Preschool is Cool!

We have been talking about it all summer. All my friends are doing it. It's just the thing for potty trained 3 year olds in this town . It is preschool!

 My Mom wanted to take a Pinterestesque style picture of me on the morning of preschool. I was to hold the piggy chalkboard. It was to declare special things about me.
 But on the first morning of preschool. I just couldn't stand or sit still and pose in that manner.
 Good thing negotiations for first day apparel were finalized the night before.
 I was so excited I woke up at 4:00 a.m. and asked if it could be morning. When it was morning for our household I insisted breakfast needed to be eaten in the car. No time to delay sitting at the table. Thank goodness for all the healthy and portable options my Mom stocks up with just for situations like this.

It took me a while to notice my Mom at pickup time. I guess I wasn't quite ready to go.

Rocket Ship!

 For a while I have been begging my Mom to build a rocket ship. She wasn't sure where I got the idea but I am fairly certain it came from my limited and cherished time watching Daniel Tiger. In case you are wondering he is the spinoff from Mr. Rogers. The show is deemed to be pro social and it has catchy tunes about doing things like eating veggies, and putting on your shoes in the morning. if a preschooler or toddler would ever dawdle in the am. My Mom downloaded the songs and sometimes on Wednesday we blast them from my Jawbone speaker for the whole run group to hear. Other times I treat them to Frog and Toad or Skippy Jon Jones (say that 10x fast)
 Anyway I started small with just the box and some finger paint.
 Then I jazzed it up with my helmet. Later I added my sunglasses for full effect

 For the record:I launched myself to Africa and the moon.
 How about them apples? What apples. I got potatoes.
 Seriously, if you want to entertain a bunch of kids at a cyclocross race.
 Have it at a farm and let the kids dig. You can't imagine the miles we got out of those potatoes.

 My Dad was working so my Mom sat out the race to be my race sherpa. I had intended to do the kids race...but the kids race was so short that I missed it due to the length of time it took me to scoot my bike in from where we were parked. I did make it to the finish in time for a silly straw prize. The adults one pumpkins, turnips, or potatoes for their podium finish. I said I wanted a pumpkin and a winner gave me his. At the end of the day I was tired and my Mom proved herself to be a competent sherpa indeed carrying me, the potatoes, the scoot bike, and the pumpkin to the car in one trip. For all the expectant Mom's out there eyeing up the Petunia Picklebottom diaper bags....just get a really good back pack.


My playhouse certainly is a popular hangout these days. Summer is grand.
 You'll never hear me say I am so bored I could climb a tree when school is out for summer. However, I might climb a tree for fun.

 Popcorn at picnics is a treat. I made a new friend.
 My Dada is kissing me.

 This is the look I give him just before I ask if I may have ice cream.
 Playhouse parades are a hit. You must have a stuffed animal to march in the parade.

 Making a bouquet is fun too.

 Flowers are beautiful.
 How tall can we stack them.

The Visit

Recently we headed back to California for a visit in honor of the life of my Great Grandmother, otherwise known as Nana. It was wonderful to spend time with cousins. Time with cousins is a magical thing. 
My cousins and I each got a helium filled balloon to send up to heaven for Nana.
It wasn't really that easy to let go...but we wee ones get to a better place.
This picture is probably Grandma Cindy's most treasured photo. Say cheese!
I went to a park. Conquered my fear of slides and made a friend.

We also day tripped to the Sierras. Check out my walking stick.
A hiking we will go. A hiking we will go I hear the dario a hiking we will go. That's my version of the tune. 
Who doesn't find travel exhausting. 

Summer sneaks away!

This summer I learned a lot of important details.
Like how to order an ice cream cone. 
Step up to the window. Stand tall to see over the counter  and with absolutely no uncertainty proclaim "I would like a baby cone with eyes on it. Please" Repeat as often as possible. 

 Summer is like an ice cream cone. Delicious, a bit messy, and it melts away fast.

The beach is a great place to savor the summer.... and work up an appetite for some of that delicious ice cream.

Biking may be another great way to enjoy the summer and earn some ice cream.

Recently my Mom and Dad raced at Single Speed USA and the Red Earth Classic. If you don't want a race report....scroll along now because this is all mountain biking dirt.

Single Speed USA was awesome. Single Speed USA is like the Burning Man of bike racing. Apparently they party with faming teeter totters. My folks didn't stay for any of those shenanigans. SSUSA is in a different location every year. This years venue was Copper Harbor a few hours drive from where we live. The trails at Copper Harbor are fabulous. It's not an easy course but it is so, so, so fun. You just ride crazy stuff with a grin from ear to ear because it is fun.  Single Speed means you ride a bike with one gear. You pick your gear and that's what you got. Sounds funny, until you've tried it, and then you get it. The bikes typically are lighter and snappier than the counterparts with loads of gears, seat droppers, and 8,000 inches of travel/suspension.  My Mom chose a gear easy for climbing (32 x20) as she never bothered to gear up after starting to ride a single speed in Jan of 2011  It would be a long way, a long day, and one should pace appropriately. Turned out she was wrong. It wasn't a long day after all and legs stayed pretty fresh. This made for an interesting day of flip flopping for position with the boys. Dirt roadies essentially, skinny very fit men rolling carbon 29ers in a bigger gear passing my Mom on flats and descents, my Mom repassing them on the rock rolls, roots, and bridges. I think they were downstaters. They must have been. They were very afraid of bridges. Here's a tip for you boys. When riding a real mountain bike trail, designed for mountain biking, the bridges are engineered for you to ride. Just do it.  I swear in Marquette, Moms wearing fanny packs, running shoes, and discussing classroom food allergies ride the bridges. You can do it! But of course if you don't do it on race day a little girl, on a little wheeled bike with a little bit of pink will be ring a bell at you. BTW: If you are a female racing in a field of mostly males, do not open your mouth and say on your left when ready to pass. Keep your mouth closed and ring your bell. Think about it and trust me on this.

Is SSUSA a ride or a race? Good question. I think it depends on the rider. My Mom asked this question at check in when she was handed a paper plate and a Sharpie to number her bike.The answer she was given was" it doesn't matter to you because you'll be disqualified for not wearing a costume".Yet it's a technically more challenging course than the XC races that take place on those trails. Midway through the "race" she was told she was 2nd women, 2 minutes down and that is where she stayed. Weeks later a certificate arrived for a SSUSA winner but it was a second place prize and she knows first got a crazy belt too big to wear but still so finally she manned up and geared up (32x19 with 32X18 yet to come) because what good is beating the boys when there is still another girl ahead of you :)

Red Earth Classic is an interesting race. The single track is rocky, interesting and challenging in a primitive rocky, rooty sort of way and dark due to a thick canopy of trees. Don't forget to add in a rain storm that made the mud turn to an oil slick. It's a race of mental toughness because there are many grassy hill climbs grass hill climb on a mtn bike= high heart rate, no distraction of fun, feel like puke. Also, it routes near the finish when there are 5 really hard slow going miles left. Slow going as in I could run a 10k faster with less effort. It's hard, just plain hard, which limits the field of the long course significantly. The caveat is there is a prize purse. A monetary one. My Mom knew two of last years prize winners were not coming back. The prize purse would finance a lot of ice cream cones. So at the end of the day a paycheck and some eye makeup compliments of the rain storm were earned. I'm not really sure on this whole paycheck thing. You see my Mom had to lie in the grass for like 5 minutes before she could ride back to the truck and then she just donated the check back anyway. Yet, she is still complaining if she rode 21 seconds faster she could have earned $150 more. I mean, if you are going to just donate the money back, why not just sit around watching TV. I  mean really.  When she got home I picked her a bouquet of flowers and gave them to her. I said her Mamma, these are for riding your bike at mountain day. Pretty much she felt like she

If you want to get techy about bikes I share with you the following details: If not please scroll along. Different mountain bikes fair well on different courses. My Mom's full suspension bike is a trail bike, which is awesome but a bit heavy and too cush for an XC course. It's an awesome learning tool and boy beating enduro race bike. Sitting in the garage waiting for snow was my Mom's fat bike. It just so happens to be not too heavy, have a lefty fork (not too many fat bikes/snow bikes have front suspension) It just so happens to accommodate 29 inch wheels. 29 inch wheels are not exactly new technology so 2008, but finding a good marriage of fit for a 5'3 individual is not an easy feat. In truth My Dad bought the wheels for my Mom's birthday present banking she wouldn't like them and planning on using them on his bike.  So my Mom tried it and she liked it. It was fun, really fun and according to Strava....not too slow. We all know Strava is 100% accurate and never ever lies.

 Do you know how easy it is to climb on a hard tail 29er inch wheels? It's like cheating. The roots, you know about those roots? Neither do I after riding a 29 er. It just rolls over them. The only draw back to annorexifying ones fat bike is that you can't skinny the stays, so the front of the bike rocks but the back feels a little clumsy as ones legs brush the stays a lot. It's sort of like cowboying your legs a bit.  You may have bruises from your legs brushing the frame but it will be worth it when you earn a check and are only 2 minutes down from your spouse vs  the last time you raced riding 27.5 in wheels and 6 inches of suspension leaving you.... oooohhhh 28 minutes behind in a shorter race but dang that hydraulic seat dropper sure made for a nice ride.

Mama your fat bike got skinny. Yes Annika, it had to slim down for swimsuit season.

The next great event in town was the Blueberry Festival and a visit from my California Grandma and grandpa.

We took them on a lot of adventures while they visited. Bike riding, blueberry picking, hiking to a waterfall.
And of course to the ice cream shop. Yum, Yum, where I live you better eat your ice cream

....before it freezes because winter is cold and long

Thanks for the visit G&G . Can't wait to see you soon.