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The future January 30, 2012

Posted by Merrilee in Family, Running.

I’m in a space now where I’m waiting on the outcome of a number of things. It’s making me feel kind of inbetween. In a short space, I’ll know the outcome, and I hope this will end the inbetween-ness. Because inbetween is weird. Some examples of being inbetween:

Our daily routine:  Oakland has an open school application process — anyone can apply to any public school. Since Karydis starts school in the fall, we went through a selection process and applied to two schools. One is our neighborhood school, one is a school that’s a little further away. We’ll find out in March. I’m not so concerned about the school (I’m pretty confident we’ll get into the neighborhood school and if we don’t we’ll deal with it). It’s more the uncertainty of what life will be like next year with a Kindergartener and what impact it will have on our relatively lovely schedule. The new beginning is exciting, but also feels like the beginning of the end. So in March we’ll know the outlines of this part of our future, but not the particulars.

Our summer: For the last 8 years, we’ve gone to Burning Man. Normally by this time of the year, I’d have my tickets in hand. This year, like almost everyone else, we’re in limbo. There will be a ticket drawing on either Tuesday or Wednesday and from what I’ve heard, there’s a good chance we won’t get tickets. There will probably be good avenues for getting tickets through a managed process but who really knows. School conflicts with the event, and I’m conflicted about going at all (and if going, when to go). So this is a multistage inbetween — a mechanical piece (getting the tickets) and a logistical / decisionmaking piece. I’m not enjoying either one at the moment. At some point it will gel.

Racing/running/training: For the last several years I’ve had a nice training schedule. Train for the Oakland Running Festival half marathon, get injured, take the rest of the year to recover. 🙂 I think this year will be different (because I’ve changed my habits, as I’ve detailed in this blog) but who knows? I’m going to start my track training this week, and I might run in the Kaiser half marathon next weekend (still unsettled). And if and when I do race, can I actually get faster? If I can’t, will this kill my motivation? My enjoyment? Send me in another direction? I’ve also signed up for a month of fitness training at a small local gym, just hoping to shake things up but will be giving up my yoga practice to do this. A journey? A detour? It starts next week.


Old year, new year January 16, 2012

Posted by Merrilee in Family, Running.
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Last year I think I made some resolutions (on Facebook) but now I can’t find them — I think they are lost in the cloud (boo). I can recall one that lasted about a week, involving not drinking alcohol on weekdays, but I don’t recall the others. Maybe I didn’t live up to my expectations in that instance, but I did learn a lot in 2011. Here’s a small list of what I learned and what I did:

  • A sample running plan is just that — it’s important to know your own body and go with what it (not a piece of paper) tells you. I shouldn’t run two days in a row, period. On the other hand, if I push myself I really can run close to an 8 minute mile in a 5K.
  • I still love being Karydis’ mom and I think she likes me, too. Sometimes we just sit and grin at one another.
  • Wow, I’ve been going to yoga week in and week out since November 2010. I think that’s something, don’t you?
  • When traveling, it’s better to find an apartment or house to rent, rather than staying in a hotel. And airbnb.com rocks.
  • I’m in my second year of being a pace group leader for the Oakland Running Festival training program. I love doing that.
  • I ditched my New Yorker subscription about 18 months ago, and have read a ton of books since then. Now that I have a Kindle Fire, and can check out books any time I want, I’m pretty much unstoppable.
  • Adding pasta water to pasta and sauce really does make everything stick together.

Here’s what I hope this year will bring:

  • Running: I’d like to do 3-4 half marathons, and I aim to do as many of the LMJS Fourth Sunday Runs as I can. I also hope to go to track workouts, starting in a few weeks.
  • Just being: I’m a person who frequently jumps up and intervenes. I’ve been practicing just sitting back and observing. I’d like to do more of this.
  • Cross training: yoga and running are good, but I do need to do some weights and also to get my legs moving in other ways.
  • Kindergarten: this year marks the beginning of school for our daughter. I know this will be both an opportunity and a challenge for all of us.
  • Environment: at the end of last year, I started experimenting with taking the BART and bus to work (or, to a place that’s a 15 minute walk from work). It’s a moderate disruption from what I’m used to and definitely less convenient but has other upsides, so I hope to stick with it.

What about you? What do you hope to see or do in 2012?

Today you are 5 November 6, 2011

Posted by Merrilee in Family.

Dear Karydis,

You spent most of my pregnancy kicking me. In meetings at work you were a distraction — an elbow or a foot pushing my belly out in the middle of meetings. “Is that for real?” My co workers would ask. “Are you sure it’s not an alien?”

Actually, I wasn’t sure. You were so active, I was concerned. Who would you be when I met you? Malcontent? Unhappy? Hemmed in? As it turns out, you were just yourself, only I didn’t know you yet.

November 6, 2006

Around this time (10 pm on October 5th), I was starting into labor and trying to not bug your dad, who was just trying to go to sleep. By midnight the contractions were close enough that we decided to go to the hospital. Despite the fact that it was a full moon, there was no one there, so I was admitted even though I wasn’t very dilated. I was so anxious to meet you, and you were born at 5:05 pm — just the right time, as far as I am concerned.

Happy birthday Karydis. On the cusp of 5, you are smart and funny, and yourself. You are always busy and curious — you love to color and paint and make things, you are always singing (making up songs when you don’t know the right one already). You love books. You want to learn to read this year and of course I’m supportive. You love your new bike. You are always on the move — the same as when you were in my belly. Only now I know you are happy-busy.

Say cheese!

I don’t love the princess-Barbie-pink thing you’ve been going through the last few years, but I’m willing to support it. So much so I’m making you a castle cake for your party today. True Love.

You are a very loyal friend — even though you don’t have a hard time making friends you want to have a one true best friend, and it’s hard for you when this isn’t reciprocated. I know the feeling, I was the same when I was a kid. Hold on tight, because having lots of friends is good, and there’s lots of room for everyone. You’ll figure this out.

I secretly love that you like to climb into bed with us in the middle of the night (don’t tell your dad). I love that you like to snuggle. I know this won’t last forever, so I’m trying to cherish it.

From the Bad Mommy Files: birthday party October 26, 2011

Posted by Merrilee in Family.

We have a birthday coming up. In less than 2 weeks, our daughter will be 5. We are sharing a birthday party with another kid from our school which is great — sharing the planning also helps to lower the effort required to and and execute, and we avoid scheduling over one another.

Last year both kids had been in school for two years, so it seemed like they knew everyone. This year, it seems different — lots of their good friend have left and there are seemly tons of new kids in the “train room” (where the little kids are). I know it was probably the same last year, but this year I’m constantly thinking, “who ARE these kids?” In any case, rather than inviting the whole school (which is what we did last year) we are making a list.

About a month ago, I asked Karydis who would come to her party. She gave me a seemingly random list of names, leaving off kids I would have expected she’d include and naming kids I don’t think she even likes. So I’ve decided I’m making the list, choosing kids I think she has a connection with, kids I like, and kids whose parents I like. Bad mommy. To make things even worse, I’ve decided I’m not going to tell her about her party until the day before. More bad mommy. Both of these things simplify my life, but will probably result in a child who feels disenfranchised.

S**t my daughter says February 2, 2010

Posted by Merrilee in Family.
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There is a popular Twitter account, shitmydadsays. It’s pretty funny. Coming at it from the other end of the generational gap, Karydis at age three says some pretty funny things. I have been a complete failure at recording milestones and cute sayings in any way, but maybe I can blog them.

First there are the alternate names for Pixar movies:

“Race Cars” = Cars. “Circus Bugs” = Bugs Life. “Up Up Up” = Up

Karydis loves to be carried around. So much so that’s she’s abbreviated “please pick me up” to “care” (I assume this is short for carry). This will be said with outstretched arms and a very pathetic look. Since I’ve hurt my knee, I’ve done a lot less “care”ing. I’ve discovered she can in fact walk on her own.

We are still working on potty training. Despite showing some early promise in this area, Karydis has not been in as much of a hurry to progress as I am (hey, I’m an environmentalist and all these diapers bug me!). She doesn’t pee, she “peeps.” I can’t bring myself to correct her.

Kitchen conversation December 4, 2009

Posted by Merrilee in Family.
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Heard in the kitchen tonight:

Spoon 1: Hi. I’m two and a half years old

Spoon 2: No you’re not, you’re just two years old. I’m five and a half years old.

Spoon 1: No you’re not, you’re just two years old.


Animal in trouble April 29, 2009

Posted by Merrilee in Family.
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Karydis came running out of the bathroom last night to inform me of two things. “The water is too hot, and there’s an animal in trouble.”  On investigation, I discovered that indeed, the water was too hot (bad mommy!) and there was an animal in trouble. Specifically, a submerged and very dead spider. I didn’t even see it at first because it was obscured by Mr. Bubble and the flotilla of ducks and foam letters.

I fished it out and put it on a piece of toilet paper, hoping he would revive. Karydis speculated that” she” must have “crossed from there,” (pointing at the window).  When she started trying to wake up the spider, I told her that she would sleep more comfortably outside. Karydis lost all interest in her bath shortly after this, lobbying to visit the spider outside. I finally persuaded her that the spider needed the rest (in peace). Shortly after this, there was a small meltdown over the need for more Mr. Bubble, and she moved on.

I am constantly amazed at her ability to string concepts together, but I guess that’s what language is about.

Talk like a pirate April 16, 2009

Posted by Merrilee in Family.

Karydis has a duck towel (thanks, Mom!) that she likes to wear after bathtime. It has a duck bill on the hood (and she has to have the hood up when she wears it).

Tonight, sitting on the couch, she pulled the bill over one eye and said, “Arrr. I’m a pirate.”

Where does she get this stuff? She’s in daycare with three other kids. Two of them don’t talk. The other one is on vacation this week.

I mad January 13, 2009

Posted by Merrilee in Family.

I’ve been trying to teach Karydis the some social niceties, which she seems unaware of as a toddler. We’ve been drilling name and age. She’s good with name. “What’s your name?” “Name’s Karydis!” she shoots right back. Age is a little harder.”

“How old are you,” I ask. “Name’s Karydis,” she replies.

“Hi, Karydis, are you two years old?” “No, name’s Karydis.”

We did some back and forth this evening until she sat down on the floor and crossed her arms and pouted (where does she get this stuff?). “I mad,” she said. “Why are you mad?” I asked. “I mad,” she repeated. “Because I asked if you are two years old?” I inquired. “I not two years old, I KARYDIS.”

I pointed out that her friends Zolie and Ava are also two, but she’s not buying it. I guess it’s not polite to ask a girl about her age.

Resolved for 2009 January 1, 2009

Posted by Merrilee in Family.
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Happy New Year, everyone. Last year I resolved that we should have a new president, and that has come to pass!

But seriously, I was listening to a program on New Years resolutions on Talk of the Nation last week, and there was a statement and two suggestions that I took to heart regarding resolutions.

The statement was that resolutions are good. The suggestions were that you make a small number of attainable resolutions, and that you tell someone else as a way of sealing the deal and getting support. Therefore, we offer the Proffison family resolutions.

With age and wisdom come a few extra pounds. I’m about 10 pounds heavier than I’d like to be, but I think focusing on loosing 5 pounds is more realistic. My blood pressure is also in the “prehypertension” range, so I’d like to lower that to normal. I have an appointment to discuss with my doctor later this month and am focusing on stepping up my cardio to 5 days a week, with the help of my heart rate monitor, which gives me a program to follow.

Keith wants to establish a more regular fitness routine (right now, it’s somewhat sporadic) and thinks it’s reasonable to commit to 3 cardio workouts a week. He’d also like to cut unnecessary calories, so is reducing alcohol consumption to 1 or 0 drinks per evening during the week.

Karydis wants to learn a few more letter and solidify colors. Additionally, learn to use the word “please” without prompting.

Anne doesn’t really have any resolutions for the year.

What are your resolutions?