Friday, January 31, 2014

Chinese New Year

January has come to a close, and Jenn and I are about to take off on a get-away.  The month has been cold, Lincoln has had 6 or 7 "cold" days off of school, and some play-dates have been helpful to get the kids out of the house for some fun.

Today is Chinese New Year, and we got some Sunrise Kitchen takeout to celebrate.  Henry loves egg rolls, General Tso's Chicken and every other form of Chinese food we threw at him.  Fitting.  Interestingly, Lydia, who has a picky, no unpredictable appetite got into the egg rolls and sweet & sour chicken, too.

Lincoln's ants arrived today for his ant farm.  There was quite a delay with the weather.  The ant suppliers didn't want to ship them to the midwest given the frigid temperatures.
Ant Farm

Usually Lydia is the source of funny lines that the kids pick up on and get all giddy about, but the other day during lunch, Henry looked at his ramen noodles, and without trying to make a show, said, "Noodles, time to go home to my belly."  Lincoln and Lydia heard him and started laughing, and Henry, realizing what he'd done, got a proud look on his face.  He'd finally come up with something original that the other kids found funny.

I ran my first 10-miler last Sunday in a time of 88:51.

The little kids got signed up for preschool today.  Miss Gina's has become quite the choice for many in the area, and spaces were filling fast.  Jenn was able to enroll them early because of Lincoln's experience there.  When she took the kids today, Lincoln received quite the welcome, Lydia threw herself at one of the teachers, and Henry seemed quite comfortable.  I expect them to be preschool all-stars when the fall rolls around.

Grandma Laura is due to arrive at 3:00 on Saturday, and the kids are way looking forward to it.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Wrist Bones

Lydia takes in "Finding Nemo"
It's been freezing here in northeast Ohio. Not much play-time outside, play-time and movies inside has been the strategy lately.

That, combined with the sick bug that hit Jenn the hardest, me the second-hardest, and worked its way a bit through Lydia, has led to an indoor kind of start to January. Lincoln had his round before Christmas, and we're half-convinced Henry just doesn't get sick.

Henry is learning to put on his underpants and pants by himself. This is a big, big step, and not only is he gaining patience and confidence in his abilities, he's also getting closer to not needing diapers overnight. The biggest reason I still have him in a diaper is because to this point he hasn't been able to work with his pants to get them back on after he takes them off. This is starting to change.
When Henry gets focused on play-time, not much distracts.
Lincoln continues to be an All Star Kindergartener. His reading is coming along nicely as well as his math. Right now he's at the cabin with Grandpa this weekend, and he'll certainly come home tired.

Funny story from the other evening. As we were reading our bedtime stories, Lydia noticed the bump in Jenn's wrist (her ulna, you have one, too), and said, "What's that?"

Jenn said, "Thats one of my wrist bones." For the anatomy sticklers, remember we're trying to explain this to a three-year-old.

Lydia looked at her chubby wrist and said, "Why don't I have one of those? I want a wrist bone."

Then Henry, as he often does, repeated what Lydia said, as he waved his *right* hand. "I want a wrist bone."

Jenn and I looked at each other with an, "Awww, gee," type of frown. He still has not acknowledged his difference, and it's neat to see him do what he needs to do with what he's got to do it with.

I came home yesterday to find Jenn "getting her hair done" by Henry and Lydia. Guess which side Lydia worked on first...
Plans are in the works for an October vacation to Disney this year. Jenn, in her typical travel agent fashion, has most of it planned out. There's also a stack of Disney vacation books that she's been working through. Not surprised.

Events have been set in motion, too, as far as it relates to me hiring a new associate later this year. I posted at Ohio State and got a response from a senior student that looks like it'll at least be a promising interview. I haven't yet advertised in places where seasoned vets might see, but that'll come soon. Also, I'll be blogging my hiring experience on my friend's (Eden Myers) blog, Big changes are coming to the Cuyahoga Falls Veterinary Clinic. At least as far as personnel. It is my plan for no big changes to come as far as the clients' experience is concerned.

After taking a couple of weeks off from running, I got back on the treadmill (it's way too cold outside even with the fantastic cool weather running gear the Parkinsons gave to me for Christmas) and the break was good thing. Jenn's been tired lately and a break, especially following her illness, would be a good thing.

I'm trying to whittle down my 5k time, and then a vet-buddy posted this story:

Galen Rupp Sets U.S. Indoor 5000-Meter Record of 13:01.26

Holy. Cow.

And a little digging provided this guy's 10k time at the 2012 US Olympic Trials: 27:25.33

Um. When I crossed the finish line at the Great New Year's Eve Race, the clock said 27:22, and my official posted time was 27:27. So if this guy had started 5,000 meters behind me at the start, we would have crossed the finish line at about the same time. Wow. I've got goals, but that isn't one of them.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Closing out 2013, Bring on 2014

Christmas 2013
A new year is here, but as there is catching up from the end of 2013 to do, let's close out the last year first.
Christmas seemed less hectic this year. It was nice having Grandpa Dave, Grandma Laura & Auntie Haley stay with us for the days leading up to Christmas. It also helped that the kids were just a bit older and a bit more mature. Lincoln, especially, was really good with all of the coming and going, the presents here and the presents there.
But perhaps his tonsillitis had something to do with it, as well. After being up and down with a fever and his activity level, he was really struggling by Mullen Christmas on Sunday. He even fell asleep in the loft (never had a Gates-kid ever done this) during some of the gift-giving time.
Christmas 2013
Christmas 2013
He bounced back on Monday, but I took him to the doctor on Tuesday. Even during sickness, he had a great attitude.
After a round on antibiotics, life is back to normal.
Christmas 2013Christmas 2013
Christmas 2013Christmas 2013
Christmas 2013
Christmas 2013Christmas 2013
The days following Christmas are always an adventure. Overstimulation, constant entertainment, lights and colors everywhere… and then everybody goes home and there are no more presents. How can kids not hit the wall?

But now it's New Year's Week and I've got a couple of days off. Jenn's been getting the house back in order and the kids have been bouncing back and forth from one of their gifts to another.

A while back at the Clinic, some of my staff were talking about running in the Great New Year's Eve Race. After some thought, Dad and I decided to get t-shirts for the team, expand the team a bit and pay for their registrations… make it a team-building event.
Great New Year's Eve Race 5k 2013Great New Year's Eve Race 5k 2013
It's a 5K, and while it didn't snow during the event, it was ~19 degrees with 20mph winds and not a lot of sun. It. Was. Cold.
Great New Year's Eve Race 5k 2013Great New Year's Eve Race 5k 2013
Great New Year's Eve Race 5k 2013Great New Year's Eve Race 5k 2013
Great New Year's Eve Race 5k 2013
Jenn, who trains for the longer runs (10K, Half-Marathons and one of these years a Marathon), ran her usual good pace and finished with an official 27:42 (a little less on her Garmin, 27:33) which I submit is more accurate given the clogged starting line). I, who began running with any degree of consistency just a few months ago and am without any real training strategy, finished with an official 27:27. We were both very pleased, especially given the conditions.

And this brings us to the end of 2013. Jenn and I turned in at 10:00. Such was 2013: lots of fun, lots of challenges, and taking advantage of opportunities to rest up for tomorrow's challenges we found to be very worthwhile.