Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Fieldwork, part 2 and then some

Our second fieldwork day was at the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History.  We took a nice and LONG bus ride, SCHOOL bus ride to DC. It's a good thing the air conditioning worked, meaning all of the windows could open. Ha ha ha. The students have been learning and researching about butterflies, and there just happens to be a butterfly exhibit at the museum. How perfect! The kids used digital and disposable cameras to document their findings around the museum.

O was sitting with friends, which was good and, once again, I thought I was going to have a seat to myself. BUT, not so. Sweet A bounced down right beside me. She's a fun girl, O has played with her in the past. I had been up until 1:00 or so because I'd been at a concert in Alexandria. But, I learned my lesson from our last trip. I had a small dose of Dr. Pepper to wake me up. AND, I needed it. She's a talker. BUT, whenever she talks to me or tells me stories....this happens.

I showed her how to use my camera because she was in my group and we would be sharing it. She had a TON of fun snapping pictures of nearly everyone within 12 feet. She tried to get a picture of her teacher at the front of the bus.

Well, she got a nice shot of the fan. 

Here's a shot of the person in front of us. Peek-a-boo!

Once we arrived at our destination we headed upstairs to the insect area where Ms. Helen handed out tickets for the butterfly exhibit. I didn't even glance at them and put them in my pocket. There were several other field trippers there so it was a good thing I only had 4 girls to worry about. OF COURSE, as soon as we got there, they were all hungry. Poor kids. So, I had them watch a feeding demonstration and fill out a few things on their fieldwork, then we headed off to lunch.  Our plan was to go to the butterfly exhibit and then explore the rest of the area.

Ew, spider!

Bugs a'la carte

O holding a roach. She didn't understand why I insisted she wash her hands before we ate. 

Another group joined us. We also saw Ms. Christine, thank goodness. Guess what, there are times on those butterfly tickets. It's a good thing she pointed that out. I could have had a sad group of girls. Oh,  they named their group, the "Girly Team."

A holding a caterpillar

Hooray!!! We made it in the butterfly exhibit. Look at this beauty!

Here is the "Girly Team" with Ms. Helen.

Here is a more accurate representation of their personalities, teacher included.

Ooo, pretty!

One lucky "Girly Team" member had a beautiful butterfly settle on her hand.

O had a butterfly visitor too.

 O contemplating, or just plain old avoiding a picture.

At the end of the trip, we had some time to explore so I took the girls to this place. I think the girls could have spent a lot more time learning in there, they weren't eager to head out.

Once again, my immature side took over. This is a box of fossils. Fossilized turd.

O took this picture. She worked it from several angles and she is very proud of this shot.

 This is such a great picture. What a cute wee one.

O Speaks
"When I'm pregnant, I'm going to eat random foods." I don't know where that came from. She told me that on the way home from school....... hum.

Me - "O, please stop talking and eat your breakfast."
O - still talking.
M - "O, you need to use your mouth to eat, not talk."
O - protesting, she is trying to tell me something important.
M - "Yes, that sounds important. My ears are going to stop working until we are in the car."
O - still talking

M - "O, you need to pick up your toys before you go outside to play."
O - "You're ruining my life."

Drama+Romantic = Dromantic, and O original.

I was helping a wee one getting ready for her school conference. She was pretending to introduce me to her parents.

Wee One - "This is my mom ___. This is my dad___." She then whispered to me, as if she was telling me a secret and said, "She doesn't like him very much."

"Why do we even have school zone speed limits? This should be the time that kids start to learn survival of the fittest." Julia Godshall

Della to me while I was driving, "If you need a nasal aspirator, it's over there.... You just ran it over..... Someone's baby is really stuffy right now."

M - "I'm opinionated."
LT - "I like it that way, I never have to guess what you're thinking."

Erica - "K, super héros don't hit with their cape."

Currently, I have to work with someone with a personality that really challenges me. I wanted to check in with LT and make sure I wasn't being too much of a jerk. 
M - "Am I passive aggressive?"
LT - "No! You're aggressive. That's why blah, blah, blah.  You're like a bull in a china shop."
Okay, much better. I love honest feedback.

Boob Talk
LT walked in on O doing a self-breast exam post shower. He turned around and walked out.

O is concerned that I might have lumps in my boobs. The self-breast exam poster in the bathroom at the health clinic has really set her off on a mission.

Boob Apron - Nursing Cover

O crossed a line one morning while we were snuggling in our bed. She intentionally put LT's hand on my boob. 

O - "Mom, Audrey plays with her nubbies."
M - "Oh, really?"
O - "Yes, she does it like this", shows me.

Sunday, May 25, 2014


The Savage Race is, by far, the best obstacle race I've done.  We did it last summer and I fell in love. The only obstacle/mud race I'd done was the Run For Your Lives, zombie race. I had a blast on that one, but the Savage Race opened my eyes to a whole new kind of obstacle fun. I did the RFYL race last fall and it was boring compared to the SR. I found out they are doing the SR again in October. Who wants to come with me?

Here is our crew at the beginning of the race. 

The start

Veronika posing with other kilt wearers. 
I think the guy on her right looks like a young Daniel Craig. 
V was one happy girl. 

The first obstacle, Prairie Dog. 

You can kind of see how slick and muddy it is.

V - "Here, you need mud on your boobs."
Me - "Okay."
V - squish, squish, squeeze. 
The mud was no good. It didn't make a mark, but it did make for a funny picture.

Boob Talk
It didn't even occur to me that V squished and squeezed my boobs. Twice. Truly, it didn't even cross my mind that she was touching my boobs. It wasn't a perverted or creepy thing. Part way through the race, after the handprints were covered up with mud, I mentioned the molesting. She laughed and said she didn't think of it either. If anyone else had tried to do that to me, they wouldn't have gotten very far. Ha ha ha.

(The names of the obstacles are horrible)
This is a huge container filled with ice water. You have to jump in, swim under a board, and get out. The board is deep so you have to get completely wet. I learned my lesson about this one last year. So, this time, I jumped in and swam under the board right away and I only had to go underwater once. I could do that because our group were the only ones there. Our wave was far, far ahead of us. Usually, you have a group of people in front of you and you have to wait, in the ice bath, for them to get under the board. I actually panicked last year and almost ran/swam/crawled over Sarah to get out. I've only ever felt panic like that twice in my life. No bueno. Needless to say, this year's experience, although painful, was MUCH better than last year.

Getting ice ready for the next round of runners.

I was numb and I'd only been in the water for seconds.

V post Richard.

I was doing really well, until I got to the middle of the board. It was really wiggly in the middle.

V found mud that worked. 

Her caption for this picture is,
"Yeah baby! Ya' feel  me?"

This is right before V grabbed my butt. 
The guy in the gray tank top behind us in the 
picture said, "I saw that" as he ran by.

This is our reaction to his comment.


Oh, wait, no it's not. There was just mud on the screen.

I nailed it on the first try! Last year, I had to do it a few times before I figured out the trick.
This is also where I re-injured my hamstring.

Oh, ya know, just hangin' out in the mud.

This year, I didn't go in the water and V didn't kick me off of my rungs.

Cargo net, schmargo net.

This obstacle is not kind to shorties. 

Race euphoria 

This one was a new one for me. 
The Colon Blow 5000

Derek and Laura enter.

This is the inside. Mine was MUCH slipperier.

Derek giving the thumbs up.

Patty on the inside between the in and out tubes.

Ya, it was dark.

The down spout.

V heading down.

V making contact with the water.


This one was hard for me because I was tall enough that I couldn't crawl so I had to do and awkward army crawl. It was really slick so I kept getting stuck and sliding backwards.

Laura and Pipe Dream.

Laura meeting the water.

Ya, I don't know what we're doing.

Some people jump over the walls, like this.

L goes over the wall like this.

V is MUD-E

P is so happy

L, not so much

 The mud crawl from last year was my favorite part and I was REALLY looking forward to it this year. BUT, the crawl they set up on this course was really, really poor. Chalmer and I did the mud crawl in the thickest and heaviest mud.  You can see our trail behind us. It is a really good workout because that stuff is HEAVY and it isn't easy to move in.  When I was done I had, at the least, a half-inch layer of mud on my front side. It added 10 or 15 pounds to my body. I felt like I was going to fall forward.

We waded through a small pond, I washed a lot of the mud off, 
and had to work our way up a hill on wet plastic.

Here is a map of our course and obstacles. If you click on it to make it larger, you can read the names.

If my migraines get under control, I can start exercising again. If I can start exercising again I can be in better shape. And if I am in better shape, I can tackle the Colossus at the end.