Saturday, August 30, 2008

Saturday in the Park

Well, not really a park. OK. Not even close. The boys and I went to Priya's swim lesson early this morning (man, she's got a mean back stroke goin' on). She didn't swim in a park. Then, we hit the gym with the intent of me running on the treadmill. Seven. Long. Miles.

Guess what? I did it. I'm still in shock and disbelief. And, while I realize that I was running on a the air-conditioned building...with no hills...I will make myself celebrate the accomplishment as purely this: running (non-stop) for 7 miles.

I pondered life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness while on that freakin' treadmill (Lord knows I had plenty of time on my hands). Here are some things I realized while pounding the, uh, rubber.

1. If I listen to my Ipod long enough, I will hear songs that surprisingly inspire me. Saturday in the Park is one of them. Oh yeah, of course I found my mojo running to songs like this (cool guitar riffs...ya know I'm a wanna-be guitar rock star), but Chicago singing about Saturdays in the park really got me goin'. It's a feel-good-happy song. And the horn section rocks. Yes, I'm a former band geek.

2. The "runner's high" really does exist. I experienced it about mile 5...after my 3rd Shot Block...and it really carried me through the last 2 miles. Shot Blocks, by the way, are the way to go. Black Cherry. With caffeine.

3. I believe runners when they say their toe nails break and fall off. My toes are killing me...don't think I'll be investing in anymore pedicures till after November 16th.

4. People look at you as if you've lost your mind when they see you still on the treadmill. I had one personal trainer give me a questionable look as if to say, "Are you CRAZY?" I was only running at the gym because they were watching my kids. **Note to self...schedule next long run outside in the neighborhood. Where only deer and wild creatures will be staring at me.

I figure if I can run 7 miles I can attempt the wildly insane Bikram yoga Vanessa wants me to do with her when she's in town. Yeah, that's yoga in a heated room. No "sweat," right?

Tomorrow? Well, Sunday is supposed to be a day of rest. And, that it will be. Might attempt the full 7 on Monday outside.

We'll see how my toes feel.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Gettin' My Groove Back

The first week of school has shaped up to be anti-climactic...well, at least for me. I kept Trevor out of school again yesterday, but after assessing that his cough/runny nose was due to allergies (hooray for over-the-counter Zyrtec!) I was bound and determined to accomplish some errands...and a workout at the gym I hadn't stepped foot in since May.

It was Trevor's first experience in the gym child care area without a sibling, but he plays fabulously by himself, so it was all good. I perused the possible gym classes I could take and opted for a good, ole-fashioned step class (ya know, like the ones in the 80's!). My only other option was a Total Conditioning class. Um, thanks, but no thanks. While I can call myself a triathlete twice over, I could easily keel over and die in one of those classes. Been there. Done that. NOT doing it again until I can finish an Olympic distance triathlon. And, even then, it's highly unlikely.

Step was fun...groovy remixes of some classic 80s and 90s tunes kept my energy level up. I love that the instructor could really get jiggy with it...surprisingly since this is the instructor whose yoga class I mistakenly took months ago. Her stretches after the step class inspired me to try yoga again...maybe. Yes, Cindy, my yoga-instructor-friend, I may just be addicted to "happy baby" pose the next time I see you in December! : )

The workout was energizing. Afterwards Trevor and I knocked out some "things to do." It was a good day.

Today I feel like I'm getting my groove back. All 3 little Indians are at school. Daddy took them, and he called me afterwards to say, "Trevor is killing me. He's crying and saying he wants me." I asked, "Where are you?" Animesh said he was hiding behind the building. I can just imagine the funny scene...Animesh looking like a secret spy...peering around the wall to catch a glimpse of his son. I told him to leave...listening to Trevor cry is just making him feel worse, and the school would call if Trevor became more hysterical.

No phone call so far.

I just returned from a run. The Rock-n-Roll 1/2 marathon is 2 months away. I cannot get past the 6-mile mark. I think I've already decided that I like triathlons way better than this running stuff. Excited for my next tri in a couple weeks. Let me swim! Let me bike! Let me run--very short distances!!!! But this endless pounding of the pavement is getting to be a little monotonous.

Hmm. I'm already registered and I've already worn my Rock-n-Roll t-shirt so I guess I'm not backing out now.

At least I've got this song to get me through this week's running miles. No way I cannot be inspired seeing how fab Madonna looks at 50. Maybe this week I'll bust a move in the grocery store like they do in the video. On second thought, if you spot me doing this, kindly ask me to stop. Please.

Any other great workout songs you can suggest? My Ipod needs a makeover.

Gotta run---I've only got 4 minutes to save the world, so I'd better start crackin'.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

2 out of 3

Well, I survived.
I managed to shed only a few tears as we sent
Priya off to 1st grade and Deven to Kindergarten.
They were both so ready that it made
the whole experience easier.
And, their teachers are wonderful so far.
It's gonna be a good year.
I can FEEL it.

Our kids have always needed their sleep.
Unfortunately, it is still quite bright at 7pm--
bedtime for the little Indians.
Daddy found this mask for Sleeping Beauty to use.
I think she kept it on all night.

I love this picture of my first-grader and kindergarten-er.
With the sun coming up over our driveway.
They were both so excited.
Power Ranger poses before loading up in the truck.
I love that Priya wanted to wear pig tails on her first day.
And, thanks to our friends for Deven's adorable shirt.

Proud Mama with 2 of her little Indians.

Baby Trevor and I stayed busy all day while the kids
were in school. We met his teacher, had lunch and
ice cream with friends, and went grocery shopping.

When we picked up Priya and Deven,
they both chatted excitedly about their day.
Deven exclaimed proudly,
"Mama, I didn't even have to go to the
Thanks to his big sister for
instilling that fear in him.

Trevor was supposed to start school this morning.
Oh, the glorious plans I had for my first day
without children!
Alas, he woke up with a terrible cough,
a green, runny nose,
and dark circles under his eyes.
My heart sank as I realized my day
would NOT be free after all.
Instead, I will be caring for my baby
and watching endless Wiggles videos.

I can think of worse things to be doing.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Hot Chocolate

A group of graduates, well established in their careers,
were talking at a reunion and decided to go visit
their old university professor,
now retired.

During their visit, the conversation turned to complaints
about stress in their work and lives. Offering his guests hot
chocolate, the professor went into the kitchen and returned with a large
pot of hot chocolate and an assortment of cups - porcelain, glass,
crystal, some plain looking, some expensive, some exquisite - telling
them to help themselves to the hot chocolate.

When they all had a cup of hot chocolate in hand, the professor said:
'Notice that all the nice looking;
expensive cups were taken,
leaving behind the plain and cheap ones.
While it is normal for you to want only the best for yourselves,
that is the source of your problems and stress.
The cup that you're drinking from adds nothing
to the quality of the hot chocolate.
In most cases it is just more expensive
and in some cases even hides what we drink.
What all of you really wanted was hot chocolate,
not the cup;
but you consciously went for the best cups...
And then you began eyeing each other's cups.

Now consider this: Life is the hot chocolate;
your job, money and position in society are the cups.
They are just tools to hold and
contain life.
The cup you have does not define,
nor change the quality of life you have.
Sometimes, by concentrating only on the cup,
we fail to enjoy the hot chocolate God has provided us.
God makes the hot chocolate,
man chooses the cups.
The happiest people don't have the best of everything.
They just make the best of everything that they have.
Live simply. Love generously. Care deeply. Speak kindly...

And enjoy your hot chocolate.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Shining Star

While I was training for my first triathlon, I mentioned that I had hooked up with this amazing swim coach to help me un-do all of my horrible swimming habits. This swim coach brought her smiling face, instructive yet kind voice, and her sense of humor to every swim lesson she gave me. I marveled at how she was able to make me feel like I had accomplished something after every single meeting...even if it was only 25 meters of proper kicking...or holding my breath for longer than 1 stroke. This swim coach let her light shine in so many ways for me. I already knew how to ride a bike and run a few miles. But, swimming in a lake for 1/2 a mile? I couldn't have done it without my swim coach.

This, my friends, is Coach Christy.

She and I did the Dam '09 Triathlon this weekend...and even with her bum shoulder, she STILL finished in a better time than me.

Yes, that is a beer cup (an empty one at that) in my hand. At least I was alternating between beer and Gatorade when I finished the race.

I've said it before, and I'll say it again...thank you, Christy, for being such a shining star and allowing God's light to shine through you.

You rock!

Monday, August 18, 2008

Traditions & Tea Parties

We're enjoying having Animesh's parents visit (aside from me getting some much appreciated naps in).

When they arrived they informed me that it was once again Rakhi time (Brother/Sister Day in India)...and I am forever grateful that they remember their son married a white girl who has enough to keep track of in her family's life--let alone those Indian holidays her in-laws hope she keeps alive each year.

So, thankfully, my MIL brought the necessary bracelets needed for the sister (Priya) to tie on her brothers' arms in celebrations of their sibling-hood. They also brought the gift for the sister from her brothers. Not necessarily the way most Indians do it, but it worked for us. And, we were happy to celebrate it again like we did last year.

Deven hesitantly bit into the Indian sweet
that his sister is supposed to feed him...

...but after he tasted how yummy the treats were,
he totally chowed down.

Another tradition when the grandparents come
is to have a tea party...complete with real hot tea
(and milk and sugar, of course)
and those yummy Indian cookies wafers
the kids love so much.
They totally dig this.

Deven and Dadu toast with tea.

Trevor sips with care.
He'd rather eat 15 Indian cookies,
but he didn't want to feel left out of the tea-sipping party.

Pretty girl...

Hope you have a minute to enjoy
a spot of tea if you get the chance...
especially if it's with some little ones.

Catching Some ZZZZZ's

It was, in my opinion, the perfect weekend.

No birthday parties. No committments.
No schedules to follow. No place to be.

Well, there was that little thing called the Dam '09 Triathlon I did
Saturday morning with my tri buddy, Jeanne.
But, that was over by 10am.

Afterwards I came home to an empty house
(Animesh had taken the kids GROCERY SHOPPING!).
I showered and curled up on the bed.

Where I fell promptly asleep. Fast asleep.
We're talkin' a very deep sleep.

It was heavenly.
I slept for nearly 2 hours.
Everyone arrived home later
and I awoke to the sound of my children laughing hysterically.
has there been a better noise to awaken to.

My in-laws arrived late Saturday afternoon.
At first I was a little sad about having them here.
For the last week before school started.
I kinda wanted the kids to myself for the last week of summer.

But, the joy and sheer happiness on my kids' faces
changed my attitude about that.
The kids adore their grandparents.
And, my in-laws adore the kids.
My in-laws can play with the children for hours. And hours.
AND my MIL will do the dishes and cook the best Indian food EVER.
And fold laundry that has been sitting in a basket for 5 days.

Yes, I have it pretty good in the in-law department.

Yesterday after church I napped again...
knowing that the kids were in great hands...
playing make-believe with their grandparents
and enjoying them fully
without Mommy interrupting their bonding.

After my nap I laid in my warm, soft bed for awhile...
pondering my existence and all its complexities.
I came to the realization that I have been depriving myself
of something so basic...something so simple...for so long...
I hadn't made it a priority in my chaotic life.

I had been depriving myself of rest.

Which is so ironic given the fact that I am a nazi
when it comes to my kids' early bedtimes.

So, here's to the last week before the school year begins.
Here's to rest, layin' low, and enjoying family.
And, here's to the much needed rain we're gettin'
in this neck of the woods.

Here's to the end of summer.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008


In the spirit of the this and weep.
Thanks for sharing, Vanessa.
Another beautiful display of what parenting should be like.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Let the Games Begin!

Olympic Medal winners at NBC!

It's been a busy summer. I cannot believe it's almost over. The remainder of these lazy days of will be filled with me and the litlte Indians hangin' at the pool, me finishing this book (oooh, it's gettin' GOOD!), and all of us watching the Games. Cannot wait for the swimming (go Dara Torres and Michael Phelps!).

Oh, yeah, and the TRIATHLON events (which are actually 2 days after my second triathlon next Saturday)! I will watch with wonder and awe as those amazing athletes swim, bike, and run incredible Olympic distances. As for me...well...I'm not feeling as prepared as I was for my first triathlon back in June, but it will be fun nonetheless with my tri-buddy, Jeanne.

So, if I'm MIA around blogland for can always visit me for an updated medal count!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Big D and Big T

"American Girl celebrates a girl's inner star--
that little whisper inside that encourages her
to stand tall, reach high, and dream big.
We take pride and care in helping girls become their very best today,
so they'll grow up to be the women who make a difference tomorrow." --American Girl mission statement

We gave my mother a trip to the American Girl store for Mother's Day this year.

So, of course it was the hottest weekend in YEARS to be in Dallas.
We enjoyed (not so much) 107 degrees both days we were there.

Priya, Mom, and I flew to Dallas last Saturday to spend a day
in a dreamland for girls...both young and old.
Meanwhile, Dad was a sport and drove to Dallas with all of our stuff.

While Priya has never really been into dolls,
that all changed the moment she stepped foot into this store.
And, who wouldn't love a place that exists to
celebrate a girl's inner star?
Oh, yeah, and make a few bucks from all the doll outfits available for purchase.

This place thought of everything.
There was a clever rack inside each bathroom stall
where Priya could carefully place her doll while she went potty...
notice the mismatched shoes.
Still looking for the matches in her room somewhere.
Good thing her doll got some new outfits this weekend.

The restaurant provided a high chair for her doll.
So she could sit at the table with us while we dined.
Very clever.

They even have a doll hair salon where your doll can get primped.
And, yes. Priya's doll had her hair done, too.

Three generations.

After our American Girl visit, we indulged in some manis and pedis at the Galleria.
Priya loved her "Princess Pedicure."

Later that night we babysat my nephew, Drew, in the hotel room
while my brother, Jeff, and Steph went out for a quick bite
celebrating their anniversary.
Priya absolutely adores her baby cousin.

Sunday we attended Baby Drew's baptism.
He didn't even cry when the priest poured the water on him.
But, afterwards?
Well, it was time to eat, and he let everyone know it.

And the update on Trevor?
Yes, Daddy took the crib out of his room while we were gone.
Trevor and Deven slept in Priya's bed while she was away,
and night before last Trevor spent the first full night
in his "big boy bed."

Last when I put him to bed he begged me
to stay with him till he fell asleep.
I settled in for a long wait...but he was snoring within minutes.

And, then he joined me in the middle of the night for some cuddling
(Daddy was working).
I loved how I could hear Trevor sucking
his fingers while laying nearly on top of me.
So precious.

Till he kicked me in the face.

Oh, well.

I didn't really need two eyes anyway.

It's Heeeeeere!

It is finally here.

After a whole month of waiting (I know some of you have waited longer...), I can now begin the 4th and final book in the series.

This was waiting in my mailbox today.
And, after I finish this post, I'm headed off to begin the process
of finishing the 700+ page book.
Where all of my questions will be answered.

My sister got me hooked. I was skeptical.
I mean, a teenage romance involving a VAMPIRE?

C'mon, people. Let's get real.

But, I take back every negative word I said about the books.

I am officially hooked.

I'll have to tell you later about our Dallas weekend
and whether or not Trevor transferred to his "big boy bed."

For now...I have some "bloody" good reading to get to.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Busy Bees

I'm tired. My weekend away was usual...but there was little sleep to be had. Foolishly, I scheduled the kids for Sea World camp the day after I returned from the retreat. Too bad it started at 8:30am Monday morning. And, too bad it takes us an hour and a half to get there. In rush hour traffic. Oh, yeah. And, TOO BAD it was the hottest week of the summer.

In spite of the exhaustion, heat, and traffic woes, we had a great time. The boys and I did our thing in a parent-child program. We had so much fun.

Feeding the favorite Sea World animal.

Henry the tortoise was fun to pet.

Deven answered an educational beluga whale question correctly and got to dress up like one. He got the biggest kick out of that.

The boys LOVED petting a baby alligator. I must admit he was kind of cute.

We got to meet Chester the Clydesdale horse up close and personal. He gets new shoes every 6 weeks. Just like most women I know.

I would have been up a creek without our trusty Radio Flyer. Since I have boys who tell me daily they can't walk. Because their feet run out of gas.

Other highlights included petting a baby shark and some stingrays. I don't have pics of Priya because this year she was old enough to be in the all-day camp. Without her mommy. I was so nervous to let her go off with perfect strangers all day everyday, but she had an absolute blast and cannot wait to do it again next year.

Sigh. My baby girl is growing up.

Tomorrow she and I head to Dallas for a trip to the American Girl store and to go to my nephew's baptism. Our girls' weekend will include pedicures and shopping, and she is so excited she can hardly stand it. Daddy will hold down the fort with the boys...taking in a Backyardigans show and golfing till their hearts content.

While I'm gone I've given Animesh the daunting task of taking Trevor's crib out of his room (it's literally falling apart and is, as Deven would tell you, a "safety violation"). I reminded Animesh that if I could birth 3 kids, nurse them, potty-train them, and witness every doctor's visit that includes shots...he could spend a couple rough nights helping Trevor adjust to his big-boy bed.

I'll let you know how it goes. Should make for an interesting blog post.