Friday, May 23, 2008

Rain, Rain Go Away!

Well, when it rains here it is always a major event. Kind of like a blizzard in Ohio. We had been warned of rain, but since it hadn't rain since February we weren't believing the weather reports-the meteorologists had lied to us before. Promises of rain that never came. Andrew and I drove home from preschool and it was raining a little. It had obviously rained more at our house than further north-Andrew's sand box was already full of water when we got home. As we were emptying the van of all the groceries, it started raining harder and the wind was picking up. By the time we were done and the garage door was shut, the rain was coming down sideways, the hail started along with the lightning and thunder. In Ohio it always seemed to lightning for a little bit and then be done. Here it lightninged (is that a word?) for hours.
Of course, not believing that it would ever rain or get cold, the girls had went to school in only t-shirts. Andrew and I headed over to the school with jackets for them and two umbrellas. It was somewhat funny. As I open our front door-we are five houses from the school-all you heard was screaming. The streets were flooded-just ankle-deep. So as the kids were crossing the road they had no choice but to walk through the water and so you heard their squeals as you were walking. Andrew stayed on the sidewalk out of the water on the way there. But since we had no choice but to walk through some ankle-deep water he got used to it. He walked through the stream the whole way home. I'm not sure how much rain we got-I'm sure it was over the average for May-the average is only .19 inches. Most of the green spaces are flooded. I feel like I am in Ohio. Our high today is only 71!!! Maggie is taking a jacket because they are picnicking today after their field trip to see a play. Hopefully, it won't rain during their picnic.
I am supposed to go help at the school for Maggie's ice cream party at 2. I have to take Andrew to the doctor and see if he is contagious before I do that. We just can not get healthy in this house. Yesterday when I took him to school one of his cheeks was all red. I just thought it was the way he was laying on the beanbag. When I picked him up both cheeks were red-I know it was the last day of school, but I honestly can't believe they didn't call me to come get him! He has been a little off this week-falling asleep in the car on the way home from school, napping every day...I just thought it was from playing outside and swimming so much. No...I think he has fifth disease. It's nothing serious unless you are pregnant. I found it in one of my child books and when I went to the gym today someone told me that a friend of Andrew's had it last week. Now I'm just hoping the rest of us don't get it!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

4 more days!

This is Andrew with Scott, a guy that works with Steve. He lives in California, but drove his motorcycle out to Arizona. He came over one night on his motorcycle. Just to make sure that Andrew continues with his fascination of motorcycles! The girls got on too. The pictures came out a little blurry-I think because it was dark out.

The girls have 4 more days of school! Most of this is going to be spent doing fun activities. Maggie's class is going to a play on Friday, then lunch at a park and back to the school for an ice cream party. Christine's class has been doing some neat science experiments these last few days. All the fifth graders having been getting together and working in groups-they might actually be learning a little. Andrew's last day of preschool is tomorrow. I get to go in the last 30 minutes for an ice cream party. He is excited-especially since they gave them all t-shirts to wear. He hasn't taken his off since he got it on Tuesday. I'm hoping to get it in the washing machine tonight when he goes to bed.

If you haven't been watching the weather, we have had some record-breaking heat. Nothing too major, just a preview of what is to come this summer. Honestly, this year has been extemely pleasant compared to last year. We hit 100 degrees in March last year. This year it took until the end of May. I will take the heat any day over the snow! Of course, we are in for a major cool down now-only in the 80s tomorrow and -gasp-70s on Friday and Saturday. (Better break out the sweatshirts!)

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Sick Days

It doesn't seem to matter where you live, once one person in the house gets sick, someone else is bound to get it. We have had a couple weeks of sickness in our house and I am ready for it to be done! Christine has been the only healthy one-of course, I am probably jinxing her. Anyway, Steve got it first and now he seems fine. Maggie, Andrew and I have been on and off sick for the last week and a half. So, the only thing going on here is germ-fighting. Every day I have been wiping down door handles and the phone and everything else with Clorox wipes. We have plans to go with Maggie's brownie troop to an indoor play place Saturday so I am hoping we are all healthy by then!

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Splash n' Dash

I don't think I have ever been so nervous before a race. Looking out at the water and seeing the buoys that we had to swim around only made matters worse. It looked like a much bigger circle than 500 meters. Also, I am used to road races where there are people of all shapes and sizes. There were not many people with an overabundance of body fat at this race-it was a little intimidating. I tried to act like I knew what I was doing and just followed everyone my number, set up my running stuff neatly in the "alley" next to the water, got in line to get my number on my arms...I did go out for a short warm-up run which not many seemed to do, but I was too nervous to just stand around.
Then a few people starting getting their wet suits on, so I followed by doing the same. They just had them up to their waist and were letting the top part hang down, so, of course, I was doing the same. Now mind you, I only practiced in this wet suit once. Well, this guy next to me, asked me to help him with his snagged zipper-which was going up his back. So, as I'm helping him unsnag I casually ask him if the zipper is supposed to be in the back. His reply "that's how most people wear them." Ooops! Not only was my wet suit on backwards, I had practiced with it on backwards. So, as I am taking off the wet suit to put it on the right way I explain that this is my first open water swim (as if he didn't know). His reply "I hope you don't have a panic attack out there." Thanks for that vote of confidence buddy! Another guy near us thought I was taking the wet suit off because I decided to swim without it-I had to explain to him also, that no, I was still planning on swimming with the wet suit on. I was just an idiot and had to put it on the RIGHT way. I wasn't off to the greatest start on this new adventure.
Well, the race director announces that the Tempe Fire Department (on a pontoon boat) and all the lifeguards (in kayaks) were all there so we could enter the water if we wanted. A bunch of people enter so I put my wet suit on the rest of the way-with some help from a spectator with that zipper in the back. (I hope if I ever see these people in my life again, that they don't remember me.) Had a little trouble getting my goggles on with the cap over my hair-I had never practiced with a cap on-but I finally managed.
Now, I had read some things online that if you have never done an open swim, you should get in the water before the race to ward off a panic attack at the start. So, heeding the advice of some unknown person online, I get in the water. It was definitely dirtier than Lake Erie-a nice shade of green. Didn't feel too bad with the wet suit on-a balmy 70 degrees or so. I'm not so sure how those people without wetsuits did it, but there were quite a few. I talked with a girl out in the water who adviced to stay in the back-she told me at the last race she had gotten hit during the first lap in the water-luckily we were only doing one lap for this race. As I am trying to get used to the water and the fact that I would soon be swimming far away from the bank something hits my hand-I didn't freak too much, but it did definitely got my heart rate going. Luckily it was only a ziploc bag, because I think if it had been a fish-alive or dead-I would have packed my stuff up and headed home.
The race starts and there was a mad rush. I tried to stay somewhat in the back but there was still quite a bit of pushing and hitting. Not on purpose, but just everyone trying to get themselves moving. I made it swimming somewhat of an awkward style freestyle. Many thoughts were going through my head as I swimming. WHAT AM I DOING OUT HERE? was the most prevelant one. Also, Dory's tune from Little Nemo was going through my head-" Just keep swimming...Just keep swimming..." I was also evaluating how competitive I am in sports, and is this really a good thing when I stick myself willingly out in the water when I'm really not so sure I adequately prepared to swim a 500 meter in open water.
As these thoughts are going through my head and I can see the finish buoy-still probably a good 150 meters away-I here this girl say "Is it OK if I hang on for a little bit?" Immediately, I think "NO WAY! You have got to be kidding. Do not touch me. We will both drown out here." As these thoughts are running through my head I hear a voice say "yeah. It's OK." Here, she was talking to one of the lifeguards in the kayaks. What a relief to me!
I don't know if I have ever been so happy to get out of the water before. Much relief that I had made it and now on to something that is second nature to me-the run. I'm not sure exactly how long it took me to swim the 500-sometime between 13:15 and 13:40. I wore my watch, but forgot to look at it when I got out of the water. After getting out of the wetsuit, slipping some shorts on, and getting my shoes on I started running at 15 minutes. I was shocked at how many people I passed during the run. I wasn't running with any great blazing speed-I think a little over 22 minutes for the 5k. These people were definitely much better swimmers than runnners-lucky for me. We had to run two loops and the overall leader passed me during my first loop-he was moving pretty fast.
You can view the results at I was 69th overall. Is it a good time? I have no idea. Did I have fun? Depends on your definition of fun. Will I do it again? Still not sure...but I'll probably be risking drowning again. After all...I have to see if I can improve my time.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

I finished!

To all who are wondering....I finished. I am alive to say that I swam in Tempe Town Lake-it is just a little disgusting though. I have a few funny stories to tell, but don't have the time right now. We just got home from Christine's bball game and Steve and I are getting ready to go to a Cinco de Mayo party. Will try to journal tomorrow.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Sink or Swim?

Chatted with Suzanne today about my upcoming adventure. I am trying not to let myself start panicing about swimming in open water. We were laughing about everything that could possibly go wrong. Getting hit by another swimmer, getting pushed down by another swimmer, drowning, getting nibbled on by a fish (there aren't any people-eating fresh-water sharks, are there?)'s all funny until I actually have to jump in the water. I am sure I will be fine. It's just hard to not wonder about all those what ifs? as you try something new. Anyway...think of me Saturday morning...I will be jumping in the water around 7:15AM our time.