Thursday, January 29, 2015

Burma/Buckeye Loop, Mt. Diablo

This is one of my favorite short but challenging runs. Some may say it's hardly worth the drive to only do under 4 miles, and that's ok. It's totally worth it for me. I happen to love the windy, curvy, (some may say sickening) drive. I park at the bottom of the infamous Burma hill, and run the loop heading towards the ranch, so clockwise. This is an excellent time of year to do this loop as the creeks are flowing, although barely, the ponds are full of frogs, so it sounds amazing, and parts of Stage Rd Trail are over run w/the creek, which is always fun to run in. That was a massive run-on sentence. Anyway, I've been running out of Mitchell Canyon almost exclusively for the past few months, so today I decided to get wild and crazy and hit up one of my old favorites and see how the ankle held up. It was a great morning!

 It was 8:45, and around 60, if you were wondering. Beautiful!
 These rays of light....I just couldn't get over it.

 Above, I get to cross the creek that runs down this little valley at the top, and again at the bottom once I loop down to it. If you look close, way down there at the bottom, you can see a white line that is the trail.
 Above, man I love this picture! In the distance you can see the sun hitting the section of trail that the creek flows over/down, right under the Oak Tree that's left of the trail.

 Above, I'm on the hill above the frog pond (Little Pine Pond) and it sounds amazing with all the frogs. And below...sometimes I take pictures of hog prints and say "it was a big print", but I realize I give you no comparison. Here's what I would normally call a big one, next to my size 11 shoe.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

I Ran!

Last post today because more than one is really too many for me so 3 is totally overboard.
I stayed off the ankle almost a week and a half. By stay off, I mean I didn't run/hike.
I walk/ran a mile, and ran a mile yesterday. It's not 100%, it's very stiff/sore today, but I do feel like it's good enough to get back on it for short outings.  I've adjusted the workouts drastically so as not to be doing a ton of squats and lunges, which I love to do, but I know it's not wise.
That's it, there's your update- It's not 100%, but it's usable in moderation.

Art, Art Supplies...and More Art

 Art. It's everywhere in our house. Literally.
An interesting, little known fact (there's really no reason people would know this unless they have a child with ADHD and have done the research into why that child does certain things) - Kids with ADHD sometimes have the ability/need to hyper focus on an activity.  This is opposite to what many people think of when they think of ADHD.  For Myles, before he was on medication (not open for debate or opinions, thanks), while he would be totally a ball of movement, activity, jumping from one activity to the next while finishing nearly none, and general hyperness, he's always been able to get lost in one activity at a time, for hours. After being on medication, he's still more hyper than most 8 yr old boys, but he can function now as a normal 8 yr old. However, he still hyper focuses on one activity. Art. My understanding, through almost a year now of therapy, and research, is this intense focus (almost obsession, and what borders on OCD) is that it's almost like a nap for his brain. He can still be doing something physically, meaning he's active, and moving....but it's an activity that he doesn't have to think intensely as he's doing it ( opposite of reading, math, tests.) His mind can still think and create and be active, but in a way that relaxes him. Thus, he will sit and create things for hours if time allows.  And his mind/body need that break.  We've been told that as long as he's hyper focusing on a healthy/non harmful activity, foster it, encourage it, and allow him that time his body/mind needs to relax.  So, thus the copious amounts of art in our house.  Thus the make over of the garage a few months back.  Myles is very fortunate to have a grandpa in a position to keep his art supplies stocked up (back stocked even). Art supplies are not cheep when we are talking about the amount of creating that goes on around here, so we are all super grateful when we get a random delivery and it's a box of tape, or construction paper, or glitter glue, or clay.  Anyways, Myles is a pretty special kid, and we are pretty open about all of his "specialness" so that he always feels normal, not like an odd kid. All of our friends know he makes a lot of art, it's his "thing". He in turn, is equally open. We were at a movie and the "cool" kid went to visit his therapist and Myles looks over at Brian and I  with a huge smile and says, "I have a therapist, too!", super loud. So I replied equally as loud, "all the cool kids do".  Anyhow, I just don't want anyone offended that we are so open about him here on the blog, we are this open in real life, too.
With that, here's a peak into our house of art -

 Kona checking out the Littlest Pet Shop village that just keeps growing.
 These quilt squares are actually Emma's project.

 Above, last night's creation, below, I think it'll be an elephant when he's done.
 Below, not sure, but he knows what it is.
 Below, this is the inside of one of the Littlest Pet Shop houses. He makes the house, and then spends days making the furniture. His LPS are all different animals, so they need different furniture. A skunk and a monkey don't have the same decor needs.
 Below, I think that's a bed. You'll notice a fishing line that is a zip line between the houses.

 His sisters made pictures for the houses.

 This is his art wall in his room. If there's something he really, really loves, he can hang it here on the wire. (Not the wall because there would be holes and tape all over that wall)
 He made, and hung himself, those lanterns. He said they are like the ones above the spinning tea cups at Disneyland.

 His blue ribbon art - "Robot Darth Vader and his Robo Dog"
 One of these statues is not like the other. Hint- it's the red dino. With pink nails, no less.
 He built and painted that snowman himself.
 And lastly, I found this laying here this morning on my table. It's an opera mask, or a ball mask thing.  Why....I have no idea, but it's pretty cool.
There you go, a little peak into part of our world!

Aquarium of the Bay

I realized I never did do a post of the aquarium pictures. I said I'd do a more thorough post, and never did. Oops.

Ok, so Aquarium of the Bay is located at Pier 39 in San Fran.  A quick's expensive if you have more than 1 or 2 people, its little, and you don't get to wander.  Meaning it's a one way exploration, one way traffic - you are sort of funneled along from room to room and once you go down stairs, through the tunnel, out through the gift shop....there is no turning back to see anything, you've exited and that's it. We came around a corner, and there was the gift shop and the kids were like "wait, is that it??" Now, you can linger as long as you want at each spot, but once you've seen it, you move on and that's it. You can easily see it all in under an hour, less if there's less people in your group.

That said, it is a treat for the kids, and it's what they wanted to do the last weekend of Winter Break, so that's what we did. The girls had been once before, and Myles had never been.

Cost - we did the family four pack for $64, and needed to add one more $13 ticket. Parking in general is around $20 (we were at the Pier for around 5 hours).   So, for us, this is way, way too spendy for what this aquarium has. IMHO, not worth it. Oh, and while we were at the Pier for longer, we were only at the aquarium for maybe an hour.  I do realize there are 5 of us and it's usually expensive to do just about anything, so maybe if there's 2 of  you this would make a really cool date night or something like that.

Moving on, pictures-


 Here's where I gotta say, if you get dizzy, or motion sickness, or woozy around a lot of movement...this tunnel that looks so cool will make you sick. The people mover floor thing doesn't work, so it wasn't because I was standing still and still being's just a lot of movement all around you, in a dark, small tunnel full of people.

  "It says there's fish in here", said Brian. "It's factually accurate", said Emma.