Wednesday, May 30, 2012

May, where did you go?

Because all that we ever seem to be doing lately is going to the pool, May flew by.

I am officially a swim mom, I think a title that is much more involved than a soccer mom.  At least compared to my past days as a soccer mom.
Swimming takes up every available evening that we have.  Not that we are complaining, we are thrilled that Bayli has found something that she LOVES and is pretty good at.
And Chase is finally starting to love it as well.  Although we tease that he will be a Clown Fish forever (the lowest level).  But at least he is willing to do most of what the teacher asks without screaming. 

Bayli's first few weeks of swim team were...terrible.  She was pretty much an emotional wreck up until she had actually swam a few laps.  She would cry through warm ups and be uneasy about getting into the pool.  She is a nervous Nelly that expects herself to do the very best the first time.

After being her shoulder/leg to cry on, we finally came to a pretty good turn.  We just had to explain that every kid is nervous to start something new, you are here to learn not do things perfectly the first or 100th time, your coach is there to help you so ask all of the questions that you need to, and you are going to make lots of new friends.
Seriously as soon as she starts swimming, she calms down and is fine.  With a bit of bribing, Jed was even able to get her to sign up for her first swim meet.  June 22nd is coming up pretty fast.

I did the Red Rock Relay in Moab with some of my girlfriends.  Seriously, it was so hard. 70 miles of Moab awesomeness.  We were all pretty proud of ourselves.  We did a lot better than we thought that we would.  I was runner #1, so I had a difficult time sleeping the night before.  Not to mention the fact that I was battling a cold.  My first leg was nearly 8 miles.  I knew right when I hit 5.5 miles, my IT bands started getting twingy.  Even with all of my rehabbing, I have only maxed at 6 miles.  But my PT drilled it into my head, don't go past that point or you will give yourself some serious setbacks.  But in a race, you just keep going and run through the pain.  So I kept a reasonable pace, knowing that I had another 3 miler later in the day and it was steep.  Otherwise, I would have pushed my pace and tried for a better time.  I averaged about a 10:30 min/mile on my first leg. Then I puked and peed my pants because running is so fun...Rock on!!! 
My second leg was insane.  3 miles, 6500 Feet elevation with a 1000 feet increase.  Nuts I tell you.  I never saw a single runner run that entire leg.  It felt SOOO long.  And my knees were in so much pain, every step hurt, no matter how I would change up my form.  Even walking hurt, which I did the most of on this leg.  Oh, and it was so dang hot!  If it wasn't for my team mates, I wouldn't have been able to keep going.  I love my Mother Truckers, no girl could ask for better friends. 
We finished about middle of the pack with an overall time of 11 hrs 45 min with 10:50 min/mile average. 

Chase finished off his first year of preschool.  We have loved his teacher Miss Karen.  She picked up on his personality pretty quickly, and figured out how to deal with his grumpiness as well.

I have some new additions to my yard, that my cute little neighbor gave me last year.  Only 4 of about 25 iris' bloomed this year, so next year will be an even bigger surprise I am sure. 

This little cutie is one that my very own plants, with the help of the pollinators, produced on their own.  It looks like a hybrid of my purple and someones white Japanese iris. 
Took advantage of the opportunity to use my bug lens to check out this guy, so glad that Jed knows how much I love bugs and plants!  I have loved the new lens. 
I used it to check out the tiny blooms on my smoke bush as well, lovely.
We have been so couped up lately, that any little or big excuse to get out in the yard is snatched up quickly.  I call our illness basement-finish-itis.  A seemingly never ending project that is making us ill.  Hey, but we are painting.

Last week, Jed came up with a couple of BIG excuses for us to not work on the basement one evening.  Of course it was on a swimming night, meaning that we aren't home until nearly 6:30 and the kids are starving.  Not to mention the fact that Jed had just been diagnosed with a pretty serious sinus infection that had been plaguing him for about two weeks (he was not functioning on his normal brain level, I don't think that he would have undertaken this task if he had been, at least not that night).  At least he has a wonderful brother that answers the call.

He brought home four trees, three of which were replacements for my Blue Atlas Cedars (RIP you lovelies in Arbor Heaven, they hadn't fared well since the blasted freeze of Fall 2010).  As much as we LOVE the cedars, we knew that our location was just not meant to be, so Jed looked to his buddy for some better ideas.  He came up with Norwegian Spruces.
My nearly 103 year old Grandma is Norwegian, so they must be a good tree.  Of course we did a bit of hasty research just to make sure, then pulled the trigger.  We treat every plant in our yard like a marriage.  We have to love nearly everything about it, and commit to it.  That is probably why we are so passionate about every plant in our yard, they each make up a piece of our "marriage"  and commitment to our yard, the extension of us.
He also brought home another London Plain Tree, the one by our playground is looking a bit on the ill side.  So we decided to get it a friend just in case it decides to kill over.  We had ordered a 2 inch caliper tree.  It ended up being  a 3.5, which in tree language is ginormous.  The root ball alone was over a yard wide.  It was quite the undertaking.  I wish that I had taken a few pics of that beast before it got into the ground.
A few days later we also added an Autumn Blaze Maple to a spot we have been holding for just the right tree in our front yard.  This Maple is a cross between the Silver Maple, which does terrible in Utah, and good traits from the Red Maple.  We are hoping for success with this one.  Everything that I have read about it sounds pretty good.  And the fall color will be beautiful.  Hopefully it does better than other Maples!
The ginormous tree that better never die dang it. 

One of the Norwegian Spruces.
  Bayli's spark for bird watching has been spreading to the rest of the household.  She has got me on a pretty steady process of adding things to our yard to attract new birds and attempting to identify them.  Our latest little friends who have been frequenting our hummingbird feeder and who we are faithfully putting out oranges for are our Bullock's Orioles.  Not being a huge birder, I would guess that this is a pretty rare treat.  Everyone is in love with them, I wish they visited more often. 

We have also been loving the Say's Phoebe that squawks at us every evening and the other visitors we have spied just a few times, Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Western Kingbird, and the family of Goldfinches. 

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