Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Jogger for Sale

It looked like the perfect family outing: a father, mother, two young daughters, and a border collie all out exercising together -- our fit family. Tom ran with Abby, our dog, I pushed Julia in the jogger, and Ava rode her bike; she just upgraded to one with gears.

The first mile was great. The air was cool but not cold. We waved to friends heading home from work and school. And then Julia squirmed in the jogger and tried to break free of her harness.

Tom convinced Julia to ride longer by suggesting that she could get out and run through the paths in the cemetery. Once we reached the cemetery, Julia was happily running until she decided to climb on the gravestones! I launched into a discussion about respect, but kept it short realizing that we had another mile to go and we had to get Julia back IN the jogger.

Just before we reached Main Street, a dog start chasing us. Tom yelled at the dog to go home and instead the dog ran into the street. Fortunately, a pedestrian offered to help with the dog and Julia actually sat still in her seat, entertained by the pandemonium.

Somehow, we made it home without any more mishaps, but now it is clear that we have another jogger for sale.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Hike for Health

I've been sick for eleven days. Yes, I've had some ups and downs. But I've been so tired from head and chest congestion that I've had a lot of down time, especially lying on the couch. My daughters asked me to play London Bridge and I suggested that I should sit on the couch so I wouldn't be too tall when really I was too tired to stand up.

The resting is really not that easy with kids around so I decided it was time to fight the fatigue and get the kids tired instead. We got the family up and out on Sunday morning for a fall foliage hike up Mt. Ellen, the northern base of Sugarbush Mountain Resort. (Thankfully, the foliage lift rides that were advertised were not happening as we headed up right near the chair lift.)

Julia began moving at her usual snail's pace so I had to motivate her to find Daddy and Ava at pole number 5, 7, 9, and so on. We decided that pole #12, at the base of the next big climb, would be the lucky spot for a Hershey's Miniature. And we snacked on the next chair lift.

Then we ran down another trail. We like to say that Julia"can smell the barn" like an animal heading home. She almost always has energy for the return trip.

As for me, my energy plummeted at dinner and I started getting chills. So I slept by the fire, just like our dog. That amused the girls. Then, I went to the doctor -- something I hadn't done in a couple of years. I'm on an antibiotic for a sinus infection and on the way to recovery.

Sometimes it takes a little fresh air to get you going, for better or worse, but at least going.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Army Adventure

The girls pretended to be Jack and Annie (from the Magic Treehouse series) as we embarked on an afternoon adventure. Our destination: the army building. We've been seeing the Reserve soldiers walking around town and the girls wanted to know where they were coming from. So, when Ava asked yesterday, "Are we just going to stay home and do something boring?", I let her know that we had a mission. We were going on a trek to check out the local Army National Guard base, a.k.a. the Army building.

The girls found their own little backpacks. Julia filled hers with snacks. Ava put in some snacks as well as a notebook and two red crayons so she could "study" the building, as Jack would study something. We took our dog, Abby, and pretended that she was "Peanut," the mouse in the book that leads the way.

From our house, we quickly got onto a trail that linked to the dead end road of our destination. Even I was intrigued by a road that I'd never been on in my town though I pass by it almost daily. The road was probably a quarter mile long with a slight upgrade. We could see the open gate to the Army building in the distance. Soon, we could see the brick facade. As we got closer a dark sedan passed us filled with men in fatigues. When we got really close, a tank left the gates. What an adventure.

The actual building was not spectacular. Ava, however, took out her notebook and crayon and drew the building -- a rough sketch. Then she wrote down her clues: "Brick Red" so that she would remember the building. Mission accomplished. We saw the Army building and documented it.

We stopped on the way back to snack and hit a bit of slump when Julia wanted to take the sidewalk home rather than the trail and kept running away and crying and then whining to be carried. Next time I'll bring along some more exciting snacks to keep up Julia's stamina. In the meantime, we're thinking about next Tuesday's adventure.