Friday, October 7, 2011

Clydesdales and Athenas

One of Chris' friends asked him back in May if he would do a sprint triathlon with him.  Chris said no way, but that I might be up for it.  I've actually always wanted to do one.  I swam on my high school swim team and have always loved to ride a bike (you can't survive 4 years at UCSB without being a pro on a bicycle).  Even though I don't like running, I've done a few 5k's and even ran a 10k a few years ago.  So, a triathlon has been on my "bucket list" for a while and I figured why not now!  Once I committed to the training, Chris took up the challenge as well, and we ended up both doing the Carpinteria Sprint Triathlon on Sunday, September 25.  It was a 1/2k swim, 15k bike, and 5k run.  Being that neither of us are the most dainty of people, we qualified to race in higher weight groups.  Chris raced as a Clydesdale and I raced as an Athena! 

I felt pretty good coming out of the water.  During the training, my biggest challenge was overcoming my fear of open water (you know...all those creatures!)  After a few ocean swims I realized I didn't really even think about it when I was out there swimming.

Swimming was the most difficult for Chris.  This is true for many people who do a triathlon, so he's not alone.  He trained a lot in the pool just to be able to swim a long distance and not drown!  He did great!

It was raining during the race, so the roads were pretty slick.  We saw quite a few people skid and take pretty hard falls.

I struggled through the run part with a strained calf muscle that I had been nursing for the last month of my training.  I managed to hobble the last 2 miles and wasn't that much slower than my normal slow running pace!

We finished and survived!  We are even planning on doing it again next year!

Do we have a future triathlete on our hands?

Monday, September 19, 2011

I recently pulled out a few of Nicholas' baby clothes to save as a keepsake.  Samantha got a hold of the outfit that Nicholas wore home from the hospital and discovered that it fit perfectly on her baby doll.  Since he was only 5 lbs 11 oz when he was born he was still swimming in this preemie outfit.  He's still our little guy.  Samantha is catching up and they are now both wearing size 4 pants...

This praying mantis was my excitement for the day.  I drove away from work today without realizing this guy was sitting on the hood of my car.  He crawled to this spot on my side mirror and rode all the way home.  Nicholas and Samantha put him in a glass jar and watched him for a while before we let him go.  He's a long way from home, but hopefully he likes Torrance as much a we do.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Samantha's First Day of School

Daddy had the honor of taking Samantha to her first day of preschool. Sadly, I had to work.

Her best buddy Violet was waiting for her and didn't want to go into class without her.

She jumped right in to the first activity and had a little sticker fun with her classmates.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Back to School

All good things have to come to an end. It was hard to say good bye to summer, but right after we got home from Yosemite I headed back to classroom to set up for the new school year.

The day before my school year officially began my niece Hazel was born. My sister Nicki, Adam, and brother Luke welcomed Hazel Tsing-Ling Bettino on August 29th at 5:30 pm. She was 6 pounds 8 ounces and is the cutest little hazelnut!

That same week my other sister Barbara got married. Congratulations Barbara and Antosh!

The following week Nicholas had his first day of Kindergarten. He met his teacher Mrs. Kawaguchi and had a great first day. It's pretty nice being able to walk 3 houses down to his school!

Samantha starts preschool next week with Mrs. McCamant who Nicholas had his first year of preschool too. Since she's officially a big girl now, we finally got her out of her toddler bed and got her a big girl bed. It sure is BIG!

Summer - Part Two

In August, we went on our 3rd annual camping trip to Yosemite. This year there were 5 families that stayed for a week. We scored with our reservations back in March and managed to get 5 camp sites all in a row. We spent the week riding our bikes to the river, swimming, hiking, making s'mores, watching the stars, and enjoying the beautiful surroundings. It doesn't get much better than Yosemite!

Summer - Part One

We had so much fun all summer that we had no time to blog! Being the first summer that no one required a nap (I could have used a few though) we seemed to be going non-stop.

We started our summer off with a trip to Palm Desert with 5 other families. Altogether there were 15 kids and 12 adults. We had a great time lounging in the pool, going down the water slide, watching movies, and having picnic dinners on the lawn by our hotel villas.

We came home just in time to celebrate the 4th of July.

Mid July, Chris and I got to go on our own little trip to Seattle. We had a great time eating great food, enjoying the sights, and getting a little R and R.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Samantha turns 3!

Samantha is 3 years old! Some of the things she's into at this age are princesses, Hello Kitty, clothes and shoes (sometimes changing outfits 3-4 times a day), doing whatever her big brother is doing, and doing everything herself (even though she gets frustrated very easily and starts crying and whining almost instantly). Oh, some say it's really "Terrible Threes"! We'll see...

We had a great time celebrating Samantha's 3rd birthday last week. Her actual birthday was on Thursday the 7th. Chris went into work a little late so we could have a special birthday breakfast together and watch Samantha open some presents.

She even got to have a birthday cupcake with her breakfast! She licked off all the frosting and them asked for could I say no on her birthday, so she got a double dose of frosting!

She got her first big girl bicycle from CC and Grandpa. A Barbie two-wheeler. It even came with a Barbie sized bike for her new cheerleader Barbie! Thanks CC and Grandpa!

She got quite a bit of Hello Kitty stuff from us and even more from Omi and Gung Gung, including Hello Kitty ballet slippers for her ballet class.

We had her party on Saturday. Her only request was a princess jumpy house. So that's what she got! We invited over our family and friends. I made cupcakes and cake pops and we had a fun afternoon.

She's already asking when she her next party is going to be! Luckily Nicholas' birthday is at the end of the month, so she won't have to wait too long for another jumpy house.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Spring is here!

This week is spring break, so we took advantage of the beautiful day and headed to Tanaka Farms, an organic farm in Irvine, with a few other families.
We got a tour of the farm in a tractor pulled wagon.

All along the way they gave us samples of their produce - cilantro, green onions, spinach, lettuce, sugar snap peas, carrots. We were told to throw whatever part we didn't want over our shoulders onto the dirt road. Samantha didn't eat much, but kept asking for samples so she could throw them out the wagon!

Our tour guide was this energetic guy who was a cross between Carrot-Top and Napoleon Dynamite.

The last stop of the tour was the strawberry fields where we got to pick and taste strawberries. Samantha wasn't cooperating with the picture taking, but she really was having fun.

Nicholas was very proud of his harvest and we are excited to have fresh strawberries with vanilla ice cream for dessert tonight. Mmmm!

We've had quite a bit of rain around here lately, enough for California to officially declare that we are no longer in a drought. We have another storm due to arrive later this week just in time for Samantha's birthday party...sad, but in between these cold and wet storms we've also had some beautiful days. One day last week hit 85 degrees! We busted out the Slip 'n Slide and had some fun in the sun.

As promised in my last post, here is a picture of Samantha's at her first ballet lesson. Parents sit outside and look in through a glass window, so I wasn't able to get any pictures during the instruction time. Supposedly they will put on a little recital at the end of the session for the parents to sit in and watch. Samantha is the youngest in the class since it is for 3-5 year olds and she just made the age requirement since she's turning 3 this week. She liked the class, but for the first 10 minutes she was sitting on the floor watching everyone dancing around her. I don't think she understood that she was supposed to participate! Finally the teacher got her up and Samantha started following along a little bit. Maybe this week's class will be a little more successful!

I haven't been doing much with my flower business lately, but last week I did centerpieces for my school's annual fundraiser dinner and auction. The theme was "Going Green", so they asked me to use vegetables to make the centerpieces reusable. I used artichokes, asparagus, lemons and rosemary. They turned out pretty well and they sure tasted good too!