Monday, May 31, 2010

Great day, bad end

A few things you should know going before I get into what happened yesterday. First, my husband was a competitive diver - springboard and platform, not SCUBA. He dove for the University of Texas and was on two NCAA champion teams. He also travelled as part of the US diving team. Once his competitive career was over, he coached diving for a few years.

Second, we have what we call "The Lake Place," which isn't as glamorous as it sounds. It's a tree-shaded lot on Lake LBJ, just outside of Kingsland. Our goal is to someday build a house on it, but right now all it has is a covered boat dock, a boat, and a diving board. Even though it's rustic, I love going up there. No matter how hot it is, the water always feels great, and the big pecan tree provides shade all day long.

Yesterday we went up to the lake and had a great time. B's brother and his wife were in town from Louisiana, and the girls love horsing around with Uncle D and Aunt A. We had invited some friends up, and they brought their jet-ski, which the girls got to ride on. Campbell, after hating going in the boat last summer, loved his first ride this year. He sat in the bow of the boat, with Uncle D holding onto his life jacket, yelling "Faster, daddy! Faster!" the whole time. When we pulled into the dock, Campbell's hair was standing straight up, and he had the biggest grin on his face.

It was a very nice, very relaxing day. I was actually able to read and knit in the shade.

At the very end of the day, B hopped up on the diving board to jump in one last time before we started packing for the return trip. He bounced a few times, and then things went wrong. The best we can figure, his left foot slipped off the side of the board, which then rebounded and caught his right foot and gave it a good snap.

Uncle D fished B out of the water, pale and shaking and cursing a blue streak. I pulled a bag of ice out of the cooler and packed his foot, which was swelling as we watched, in it. Then everyone scrambled to pack up the floaties and rafts and gear. With help from B's dad and brother, we got him loaded in the car and hightailed it into town. It was the longest hour-long drive I've ever made.

When we got to the house, I took the kids inside and got them settled while B waited in the car. As soon as Uncle D and Aunt A arrived, B and I left for the ER (the Heart Hospital ER totally rocks, BTW).

They gave B some high-octane pain meds and took x-rays. While we were waiting for the results, B said that if his foot was actually broken, it would be the first time in 15 years that he's had a clear diagnosis and treatment plan for any of his injuries.

As if on cue, the doctor walked up to say that there were no broken bones. B managed to mangle his tendons pretty well, which is almost worse than having a broken bone. Instead of having 6-8 weeks in a cast, B now has an unknown number of weeks on crutches with rehab and PT.

We got home at 10:30 pm to find the house spotless. Uncle D and Aunt A had convinced the girls to clean up their rooms and the living room. I'm thinking of having them move in with us.

And to add insult to injury, Ella woke this morning with the stomach bug the rest of us have already had.

It's going to be a long day.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

NYC Training Week 8

Last week's word was Discouraged, and this week's was Barf. As in everyone in the house except for Ella barfed this week. There's been a stomach bug going around town, and we all caught it, myself included.

I chose not to run on Monday, because I'd run on Sunday and felt terrible, so I gave myself a day of rest.

Campbell started throwing up Monday afternoon, and he was just so pitiful. It's the sickest he's ever been.

I didn't run Tuesday because I'd been up and down with Campbell a lot in the night, and I have a rule about not getting up at the crack of dawn to run if I've been woken up more than twice in the night.

Wednesday I ran with Elizabeth in the jogger and had a great run. I went out at 8:00, and the humidity wasn't as bad as it had been the past week. I actually felt like I was running rather than just staggering along. I was even able to finish with a good kick, especially how miserable I'd felt the previous week.

Thursday I woke up feeling puny. I managed to get the big girls off to school before collapsing in bed, which is where I spent the entire day, when I wasn't curled up on the bathroom floor.

I didn't run Friday or Saturday because I still felt miserable, and I'm taking today off, too. I'm hoping to feel well enough tomorrow to get out there and run a few mile. I'm anxious to run again given that I did have one good run this week in between all the barfing.

Friday, May 28, 2010


It's been a rough week at chez okgardner. Campbell spent 12 hours barfing Tuesday night/Wednesday morning. Just as I had gotten caught up from the incredible amount of laundry that cause, I started throwing up yesterday morning. I spent the entire day in bed. I am so grateful to my wonderful husband, who kept the house going and the kids in line. To add insult to injury, Elizabeth started throwing up late last night and kept going through about 4 this morning.

The mountain of towels has grown yet again.

I'm behind on everything from laundry to paying work, and I still feel like hell.

I'm officially crying uncle.

Monday, May 24, 2010

NYC Training Week 7

The word for last week is Discouraged. As in, I am so discouraged with my running that I want to quit. The humidity is killing me, and I feel like I'm going backwards fitness-wise. I have 23 weeks until the marathon, and at the rate I'm going, I'm not sure it's long enough.

  • Tuesday - 4 in the neighborhood
  • Wednesday - 3.5 with 4 circuits
  • Friday - 3.5 worst run yet
  • Sunday - 3 with Elizabeth, and this was the worst run yet. I bailed on the rest of my run and walked the last half mile. My legs turned to complete noodles.

I didn't even make it down to the Trail to run with the girls this week, which is both good and bad. Bad because I love running with the group and seeing my friends. Good because of how dreadfully I'm running. They'd have dropped me within the first mile, and I'd spend the rest of the run feeling grumpy and slow.

I'm supposed to join a training group in July for the marathon, and I'd hoped to be in better shape by now in preparation for the group.

I'm just discouraged.

Friday, May 21, 2010

The Bicker Twins

I've had a packed week of blogging, so just a short note today to point you to Deep South Moms, where I have a post up about my daughters and their relationship. Please go take a look.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

A Night on the Town

I managed to stay awake for last night's concert, but it was hard. I picked up Liz at 7:30, and we went out for a nice dinner where neither of us had to cut up anyone's food or pick up dropped silverware.

We got to the club at about 9:00, expecting to hear some of the opening act and then be ready for OK Go. Instead, we saw this sign:
9:00 - Opening Act 1 (except it had the band's name, but I forgot it)
9:50 - Opening Act 2 (ditto on the name)
11:00 - OK Go

Liz looked at me and said "I've already had two beers, which is enough. What are we going to do for the next two hours."

My immediate response was, "I wish I'd brought my knitting." Liz just shook her head and laughed. And then posted it to twitter.

We ended up running into some women Liz knew, so we hung out in a quieter bar downstairs for a while before heading back up for the real show.

Once the concert started, I was so glad we'd stuck it out. The venue was a small club right on 6th Street - I don't remember the last time I was on 6th Street at night. Liz and I got offered $1.00 shots with no cover at several bars between the car and the show, and we both had a hard time remembering when the last time we'd done shots was (college).

The place was small enough that even though we were standing in the back, we had a great view of the stage and the band. OK Go puts on an awesome show - they looked like they were having fun up there, which makes a huge difference. Plus, the crowd was really into it.

We bailed out at 12:15 - they'd already played all my favorite songs - and didn't hang around for the encore. I walked in the door right at 1:00 and collapsed into bed. I don't remember the last time I was awake that late, let alone out of the house that late.

It was a great evening out, and we weren't even close to being the oldest ones there.

(Photo by Liz)

Wednesday, May 19, 2010


See those cute boys? They're a band called OK Go. If you haven't heard of them or don't know their music, go to YouTube right now and check them out. I'll wait.

Anyway. Tonight they're playing a show in Austin, and I have two tickets. When they first announced their line-up, I checked on the tickets just out of curiosity. When I saw how cheap they were, I jumped at the chance to see them. I convinced my friend from Peace, Love & Guacamole to be my partner in crime and go to the show with me.

But now I'm worried. First, I'm old enough to be those cute boys' mother much older sister. I may very well be the oldest person there. When I said something to that effect on Twitter yesterday, my friend helpfully pointed out that she's a year younger than I am. Humpf.

Second, I'm worried I'll stay awake long enough to even make it to the show. The doors open at 8:00, and there are two opening acts. All of this means it may very well be 10:00 before OK Go hits the stage. I'm going to be the old lady sleeping in the corner. Or the old lady knitting to stay awake, which may just mortify my friend.

I think I'm going to go make a pot of coffee in the hopes that I can stay awake. I'd hate to miss the show.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Table Wars

Elizabeth has figured out how to climb on the kitchen table, and she does it at least 20 times a day. Pushing all the chairs under the table no longer stops her. This is what happens every time.

What? Am I doing something wrong?

You can't get mad at me. Look at how cute I am!

Fine. I'll get down. But could you help me, because I haven't figured that part of it out yet.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Speed Climbing

Here's footage from one of Ella's two speed climbing routes. I'm pretty sure she placed in the top two for this event, too.

Speed climbing is a lot of fun to watch, especially the "big boys," as Ella calls them. They go up the wall so fast it looks like something from the movies.

At last summer's climbing nationals, it was announced that speed climbing is going to be part of the 2016 Olympics. Ella jumped up and down and cheered and then immediately asked, "Will I be old enough to go?" I love that she is so confident in her abilities that she is sure she will be good enough to go to the Olympics, provided she's old enough. I hope that confidence lasts.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

NYC Training Week 6

This week my confidence in my ability to successfully train for a marathon through the long, hot summer took a real hit. The humidity has kicked in, and I just cannot breathe. My legs feel fine; I'm definitely strong enough to up my mileage on my "long" runs, but until I can actually breathe, there's no way I'm going to be able to run farther.

Despite my struggles with humidity, this week's mileage is the highest I've gone since I started training. Go figure.

  • Monday - 3, with Elizabeth in the jogger, which should count for double. I also ran at 9:30 am, which made it extra miserable.
  • Wednesday - 3.5, again, with Elizabeth in the jogger.
  • Friday - 5 at the Trail. If my friend S hadn't hung back with me, I would have walked the last 2 miles out of sheer frustration. I was gasping for air at times.
  • Sunday - 3, yet again, with Elizabeth. I don't usually run on Sundays, but I couldn't run on Saturday because of a thunderstorm and Ella's climbing comp. It was a nice morning, so I decided to log a few miles.

Total - 14.5

I know I'll adapt to the humidity. I've done it before. But it's going to be a miserable few weeks while I adjust.

On the plus side, I have housing for the marathon arranged. Two of my closest friends are going with me, and one of them loves planning trips and researching places to stay. So she gave herself the job of finding someplace on the Upper West Side that's affordable. She's booked us a cool apartment right near the finish line. I can't wait!

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Climbing Ella

Ella had another climbing competition today, this time at her home gym. This comp was the regional qualifier, and climbers advance to divisionals in Boulder based on today's results. The format was different than the others she's gone to this spring. Instead of having four hours to climb as many routes as possible and pick the five highest scoring ones, the climbers attempt four routes, with four minutes allowed for each route. They're also not allowed to see the routes before their turn to climb.

I dropped Ella off at the gym at 7:30 so she could go into the "isolation" room with all the other climbers and headed back to the house, where B was rallying the rest of the kids. I took Lily to hang out with one of her best friends, who is also in the same Saturday ballet class, and I dropped Campbell at a neighbor's. Elizabeth came along with me and B. She had the best time at the gym, which has padded floors and lots of squishy crash pads to play on. It's like a giant gymboree, a giant FILTHY gymboree.

Ella climbed really, really well. She tied for first in one event, which meant that she and the other girl went on to a Super Final. The competitor who climbed highest won. Unfortunately, the other girl was able to touch one hold higher than Ella did before falling. Ella placed second by two 100s of a point. She was thrilled to have gotten to climb a fifth route and to have gotten second. Best of all, today's climb guarantees her a slot at Divisionals in Boulder next month.

Which is a good thing because I went against my superstitious nature and bought plane tickets on Thursday for the two of us. I was fairly convinced that by buying tickets before she had actually qualified for the competition I had tempted fate and something terrible would happen at the comp. But it didn't, and life is good.

Ella also competed in the speed climbing event, which is just what it sounds like. Climbers go head to head up the wall to see who can do it fastest. We don't know how Ella placed because we had to leave and collect children before the results were posted. But she easily placed in the top two. I'll post a video of her speed climb soon.

Now I'm counting down the days to our trip to Boulder. I've never been there, and I'm looking forward to a long weekend in the mountains.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Literary Diagnosis

I have a new post up over at Deep South Moms. Please go check it out and maybe leave a comment over there. It's about how I tend to diagnose my kids ailments through children's literature. And, in my humble opinion, it's one of the best posts I've written.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

All Abot Davy Crockt, By Lily G

Lily brought home the report she did on Davy Crockett, and it's too funny and cute not to share. Pictures and text by Lily, sic all. My comments are in ital.

Davy Crockett fought at the Battle of the Alamo

(don't you just love the big smiley face as he shoots someone?)

He had a wife. She got sick and she died. He got another wife.

(Good to know the first wife was so easily replaceable. I love the Xs on the dead wife's eyes)

In the Battle of the Alamo the Mexicans won. Davy Crockett died in the battle of the Alamo

(That's poor old Davy there on the bottom in brown. He has a sword sticking out of him. One of the Texians is saying "Curse you!" The Mexican soldiers are cheering.)

He was a hero because he protected his men.
(I'm guessing that's Davy up in the dream bubble with a coonskin hat on.)

Monday, May 10, 2010

My new distraction

I've been distracted from my current sock project (the socks that don't want to be knit), by the "Turn a Square" hat designed by Jared Flood of Brooklyn Tweed fame. This is absolutely a fabulous pattern. I used one skein of Cascade 220 and one skein of Noro Silk Garden and knit two hats in one week - one for a friend going through chemo and one for my husband. It's the first time I've knit with Silk Garden, and I'm in love with the stuff.

For the first hat I did the 3/2 striping the pattern called for, switching to just Silk Garden for the last little bit of decrease on the crown of the hat.

Notice that the circles turn to squares on the top of the hat.

I love the subtle changes in color with the Silk Garden. And Lily's sweet face. I think she was meant to model.

For this hat, I used a Fibonacci-ish sequence of stripes like others on Ravelry did. But I couldn't get Ella to take a non-goofy picture of the front of the hat.

I've run out of Silk Garden, so it's back to knitting the socks that won't end until I can make another trip to the yarn store. Or until I throw the socks that won't end aside and pull out of the four skeins of yarn I acquired last week under my mom's influence.

Sunday, May 09, 2010

Mother's Day Poetry Slam

On Thursday, Lily's class had a Mother's Day Poetry Slam. For extra authenticity, it was held at a neighborhood coffee shop - we ran out all the 20-year-old tattooed hipsters. The poems were all very sweet and often very funny.

One boy's poem thanked his mom for taking care of him at the grocery store. Several kids included the word "texting" when describing their moms, which got a good laugh.

Mom, by Lily
You're sweet
You're kind
You're lovable
You're nice
You're my mom and I love you

After each child read a poem, they presented their moms with a flower. I popped mine in my pigtail and forgot about it, which meant I wore it to a work meeting that afternoon. Whoops.

Happy Mother's Day to all my mom friends. May your day be filled with lovely poems, mangled flowers and lots of hugs and kisses.

Thursday, May 06, 2010

Baby in a basket

Ella got tired of having Elizabeth in her room, messing things up. So she did this and pushed Elizabeth into the hallway and slammed the door.

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Not that kind of party

Last weekend, Campbell went to his first-ever party at Chuck-E-Hell. (If I have anything to do with it, that was also his last visit to the place.) He now thinks that Chuck-E-Hell is the best place in the world, which is kind of puzzling to me. He was terrified of the guy in the giant rat suit, he didn't understand how to play most of the video games, and he was lousy at skee-ball.

Yesterday was B's birthday. When I told Campbell that it was daddy's birthday, he asked if he could go to daddy's party. After I assured him that he could go to the party, he asked if it was at Chuck-E-Hell.

He was very disappointed that daddy's party was nothing more than cake and ice cream at home with us. When you're 3 1/2, it just isn't a party without terrible pizza, migraine-inducing music, and a teenager in a rat suit.

Monday, May 03, 2010

Silliness with SHoes

Friday night I managed to escape the house and children for a few hours to have dinner with two of my best friends. Before dinner, however, one friend and I went shopping. After months of searching, I managed to find some jeans that fit and a cool new shirt.

Our next stop before dinner was Nordstrom Rack, which if you've never been there, is overwhelming to say the least. I have yet to actually buy anything there because I can't I can't find anything.

I did swing through the shoe section, hoping against hope that they'd have some of my favorite running shoes in stock. They didn't, but they did have these fabulous shoes "designed" by Jessica Simpson.

Given that I spend most of my life in running shoes, Keens, Dansko clogs, or Birkenstocks, trying to walk in four-inch platform heels was an adventure. My friend and I were laughing hysterically as I teetered drunkenly up and down the aisle, trying not to trip over this nice lady who was actually looking for shoes, not just playing. My friend said the shoes made my legs look great. Too bad I couldn't walk in them. Plus, they were kind of ugly.

Sunday, May 02, 2010

NYC Training Week 4

This was kind of an off week, mileage-wise. But the miles I ran were quality ones. I didn't get to run on Saturday because B and Ella were off in Houston for a climbing comp (she tied for first in her division, BTW).

  • Monday - 3 with Elizabeth in the jogger, which should count for extra miles
  • Wednesday - 4.2 in the neighborhood. It was the BEST run I've had in two years. The weather was perfect, and I felt great. I pushed the last quarter mile just to see how hard I could go.
  • Friday - 5 at the Trail with the running chicks. I ran the 4-mile loop and then tacked on another mile. It was miserably warm and humid, so I'm particularly proud of myself for running the extra mile. It was awfully tempting to just head to the car, where I had gatorade waiting for me.

Total of 12.2

I'm a bit worried about my left foot. The top of it is swollen and tender to the touch, but there's no bruise. I'm concerned that I may have a stress fracture starting. So it's probably good that I didn't get to run yesterday. I'll see how it feels when I run tomorrow and make plans from there.