Monday, May 27, 2013

Birthdays and bruises....thankfully not at the same time

You can tell that I am in the last major build phase of my training before IMCDA because it is taking everything I have not to write this post monosyllabic with bullet points.  Don't judge.

Another post Lacrosse game pic of Max.  And yes before you report me to CPS or tell me that continued bruising will cause permanent damage to his arms please be aware that I have bought him new full arm pads.

Jack had a birthday and finally made it into double digits.  This is a major achievement. All 3 kids managed to survive Matt and my parenting and make it out of single digits.  No guarantees from here on out but so far so good.

Jack requested my friend Terry's famous Oreo ice-cream cake for his birthday cake.  The "foolproof" recipe obviously wasn't tested by this fool before it was given that title and as you would expect I managed to cock it up.  Luckily for me, my kids have a very low level of expectation when it comes to my culinary skills so it still managed to get a thumbs up from Jack. Years of setting the bar very low with my cooking have finally paid off.  Let's just ignore the fact that Terry come over at an opportune moment and volunteered to "finish off" frosting the cake.  It was more like a Lazarus moment for the cake and she managed to ressurect it and breath life back into it.

Speaking of Terry, she knows the way to a 10 year olds heart. The bucket-o-cheese balls. How good can it get.

Luckily for Jack, Matt is in charge of birthday breakfasts and he got the obligatory birthday number pancake.

If you are wondering why just about everything in this post is food related, that is because when you are training for an ironman that's pretty much all you think about. Eating and sleeping in. It's the simple things!

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Homeschooling Boys

I received an email from a relative the other day asking if we still homeschool because I don't talk about it much on the blog anymore.  And yes we do still homeschool the boys. Max has got one more year then it's off to high school for him. 

 Homeschooling boys is always more challenging in my opinion than girls.  Boys get twitchy sitting still all the time and have zero interest in crafty stuff, so I have to keep them interested in other ways. 

They have been learning about geology and one experiment they did recently asked them to model one of the 3 different types of volcanoes and determine what materials would best replicate certain types of volcanic eruptions. 

This is how they started out.

A nice controlled flowing eruption.

Then they decided to see how the build up of pressure effects an eruption. 

Well this is what happened......

So that was our cue to move the experimentation outside. 

Finally our volcano had a blowout and suffered a stress fracture from too much pressure build up. But not to be deterred the boys swapped over to plastic bottles to continue their experiment.  At this point they finally perfected their formula.

Mission accomplished.....a plastic bottle filled with washing detergent,food colouring, vinegar and baking soda, shaken up and then hit really hard best replicates the volcanic eruption of a composite volcano.  See...learning can be fun :)

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Brain Fuzz

I'd heard about the fuzzy brain syndrome that IM training can cause.  The last few weeks have definitely given me brain fuzz.  I'm not sure that its just the training but more about trying to fit in in amongst everything else going on in life.  The challenge is making sure to check every box and still try and keep some semblance of balance for the rest of my family.

Since I am still experiencing brain fuzz here are some bullet points of life during IM training in no particular order of significance.

  • Riding your bike for 100 miles
Last weekend I did the Lilac Century ride in less than ideal conditions.  I rode the first part with my friend Ken whose Garmin was getting wind advisory warnings from his iphone, letting us know to expect 40mph winds.  Most off putting.  It was a bit of a miserable ride, no spectacular performances but I made it through 105 miles of the century ride...( seems like the course director had some issues with counting).

  • My introduction to K tape.
Speaking of riding a lot, 43 year old knees get cranky when you ride and run a lot, apparently.  After freaking out that I was on the way to another IM DNS my wonderful PT talked me down off the ledge, fixed me up, stuck K tape all over me and sent me back out there to train. 

  • Bike Fitting
As a result of said cranky knees, it was decided that my bike fit was the issue.  Now this is where I am a very lucky girl.I had a stack of input from some seriously qualified people. Coaches, coaches of coaches, athletic trainers, PT's, Cat 1 bike racers, doctors and more.  They all agreed that there was way more pressure on my knees from my bike position than there should be. The last time I had it fit was a year ago so I went back to Morgan at Bike Hub to see if he could tweak it a little and take some pressure off my knees. The jury is still out but I have some wicked  amount of riding coming up in the next 10 days so I'll be putting the new bike fit (and the knee) to the test.

  • Lacrosse
Surprisingly the world does not revolve around me ( although I think it probably should) and my children have lives outside of following me from race to race.  Max has discovered Lacrosse which I had never heard of before and is like a cross between football and hockey. Its super fun to watch although I don't know a thing about the rules.  Thank goodness he wears a helmet and pads because this is what his arms look  like after games and practices - he is one big walking bruise.

  • Lettering
Ciara lettered this year in academics and was accepted to the National Honor Society.  Matt and I are still confused about this whole lettering thing so it appears Ciara's intelligence is a genetic throwback which neither Matt nor I can claim responsibility for.  All I know is that apparently now she needs a letterman's jacket. America is such a complicated place :)

  • Passports
We have exactly 2 months before we head off to Australia so I had better get my act together and get passports.  Well we already have passports, but the Australian government says we need newer ones.  Apparently it isn't enough for them to be current  - we need MORE current ones. Don't ask.  Another $500 donated to those boobs in Canberra.

  • Get those kids working.
Matt's work had a "Take your Child to Work Day".  The boys went along to see how the real world works.  Jack decided he liked working with Dad and wanted to go back, mostly because he just likes to hang out with Matt.  He apparently pushed his way into a meeting with Matt and his boss because he didn't want to be left out.  Max's impression was that being in a cubicle all day was something akin to death.

Here is a picture of the 3 of them before they's spent the day together ......

And this is them after......