Saturday, November 21, 2009

Lyra has a day of beauty!

Will was supposed to get a much needed haircut before his piano recital today.  But he is very proud of his mane and didn't want it cut.  Lyra loooooves to go to the beauty shop plus Bill TOLD her she was getting her haircut.  Telling her she wasn't going to get to go was going to be unpleasant for everyone involved.  So here she is!  She let Myra wash her hair this time and the final result is really cute!!

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Wednesday, November 18, 2009

At the Dairy Godmother

The apple cider sorbet was especially yummy! This cute hat is complements of Auntie Cheryl. Eva and Lyra had a fight over it in the car on the way here.
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Saturday, November 14, 2009

SportRock Alexandria ABS Comp Photos

Today was the fourth leg of the local American Bouldering Series / Friction Bouldering Series competition calendar.  The final competition is at Earth Treks in Timonium Maryland on December 12th.  

It was great having a competition at SportRock in Alexandria.  It is our local climbing gym, so it is familiar ground for Eva, and they are in the final phases of a major renovation/expansion, and the climbing area is big and the bouldering terrain is complex and varied with lots of overhang.  

Bouldering is scored based on the best five climbs (hardest, highest point climbs) in a three hour period.  For the Junior division this is usually 10:00am - 1:00pm.  Eva got off to a slow start and only had one completed climb in the first half hour.  Chalk dust was bothering her eyes and she was trying some routes that were beyond her ability.  She started to get her groove around 10:30, and posted a couple of more good scores by 11:00am.    By noon Eva had five completed routes on her card that were respectable, but probably not good enough to win.  

We spent the last hour trying to find higher point routes that she could complete.  She found a couple of routes that were 290 and 295 (V2+) that she completed but we could not find any 3XX point routes that she could make.  She found a 555 that she thought she could do, but after two tries it was clear she was overly optimistic (and she still needs to work harder at planning (sequencing) her climbs before she gets on the wall).  

We finally found a 430 point route that played to Eva's strengths, requiring good balance and the ability to grip small holds.  She missed her first try, but made her second try with about ten minutes to spare.  She tried one more route, but did not make it.  

Eva ended up with another First Place in Youth D Female (10 years old and under). 

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SportRock Alexandria Comp

Eva warming up for today's bouldering competition.

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Saturday, November 07, 2009

Cheese Girl

Lyra loves soft mild cheese (preferably with a little tang). Her favorite is delice de argental but today she picked out brillat savarin which was similar.

This was at Fromagerie in Old Town. Not quite as big a selection as Cheesetique, but walkable and no long wait.

Funny that when I was Lyra's age the choice was yellow slices or orange slices.

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Sunday, November 01, 2009

Eva's 1st 5K!

Eva has been running with Girls On The Run at school and their short season ended today with a 5K race at the National Arboretum.  This was not an ideal day on many levels but Eva was still excited and it was going to be her longest distance to run ever!  The cold and the rain did not deter her and the extra hour of sleep from going back to standard time made it easier to get up and out the door. 

I'd never been to the Arboretum before and anticipated all kinds of navigation problems since I get lost whenever I drive to that part of the city.  There were some mishaps along the way but we arrived with 45 minutes to stand around in the rain (PLENTY of time!).  I've never been to the National Arboretum but I will go back some time on a nicer day now that I know where it is.  Getting there involves driving through a yucky industrial area and then all of a sudden, you are in this oasis of nature!  I bet it is beautiful at azalea time.

There were girls from Eva's school there (this year's school and last year's school) and it was fun to meet her coaches.  Eva ran a GREAT race.  Even with the rain, there were beautiful trees to look at and rolling hills. Eva enjoyed using those downhills to see how many people she could pass.  She took a couple of walk breaks in the second half of the race but she finished so strong!  I am so proud of her!  We crossed the finish line at 9:40.  Somehow I did not look at my watch as we crossed the start line.  It was definitely after 9:02 but not much after.  Hopefully chip times will be posted tonight but I am not optimistic since this wasn't the most organized race I've ever attended.

Maybe it is a new event or it's just too small to cover the basics or maybe the things I am used to on long races just don't make sense for a 5K, I am not sure.  The porta-potties were way past the start line and no one knew they were there until after the race started and it was too late.  Fortunately the Arboretum restrooms were nearby and it was possible to warm our hands under the hand dryers in there.  Also, there was no way to tell how far we'd run: there were little markers to be sure you took the right road for the course but there were no distance markers at all. I thought they'd at least have a sign at each mile.  This made it difficult for Eva to know whether her pace was too fast or not.  I guess I should have looked at the course map so I would know some of the landmarks...Lesson learned there!  There was no water after the race or if there was, we couldn't find it.  Eva really really wanted some!  Then we couldn't get out of the Arboretum because runners were still crossing along the only road that led to the gate.  Getting home was an exercise in frustration and stress as I was running on the memory of fumes of gas and had forgotten my purse!  I was dreading that I might be stranded somewhere and have to call Bill or other roadside assistance for a gallon of gas!

However, all's well that ends well!  We did not run out of gas and Eva had a great race and is ready to do another one one.  We came home to Halloween candy, a messy house and some hot chocolate!  And I will plan a trip to the Arboretum in the spring for a picnic.

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Post Trick-or-Treat Candyfest!

Sometimes I think this is the funnest part of Halloween...the sorting and trading of all the LOOT!  Eva can't eat half her candy because of her nut allergy and Lyra can't have the gum and hard candies because she's little and then everyone has their own personal favorites, so there is a lot of deal-making going on to even everything up.  You can see KC on the periphery of one of these photos.  There wasn't room for him to be right in the center of everything but he always likes to be nearby. 

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At last! Unveiling of the Costumes!

Putting the costumes together took more time than I had expected.  But we finally did it!  Our family dressed up as Interstate 95.  Bill is the road, Will is a traffic barrel, Eva is Wendy's, Lyra is Ronald McDonald and I am South of the Border.  My friend, Tehan, traditionally comes trick-or-treating with us and you can see her in one of these photos as a slimmer, prettier and smarter Sarah Palin! 

It was sort of misty and rainy tonight and so the usual Halloween party street didn't seem as packed as I remember from last year.  Even so, Eva's costume and mine made it tough to maneuver through any crowded space.  But the kids had fun and still ended up with a ton of candy, maybe because people were dumping it in their bags by the handful to get rid of it!  The best part was that Lyra walked THE ENTIRE TIME ALL BY HERSELF.  This is the first Halloween in recent memory where no one had to carry a child the whole time.

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Pumpkin Shopping

Last weekend, we went to buy pumpkins at a nearby large church pumpkin sale.  Each kid picked out a pumpkin and sampled some delicious apple crisp that was for sale (which I will be reverse engineering because it was so good!).  Will finally got to carve his yesterday, i.e., on Halloween. This project is a lot more fun now that the kids are older and now that you can buy those little kits with the pumpkin saws.  They look so cheap and flimsy but they actually work pretty well!

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