I got all week. It is a bit grainy, though, because I had been messing with the manual settings.
That is pretty much our week. I hope this long post wasn't too boring for everyone. We are looking forward to a much more laid back week. There are no dr's appts and very few events with set start times, so hopefully it will be an easy week for us. Being the last week before Labor Day, it almost feels like the last week of summer, so we may try to get a lot of swimming in. Please vote on our newest poll! We have only had 1 voter so far, and will be leaving this poll open until the baby's due date or birth, whichever is needed. Hopefully we will get some better race shots posted shortly, and maybe an update with the "official" results.
Sunday, August 17, 2008
We had a low key Sunday, spent watching the Olympics after church. Keira is quite funny in church, being really loud at some points, and shushing us at other times. She is very excited about being able to take the sacrament bread and water, and shouted "I did it" today after she put her water cup into the tray. I guess she is usually pretty loud, but we happened to be near the front today, so we felt a little more conspicuous.
Saturday was a nice easy day. We went to Maybury where Ryan rode and I jogged/walked. I got a later start on my run/walk today than Ryan did on his ride, so while I was able to see him on the trail, I did not make it in time to get any photos. After Maybury, we went to the Novi Sports Park to let Keira swing. The mazda had been left at Kris and Linda's overnight, and the jogging stroller was inside it, so we had to pick it up before going to Maybury. We only have 1 State Park pass on the truck, so we dropped off the Mazda at the city park which is free, and Keira was very upset that she didn't get to play before going to Maybury, so we let her play afterwards when we went back to pick up the car. The swings and the bouncy bridge are always a hit with Keira. We didn't stay long because it was hot, and as you can see from the photo below, there was an event going on so it was more crowded than during the week.
Keira on a stuffed bear. Genevieve had rearranged them all while we were there.
Keira, Genevieve, and Katie. This was the only shot where they were at least all facing me, even though Katie is the only one remotely looking, and she isn't smiling.
After the class, we went over to Valerie's for some outdoor playtime on Katie's two new hand me down play structures that she had just been given. The girls had a great time. As usual, it was not so easy to get a good picture of the two of them.
In the evening, we went to Maybury again and I made an attempt at shooting Ryan on the trail. This picture is not as good (it is pretty bad, actually) as the one from Monday, below. It just isn't super bright due to the trees. Hopefully I can learn about the settings on the camera to take a few more at the actual race. It is a time trial, with just 1 lap, so I will only have the one opportunity to take action shots. I had previously thought it would be several laps, so I could just pick out a different section to photograph on each lap, but that is not the case this year. At least it will be a shorter race and Ryan can safely enter the Sport category instead of Beginner, because it will be a speed based race instead of an endurance test.
Tuesday was a tough morning for Keira and I. We had to go to Children's Hospital of Michigan for some bloodwork. Last year, she had two consecutive blood samples appear "damaged/fragile" when they were tested by Henry Ford Hospital, which caused for us to need to have her see a hematologist last summer. Her bloodwork at Children's last year was mostly normal, with only 1 thing being slightly abnormal, and it was a test that they only ran because of the previous abnormalities, and would not have been run normally based on the initial findings at that appt. As a result, we needed to come back to have her retested, and today was the day. We had to get up early and drive to the hospital in Detroit, and they take the blood sample, and then we wait for the initial results before going home. I must say that this experience went as well as it possibly could. While Keira did not like having her blood drawn (who does?), she was allowed to pick a prize from a chest afterwards. She selected a beanie baby with a soccer ball on it, which seemed very appropriate for her to select given Ryan's soccer experience. There was also a really nice volunteer from the hospital that played with her and helped her to do crafts. Her favorite thing that she got from the hospital was a paper basket that she covered in stickers while we waited for the results. The results that we received in the office were normal, as expected, and we are still waiting to hear back from the additional tests, but are confident that they will be either the same or better as last year. It was a long day, though, because Keira didn't nap well after the appt because she fell asleep in the car on the way home, and was sore and whiny for the rest of the day. Here she is with her paper basket. She wore a really cute dress from Grandma to the appt, but it had gotten messy, and since she wasn't feeling the best, I wanted to let her wear another dress, but this was what was still clean that was casual enough for play still (we went through 2 dresses yesterday too). It was too cold to wear when it fit better . On Monday, we went to Kindermusik and saw Dominic and Lisa, and they were accompanied by Emily and Brooklyn. Ryan and I had met Emily at Lisa's birthday party, but not Brooklyn. It is always more fun to have friends come to these classes. Keira gave Dominic a big hug on our way out. We didn't have a ton of time to socialize afterwards, because I had to return our old car battery to Sears to get our core refunded. I wasn't really excited about having the old battery sitting in the bed of our truck in the heat, but I guess they sit in hot hoods next to the engine, and see temperatures much higher than the bed under normal use, but I was still anxious to get rid of it. Keira did play at the mall play area for short time after returning the battery. We had a few other returns at the mall as well, so we did need to enter the mall instead of just going into the garage. Here is an action shot of her jumping off the lollipop. Once Ryan got home, we went to Maybury and my picture taking began. There is a spot along the paved path where I run/walk that goes very close to the bike trail, so I figured I had a good opportunity to take some shots of Ryan. The bad thing is that there isn't a lot of light, so the camera is pretty slow to take a picture, plus there is a delay between shots anyway, and Ryan is really fast in that spot. As a result, I was only able to get 1 shot taken before he was out of sight. I need to set up the camera to take 4 consecutive shots and hopefully I can get some better shots next week prior to the race.That was pretty much our week. We are looking forward to the Maybury XC next week, as well as Ryan's department picnic and some play dates for Keira.
Sunday, August 10, 2008
Keira and Ryan snuggling on the couch during our long TV sessions of the Olympics. This is not helping Keira's TV addiction, but at least it is short term.
Usually, I try to go in reverse order when I do my posts, but I need to put Friday's events prior to Saturday, otherwise it won't make a lot of sense.
Friday started out as a pretty normal day. Keira and I had plans to go meet up with Valerie, Katie, and Luke at the mall for some indoor playtime. Valerie is trying to limit Luke's time outside due to his young age, and we could stand to limit ours as well. Also, we need to come up with some decent indoor activities anyway since it gets cold here quick in the fall. We had spent the morning browsing and playing on the indoor playground.
Katie scaled the bear for the first time today. It was nearly impossible to get a decent shot of the two girls playing together.
Keira loves sliding down the popsicle. It is one of her favorite parts of the playarea. While we were at lunch in the food court, I received a call from Ryan. The Mazda would not start, or turn over, or anything. Dead. Great. I immediately packed up Keira and was on my way to sit with Ryan in Dearborn. He had just run into A&W to pick up some lunch to take back to the office on his way back from Windsor, ON. It was a good thing that Ryan was in the US when the car stopped working, because that would have added a whole new dimension to the problem. Fortunately, since we were at the mall, it was easy for me to just get on the road, because had we been at home, Keira probably would have been asleep and he would have just had to get a jump and go straight to the dealership/home. Mazda Roadside Assistance came and gave him a jump, and I followed Ryan back to his office to "guard" the car in his office parking lot. There have been a lot of thefts from his work area, including an F250, so there was no just leaving it run to recharge for a bit unattended. His current office doesn't have a garage area like mine did, where I could have probably just pulled it in there and bought a mechanic lunch to make sure nothing bad happened to it. Keira got to spend some time with Ryan at work, and eventually, we decided that I should leave the truck with Ryan (why we didn't do this immediately, I don't know), and drive the Mazda to the dealership to check it out. We bought the fancy smancy warranty, so maybe whatever was wrong might be covered. Sure enough, when I got there, it was not covered because it was a dead battery. They initially wanted $180 to change the battery- ROBBERY I TELL YOU! I managed to talk them down to around $110 (see- total robbery since I was able to talk them down $70, but I think I did score some pity points from being so pregnant and didn't want me personally to change it myself, which I wasn't going to do anyway), but that still seemed pretty steep to me, so they just jumped it for me and I took it home to fix. We figured we could get a battery from SEARS for much cheaper. So, with SEARS being open until 9, we went over to Maybury and both rode. I pulled Keira in my Stayput gear to get a shot for the annual photo contest.
Then, we went over to SEARS and learned that the battery they carried for the Mazda was a $100 battery! Had I known this, I probably would have let the dealership do it for the extra $10 and be done with it. We didn't get the battery on Friday, because we wanted to do some price comparisons, but as it turned out, it was probably one of the better deals.
So, Saturday morning we all went up to Sears to get the battery and bring it home to change it. It was pretty simple to do. After that, Ryan went for a ride at Maybury and Keira and I napped. We met up with Kris and Linda for a late lunch at Red Robin to give her a late birthday present and also Keira for the afternoon so Ryan and I could go see the Dark Knight. It was a pretty cool movie. I am glad I didn't wait to see that one on the small screen. We picked up Keira, and there was a beautiful rainbow as we were getting ready to leave.
I was really trying to line up the end shots of the rainbow to make them look like one whole image, but this was about the best I could do. The rainbow was so huge, we couldn't fit it in the shot.
So this brings us back to Thursday. I started the day with a Dr's appt, and everything is looking well with the new baby. The weather was supposed to be bad most of the afternoon, so Ryan had scheduled a haircut for the evening and went to Planet Rock climbing gym afterwards. I took my chances and met up with a group of ladies from Team Stayput to work on group shots for the photo contest. Kristel's boyfriend, Mike, took the shots on her camera, so I don't have any to post at this time. It was fun to meet up with the other ladies from the team. Not everyone could attend, but getting everyone together for something optional was going to be a struggle anyway. We finished up right before a quick rainstorm. Keira really enjoyed running around in the wind right before the storm started, and it had stopped raining by the time we were home.
On Wednesday, I had a presidency meeting and that pretty much took up the whole morning. Keira napped all afternoon, and we headed over to Maybury to ride in the evening. Ryan's next race is approaching fast!
On Tuesday, Keira and I met up with Lisa and Dominic at Rainbow Recreation for some indoor fun. I just didn't feel like going to a sprinkler park or roasting in the sun today. Keira enjoys playing in the playhouses. Here she is peeking out of one of the larger playstructures with a house in the bottom of it.
Monday was pretty much all business. With our new health care for this year, we elected a plan that offers us a discount for being healthy. To prove that we are healthy individuals, we needed to have a form filled out by our primary care physician, which is really close to our home. I had attempted to have my OB fill out this form when we first learned this, but he didn't really seem comfortable with it since many of the things, like BMI and cholesterol, don't really apply to pregnant people, and he was unsure of how to mark those items. Ryan and I both had appts with our PCPs today. Due to the pregnancy, all of my bloodwork and tests were up to date and I was able to get my form completed. Ryan had to have some labwork done, and will have his completed shortly. The nice thing is that we were able to meet up with Ryan for lunch because of the time of his appt. That was one of the fun things that I enjoyed about our time in Ohio last year- lots of lunches during the workweek as a family. It was possible because the plant and the apartment were not nearly as far away from each other as our condo and his MI office.
That is pretty much our week. This next week is looking pretty busy too, with a decent combo of business and pleasure. Hopefully we will not go through this week (and next) as zombies from staying up late to watch live Olympic coverage. GO TEAM USA. We just watched the 4x100 and it was incredible to see the French go down at the last possible moment and for USA to win the GOLD. Amazing! Who's Talking Now?
Tuesday, August 5, 2008
Sunday, August 3, 2008
Saturday was a fun filled day of excitement for all of us, as Ryan rode in the Tree Farm Relay at Lakeshore Park. It was a 4 person relay, and he had not been able to put a team together to preregister, but instead, showed up day of and was able to form a team with other riders that had not formed teams either. They spanned 4 decades, with a rider in their 20s, 30s, 40s, and 50s, and neither had met each other before that day. The team, Come Lately's, finished second in the overall Male Open Sport division, and missed being first by about a minute, and beat the third place team by about 12m. Quite impressive for a makeshift team! They used a LeMans style start.
Staging the bikes for the start above. Ryan had the lead off leg, which worked well for Keira and I to see him. Note the man in the viking helmet. This reminded me of my DWD costume from last year. Ryan had to run down the hill below to get on his bike to start the race. There were more participants than visible in the picture, they extend out of the frame of the photo.
It was Chase and Minde's last day in Michigan, and we were unfortunately unable to link up with them to say goodbye. Ryan's division started an hour later than we had thought, and we were already there once we realized this, so Keira and I stayed at the race during Ryan's leg, went home for naps, and then came back for the award presentation.
Andrew, Dan, Tony, and Ryan, showing off their awards. The action shots of Ryan didn't turn out great, because he was too fast for the camera to focus on him as he approached the exchange area.
Friday was a fun filled day for us. We started the day with Kindermusik, and Katie (and Luke) joined us. They have added several new free classes for August, so we may be able to go to the free classes 5 or 6 times this month, and 2 of them are significantly closer to our home. Hopefully they will keep one of these new ones, but they are added just for August, since there are no classes going on for people to demo this month.
As usual for Keira, she wasn't super excited about all of the water spraying around, but she enjoyed filling her cup up, as did Chase. The giraffe wasn't super stable, and after it tipped over on Keira and thoroughly sprayed her, and she didn't die from it, she was able to enjoy the spray from the other toys. She really loves the water.
We finally turned the water off, and Chase joined Keira in the pool. Keira would have stayed in all night had we let her, even though she was freezing and shaking by the end.
On Thursday, we attended Linda's Montessori school in Plymouth for a special musical guest. Keira had a good time during the class, as well as exploring the day care room and playground. She did not want to leave each area, even though the next area we went to was just as fun.
Afterwards, we went to McDonald's, and Chase and Keira played in the play area there. This is something that we won't be doing for a while. Keira isn't quite big enough to navigate the area herself, and with my belly, I was too big to navigate. So, until Keira is big enough or I have someone else to go with me, it will be drive through for us for now on. Linda took both Keira and Chase up to the top and slid down with them. On Wednesday, my aunt Patty and uncle Dennis who live in Italy came to visit with my parents. it was a short trip, because their trips to the States are always jam packed trying to visit as many of their family and friends as possible. It was great to see them, because we hadn't seen them in about a year and a half. Keira played in the morning outside.
We went to downtown Northville for lunch and did some shopping for some American Spoon salsas and jams for Patty and Dennis to take back to Italy. We also went to the mall because it was pretty hot to be outside in the sun. I showed Patty some shoes that I had wanted to get for Keira with my gift card, but needed the coupon first. Keira enjoyed swinging with her grandpa while we were waiting for everyone to meet back up. We had gotten separated at the mall because my mom found her 35th anniversary present, and Keira was ready to leave before the transaction was complete.
Keira wasn't too sure about sitting on the couch with Patty and Dennis, and didn't really want to sit on it with me either. Once Ryan got home from work, we enjoyed dinner together before they had to head back to Columbus.
On Tuesday, we went to McClumpha Park with Lisa, Dominic, Linda, and Chase. Chase was a bit more exploratory of the spray areas. Keira was pretty content to sit and chill in her little chair. Dominic also enjoyed the little chairs. We actually had way more chairs that children at the park, which was good because it alleviated any sharing issues.
She was also a huge fan of playing with her buckets. The other children at the park also enjoyed her buckets, because it was pretty hard to find them all once we were ready to leave.
Later in the day, she wanted to play with her buckets again outside. This has been a great way to entertain Keira outside.
Monday was photo shoot day, and unfortunately, the online images are not ready yet. I will hopefully put them together in a slide show and either add them to this post or just put them in as a new one. Keira did great, but Chase was not as excited to have his picture taken. It was really difficult to get the two of them to stand or pose together.
On Sunday, which feels so long ago as I write this, we brought Keira over after church to Kris and Linda's to play with Chase. They had a great time with the little playhouse. This is something that I would love to have if we had our own yard. Hopefully we will have a yard before Keira is too old for something like this.
The slide is always a big hit with both of them.
This was Keira's first experience with the alligator pool with Chase. Becky's granddaughters were visiting, so we went next door to play with the toys and meet them. Keira ended up sopping wet, but it was fine since it was the end of the day and we were just going home and to bed.
In addion to all of this, we spent most of our evenings at Maybury, so that Ryan could ride and train for his race this weekend, as well as for the upcoming Maybury XC. Keira rode in both the stroller and the bike trailer this week. I think she has developed a preference for the bike trailer for 2 reasons: getting to go fast and no bug spray. This next week will probably be mostly business, since this week was full of fun.