Tuesday, June 28, 2011


We spent a totally miserable day at the Ankeny track on Saturday! We woke up to rainy and 60-ish weather, but the meet was still on, so Gavin and I headed out there. Chad and Sam came later to watch his events.

The 400m race was rough - it was fairly windy and Gavin placed 7th and ran 10 seconds slower than he had the previous weekend. The winner ran 4 seconds slower than the previous weekend and some other parents I knew had kids running 10 seconds slower, so I guess that's what the conditions dictated!

The long jump was the highlight of the day though. The week before they had really started working hard on the long jump - one day using a ramp to get the feeling of "hang time" and another day putting orange foam cones down for the kids to jump over. Gavin was so cute - he told me they were jumping over "orange knives".

The exercises totally worked.....the week before, Gavin had fallen back twice on his jumps. This weekend, his first jump looked good, but it was hard to tell from where we were standing. He looked at us and threw his arms in the air with a big smile, so he was happy. He jumped 3 more times and they all looked good. When he was done, he had no idea how far he had gone.

We waited.......and waited.......and waited for the results to get called. We got excited when they called the Primary girls results, thinking we would be next. We weren't. Chad and Sam left. We waited some more.

When they finally called the results, Gavin placed 2nd! With a personal record of 8'2". He was super excited, and he broke the record for Johnston Track club for his age group.

Still no pictures, the weather was prohibitive.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Sam's Race

Not to be outdone by his big brother, Sam also ran the track this weekend.

During the meet, there is a break around noon. They have a fun run for the little kids, and Coach McCool (yes that's really the coach's name!) kept talking to Sam about his chance to run on the track. By 12:30 he was hot and grumpy and needing a nap, but I walked him out there anyway. At first he was a bit hesitant - you know when you feel that resistance on your hand and they dig their heels in? But when I pointed out the other little kids he decided he wanted to do it.

It was only about a 50m run. They lined up all the two and unders, and Sam quickly shook off a little girl that wanted to hold his hand. Ready, Set, GO! And they were off. He didn't stay in his lane, and he wanted to keep running past the line of parents at the finish line. But he was very proud of his ribbon and was happy to tell people he got "first place" (it was actually 2nd) and how fast he was.

Unfortunately, I have no pictures or video of any of the track meet. I need to start having my own photographer with me! Between wrangling Sam, spikes, water bottles, and then the insane frenzy I get myself into during the race, who has time for pictures? I'll try to do a better job in MN, if not actually snapping pics during the race, maybe I can at least document the fact that we were there.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Update - Regional Meet

Got word that they are taking the top 8 to regionals, not 6. So now Gavin gets to compete in the long jump as well at Regionals!

Oh, the Places You'll Go!

It was a great weekend! Gavin competed in the USATF Junior Olympics State Track meet in Johnston this weekend.

He got off to a rough start in the long jump - we couldn't really see from where we were, but when he came back he said he scratched twice. He ended up coming in 7th place with a distance of 6'5".

That same day (Saturday) he ran the 100m. Out of 3 heats and 21 kids, he came in 13th place, but ran a personal record (PR) of 19.64 seconds. The top 8 made it to finals the next day.

Sunday we went back to run the 400m. Usually all the events are the same day, so it was nice to come back with fresh legs. Except, not having done the track meet circuit before, and not wanting to be late for our event, I got us there 2 hours before his race started. Which led to two fairly grumpy boys. When Chad got him going to warm up for the race, it was complaint city.

It was time to race and he was in lane 6. I had looked at the previous years results to see what time the top 6 had come in at (top 6 go to regionals) and 6th place had a time of 1:31 ish. Gav's fastest time had been 1:39 ish so I didn't know what to think.

By the time he hit the starting lines for the 200m, I thought his time was looking good (39 sec), but he tends to start off too fast, so I was hoping he could hang on. As he came down the home stretch I cheered him along and I could see him dig in to push through the end.

He set a PR of 1:32.31 and came in 6th, making it to the regional meet in MN! So we are going to be making a long weekend of it. He likely won't make it past the first round, but I think the whole team aspect, and the camraderie will be a fun experience. We've got a couple weeks to focus on nothing but the 400m run, so I'm hoping that the weather holds out for some good practices.

Any time Gavin accomplishes anything like this, I can't help but get taken back to that place. That place of sitting by his isolette in the NICU begging him to gain weight. Begging him to breathe. Begging him to eat. Hearing the words "brain hemorrhages" and not knowing what that would mean in terms of impairment. Having no idea what our "normal" was going to be, but just so happy that he was alive. That place. The place I hate remembering, but that I never want to forget, because I want to appreciate forever how far we have come.

The journey out of the NICU was a marathon riddled with hurdles. The road ahead is wide open.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Life with Boys

My living room is now a race track

My hallway is a long jump course

My bed (that I haven't slept in for two years) is a wrestling cage

Our house is full of noise, and life, and energy - and I love it!

Friday, June 10, 2011

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Ice Cream


The title of this blog is truly indicative of my life - the boys are sometimes total monsters, but then there are the moments that just make me so proud to be their mom.

There is really nothing that compares to seeing the bond that they are building between them. Now that Sam is getting bigger - don't be fooled, there are days when they could easily beat the crap out of each other. Especially now that summer is upon us, and there is more together time.

Last Saturday, Gavin ran at a track meet at Hoover High. While he is very fast within the Johnston Track Club for his age group - let me tell you, these other kids are fast. One of the events that he ran was the 400m (one loop around the track). His best time at practice was 1:48. I timed his race and he came in at 1:39. I was so proud of his 9 second improvement!


He came in 5th place, last in his heat. He was totally bummed, to say the least. As he sat on the grass and took off his spikes, giving off an aura of defeat, Sam approached him.

"You did a good job, Bubby. Good race Bubby! Hug?"

And gave him the sweetest little hug a toddler could give.

Monday, June 6, 2011


Bridie Sellers' Food Revolution


I've always been a fairly healthy eater, but in the last couple years, I've been educating myself more and more on the matter. When Gavin was a toddler, I considered boxed mac & cheese healthy if I added some peas and corn to it. Now I rarely will serve the kids anything from a box (it happens.....maybe once every three months) and choose to make my own from scratch versions of the processed foods they like.

Sam has always been a good eater and accepting of my crazy creations. Gavin, not so much. A year or so ago, I began fighting the battle with him, tired of making him separate meals all the time. And besides that, he needs to learn to make healthy food choices. Isn't that one of the best gifts I can give him as a parent?

A couple weeks ago I made him take two bites of my salad.

Then last week I asked him what he wanted for dinner. I was making Tuscan Bread Salad, and I figured there was no way I was getting him to eat a salad for dinner. He said "peanut butter sandwich....wait - what are you eating for dinner?" When I told him he said "I want salad for dinner too".

After I picked my jaw up off the ground I said "really....you like salad?"

"I liked the salad you made me eat the other night."

So he ate salad for dinner. He didn't like the cannellini beans very much, "but I'll eat them anyway."

Saturday night he ASKED for salad for dinner again. I was making pasta with zucchini and mushrooms. I offered him just plain pasta with sauce. He asked for salad. So he ate his salad, and later I was feeding Sam some of the pasta. Gavin decided he was still hungry and came and ate some of the pasta as well.

You know...pasta with zucchini, portabello mushrooms, onions, and sundried tomatoes. No big deal. Ate it without complaint or commentary.

Last night I was making pork chops and veggies. He asked if we were having salad. Not tonight. "Any time you're going to make salad, tell me ok?"

Umm.....I know this is a family blog and all but can I just say "Hell to the YEAH!"

And he ate all the green beans and carrots on his plate without complaint.

So it's happened. The food revolution. In my house. My boy is eating healthy, nutritious meals. Without a fight.

My heart is so glad.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Next Stop, Second Grade

I am so darn proud of Gavin! Friday, May 27th, was his last day of school. I met him for lunch for the school cook out and ate lunch with him, and said good-bye to all the kids (I've been helping in the classroom almost every Friday all year). Before we even left the building, he pulled out his report card.

It was awesome! At this age, they are on a 1-4 scale, 4 being ahead of expectations, 3 meeting expectations, 2 progressing towards goal, and 1 meaning needs quite a bit of help. At the end of Kindergarten we still had quite a few 2's, but given th progress he made throughout the year, it wasn't concerning. At the end of 1st grade, he had very few 2's, and a fair amount of 4's! I was particularly happy to see progress made in the non scholastic areas, such as being responsible for his work, getting his work done, etc. Thos types of general skills that are necessary for being successful in that kind of structured school setting. He's always been smart, no issue there, but being focused, knowing what he needs to do, etc, have been lagging. He scored a 2 the first two trimesters and ended with a 3!

The areas that we will work on this summer are comprehension. Hearing or reading information, being able to pick out the relevant facts. This obviously is a literacy skill, but his trouble in this area affects his score on things like problem solving and also his science units. While he is great with memorized math facts, pulling out the relevant pieces of a story problem in order to create a solve the equation requires that comprehension piece.

All in all, it was a great year. I really enjoyed his teacher, Mrs. Rolfes. She takes a pretty stern approach, but was always very open to discussing Gavin's issues or progress with me, and I think her disciplined approach to teaching was something that Gavin really needed this year. While I am thrilled with his scores, I'm even more impressed with the progress that he's made.

Way to go Gavin! I can't believe how far you've come. I know it doesn't always come easy for you, but you have worked really hard this year, and it's paying off.