My online journal.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Congrats Peg!

My awesome friend Peg (lives in MKE, met at WSU) and her sweet hub John had a baby.

Ain't he a doll?

Welcome Jack!

A couple other notes:

1. Thank you SO MUCH to each and every one of you who emailed, called, or commented, or otherwise sent your well-wishes for the run last weekend. I am not sure whether I'd mentioned this before (and many of you were already aware), but May 27th was the one-year anniversary of my Aunt Jan's passing. It was important, I think, for our family to be together, and I know I wouldn't have attempted to do something like that on my own. So I want you all to know how much your support meant to me.

2. I forgot to mention some of the other fun things we did over the weekend! Sunday afternoon we bought a kite at Aldi and took it to the meadow. Joel and my dad were kind of in charge of flying the thing, and when they gave Lucy the kite-reins, hilarity ensued. Imagine Joel running at full speed (which, as you know, is about 20 mph) and then diving-and-rolling to try to catch a runaway kite. And then imagine my dad wading across the creek in his tennis shoes. And then Joel and me, trying to dislodge a kite from two trees.

Monday morning, we drove the kids over to Arlington Park to watch the thoroughbreds go through their morning warmups. You can drive right up to the rail and watch them ride by. Special thanks to the one trainer who pulled his horse right over to let Lu and Ed pet her. He told us the horse wasn't a runner yet, just a baby of three. We told Lucy the horse was about her age; pretty sure that blew Lucy's mind. It was a beautiful morning and the horses were, of course, gorgeous... and a neat reminder that some of the best things in life are free.

3. Today I mourn the end of one of my favorite websites, Batgirl. Truly, the site that turned me into a Twins fan... and a baseball fan.

4. Argh, I know I had more, but I seriously have to go mow the lawn. Love and hugs to everyone... it's Tuesday! Yess!!

Monday, May 28, 2007

We Did It!!

My sisters and I finished the Soldier Field 10-mile!

AND Joel and I made it to our 7th anniversary!

The run itself was pretty brutal. Ellen took off ahead (and averaged 8-minute miles; that girl is totally amazing), but Jean and I ran the whole thing together and averaged just under 10-minute-miles, which I thought was really good, for us! Running that fast, though, I tell you what, the last 2 miles were really tough. But the weather was just perfect and I'm very proud to say it is done.

You can see our times and whatnot by clicking here and doing a "Ctrl-F" for "gronau" -- Jean is three places behind me (we finished at the same time, but there were lots of other people finishing at that time so it's alphamabetical).

And here are some photos!

We made a side trip to Milwaukee to visit Peg and John and any other little person who may or may not be living in their house now. It was great to see them!! Also, I cut Eddie's hair tonight:

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

The other photo I couldn't do last night.

Mmmm, everybody loves Puddin' Night!

Don't forget you can click on those to make them bigger (if you so choose).

And, in other breaking news...

Joey Fatone still bears an eerie, albeit slightly-burnt, resemblance to my husband.

You can't tell me that's not a little weird.
Speaking of "a little weird" Joel found this photo somewhere on the internets:
It's Ray Ryan!

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

This just in... kids are nuts.

ARGH!! Blogger is killing me. I have like eight other photos I want up here and for the life of me I can't stop the Blogger errors. Insert loud, long swearing tirade here.
While you're waiting for the photos, you can read this little ditty I wrote one year ago today... and never posted. From May 22, 2006:

I know, I know, I’m psycho mom. I think my kids are the smartest, cutest, most amazing little beings on the planet. Blah blah blah. I can’t help myself. Maybe it’s because they look like Joel that I think they are so beautiful.

Today we put Lucy in her new toddler bed, generously donated by Joel’s aunt Doris (who’s between toddlers right now). We also moved Ed from the bassinet-part of his pack-n-play, into Lu’s old crib. (We’d been having to lay him diagonally in said bassinet for the last month, and even that way he’s brushing the walls with his head in one corner and tootsies in the other.)

Now, I know that entire books have been written about how to make this kind of transition less painful for your kid. Their little lives are full of transitions -- breast milk-to-formula-to-milk. Liquids-to-solids. Breast-to-bottle-to-sippy-to-cup. Rear-facing-to-forward-facing. You name it. And maybe I give my kids too much credit for inheriting Joel’s easy-going genes… but I figured, deep down, that this bed-switch wouldn’t be a biggie.

But maybe it’s just that I’m cheap and lazy. I eat expired yogurt and food that’s been on the floor, because I don’t want to throw stuff out, and I really don’t want to buy new stuff to replace it. The stuff you buy to replace it could just as easily go bad and need to be thrown out, too… and that’s just not good economics. (Disclaimer: I have never actually studied economics. Supply/demand whaa?)

So, right, my point: I am far too cheap to purchase a second crib for Eddie. I know other 1½-year-olds in twin- or full-beds; therefore, Lucy should be able to handle a bigger bed. So I started looking for twin beds for her. But is sometimes a crapshoot, and did I want to buy a new twin bed? Nooo!

So we got the toddler bed from the Moylan family, and found another crib mattress at Craig’s List for $20. And I spent about 30 seconds thinking about a way to make the switch without Lucy noticing. But what we ended up doing was simply bringing the toddler bed into Lucy’s room, putting it together right in front of her, popping her old mattress into the frame, and showing her how to climb in. Meanwhile, we took her crib apart (it doesn’t fit through our door frames) and put it back together in Ed’s room. Naptime came, and I put Lu in her new bed, and she was out like a light. Then bedtime came this evening, and Lucy went back into her new bed, and Ed went into his new bed… and they’re both cashed out. Totally amazing.

My dentist is always trying to upsell me. Whitening… power toothbrushes… it’s driving me mental. Like, I understand the marketing reasons behind it -- an existing customer is more likely to spend more money with you than a new customer, and it’s far less expensive to get an existing customer to spend the money than it is to bring in new customers… “organic revenue growth” is the buzzword (buzzphrase). But as that existing customer, I find it really irritating.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Our mini-vacation!

Hi there! Just got back (well, at 11:00 last night) from a long weekend trip to Chicago... just me and Joel! It was ever so lovely. My dad came up Friday morning to watch the kids, and we took off in the van. We went down to Stulie's house and ate dinner at Epicurean, a Hungarian restaurant on Roosevelt Rd. I had veal paprikash ("Waaaaiiiiterrr, there is too much paaaaaper... in my paprikash") and we had these amazing Grease Bombs as an appetizer. Basically it was a deep-fried elephant ear (only more buttery) served with chunks of roasted garlic on top... and then you dunk it in sour cream. Mmmmm.

Saturday morning we hooked up with Ellen (and who hasn't?) and my Mom in El's neighborhood and went for a nice walk along the lakefront and then ordered some pizza and then I fell asleep on the couch. It might have been the gigantic margaritas Joel and Ellen made after the walk. Ellen and I did go out for cannolis a little later but we retired early.

Sunday we had crepes at our favorite Lincoln Park crepe place and then had to dash back out west for Stulie's baby shower. We got to see some old friends (Sally, Dennis, Katie Joyce, Robin and Vince and CJ, Amber, and some others) we hadn't seen in forever, and then Joel and I trucked on back to St Paul last night. It is really good to be home. My dad was plum worn out, I'm sure. And we missed the munchkins.

P.S. I forgot to mention that Jean and I ran 9-and-three-eighths-miles (3x around Lake Phalen) Thursday night! And felt terrific!! We ran another 3-ish miles this morning and I think we are maybe actually going to be able to finish this thing on Saturday. Chicagoland residents, come on down to Soldier Field on Saturday morning and watch us, all sweaty and grody, on the Jumbotron!

PPS I will try to take, then post, photos of the kids soon here. It's been a while.

Monday, May 14, 2007

"Hot and windy" is actually much worse than "uphill and in pain."

Major setback!!!

So I dropped the kids off with Jean (who is a saint, and I do not deserve a sister like her) and tried to do a 5-mile run today. Except it was 90 degrees with wind gusts of oh, maybe 800 miles per hour. OK, says 88 degrees and 21 MPH winds. Same difference. At one point the wind was blowing so hard I was seriously running in place. And with 34% humidity (man I love the internets!) I was about as miserable as a person can be. My head got so hot and I was dripping with sweat and that was at the 30-minute mark. It took me an hour to do a little under 5 miles. I walked almost the whole last half. It was terrible, just terrible.

Well the kids are napping so I'm going to do a crossword and make dinner. Hungarian Goulash -- my mom promised it was good.

PS I cut about 2.5" off Lucy's hair last night and I daresay she is adorable.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Urinetown! Your ticket should say "Urinetown!"

The shortsightedness of my blog URL really makes me smirk at myself. Maybe one of these days I'll pack up and move to something less Lucy-centric.

Happy Mothers' Day, everybody! We've been staying mad crazy, as usual. I'll try to quickly run through the last few days here:

Thursday Joel went to the Twins game and broke his fingernail on a DJ Cuddles foul ball that he did not catch. In the immortal words of Dennis Damiani: If you can touch it, you can catch it! Or wait, Dennis said "It's all about turnovers." Speaking of which, I hear he and Sally are preggers. I don't think they read this, but Congrats anyway!

Thursday night I had a coed softball game that I did not find out that we won until it was over and we were walking back to the car. I am really liking my coed team; I get to play with Jean and Julie and the rest of the team is very nice as well, and Joel brought the kids to the game last week, with mixed results. Our team is 2-1 so far.

Friday evening we packed a picnic dinner and Joel dropped me off on one side of Lake Phalen so I could run around it 2.5 times. Which I did! Maintaining 10-minute miles, which I'm really happy about. It was a little over 7.5 miles which is the farthest I have ever gone (except maybe that one time in college when I was really angry and I ran for maybe a couple hours in the middle of the night). I felt kind of good the whole time. I didn't have to walk, and I caught my second wind around 40 minutes and then my third wind at about an hour. I didn't run with the iPod because, I was trying to exaplin this to Jean and it made sense to her but we sort of share a brain so here goes: I kind of need to "hear" what my body is saying when I'm running. If I'm listening to music, I can't concentrate on adjusting my stride to compensate for whatever might be hurting me at the moment, and I can't hear my breathing to know whether I'm going too hard too fast (or simply not regulating my breathing enough). I have been using a lot of my old hypnobirthing breathing as I run; for sure, those exercises increased my lung capacity and my ability to breathe reaalllly deeply and slowly. I feel like the hypnobirthing practicing also lets me direct energy to different parts of my body as needed; if my legs are getting tired, I feel like I can focus on my arms' motion to distract from the legs. I don't know, it's pretty cool. I know when I used to run (ages ago) my breathing was really what got me down; I'd be really panting like a three-legged dog by the end. Now I feel like I can keep up this deep, slow breathing kind of forever. I'm certainly not saying it's easy, but I'm surprised at how fun it has been to improve and really feel the results of the running training.

Oh, except then I had to run again the next morning, and I almost died.

Saturday morning my mom came up for a very quick overnight visit. The entire crew went back to Lake Phalen and Jean ran around the lake twice; I ran once and biked it once. At the same time we were there, there was a fundraising Run/Walk for Batten disease; I'd never heard of it, but it's a terrible brain disease that hits kids around the age of 5 and the mortality is 100% by age 13. Kind of like MS or ALS for kids, it sounds like. Despite a few horrific appearances by clowns, we kind of butted into the festival and bought some lunch and had a little picnic. P.S> My knee is a constant irritation, but there were no shinsplints to be had all weekend. Also my sitz-bones are a teeny bit tender from riding the bike (for a whole 30 minutes, could I be a bigger baby?), the seat of which is still adjusted to fit Aunt Jan's legs, which were at least 4 inches longer than mine.

Saturday night we trucked up to Monti for Adam Briner's college graduation party. Sunday morning we went to church at Alley Joel and Cara's church in WBL. It was a really good service and we're going to try to make it more often. There were only about 15 people in the congregation and it was very cool to be in such a small group. The pastor is Alley Joel's cousin and he and his wife have 3 little boys, the youngest two of whom are just a little older than Lu and Ed, respectively. So the kids had a wonderful time together too.

This afternoon, Jean and I went to see Urinetown at Heritage Theatre Co at the MCC. I knew several people in it (and working on it) and it was a terrific show! The talent of the cast was amazing and the staging was great. The show is very funny; if you're looking for some wonderful community theatre (only $15!) try to catch it next weekend. It really made me miss performing. Like, a lot. **wistful sigh**

My one regret of this Mothers' Day is not making it to the Farmer's Market this weekend; I'm not sure what they even have this time of year, but I mean to make myself a regular fixture there this summer. And now I won't get there until June. Rats.

Well, it's probably bedtime for me. Have a great week!

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Waiting for Wednesday

I can't believe, again, how long I've been slacking! Time really flies. OK.

Ed is walking, full-bore. I bought him some Target gym shoes and, I know, this is not what the books say, but I swear they have helped him find his balance. He's off to the races. He has also started repeating more words: tickle, tickle... Starsky (the Jack Russell terrier next door; I swear Ed said her name tonight)... all gone... yeah... and he was saying turtle the other day at the Children's Museum. I have witnesses! He's a really funny little dude.

Lucy is getting into the bad habit of mocking/repeating what grownups say in conversations where she's not the COA. For example, my cousin Brian stopped by for dinner tonight (which was super fun! I LOVE it when my business-tripping famblymembers come see our crazy life first-hand!) Anyway, Brian was talking, and Lucy would keep interrupting with "hmm" or "really" or "omiGOSH!" Which I know that I do when others are talking, but I do try to do it at appropriate times; Lucy not so much. Really, it truly bugs me because it feels like she's mocking me. She can't be, yet, right? Well it makes my interjections seem insincere, which I do not appreciate. :)

Staying very busy with running and sports these days; I am following Hal's 15K (9-mile) training program for novices (Jean is on a first-name basis with Hal, so if you're a runner maybe you are too? I am not) which means I do not have to run every day, though I am supposed to be doing the occasional cross-training/cardio workout. I have been counting "mowing the lawn with a self-propelled mower" and "taking the kids to the grocery store" as cross-training, and I'm not certain I won't be sunk, come Memorial Day. Oh, I've also been skipping the "Strength/Stretching" parts of the workouts. I don't do situps/pushups and I do try to stretch every day. My left knee has been hurting a bit too, so I've been tentative about running the last week. I did do 3 miles today and it almost felt good. Props to John Gilligan for letting me know about the training program! I really do like to have a plan. Regardless of whether or not I follow it.

Back to Lucy. We had some major setbacks in the overnight-diaper department (three wet nights in a row) so we are back in buppers for the time being. She was dry last night (but didn't get to bed until 9:30 because Alley Joel was babysitting because he ROCKS and because coed volleyball really needed Joel to step in as well, which he did with flying colors). We have a healthy supply of diapers leftover, so I don't mind using them up. Because that's the kind of cheapskate I am.

Twins are losing... again... and somehow even though I know that "winning the series" (because that's what we're going to do because Santana is pitching tomorrow... RIGHT!?!?) should be all that matters, I still get grouchy when they lose.

I know there's more to write but I am beat... and I just started a great new book. Sayonara...

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

I dunno, Bon Jovi's okay, but I just can't get that excited.

Monday I ran 4.25 miles in about 41 minutes, around my 'hood. No problems, felt terrific.

I crafted a 6.75-mile jaunt out of my neighborhood today and did it in 1 hour, 4 minutes. I had to walk the second time I hit the Big Hill on the other side of 3rd Street, but other than that 3-minute walk I felt really good!

I'm not really sure where, exactly, to go from here... I plan to keep running at least 4 days a week and I think Jean said I shouldn't go down below 3-ish miles anymore... but I don't really know how much I should increase, and when... and/or what my strategy should be for getting to 10 miles by May 26.

I did end up making a rhubarb pie yesterday (with the first rhubarb harvest of the season from my pathetic excuse for a garden!), and let me tell you, the pie was exceptional, especially warmed up, with a bit of 'nilla ice cream. Let me know if you want the recipe; I made the crust too (it was super easy! Honestly!) and I'm delighted to share.

P.S. After about a week of dry overnight buppers, Lu is wearing underwears to bed tonight. Everyone please cross your fingers (and your legs!) for us.