Saturday, October 30, 2010


Team SwindleRun tore up the track today! Our veteran racer, who was also our fastest racer, expressed her opinion that it was a challenging course because of the many hills, some of them uncommonly steep.

I am proud to report that I accomplished my goal of finishing in less than one hour. My time was 39 minutes, or, 21 minutes faster than my previous personal best. I guess it's easier to run when you are not pushing a stroller. Also, when your doctor is right behind you, loping along with her kids at "Gee isn't this fun" speed.

The most fun part was running the second half with my mom. She was awesome. We even sprinted to the end.

Victor was the only casualty. He fell and jabbed a teal ribbon mini-flag into his throat. He's at the doctor's right now.

Thanks to all of our team members. We had a great time!

Friday, October 29, 2010

Big Day Tomorrow

Tomorrow is our big run.

My goal is to finish in less than one hour.

Go, Team SwindleRun!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Primary Program

Sunday was Victor's first Primary Program. He did nothing outlandish. He did pull some odd faces and shout into the microphone "I take my cars and go to Church," but he also appeared to be singing at least once.

The sweetest moment was after the program ended and he rejoined us on our pew. Zeke was hopping up and down in front of him, saying, "Victor, you did a great job! Victor, you did a GREAT job! Victor, you did a great job!" Then Victor said, "Thanks, Zeke. You are a great brother."

And then they hugged.

No, I am not making this up.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Jogging, Day 17

Saturday is our big 5k event, so my jogging buddy and I went for the gold yesterday and jogged a whole three miles. Hooray, us!

We took turns pushing the BOB (we only had two kids between us that day), and I had to walk for a minute or so a couple of times, especially early on. But we reflected on how far we have come since we started two months ago, when we were truly pathetic. Now, we've graduated from "pathetic" to "very, very slow."

For me, though, it's a triumph over last summer and fall when I could barely limp along at 1 mile per hour and I didn't have the strength to do anything but shower and rest.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Sneaker Status

The Debbie Downers at the science center weren't kidding.

The sneaker has an odor such that I cannot allow it near the house.

And the tongue has been ripped to shreds.

And I don't think the lights work any more.

It is currently submerged in baking soda in an old GAP bag, hanging from the mailbox post.

And you can smell it from several feet away.

And, as I write this, I realize THIS IS THE SOLUTION to our "animals-eat-our-garden" problem. With that scent, no rabbit, groundhog or deer will get within 100 yards of our squash. Hooray!


The anteater zookeeper has recovered Victor's shoe! We can pick it up this morning.

"I don't know if you'll be able to get it clean," is the exact phrase. "It has an odor."

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Awesome, Consistent Parenting

Tonight was "Spirit Night" at a local Chick-fil-A for Victor's school. The idea is that you dine at the restaurant, which then donates 15% of the proceeds to the school. There is a contest element, too: the class that generates the most proceeds wins a prize (which can be redeemed at Chick-fil-A, of course).

We've never gone to spirit night. I'm just not that fun.

But it seemed to matter to Victor this time, so I told the boys that if they ate their dinners, which they had approached with some skepticism, they would earn dessert at Chick-fil-A.

Victor dove right in to his fajitas. "Wow, Mom. This is actually good!"

Zeke resisted.

I put three little pieces of chicken on his plate, but he did not eat it. Not as I tempted him with milkshakes. Not as we walked out the door. Not as I sat with him in the Chick-fil-A parking lot while Victor was inside, enjoying his milkshake with Jeremy.

Instead, he proposed that I eat his chicken for him. And he pleaded, "Please, Mom? Please can I go inside?"

It did not work. We were unmoved.

No chicken, no ice cream.

Zeke Speaks

Zeke, chattering to himself: My mom is a genius!

Me: I'm a genius?

Zeke: Yes. You're a genius! I'm a genius, too.

Me: Wow. Thanks, Zeke.

Zeke: It's a dream come true.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Jogging, Day 16

In an attempt to alleviate some hip pain, last week was devoted to various kinds of strength building other than running. But today we had to get back out there, rain or shine.

Rain, it turned out.

Zeke and I ran just under 2 miles before deciding that we were wet enough to call it quits. It was a landmark day, though, because I RAN up the BIG hill on the big-hill loop.

Maned Wolf Toy

I called the science center this morning to ask if the zoo keepers had been able to retrieve Victor's shoe.

In short, no.

One of the animals has carried it off and hidden it.

This makes perfect sense when you consider that the shoe flashes blue and white lights when dropped or nudged. What maned wolf (or anteater) wouldn't like a toy like that?

Also, Victor attended school in his cheap-o clay-stained play shoes today. The boots, as observed by our commentators, would have been too much fun.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Life Lesson

Today, Victor learned what happens when you repeatedly stick your shoe between the slats of the railing alongside a walkway over a zoo enclosure.

1. Your mother tells you DON'T DO THAT because YOUR SHOE WILL FALL.

2. Indeed, your shoe falls into the maned wolf/anteater enclosure.

3. Your mother becomes upset. And then she says I TOLD YOU NOT TO DO THAT.

4. You are very upset because (a) now you have only one school shoe, (b) it was a cool shoe, (c) you are in big trouble with your mother.

5. You have to walk back to the car with one shoe.

6. Your friend, who was obedient during the whole outing, points out that SHE was obedient and still has TWO shoes.

7. You must now depend upon the anteater's keeper to *maybe* retrieve your cool shoe and bring it to the front desk this evening.

8. You will have to discuss the situation with your father when he gets home. Wait. Jeremy doesn't care about shoes. Scratch that.

8. You will wear rain boots to school tomorrow.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Space Flight!

Do you want to feel queasy AND jealous of the most fun dad in the universe?

Check out this video. As noted in the article, the good part starts at 2:35.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Team SwindleRun

Have you registered for Athena's Run yet? Team SwindleRun now has TEN members and we're looking for more.

If you are worried about being the slowest, never fear. Jeremy will be pushing a 30-something pound BOB with about 85 pounds of Victor and Zeke in it, so he will not be terribly speedy.

When you register (just Google "Athena's Run" and you'll find it), please note that we have, by far, the coolest team name.

If you find registration too difficult (and I totally understand difficult-registration overload), I will be happy to do it for you.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Jogging, Day 15

This morning, Zeke and I headed to the longer loop for our jog. We went a little more than 2 miles in about 35 minutes. We ran or jogged most of the time, taking one-minute walk breaks at 16 minutes and 25 minutes, and walking up most of the really big hill at the end.

We also saw the 5 Little Monkeys ladies again. The last time I saw them was at the big-hill park, chanting 5 Little Monkeys at top volume and then jumping around like monkeys while hooting to their stroller-bound offspring. Today half were chanting Old MacDonald at the babies while the other half sprinted in a small loop while talking smack.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Jogging, Day 14

Between the rain and general fatigue, last week was a complete jogging bust. In an effort to do something, however, I returned to my elliptical. I was quite surprised that I had to double my former resistance in order to feel like my muscles were working. So I guess that means I'm making progress.

Today, I planned to walk three miles at the loop with big hills. Instead, I added some running (yes, real running!) on the less-big hills. I did two five-minute runs and one ten-minute run.

However, it took me about an hour to do all three miles.

That is way too slow. I used to be able to walk it in 50 minutes.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Conference Weekend

Watching General Conference with small children in the house is interesting. It means a LOT of time in the house, not playing.

Saturday morning, pre-conference: Victor puts a toy truck through a screen. Jeremy takes the boys to the hardware store. I cannot convince myself to go jogging, so I use the elliptical machine instead.

Saturday morning session: Victor starts to cry when President Monson talks about missionaries. I push "Record" on the DVR. Massive drama ensues. Jeremy fixes the screen. I clean the kitchen.

Saturday afternoon, pre-conference: Jeremy takes the boys for haircuts. I go out to buy some hand soap.

Saturday afternoon session: I go to a friend's house and watch in peace and quiet. Jeremy and the boys tape the screen-material tubes together and run cars through them.

Saturday evening: Jeremy picks up pizza and goes to Priesthood session. The boys play outside and then take an hour-long bath. After they go to bed I read The Death and Life of Charlie St. Cloud. When Jeremy gets home, he orders me a pizza and we watch the recorded morning session.

Sunday morning, pre-conference: Victor and Zeke break a library DVD in half and rip a page out of a library book and detach the pull-cord from the ceiling fan.

Sunday morning session: Jeremy and I watch in the living room. The boys watch Veggie Tales on Netflix.

Sunday between sessions: Lunch with friends. Neither boy breaks anything or falls into the koi pond.

Sunday afternoon session: Jeremy and I finish the morning session on DVR and watch the last session. Victor and Zeke watch Pingu until Zeke becomes bored and comes into the living room. We turn up the volume. Then we see my beautiful friend Allison on the Kiev Temple special.

Post conference: a family walk and a late dinner.