Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Just Me & Max

We took a train to the city and wandered around the Academy of Natural Science.
Just me and Max.
He had never been on a train before and I didn't feel like battling traffic and parking.
It's another week off for me...I don't have any vacation hours left, but the office is closed and that's that.
This week we have no plans, no agenda...it reminds me of when I used to be a stay-at-home-mom (although, there wasn't a whole lot of staying home going on).
I miss those days.
I'd rather be here with my kid than earning a paycheck, whatever the vocation may be.

When our baby is born, the plan is to return to work part-time if we find an ideal and affordable childcare situation.
I am excited to be the one to get Max ready for school and to greet him at the bus stop at the end of the day...

Monday, July 30, 2012

change of scenery...Allegrippis Trails

Honestly, I'm kind of tired of my weekly jaunt to Middle Run/White Clay...it's been fun getting (overly) familiar with those trails, but I needed something somewhere else.
Saturday morning, Bill suggested Raystown.
I love a spur of the moment road trip and hastily packed a bag and gathered some gear.
Four hours later, we were on the trails and enjoying a much needed change of scenery.
That night, we ate at Boxer's and walked around town...it felt like vacation.
We reflected on the fact that we have five (!) solid months until we are the parents of a newborn baby. Our days of picking up and flying out the door at a moment's notice to explore faraway trails are numbered.
Eager to ride, we were on our bikes again by 8 the next morning...we were treated to more flowy trails, perfect conditions and a cool breeze. 
I didn't realize until we were back home last night, but I really needed to recharge.
It's amazing what a difference twenty-nine hours can make.
Just over two years ago, we stopped at the same bench for a quick break and photo op...we had been together for only a month and change, but I already knew I wanted Bill to stick around for good.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

the name game

My son is Max, named after Max from Maurice Sendak's Where the Wild Things Are, my favorite book as a child.    
Although we didn't find out the sex of our baby when I was pregnant, I was certain I was having a boy.
Max was pretty much the only name in the running...I didn't really entertain too many other possibilities, nor did we share our chosen name with anybody. It drove my mom crazy when I would play coy and pretend we still hadn't thought of anything.
"Come on," she'd plead.
On our way to Bryn Mawr Hospital, between contractions, Jeff and I frantically spouted out girl names just in case.
Needless to say, our baby was indeed a boy and the name Max suited him perfectly from the moment I held his tiny, squirmy body.

This time, I feel like I am having a girl, but maybe that's only because I feel pretty much the opposite of how I felt when I was pregnant with Max.
I am struggling with names...
Max desperately wants a little sister and he insists we call her Alice.
What the?
A friend suggested "Rain"..."What do you think of the name Rain? It's pretty."
"It is pretty," I said, "But, um, Rain Showers?"
"Right...I hadn't thought of that."

Naming a puppy is so much easier...


Sunday, July 22, 2012

training for LDR

this is me seventeen weeks into my pregnancy training program for LDR...
(that would be labor, delivery, recovery)
I've gained six pounds so far, but let me tell you...those six pounds feel pretty awkward on even the shortest, easiest climbs.
I can actually feel my belly graze against the top of my quads if I hunch over my bike even slightly.
I am getting better at accepting my changing shape, but it is a process...not gonna lie.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

drizzly & loud

After a crazy-hectic week at work (peppered with my first migraine during pregnancy), it felt great to take a long walk in the cool drizzle yesterday afternoon.
Even though I was chased by two tiny yip-yap dogs, even though I lamented that it was the perfect kind of rain for riding, I enjoyed every step.

I haven't so much as glanced at the cross schedule, yet I am sure I will be there on the sidelines, with cowbell in hand. Although I was kind of ambivalent and ho-hum about cross this time last year, the bug did indeed eventually bite and it wasn't long before I was in the throes of yet another season grazing the tape and longing for mud.

Wednesday night, My dad took me, my friend, and my brother to see the film, "Shut Up and Play the Hits", a documentary about LCD Soundsystem's last performance at MSG.

Beth and I started laughing as we walked ambled awkwardly down my driveway to my dad's waiting car...
this was a scene not unlike many from our youth, as my dad was (is) the cool dad who took us to many great live shows.
This time, however, we were both pregnant and thirty-seven instead of skinny and fourteen.
"She looks more pregnant than you, Kim."
"She is more pregnant than me, dad...jeez."

The movie was the next best thing to being at their live show and the apple-sized baby in my belly unmistakably moved/fluttered during  Us V Them.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

old stuff

On our last day of vacation, we explored the Barn Museum on the grounds of Mohonk Mountain House.
I am a museum geek and this particular collection is unique in that you are free to wander around the barn and dig through all kinds cool artifacts and ephemera gathered from the late 1800s to early 1920s.
Mohonk's founding family, the Smileys, were Quakers and apparently never threw anything away...
Even wooden box crate end panels were re-purposed and used as trail markers...

My son spent time poking around the farm equipment and tools, asking "what's this? what's this for? what does this do?"  and I did my best to cobble together answers based on the captions handwritten on nearby placards (and what I could recall from middle school history and social studies).
I showed him how objects were built to last...
I explained what a bitch it was to simply grind coffee beans or make ice cream (and the tasks required to keep the ice cream cold)...I wondered if the ice cream tasted that much better after all that hard work.
It had to, right?
We talked about what school was like back then and he observed that the classroom wasn't exactly worlds apart from his own experience (except for maybe the iMacs and yoga mats in his first grade class).
We looked at beautifully crafted objects like a child's sled that could still be used on a snowy day and wondered if our own plastic eyesore from Target would be in a museum decades and decades from now.
probably not (but, we do have a pretty cool handmade Mountain Boy sled in the garage, too) 

The barn museum was very cool...I'm glad my kid digs this kind of stuff, too. 

Friday, July 13, 2012

familiarity (judge morris/middle run/white clay)

Let's skip the part about the bike falling off the rack and get right to the ride...
The ride that, luckily, actually happened after several missteps.

Kathleen led me on the loop she normally rides with Ron, which happens to be the loop I normally ride with Bill...
With consideration to my present state (fifteen weeks pregnant...fifteen already!) and the increasing heat of the day, Kathleen set the ideal, most perfect pace.
There is something great about flowing so smoothly through familiar trails on the wheel of somebody I don't get to ride with very often. I knew where we were headed at every turn and was able to just truly enjoy riding my bike through the woods on a hot, quiet Friday morning. 
Not a bad way to catch up with a friend, that's for sure...

Other than my noticeably rounder mid-section and shortness of breath on the easiest of climbs, I felt almost normal.

We called it after about an hour and a half (had nothing to do with the weird rattle coming from the aforementioned bike that fell off the rack) and that was plenty for me.
This afternoon, Max comes home from a week at the beach with his dad and I want to have some energy left for him.  

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

no helmets

Last night, I was climbing a hill I've neglected for a while...
as I made my way up the rooty section that happens to be a bit more washed out now, a trio of clowns without helmets came barreling down that hill.
On legit bikes, no less.
If you can afford those bikes, surely you can afford a helmet (although, I'm sure money isn't issue).
There is nothing cool about splitting your head open or bashing your dome on a rock.

That's all...end rant.

Fun evening in the woods, reunited with my Salsa.

Saturday, July 7, 2012


Although I have a list of new places I want to visit with my family, there is something to be said about returning somewhere familiar and establishing traditions.
When I was a kid, we spent countless weekends in the Gunks and sometimes it included a night or two at Mohonk Mountain House. Camping at Minnewaska was magical, but staying at Mohonk was really special.
This is the second summer we brought Max here and I think a tradition is definitely in the making...
We may will need to skip the technical rock scrambling next year with a little one in tow, but there will still be plenty to do, plenty to enjoy.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Riding for Two: off road

At fourteen weeks pregnant, I now have a truly pronounced baby bump.
My bib shorts still fit fine, but the jerseys are feeling a bit snug around the middle.
Alas, my build isn't exactly racer cut these days.

After a week off the bike, I wasn't sure how I'd fare this morning, but my legs felt surprisingly fresh.
My dad and I started early at Brandywine to (somewhat) beat the heat and it had been a while since I'd ridden those trails.
When I was pregnant with Max, I gave up mountain biking pretty directly...I still rode regularly, but limited myself to the road (groan) and double track/bike paths. With just one season under my belt, I was fairly new to mountain biking and not nearly as confident in my skills (or judgement for that matter).
This time, with years of experience to help guide the decisions I make while riding the trails, I am not ready to hang up the mountain bike yet.
With my doctor's okay, I've decided to keep doing what I'm doing...
with less intensity and a lot more caution.
Although I am physically most comfortable seated on my 29er (the SS) right now, I've neglected that bike for all but a few rides in favor of my rigid 26 inch bike (the only bike in my arsenal with a granny gear).
In all honesty, it's been fun getting reacquainted with good old rim brakes and XTR (not to mention, I still love the feel of ti). Maybe I'll put a squishy fork back on it if the urge moves me as I put on more weight.
Hills that I would normally attack with momentum and fervor are now enjoyed at a modest tempo, with the intention to keep my heart rate in check and more importantly, not overheat.
Hydration is a biggie...Typically, I don't take in enough fluids while riding, but now I simply can't afford to get dehydrated. It's easy to be mindful about drinking when I know it could harm the baby otherwise.
It's also quite easy to check my ego and hop off the bike for unpredictable obstacles, trickier rock gardens, and slick roots...I also have no reservations about keeping my speed in check while descending in the name of protecting the precious cargo.
Mostly, I am grateful that my pregnancy has been relatively free of complications so far and I can still ride.
I've heard some negative comments about the fact that I am still mountain biking, but I trust my judgement and feel a hell of a lot safer on the trails than on the road these days.

As for the high of 102 degrees predicted for tomorrow?
I am perfectly okay with sitting that one out.

Sunday, July 1, 2012


Cupcakes or mix tape?
I can't sleep...
It might be nice to surprise Max with cupcakes when he comes home from the weekend at his dad's...
to celebrate our upcoming week off together.

My aunt Kathy recently remarked, "Are you always on vacation or does it just seem that way?"
Well, I only have ten hours left of paid vacation...my office seems to close more than my alotted vacation time can cover. Much of my time off is unpaid time off, but I make it work.
Every weekend is a three day weekend and that was the hardest thing to give up when I left for nine months to manage loathe the bike shop.
(side note: the bike shop brought my husband and I together...I don't know about fate, and I am pretty sure we would have eventually crossed paths, but probably not in an orthodontic office...just sayin)  

So, no, I am not always on vacation...and even though I only work four days a week, the days are long and full and hectic and fast-paced and I see some really bad hygiene.
(and I like it...except for the bad hygiene...that still skeeves me out)