Archive for August, 2007


Posted by julie on Wednesday, 15 August 2007, 15:17

Sylvan finally gets to ride the carnival rides.Yippee, the fair is fun! I like the merry-go-round, and the firetruck, and the monster truck, and the racing pigs, and the chickens, and the sheep, and the goats, and the bunnies, and the strawberry shortcake, and the lemonade, and the toddler playground, and the . . . zzzzzzzz.

We make them happy when skies are gray

Posted by jonesey on Monday, 13 August 2007, 8:46

This morning, Sylvan and I made a brief stop on the way to school to gaze longingly at a concrete mixer (mixah duck!) disgorging its contents into a big hole in the road. I was on my bike, and Sylvan was in the bike trailer. Four burly guys in fluorescent green vests and hardhats and boots were manhandling the concrete delivery tube and smoothing out the concrete in the hole.

Many bike trailers have triangular orange or yellow flags sprouting from their rears to alert cell-phone-wielding drivers to their presence. Ours did not come with a flag, so Julie mounted a giant plastic sunflower to the back.

As we pulled away from the construction site, we were serenaded by at least two of the aforementioned burly guys. In (possibly unintentional) harmony. “You are my sunshine, my only sunshine….”

Yep, that’s where we live.

trailer with plastic sunflower

Happy Birthday: 23 Months

Posted by julie on Sunday, 12 August 2007, 23:00

Dear Sylvan,

Sylvan mugsI just left you upstairs in your room, head buried under your “Nubian seal” (bunny) fur pillow, made from a coat of your great-great-grandmother’s by your Gramma Diana, since she didn’t think the coat would be appreciated as a coat by anyone she knew. You definitely appreciate your soft pillow. On one end, the black pillow is embroidered in gold with the word “Babcia,” Polish for “grandmother.” Your Gramma Mia had a Babcia, too; you come from a long line of kruschiki eaters.

Four weeks later, and you and I are still figuring out how to transition into naptime in your big boy bed. But there’s a rocking horse! And board books! And pillows! And a doorknob! And puzzles! And a whole room in which to run around and bump into walls. We went upstairs at 1 p.m. to quietly read some books. Then you snuggled into your bed, andCut the pickle? Tickle, tickle, tickle. I tucked you in and patted your bum. I left, and you proceeded to rearrange the furniture. Now, it’s 2:30, and you’re asleep; you wiggled the doorknob and asked for cow milk when your exhaustion caught up with you, so, tummy full of fat and protein, you’re ready to sleep.

We’ve spent loads of time at Amazon Pool this past month, where you dump sand into the holes the big kids are digging in the sand; ask for bagels at the snack shack; sit on the bubbling fountains meant to wash off sand before you toddle into the pool; jump off the pool side into our arms, unafraid of going under; and really dig the big blue slide. I love going there with you, both because you enjoy it so much and, let’s face it, because I can read ENTIRE magazine articles while you move sand around.

Who is this BOY in my bathroom?This morning, at the park, another father asked, “So, does Sylvan have any big brothers or sisters?” When I said, “No,” he said he didn’t think so. You tolerate so much shoving aside, grabbing of sand shovels, and bubbles in your eyes from careless bubble flingers. I was hoping that was just because you have such a sweet disposition, but I guess it might be because you don’t have to defend yourself from the onslaught of an older sibling (I’m sorry, Aunt Jenny. I really am.). Well, it might be both. We do have toddler friends who are only children who regularly push and say “mine.” You seem to always figure that there’s another toy out there that’s even better, so you’ll just walk off to find it.

You’ve started to sing a lot recently, both with prompting and without. “Skip to myLike mother, like son. Lou,” “This old man,” and “I’ve been working on the railroad” are all favorites, since you really enjoy songs with nonsense words. Your songs sound like this:

Lou Lou Skip (accompanied by a vigorous imitation of skipping)

Knick-knack pad-whack bone

Dee die diddy eye oh!

And speaking of nonsense words, you’ve said “wacky dacky” for months. You infuse this phrase with your own special sauce: Tabasco, mostly — nice, spicy Tabasco. Today, Nicole, who works in your classroom at school, came over while Daddy and I went to see Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix . You and she are going to spend a couple of days together in the next couple of weeks, so this was her chance to get acquainted with the house and your routines. After Daddy returned home, you said “wacky dacky” while you were all outside, and Daddy told Nicole that you say that a lot, but we don’t know what it means. Well, Nicole knew. Your classmate Jackie is a fragile soul who cries, well, every time Chris drops you off and every time I pick you up — and probably during the four hours in-between. Your teachers say things like, “There’s that wacky Jackie, crying again.” Wacky dacky.

When we spent a week with your cousin Hanna last June, we noticed how agreeable she is, how willing she is to nod and smile. We asked her all sorts of silly things just to see her nod and smile. You are starting to do something similar, which is either nodding or saying “Yiss,” when we ask you if there’s a rhinoceros in your diaper or Sylvan in Mommy’s clogs. Trousers? What a bother.if you went to Hogwarts after your nap. And you’ve taken it a step further, which is making up stories: “Dog over dere.” Nod, nod, nod, point to the other side of the kitchen. “What’s the dog doing, Sylvan?” Equipped to tell tales, you pant like a puppy.

You are a very contemplative responder to questions. You take your time, considering your answers. When Daddy puts you to bed, he asks about your day. Sometimes, you make things up; they are usually things that you’ve done in the past, so what difference does it make if you went to storytime today or last week? Often, you think hard and tell Daddy the details that we adults tend to overlook: the white dog smelling the bushes near the library, the brown creeper on the ponderosa trunk. Because of your thoughtfulness and attention to detail, many adults ask you questions and then either talk on top of your answer or repeat their question before you can respond. You just need a little time to formulate. I understand. You haven’t even been outside my body for 24 months and already you’re being asked to form complex sentences.

Sylvan loves the tree shadowsThis next month before your second birthday you’ll have the opportunity to display your undeniable skill as a flexible, happy toddler. I will be gone for three weeks of the next four. First, I’m leaving for a week and a half to instruct a NOLS course, something I haven’t done since I became pregnant with you. Then, Daddy and I are heading to Alaska, sans Sylvan, to sea kayak, hike, and act as if we’re not grizzly bait. I won’t pretend I won’t miss you, but I’m VERY excited to play outside for three weeks without worrying about getting you home in time for your nap or wondering if we have enough Cheerios in your lunchbox.

I love you-


An almost perfect almost 10K

Posted by jonesey on Saturday, 11 August 2007, 21:47

Julie, Sylvan, and I traveled up to Junction City (about ten miles north) this morning for the Scandia Run 10K. I ran a great time despite not being in shape for a speedy race. I ran the second half faster than the first half, which is always a sign of a well-paced race. It’s also more fun that way. Here are my splits for the first six miles:

6:25, 6:29, 6:23, 6:20, 6:22, 6:27

How’s that for even splits?

38:25 for six miles (6:24 per mile average): 19:16 for the first three miles, 19:09 for the second three miles.

You may notice that there is no final 10K time above. (10K is 6.2 miles.) That’s the second “almost” in the title of this post. We took a little too long to get out of the house this morning, and I arrived at the race registration desk eleven minutes before the start of the race. They wouldn’t take my money, and I didn’t blame them. You have to cut people off sometime. I’d come to race, though, and I wasn’t going to pass up the opportunity for a fast, flat, road 10K, so I jumped in at the start.

That’s right, I bandited. I’d never bandited a race before. I knew that I shouldn’t cross the finish line and mess up the race results, but I hadn’t ever thought about the etiquette of being a race bandit. About two miles in, I figured out a solution that worked for me. First, I wouldn’t take any water at the water stops. Second, I’d run hard until the six mile mark, then stop. I wouldn’t worry about the last 0.2 miles. The math is always a pain anyway.

I ran six miles fast, then stopped. It was great. I did note the finish time of the guy ahead of me, whom I would have caught if I had run the last quarter mile. He ran 39:35, 6:23 per mile. I would have been 38th out of 458 runners and second out of 26 in the men’s 30-34 age group.

And that projected finish time is the first “almost.” My fastest 10K ever was three years ago at the Scandia Run, 39:04. I was only thirty seconds off of that pace, and I was training pretty hard three years ago. This year, I’m consistently running about 10-20 miles a week.

Bonus running report: I also ran some mile repeats on the bark chip trail yesterday. I ran 6:23, then 6:15, then 5:45. Fun.

The Peverell Quest

Posted by julie on Wednesday, 8 August 2007, 23:47

I predict that we won’t post much in August. I read Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows last week, so that’s my excuse. Courtney told me that she started the series in January after I’d said, in response to her admission that she’d never read any Harry Potter books, “I’m sorry.” I still feel that way, so go find some used Harry Potter books, and start reading. They’re worth it.