Training and Exploring

A Day in the Life

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This year, Edie and I are planning to run in the Black Cat costume run at Point Defiance in October, so we have been training like crazy. Our big practice run this week was at the actual race course, and we busted out two solid miles at an average of 17 min miles, which I think is pretty respectable for a four year old and stroller mama… We have just one more mile to add to our training program over the next month.

Every time we set out to run, Edie whines and informs me that she is definitely not racing with me after all, but a slow half mile later, she’s all warmed up and falls into a steady pace chattering about her current costume inspirations. She cackles and careens like a maniac grabbing pinecones and leafs along the way. Her current kicks are covered with blue and pink swirls she chose because they are “Aurora Borealis shoes;” they don’t light up but they sparkle and they came with cat stickers, oddly. I try to explain about pushing through until the endorphins come onboard, but next time it’s still going to be my insistence that “I will be training anyway, but you can catch up later if you’re dropping out now” that will pull her through that first half mile. I will jog along at a speed no faster than walking, “Just until that yellow sign up there, see it?” and with plenty of walking breaks and water stops. Then when she’s warm and ready, we’ll storm down a gentle slope and she will laugh and yell. This time she screamed, “This is so fun to go fast! We’re almost to the finish line!”

After a good run we try to always use up all that good energy with something super fun and pleasant, wandering through the display gardens or playing at the park. This week we did both, stretching out by some deer and ducks in the Japanese Garden, then swinging with Rory at the playground and wrapping up some wild pirate imagination play.

It’s really hard for me to stay present and engaged the way I always meant to be, especially now with both these little turkeys and their constantly evolving forms of dependency. But when we all get out together, grab some fresh air, silly play, and good clean sweat, we somehow button back up together and stabilize. So it may be a weird association for her later, but I hope Edie is able to draw on these memories, when shared times of burning off stress allowed us to turn a rough week around. That would be a pretty healthy adult skill… Regardless, days like this are the only way to survive this motherhood thing.

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Princess of the Ducks

A Day in the Life

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One day we decided to go to the zoo for our field trip, but Winter Hours foiled our plan. Usually we can only go to the zoo if some someone else comes to drive us. We tried to ride the bus there once, and it is technically possible, but it takes nearly three hours round trip so…. Anyway, our very sweet friend Rachel left us her car while she was on a trip so we tried to go to the zoo. And it was closed.
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Fortunately Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium is sited within Point Defiance Park, which turns out to be the largest city park in the US, second only to New York’s Central Park. We love Point Defiance, and we don’t often get to play there, since if we’re able to make the trip we bee line to the zoo.
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Thirty degrees in January, but shoes were optional. We spent a long time at the duck pond which seems to have been completely taken over by some ornamental Asian variety. There were maybe a thousand of these lovely but invasive water fowl on the pond and the lawn all around, and it was better than bowling. We held hands and ran down hill into the midst of them, and they flew away in waves. The idea was to drive them all into the pond, and we more or less succeeded. The pictures of course don’t do it justice, but the pond was really something to see, just swarming with these unusual ducks.
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Eventually we moved along. Edie figured out the deer gate so we toured the barren rose gardens. She wanted to move into the gazebos permanently, but yet insisted that she was not any kind of fairy or sprite. I was a little confused. We found mounds of vibrant hellebore and the firstĀ  daffodil stems of the season, almost ready to open.
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Then of course we had to walk the Japanese garden around the restored Pagoda, which is easily the best of the gardens to visit in the winter. Here, the boots really became intolerable, because the Pagoda ponds are soooo beautiful. She had to stick her foot in it. We negotiated extensively, but it was apparent she was not ready to take me at my word. I told her it was her choice but I recommended shoes on. Edie is pretty tough about cold, and I am not, so she performed her experiment and proved she could tolerate cold wet feet in January… for about six minutes. We warmed back up with boots on in another gazebo with dancing to Who Loves Edie.

The ensuing nap was impressive.

Mimee at Point Defiance Park

A Day in the Life

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Mimee come over! Hi! Hello! Go in a store. Pretty earrings. This boy doll, can I have it? My belly too hungry. How about hamburger? And french fries. And that, strawberry that. Drink it.

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We walk at a pond. One daddy duck. It’s green, green head duck. It’s curly tail. Throw a rocks in water. It’s dripping! Cherry tree. We find stars on a ground. One red star, this green star, in my hand. It’s falling down! It’s water falling down! It’s beautiful. Hold a hand Mimee. Run up a bridge, run down! Again, again! By myself!

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Daffodils. Don’t pick em. Tea pot song Mimee. Sit on a rock. I go in garden. What’s this? What’s this flower? I pick it. It’s daisies. A tree house. Yes, inside. Go out. Go out Mama and Mimee. I got to go pee pee. Cross a bridge. Mimee makes a crown on my head. I want it. I don’t want it. I want it. I see turtles! I see daddy ducks and mama ducks and daddy ducks. I see red fish and yellow fish. It’s blowing bubbles.