Sunday, February 28, 2010

Ragnar Del Sol 2010

Imagine yourself and 11 of your best friends hanging out for more than 48 hours straight. Then imagine that within that timeframe you each run between 14 and 24 miles for a total of over 200 miles. You barely eat. You barely sleep. You rarely shower. You use port-a-potties, when you can find them. You live in a big, smelly van. And you yell and cheer and ring a cow-bell almost continuously.

Oh yea, and you paid to do this.

This is Ragnar.
And the French Toast Mafia from Tucson, ROCKED IT!

You may be wondering where our totally awesome name came from. We started out as a Breakfast Club; just a bunch of friends who would meet on Saturday mornings to run and then eat.

The team of 12 was broken into 2 sub-teams. Each with their own van and own running routes. The majority of my pictures are of my van: Van #2.
Van #1 started in Prescott and each of the 6 runners did a leg. Then it was our turn. Chelsea got us started with about a 5 miler. Well done, Chels!

She handed it off to Scott, who then handed it to me, I gave it to Kristen, Kristen gave it to Karen, and Karen passed it onto Jeremy.

Each leg was a different length with varying degrees of difficulty.

I wanted to sit on the side of the road and cry during my first leg.

Here is Karen, our team captain and running machine.

Kristen and Scott who are husband and wife. Aren't they the best looking couple you've ever seen?

Here is Jeremy with crazy Ninja Guy behind him. Jeremy is displaying our French Toast Mafia gang sign as he runs by. If you look close, you can see that it's in the shape of toast.

Kristen, Alexia, Kim, Karen, and Tessa as we were waiting for Scott to finish the 35th leg of the race. By this point, although everyone was tired, we were excited for the grand finish.

The handoff and butt-slap from Scott to Jeremy as he headed of on the last leg.

For those of you who are careful readers, you may have noticed that our order switched. Although I don't think this is technically allowed, we decided that many Ragnar Rules could no longer be enforced after what happened on Saturday morning:

Chelsea's 2nd leg was a flat 8 miles that she took like a pro and around midnight Friday. She handed it off to Scott who took of like a wild banchee. He was on pace for 8 minute miles and was about 1 mile from the end of his leg when we came across an accident. A fellow Ragnarian had been hit by a car on the Carefree Highway. He is, thankfully, alive but it shut down the highway for well over an hour; this was at about 2:30 am, Saturday morning. The Race Director decided to cancel legs 21-24 and have all Van #1s take over at exchange 24. This meant that mine, Kristen's, Karen's, and Jeremy's 2nd legs got cut. Hence the reordering of our 3rd legs and the idea that the rules no longer applied.

Regardless of all that, we finished in grand style! Here is Andy giving Kristen her medal!

French Toast Mafia forever!
From left to right: Scott, Brian, Jessica, Jeremy, Tessa, Kristen, Alexia, Kim, me, Chelsea, Karen, Andy.
And me and Chelsea, post-race, waiting to be seated at CPK!

Ragnar was a truly unique and exciting adventure!

Thanks FTM for being so totally cool!

Thanks, Mom, for paying for me and Chelsea to partake in the shenanigans and have this sister-bonding time!

Thanks, Stevie, for taking such good care of Shyla all weekend. Although I missed her (and you) like crazy, I knew she was well taken care of. Thanks, also, for the funny texts. Thanks, also, for supporting us by eating french toast, not waffles, for dinner. Thanks, also, for letting me come home to such a picked-up house. Thanks, also, for letting me nap/recover on Sunday afternoon. Thanks, also, for bringing me a yummy and healthy lunch. Now if only I could get you to read the blog...

Time to pick what's next and gear up for it! Next time, I promise to train on hills!

Happy Rodeo Weekend, everybody!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

9 Month Check-Up!

Yesterday was Shyla's 9 month well-baby check. It feels SO VERY good to write "well-baby" and even Dr. Terry was surprised that she hasn't gotten sick recently (please, knock on wood).

The stats are in and our little princess is a long tall sally!

Weight: 19 pounds (50th percentile)
Height: 26 inches (75th percentile)
When we got home today Shyla found a headband that I wear to keep my hair back when I wash my face and sometimes when I run.

I think she looks a little like Rambo!

She is definitely teething these days which makes her a little cranky pants. It also makes her needy. And it also, apparently, makes her stick her tongue out!

We also reached another milestone: clapping! This picture was our attempt at capturing it.

I should be packing for Ragnar right now instead of updating this post. Obviously, I am procrastinating. It sounded like a great idea 5 months ago....

Stay tuned.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Lilly's 3rd Birthday Party!

It's hard to believe, but Lilly turned 3 years old over the weekend!

We celebrated with a party, of course, that was complete with a waffle bar and Dora the Explorer!
No one would sit with Stevie for some reason. He thinks he looks like a giant here. I think he just looks silly.Lilly was really excited for her cake! I even saw her swipe her finger in it a few times before the guests arrived. Shhh...don't tell Chelsea!

Even Shyla got to play "pin the watch on dora" but she didn't really get it and refused to let go of the sticker. Which meant we didn't win. Which didn't make me too happy.

It was a really fun party!
Ben and Anne.
Stevie and the birthday girl.

And Shyla riding a car.
And Shyla playing on the floor.
And Shyla figuring out the rubik's cube.

In just 2 days Chelsea and I leave for Ragnar. Be on the lookout for a blog update next week. Just got the weather report: rainy and cold in both Prescott and Phoenix. Sweet.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Ash Wednesday

Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of the Lenten Season. For these six weeks, Catholics are supposed to abstain from eating meat on Ash Wednesday and each Friday. It is also customary to "go without" something that you are used to. One reason why we do this is to make us feel closer to the poor and impoverished. It is supposed to be a challenge, thus excluding alcohol and/or tobacco from my choices of things to give up.

It is also customary to get ashes, in the shape of a cross, on your forehead today. This is a sign that you are repenting for your sins and heading into the Lenten Season with a clean slate.

Although we are members of Saints Peter and Paul (mostly because we want Shyla to go to school there, but also because we like it) Shyla and I went to St. Rita today, because it's very close, to receive our ashes.

She was quite the hit! Everyone smiled from ear-to-ear to see such a devout Catholic!

You might be wondering what Shyla has to repent for?

Well, nothing really.

Are you wondering what she is going to abstain from during these next 6 weeks?

She wouldn't tell me...but I hope it's waking up during the night. Now that I think about it, perhaps that's what she is repenting for too?

(Isn't she an angel? It doesn't seem possible but I think I fall more in love with her each day.)

Ahhhhh, yes. And here we find my vice. My addiction. My habit. My fixation. My Diet Coke.

It's going to be a long 6 weeks (and I don't cheat on Sundays) and I might be a bit cranky at times, but I am making it public at this moment. My Lenten journey will not include any soda, including my precious Diet Coke, and I, too, think I should abstain from waking up in the middle of the night.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Happy Valentine's Day!

Happiest of Valentine's Days to everyone!

Shyla received a Valentine. From a boy.

See, here it is. I'm so proud.

Proof that it was from a boy: Ethan.

Not nearly as exciting was the Valentine's presents she got from me and Stevie: a giant green frog and a board book, Baby Cakes.

Shyla has decided that she pretty much doesn't need us to feed her anymore. She can now hold her own bottle. As Stevie says, "now if we could just teach her how to make one."

And our little girl looking festive in her Valentine's Red.

Most couple celebrate Valentine's Day by going to romantic dinners or movies. Not us. Previous Valentine's Days have been celebrated at McDonald's (not that there is a single thing wrong with that) or not celebrated at all which, too, is fine. Today we celebrated by running in a Couple's Relay Race down at the U of A. It was a lot of fun. I started the relay and ran the two miles (including up and down the ramps at the football stadium) with the rose as our baton. At the exchange point couples were instructed that they had to participate in a PDA which is funny if you know Stevie. He was, unsurprisingly, a good sport and gave me a smooch as I passed off the rose and he went off on the same route I had just completed. We didn't finish first. But we didn't finish last either. And we got donuts on the way home, which is a win in my book any day of the week.

We hope your V-Day was just as fun!

Sunday, February 7, 2010

At the Park!

Before leaving Phoenix, we spent some time at a park near our hotel called Encanto Park. We just wanted to hang-out and let Shyla crawl around before putting her in her carseat for 2.5 hours.
It was a beautiful day and Shyla enjoys being outside and watching people.

Love this picture!

Stevie, Shyla, and Carlos having fun at the park!

Mommy and Shyla on the slide!

And Shyla swinging on the swing! This was her first time and I think she really enjoyed it.

Being out of town is nice because it forces you to do work around the house or return emails, but rather to just spend time together. That's what we did and we had a great time doing it.

Our Weekend in Phoenix

We spent Friday night and Saturday afternoon in Phoenix and had a really great time!

Shyla loves mirrors and this one, at the hotel, was nice because it was her height.

She also loves the package of wipes...and being naked. She's in a phase now in which she immediately rolls over and around while we are trying to change her diaper or clothes. I think this picture is after I completed the diaper change and needed a rest before attempting the clothes.

Shy had a great night with Abbie (who I, of course, forgot to take a picture with).

Ahhh yes. The reason why we went to Phoenix in the first place: George Strait. He, Reba, and LeAnn put on an outstanding show that I LOVED and Stevie, bless his heart, actually seemed to enjoy as well. There is hope for him.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Sippy-Cup and Tupperware

Last week we gave Shyla a sippy-cup of water for the first time. She mostly gummed on it, but she looks like a pro.

Smiles all around!

Shyla also discovered the joys of tupperware!

And, thus, I discovered that I can get about 20 minutes of work done in the kitchen if I give her a few bowls to play with.

Happy Weekend Everyone!