Thursday, July 30, 2009


I took this video the other day on our way home from work after picking Jarem up from daycare. He loves playing with my phone and was saying hello over and over so I grabbed the Flip video camera out of my purse and caught a quick little video of him. I love hearing his version of hello! He sounds just like Eric's Japanese grandmother. I guess his Japanese accent is already coming out. :) Enjoy...

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Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Phoenix Zoo poster boys? Nah, think BIGGER!

Last Wednesday, Jarem got to go to work with Eric for the morning. He had so much fun playing with daddy that he slept for three hours at daycare when they finally woke him. He was SO TIRED but had an amazing morning. Eric received an email from the Education team at the Zoo asking that parents with children under the age of two bring them in for the morning. So Eric brought Jarem in and they got to feed all kinds of animals and pose for pictures together. Eric was so proud to have Jarem at work with him and see how big Jarem is getting. Jarem did great with feeding all the animals and was quite independent. Eric brought our camera and got some good pictures, too. But on Monday Eric heard from the marketing team that they really liked one picture in particular of Jarem and Eric and asked if they could use it for one of their billboards. SO COOL!!! Eric's answer was of course YES!! The billboard is already in production and will be installed as soon as possible. We'll keep you posted with the exact location as soon as it gets put up. It's scheduled to go on one of the faces of the Zoo's double sided billboards that are technically on the Zoo property off Van Buren. Here's a preview of what the billboard will look like. What handsome boys!!!

Here are some of the pictures that Eric took from that day, too.
Jarem got a little scared of the goats at first because there were so many of them. But he got used to them.
Once he got used to them, he thought they were dogs. So Jarem would put his arm out and tell them down. It was so cute!
Hanging out with the turkey. (Check out the video at the bottom.)
Yelling through the fence. He was being a crazy boy at this point but I think this picture is so funny!
More yelling. haha
Jarem wasn't at all interested in feeding them. But he was such a big boy and sat there all by himself.
Daddy tried to help J feed them but no luck.
Mr. Independent sitting all by himself. :)
Trying to feed the horse.
A little more yelling... haha
Jarem was so good with all the animals! Eric taught Jarem to put his arm out with his palm up and Jarem did it all day with the animals. He was a very good boy...
More attempts to feed the horse.
Look, dad, I listened! Palm up and arm out!
Handsome boy!
Playing with the lettuce.
Our little John Deere tractor boy.
Can I borrow your sombrero?
So happy with anything that has a steering wheel.
This is daddy daycare! Eric got an extra keyboard and let J pound all over it while Eric got a little work done. Eric's little nerd in training!

Here's a video of Jarem with the turkey.
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Monday, July 27, 2009

One more view of the STP

So as most people know, my husband is an open and self-proclaimed nerd. Don't get me wrong, he is the cutest nerd I know! But nonetheless, he is a nerd. He cannot do without his tech gadgets and cool toys. (Well, he can but doesn't prefer it.)

Moving on, being the nerd that he is, he found some amazing tools to stay connected while on the long 200 mile ride during the STP. Not only did we have GPS set up between our phones so I could track his process, but he also documented his ride the entire way via Twitter and Facebook. Not only was he sending out updates, but he also found a way to include a link to a map of his location using his phone's GPS signal.

Check out the ride from Eric's point of view and you can see not only the time stamps but also follow along a map to see his travels. This is such a cool way to watch Eric's progress and get his first hand perspective as to what he was experiencing. Enjoy...

-Great easy ride today. Man, riding in Washington is so much more scenic than riding in the desert! The Big ride starts in 3 days!!! 10:57 AM Jul 8th from Tweed

-Driving to Seattle for the big "200 miles in 2 days" ride! Mom and Gary are doing it too! We've all done it once before, back in 1997! 5:50 PM Jul 10th from Tweed

- Night before the big Ride. Amazing wife is putting the baby to sleep so I can eat and focus. Got some nerves! 9:44 PM Jul 10th from Tweed

-Up and ready to head to the start line! Jamie got me an awesome good luck card and J slept through the night so that I could rest up. Gidyup 4:01 AM Jul 11th from Tweed

-At the starting line @ the University of Washington! I hope my butt is ready for this 200 mile kicking. 6:12 AM Jul 11th from Tweed

- mile 22 7:57 AM Jul 11th from Tweed

-Mile 42! Almost half way for the day!!! Only one mishap: hit a bump and my pump started rubbing my wheel! Oops. 9:28 AM Jul 11th from Tweed

-Lunch time! I'm making pretty good time and the weather is great! Hope I can keep pace for the rest of the day. 10:30 AM Jul 11th from Tweed

-4 hours on the road. 70 miles down. Officially the most I've ridden in 12 years (STP 97). Yahoo 12:05 PM Jul 11th from Tweed

- - Bicycles and riders everywhere! 10,000 riders registered for the STP! This is awesome! :15 PM Jul 11th from TwitPic

-Mile 86! Its looking like I'm going to be able to do more than 100 miles today! Will make tomorrow MUCH easier! 1:29 PM Jul 11th from Tweed

-HOLY CRAP!!! 100 miles! I made it half way. Got a creamcicle and I'm about to see my Js!!! 2:34 PM Jul 11th from Tweed

-A couple of gripes: mile 110 unpaved road! Boo! Mile 113-114 UPHILL! Big BOO! LOL. Legs are still kickin' 4:09 PM Jul 11th from Tweed

-Jamie Just picked me up @ mile 117! Not bad for one day on the bicycle. Gunna b sore 2morrow, but only 80 miles thanks 2 todays effort. 5:04 PM Jul 11th from Tweed

-Thanks to everyone who wished me well today and sent me messages. They mean a lot to me and will help me carry on tomorrow. Til then g'night 9:36 PM Jul 11th from Tweed

-Day 2! T-storms and all! Lets roll Oops no cell signal when I started now @ mile 127 7:57 AM Jul 12th from Tweed

-Okay the good news: I'm @ mile 137. The bad news: I'm wet and cold! Only 63 miles to go! Yahoo. 8:43 AM Jul 12th from Tweed

-A little weird... I made it to the lunch stop already. Seems like I just ate breakfast! Good thing I have pockets! Free food! 9:28 AM Jul 12th from Tweed

-Bout to cross the Columbia River to Oregon!!! 10:15 AM Jul 12th from Tweed

- - Boo! Changed a flat tire only to discover that the other was flat too! Only 500 ft. into OR. 10:53 AM Jul 12th from TwitPic

-Both flats fixed (nice guy pulled over and gave me a tire since I only had one) 162 miles down, 40 to go! wooooo! 12:17 PM Jul 12th from Tweed

-Mile 185!!! Almost to Portland! Just got word that my step-dad is really dehydrated and can't finish. Bummer. 2:01 PM Jul 12th from Tweed

-200 miles exactly! 2 miles to go!!! STUCK BEHIND A TRAIN XING! C'mon, I'm almost there! 3:28 PM Jul 12th from Tweed

- - After 200 miles I get stuck at a train xing. I'm only 2 miles from the finish!!! 3:32 PM Jul 12th from TwitPic

- - Who designed this course??? Why do we cross the tracks only to cross them back again? 3:39 PM Jul 12th from TwitPic

-Just got a Post race massage! I did it!!!!!!! Thanks for all of the comments and well wishes over the past 2 days 4:56 PM Jul 12th from Tweed

If you want to follow Eric on Twitter, his name is @Jaremsdad. Thanks again to everyone that sent love, prayers and messages along the way. It was such an amazing experience! We are really excited for the 2010 STP!!!
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Friday, July 24, 2009

WA Vacation Day 11 -- Head Home to AZ

Monday was spent packing and getting ready to head back home before we caught our flight. Due to flying stand-by and full flight loads, we had to fly out of Portland instead of Seattle. We drove up there and checked our bags before going to a local mall to waste time until our flight. We went to a three story mall called Lloyd Center Mall which happened to be across the street from the finish line for the STP. This mall was huge and includes an ice skating rink. We first stopped in Brookstone and spent about a half and hour in the massage chairs. Kind of ghetto but we really enjoyed the free massages!! After that we had some lunch and played cards in the food court while Jarem slept in his stroller. It was a nice, relaxing way to end our vacation. ... Full Post...

Thursday, July 23, 2009

WA Vacation Days 9 and 10 -- STP!!

Saturday morning we woke up and were ready for the big day! Well, everyone was ready but me. I woke up with white bumps all down my throat. Grrrr! I was so bummed to be feeling so sick but we had such a big, exciting day that once I got going, I felt all better. (With the help of a little DayQuil of course.) Eric, Rose and Gary all started their adventure of riding their bikes 204 miles from Seattle, Washington all the way to Portland, Oregon. They all did the race back in 1997, the summer before Eric started high school. None of them had done it since so there was quite a bit of anticipation and also anxiety about doing it again. Had they trained enough? Could their 12 years older bodies hold up?

Well the first day went amazing and all three of them did so good! Eric felt so good that when he reached the mid-point he decided to ride further. The weather was amazing (mid-80s) and the sun was bright. The route led them through the scenic valleys, forests and farmlands of western Washington and Oregon. After dropping them off at the start line, Jarem and I headed over to grandma’s house and hung out with her for a few hours. When it was Jarem’s nap time, we hopped in the car and tried to find Eric along the route. We got GPS set-up between our phones so I looked like such a nerd in this big truck! I would first locate Eric via GPS. Then I would enter his location into Rose’s Garmin GPS and try to find Eric. The problem was that he was riding so fast that I never caught up to him. He did such an amazing job!! We finally met up at the mid-point before he hit the road again. I only saw Rose and Gary in the morning and couldn’t find them after that since I didn’t have GPS on them. But they did awesome on their tandem bike and rode all the way to our hotel in Chehalis, the next town over from the mid-point.

Once we all met up at the hotel, we enjoyed a big dinner at Applebee’s and then went back to the hotel for some sleep. The problem was that Jarem had other plans in mind. Because he was in the car for so long, he didn’t get enough energy out. So he woke up at about 1am and would not go back to sleep! It was such a rough evening because we would normally let him cry some and fall back to sleep on his own. But being in a hotel with other tired bicyclists, we felt guilty about our crying son. The three of us didn't get much sleep that night and poor Eric had to get up first thing in the morning and ride his bike again. Sunday there was a crazy storm! We woke up to booming thunder and rain! The weather had taken a sharp change from the day before and it was gloomy and raining for all of Sunday. Jarem and I slept in until almost 8 (thanks to not sleeping most of the night) before hitting the road.

Sunday was fun because we were able to follow Eric during lots of the route and I got quite a few more pictures of him. But for Eric, the second day was a little harder. Not only because of the weather but also because he got two flat tires while crossing the bridge from Washington into Oregon. He hit a grate and both tires popped. He only had one spare with him but a generous bicyclist gave him another one. That was so nice! I met Eric on the side of the road while he was fixing his tires and did my best to keep him company. I honestly couldn’t imagine going through all that while riding 200 miles. Heck, I can’t even imagine riding 200 miles to begin with but that’s a goal for me. I hope to do the STP with Eric in the next few years.

Jarem and I had so much fun watching Eric climb the hills and pass so many people. Eric is amazing to watch on a bicycle. He is so powerful and it looks like he has no problem when climbing these big hills. He got in some really good pace lines and was able to make great time while saving his energy. Just as I was getting ready to leave Eric and head to the finish line, I got a call from Rose and Gary. Poor Gary had serious dehydration from the first day and I think a bit of sun stroke. They weren’t able to finish after going 145 miles. I felt so bad for them after they trained so hard and looked so good the first day! I doubled back to pick them up and we all rushed to the finish line to meet Eric. Eric’s Aunt Linda was already there ready to meet him but Eric waited for me to get there because he knew how badly I wanted to be there with him. He stopped at all the rest stops toward the end and timed it perfectly for us to get there and witness his amazing finish.

We had a blast at the finish line festival in Holladay Park even though it really started to rain. Eric got a post race massage and we ordered him a commemorative jersey. Eric couldn’t stop smiling and was in great shape after all he had been through. He was slightly sore but really more enthused than anything. We stopped at BJ’s on our way back to Olympia for dinner. What a spectacular weekend!!

Eric made this clip with the pictures I took along the way. What a great weekend! Eric is AWESOME!!

Eric and me at the truck unloading his bike and getting ready for the long ride ahead!Gary took this picture with his iPhone of Rose on the back of the tandem bike.Three amazing people! I love them all so much!!This is one of the first big stops along the route on the first day. We met Eric, Rose and Gary here. It was amazing how many bicyclists there were. The energy was so high you could feel it. Very cool!Go Rose and Gary! Jarem says, "So proud of you Grandma and Grandpa!!"Rose and Gary going REALLY FAST down a hill. One of the benefits of a tandem...This is the bridge that the bicyclists used to cross the Columbia River, the border between Washinton and Oregon. This is also the bridge that caused poor Eric to get two flat tires.Picking up Rose and Gary. 145 miles is so great!!At the finish line, taking pictures. I was so emotional when I saw Eric at the Finish Line! SO PROUD OF HIM!!!Our little rider in training...Love you two!
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WA Vacation Days 7 and 8 -- Dentist and Farmer's Market

Thursday we all three had dental appointments. Eric’s cousin Kacia did mine and Eric’s cleanings and then of course Rose saw us afterwards. We got the best cleaning from Kacia, as always, and felt squeaky clean! Rose gave us the good news that neither of us had any cavities. WOO HOO!!! After we were done, Jarem got his first ever dental check with his grandma. It was pretty quick but he did well, no crying. She even did a quick fluoride treatment to help prevent cavities. We really need to get better about brushing his teeth though. Oops…

Getting ready for his first ever dentist visit with Grandma Rose.

Grandma Rose checking his teeth and applying some fluoride to help prevent cavities.Say cheese!What nice white teeth!Tasting the fluoride on his teeth and feeling around with his tongue.So happy to have his Grandma Rose looking at his teeth and playing with him!Yay!! He made it through without crying! :)Wow, the plastic on this chair is amazing!Playing with his new toy he got to pick out of the kid chest for being such a good boy.

That evening I went to my first ever Yoga class. It was an all level drop-in class but since it was so beautiful out, only three other people showed up. All three of them were pretty advanced so I was in over my head. But I kept up pretty well and got a great stretch in most positions! I was pretty impressed with myself to be honest. It was very fun to try and although I think it would be good for me, I can’t see us affording Yoga on top of everything else. Let alone finding the time for me to go regularly. While I was at Yoga, Eric and Jarem went and met Eric’s dad again for dinner. His dad made homemade ribs and Eric said it was super yummy! After Jarem went down for bed we snuck out one more time on the segways. We rode across town to Baskin Robbins and got ice cream. When we got back to the house it was time for So You Think You Can Dance again. Perfect end to a fun day…

Friday we spent the morning packing and getting ready for Eric’s big ride! We loaded up Gary’s truck with all our stuff and were ready to hit the road. Before leaving town Eric, Jarem and I walked down to the Olympia Farmer’s Market. My first ever visit to Olympia we walked down there and it has always been a good memory for us. We took Jarem in the stroller and took in all the beautiful sights. The vegetables and flowers there are amazing! (Oh yeah, and the nasty seafood. Haha) We took some pictures and then ate some lunch while listening to a band play. We walked across the parking lot to the waterfront in Olympia and took some more pictures over there.

Then Rose and Gary came and picked us up and we all headed to Seattle. Our first stop was the two story REI for them all to pick up their registration packets.

Jarem taking in all the sights of the REI store.Eric, so excited for his ride!Got his race number!Trying on his race jacket...Second stop was our hotel and after a few u-turns, we arrived safely. We had a late dinner and then hit the bed. What an exciting weekend ahead of us!!
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