Thursday, August 30, 2012

I Want to Ride My Bicycle, I Want to Ride My Bike

Last weekend I decided it was time. I took the boys two wheelers out of storage. I got these from another twin mom almost 1 ½ years ago, when I bought the toddler beds. They have been in storage ever since.
The bikes are almost too big for them , so I left the training wheels on.  Besides, the training wheels will slow them down slightly allowing us adults to keep up with them (sort of).  Nathan needs about another ½ inch and Corwyn at least a full inch before I could take them off, so probably in the spring.

They love them. Nathan in particular can’t get enough of it. While Corwyn took to and learnt to pedal the tricycle sooner, Nathan is clearly more enamored with the 2(4) wheeler.  I think he likes the speed.
Once we’ve worked more on safety crossing roads (and get some compliance in it) we’ll go further than the playground kitty-corner to us.

At the same time, I got a great deal on a pod that can be used as a stroller, jogger or bike trailer (Baby Jogger Pod - a double bike trailer that fits through a door). I’d love to be able to go further than we sometimes do without depending on transit. Of course, to use the bike trailer, I’d need to get a bike for me. I had a bike. Someone tried to steal it. When they couldn’t, they jammed the lock, smashed the frame and bent both tires. I can’t unlock it to throw it away and it’s beyond fixing or even using for parts.  A couple of my coworkers stepped up and gave me an old bike they had and weren’t using! Woohoo!

I got a helmet and lock and Tuesday I rode it home from work. Now, for those who know me IRL, I don’t live that far from my office. I can walk to work in around 20 minutes or bus in about 10. The route is up about 80%,  flat-ish for 10% and down the remaining 10%  on the way there, reverse on the way home.  Not bad. But remember, I have not ridden a bike in well over 4 years (pre-pregnancy).

It wasn’t bad going home. I had to make a few stops to adjust the seat until I found a place that was comfortable. Same with the gears. But I made it home, and managed to lock the bike up in our ghetto bike area.  Yeah. Um. Yeah. We’re not allowed bikes on our balconies and I rent out my parking spot, so this bike rack is it.  The mangled pink bike is my old one. I’m going to see what we can do to get it removed. I have no idea who has/had the blue one with the bent wheel. A couple other of the bikes here are unusable.

So the next morning, I would try the longer uphill start. Um yeah. They had dug up my road to begin repaving. This was my first challenge (other than the hill). So I moved over one road and began the ascent (yeah, yeah, to my biking friends who do mountains and ironmans, I know you’re laughing and scoffing, but give me time). It was almost laughable and I hope no one was watching out their window. I was like the little engine that could, my inside mantra of “I think I can” going strong.  The older lady with the walker snickered out loud when she passed me.  She wasn’t laughing when I flew past her on the flat a few minutes later! I resisted the urge to give a big boo-yeah (in part because I’m a better person and in part because I had no breath left). And I made it to the office in one piece.

My second trip home was a breeze, made even better because they had finished paving my street. I got to the downhill and coasted the rest of the way.  When I got inside, Nathan noticed my helmet. He wanted it. He kept saying “Thank you mommy for my new red helmet”. Uh yeah, the helmet that falls off when you smile, yup, it’s yours alright.  He was very cute, kept it on for a good hour. I hid it when I left the next morning.

This morning was much better. For starters, my road was paved instead of dug up. I got up the hill at much more reasonable pace. While I wouldn’t have lapped the elderly lady from yesterday, I would have easily kept pace with her. I expect it to get better each day.

I’ll take the bike in for a tune up in the next week or so, as it’s been stored for a couple of years. I like it a lot and seems like a good fit for me (with a price I couldn’t beat). I will name him George, and I will hug him and pet him and….. Okay, maybe not George. Hmmmm.  I’ll have to think of a name.

I’m definitely not ready to hook up a trailer and pull over 100 pounds behind me, but I’ll get there.  Maybe next weekend, I’ll pull the trailer empty to get used to having it behind me, then add a child at a time, sticking to small slopes or flat surfaces at first. And of course, I’m totally looking forward to when they are comfortable enough on a bike and safety conscious enough that we can go biking as a family. Vancouver has some amazing bike routes and parks. 

Here's a parting shot of Corwyn hanging in the Pod, securing Monkey in the seat. I've only used it as an occasional stroller so far. They both fit in easily and have both slept in it (at the same time and one off). I've run with it only a bit (when they demand I go fast). Except for long walks, or transit, we're mostly stoller-less, so I see this being used mostly as a bike trailer or jogger. But I got such a great deal on it, it was much less than just buying a biking trailer.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

My Little Music Lover

Corwyn LOVES music. He's the first there for circle time, sings while walking down the street, just loves it.

He is a massive Wiggles fan and I got tickets for the two of us to go see them this fall (4th row from stage, he will love it).

Along with the Wiggles we have a huge mass of CDs and this random music DVD called Silly Songs for Toddlers. It has some really old not current kids performers like Sharon, Lois and Bram and Rosabelle and Tansy. The boys both like them, Corwyn in particular really gets in to the songs and loves the actions.

Last night, I was able to catch a couple of short videos. He stayed seated for Little Bunny Foo Foo but for Hi, My Name is Joe, he had to stand up to get into it. I love it and will join him (although this usually prompts Nathan to demand I pick him up to 'dance' with him).

Enjoy these, I did.

They say music calms the savage beast. Yes, yes it does.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Friday Funny - Anatomy Lesson

So we have The Bare Naked Book and a few others like it but it doesn't all sink in at once. This morning Nathan came in while I was getting out of the shower. I could see the puzzled look on his face as he looked at me. Yeah, not the first time he's seen me naked, but I think it's the first time he noticed.

Nathan: Mommy, where's your penis?
Me: I don't have a penis. I'm a girl. I have a vagina.
Nathan: No penis?
Me: No. Boys have a penis, girls have a vagina.
Nathan: A 'gina?
Me: Yes, a vagina.
Nathan: I want to touch your vagina.
Me: No Nathan. My vagina is like your penis, it's a private part. You can't touch mine.
Nathan: I need to touch a vagina. (note the change from touching mine, to touching any one)
Me: Wait until you're older Nathan
Nathan: Okay Mommy
At which point he happily left the room. I was a bit worried about him spending the rest of the day asking people if he could touch their vagina but luckily not. I'm sure we're not done with the subject but for now, he's happy.

Don't forget to enter my really simple contest to win a pair of My Hikes pants cuffs ($20 value)

I you want to get in touch with me, you can use blog comments, or you can like And Mommy Makes 3 on Facebook or via twitter at @ChrisRFretwell

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

My Hikes - Giveaway

It's time for another giveaway!!!

I'm trying to drive followers to both Twitter and Facebook and a quick way to get a boost to these is with a giveaway.

I have and use the My Hikes. I first got mine off one of those deal sites and have since gotten a couple given to me, so I have surplus to share with my readers. I'm doing this giveaway on my own with nothing provided by the My Hikes people but I love supporting and promoting Mommy ideas and businesses.

Kids grow. When you buy clothes for them you can either buy them so that they fit 'right now' and replace them in a month or two, or you do what I do, and buy them a bit big and make them last as long as possible. Adjustable waistbands have been a savior in my place with my skinny kids, but what to do about pant legs that drag on the ground? You roll them up, they roll back down. You could hem and re-hem regularly, but really, who has the time.

My Hikes are perfect. Just fold up the pants and clip them on. Tada! And they stay. Kids grew overnight? No problem, just fold to a different place and put the clip on. So simple. Only a mom could have thought of this.

Forget to take them off? Seems to be no problem at my place. I've done this a few times and they survive the washer (they have not gone in the dryer yet so no promises there.) The picture above was taken just after they were removed from the pants that went through the washer.

 See, Corwyn's pants are nicely held up (and would be dry if he hadn't sat on the ground).

Nathan's pants are dragging and under his shoes, etc. I roll them up every 20 minutes or so when he notices them down again.

You can win the My Hikes pictured still in their original packaging on the left. The ones on the right have been used (and abused) regularly for over 6 months and still look great.

Now, you could go to the My Hikes website and buy a set or two for 19.99 each, or you could enter to get a set for free with a few simple steps. The giveaway is open World Wide. I already have the My Hikes and they are flat enough to send in a envelop and I love my followers from all over.

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Wordless Wednesday - 1st and 4th Pride Parades