Friday, November 30, 2012

Pile on The Miles - COMPLETE!!

I am so excited to announce that I exceeded my goal for Pile on the Miles
Total Tally =
102.487 miles!!
And I did it today sporting my new compression socks.  Aren't they pretty?!

Next up?  I decided to start training for a 1/2 marathon.  Yep, you read that right.  I am officially a runner.  Ask 2 friends I ran with back in June, and they can relate that I said, "I don't think I will ever have any desire to run anything more than a 5K."  Oops.  Never say never.  Now to choose which one...  Anyone have one they recommend on the East Coast?   I want it to be more than just the run, but an experience!

Thursday, November 29, 2012

More What NOT to Buy My Kids

Ever just want to say what you REALLY want to say about gift giving for your kids, well this Mom did: What Not to F'ing Buy My Kids This Holiday.  Hey, since it is out there, why not add a little to the list, and is there a reason we must limit this to holidays?!  I mean really, is there ANY point you want this crap in your house?  My friends and I came up with our own list as an addendum, though a couple were important enough to keep and expand upon.  Thanks Feb08 Moms among others :). 

1. Presents requiring adult interaction - Unless there are siblings that can play together, this is not a great gift for exactly the reasons in the cited blog. We do need bathroom time, uninterrupted would be great, but obviously that is for a different wish list.  Gifts of this nature should reside in the gift giver's home.

2. Anything with glitter - Nuff said.

3. Talking Puzzles - The concept in itself is not bad.  But buyer and user beware.  If one single piece is missing, that damn thing will talk every time the lights go out.  So if you gift one of these find puzzle specimens, be prepared to wake to fire engines, train whistles and animal noises after our next visit.  You may never find the source.  We are moms and we are good at hiding things.

4.  Dollar store/Kids' Meal Toys - We know our children are deprived these tchotchkes. There are reasons for that. They typically do not have all the features of a real version bought in reputable stores and they tend to break quickly. 

5. Toys requring companion pieces (specifically boy stuff) - Batman needs a Robin or at least a Joker.  They aren't Barbies.  Boys aren't going to dress them, brush their hair and be content.  They either need someone to fight crime with or fight against.

6.  Stuffed animals - Just know that if you continually bring one, we are most likely going to continually discard one.  Please don't ask where that "one" is because if it is here, we don't know and if it isn't, you won't like the answer.

7. "Craft" items with a zillion teeny pieces (thanks Britt!) - Using the term craft lightly, as the items could easily be made from something not requiring grains the size of sand to create it.  Think Moon Sand, Pixos, or Orbeez.  The maker of these items either never had kids or wanted to punish people for having them.  They should only ever be used outdoors.  Of course, we can't promise they are environmentally friendly.

8. Expanding on the dolls - Please, we beg you, do not bring dolls into our houses with those glassy eyes that open and close. This is not because our daughters won't like them, but because they freak the SHIT out of us! Think Whatever Happened to Baby Jane. Seriously!Side note: There were ceramic dolls that belonged to my grandmother in the attic of my old house. I faced them toward the walls because I was afraid they were looking at me through the storage walls. I was a married adult, mind you!

9.  Race track -  People, there is an age limit on toys for a reason!  It isn't typically under 4 on race tracks.  If you were sweet, you got a set that had the sections marked so they could be taken apart and put together easily. But chances are good, you didn't and now we have to pour another drink or 3 trying to figure out how the damn thing goes together for the 5th time today because a nearly 3 year old just takes it apart and then whines for it to be back together.  And it isn't even noon.  Ok, the drink is milk for the kid, but we will make up for that later!

10.  Items WITHOUT a gift receipt - We beg and plead with you, please include a gift receipt.  It isn't a reflection on you if it is the wrong size, wrong color, or we got 2.  Let us at least get what you paid for it in exchange for something that will be used.

Happy Holidays!
Love, The Moms

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Wordless Wednesday - Explosion!

Similar to the scene in our garage fridge this morning...

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Necessary Evils - Car Maintenance

I have spent the last 2 afternoons at the car dealership.  Actually, I am still here.  It was just time.  Both vehicles needed some general check ups.  We just can't risk it since we carry precious cargo in these things!  Nonetheless, I am mildly ill with the impending bill, particularly from today.

I knew I needed new tires on the back soon, but was holding off.  Plus I have a guy who does that.  He comes to the house even!  But the rotors, ugh... That was a surprise.  They are going to try to turn them ( basically grind them down to flat to give them new life).  They are at bare minimum as it is though, which means that next time, I have to pay for new ones no matter what.  Blah!  It isn't like I have a choice in the matter.  You have to have rotors to stop the dang car... And you have to have a car to take care of life - groceries, preschool, etc, etc.

Yesterday, I am the mistake of okaying the changing of the air filter on the truck.  Really?  What was I thinking?  I can do that.  And do you know what it cost for them to unbolt that compartment to reach it...  $15.  Heck the stupid thing was unbolted already to check it.  If I had said no, they still had it unbolted and had to reclose it.  Stupid!  It was a weak moment.

Anyway, there are days when I wish I didn't have to be an adult.  These necessary evils stink - particularly in the height of Christmas prep.

Monday, November 26, 2012

The Almost Endless Movie Previews

The Mister and I are big believers in Date Night.  We try to go about every other week.  In the summer, we would do an early show around 4:00PM or so, then dinner.  That allowed a sitter to feed the kids and get them to bed, but also not be out too late if they had plans for the evening - for those whose evenings still start at 10PM :).  Our current sitter though is in High School still, so we had to adjust the show time until evening.  As it turns out, this is a bit better on the pocket book!  Tonight was more like 4 hours versus 6 with an earlier show, and only a quick bite/drink after the movie made for less expense as well.

Really, what I wanted to talk about is being at the movies.  We love to go.  I personally would see anything, but the Mister is partial to something with action, something that makes the theater experience worth the expense.   There is a brand new Regal Cinemas near us that is sweet - comfy, reclining seats with RPX or super sound.  And at $15 a ticket, I have to agree, the movie better be good.  Unfortunately, the new Bond movie wasn't being shown in this theater, so we decided to pick one with a better time for us.  I bought the tickets through Fandango, and thank goodness!  When we got there, it was sold out and we ended up with seats in the 2nd row.  I don't think I have ever sat that close before!  Anyway, the movie was fabulous.  Who wouldn't like watching Daniel Craig :)?  My issue is with the seemingly neverending previews!

The movie time was 7:10PM.  We got into our seats maybe 5 minutes early.  Commercials are running - not previews, commercials for TV shows and product!   Then finally at 7:10PM, they being the "previews".   I am not even joking when I say that this went on for 25 minutes!!  I enjoy previews as a general rule, but that is a minimum of $5 of babysitting time that I could have saved or spent afterward on a drink.  They don't make an extra penny off our being there then, so I just don't get it.  Seriously, does adding 15 minutes to previews get them an extra soda bought?  For goodness sake, the Medium is already what, 40 ounces?  The only reason I am sitting here awake right now is because I probably drank 1/2 of mine - hello caffeine! 

K-Man saw his 1st theater movie last summer when Cars 2 came out.  He enjoyed it, but was very restless for the last 15-25 minutes.  To this day, I blame that on the previews.  They wasted his attention span.  I don't know who makes the decision on what or how long to run the trailers, but the logic needs reworked.  As much as I enjoy seeing upcoming movies, I think we may start going a little later after the posted "start time".  At minimum, if taking the kids, we will hang out in the lobby, while the other adult scopes the previews.  They can text us when the real stuff is starting.  Of course that isn't to say I am not planning our next movie outing - The Hobbit is calling me!

Friday, November 16, 2012

And the Winner Is...

Congratulations!  And thank you to Melissa & Doug for sponsoring the giveaway.
Stay tuned for another fun raffle starting Monday.
Safe travels to everyone for the Thanksgiving season!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Thankful Challenge Part 3 - Mommy Instincts

I had a whole other post just about ready, but it will have to be postponed.  I am too wound up for that at the moment.

Mini Me has not been well.  I was fairly certain it was just viral - runny nose and the works.  Yesterday, she seemed very off and a bit warm, so I started alternating Motrin and Tylenol.  At every interval that a medicine would be needed, she woke hysterical.  Not good.  So this morning we scheduled an appointment with the Doctor.  Sure enough - ear infection.  The lesser of 2 evils I suppose, as I was worried about the lungs.

A z-pac liquid was prescribed because she has shown an allergy to penicillin.  We went to the pharmacy to pick it up.  That was an experience in itself which I will leave for another time.  I set her on the sink to let her play in the water stream - our new method for taking medicine.  Works like a charm by the way.  I read 3 tsps and think "wow, that seems like a lot".  I didn't really commit the number the Dr. had told me since it would be on the medicine.  After administering 2 tsps though, I look at the bottle again and realize there is no way we will have enough for 5 days at this rate.

I call the pharmacy.  And guess what?!  They mislabeled the damn thing!  It was supposed to read 3 mL.  I just gave my daughter more than 3X the recommended dosage and am seriously contemplating murder!  They are going to call my Dr. and will get back to me... from there I heard BLAH BLAH BLAH.  I hung up and immediately called the Dr. myself. 

Thankfully this story ends well, and I wasn't willing to drag my children back out into the cold.  Otherwise someone at that pharmacy was going to experience Susan in a way that few should E-V-E-R see.  As it turns out, she will not be taking any additional dosages due to a random way to prescribe this particular medicine for a child that does not have frequent infections.  I, however, still have this horrible lump in my throat, and feel like I could throw up.  Thank Goodness, I thought to look at that again and trust my Mommy Instincts. 

On with a happier thought... please don't forget to register for a chance to win a new Melissa and Doug toy.  The raffle ends tonight at midnight.  Melissa and Doug will ship the Animal Rescue Shape Sorter directly to you in plenty of time for Christmas!  A new fun giveaway and review ready to start soon as well!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Oops - Semi Wordless Wednesday

Special thanks to a cousin for this :)
Pile on the Miles count 53.697 miles!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Enough Already

***Disclaimer - remember when I said Susan Today was all about what is on my mind today and it may include rants.  Well, today is one of those days.

Way back in high school (and yes, that is WAY back for me), a close friend and I decided that there were a couple things we would not discuss - religion, politics and abortion.  And guess what, I am not going to start talking about those with you either.  You know why?  Because I am an intelligent, educated woman.  I assume since you are reading my blog that you are as well :).  I base my decisions on those 3 issues, along with every thing else in my life on facts and research of my own.  You are not going to change my mind with a quote from the news, a newspaper, a post on Facebook or the internet, or your opinion.  I can only assume, my own arguments for my beliefs will not change your mind either.

So ENOUGH ALREADY!  The election has ended.  Please for the love of anything good in the world, STOP posting negative things on politics.  If you really feel that the person who was duly elected by a process that has been in place for quite some time is the wrong one, fine... believe that.  I am not asking you not to.  But at this stage in the game, folks, it is over.  The only thing to do is move F-O-R-W-A-R-D.  If you truly feel that strongly that things are wrong, find a group out there that can actually make a change or work toward the changes that you think need to happen.  Complaining on social media is most likely not going to help. 

OK, I think I am done.  Carry on with your normal programming :o).

Monday, November 12, 2012

Happy Veterans' Day

In Honor of My Grandpa Szabo
Pile on the Miles Count 45.993 miles
Don't forget to enter for the Melissa & Doug Giveaway here:

Friday, November 9, 2012

Is It Really Only 46 Days - Giveaway!

Seriously, how did it get to be a little over 1 1/2 months until Christmas?!!  This time last year, I had this teeny baby who was just starting to smile and giggle, my niece was just turning one, and my son was still in Super Hero World.

Fast forward to this year, and we are immersed knee deep in Star Wars/Lego land!  OMG!  You can not imagine the obsession this boy has with EVERYTHING Legos and Star Wars.  I had heard that Star Wars might take over, but I just didn't expect it this early!  The Mini-Me actually thinks the Lego Star Wars stuff is pretty cool too... to chew on.  So unfortunately, we had to build a Lego Fortress in our living room to protect the goods from her.  I can't even take a picture that does it justice!  This is a 6x6 walled space in the center of my home.  Can you say spoiled?

Anyway, what I find myself doing these days is sorting through the toys and weeding out the items that are no longer getting the love.  The K-Man has deemed some toys untouchables despite the lack of attention they receive.  I am okay with that though.  He is still willing to give others up to other children who do not have any, and for that, I am very proud!  Mini-Me doesn't have a lot of choice in the matter, but she will get her day LOL.  For now, I have decided to retire the everpopular Leap Frog Table, along with a few other goodies that she has long since abandoned.  Kitties and tea cups seem to have taken over.
Animal Rescue Shape-Sorting Truck Wooden Toy
Now for creating a wish list for the kiddos.  K-Man is easy.  If it isn't Legos or Star Wars, don't bother.  Mini-Me is tricky though!  We already have a lot of stuff.  She has a play kitchen, Duplos, Little People and lots of puzzles.  She would likely be content if I took any of that and wrapped it up.  So I have been perusing the Melissa & Doug Terrific Twenty list.  The one thing that keeps jumping out at me is the Animal Rescue Shape Sorting Truck.  Yes, we have a shape sorter, Melissa & Doug actually.  But it is simply shapes.  I like this one because it is animals and a truck and on a little deeper level - a lesson about something else, animal rescue.  She doesn't get that, but I do.  Here is the good news!  When I told them how much we liked it, they offered it to me, as a giveaway to YOU, one of my readers!   

Simply follow the instructions on the RaffleCopter below and gain your entries.  The giveaway will close next Friday, November 16th at 12 Midnight.  Melissa and Doug will send the prize directly to the winner in plenty of time for wrapping and placing under the tree.  Don't forget to share with your friends and also try for the daily giveaway on Melissa & Doug's Facebook page.   a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Thankful challenge Part 2 - Quiet Time

Since the K-Man was born, the Mister and I have always had a little deal on the weekend.  We each take one morning to get up with the kids while the other sleeps a little later.  The logic is that we both work 5 days of the week ( me being home with the kids), so this gives each of us one day off.  For the most part it has worked quite well.

And as I lay in my bed on this fine Sunday morning, this is exactly why I am thankful.  I awoke to the sounds of my children's voices, but they were in the next room asking for Daddio.  It isn't that I don't want them to ask for me, but it sure it nice to have him taking the reins.  Mini-Me is going through a Mommy only phase, so it is also a bonus for the Mister to have her undivided attention without me pulling that away.  The K-Man likes to address people by their name with every statement, and for some reason "Daddio this," and "Daddio that" sounds much sweeter on my day off.

I am thankful for the quiet in my room, even with the din coming from the next room.  (Sorry, love the word din... Not used nearly enough in my opinion!).  I can take these moments for myself and well, write this!  No one is pulling on my arm, asking for the iPad, the xBox, breakfast, etc.  In other words, I can actually think.

I am thankful that I have an attached bath to my bedroom, so I can also maybe sneak in a bath ALONE.  Ha!  Mini-Me L-O-V-E-S bath time, but so do I.  Which leads me to being thankful for the TV that we had installed over my garden soaking tub because not only do I get a bath alone, but also to watch something other than Disney Jr.

Finally, I am thankful that even though I could have slept all this time, it isn't even 9AM.  I still have the whole day ahead with the 3 loves of my life.  Have a beautiful day all!

PS.  25.875 miles out of 75 done for Pile on the Miles!  And stay tuned for a giveaway, starting TOMORROW!!!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Melissa & Doug Terrific Twenty List & Giveaway

Here I am after a busy morning of voting and shopping, wondering what I should write about, when a gift falls into my lap... and potentially yours (Thanks to my good friend at Domestically Seasoned for sharing the news)!  Melissa & Doug, one of our household's favorite children's companies, has just released their Terrific Twenty List!  If you have never purchased Melissa & Doug toys, now is the time to check them out.  You can see the "best of the best" holiday gift ideas for 2012.

The Big Rig Building Set would be great for the mechanical minded on your list.  I know the Mini-Me would love  the Bella Butterfly Tea Set or perhaps the Beeposh Elvis Lion.  She has a big love for all things cats.  Now my wheels are turning on fulfilling those gift requests for the special 5 kiddos in my family!

To top it off Melissa & Doug is also giving away 1 item every day to a lucky facebook fan.  If you haven't already clicked "like", now is the time!  And maybe, just maybe you will be seeing a Melissa & Doug giveaway here on Susan Today in the near future!  Stay tuned!

PS - heading down for a run.  Gotta get my miles in for Pile on the Miles!!

Monday, November 5, 2012

Meals in Retrospect

I didn't get around to planning meals yet this week.  I think they will be simple as the week is shaping up to be VERY busy.  However, we had a great meal last week that I want to share. 

While shopping in Aldi's recently, a woman next to me was commenting on the butternut squash - what a great price and how nice they looked.  I know ZIP about butternut squash, but she made it sound appealing for $1.49, so I bought one.  Then I looked at it on the counter for about 4-5 days.  Finally, I decided to try a Roasted Butternut & Shallot Soup recipe I found from Cooking Light.  I think a co-blogger actually had it posted, and I apologize for not noting who!  It was pretty simple aside from the fact that I never have shallots.  I did, however, have onion, so I improvised.  Really, the only ingredients were the squash, shallots/onions, olive oil, broth and seasonings.  That was it!

Once I peeled the squash and got the whole thing cubed, I realized I was going to have enough for 2 batches of the soup.  Since the Mister was on a business dinner, there was no reason to cook it all that night. Half the diced pieces went to the fridge and 1/2 to roasting in the oven.  I put the kiddos to bed and had myself quite the little meal!  But it was missing something... then I remembered!  When we were in Pittsburgh last, the Mister and I enjoyed a meal at our favorite restaurant, Monterey Bay Fish Grotto.  We had split a squash and CRAB soup.  Aha!

Guess what we had for dinner on Saturday?  If you think you want to try it, the only added step is to add 8 oz of lump crab to the soup and cook over medium until crab is heated through, maybe about 5 minutes.  Delicious!  And I still have a bowl left for my lunch today...

PS - 20.374 miles in already today my 75 miles in November!!

Friday, November 2, 2012

Crossfit Update Take 3

I have been doing my Crossfit Workouts for 2 1/2 weeks now, and I still really like my choices.  I am still tinkering though.  That is what I love about them.  I can actually play a little and change them regularly without getting bored.  On each, I have decided to try the 1/2 mile run at an incline of 2 and a speed of 6.2mph. My calved notice the difference!  I do the end run at 6.5mph, and am always amazed at how much energy I have by then.  If I don't have time for an end run, I might squeeze in another round of the main workout.  But I always try to get 30 minutes done.

pile on the miles 2012
I'm in!!
Mondays - 1/2m run, 50 pushups x 3, additional 2 miles at the end

Tuesdays - 1/2m run, 50 squats x 3, additional 2 miles at the end ~ I also went to a hot yoga class this week, and it was well, hot.  Definitely got a good stretch in all my muscles though!

Wednesday - 1/2m run, 60 walking lunges with 3 lb arm curls, 20 pushups, 30 box jumps, 20 tricep dips x 2.  Depending on my mood, I sometimes do a 3rd round, and sometimes do a run.  This week, I carved a pumpkin :P

Thursday - 1/2m run, 50 crunches x 3, additional 2 miles at the end.
I decided straight on crunches at each interval would provide more result.

Friday - 1/2m run, 1 min right plank, 1 min left plank, 1/2m run, 50 oblique crunches x2
I built this little routine myself.  I like things that work my obliques, and figured both these exercises complemented one another.

Saturday/Sunday - I took one of the weekend days as a rest and the other as a solid 5K or more day. 

What are the results? ~ That is really what you want to know, right?  Over the last 2 weeks, I have solidly moved down a size in pants.  Where I was waivering between a 6 and 8, I am now happy to say that the 8s are definitely TOO BIG!!  Woot!!  As for that blasted scale number, it is INCHING (and will be the death of me), but it is moving in the right direction.  From the start of my little experiment - 5 lbs DOWN!!!

On a separate note, I have joined this nifty little challenge from Monica over at Run Eat Repeat, called Pile on the Miles.  Basically, it is "an annual event in blogland where we challenge ourselves to walk or run more during the month of November. The goal is to pile on extra miles not pounds during this food filled time of year!"  Since I am running anyway, this gives me a goal!  I decided to shoot for 75 miles in the month of November.  YIKES!  I am hoping that if I can just get 5 days per week in at 3 1/2 miles a day, I will have 70.  5 more miles should be easy to add in somewhere.  I hope (insert nail biting!).

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Thankful Challenge Part 1

My good friend Janelle, at Domestically Seasoned has offered up a November Challenge to write about something or someone for whom we are truly thankful.  So every Thursday for the next several weeks, you will be seeing a little gratitude around here to those that make my life possible :).

Domestically SeasonedTo kick things off, I have a VERY special group of women I want to thank.  These are my Feb08 Mamas.  Who are they, you ask? 

Over 5 years ago, I joined what was called a "birth board" online through Pregnancy Weekly. It was a place where women having babies due in February 2008 could come together and discuss being pregnant. For me personally, I had no local family while expecting my first (or second), and they were my lifeline that everything I experienced was normal, or at least normal for one other person than me :).  But we didn't just talk about the pregnancy or the babies, we discussed life, and still do.  For various reasons, our "board" decided to move to a private site.  Today, there are still 50 women participating, though we have moved the site to more of a Facebook platform. 

We have been through a little bit of everything over there.  Of course, there was the birth of our babies that are all soon to be 5, the birth of 2nd and 3rd children, death, sadly, of some, and miscarriage of others, moving, job changes, etc, etc.  We have done card exchanges, birthday and holiday exchanges and even face to face meetups! 

To this day, if I have anything I need to bounce off someone else, I go there first, and it doesn't matter the topic.  They have definitely helped shape me as a mom, and as a woman. 

I just want to send big love to all of these women from the Feb08 Board, along with the ladies from Mama Laughlin (my newest online endeavor).  A support system is a support system, online or in person.  And I for one, think it is fabulous! 

PS:  Don't forget about today's blog hop!