Friday, March 29, 2013

And Then This Happened...

Can running shoes implode?
I had high expectations for my run tonight.  I had this phenomenal run last night - short, but I felt AWESOME after.  Tonight, I asked the Mister to take over kiddo duty so I could do the 6.5 miles outside.  I thought it would be nice, why not?  Then the great shoe debate kicked in?  Why?  Because I bought 2 new pair and they need to be broken in.  I am currently alternating them with the tried and trues so that I don't end up injured.  So tonight was a fast run.  I thought, tried and true.
This is the only explanation I can provide for the feeling of lead legs that went on for only 5.11 miles into my 6.5 mile training run.  People - I have NEVER not gone the entire distance of a training run.  Something is wrong!  I thought to myself that it was less than 1.5 miles, I could do it, but I had this something nagging at me to stop.  So I did.
4 hrs later, after icing, my shin is still sore.  I don't get it.  I am telling you that I have run 13.1 miles just because and didn't have this much reprecussion to my body.  I was wearing my standard running clothes... compression pants, under armor (that I hate), a short sleeve dri fit over that and my fleece Sox hoodie.  The short sleeves was new, but it was 47 degrees.  The only thing I can point fault to, particularly since I know they are well into the 300 mile mark, is my shoes.
Can they really make that much difference?  If running shoes implode, may my Brooks Glycerin rest in peace.  We had some good times.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Ahh! This is Why I Run!

When I restarted my training back in February, I was feeling a little deflated on my running.  The training schedule had me going SOO SLOW.  Or at least it seemed that way after what I had been doing.  Of course, I had no rhyme or reason as to why I would speed up, slow down, add an incline, etc.  The training plan through MyAsics has five segments: Pre-Conditioning, Going Faster, Going Further, Race Simulation, and Recovery.  I am just now into Going Further and today's little 3 mile run felt Great with the capital G!

Why?  Well, before I started training, I could easily run at 6.5mph or more on the treadmill.  Once I got my heart rate monitor, I was lucky if I could do 4.5mph without having my heart rate too high.  So even though I was able to run fast, obviously my body wasn't doing it too terribly efficient.  Today, I "jogged" at 5.5mph for 2 miles, then 5.7mph for 1 mile for an overal 10:47 minute mile.  My average heart rate for the run was 136! When I started over, February 11th, I ran a 3mile jog at a 13 minute mile pace.  My average heart rate that day was 138, and I was going over 2 minutes slower per mile!!  Proof positive that my training is doing its job.  My body is learning to do more work with less exertion and hopefully will help protect my muscles from injury on this journey of running.

Since I am looking at numbers today, I will share some others too from the restart of my training.

* I have logged 38 runs.
* I have run 23 hours.
* I have run 116.2 miles.
*I have 25 runs left and 122 miles to complete the training.
*Only 4 weeks and 5 days to go!!
PS - Another bonus to keeping that heart rate low on a hard run, barely sweating and comfortable breathing!

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Wordless Wednesday - Could it be Spring?!!



And because I couldn't resist - my Mini Me

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Finish the Sentence...

buttonBusy busy today, so thanks to Jake & Holly for having an easy writing day for me!
1. If calories didn't count, I would eat... nachos. 
I don't know what it is about tortilla chips with cheese, but they are seriously my weakness.  The Mister ALWAYS wants to have a bag in the house.  I can't, or I WILL break them open.  I think it is the salt.
2. On my Prom night....I had a ball. 
Honestly, both Junior and Senior Prom, I went with one of my closest guy friends both years (different guys).  BEST THING EVER!  No pressure about it being this super fabulous night with a boyfriend.  No crying in the bathroom when said boyfriend does something stupid on what you think was going to be the biggest night of your young life. 
3. When I go to the store, I always buy...apples and cheese (same as Kara at Run Baby Run).  I swear, my family goes through these 2 items like they are water.  I guess it could be worse :)
4. Family functions typically... are loud. 
My mom and older sister live next door to each other.  My younger sister is 5 hours to the west and we are 8 hours to the northeast.  When you get all the girls together, and all the brothers-in-law and dad together (not to mention 5 kids), we are a hoot.  The women end up playing dominoes or something, while the men hang out in the man-cave/garage.  And then there are the washer toss tournaments, but that is a whole other post.
5. I think my blog readers... rock! 
I mean really who is going to say anything different.  Maybe I could say they think that I need ADD or OCD meds, and that might be right too LOL.
6. I'd much rather in Europe.
I just love the lifestyle there.  It seems so much calmer.  Of course, I have never been there with my children, so I could be way of base because the kids make life crazy no matter where you live.
7. I have an obsession with... currently running and all the affiliated gadgets.
As my readers know, I am training for a 1/2 marathon.  I am forever researching the right compression pants, shoes, fueling options, headbands, hydration belts, apps...  I think you get the picture.
8. My work friends... are other stay-at home moms, I suppose.
There aren't that many here in upstate NY.  Seems that we are a strange breed in the high cost living area.   Sadly, we are rarely squeeze in 1x per month to get together and is usually still with the kids.
9. When I created my Facebook account... I was the last of my friends in maybe 2009. 
I never did any other social media like MySpace, and wasn't sure how I felt about having things out there for the world to see.  But then all my family was on, and it was a great way to see updates on my cousins, parents and sisters.  Facebook does have its place for that sort of thing.
10. My least favorite word is...funnest.
This was harder than I thought.  I have lots of words I like, but never thought much about ones I don't like!  So, I actually picked a word people shouldn't be using because IT ISN'T A WORD!!  That drives me nuts. It is MOST FUN, People!
11. I really don't remember... why I didn't want to move to NY.
Yep, there was a time that I did NOT want to come here.  In fairness to me, I didn't want to move ourselves here.  I wanted my husband to get the job he deserved and have them move us.  The only way to go, my friends.  Anyway, after 9 years in the south and now 3 back north, I will say, it is good to be back!
12. Justin Bieber... I got nothing.
I wouldn't know a song by him if it bit me on the nose.  Thank goodness my kids are too young for him.  Sadly, even if he is "all grown up", he will likely be replaced by some other little teenie weenie.
Nap time starts in 13 minutes.  Gotta get ready to run!  Happy Tuesday!

Monday, March 25, 2013

Weekend RollCall

We had such a productive weekend as a family, that I was having trouble coming up with a topic.  So how about a Recap?
The Mister turned FORTY on Thursday last week.  How did that happen?  That means I will be 40 myself in just 1 year and 4 months.  Sigh.  At least I don't feel it, and hopefully don't look it.  I will survive!  I treated him to his favorite cake (angel food with pudding/coolwhip filling) that night.  The K-Man helped decorate it with strawberries.  Then we had a nice romantic dinner at one of our favorite restaurants, The Prime at Saratoga National on Friday.  We didn't realize it was restaurant week, not that we would have necessarily partaken, but it meant the restaurant was PACKED.  We still enjoyed!

Saturday morning, the K-Man had his test for the Tae Kwon Do blue belt and kicked board - literally.  He was the only kid to break the board on the first try.  In fairness, he was also the 2nd highest rank there and has been at it for over 1 year now.  Kind of sad that we didn't get a picture, but Mini-Me started to expire, and we had to escape.

Then we went shopping for the myriad of household projects we have lined up for ourselves.  Lego Land has been relocated to the Dining Room.  With the way our house is situated in a very open floor plan, it made sense.  Truthfully, we use that room 3-4 times per year for special dinners, so he can monopolize the majority of it.  If we NEED the space, it won't be hard to maneuver.  And the big bonus, it isn't in my Living Room anymore, but he is still in the same area with us.

The Mister also made a new shelf for the Xbox.  I only asked for something that would fit the unit and controllers.  I love how it turned out!  I didn't expect him to paint it the wall color, but love the effect!  Excuse Mini-Me's toys on the floor.   I do the toy sweep at bedtime, not midday :).  We are absolutely adoring the new carpet too.  It is SOOO much softer and forgiving to children and adults alike.  Doesn't the new TV look little.  Uh, yeah - it's 65 inches!!  Yikes!  And of course, that is some Star Wars show on the tube too.  Thank goodness for YouTube.  The boy has endless hours of entertainment.  Only 1 other project in the living room, and I can show it off too.  The Mister is getting ready to start making our coffee table.  Gotta love a handy man with all the right tools!

On Sunday, I snuck in a 6.5 mile run at a happy pace - 10 min 5 sec per mile!  Then it took me nearly 2 hours to locate a dress for Easter, but I did it!  Some styles just don't work on me, and unfortunately, they are currently dominating the store.  One is the infamous shift dress.  Guess what that does off a ample chest - nothing!  It shoots straight down making me look like I have ZERO waist.  Then there is the empire belted with a fuller skirt.  The empire isn't terrible in its own right, but the belt and fuller skirt not so fab.  Oh well.  I got something and that is what is important.  Hopefully some nice family photos to follow. 

Hope you all had a productive weekend too!

Thursday, March 21, 2013

TGIHH - Or Thank God He's Home!

Ready for Playing in the Snow
In case you didn't pick up on it, the kids and I have been on our own for almost 6 days.  I don't usually talk about it when the Mister is gone because I have a thing about posting it for the world to see - "Hey Susan is home alone!"  Not a brilliant plan.  Not that I think I have stalkers, but this is a crazy world now.  You just never know.  He is home now, though so I am no longer on a self-imposed gag order.

The kids and I had fun, kept busy and all, but this Mama is T-I-R-E-D with all capital letters.  It is one thing to do it M-F when the Mister is at work.  You know he will eventually be home to relieve you.  Of course, by that time, they have an hour before bed.  Nonetheless, you have a sense of "I could escape if I really wanted or needed to".  But when you are the only one and you don't have family nearby, you have 3 options - never leave your house alone, hope you have fabulous friends and neighbors (which I do!) or hire a sitter.  Single moms, I bow down!

Custom Mini-Figures
Over the last 6 days, I have done 2 of those, and since I am so tired, I am sure you can guess which 2. LOL.  I do happen to have neighbors with kids in the same age range.  They know that I am currently training for a 1/2 marathon and offered to watch the kids so I could do my long training run on Sunday.  Whew.  I had 8.5 miles to get in and knew it would be a solid 1 1/2 hours.  I really did NOT want to do that on the treadmill!  It wouldn't have been the worst thing in the world to pay for a sitter, since running doesn't cost me anything.  But it was even better to pay nothing and know it was parents that know what to do with a 5 year old and a 19 month old.  I honestly considered having a sitter another night because well, I could just use the time out of the house to get things done in a quick fashion (like address the saggy drawers I mentioned the other day, still another post!).  Unfortunately, a snow storm stepped in while I was sleeping, and my hopes were dashed. 
Water Paint!!
I will say though, we really did get a lot done and do some fun stuff in the days together.  The snow day was particularly good.  The K-Man and I customized Lego Mini-Figs with acrylic paint, thanks to YouTube.  He and I also did some sledding and enjoyed a hot cocoa together.  Mini-Me enjoyed a little water painting all over the paper, her face, the high chair, you name it.  Thankfully, water painting washes off.  She did go straight to the tub at 4pm, but she was happy.  And I made 5 dozen meatballs, sauce, a meatloaf and 2 batches of ground beef for the freezer to be used in later recipes.  Still glad to have my main man home.  Now, to get out of the house- ALONE!

Oh - and Happy Birthday to the Mister!  The big 4-0!!!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Wordless Wednesday - Meatballs

5 dozen meatballs ready for homemade sauce

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

No Tackling Your SIster

The K-Man and Mini-Me love to play together.  Great, huh?  Until it gets a little out of control, and now the Mini is inevitably flat on the floor with a fat lip, or smashed into a wall, or has taken a header into the table.  You get the picture.  Yes, she does have my genes for boo boos and accidents.  But TYPICALLY these come at the bidding of an overzealous older brother.  I don't think he intends for her to get hurt.  It starts out all innocent.  Then he gets ramped up and can't control the energy.  I seriously have a rule of NO TACKLING YOUR SISTER.

While I get the overexcited part to a point, it is when I see him deliberately give her a leg-sweep that irritates me to no end.  There is no way that is going to end well for her.  Other than the fact that she will likely be the toughest girl on the block, she will also be the one with the most scars on her face!  We have tried a little of everything - time outs (in which she will join him because she adores him); send him to his room (where she goes, opens the door and hangs out); taking toys, etc.  Nothing has stuck, or at least not so far.  Here was the scenerio yesterday.  Let's see how this pans out.

I wanted to run to Target after picking the K-Man up from preschool.  I was having a serious case of sag-ass, but that is a whole other post :).  I thought I would try a couple pair of pants on before heading on to the things the kids wanted to see.  We head to the dressing room, where they play and share pretzels.  They both want to look into the 3 foot+ wide mirror, when it becomes a pushing and shoving match.  Obviously these 2 small bodies couldn't coexist in a 3 foot space.  Oh wait!  They aren't even that wide put together side-by-side!  The last shove results in Mini-Me with her face into a disgusting dirty wall and me hissing at them.  I hang all the pants back up, take them to attendant.  Empty the cart of anything they might have accummulated in the 2 minute walk from the front door of store, put Mini-Me in the front and K-Man in the back, and literally leave the store.

Confiscated stash - he has no idea where I have it - Mwuhaha!
I didn't speak the entire way home for fear of what might come out.  As we pulled into the drive, I told K-man to head to his bedroom and lock the door until I came back.  I was still undecided on a punishment - as if the lack of a new flashlight or not looking at bikes wasn't serious enough (our initial mission to Target).  Then I walked by LegoLand (aka 1/2 of my dining room consumed with the Legos), I saw it - an entire drawerful of his precious Lego minifigures.  I took the drawer and emptied it, then proceeded to take the drawer to K-Man.  I let him know that whatever was in the drawer was now mine and he would be earning them back through good behavior directly related to his sister.  Too harsh?  Perhaps.  He has like 50 or more.  He is pretty broken up about this, so here's to hoping it makes a lasting impression. 

What would you have done?

Monday, March 18, 2013

"Fueling" on the Run

I have been on a mission.  Well, I have been on several, but we are going to discuss one at the moment.  Did you know that your body's blood glucose and muscle carbohydrate reserve (glycogen)-(the preferred fuel for hard-working muscles) become depleted in as little as 60 minutes? Neither did I!  I probably never had a reason to need this information honestly.  I was always involved in sports as a child/teenager, but likely never ran or swam or worked out for more than 1 solid hour that required "refueling".  If the exercise is less than an hour, than water is supposed to be sufficient.

Of course, me having the scientific brain that I do, I feel compelled to make sure that I am exploring every area I can in order to be prepared for my 1st 1/2 marathon.  I wouldn't say that I have felt fatigued on my longer runs, but I figure if science shows this to be a fact, I probably should look into it.  I have googled everything, read articles, consulted other training runners, etc.  So & So prefers gels, This One says beans, Another swears by Swedish Fish (that could be VERY bad for me!  I love those damn things!)  But the best method so far has been the taste test.  This is what I have found.

Advocare Rehydrate Gels in Lemon - these are very lemon and the consistency of liquidy Jell-O. 
Pros: DOES NOT smell like Lemon Pledge.  I have an issue with edible lemon products that do.  Easy to open.  Semi-quenches a thirst as well as fueling. 
Cons: Seemed to make me burp.  Oh so attractive on the trail LOL

Verdict: Need further testing now that I have tried out other products.  This was the first I used since I am a distributor, I wanted to support our product line.   I didn't have an app to check splits at the time after fueling.
Sports Beans by Jelly Belly - just like a jelly bean.
Pros: Easy to open, in resealable package. 
Cons: Too tart for my liking, making me wish I had water.  A little too much like candy for me.
Verdict: I just didn't love them. The offer other flavors, but some of these reminded me of the original Gatorade gum. I desperately needed a drink to wash them down. I probably won't try again.
Clif Shot Gels - in Razz flavor, similar to Advocare gel, but thicker.
Pros: Easy to open package.  Semi-quenches thirst with consistency.
Cons: As far as gels go, this was a little thicker than the Advocare brand.  A little less effective in the thirst quenching department.  Also caused belching.  What do they put in these gels?!
Verdict: I just didn't love this either - flavor or consistency.  It took me nearly 15 minutes to consume it all.  I know because my running app gives me an update every 5 minutes.  I won't use again even though another flavor might be easier.
Clif Shot Bloks - in Strawberry; solid Jell-Oish blocks that can dissolve in mouth or be chewed.
Pros: One blok is easily consumed at a time. 
Cons: Not an easy to open package.  I recommend opening and putting desired amount in a baggie for easier access. 
Verdict: I can't accurately explain the consistency of this product.  It isn't as flexible as Jell-O or as thin, but not as solid as a fruit snack either.  It takes a little getting used to.  First try, I chewed more than dissolved.  The second, I allowed it dissolve more than chew.  And I swear my splits were faster immediately following a Blok.  I will continue to try them for other flavors while weeding through other options.  Can't hurt, right?
Sidebar on Bloks - I had these in the car while out with the kids the other day, and thought, wonder what they really do.  It is so hard to tell for me, in the midst of the run.  The adrenaline is already pumping, I can't tell if a "fuel" source changes the course or not.  Well, I took 1 Blok at around 12Noon.  Last night, I decided to trouble shoot our wireless network - at 10:30pm and was still raring to go at 1am.  Not saying it was the Blok, but let's just say, this girl is not typically coherent at that hour if still awake!  I think I need to try the Rehydrate like this too :)

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Sunday Social

Sunday Social

I don't usually do a Sunday post, but I came across a link up and had a few moments.  Thought I would join in.  Thanks to Ashley at Ashley Lately and Neely at A Complete Waste of Makeup for setting it up.

This Weeks Questions:
1. Favorite thing to do on a rainy day?
Watch my kids play in the rain if it is nice enough.  And yes, he is in his PJs!
2. Favorite thing to do on a Summer weekend?
Be outside working in my vegetable garden or my flower gardens.  See down in the yard beyond the deck :)
3. Favorite Spring accessory?
A great spring colored jacket.  My blue one had to be retired.  Time to shop!
4. Favorite way to spend a Winter day?
Snuggled with hot chocolate in front of the fire.
5. What is your favorite season and why?
This is totally a toss up now that we live back in the North.  I love the Spring when everything is turning green and flowers are coming out, but I definitely equally love the fall for all its color too!
6. What is the best birthday you ever had?
Nothing is jumping out at me as terribly memorable to the point that it was the BEST ever.  Isn't a birthday always fun?!
Wanna play?  Just click on either Keely or Ashley's links above to join in!  PS.  Thanks to Desirae at Going with the Flow for cluing me in!

Friday, March 15, 2013

High 5 for Friday

buttonI have to thank Abby from Is This How Parenting Works for bailing me out today.  I have been in a frenzy tying up loose ends of this and that, and honestly, a blog post was the last thing on my mind.  So how about a little High 5 for Friday?

1. I once again have living room furniture and a tv.  Woot!  Carpet was installed Wednesday, new couch and tv done Thursday.

2. I lined up a sitter for my big run on Sunday (8.5 miles) AND it isn't going to cost me a cent!  Well, I will likely return the favor, but what a huge help!

3. I signed up for the Disney Wine & Dine 1/2 Marathon in November, and think I will be doing Presque Isle in June.  Can you say obsessed much?  Blog Post to come on that topic LOL

4. Mini-Me had a great 19 month check-up.  Thank you Doc McStuffins for helping make this go so much easier.  99th percentile for head still.  Yep, she is mine.

5. I found the missing piece (FINALLY) to the Melissa & Doug clock puzzle.  I was seriously going to have to throw it away if it didn't turn up.

Hope you had a productive Friday too!  High 5!
(If you are Mini-Me, you have to do both hands BTW)

Thursday, March 14, 2013

I Don't Get It

Pinterest, Instagram and Twitter that is.   I suppose if I want this blog to have followers, I am missing the boat, but seriously, I don't get them.  Maybe the problem is that I limit my social media.  The closest I ever game to MySpace was writing this blog when it was only about my son and the fun things we were doing.  I was on a marriage message board back in 2000 and a birth message board in 2007.  But I came very late to the party on Facebook maybe when we moved North in 2010.  I mostly did it again, to stay in touch with family.

But having an Instagram, Twitter or Pinterest account confuses me.  Let's start with the ones that I truly know nothing about... Twitter.  I thought it was something that you only did from your phone.  You can only type x number of characters and you "follow" people, like stars and stuff who tell what they are up to that second.  Huh?  Why would I care?  If I really want to know what anyone I care about is up to, I can just get on Facebook CALL THEM!  Maybe I have that all wrong, and it has some value in my life.  But since I have been living without, I am going to go with, NOPE. - Someday, we'll all find out Pinterest is a conspiracy created by a group of men who are tricking women everywhere into cooking, cleaning, and working out.Then there is a new one called Instagram...  it is all about posting pictures and again, "following" people through their pictures.  Am I missing the boat here?  I thought I could do that on the social outlets I already use - my blog for one, Facebook, or Shutterfly.  I don't see a need to have ANOTHER location to upload photos.  Seriously, is there more to it than I can understand.  I have to be honest, I have never even explored the option, so maybe there is.  If anyone wants to, please enlighten me.

Now here is my all time favorite, I don't get it - Pinterest.  I signed up at the bidding of everyone.  "You will love it", they said.  "You have to do it", they said.  I couldn't tell you who "they" are.  Trust me, though, they were saying it.  So I did, and I tried to set it up.  Then I was stuck.  Basically, as I see it, it is a like a giant Favorites list, but on a website instead of right here on my browser window.  Why is this more beneficial to me?  The only logical answer I have for this is that if your computer were to crash and be unrecoverable, you lose your favorites.  On Pinterest, you're safe because the data is stored on their site.

I am a Google girl.  We are buddies.  I search, he provides (I assume it to be a he, though not so logical when thinking about a man's "search" habits LOL).  When I find a link that would be useful at a later date, I either add it to my Favorites Bar with a simple click or I use - gasp - 2 clicks to add it to my Favorites List.  I creat folders there - Running, Blog, Recipes, Shopping, Bills, etc.  When I want to revisit them, I open a folder, click a site and boom, I am there.  Sounds eerily like... Pinterest?  Please, please someone tell me that I am not the only one!

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Case of the Shrinking Underwear

I debated on posting about this subject, but realistically, we all wear and buy underwear.  So really is it that bad?!

Anyway, as I have lost weight and toned up, I am finding myself at a weird place. My go-to underwear just don't fit.  They are saggy in the front - not pretty or terribly comfortable.  I happen to have several great Victoria's Secret coupons and thought I should just go to the store to try on sizes.  I as wearing a One Size Fits Most, and obviously that was a lie :). 

I went to the store immediately following my Nike Women 10K, so I was dressed in my full running regalia - compression pants and Dri-Fit tee. I think that I likely look a little more slimmed in that, but who knows.  I start looking around, and of course there are a thousand styles.  I ask a girl (meaning probably 20 something to my near 40) who works there what size she might recommend I look at.  I was wearing the Lacies Thongs in OS, but they are now too big.  She asks what size pants I wear.  I say 2-4.  She then proceeds to look me up and down and say, "Oh, well that is what I wear.  I guess if they fit, they do."  In other words - you look bigger than that?  Just a guess as to what was going through her brilliant mind.

Luckily for her, I was still nursing a runners' high and THOUGHT, "I just ran a 10K biotch.  What did you do today?

She proceeded to tell me that she wears a Medium and that she feels things are being cut slimmer.  I should really consider looking at a Large.  Aha.  As a friend said, "So a Medium or Large is a size 2/4 at VS?"  I think it was more likely that she thought I was lying about my pants, but whatever.  She will have kids one day and realize that getting to the 2/4 range again is fabulous and you DO NOT lie about it... you brag LOL.

But wait, I have more disturbing customer service stories from VS.  Why, yes, yes, I do!  I take the undies back to try on - in smalls and mediums (for the snot up front!).  The girl at the dressing room says and I totally am quoting, "Please use the provided liners when trying those on or wear your own underwear.  But if you use the liners, please throw the wrapper and liners in the trash there.  I do not want to pick them up off the floor."  That was said with as much disdain as possible in case you didn't catch that.  I remember now why I shop online.  Being talked down to by kids that work in VS is just not really that much fun. 

PS - to the snots at VS, I bought SMALLS.  AND I did manage to do so without littering up your floor.  Good thing you caught me after a run and not with the kids.  Today could have gone a WHOLE lot different!

Monday, March 11, 2013

Moving on Up...

When we built the house, we never intended to keep the hideous plush carpet that was part of the "package".  It was builder grade - tan.  Blah.  To be fair, our builder does use a little higher standard, but still not to our liking.  We considered upgrading, but they really made it difficult and we couldn't justify financing better carpet for 30 years.  Go figure.  We also considered hard wood in the living room - very briefly.  I have a young family, and then they were even younger.  I spend 50% or better playing on the floor with them.  Hardwood just didn't sound that appealing.

So here we are, almost 3 years later finally getting around to replacing the carpet.  We really weren't planning on it.  We were just planning on finishing the basement and buying new furniture for the upstairs so that the current set up could move downstairs.  But then as remodeling often does, one thing led to another.  We start thinking, well, since the room will be empty, now will be a good time to change the carpet.  Logical in some ways.

The new, dramatically different carpet will be installed this Wednesday, so we needed to get things rolling this weekend.  We had 2 - 8 foot couches to take downstairs, a 100 lb tv, and a coffee table.  But there was all the bedroom furniture.  Sure we could leave them in place until Tuesday night, but we figured it was more practical on the weekend.  That is until a snowstorm came two nights before and left us with 6 inches of snow.  Thankfully the weather warmed and the melting began, but carrying those couches around the house into the basement was a bit challenging through melting snow even.

While the Mister figured out what he needed to do to make the tv work in the basement, I decided to pull up the runner on the staircase.  Which shock - led to me thinking that I might as well take the carpet off the stairs while I was at it.   We plan to leave the stairs bare and paint them.  With the cats, it just makes better sense.  Do you know what cat hair does to stairs?  Accummulates in crevices - ick!  It will be so much easier not to drag a vacuum onto them to clean.  But, I am off-track.  Taking the carpet off is one thing.  Then you have to pull tack strips, then the padding, which is stapled.  Then there are all the staples.  OMG.  Today, I can barely lift my forearms.  Oh, and then I proceeded to move 4 dressers from one end of the house to the other.  Yep, 4.  I MAY get a little crazed once in org mode.  Just sayin...

I am hoping that they won't kill me on the run today.  Pictures of the new improved spaces will be coming soon!

Friday, March 8, 2013

Updates on Training

As I mentioned here, I sort of restarted my training during the second week of February.  The new program is going quite well, and I haven't missed a single run!  It does only call for 4 per week though.  I think that helps dramatically.  There are 3 rest days, but I really only consider 1 to be an actual rest.  On the other 2, I cross-train or at least attempt to!

I am limited by the fact that I only have 2-3 hrs free to do pretty much anything during the day.  Now that the K-Man is older, he doesn't nap.  So I do try to give him some of that time dedicated to just him.  Mini-Me seems to demand so much more attention these days!  Anyway, I really want to incorporate weights, but I seriously am completely a moron when it comes to weights - what to do, how many reps, etc, etc.  I am not looking to bulk up, but gain strength from the workout.  I desperately need direction though.

Without cable or satellite, I am discovering the possibilities through Amazon Prime, Hulu, and Netflix.  I started using a couple Denise Austin videos on Amazon.  I like her.  She is my go-to workout pal :).  The only problem is that I liked 1/2 of one video and 1/2 of another.  The one is pilates, so I can get core work.  And the other was called Sculpt Yoga, using handweights and incorporating the yoga.  I think together it ended up around 48 minutes worth.  Not too bad, but a bit of a pain to fast forward through to the right parts, blah, blah, blah.  I looked at a few others on there, but they smelled of 80s aerobics videos.  Can't do it.

When I set up my favorites on Hulu, I chose an exercise video that I hadn't heard of, but figured I could watch and see called Core Fusion.  I tried it yesterday, honestly having no idea of what was in store.  All I can say is DAMN!  It was a fabulous workout!  This husband and wife team essentially does 10 minute segments on different body parts.  They incoporate strength and yoga/pilates-ish moves.  The arm segment was all handweights - woot!  And even though it was only 10 minutes of arm focus, I truly thought mine might fall off at the end of the 10 minutes. 

The way they do their videos is interesting too.  Instead of talking as they do the exercises, they are doing the exercises with voiceovers.  They alternate husband and wife per body part and the one doing the easier or harder versions of exercises.  It was a great use of 50 minutes, and there are more shows to watch.  I am very excited for my crosstrain days right now!

Meanwhile, my Asics app is reporting that based on my training runs thus far, I should finish in roughly 2 hrs and 22 minutes.  It will be interesting to see how that pans out! 7 weeks & 2 days to go!

Thursday, March 7, 2013

If the Shoe Fits...

Sort of, that is.  First of all, I am not at all happy about this white stuff I see outside my window.  I know, I know, it is winter and other people are getting storms.  But we were supposed to be into the high forties through the weekend!!  I want that weather.  I would love to run outside in something other than what feels like 20 degrees or less for my Nike 10K on Sunday!

OK, enough whining, I know.  We actually did get out and about today before this snow decided to join us.  I took the kids with me to get fitted for new running shoes.  My 1/2 marathon is just under 8 weeks away, and I am already well over 300 miles on this pair.  I don't want them to be worn out before the race or have to break a new pair in too quickly.  I consulted my running board which is full of people that have much more experience than me in all things running.  They recommended getting a new pair now and rotating them between runs with the old pair to get them ready for race day.

Now, if you have ever gotten fitted for real running shoes, they don't let you go to the wall and pick one because of color or looks.  They check your walk, the width at various points in the foot, etc and then bring you what they think will work.  I tried on 4 brands in a variety of sizes.  The problem is that the shoes that fit me the very best are just about the most expensive, along with being the most non-descript.  The expense doesn't concern me as much as the look, sadly.  As my friend said, I want the most outlandish ones they have.  There was a close second this time though, but again in a nondescript color. 

Fashionista at the Library
I came home and did a little research, and found that the 1st runner up pair does indeed come in a funky pattern, but it is a web-exclusive.  Most online running shoe companies allow road testing though - 90 days worth, plus free shipping and returns.  So of course, I ordered 2 different pair.  LOL  The 2 pair came to what the total price of the best fitting pair I could have bought at the store.  You want to know what they look like, huh?!  Not just yet.  I want to get them here to the house and have some test runs before I reveal the winning pair.

Sorry for missing an easy posting day with Wordless Wednesday yesterday.  I just couldn't seem to come up with a picture I wanted be wordless about!  So I will just leave you with some photos of my cuties! They are a little blurry because they don't stand still very well! 
Happy almost Friday all!
His VERY OWN Library Card!

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Adventures in Plumbing

I am a pretty handy gal.  I have had my own tool bag for quite some time.  Actually, I still have the tool bag that my dad sent with me to college.  It stays upstairs so that I don't have to run to the household tool stash in the basement when I need something simple like a Phillips' head screwdriver.  We have a great big red Craftsman tool chest for the rest of the tools.  Of course, we also have an entire closet of other tools, power tools and accessories.  Thank goodness the Mister likes things organized and they are for the most part labeled, or someone could get lost looking for one part!

Anyway, it has been, oh, I don't know 3 months now since I asked the Mister to take the diaper sprayer off the upstairs toilet.  Plumbing is pretty much something I avoid.  Too many factors can go wrong resulting in me having quite a mess on my hands along with shooing children out of my way.  The removal did not occur as requested initially because we were trying to figure out where the old toilet supply hose went.  Then came Christmas, vacation and a myriad of other excuses. 

Just this weekend, I realized why we never found the old hose.  There wasn't one.  Our toilets were all connected (by the builder) with a solid pipe instead of the flexible line you will mostly see.  So off to Lowes I go.  I soon discover a few options in flexible line, but the department manager assured me that the braided steel was the way to go.  No problem.  Sold. 

I am talking on the phone, entertaining Mini-Me and attempting to disengage the diaper sprayer.  Probably should have considered only doing one of them at a time in hindsight.  I thought I was getting somewhere, when I realized my tool bag just wasn't going to cut it.  I went down for the big guns - either channel locks or a pipe wrench.  I brought up both just in case, got off the phone and got down to business.  The top part was easy.  It is a plastic collar that has fins and you just apply pressure in the correct direction... release.  Oops... water in that line.  Thankfully not much. 

Then I fought for 5 minutes with the lower connection.  Darn thing wouldn't budge.  You know why?!!  Logic in the form of Lefty Loosey, Righty Tighty, did not apply!  Who has ever heard of such a thing?  But I got it free, and again forgot there would be water in the line though I had just learned that lesson minutes before.  Installing the new hose was much easier despite the tight quarters from the toilet to the vanity. - Your plumbing skills are mad crunk....make me wanna holla.I wouldn't say I am ready to start plumbing homes or anything, but I am pretty proud that I managed to do it myself even though someone else in the house, who shall remain nameless could have done it a lot quicker!  And why did it NEED removed?  I have been PROMISING it to a friend who is expecting baby number 2 soon.  I am certain she isn't anxious to be sitting at the base of her toilet the night before bringing baby home.  So Ms. Domestically Seasoned, you diaper sprayer is ready to go to it's new home.  I will try to get it to you this week!  I swear!

Monday, March 4, 2013

What's the Bzz?

I have been a member of Bzz Agent for many years now.  It is this nifty little program that started in 2001, giving companies an opportunity to share products/deals with consumers.  Usually the items are new or something they are testing to see how the market will like it.  You would get a product or coupon in the mail to test something.  Then you were asked to share with your friends and family and report back.  Funny because it was WAY before the real advent of what social media is today. 

This month, I got to be in on the Neutrogena Cosmetics campaign.  Anyone that knows me, knows that I am a basics kind-of gal in the makeup department.  But it isn't necessarily because I don't like makeup, but I am not always sure what the heck to do with it.  For the most part, I wear coverup, powder, blush, and either eyeliner or mascara.  I wear eyeshadow pretty much only on date nights.

I got my BzzKit in just the other day though, and was pleasantly surprised with the contents: 2 basic Crease Proof Eye Shadow pencils, Healthy Lengths Mascara, and a MoistureSmooth Color Stick lip gloss.  Nothing was super crazy outlandish that couldn't be worn on a regular basis, even if I don't usually wear eyeshadow.  They were in nice neutral tones, that allowed me to try them out just because rather than wait for a night out on the town.  The lipgloss smelled AMAZING - seriously just like watermelons.  And the mascara is something I am constantly on the hunt for, though it wasn't waterproof.

Ironically, a good friend also received her kit at the same time.  We compared notes.  The Crease Proof Eye Shadow goes on really nice and smooth and literally doesn't crease.  It also is very subtle and can be worn daily or as a base for a little more dramatic look.  We both loved the smell of the MoistureSmooth Color Stick and the application.  It doesn't have the stickiness that some of them do and goes on smooth just like the description.  The mascara at the time was a test still in progress, but it also turned out to be the biggest surprise love in the bunch for me.

I have been having a mascara issue recently.  It doesn't seem to matter whether it is waterproof or not, they end up leaving residue under my eyes by the end of the day.  I put it on in the morning and even ran in the afternoon.  It barely moved!  There was a little, after all, I had a decent paced run.  And did I mention that it ISN'T waterproof.  I tried it again for a date on Friday and it lasted throughout the evening.  Woot!  I might have found my new mascara.  So exciting and better yet because it was FREE.   

So while, yes, I was provided the products to review, I can honestly say I would recommend any of them.  I definitely will be buying more of the mascara and potentially checking out more colors in the MoistureSmooth Color Sticks.