*Good grief, this post is almost as long as the Ironman itself!*
I also can't figure out why some of the photos are distorted!
We managed to get all of our stuff moved (with a ton of helpers) into our new house the weekend prior. I'm exhausted just thinking about it. We're still unpacking. The last day of school was that next Wednesday. Josh had a couple days of a business trip on Thursday and Friday in Boise before his big race, so we tagged along for those few days. The kids were pretty excited to get out of town the day that school let out. They each had a little duffel bag, and I told them what items to pack. I inspected Yaks' bag, and he packed two swimsuits, three shirts, eight pairs of long pants, no underwear or socks. haha.
|Walking home with our buddies from church.|
By 1:00pm, we were on the road, packed into our small Prius, which wouldn't be so bad, but for the fact that Diddles was in the back seat. She's a bully, I tell you. She hit, pushed, snatched, and bossed everyone around the entire weekend. See those colored pencils?
I sat in the back with her almost the whole ride there. That Prius says it seats three in the back, but it ain't adults, and they don't have long legs or bottoms!
After a night at our favorite hotel, we enjoyed a delicious breakfast at the hotel. The chef who cooks up omlets and eggs to order stopped by our table to talk to the kids. He was lecturing them about helping their mom, and that school was the most important thing they can focus upon. Yaks kindly and politely interrupted him and said, "No...FAMILY is the most important thing." (as he gestured his pointer finger around our table). So cute.
We dropped Josh off at work, and headed over to the Boise Zoo. It has been a long time since we've visited a zoo, so it was fun to wander around, follow the map and see what we could see. It was going to be a hot day, so we wanted to get there in the morning!
Diddles called this humungous Sloth Bear "Teddy Bear". :)
The butterfly room was beautiful, and we managed not to kill anything!
|A butterfly landing on a butterfly!|
|These dinosaur exhibits were all over the zoo. The kids were totally unimpressed. |
Yaks: "I can tell they are totally fake."
I left our two water bottles at the hotel, so we had to share one amongst ourselves, and it was a HOT day. Yaks is my frailest child when it comes to the heat. Poor kids melts physically and emotionally.
Diddles had fun, but as was the challenge with the entire weekend. She is difficult, easily frustrated, and just generally hard to deal with. In general, I don't really like taking her to public places, particularly without Josh, but I had little choice this weekend. Our circumstances resulted in lots of screaming, meltdowns, tantrums in public. You know those where you feel like everyone was watching your child and judging how YOU deal with it. It was rough, and embarrassing. She's learning, but it's a SLOW and frustrating process.
After lunch at Qdoba, we found a pretty little spot with some water and shade at a nearby park. The ducks and geese seemed happy to share their space with us, even though we didn't have any food to share. By the end of the day, we were DONE. Hot, tired, hungry. I sought some refuge at a Chic-fil-a across the street from Josh's office, ordered some ice creams, and let the kids play in the soundproof play place for an hour while we waited for Josh to rescue us!
Day two, we dropped Josh off again at work, and then headed back to the hotel for some cartoons and pool time. Thank heavens for hotel pools! They saved my sanity in a huge way. After Josh finished his meetings, we went to the Science Center while he checked his bike in for the race.
Diddles played with this remote control car table for a good hour!
Then we discovered this play store. Look how happy she is! She loved doing her own thing and for once scanning the food herself! The older kids took it upon themselves to organize the place. "Nothing is where it's supposed to be, Mom!" Well, hop to it, kids! It looked amazing when they were done!
That evening the kids were signed up for a 1.2 mile fun run, but we weren't clear where the start was. Josh took off running with the kids to the park on foot, and I tried to follow the sounds of the loudspeaker while carrying Diddles piggyback. One of her funny comments about the heat was, "The treet (street) is cooking me!" High 80's was pretty hot compared to our cool 60's and 70's up here!
The kids finished strong, despite having to literally RACE to the starting line. Little did we know, it would foreshadow the entire race weekend!
Never having been to an Ironman race (remember, I was recuperating at home during the 2011 Boise Ironman), it was an interesting sub-culture to observe. It's definitely not a poor-man's sport. As we were checking in and drove into the parking garage, dozens of SUV's, with expensive bike racks, holding even more expensive bikes! And yes, everyone brought their bikes to their rooms! People appeared to be subtlety sizing up their competition and checking each other out in the lobby and elevators. I felt severely out of place in my worn-out Asics, with our three rowdy kids. I sang this song in my head and wondered several times if Josh was embarrassed by our motley crew.
Race day and we met up with Papa and cousin Emma for breakfast. They made the drive up from Utah to cheer Josh on, and I am always so glad when Stewart is along for things like these. He's a terrific support to athletes, and has an innate was of knowing what they need, where we should be, and just does a great job of being THERE. Emma was a great buffer for Diddles, and Boo loved having her cousin to pal around with.
Josh prepped us for the day as best he could with water bottles, umbrellas for shade, the stroller, cash, charged cell phones, maps, etc. There is so much to think about, but I sure appreciated him helping us as much as he possibly could!
We decided to drive up to the lake for the swim start, because the weather was supposed to be pretty hot, and I didn't want to be stuck there waiting for the busses to bring us back down with three crying kids. Good thing we left early when Boo wanted, because by the time we got there, and then trekked up the "hill", we were almost late. It wasn't so much the climb or even the distance, but Diddles insisted on riding in our cheap umbrella stroller, and the ground was silty sand and rocks! It was like pushing an olden-day plow up a mountain, friends! Boo was complaining about being late. Yaks was complaining about the heat. Diddles wanted the umbrella opened, but the wind kept blowing it inside out! By the time we reached the top, I'd had had no less than five people comment (while passing us), "Looks like YOU deserve the medal!" and "You can do it, Mom!" I wasn't thinking pleasant thoughts, friends. About anyone or any part of this thing, and it hadn't even started. UGH.
|We were parked down by the green shrubs. |
The race start was up that trail to where all the roads converged.
I was worried we'd missed his start, but we happened to run into Josh as soon as we got to the top! Diddles was crying, and Josh needed his other heart-rate monitor, which synced up to his new watch. We had to switch from survival mode to crisis mode. The monitor was with Stewart, who was around an impassable barrier with Emma, all the water bottles, and my dear friend Marie, who was there to cheer on her husband, Scott! Despite phonecalls to try to figure out how we could get it to him, we were too late. Time to begin.
|Boo watching Josh's age division swim start. They had to go around that lake, equaling 1.2 miles|
|Watching for Dad exiting the water and transitioning to bike!|
|The kids spotted him! "Daddy! Daddy!"|
Things kinda went downhill from there. It took us forever to get back to the city, due to road closures and delays. Fortunately, my angel friend Marie was with me, and she stayed with me all day! I honestly would have been a puddle of tears with all the confusing detours and closures and KIDS. Diddles was a mess, especially in the car, and Marie doled out "nice pills" (Mentos) for the kids to eat, so they would all be NICE. "These pills are working on everyone but Diddles, Mom!"
I know. I know!
We met with Stewart, who coincidentally arrived via bus at the same time we finally found a place to park the car! He knows directions like no one else, so I finally felt like I could relax a bit and not worry so much about where I was going! By this time it was well past lunch time, so we walked to our hotel and the kids devoured the complimentary fruit and water that was in the lobby, and later grabbed some burgers at Five Guys.
His final race stats: Swim (1.2 miles) : 38:19, Bike (56 miles): 2:37, Run (13.1 miles): 1:39
After the race, the kids got right into the pool! They'd wanted to go all day. They had lots of fun and could finally cool off and play. Pretty good sports, all-in-all. No injuries or fatalities! We grabbed some dinner at Texas Roadhouse to celebrate, and then we all hit the pillows!
Sunday morning we ate a big hotel breakfast and then had one last visit with Papa and Emma before going our separate ways. Papa broke out his helicopter to show the kids.
The kids each found their favorite rose in this lovely rose garden park.
Diddles took ONE nap on the way home. Things were calm and peaceful in the car. Boo asked if she got a special reward because Diddles slept on her lap, and her legs were hot. Oh, heaven help us.
Finally, I had the kids journal their favorite part of the trip. Yaks was seeing Dad race. Boo was Texas Roadhouse and throwing peanut shells on the floor! :)