further updates

Two things have captured the attention of our son.

The first is throwing stones into a small pond. Hours have been spent searching for stones of all sizes to use to make a splash. When stones are not immediately obvious he will settle for clumps of dirt. Occasionally he will even lower his standards enough to grab handfulls of dandelions or grass and toss them into the pond. I wonder if the water level will change by the time he leaves later this summer.

The second thing to capture his imagination is chicken poop. Yes, you read that correctly. Chicken poop. Fowl excrement. There is no real way to make that sound good. What happened was that on the first day of our visit his grandfather was showing him the chicken coop. He brought out a chicken to show our son up close and much to everyones surprise the chicken took the opportunity to defecate . Obviously our son was amazed at the process and, in his own almost three years old manner, said "again, again!" The next chicken that was brought was kind enough to perform on demand and a tradition was born. Now whenever we see a chicken there is a demand for "chi poo!"

The rest of our trip is going well, if not as planned. We had hoped to visit Zakopane, a resort town in the mountains along the southern border of Poland. When we called around to get some rooms, all of the hotels were booked. It was so unusually busy there for this time of year it made the evening news. We had a similar problem when we tried to find a place to stay for a couple of days in Krakow instead. So no tourist type of stuff this visit. The fall back plan has been to hang out at home, watch the kids run around the yard and drink beer each afternoon. Since the weather has been very nice each day, this has worked out well for us. Luckily there have been no Papal visits resulting in the halting of beer sales, so there has been no interruptions like during our visit in 2002. We went to a national park yesterday and walked through a castle. The day before we walked through the pine woods on the far side of the village. So if nothing else we are keeping busy.


the great experiment has begun

So I am posting from the computer at my in-laws house in Poland. Here is a link to Google maps showing the village where they live:
Rudy Rysie, Poland
We landed last Wednesday afternoon. Our son was better than we had any right to hope he would be on the flight over. I think Saturday was the first day he was all caught up on his personal clock. The rest of us have just been napping at odd hours as needed. I have managed to get in two runs so far. The first was for three miles and the second was for four miles. Most of the distance is on country roads with feilds more often than houses. The only problem so far is the occasional unchained dog. Most are fairly small and the worse they have done is bark at me. Most people nod and say "dzien dobry" which is Polish for "Good day." Some are clearly wondering what idiot is out running around but they are nice about it.
The big experiment is that after two weeks I will come home but my wife and son will stay on until the middle of July. His language skills have been going through the roof, as is expected for children almost three years old. So we are really hoping he will learn enough Polish this summer to lay a good foundation for the future. The end goal is he be able to use Polish communicate with his family in Poland. We talked about this trip when we started thinking about children and we bought the tickets back in December. Now we see what happens.
I am curious how my wife will handle being a single mother living with her parents. There is also the reality of my having to deal with only seeing them via Skype or email. Should be interesting. Some friends have asked what I will be doing when I am "single" again and I have correct them by saying that instead of "single" they should just think of me as "unsupervised" for the duration.
Enough for now. I hope all is well in your neck of the woods!


the joys of running again

Words can not describe how nice it is to be running without pain!

About two weeks ago I finally finished the physical therapy and the two weeks of breaking in the orthotics. And I can run again without the crippling shin splints. Not at anywhere near the speed I was at before the injury, or even where I was a year ago but I can live with that detail. I was able to keep some of my endurance during the last few months by using the eliptical a few times a week for a cardio workout. So now the plan is that each week I will increase the speed a little bit while still going the same distance. I am planning on running in the neighborhood 5k at the end of May. I think I can get back to the speed I was at for this race last year by then. We shall see!