Tuesday, August 30, 2011

That's My Little Gilmore Girl...

Brynna and I were having a nice chat in the kayak last night as Alex was swimming along:

B: My cold is all gone.

Me: Oh good! I'm glad.

B: So now I can share your CHAI! [Huge grin]

Me: I suppose so.

B: Well, there's a little left over. It's almost gone.

Me: Maybe we should wait on the chai until your cold is all the way gone, then.

B: Actually, it's all gone.

So perhaps some day this thing about germ-sharing will sink in...

Sunday, August 28, 2011


Halloween Candy? In August? Am I the only consumer that sees something wrong with this? We buy ours on, ohh, Oct 28th, and no one is the wiser.

Hurricane Irene

A'yuh, that's a lot of rain.

Lost power around 1:00, too, but things aren't too bad right now.  It's quite pleasant and quiet at the moment.  Perhaps the storm will get Brynna to take her first nap in a week.

B still has light in her room thanks to the combination of Twinklepic and AA-to-USB!

(this update brought to you by my iPhone and cell towers with backup generation)

[UPDATE 2011-08-28 22:27 - We got our power back after an hour or two]

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Little Swimmer!

Hmmm...my favorite pics of B this summer mostly seem to involve her wearing her life jacket...

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

First Riding Lesson

When we were in Connecticut earlier this summer, Brynna got to have her first riding lesson...on her own pony-to-be!

Donald has been a member of our family since he was two and I was ten. He's a large pony, which means I outgrew him roundabout the beginning of high school, when I moved on to jumpers and eventing with Panache. Since then, he's been leased out at various farms in Connecticut and New York, earning his own (and some of Panache's) keep. I knew I'd want him back once I was grown up and had a kiddo of my own. We're not quite there yet—Donald would eat our backyard bare pretty quick, and B isn't old enough yet to help me muck out stalls—but I'm really starting to look forward to the day when we can go riding together!

Anyhow, we were invited over for a mini-lesson by the very kind owner of the farm where Donald is currently being adored, cosseted, and spoiled by many other little girls.

First, Brynna learned about grooming:

Then about safety, though she's certainly familiar with the helmet concept:

Then she headed for the ring. It was neat to stand back and watch her under someone else's tutelage:

We had to wrap the stirrup leathers a few times, but Donald stood patiently as we got B all settled in the saddle.

Then it was off to the ring, with a steadying hand as she got accustomed to the motion.

I think they are discussing using the reins to stop and turn.

Eventually B was confident enough to sit on her own.

Once she came back up to the indoor ring, she posed with me:

As you can see, Brynna was thrilled by the whole affair. And my parents and I got a huge kick out of seeing her with Donald. (As it was summertime, I think my parents were able to repress the frigid memories of wintertime indoor horse shows, otherwise they would not look this happy.)

A vision of the future?

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Oh, so THAT'S the problem

Brynna and I were chatting as I drove her to daycare this morning.

Me: are you going to have a nap today?

B: (shakes head no)

Me: why?

B: because I'm not sleepy on Tuesdays!

Me: Oh.

B: (nodding wisely) but I'm really sleepy on Wednesdays.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Nix The Nuk!

One of the tasks of this past week of vacation has been getting rid of Brynna's pacifier.

(Yes, all you paci-snobs out there, we should have done this about 2 1/2 years ago. But we LIKE our sleep! Dentists be damned!)

Since Brynna has been Nuk-ed since she was about a month old, this has not been a particularly pleasant transition. For many, many months now we have been restricting pacifiers to naptime and bedtime only, but this still means that she has to completely retrain herself to fall asleep without one. The initial Nuk-less naps and bedtimes were only accomplished through repeated promises (well, sure, go ahead and call them bribes) of ice cream upon awakening. Duct tape and sedation-by-Benadryl were deeply considered.

She seems to be doing a bit better now, after a week's worth of practice, and didn't ask for her Nuk tonight. However, we also seem to have lost the mid-day nap. I'm not sure this is at all a fair trade.

In honor of this momentous occasion, here is a Nuks-through-the-ages-of-Brynna photo tour:

Brynna has decorated a paper bag to hold all her old Nuks, and soon the Nuk-fairy will come and take them away and give them to new babies who need them, replacing them with a big-girl surprise. Um...just as soon as we can get to Target.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Timberman Sprint Triathlon

Yesterday, Alex and I both competed in the Timberman Sprint Triathlon. This was our first large race—over 1500 entries. It's run by the Ironman people, and is put on in conjunction with a half-Ironman distance race that is happening today. (Those crazy people are doing a 1.2 mile swim, 56 mile bike, and 13.1 mile run.)

Despite injuries—my broken toe, and a sliced finger for Alex on Thursday night requiring suturing in the emergency room—we had a great time.

We woke just after 4 in an attempt to get on-site parking. And boy, did we succeed! Here's the early-morning view from our parking spot:

Right on the beach! The little orange thing in the water is one of the swim course buoys.

Alex went off with the first swim wave at 7 AM sharp, and as always had a super-fast swim. He got kicked in the face in the early going as his group was sorting itself out, and is now thinking he needs to start right toward the front in the future! He rigged a wrap for his sutured finger, and was thus attired in a very classy medical-glove-and-duct-tape getup that apparently did a decent job of keeping his finger fairly dry.

I was in swim wave #7, a whole half hour later. There were about 100 other women in my wave—I avoided getting kicked, though it was a close thing. Lake Winnepesaukee was beautifully clear and not too cold. I did wear my wetsuit but actually ended up regretting it—after a bunch of great, rhythmic training swims without my wetsuit, I was surprised to have trouble finding the sweet spot today, and have decided that it's because the wetsuit is so tight. It seems to change my breathing so I have a hard time getting comfortable. I guess that means more wetsuit-wearing training swims despite the heat we've been having...

Timberman, like some other large races, has wetsuit strippers available in the transition area. Alex, having done this job as a volunteer last year, was deeply skeptical, but I decided to give it a shot. When I ran up off the beach, I pulled the top part of my wetsuit off (my trisuit, which is a tank top and shorts, was on underneath), and then laid down on my back on a mat. Two boys (middle school? early high school?) grabbed either side of my suit and whisked it off over my feet...it was indeed much faster than doing the ridiculous-looking neoprene-shedding dance that I usually end up doing. (Did I mention that wetsuits are TIGHT?)

Then it was on to the bike. One of the advantages of being a slow swimmer is that I get to do a lot of passing on the bike! The hills were particularly friendly for me today. Alex had a strong bike leg as well. We crossed paths close to the end of Alex's bike leg and the beginning of mine, which is always fun! The crowded field made it a little hard at times to adhere to the specific rules about keeping a certain distance between bikes, but it also kept things interesting.

The run was OK, with a nice view of the lake. I took it quite easy and my toe behaved itself just fine, not painful at all. I saw several teammates during the run and cheering them on definitely helped me pick up my own pace a little!

All in all, the whole day went about as well as we could have hoped.

Here we are on the beach after the race:

Only downside is that we both managed to lose our goggles in T1 somehow (T1 is the transition from swim to bike). So it's off to the sporting goods store for replacements, so we can carry on training for our September races!

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Ready, Set, Balance!

We've been spending a lot of time chasing B around the block recently. Instead of a bike with training wheels, M and Deen—after admiring the small expertly-balancing Czech children on their trip earlier this year—gifted us with a pedal-less bike that Brynna pushes along with her feet. This is supposed to cultivate better balance than training wheels and thus an eventual easier transition to a regular bike.

Brynna's really getting the hang of it now, and can glide along, both feet off the ground, for five or ten seconds at a time—particularly if one of us provides a "rocket boost" to get her up to speed!

We've also managed to brainwash her appropriately about helmet use. If we see someone riding a bike without one, she yells, "that not safe!" Darn right, Little B.

Friday, August 19, 2011


Thursday night I was working on one of my many concurrent projects. At the moment, I was taking n Xacto knife to a large (2-gal) plastic bin, trying to cut the top off. While scoring along the outside, a combination of the flimsy plastic wall, the flimsy narrow blade, and my own clumsiness resulted in the blade sliding off to one side...right across my left pinky. Cursing myself stupidity, I wrapped it tight with a heavy paper towel, and completed cutting the bottle before heading upstairs to survey the damage. A long, deep cut from along the top side of the digit, starting before the last knuckle and extending alongside the nail. It was doing a fair bit of bleeding, and was clearly deep enough to need stitches. This was the other shoe I was hoping wasn't about to drop, particularly right before a race weekend.

I turned to my doctor wife, wondering if she'd do the honors and stitch me up herself to spare me a trip to the ER. Alas, no. Even though we have some old sterile sutures kicking around, they were much too heavy gauge, and we didn't have any of the other necessities (needle driver, licocaine injection, etc.) to do a proper and clean job of it. So off I went.

Thankfully, it was a relatively quiet night, and I was seen relatively quickly. The nerve block to numb my finger took a few injections and 30 minutes to fully take effect, but after that it was pretty easy to get things cleaned up and stitched.

During my ample waiting time, I was already starting to conjure plans that would allow me to compete in Saturday's Timberman Sprint triathlon. The pinky finger is not generally needed for much of anything, but it's would not be a good idea to soak the wound and dressing in Lake Winnipesaukee. Gloves, tape, and creative sealing were in order.

Ice Cream With Dickie

When we visit Connecticut, the place to go for ice cream is Charlie's (also known as the Dairy Delite).

I have wonderful memories of my grandfather taking me there since I was a very small person, and now we're extending that to the next generation:

Thursday, August 18, 2011

A Change of Plans

So, I'm on vacation this week. (Yes, it's fabulous!)

I had planned an outdoorsy, summer-in-New-Hampshire time, complete with an overnight hike in the White Mountains with Alex and my dad, a day hike with a friend, and then a triathlon on Saturday.

Instead, my dad and I ended up commiserating about this:

Last Friday night...the very start of my vacation...I stubbed my toe. Really hard! After
howling and cursing, I went to bed, where it continued to hurt. Then I woke up Saturday morning, stood up, and nearly fell over from the throbbing pain in my foot. I couldn't get a sneaker on, and my toe was a nice purplish color. Broken, as far as I can tell (no sense in doing an x-ray...the treatment isn't any different).

So, our big hike has been postponed. My parents came to visit anyway, and Dad and I rehabbed our broken toes (his is about two weeks old, caused by an unruly Pyrex container) with ice cream and Brynna snuggles.

The triathlon on Saturday is still up in the air. I won't be competitive at this point, but would like to at least complete it if possible. We shall see...

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

3rd Birthday (A Bit Belated)

So, Brynna had a birthday recently ("Juwy Firty-First," as she will tell you), and we had a marvelous time!

The big girl swings were a huge hit, as was the rest of the newly reinforced jungle gym:

Brynna was having a hard time choosing between an Elmo cake and a Cookie Monster cake, so Deen obliged with a little bit of both:

Now aware of birthday conventions, B was thrilled to (successfully!) blow out her candles:

She also enjoyed a birthday iChat with Grandma and Da, opening her fantastic present: Linkin' Logs!

Happy birthday, Little B!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Climbing B

Next stop, the Gunks?

I've always really wanted to like rock climbing, but despite multiple attempts, it actually scares me a lot. Here's hoping B will keep on climbing!

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Make Way For...Brynna!

I'm in the midst of a two-week block of overnight call, but have Friday afternoon through Sunday evening off. Gambling on getting at least a little bit of sleep at the hospital on Thursday night, I made plans to head into Boston on Friday evening to see the Chihuly exhibit at the MFA.

Alex is off visiting Grandma, Da, and Aunt Kate this weekend, so after I finished up at work early Friday afternoon (5 hours of sleep overnight! Woohoo!), Dad and I packed Brynna up and headed for the city.

We parked on the outskirts and took the T in. Brynna was thrilled about the train ride--and has announced to everyone since that we took "an Orange train and a Green train!"

We wanted to tucker Brynna out before the museum, so headed first for the Boston Public Garden, where we sat down near the ducklings statues and read Make Way For Ducklings. Sorry, I was too busy reading and handing Brynna snacks to take photos. Then we met up with Aunt Donna and took a ride on the Swan Boats. B loved that, too, and was fascinated by the fact that they are actually paddleboats.

Donna had scoped out a carousel across the street on Boston Common, so we went there next. They had a lovely ride together!

Then it was time for a dip in the Frog Pond. I didn't know about this before we got there, but luckily had packed an extra change of clothes for Brynna just in case. It's a really nifty 6-inch deep pool with a bunch of fountains, and it was full of kids!

There's also an awesome playground there.

Midway through our playground romp, we met up with friends D, A, and baby T (who isn't really a baby anymore), then headed off for dinner.

Unfortunately, when we arrived at the MFA, the Chihuly exhibit was sold out for the evening. Bummer! However, B and I were both getting pretty tuckered out so were happy enough to turn for home. Brynna spent the whole return train ride chatting up other passengers and generally making a social butterfly of herself before we both zonked out on the drive home.