Sunday, August 19, 2012

Emergency Room

Yesterday we were busy getting ready for the block party. Josh and Chels were inside and I ran out to the garden to get some basil. I come back in, moments later, and hear Josh say..."Um hun...look at this!" Grayson had a GIANT goose egg and it was split and bleeding. This was the first major accident we have experienced with our kids..and I had a moment of panic.

Grayson had tripped and hit his head on a corner of our wooden post. Just clumsy toddler stuff. Luckily Chels was here and she took the older kids so Josh and I could rush off to the emergency room. We got in and out pretty quickly. They said the wound wasn't deep, just very swollen. The nurse put numbing cream on it and told us to wait 30 minutes. Grayson proceeded to have a meltdown, he wanted out of that room and wanted food! Josh ran off to buy crackers of which he inhaled and then got mad because he had to drink out of a little plastic cup (all we could find.) 

The doctor came back about 30 minutes later. We had to hold him down (awful) as they pushed the wound together and glued it. So happy that it wasn't bad enough for stitches. After he got home he was so happy to eat! They advised us to wake him up every 2 hours last tired momma this morning!

Aside from a little bit of a swollen eye and half golf ball sized lump on his head...he is happy as a clam! Very resilient - and as you can tell by the picture, extremely tired little boy!

Holy Apples!

Our little apple tree went a little crazy this year. I think it was the amazing spring we had. But all of the neighborhood kids in town have LOVED coming over and climbing the apple tree to pick apples (enter bad lawsuit story here....)

So yesterday I had to do something with the (estimating 100ish apples.) I found a recipe online for crock pot apple butter. It takes 16 hours in the crock pot, but is really only apples, cinnamon sticks, cloves and nutmeg. I am hoping it turns out, because peeling and coring 70 apples took at least an hour!

Two Front Teeth

FINALLY Kenna pulled a dangley tooth that seemed to hang on forever! It was literally holding on by a thread for a week. We finally said, enough is enough and told her just to get a tissue and yank it out. She wouldn't let me pull it...was a fight for a few nights this week :) The tooth fairy wrote her a note telling her that she was brushing much better and that she was super proud that Kenna was so brave and pulled out her own tooth. She has now lost 5 teeth! Pretty exciting!

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Mango sucker

We got Zachey's hair cut today. We went to a new place and wow did all of the ladies oogle and ogle over him. "He has such pretty hair" "He is so cute" I must admit he was quite the charmer and I sat there secretly thinking "I know :)"

When he was done he got a sucker and we got in the car. He asked me "what flavor is dis sucker?" I told him "Mango." He sat for a while and he said "I like mango. But I like FLA-mango better" I laughed hysterically. I told him we don't eat flamingos. He asked me "Why? We eat chickens? I like FLA-mangos...they stand on one leg like a pogo stick."


Oh Deer

Josh called us downstairs yesterday to look at some visitors we had in our backyard. It was two female deer and two babies...looks like they are enjoying the cool weather and being rather gutsy getting into the neighbor's garden :)

Glamorous Birthday Party

McKenna attended the most Glamorous birthday party yesterday. Abby had a party with three of her good friends. They got to hang out in the famous Dennis Alball office (the guy who owns almost all of Ankeny.) Ashley, Abby's mom, works for him and had a decked out all out glamor girl party. They got their hair, nails and makeup done. They decorated their own flip flops. They had fabulous pink treats and were spritzed with perfume and glitter...what a girly day! They even got matching outfits and a great pampering kit as a parting gift! What a fun party!

 McKenna, Alexis, Abby and Chloe posing in their most glamorous poses


We really have not gotten our money's worth out of the zoo this year. We have been getting a seasons pass the last two years and we used it a TON the first year...this year maybe 3-4 times. But we did want to squeeze in one more visit before school starts. 

We also thought it would be fun to bring Chloe as we haven't seen Andersens much this summer either! We went on Tuesday morning and the place was pretty empty! It was very humid that day, which may be why. The kids lasted about 3 hours, then got bored. So we brought Chloe home to play while the boys took a nap.

 The girls thought they were super cool for getting the back seat

Silliness on the train

 Feeding the animals

 This is before he freaked out and made me get on and hold him, after that things were fine

New carousel at the zoo this year, cute, but expensive!

I would say we wore him out

Garage Sale

I just had a garage sale and sold ALLLLL my baby stuff. It was sort of liberating, sort of sad at the same time.  Thank goodness for Chelsey as it fell on a weekend where Josh had to go out of town suddenly for work. We had it Thursday night, and Friday and Saturday morning. I am happy that lots of mommas and mommas to be got some great deals on some really cute stuff :) I did keep back two of my favorite outfits that I will put somewhere. Two totes are going to good will today, and a few totes went to Chelsey, Shelly and Andrea. I am just happy that someone can get good use out of our stuff!

Ragbrai Shirts!

Sunday, August 05, 2012

Rabgrai 2012

What a ride! This year Ragbrai went from Sioux Center to Clinton Iowa. 471 miles with a fairly easy elevation. I probably wasn't as diligent about training as I was a few years ago, but I did have my sweet new bike and it REALLY made a difference on the hills! 

On Saturday we planned on leaving around 3ish. A friend of mine was going to drive my neighbor's RV and he was willing to haul all of our stuff from town to town. I think he ended up regretting it as it was pretty boring for him, but we sure appreciated it!

Well, because the people I was riding with weren't really planners..we ended up getting on the road around 630! We didn't stay in Sioux Center, but rather the next overnight town Cherokee. It was nice because we got a great camping place, but I did have to set up tent up in the dark :)

After a somewhat restful night sleep, we got up and in the car around 6am. Hugh drove his wife Kim, and his brother in law Jeff (my neighbor) and I to the starting line and dropped us off. We started around 7am.

My friend Amy didn't join me the first day as she had obligations at home, so I was mostly on my own. It was a GREAT first day, not too hot, not too hilly, only around 60 miles, it was awesome! I had made it through about halfway at 9:30am and stopped for a pork chop! Mr. Porkchop has been doing Ragbrai for 26 years! So you know they are good :)

I loved Orange City, the first town we stopped in. They have a tulip festival every year. It was a little Dutch town and just so cute! We may have to go there instead of Pella this year! I made it back by noon, found a shower and waited for Amy. She got there around 5 and we got ready for day 2!

Day two was an easy day. It was really hot...with temperatures around 110 degrees on the pavement. We got on the road early and had just a really great day! Amy got a little over heated towards the end but Lake View was an AWESOME overnight town! We stayed near the lake and they had shuttles running to and from town all night. We did end up showering in a "shower" made of two by fours and black tarps with a garden hose (not exaggerating) but as cold as it was, at least we were clean! We very much enjoyed talking to people on the bus and camping at least near a lake!

Amy and I stopping for a break

 it was so humid the camera lens was foggy :)

Day three was HOT! Amy's bike thermometer said it got almost 120 degrees off the pavement! It was also the day of the headwinds. We flew through the first 40 miles thinking we were rockstars....then the headwinds started. We were guessing that they were about 10 if we ride an average of 16 mph....then basically we were going around 6-10mph on average. It was an awful back half! Until we hit dayton and headed north, then we had a break. The last 18 miles were rough.

 taking a break in the grass - SO HOT!

hill into webster city

We stopped at a small farmers house and he had his horse fans turned on with water spraying, it felt AMAZING! And he was selling Popsicles for a quarter, which had to be one of the best things I ate that day! Amy fell asleep under a tree in his yard, and I pushed on...I wanted to be done! Once I made that final turn north, I felt great and plowed through the last 8ish miles in like 25 minutes. That shower was well deserved that evening!

What our camp looks like

We were very much looking forward to Day was the hottest day of all, but it promised some relief as there was supposed to be a rainstorm that night. I was also excited because I got to see Josh, CHelsey and Spencer when they came to visit me :) The morning was good and we kept a fast pace. There were lots of stops if we needed them, but we powered through most of the towns. 

Bananaman made his appearance with a friend this year

Lots of ways to stay cool along the route, sprinklers, any water felt amazing

Pretty barn along the route

I was so happy to see my hubby and Chels and Spencer. I felt bad because as soon as they all got there to enjoy some of the fun, the clouds opened up and started pouring! We did get a chance to have some great pizza and the only beer I had the whole week :) Luckily there was room for us to stay in the RV that night because it was windy and it rained HARD! It was really great though, because it lowered the temperatures by about 10 degrees, although the humidity was so thick you could taste it!

Day 5 was my favorite day! Although it had the most hills with a 3500 ft elevation climb, they were rolling and there was no wind. It was a PERFECT riding day!

Pretty little town, population 731! With 12,000 riders coming through we were quite the sight!

The ride into Cedar Rapids was absolutely breathtaking. We rode along the river for about 5 miles and were wondering, where the heck is the town? When we thought we were done, we realized we still had about 3-5 miles to find Hugh and the RV. The best part about that day....we had a HOTEL!!! It was an Econolodge, but was super nice. We got our stuff and jumped in a cab, we ate a REAL dinner at Texas Roadhouse and very much enjoyed the air conditioning, long shower and real bed!! Worth the $99!!!

Rocking bike glove tanlines - I still have them!

The next morning we cabbed it back to the RV and took off for Day 6!


 Day 6 was almost too easy...just 40 miles we got into town before 10am! THe midpoint that day was Mt. Vernon, and although the morning was full of huge uphills, it didn't seem too bad!

Elvis met us at the top of the hill in Mt. Vernon, I think he is trying to curl his lip?

Coming out of Mt Vernon, pretty college in the background

This guy is nuts...rode that unicycle the WHOLE WAY!!

This costume is creepy..when he is riding it looks like the old lady is riding and he is the baby on the see all sorts of characters!

Once we got to Anamosa we found a great community center that had a yummy turkey dinner and hot showers. We met up with Amy's friend Pat and chose to hike it 20 more miles that day. He drove our stuff and we stayed overnight Oxford Junction so we could get a jump on the next day, cutting it to 50 miles instead of 70. We found a great little bar in town and had a great fried shrimp dinner. They were so nice (another super small town!) Some other riders decided to do the same thing we did and we sort of took over their city park with our tents :)

I slept so well that night! It was finally cool, the first night I had to use something beyond a was awesome! We packed up camp and booked it to Clinton! We made great time and once we got over the two big hills really just rolled the last 5 miles as it was all downhill! Great way to finish the ride!

Man I met from France, using a 1920s bicycle, NO GEARS!


Not sure what is up with this crazy bike?

Lots of these slip and slides along the route!

This wasn't at the finish line, but was in Vinton...the finish line was sort of anti-climatic this year

What an amazing accomplishment. Was fun to talk to my mom and kids everyday and tell them where I was, having them follow me on the map. So grateful she could come and help out with the kids while I was gone! Feels really good to be able to say I can ride almost 500 miles in a week. Really amazing what your body can do when you put your mind to it!

 Elevation map