Saturday, July 31, 2010


We've just finished packing up for our trip and I have to admit that I'm excited. I thought I wasn't going to be as excited this time, especially since over the past few weeks I've been so casual about this triathlon. But after gathering all my gear and making a last minute dash to the store for a race belt, I actually have butterflies in my stomach. So many butterflies in fact, that I couldn't even eat any of the pancakes we made this morning.

The twins are not coming with us, just Skittles, and I'm feeling sort of sad about that right now so I had to get my fill early today.

Nuala loves to help in the kitchen, I'm thinking she might need an apron of her own.

We got a new poing and shoot this week, a Panasonic Lumix, so we're testing it out....ehh, it will do. We're heading out now, I've got the bike loaded, the kids loaded, the cameras loaded, and I suppose the jitters are here to stay so they're coming with us too!

Friday, July 30, 2010


Did you know that up until yesterday Nuala was afraid of butterflies? Seriously afraid. She always wanted to go into the butterfly exhibit at the museum, but every single trip would end the same way. With us making a rather hurried and graceless exit before she had the chance to hyperventilate or scare the other butterfly seekers with her deafening screams. We've been working on this over the past few months and it seems we have made some progress.

I can't tell if her new found courage is because of our try and try again approach or if she figured that after crayfish, butterflies are a breeze.

Maybe watching her big sister mingle with the winged beasts helped.

Whatever the case may be, she was calm and collected the entire time.

Dainty and graceful even.....

Until we left the butterflies and moved on to the bugs that is.....

We're leaving tomorrow for a my next race, which is another triathlon sprint, but will be back Sunday evening with lots of new stories to share I'm sure. I've been training rather casually since the Trek and am not anticipating any new times, if anything they'll be longer since the bike is 15 miles instead of 12 and rather hilly. I'm looking forward to it anyways. Have fun on your adventures this weekend.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

The Riverbank

The water is slowly calming down after the storms of last week and so we went to explore the riverbank yesterday in hopes of catching some crayfish.

Oh and we found them alright.

We found them and then we found all their little cousins as well.

Luckily everyone played nice.

I just love the way our kids move together.

They are really something to watch. They are like a river of their own.

Nuala was trying to work against the current for a while.

And was completely unsure of the whole crawdad deal. Hesitant. Skeptical even.

Until she remembered it was past lunch time and she was in fact hungry...

And this little Skittle bug?

She was happy as a lark, sitting on the riverbank shooting rocks in the direction of the water. None of them actually made their way into the river, seeing as how I made sure she was FAR away from the current, but she's been rock hopping plenty enough times to know exactly how it's done!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Oh Brother

One advantage to having a big brother is that he'll hang out with you....

In really cool places that your mom would never let you go to alone.

I was actually in the front yard with the baby when I happened to glance down the street to see my guys hanging out on the roof of the Cozy Coupe. I almost didn't get up to get the camera. Almost. Finn is an incredible big brother, and everyone adores him, especially Oscar.


I am completely smitten with my new lens. Not because I've actually seen what it can do and certainly not because I am any where close to operating it at full potential, but because I have been given a glimpse of it's capabilities and I can't wait to learn more.

See those crumbs all over her face? You can even see one in her eyelashes if you look closely enough, who thought I'd ever get so excited about crumb peppered cheeks?

We had another pool day yesterday, just because it was hot and just because it wasn't raining and just because we could and just because the babies always sleep sooooo much better when we run them just a little bit extra in the morning.

For some reason, these two always wind up in a tug of war.

Despite having more than enough to choose from.

See the brown kitty? Well, it's hers, she's claimed it as her own and cuddles it for naps and bedtimes. I think it was Maija's originally, but what are you going to do? Have I ever told you about Maija and Saoirse? No? Well, it's a great story, one that probably deserves it's own post, with pictures even, and since Maija is currently out of state, it will have to wait a few more days. They have something really special though, and that's the only hint you'll get.

Things are pretty hectic around here right now as we gear up for the wedding. How can it be August already? Well, not quite, but you know how it goes! I'm doing another sprint triathlon this weekend, which should be fun, but my really EXCITING news is that my friend Catherine has inspired, motivated, coerced, taunted and convinced me to do the 2011 San Francisco Marathon! I cannot tell you how excited I am about this. Thank you Miss Beast.

I'm off to tackle some laundry. Enjoy the day everyone!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Time Capsule

I found a time capsule today. A shoe box in the hidden depths of my closet. For a few seconds I didn't actually know what it was, which as you know, is often the case with items we choose to store in the hidden depths of our closets. But as soon as I began pulling the lid off I remembered. Inside were the clothes that Micah was wearing the day he ran his bike into the Washington Park Bandshell and wound up in the emergency room getting stitched back together. The complete outfit, from undershirt, boxers and socks, to corduroy pants and cargo jacket. Every last item that I meticulously washed blood out of and then smoothed and folded and stored away, making certain that he would never have the opportunity to wear any of it again, as if the clothes were responsible for his injury.

That was the worst day of my life. It was my first real reminder that despite everything, you can't always protect your children. I still have flashbacks to that day, to those moments immediately following his crash, when it was just me and him and we were both screaming and there was blood everywhere and I literally thought I could see his brain, like SEE HIS BRAIN, which by the way is not something you really ever want to see, and thankfully I did not, I just thought I did which was bad enough, but I digress. In those moments I learned a few things about myself, and about life and about parenting.

First of all, seeing your child injured is perhaps one of the scariest things you will ever go through as a parent, it will change you a little. This was the first time that something scary, really frightening, happened to one of my kids and it made me aware that up until then I'd sort of been living in some sort of la-la land where I could protect them from anything and everything if I just tried hard enough. Realizing that "hard enough" may not always save them from injury, from pain, well that was like a punch to the gut type of parenting lesson that felt more than hard enough.

Second of all, I'm terrible in an emergency. Seriously, the worst. Yeah sure I wrapped up the bleed immediately and applied pressure and called 911 and all that, but I also cried, nope, make that screamed the entire time. Ask Micah just how comforting that was, although he doesn't really remember much seeing as how he was barely 3 years old when it happened. Whose brilliant idea was it to remove his training wheels again?

You would be amazed by how resilient kids are. How quickly they heal all their broken bits.

He was ready to get back in the saddle in no time, and part of me was screaming "no" and wishing that I had maybe donated his bike to Goodwill or accidentally backed the car over it while pulling out of the drive or something, because lets face it part of me was scared out my mind by the realization that my baby was breakable. But another part of me knew just how important it was to let him get back on his bike and ride around the neighborhood, just maybe not down any big hills.

I was going to try and wrap this all up with some big talk about how much I've learned since then and how difficult parenting can be and how even when life is scary we shouldn't let it hold us back and yadda yadda. I've been thinking about it all afternoon, thinking about Micah and about that day and how scared I felt and the guilt I carried around for weeks afterwards. And the truth is I don't have any "big talk" to tie it all together, I don't have an explanation for why accidents happen or why I'm a crisis screamer. I just know that I will try my hardest to not let it happen again, try my best to protect my children no matter what, but I will make sure that I am still enjoying myself in the process. We all know it's no fun to feel scared all the time, especially when you have so many littles embarking upon so many new adventures every single day. Life can be dangerous and you have to take risks.

But there is WAY more to be thrilled and excited about than there is to be fearful of and you have to decide what will motivate your decisions in the long run.

We choose love and hope to lead the way.

And don't forget about belly button lint, it can be a powerful motivator as well!

I went with the 50 mm f/1.8 and am having a ball playing around with it. I still have so much to learn, but I am ready so bring it on!

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Curly Cue

Miss Saoirse has changed so much in the last year it's not even funny! And I'm not just talking about the standard transformation that all newborns go through on their way to the first frosted candle, oh no, I'm talking MAJOR changes. Like how about the fact that when she was first born she looked like a little Ojibwe baby and I thought "oh, I finally got one that takes after momma". Yep, that was short lived. Which is totally just peachy keen in my book, I think she is the cat's meow no matter what, but the transformation is undeniable nonetheless.

Not only did her brown skin turn white, not only did her dark eyes settle decidedly on a very light shade of blue, but now it is becoming clear that she is somewhat of a curly cue and I have no idea where that came from! Oh, just look at this sweetest of smiles.

And these curliest of cues. She is simply gorgeous.

Here's her new thing, trying to be just like the twins.....Speaking of which, did I ever mention that they are in fact potty trained now and it was a breeze? That's right. I no longer have 3 kids in diapers!

We went to a family reunion picnic last weekend, which was a lot of fun.

Look at this baby face, Miss Julia sure does love her blanket!

Speaking of blue eyes, don't you just want to kiss her cute chubby cheeks?

While we spent most of the day swimming, eating and playing Frisbee, there was time for a chess game as well.

And time to force Mary and Jeff into some lovely poses.

And who could forget about this handsome dog?

So laid back. So casual. So cool.

He finally agreed to wear his new sunhat (thank you Antigo Goodwill) once I pointed out that it had the "Hungry Caterpillar" it. Which by the way it totally does not, but he has a hard time with change of any kind (yes, Mr. cool and laid back is actually sort of Mr. particular when it comes to these sorts of things) and so I needed a little creative persuasion. And it IS a Caterpillar, and who knows, maybe it is a little hungry too.

So I'm thinking about getting a new lens for my Rebel as I've been using the kit lens for a year now and am ready to expand. My gut is telling me to get the "nifty fifty" but I'm not sure. Any suggestions?