Wednesday, August 27, 2014

By the Seashore

I really love this age. Not 37-- it's fine, but nothing special -- but 2 and almost 1/2. I knew this years ago because of my nieces and nephews, but had forgotten just how great little kiddos are when they can tell you everything on their sweet sponging minds. My travel buddy and I spent a day together getting through a few airports, riding on underground trains, jumping off the last steps of escalators, and mostly importantly, flying to the beach.

 "I get on TWO airplanes!" he told the desk clerk, showing a finger on each hand. The very first flight started off a little bumpy after all the excitement (he's well-traveled but doesn't remember much of those flights), and Hunter promptly asked to nurse and fell immediately asleep for the entire duration. To make up for his silence during the flight, he talked non-stop through our long layover, and through the entire second flight.

There was lots to see out the windows, and this time, we talked about the speed bumps in the clouds that make us go up and down. We saw a rainbow, and upon descent, we saw trees and water, which I pointed out. "Trees and water! Yay!!" We played many a game of I-put-the-window-shade-up-and-you-put-it-down-with-a-bang, and not being concerned with what other adults on the flight think of our noise and games, I didn't stop it. Close to deboarding, the lady across the aisle leaned over to me and said, "you seem like a good mom." Whew, they didn't all hate me. The lady behind me piped up and said she agreed, and she loved hearing H's sweet voice. And what a sweet voice he has!

What a great husband I have to drive all the way to the beach, leaving early enough to pick us up from the airport after having unloaded the car FULL of beach equipment at the beach house on the way. To be honest, this trip wouldn't have happened if I had to try to entertain a carseat bound 2-year-old for over 10 hours. I'll take 3 hours in an airport anytime over that.

Jeremy and I first went to Seaside five years ago around the end of August. We decided last year to make our spot. It is such a great little community with really good food and a small town atmosphere. And, of course, a beautiful, white sandy beach with clear turquoise water. I'm not sure the full impact of "endless sand as far as you can dig," and "a giant ocean bigger than any swimming pool" had hit Hunter before he saw it.

We were armed with trucks, diggers, backhoes, buckets, shovels, and animals, and to top it off Hunter's grandmother and great aunt brought him more. They met us down there the next day, so that little H could have twice the usual doting adults to play with.

My days started with a run in the trails throughout Seaside and neighboring Watercolor, which ran around and across a lily-pad covered, black tea-colored lake filled with paddle-boarders, and, surely, alligators.

The hard packed sandy trails were just what my old creaky hips were needing, although the winding and dead-ending of the paths made my pace a bit slower than usual. If I hadn't gotten lost so many times, I might not have gotten in the mileage I did. I would come back to the house looking like I had jumped in the ocean, and Hunter gave me the funniest look when I told him I needed to shower. It was a "you haven't already showered?" look.

Jeremy set up not one, but two large canopy tents on the ocean, which we used to shade our assortment of blankets, chairs, bags, and trucks. The water was smooth and calm, and Hunter would ask to swim and kick those big toddler feet so hard. "Look I swimming Mom! You want to swim?"

He jumped over waves and looked for fish, but was not fond of the seaweed that would come in during the afternoon. We ate lunch on the beach after picking up gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches from the Airstream food trucks, and took short afternoon breaks back at the house to cool off and pretend we were going to nap. Early suppers were finished in time for us to get back to the beach for one more round as the sun went down.

Our beach house ("where our other house?") had an enclosed outdoor shower around back that was just perfect for getting 75% of the sand off. The other 25% followed us back into the house and managed to get into my bed. But that may be part of what I love about the beach. I'm finding powdered-sugar sand stuck inside little truck tires back at home, and I'm not washing it off so fast. The last night there in our beach house, I sat out on the upstairs porch, under the fan, and rocked my little one to sleep to the sound of the crickets chirping.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Missing the Motivation race, that is. I think it basically comes down to stress. There is a degree of stress that goes into racing, good stress most of the time (eustress, for the technical types), even when you are in tip top shape and eagerly awaiting your chance to go. The details of final preparation, gear checks, lists, a slight fear of the pain you will inflict on yourself. 

I know I don't have a necessarily stressful job, or at least one that involves deadlines or public speaking. Except, on second thought, I do have to feed the toddler every single day before he gets cranky, and I am talking constantly to an audience (edit: I'm answering questions. There are so many questions about the world to be answered. Some questions I've never pondered before, and then some answers I may get slightly wrong. Like why it gets colder in the winter--it's not as simple as I made it!). There is an increased level of stress involved in the care of little children, and I do work very hard at it. I find myself avoiding participation in races this year, just because the stress is too great given the reward of finishing another race with a ho-hum result. If I could really do something fantastic on my 6 hrs/week, I might change my mind. 

I am, on the other hand, really enjoying triathlon training itself. Group rides, a "super brick" on a Saturday, yeah count me in! I want to be part of that, and I'll even try to beat you on the one mile all out brick run, but strap a chip on my ankle and I am out. 

For now you can find me out running with the stroller up monster hills (I mean, 450ft of climbing in 3.3 miles?! WTF), then relaxing in the dirt or sand, with a glass of wine in one hand, and a bulldozer in the other. 


Or small

Even in the rain

Best day ever: backhoe working right across the street (AND it's garbage day)