Tuesday, July 15, 2008


I don't know what the hell's the matter with me, but I've become a total klutz. I can only chalk it up to being utterly distracted by everything else going on...either that or I'm getting fuzzy in my old age. Hmmm...

Anyway, I got this bad boy on my arm the other night and I can't explain exactly HOW it happened. Isn't it pretty? One minute, I was in the den, holding the central vac hose with one hand, trying to turn my slant board with the other, and then I just...fell...over. But not just over, over either...it was more like, I knocked into the side table and then landed on some free weights and then kinda wound up in a fetal position on the dog bed on the opposite side of the room. I skinned my knee, too, and it was in the same spot where I tore my knee open last year, when I fell on the sidewalk. (Yeah, this is becoming chronic, huh?) That time, I was running along, and BAM! Tripped over a crack and split my knees wide open. I felt like I was five again.

So anyway, back to this nasty bruise on my arm...I'm a little bummed because it looks kind of ugly and...see, I've got this big appointment coming up next week in Ukraine where I have to appear adoption friendly, and since it's like 100 degrees in Kiev, I was planning on wearing a sleeveless dress...and this thing looks like Pa punched the shit out of me, not just once, but a kajillion times.

Makeup anyone?

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Muddy Runs -- The Cure for What Ails Ya

Man oh man, I had a shitty morning. 99.999% of it is because of our trip. You can read all about that on Privyet.

I did, however, push myself out the door for a run and I've got to say, it helped tremendously. The run, itself, wasn't all that great (it was hot, too late in the morning, I missed my running group, and I was a sluggish) but mentally, it did wonders.

As I rounded the Montlake Cut and headed to Foster Island via the trail that runs behind MOHAI, it became pretty mushy. I couldn't figure out why, at first, because it was a warm day and it hadn't rained in a few weeks. And yet, the mud got deeper and deeper. Here's a picture of my shoe as I'm navigating the trail by way of stepping on branches:

Teetering my way through actually forced me to stop, which is why I took out my phone and started taking some pictures. Despite the mud, the scenery was gorgeous:

These are water lillies. Sorry, the camera on my phone sucks. Frickin' Blackjack. If you click on them though, they're a lot clearer.

Then I realized...DUH...I'm in the middle of marsh here...
of COURSE it's muddy. Silly me:
Yup, that's water underneath that green stuff!

A boat on Lake Washington

This is where the trail turns into a floating bridge:

Anyway, I ran through the Arboretum to Lake Washington Boulevard; hung a right and ran up Interlaken. It was a good day to stay in the shade.

I feel much better now. I mean, my stomach is still in knots over this trip, but I feel calmer now. Yay!

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Hot Dog! Mr. Na's a Bicyclist!

Last year, we bought Mr. Na a sporty little Trek bike with the hope that it'd last him a few years. It will, too, because it's just a hair too big for him right now. When we bought it, we opted to put training wheels on it because of the size; but during the few rides we'd taken so far this summer, Na's been balancing all on his own. I think riding a Razor scooter to school every day had a little something to do with it.

So on Monday, as we rode to Husky Stadium and back, I told him that I thought he was ready for the training wheels to come off. He wasn't too thrilled, initially, and secretly, neither was I. I wasn't sure if I was up to the task of scraping him off the ground six or seven times before he "got it". But as I watched him ride home in front of me, I noticed that most of the time, the training wheels never hit the pavement. I figured...he was ready. And worse case, I could always put them back on.

This morning, as Na was brushing his teeth and getting ready for his day, I went to the garage and did the deed. The wheels came off quite easily and so I still had time to run down to the basement and get all of the padding I could find for him: I grabbed knee pads and elbow pads, along with his helmet because, by gosh, if Na was gonna fall, he was gonna be ok with it...and so was I. I think if Pa had his old football gear, I'd have used that too.

I spent some time with him on the driveway at first, showing him how to put his foot down whenever he felt he was leaning too far one way or the other. Then I made him sit on the seat and, without touching the pedals, I grabbed the back of his seat and rolled him. Then I made him put his feet on the pedals and I wheeled him to a nearby school parking lot. Along the way, I lessened my vice-like grip on the back of his seat and grabbed it again when I thought he'd do a header.

When we got to the smooth, level parking lot, something told me to just let go...and that is exactly what I did...and I shit you not, Na took off! He rode faster and faster around the parking lot...and I had to run behind him just to keep up. When he stopped, I gave him a huge hug and cried, "You did it!" That was by far, the fastest time I've ever seen someone learn how to ride a bike.

Unfortunately, our parking lot time was up when someone came out of the school and told us a lot of trucks were going to be coming in and out. So we went to our playground and Na rode around the gravel outer path of the field. He'd fall every now and then--mostly because he stopped too fast or he made too sharp of a turn, but he'd be all sprawled out and raise his arm in the air to give me the thumbs up!

Later this evening, as we drove to his swimming lesson, Na said,
"That was a lot of fun today, Momma, but do you know what I want now?"
"What's that, sweetie?"
"A motorcycle!"

Adoption News - Take Two

Ok, so the wonderful folks at Today.com aren't willing to comply with my request to filter ads for my family blog...so I've taken the liberty of changing the adoption blog to here:


It's unfortunate that I have to pull the blog from Today, but it's highly embarrassing to have inappropriate advertising featured across the top banner of a blog that covers our family's adoption journey. I should have gone with Blogger to begin with, but I was lured with the idea of being a paid blogger. So much for that!

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

The Dog Days of Summer

Well, despite my freaking out over our trip being less than two weeks away, I'm enjoying the Seattle summer sunshine with Mr. Na (and I've got quite the sunburn to prove it!)

We took the dogs to an awesome off-leash area today (Magnuson) which also has a "dog" beach off of Lake Washington. Mr. Na, being 6 and all, went right in with the dogs, and all I could do was stand there and cringe, wondering what sort of organic floaties were touching his skin. Of course, afterwards, under the guise of "wanna play in the sprinkler?" I hosed all three down in the yard--and then stuck the child in the tub.

It's good to have him home again; but my staycation was kind of an awesome way to regroup and appreciate him all the more.

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Don't Mess with My Liberty!

Source: Seattle P-I
During our morning run yesterday, Scout and I were heading toward Gas Works Park when I saw this gigantic Statue of Liberty head situated on the edge of Lake Union. Underneath the ridiculousness of it, there was something about it that creeped me out. Call me warped, I dunno, but rather than feeling all patriotic and gung-ho for the Fourth, it instantly reminded me of the scene from the last Planet of the Apes movie, when Charlton Heston finds a third of the Statue sticking up out of the sand and curses the apes for blowing it up, crying, "You maniacs! You blew it up! Damn you all to hell!"

My second thought was that it reminded me of that Cloverfield movie, where the monster rips off the head of the Statue of Liberty and throws it down Broadway like a bowling ball.

How could the Family Fourth of July event organizers be so irresp
onsible! Damn you all to hell, you maniacs!

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Memories of Maroon and Gray Color Wars

I had the most random conversation with a guy from my running group last Saturday and as it turns out, he and I went to the same camp at the same time over 30 years ago in New Jersey.

We were talking about the heat, which led us to talking about the humidity on the East coast, which led him to ask me where I grew up, which led me to tell him I spent part of my childhood in Bergen County, New Jersey, which led him to say, "No way, me too!" which led me to ask him the name of his town, which led him to tell me he lived in Ramsey, which led me to tell him I lived in River Vale which led me to add that I went to camp at Knights Day Camp in Upper Saddle River, which led him to say,


Bizarre, but true. We spent the next hour or so reminiscing about the camp and lamenting over its demise and the death of Uncle Maurice--a man who not only founded the camp, but created such a fun, memorable atmosphere that 35,000 happy campers, over a 25 year period sang "We Love You Knights Day Camp" every morning on the bus ride in.

Turns out, my friend and I were both there in 1977, and we were both nine at the time, though we don't remember one another. I told him that was the year when, during a game of Hares and Hounds, I managed to step on a fallen yellow jackets nest and was stung by 13 bees. I was surprised he didn't remember someone with long blonde hair running up to the infirmary with a cloud of bees following closely behind like something out of a cartoon. I had a pretty bad reaction from the stings, too, and I swelled as bad as Violet Beauregarde in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. I had to be taken from the infirmary to a nearby doctor who removed the bee stings one-by-one. Uncle Maurice came to the doctor's office and drew a Purple K on my (good) hand for being so brave and later that night, he called my mom to see how I was doing. Still high on Chlor-Trimeton, I went to camp the very next day, since I didn't want to miss out on any of the fun.

That was the summer, too, when I wore the highly fashionable Wonder Woman bathing suit, and got mad when another girl in my group had one as well. I also got mad because when I got my Junior Lifesaving pin, I wore it and it left a rusty mark on the suit. My friend told me he'd talk to his parents to see if they could dig up the pictures of camp that year. He distinctly remembers seeing pictures of him in his group, The Exterminators, during the "Buddy System" in front of the Plake (the camp's pool/lake combo). He said he'd be on the look out for Wonder Woman (or her imposter).

Each camper received two or three gray Knights Day Camp t-shirts, with an illustrated Maroon-colored knight in the upper right hand corner and we took pride in the shirts--wearing them everyday with our Adidas shorts and tube socks. I think I asked my mother to find tube socks with maroon and gray bands so I could be color coordinated.

My friend has a lot keener memory than I do. He remembers "Sloppy Slurching" where we trudged in the muddy water behind the cemented Plake and his parents even have his old banner with the merit badges he earned. I wish I had saved something...anything. Sigh!

Every year, we had one overnight at the camp, which was the highlight of the summer. This is where we learned of the legend of the Purple Knight who would come to the camp once everyone was asleep and leave his trademark Purple K on an unsuspecting, but lucky, camper. None of us got to see the Purple Knight in person (it wasn't Uncle Maurice), until the very last day of camp, when he made his appearance on horseback as the buses pulled away.

We also discussed the annual "Color Wars", and as it turns out, he was on the Maroon side (I was on the Gray team). Color Wars was a week-long competition at the end of the summer. The competing teams earned points with various activities including archery, swimming, and the ever-popular volleyball-esque game called "Nuke 'em" where players had to catch the ball or lose a teammate. I can remember we also had a sing-off and cheer-off competition to see which team had the most spirit. That year, the announcer played a trick by calling the Maroon Team winners...only to psyche everyone out and give the win to the Gray Team. My friend insists on doing a re-match.

I'm up for the challenge...so long as it doesn't involve running! My friend ran Boston this year and I've yet to earn a respectable qualifying time to do so.

It'll have to be Sloppy Slurching!

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Looking for Adoption News?

Some of you visiting this site have been brought here, inadvertently. And while I appreciate the readership on Canned Goods, you can find more information about our Ukraine adoption here:


Happy Reading!