Wednesday, September 26, 2012

'Cross season is here again

Thanks, I'm sure, to Floradix, I felt ready to work out much sooner this time around than I did with Elliot. I've been swimming, taking spin classes at the local Y (on-site childcare!), and getting in rides on the weekend whenever I can. Ed is joining me at the races this year, which has been super fun and also adds a new element of difficulty -- getting the whole family out the door on time is more challenging than the race itself.

We started out with Quad 'Cross. Ed has tons of fitness right now but at the time hadn't ridden his 'cross bike much, so he would get ahead on the power sections and then overcook the turns. I felt like my bike-handling skills were lacking and got passed by numerous women on every climb. But we were both happy to get back out there. After my race, one of the women I had raced with said, "I can't believe you fed your baby and then raced. That's awesome. You win!" That totally made my day.

I also got to use my new camera and my new telephoto lens ("the big guy") to get some photos during Ed's race. 

We raced again this past weekend at Sucker Brook and were both really happy with how we did. I matched my seed and felt really great except when I was off the bike. Ed was seeded 54th and finished 15th. I was so proud of him!! My dad came along as well and took some photos of us.

I think there's a possibility that this year I might exceed the 8 races I did last season, but we'll see. I'm going back to work in 12 days and I'm sure we'll all be super tired as a result. I can't believe it's so soon already!

Friday, August 10, 2012

Summer fun

One of the hardest parts about being pregnant (for me) is forgoing group rides, which is how I get a lot of my exercise and adult social interaction. I'm not quite back on the bike yet. Maybe next week? But I think about it all the time.

My team, HUP, periodically hosts rides where we just go out in the woods and have fun riding 'cross bikes. Then we enjoy coffee at Ride Studio Cafe afterwards. This ride was in June 2011. I've seen a few others get organized since then and I keep wishing I could go!

I rode the Grand Fundo in July 2011 with past and now again, current teammate Brenda. I was so unprepared but my friend Brad told me to go slow and eat real food. I followed his advice and made it to the finish just fine. It was so fun to ride with Brenda again!

I finished up the summer of 2011 with Tour of the Unattended. My team, HUP, helped put it on, so I got to help select some of the stages. It was so much fun and amazingly, I won the Prospect Hill climb, probably because the strongest rider waited until after dark and wasn't sure where the finish was. I should also mention that there were only three or four women, but we still all had a lot of fun.

Here I am with the family at the Ride Studio Cafe-hosted after-party.


I hope to be back on the bike soon. I already registered for two 'cross races!

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Big House Project: Part 11

Today, we have the conclusion of the big house project. It was mostly finished up last fall, but the final finishing touch was done this spring.

Ed did all the electrical work and the town inspector was quite impressed. :)

Ed finished up the railings.

Then, he started the interior finishing, with lots of supervision from Elliot. He looks so small in this photo. He would have been about 18 months old.

Dr. Horrible installed our insulation.

My dad came to visit last summer and helped with the drywall.

More insulation, this time underneath.

Drywall almost done.

We continued the tile from the kitchen into the addition. The bright orange dining room has since been painted a more subdued creamy tan color. I miss the orange but we'll bring it back by changing out the curtains and the seat covers.

Ed finished up the deck railings as well. We've been paralyzed by indecision when it comes to deck furniture (everything seems to look really cheesy or costs more than furniture that is inside our house), so this is a bicycle track and soccer field at the moment.

Here's the sunroom, completed.

The kitties love this room.

We love IKEA, obviously. These are Billy bookcases set up for winter coat and toy storage.

This was the final project, closing the gaping hole over the fireplace. After hours of searching, I found the right piece of art at and Ed mounted it on wood and hinges.

We love the fireplace, but getting it hooked up was such a pain. Ed spent a lot of time calling the gas company and I had to resort to Twitter to get them to finally come out and hook up the gas. The whole process took four months. Monopoly.

As a reminder, here's what the house looked like before -- basically the same as when we bought it.

Here's the after:

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Resemblance, part 2

I did a post about this for Elliot. Here's one for Anja.





Wednesday, July 25, 2012

7/21, or The Cat Who Killed My Blog

I didn't mean to stop blogging (I enjoy having it for myself more than anything else -- I've always assumed that my readership is very limited). But it happened because we got super busy last summer and I got out of the habit. But I mean to start again.

Our beloved cat, Betty, accidentally got out on May 31, 2011. We got her back on July 21, 2011. We were having lots of work done on the house and the storm doors were off. She's very social and was standing next to Ed while he waved goodbye to me and Elliot that morning. Elliot was waving especially vigorously and Ed had the door open, waving back. Betty, who was not trying to get out, got too close to Ed's legs and she went the wrong way when he tried to shoo her back in.

We called up a pet detective right away, Danielle Robertson of Here's the summary of our story that's on her site:

"Betty is an indoor-only cat who accidentally got out at the end of May. She is a skittish, formerly feral cat, and I knew it would be difficult to recover her, so I called Danielle within a day. She told me exactly what to do and came out to my home to assist with searching and setting up feeding stations with motion-activated cameras. She improved my posters and helped me figure out where to place them. We were in touch throughout my search and I appreciated her calm and scientific approach. We got a picture of Betty in my next-door neighbor’s yard one week after she was out and then didn’t see her again. After a month had gone by, Danielle helped bring in a colleague with a search dog, who did a track that led us to expand our poster/flier area (consistent with Danielle’s recommendations based on Betty’s personality, background, and the amount of time she’d been out). That led to a credible sighting about 1/4 of a mile from my house. We set up a feeding station and got Betty on camera 4 days later! We botched our initial trapping attempt (we were using a drop trap instead of a cage trap since Betty is trap-shy, and didn’t get enough tension on the string). Betty stopped coming, so we took the trap away. Once she was eating at the spot regularly again, we put it back, heavily camouflaged with foliage, as recommended by Danielle. On July 21, my husband took food to the trap and Betty was waiting. She ran off when he approached, so he put the food under the trap and waited in the car for her to come back. When she did, he pulled the string on the pull-stick and trapped her. We are so happy to have her home and she is back to snuggling everyone in the family. We absolutely could not have gotten Betty back without Danielle’s calm guidance and arsenal of cat-recovery techniques. I would recommend her without reservation to anyone who needs help finding a pet."

Anyway, it was a grueling 52 days. Looking for a cat is a part-time job and Ed and I both sacrificed a lot of workouts and sleep to make sure we were doing everything we needed to do. Once we had Betty back, we took it easy for a few weeks, and by then I was emotionally drained and out of the habit of blogging.

But that brings me back to 7/21. This year, on July 21, we welcomed a beautiful baby girl, Anja Marie. We are absolutely in love. Having done this once already, I am much more excited about relaxing and enjoying my maternity leave -- whereas with Elliot, I wasted a lot of time feeling anxious about not being productive and getting stuff done around the house. July 21 will always be a special day in our family -- it's the day that two of our beloved girls came home.

I have a lot of catching up to do on the blog, so despite what I said about relaxing on my maternity leave, I'm hoping I will have a few spare moments to start writing again.