A Birthday (9 years old?!?), A Relay and Potty Bribery #suttonscoop


What do 9 year old birthday parties, a 208 mile running relay and potty training have in common?  If one’s honest they can all be a bit smelly.  Seriously, six 9-year olds sleeping over and our playroom may never be the same.  A combo of morning breath, hilarious bodily functions (if you are 8-9), and minimum two days since their last shower makes for an interesting aroma.  Running relays?  Well, they are far worse on the nasal passages.  6 runners alternating 6 runs each for just under 30 hours without more than a baby wipe cleaning between runs can get ugly.  Couple in the hanging sweaty clothes in the van and some pretty awful processed foods and their impact on the human body and you get something, well, let’s just say special.  The good news is you don’t realize how bad it is until you are clean the next day and returning said van.  Potty training is the oddity – it isn’t actually smelly until the child hits the milestone.  In the case of our youngest child, this is taking its sweet time to manifest.  It wasn’t until yesterday when he ran around the house saying “my body hurts” that the big moment came where he could hold things no longer.  Dam breaks are less dramatic.

I’ll hit some brief highlights here:

9 Year Old Birthday – tends to last about 6 days with 2 parties, 2 cakes (one cookie, one homemade) and a bunch of cookies for school.  This party was of the sleepover variety with bowling and movies added to the mix.  8-9 year olds bowl very consistently with the highest score being 93 and the lowest being 84.  Target gift cards were the most popular gift – our family could likely live off of the amount of money our 9 year old received in gift cards for about 4-5 months.  Best we can tell, the parents have not yet come to terms with the fact that they have a 9 year old!   2 Dozen donuts and 24 donut holes is one dozen donuts too many for six 9 year olds to eat.  All told, Will had a great birthday event!

Blue Ridge Relay – my 6th annual in this event and Cindy’s 2nd.  We finished the event happily married.  We likely run it again next year.  Each year after it is over I find myself oddly sad that it has ended.  Sad on top of very, very sore – like plan-what-you-will-need-downstairs-for-the-day-so-you-don’t-have-to-go-up-or-down-again-before-bed sore.  This race has uniqueness.  Lots of miles, 6 very different runs per runner, running in the wee hours of the night in the deep NC/VA countryside, much camaraderie with many other teams and some pretty wide-ranging emotions.  Excitement and near euphoria at the start.  Significant fatigue and grumpiness in the early morning stages, happiness (yet not elation) at the finish and oddly mismatched memories across the 6 runners in our van (we all see 6 very different races and experiences since no one person on the team runs the same legs as the other.  Each runner has their “<fill in the blank here> scared the crap out of me in the dark” story.  Stomach discomfort is not uncommon and the lack of desire to eat or drink after about 4 legs sets in heavily for most.  Doesn’t sound great while I am typing and yet when you finish you tend to miss it very quickly thereafter (maybe more after getting a few solid nights sleep).  The only real downside to this year’s race was the enjoyment the elite teams seemed to get out of logging their “kills” or the number of runners from other teams that they passed.  This irked me only in the sense that they found enjoyment through taking away from the accomplishments of others.  It also got to me because many of the teams logging “kills” had 4-6 more runners than our team did…pretty easy to run faster than someone else when you have run half the miles of the person you are passing.  Questionable sportsmanship, but not enough to tarnish our overall view of this race.  If this leaves you wanting to know more check out our team blog here.

Potty Training – Charlie, not me.  These days nothing likely feels better for the little guy than putting on a nice dry diaper after holding it from spending the morning in “big guy unders.” Unbelievably absorbant diaper technology just might be the truest definition of relief.  The little guy has a big-time fear of putting his #1 or #2 in something other than a diaper.  Cool to see him proud of himself when he does overcome the fear.  Frustrating to not be able to capture this pride via camera.  Also odd that Charlie prefers going commando to wearing “unders” on most days (he’ll outgrow this right?).  It’s only a matter of time until it is mastered, right?  It is a foregone conclusion that these photos will be used as bribery when he reaches high school.  “Dear yearbook editor…”

Anyways, pictures are below – enjoy!

Click here for a slideshow of Will’s Birthday

Click here for a slideshow of the 2011 Blue Ridge Relay

Click here for a slideshow of Stewart’s Weekend with her Class Pet Woody

Click here for all of our pictures a la Flickr.