Monday, July 25, 2011


So, Thursday evening's ride was more fun for Marxo than Sunday's super-hot ride was, but we did it to her again on Saturday morning - we made her ride through her whining, pain, and suffering.  I still say it's character building, though!  ;)

She really had done a great job on Thursday evening's ride.  She was powering up hills that I thought she would stop and walk up and she was generally in a good mood.  But Saturday was different.  We (once again) didn't leave from the house early enough and we were riding in nearly the peak heat of the day (11:30am-1:30pm).  AND, we decided to go to Double Lake Recreation Area (which the kids had voted for the previous night) and it's quite a bit more challenging than the trails at Stephen F. Austin State Park.  But, we figured that we really need to get in some training for both us and the kids before heading to Colorado in only a couple of weeks.

The trail we ride is about 9 miles of total length, but it usually takes us around 3 hours to ride the whole thing.  It's rather technical for a 6-year-old little girl with spindly little bird-legs, so we only average maybe 4 to 5 miles per hour and we stop fairly frequently.  In order to keep the kids happy, we usually stop for a short snack-break at about 2.5 miles and then again for a longer snack break at around the 6-mile mark.  On Saturday, we didn't stop for any snack breaks, so we finished a little faster - in a little over 2 hours -  but it was still unbearably hot.

And to make matters even worse, Marxo fell - right into a bush - and scraped up her arm.  We keep telling her it makes her look like a tough biker-chick, but she doesn't seem to buy it.  ;)

Tonight we're going to go riding up along the bayou again at Buffalo Bayou Park.  It's another two-a-day day for me.  I need about 100 more of these to get in shape before our Colorado trip, but I have less than two weeks to fit that in.  I may have to adjust my goals for this upcoming vacation...

Thursday, July 21, 2011


When I was in high school, volleyball season started a couple of weeks before school started.  I remember the years when the gym floor was refinished during the summer - the finish wasn't nicely worn and dusty and when we would dive for balls, our knee pads would stick to the floor instead of sliding on the floor and we would all end up with knee pad burn on our knees from the insides of our knee pads!

The other thing I remember about that time was that we would have two-a-day practices in the un-airconditioned gym.  I would be so tired at the end of the day from working out and sweating.  And I still remember the taste of the watered-down Gatorade that my mom used to send with me.  I don't think they make that flavor anymore, but I don't remember the name...

But, anyway, the reason I'm traveling down memory-lane here is because I think today is going to turn out to be a two-a-day workout for me.  Which is good, I could definitely use it!  I worked out at lunchtime today and tonight we're planning to load up the bikes and take the kids riding at the Buffalo Bayou Park again.  Gotta get some more miles in all our legs!

And Fellan finished with the dysgraphia testing yesterday, but it will be 3 weeks until we hear back from the woman with the test results.  Wow.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Getting fat

So, I seem to have lost all motivation for continuing to exercise.  What a difference it makes when you lose your favorite lunchtime exercise bicycle!  My project moved to the office closest to my house back in April - which is good, but the exercise facility isn't really as nice.  I didn't think it would be so bad, but after taking a look at my flabby middle, I have to admit that something must be done.  I just don't know how to find the motivation again.  I feel like I've lost a close friend...

But, our yearly summer bicycling vacation in Colorado is quickly approaching and I need to drop some weight to get to my climbing weight for the mountains!  I've sort of been in the Jan Ullrich training mode for the last few weeks.  We even had Bratwurst for lunch on Saturday.  :o  (Ullrich used to take all kinds of flack when he was racing because he would put on weight during the winters and he then had to lose it all before racing season each year.  Ahhh, I miss Ullrich!)

Anyway, the kids also need to get used to doing some trail riding, so on Sunday, we rode up to the Buffalo Bayou Park and rode around the park.  It's a great trail for Fellan.  Marxo's little chicken-legs have a hard time with the climbs, but we're hoping with a few more trips down there in the coming weeks, she'll build up a little strength.

I felt bad for Marxo afterwards on Sunday afternoon, though.  She had told me before the ride that she wanted to take the trailer bike because she was really tired.  I figured she was just being whiney, so I told her that daddy already got her bike and my bike ready and if we were to take the trailer bike, he would have to get two MORE bikes ready, so she should just ride her own bike.

Well, when we got home after stopping along the way for lunch, she laid down on the floor and went to sleep.  She had soldiered through the HOT ride (with only minimal crying!) and made it home and then just cratered.  Poor baby.  But it builds character, right?!  Why, I remember my parents forcing me to do things I didn't want to do all the time when I was growing up and I turned out just fine!  Umm... actually no, I don't think they did.  But that's the story I'll be telling the kids and I'm sticking to it!  :)

In other news, Fellan is doing his dysgraphia testing today.  I'm wondering how it's going...

Thursday, July 14, 2011

It's summer! Crap, summer is almost half-way done...

Yikes.  This happened last summer, too.  Summer is almost half-way done and all our plans to develop our childen's minds have most definitely NOT come to fruition.  Luckily, I wasn't planning too much development this year, since we failed so miserably last year.  But still...

We got pretty busy towards the end of the school year because Fellan's teacher suddenly decided to tell us that "public school is not the place for him."

Now, on the one hand, I'm pretty sure she could get fired for telling us that, but on the other hand, why did she wait until the end of the school year when there was NO WAY we would be able to find a different school for him?

Anyway, after checking out alternative schools and having all kinds of testing done, we've come to the conclusion that... well, we've just been blessed with a unique individual.  Which we already knew.  ;)

My mood over this keeps going up and down, but overall I'm having a hard time staying super-worried about it.  Fellan does have trouble staying focused in class and I'm sure he's a pain to his teachers.  However, we're not willing to drug him into a stupor (which one doctor was ready and willing to give us a prescription for!) and I just think there's something wrong with a school system that wants kids to be like that.

We did find one school that is awesome and we think it's really the way all schools should be run.  They spend a lot of time "figuring out" each child - finding their strengths, finding their weaknesses, and then helping the kids to become their own advocate in his/her education.  However, since we were late in the application process, we didn't make the cut this year.  I can't say that I'm too upset about that either, though.  The cost of the school would have just about put us in the poor house!

We're having some additional testing done this summer and we're thinking about trying out some neurofeedback to see if that will help his concentration skills for the upcoming year.  The other thing that has become apparent is that he does have some processing speed and fine motor problems and the additional testing we're having done next week is for dysgraphia - It took him 3 hours to copy two pages-worth of LARGE text for his last assignment of the school year.  Talk about torture!  Poor kid.  Writing papers and journals for every class was definitely not something that was required of me when I was in 2nd grade.

Which brings up the main reason I have a hard time getting super-worked up about this.  Yes, I do want to make sure that there's nothing seriously wrong with him, but if we find out he's just immature and has slow processing speed, so what?  He's still very intelligent.  He remembers everything he's ever heard.  He does fine on his tests and from a macro-perspective, he makes huge progress from year to year.  He loves school and loves learning.  And most of all, he's a healthy, kind, boisterous, sensitive, happy little boy.  Why mess with a good thing?