Two Miles of No-Strollering Fun

walkers

We did it! We did the local Two Mile Fun Walk! Walking two miles is really no big deal for us seasoned walkers except that we did it without our beloved jogging stroller!!! That stupid $@#@$% stroller.

Granted, the stroller was a freebie and we do leave it outside in the weather day in and day out. So it should be no surprise that all the wheels are cracked from sun damage. On most days the tires are nearly flat but it hobbles along pretty well anyway. It takes us over sand, grass, rock and gravel. It’s probably been on more adventures than most strollers just because of it’s superior light frame, the giant bike-sized wheels and the fact that I’m not afraid to get it dirty. It’s a freebie, who cares! It’s an off-roading stroller and we love it. Yeah, it veers a little to the left but I make it work.

thumbs up!

On the morning of the race Bug and I got up super early. We slathered on sun screen, scraped a brush through our hair, ate a quick power breakfast and then rolled to the nearest gas station to pump up the tires. I’m pretty good at this tire-pumping business. We probably do it once a month. All the tires really needed air but the left one was particularly bad because the valve stem was sideways and you know what that means. It’s probably cut by the metal frame of the wheel. But whatever. We pumped it up and hoped for the best.

watching the women's race

Five minutes later we were wheeling our way around the crowd at the start line. The Women’s 5K race is before the Fun Walk and people were everywhere smiling, laughing and cheering. It’s very easy to get caught up in the excitement of the big race. I did notice that the stroller was leaning to the left but it always does that a little bit so I ignored it. Besides here we were in the middle of all the excitement. It’s fun! Race day! Woo hoo!

go!

Then a nice lady pointed out my very very very flat left tire. I looked down and it was the saddest thing I have ever seen. Cracked rubber riding on metal. No wonder Bug was almost falling out the left side of the stroller. So I did what anyone would do. I parked that sad miserable jogger stroller by a trash can and got in line for the race/walk anyway. It’s not like anybody is going to steal a very faded jogger stroller with a bum wheel.

My only concern was whether or not I could make it to the finish line carrying Bug. I knew she’d walk/run a lot of it but she is NOT the world’s fasted walker. Thankfully there were a lot of other kids running the fun walk too so she tried her best to keep up with them. It helped a lot.

Go Super Girl! Go! buddies

We had so much fun. I don’t know why I worried so hard. I did have to carry her quite a bit but it was fun and the camaraderie you enjoy while walking and talking with the other participants completely takes your mind off how much your arms might be aching from carrying a thirty-one pound child. And really, she is pretty light. She grabs onto me like a monkey and we walk along more balanced than you’d expect. I know I’m lucky. I’ve held other kids her size before and they were an instant backache.

running the line us

Keep on going!

we did it!

We made it all the way to the end and made some new friends along the way. I love this race and I hope to keep doing it for as long as we live here. It’s such a great family-oriented event and you feel super healthy and relaxed for the rest of the day. I wish I could do this every day. Maybe next year Bug will run the whole thing. My dream is that we do a marathon together someday. That would be the ultimate.

running with her buddy getting her well-earned tatoo

And of course we’ll get tattoos when we finish. It’s tradition!

It’s beginning to feel a lot like Christmas time around here.

here and here

I forgot I did have some photos of Bug decorating the tree. She hung all the sticky old candy canes (from last year? the year before maybe?) in her eye-view of course. Then the next three days we spent haggling over why she couldn’t eat them all day long. Finally, frustrated with my little negotiator, I threw them out. They were so gross. Not that letting a toddler eat a candy cane with all the sticky drool coating her chin and clothes is any less gross but I just felt bad letting her eat dust from last year’s Christmas.

I promised we’d buy some new ones at the grocery store. Which we did, of course. But I bought the little tiny ones that are not shrink-wrapped and funny thing, they don’t hang on the tree very well. Oh well. I guess they’ll just have to stay in the cupboard out of sight. Bah humbug. I’ll break them out for special treats so they don’t get all dusty for next year and repeat the whole cycle.

all decorated!

Here she is eating one. That kid loves candy canes. My mom says I did too when I was her age. I guess it’s not such a bad thing as long as she eats her broccoli too.

us

I’ve been trying to get a good picture of her in front of the tree for my yearly calendar that I give to the grandparents but I’ve been very unsuccessful. She’s not my little poser anymore. If I ask her to smile, she gives me her “Eba eyes” frown or runs away cackling. Getting her to hold still in low light is pretty much impossible. I should just take a picture of her as a blur and call it a day.

oooooh!

This one is sort of cute but not really Christmas-y enough even though she is holding an ornament. Those are the iron-on transfer-paper ornaments we made last year. I wish I felt like making them again. It would be neat to have photos for each year. I haven’t been very motivated lately. Not to worry though, usually great bursts of motivation follow lulls of mediocrity. I probably just need to lay off the sugar. I’ve been eating so much crap lately.

candy cane face

Speaking of eating a lot of cookies…yesterday was the Christmas walk in our little town. All the vendors come out and hand out cups of hot cocoa and cookies. There are bounce houses for the kids and bands playing live music on every corner. It’s pretty festive and loud. Forget trying to take a nap while it is going on. The town pretty much forces you to get out and enjoy Christmas—which is a good thing really.

This year was the first year that Bug and I actually “walked” the whole thing. I remember last year we strollered and the year before she fit in the baby carrier. I miss those days already. Funny how things change so much every year. More and more I’m finding that the stroller is more of a hindrance than a help. She always wants to walk anyway. She doesn’t keep up as much as I’d like (She is the worst lollygagger ever!) but I’m trying to learn how to slow down anyway.

queen of the petting zoo

I find myself getting so impatient with her as she wants to circle every tree we come across and pick every dandelion. I just have to tell myself that some day I’ll miss these years. Someday she will be impatient with me so I need to be kind and let her have her time. I think I read somewhere that you can’t really force a toddler to walk fast anyway. If you have the time, you’re better off just letting them dawdle and go along with the adventure of it. It’s hard for me though. Especially when I’m carrying her seven half-eaten cookies, a bottle of water, three balloons, my purse that is overflowing with all those things we might need and my coat that has become too hot to wear. Patience, thy name is motherhood.

enthralled

So anyway, that was fun. She loved the bounce houses. She loved the petting zoo and she LOVED the live music. I wish I had caught a photo of her dancing. But I was so loaded down with carrying everything I had a hard time being spontaneous with the camera. Excuses, excuses I know.

She really loves music. Part of me wonders if she might express her creativity (that’s in her genes) through music. I’ve plunked at the piano for years but I’m not really any good. I know Toby is musical even though he doesn’t play any instruments. He has a terrible knack for remembering tunes so well that they drive him insane. Isn’t that weird? He actually hates listening to songs that have strong melodies because they get stuck in his head so bad. I personally don’t have that problem so it doesn’t make a lot of sense to me.

When we were listening to one band play, Bug was keeping time by swaying from side to side. The lead singer noticed and warned me that I might have a musician on my hands. I don’t know if he’s right. I think most kids are good at keeping time but I do know that Bug definitely has a penchant for music. She picks up tunes so fast and is always on key, often better than the adults.

Enough about that. I wanted to write more but she is dunking her pahs in her breakfast yogurt and now I have a mess to clean up. Later!