Saturday, March 21, 2020

We’re all in this together...alone

This week evolved somewhat unexpectedly, yet if you’ve been paying attention to current world events, not surprisingly. Monday began with Daddy working from home (his favorite thing...not!) and Baby Girl (BG) starting an early Spring Break because, of all things, a lack of cleaning supplies available to purchase 🀦🏻‍♀️ Panic buying and hoarding has become a worldwide epidemic alongside this pandemic. First it was ridiculous amounts of toilet paper and bottled water, and now grocery store shelves are just bare. Challenging times bring out one’s true character, and quite often the worst in some. Coronavirus (COVID-19) Crisis is no exception.

BG had a dentist appointment scheduled for Monday that, after being confirmed on Sunday, got cancelled due to state mandates that would evolve into a full lockdown by Friday. Tuesday morning her preschool switched gears and broadcast Circle Time live on their Instagram account, and Sarah went to gymnastics camp in the afternoon, which was reserved for the regular camp goers to keep the groups small (at that time all the surrounding schools were closed until at least April 6th.) I think the restrictions on Monday were gatherings under 50 people, so churches, schools, and a lot of other gathering places were shut down (for at least until the end of the month). 

Daily Circle Time and other videos got us through the week, and on Wednesday night, we made the decision to pull Sarah out of gymnastics camp. As it turned out, we were a day ahead of the governor’s statewide “stay at home” mandate. As of Friday, the state has officially begun full lockdown mode to flatten the curve.

Things escalated quickly throughout the week as the world around us went remote and virtual. (Let’s hope we don’t break the inter webs!) Last week’s press conference announced 5 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in San Diego county (4 of which were no residents) and by midweek that number jumped to over 60 followed by 115 by Friday. And statewide, nationwide and worldwide numbers keep climbing. A little sliver of light appeared though...for 2 (maybe 3 now?) days China (where this all started) has reported zero new cases. And as of now, there’s no evidence of becoming reinfected. Meanwhile, Europe and the rest of the world reel from how quickly this virus is spreading, as each country ignores and/or accepts the seriousness of it all, and the government officials take action at whatever pace they feel is right, as confirmed cases escalate and we wait. At this time, I feel very fortunate to live in California, where our governor hasn’t waited for federal agencies to make up their minds about what to do and has effectively taken the matter into his own hands.

So yeah, it’s kind of in our best interest at this time to be prudent and conscious of the seriousness of the situation. Our governor has buckled down and by Thursday evening we had an executive order from him to stay home unless absolutely necessary. While most of the cases in California are currently in the northern half of the state, we need to do our best to flatten the curve as much as possible. Fortunately he said we can still walk the dogs πŸ™ƒ which also means family walks and short bike rides around our little neighborhood. The main message remains: wash your hands and maintain “social distancing” of at least 3 feet from everyone not in your household. And stay home!

This week has been so surreal as events unfolded and everything rapidly changed from normal routine to an ever-changing and uncertain time. Social distancing has become the new normal. Everything by now has been closed or cancelled: the zoo, the aquarium, Disneyland (for the first time since 9/11), bars and restaurants...everything. Non-urgent Doctor appointments have been cancelled indefinitely to free up healthcare professionals for any and every emergency needed now and in the indefinite future. Oh yeah, and no more sports. All of the Spring Classics have been cancelled, hopefully to be rescheduled for the Fall. All Springtime stage races and even the start of the Giro d’Italia have been cancelled/postponed. Basically, the entire 2020 cycling season seems at risk, which has been a major bummer.

Instead of being in the middle of an exciting Spring Classics 2020, we’re at the beginning of The Great Lockdown of 2020. Homebound and finding ways to occupy our time, entertain ourselves and especially our little monkey children as we wait this thing out. Hoping not to go stir crazy, or worse, get infected. We’re bracing ourselves for the worst as we hope for the best, and pray all of our loved ones stay healthy. 

We’re sometimes entertained by social media memes that appear, as well as the reminiscent posts of bike races past to keep things light and our cycling hopes alive. Celebrities across all platforms are getting philosophical and reflective as we’re all forced to slow down and spend precious closeness with our families.

Almost on cue, as the race withdrawals were beginning, and particularly on this day when the 111th edition of Milan San Remo was supposed to happen, FloBikes rebroadcast last year’s race. As my husband went on a 3-hour bike ride and BG watched Disney+, I watched the race from my iPad in the kitchen and baked chocolate chip cookies. 

After eating 4 or more cookies, I heard that bike trainer in the corner beckoning me to burn off those sinful cookies, so I obediently climbed on and churned for the last hour of the race, effectively burning through the sugar rush. And my wrist did well! Honestly my butt hurt before my wrist, because, well, a saddle is not just a saddle 🀷🏻‍♀️

About the race: I’d forgotten how exciting the last 5K had been, and the feelings from last year returned!! It didn’t seem to matter that I knew who won or where Sagan placed (4th, missing the podium by inches!). It was just great to watch a bike race again.

Most significantly, as I watched the interviews and the podium presentation, I realized what a terrific and welcome escape from reality these last 3 hours had been. I even had to remind me self this whole Corona Crisis wasn’t just a dream. Although admittedly, when the broadcast first began and they cycled through various images of Italy, I got a bit tearful for this beautiful country that has been so devastated by the virus. My heart aches for these people, and I truly hope things start to turn around for them very soon.

Probably the biggest tragedy of the week for us (and let’s hope it stays that way throughout all this) was the loss of our Roku remote. πŸ˜– And this time, the remote finder feature failed because, we “think,” the remote got accidentally dropped in a trash can and subsequently (and quite efficiently by my husband) thrown into the trash bin, which unfortunately was out on the curb because it was trash day that day. Of all the times to lose our most used remote...smh A replacement was quickly ordered on Amazon and we switched to Apple TV for a few days. First World problems for sure...

The irony of this is how everyone keeps saying, “We’re all in this together...we’ll get through this together, etc, etc.” Yet we’re all being mandated to stay away from each other. And so yes, we are in this together...alone 🀷🏻‍♀️

Thanks for reading the ramble πŸ€ͺ

Monday, March 9, 2020

Girl dads are the best

Last night, Baby Girl (BG) experienced a mini-milestone—she received her first little bottle of nail polish, Princess Rapunzel Purple in fact, with sparkly princess toe separators 🀩 She was so excited you’d have thought I gave her a puppy. It was so precious. She promptly asked if I would paint her nails, and we shared a tender moment as I painted her finger nails while she sat in my lap. 

Lately BG has been keen on “painting” her finger- and toenails with a purple marker. She also enjoys painting ours πŸ€ͺ So I decided to lookup on Amazon whether there was some kind of “kid-safe” version of nail polish available. (Duh, of course Mama, where’ve you been?!) Oh boy do they! Pick your favorite character—My Little Pony, Trolls, Minnie Mouse, and of course Disney Princesses. Nontoxic, water-based, peel-off, etc. Of course I had to get the princess ones. Tiny little bottles shaped like ball gowns 😍 I decided to give her just one for now; after all, her birthday and Easter are just a few weeks away.

And what a hit! She painted her own toenails, then Daddy’s! And then Daddy’s finger nails too! Before peeling off polish from her own nails and painting them again πŸ€ͺ

This Girl Dad is once again The Best Daddy Ever. 🀘πŸ₯³πŸ˜

Saturday, February 15, 2020

Back in the saddle for real!

Now that I’m cleared to start riding my bike again, we decided to go for a family bike ride today! It was officially our first family ride at Lake Miramar, and I even rode my newly resurrected mountain bike. 

We only made it about a kilometer out before we had to turn around, but it was truly a milestone in our journey of becoming a cycling family. Poor BG was pedaling so hard her legs kept hurting, and as much as she cried “Shut up legs!” she only had so much in her for this first time. Our neighborhood is mostly flat, and the path around the lake fluctuates a lot. We tried coaching her to coast on the “downhill” parts but she only knows one speed”full gas” πŸ€ͺ🚴 It was actually a great learning experience for all of us, and turned out to be quite long enough for my wrist. 

The wrist did okay. I layered two different wraps for support, which seemed to work well, but my I’ll-used wrist started complaining nonetheless...right around the time BG stopped and refused to pedal forward another rotation. And it’s been kinda sore all afternoon.

The guy at our other local bike shop suggested using tape. Less bulky he says, and it’s what a lot of cyclists do for the cobbles. 🀷🏻‍♀️ I think I’ll try that next time and see how I do. Either way, I gotta take it day by day. We wanna do another short ride tomorrow, but we will see how the wrist feels.

Stay tuned.

This was my favorite moment of our little ride today πŸ’šπŸ˜ŽπŸ˜:

Thursday, February 13, 2020

A birthday wish granted

Last Friday I had a follow up appointment with my ortho doc regarding my wrist. I really didn’t know what to expect, although I think PT has been going pretty well. I’ve definitely made progress but who knows how rapidly or slowly it’s been 🀷🏻‍♀️ 

During the appointment I casually mentioned that the occupational therapist had said I can try starting out slowly with the bike if I think my wrist can handle it. (My thinking is I’d start on the trainer for minutes at a time to test it out and see how the wrist responds.) My doc said, “If the therapist is okay with it, I’m okay with it!” 😡🀩

Just in time for my birthday πŸ₯³ Of course right after the appointment the weather changed...we got rain and it was colder. So of course my wrist, which had been feeling pretty good up until that point, started to complain 🀦🏻‍♀️ Nonetheless, this past Tuesday we went on a short family bike ride around the block! 

And my wrist did okay! Ooh and my Ruby got some upgrades since I last hopped aboard, but I’ll save that for the birthday post.

Right now I’ve gotta go get my little monkey from gymnastics πŸ˜‰

Stay tuned πŸ˜ŽπŸ€˜πŸ™ƒ

Sunday, February 2, 2020

When rainbow dreams come true 🌈

Several years ago I created this blog when my husband bought his dream car. Since then we’ve had many more dreams realized—some seemingly insignificant yet special memories, and some life changing. (Unfortunately/Fortunately, many of them weren’t chronicled here.)

This weekend marked another dream realized, and it probably falls somewhere in the middle of the dream spectrum, but no matter, it undoubtedly fits in the “ΓΌber cool and awesome” category! 😎 oh and this weekend just happened to be the UCI Cyclocross World Championships in Dubendorf, Switzerland πŸ‡¨πŸ‡­So appropriately, this was Rainbow Weekend. 🌈

Yesterday was “New Bike Day” in our house—for anyone counting, yes that’s the third one in less than six months! Today was my husband’s turn for a new bike. A bit unexpectedly I might add. I mean, he’s been ogling a certain beautiful specimen of a bike lately but we hadn’t exactly set out to get him a new bike in 2020. Especially one in this price range. However, this is no ordinary bike, and it wasn’t going to be available for long with the new models coming out soon, specifically in the Sagan Collection 🀩😡πŸ€ͺ (What?!?! Wait a minute. I’M the big Sagan fan! 😡 Why is HE getting one of these bikes?!!! Because he’s no ordinary husband πŸ˜‰

In a recent moment of clarity, I thought, “Just get the bike, do it anyway, you only live once, you can’t take it with you, you’ll regret it if you don’t act now.” Stuff like that. It reminded me of a lost opportunity several years ago, and that moment will forever be known in our family as the Vermont Castings moment. 

Husband found a 2020 Specialized Sagan Edition Roubaix in his frame size sometime before Christmas. Not local, up in NorCal somewhere. A week or so ago it was still there. He starts saying things like: That’s okay, I don’t really need a new bike right now, I’ll wait for the next version to come out, besides it’ll be just as good if not better, right? He’ll always be chasing rainbows...blah-blah-blah. (Note: This year’s theme is/was Chasing Rainbows...complete with a beautiful subtle yet SHINY, SPARKLY rainbow paint job. Next year’s was undetermined at that moment...but I had my theories...)

Once he started down this way of thinking, I realized it was time to Seize the Ride. I knew, I mean I just knew in my gut, this next collection was going to be all about green (Afterall, one doesn’t win 7 green Tour de France jerseys everyday. Plus his gran Fondo was all about the green.) So based on that nudge, I said to him “Get the bike.” You might imagine his reaction (Whaaat?!?!!!!). Ironically, almost immediately after he made the call to our local bike shop to get the bike transferred down here, the new collection was announced: Sometimes Rainbows, Forever Green πŸ’šπŸŒˆ AND, at this time, only in Tarmac and Venge frames. Roubaix in April perhaps? We will see. Nevertheless, my husband isn’t exactly a fan of green πŸ₯΄

They transferred the bike to our local bike shop in just a few short days πŸ’ͺ The guys at the bike shop ogled it, of course, even taking it out in the sunlight for a better look at its unique paint job, and admiring it for a few days before we got there to retrieve it. Apparently they’d not seen one in-person. Our little gift to them πŸ’šπŸŒˆπŸ€˜ In fact, they think it may even be the only one of its kind in our city! 🀩 My husband loves being different, so this just got him even more excited about owning it! I’m sorry I made you wait until the weekend to get it πŸ₯΄

So yesterday we retrieved the most beautiful bike I’ve ever set eyes on. Instant bike envy. It got quite a bit of attention, too, as the group ride folks were returning from their morning rides. (We even met someone training for the BWR who’d just returned from the club’s first gravel ride.)

So hold up a minute, you say. Bike envy??!!! Didn’t YOU just get a new shiny bike?!, you ask incredulously. Yes I got a new bike last Fall. And yes, of course I still have bike envy!!!! After all, I’m a HUGE Peter Sagan fan! πŸ€ͺ🀘 AND...This thing is absolutely gorgeous! However, I do not deserve one. Not today. Maybe not ever, depending upon how this next year goes and when I can get back in the saddle for real. BUT, my husband? He definitely deserves this bike!! For many reasons, not the least because he works so hard and does so much for our family. He also deserves it because he’s been riding bikes his whole life. He didn’t stop after childhood like too many of us do. He’s always been into bikes; in fact he remembers when Specialized only sold bike tires(!!!), and he’s even got a Shimano 600 crank from one of his first bikes. Yet another good reason: He’s not going to crash on this bike. He’s going to ride it and enjoy it to the full. As he should.

As you might imagine, pictures do no justice to the beautiful paint job on this bike. It truly is very beautiful IRL. Way better than even I expected! Even so, here’s some “bike porn” for any of you enthusiasts who might be reading this, and anyone else who’s simply curious πŸ™ƒ
As if she fell down from the heavens 😍
Just look at her sparkle! 🌈🀩
First quickie ride in front of the house
First proper ride

That last photo was taken on my husband’s first ride this morning. He sent me a couple of these throughout his ride because, well, if you had a bike that looked this beautiful in the sunlight and just brightly smiled up at you whenever you looked down, wouldn’t you stop and take pictures too?! Or is that just us? πŸ₯΄πŸ€·πŸ»‍♀️ Why so serious πŸ€ͺ

Needless to say, we had a fun day at the bike shop shopping for various accoutrements for the new bike (better TUBELESS(!!!) tires, cool bottle cages, proper pedals, etc), and ever since bringing her to her forever home, we periodically escape to the garage just to look at the beautiful specimen who now resides in our garage. And, surprisingly, I nearly had to shove M out the door to go for his ceremonial first ride this morning.
“Go ride your new bike.”
“Right now?”
“Are you sure?”
“Yes go! Stop asking are you sure. Go before I change my mind!”
πŸ€ͺ🀣 It kinda went down like that. 
I’m just disappointed I couldn’t go with him! 🀷🏻‍♀️πŸ˜–

So...What did he think? “OMG it’s so fast!!!” And he said it in a bit of a childlike, giddy way, with a twinkle in his eyes. I think he likes it πŸ˜‰ Now to find the perfect name for her...πŸ€”

Now here’s yet another cool thing about buying this particular bike at this particular time of year: He gets to enter a special contest for a chance to win a trip to Paris-Roubaix this April 😡 with a special seat at the finish line inside the Roubaix Velodrome! Pretty cool, huh? Sure it’s a long shot, but someone has to win, so why not us! 

We will see πŸ˜‰

Monday, January 27, 2020

Back in the saddle?

Well....sort of πŸ€ͺ

At my last appointment with the orthopedic doctor, I asked him, can I get back on my bike? His response: Oh no no no. Not for at least 3 months from the date of injury!”

So of course I went home and figured out what day that was and circled it on my calendar! πŸ˜‚ Date of injury: October 26, 3 months later - January 26. Ironically, this was the day Peter Sagan turned 30. Kinda fitting, then, that the first day my butt touches a bike saddle was on this day...cuz I had been training for the chance to ride with the champ when I had my “moment of stupid.” 

My wonderfully supportive husband set up the bike trainer in the living room for me, and I officially sat on a bike for the first time since my crash. πŸ₯³ So...I didn’t exactly go for a ride, but I did get on a bike! πŸ€ͺ Why so serious, one might say. And now the question remains: WHEN will I actually officially be back on my bike? Well, I’m doing physical therapy now, and I’ve shown great improvement in my range of motion in the last 3-4 weeks, so.......We will see! πŸ˜‰

Oh and be on the lookout for a much delayed Christmas post. Stay tuned πŸ™ƒ