Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Stories From My Phone aka Tuesday Randomness

I ended up taking quite a few pictures while Cody was away weekend-before-last to keep him apprised of our activities.

Fuzzy baby selfie.
Needless to say, we were both very happy when he came home. S expressed this by promptly falling asleep on his daddy.

On Sunday, little man fell asleep in his car seat on the way home from dinner with my parents...he stayed asleep in his car seat for an hour after we got home. Then fell asleep halfway through his bottle. Apparently being this cute is hard work.

Sleeping Monster...awwwww...

Ready for the evening in his spiffy hat.
Last night, he was tooling around in his walker and I found his hat in the toy bin. He seemed pretty pleased to be lookin' so sporty (of course, he looked pleased until I went to take his picture).

Well, that's all for today. Hopefully tomorrow will be filled with tales (and maybe some pictures) actually related to running... but I make no promises. TTFN! 

Monday, November 28, 2016

One Step Forward...

I was so excited a couple of weeks ago when my treadmill got fixed and my back was feeling better and my interval walk/jogs were starting to feel better. ... Then depression hit and I've been in a major funk and I only got in one workout last week. Sigh. Well, all we can do is move forward, right?

My fella has been amazing and has helped encourage me to set up a running schedule this week that involves doing a load of laundry while I'm on my treadmill to kill two birds with one stone and help alleviate some of my stress. He's pretty awesome, I think I'll keep him.

Weekend-before-last, Cody had to go out of town for a funeral, so I had two days with just me and the munchkin. It's not very often that we get time with just the two of us, so I was really excited (and also a little nervous) to have him to myself for two whole days. He was an angel! He was my happy-go-lucky little dude and was super laid-back when we went out to do errands and even let me sleep in until 8 on Saturday morning (with a quick 5 am feeding). It was delightful! I definitely live for the evenings and weekends I get to spend with him and his daddy.

This weekend, we had a lovely Thanksgiving at my in-laws house. We went over early so we could watch the parade and then dog show afterwards. This was a big treat for us since we don't have cable. It was also amazing to get to lounge on the couch and play with little man while my in-laws made us dinner. Of course, between the one workout for the whole week and the Thanksgiving dinner and leftovers, I think I'm going to wait a couple of days to step on the scale.

My plans for this week include 4 days of morning walk/jog workouts before work and 1 weekend workout of either the treadmill or DVD variety. Also, during the week, I would like to finish doing laundry, and get ready to take the final in my Managerial Accounting class. Ideally, I would like to take the test Thursday night, but realistically, I might need to wait until Friday evening.

On Friday, I'd like to do a quick house-clean so we can get the tree put up on Saturday. I think we're going to set the tree up on the dining room table this year to avoid the current "likes to pull on chords" tendency of the little mister. Side note: we have a little four foot tall tree that we got when we lived in our first, tiny apartment and we like it so much we haven't upgraded to a bigger one. When S gets a little older, we'll definitely have to graduate to a bigger tree.

Happy Monday, All!

When do you put up your Christmas tree?

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Tiny-Footed People and Wakeful Babies

Let me share my night with you:

I stay up until 10, because I'm a grown up and can go to bed late if I want, right?...Can't fall asleep...finally fall asleep at 11... baby gets up at 2:30...husband feeds and changes him like a champ... baby won't go back to sleep... 3:00 get up with baby...baby falls asleep at 3:45...when my alarm was set for 4:00... So... I'm working with 3.5 hours of sleep. And that's where I'm at today.

Last night, I went to bed determined to get my treadmill workout in no matter what, but sometimes that conviction fades in the face of early morning alarms and/or sleepless nights. So, it's probably a good thing I was being held hostage by a tiny, wakeful human, right? By the time he finally fell asleep, I was more than ready to hop on the treadmill, and I ended up having the best workout ever! Okay, that's a bit of an overstatement, but it was awesome.

I stepped up the total time to 30 minutes, with 20 minutes of 1:1 jog/walk intervals. I bumped up the speed just a smidge halfway through the intervals, and I was still good. Yay!! I'm so happy that my back and pelvis are showing steady improvement.

So happy to be back with Miles. I'm leaning on him, but you can't tell.
 Since I was done with my workout by 4:30 (and I don't have to start getting ready for work until 5:00), I started working on my crocheted Christmas slippers. The only problem is that my sister is in Hawaii. Clearly, she did not consider my crafting needs before she left. I texted her to ask what size shoes my nieces wear, and she didn't respond until the middle of the night because of the time difference. Well, I was in full-on crochet mode last night, so I decided to start with a size 6, thinking this would work for my youngest niece (who's nine), and if not, then it would fit my mother-in-law, right? So, I finished the sole and toe of one shoe... and my sister tells me they wear a kid's size 4 and a 7.5, respectively.

Hmmmm ...okay, let's shift this to mother-in-law or sister in-law....Nope, they wear size 5's. How am I surrounded by all of these tiny-footed people!?! **Note: my mother-in-law and sister-in-law are not related, it seems the men in my husband's family just like petite women (except my husband who likes tall, Scandinavian gals with big feet).

Anyway, it seems I'll probably have to scrap the sole, or make friends with a woman with size 6 feet before Christmas. Sigh. At least I had some practice with the pattern, right?

Sleepiness aside, I'm actually starting off in a pretty good mood because of my run. Here's hoping that endorphins will get me through the morning and caffeine will carry me through the afternoon.

This may happen at work today.

Happy Wednesday!

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Belated Weekend Report

Right - so, the weekend. As I mentioned in my previous post - there was no running. I definitely plan to make up for that this week.

I was fortunate enough to get Thursday off for Veteran's day (because we don't work on Fridays), so I had a four day weekend - yay! Wednesday was Cody's birthday, but since we were scheduled to have dinner with his parents, we celebrated on Thursday instead.

I made him what is, in my humble opinion, the ugliest cake in the world. It came out of the oven looking just fine. But, for some reason, I thought it would be a good idea to cut the 9 x 13 in half and make a square, two layer cake. To be fair - I knew this wasn't going to be pretty...I was right.

At least it tasted good...

Little man has just about mastered sitting up. I discovered this when I set him on the couch angled so that he wouldn't be able to roll off... and he sat up and tried to pitch forward. Little stinker. I think he just likes to give his mama a scare.

Of course, his expression goes blank whenever I grab the camera, but he was so pleased with himself, he was smiling and flapping his arms. He spends all weekend in our current rotation of fleece jammies. If I had fleece footie pajamas, I would too.

This year for Christmas, I would like to make everyone crocheted slippers. I saw the cutest pair of Converse-style slippers and thought that would be adorable. I decided to start with S and see how hard it would be. Bonus - he grows out of everything so fast, now I can just whip up a new pair when he grows out of them.

The white tab isn't authentic Converse, but Cody suggested it and I thought it added a really cute detail. These were so much fun and super easy. Now we just have to see if I have time to whip out bigger pairs for everyone else. Bare minimum, I'd like to make pairs for my two nieces and maybe my sister. We'll see how long the bigger ones take me.

Have you ever gone the homemade route for Christmas? 

 What did you make?

Monday, November 14, 2016


Note: This post is a bit of venting and talking about depression. If you're not in the mood for whining, feel free to skip it and tune in tomorrow for the regularly scheduled sarcasm.

I'm not sure if I mentioned this here before, but I suffer from depression. Sometimes it's more severe than others and it is usually pretty well-controlled with anti-depressants. Well - I'm struggling with a particularly nasty bout at the moment. I don't bring this up to garner sympathy. I know there are a lot of others out there dealing with similar issues and part of my reason for blogging is to chronicle my life and return to running - so I be chronicling.

Now, I know what you're thinking - but, wait - your treadmill is fixed and your back is feeling better - so you can go for a run, right? Well, that would be the logical thing to do... I see your logic and raise you one depressed lump. One of the things that happens to me a lot when I'm depressed is having the ability to see the logical solution to something, but the actual follow-through required to complete the action is just beyond me. Everything is just too overwhelming.

On top of feeling stressed and overwhelmed, I feel guilty for being depressed. I have an amazing husband, a perfect little man, a loving family, a roof over my head, and a job that pays most of the bills - so I feel guilty for being depressed when I have so many wonderful things in my life.

The main issues I'm having right now are:
*Money. A month before S was born, the VA decided to reduce Cody's rating from 10% to 0%, thereby stopping the small amount of money he was getting paid every month. That, on top of adding a new family member and some medical bills, has left things extremely tight. I stress about this constantly. I wish I could turn it off because I know that stressing over it isn't going to change things, but I haven't managed to find a way to do that.

Some history: A couple of years ago, when we realized Cody wasn't going to be able to continue working, and he was turned down for Social Security Disability (because he's "too young" to be disabled), and VA benefits (they agree he is fully disabled, but say his condition is not the Army's fault), we traded in our SUV for a smaller, more economical car; turned off our cell phones and got Tracfones; and got rid of cable and any other extras. Since we pared things down to this level in the past, there really isn't any way to free up any additional money now. Thus - the stress.

*Wanting to be home with S. It is so hard to leave S every day and miss out on all of the fun little things he does throughout the day. I feel like a spoiled brat for being upset about this. It is a fact of life that grown ups have to work for a living. Parents everywhere do this every day.

*Too many things that need to be done and not enough hours in a day. Cody's physical limitations mean that almost all of the household tasks (cleaning, laundry, yard work, cooking, etc.) fall to me. He is amazing and helps out as much as he can, but taking care of S usually uses up all of his spoons. Housework + working + wanting to spend time with S + school = too much. Usually we have a pretty good system worked out and I manage to keep all of the balls in the air, but it's a delicate balance and my balls seem to have all fallen down and scattered all over the place.

So - this evening, I'm going to hop on my treadmill - even if it's just 10 minutes to try burn off some of the crazy and come back tomorrow with a little more positivity and some cute pictures from this weekend.

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Space Saver High Chair Review

Happy Tuesday! Little S has been going to town on his "solid" foods, so we've been getting quite a bit of use out of our Space-Saver high chair that I mentioned here and here. Now that we've given it a full workout, I thought I'd do a full review. **Note: this product was a gift from my mom and I'm not receiving any compensation.

Some assembly required. I'm not sure why (delusions I guess?), but I was initially surprised at the amount of assembly required. I'm not a terribly handy person, so seeing so many pieces was a bit daunting.

But once I looked at the directions, I saw that it wasn't as bad as I thought. I think it only took me about 10 or 15 minutes to get everything together.

Space saver. The main aspect of this chair that appealed to me was the fact that it doesn't take up any more space than a dining room chair. Our house isn't the roomiest, so the thought of adding a bulky high chair wasn't very appealing. If you tuck the tray behind the seat back, you can push the chair almost all the way in,

Stability. I was a little skeptical about how stable this would be. After all, S isn't a petite dude and he can be very thrashy, so I wanted to make sure this would be good and sturdy. The straps looked a little thin, and I was worried that the two straps wouldn't be stable enough. I was pleasantly surprised that, after I tightened the straps down, it was extremely sturdy.

Price. The second biggest draw of this chair was how reasonably priced it is. Full price is just under $50, and you can get it on Amazon for $40. I have been very impressed with the quality so far and expect it to hold up very well to the wear and tear of my tiny dude.

Mobility. I realize most high chairs have wheels on them so they can be moved easily - so that would be once drawback of this compared to conventional high chairs. However, since (as I mentioned earlier), our house isn't that big, if we don't use this at the table, I'll move it over to feed him while I'm sitting on the couch - so it isn't far to go and isn't much heavier than moving the chair by itself. I really like the fact that, since the base is just a regular chair, you can scoot up close to it while feeding without kicking a big plastic base.

For our needs, this is perfect and I haven't found anything that I dislike. In short - love it!

Monday, November 7, 2016

Weekend Recap and Radomness

First of all, I will say - it's Monday, and I made it out of bed, showered, and put on clothes that match. Victory.

Next, I will warn you that things are going to be super random because, as I may have mentioned - it's Monday, and my brain is not fully functioning.

Weigh in. Ooops. I forgot to do a weigh-in the last couple of weeks. This week was 308.2, which is down 2.2 pounds. I've only lost 4.6 pounds in the last 6 weeks, which is not the best, but progress is progress, right? Being able to run this week (however briefly) has been a huge help. It seems I tend to overeat when I don't have another outlet for stress. Who knew? **Please note heavy sarcasm.

Clocks.  Having to turn the clocks back this weekend got me thinking about clocks. A couple of weeks ago, I noticed that the clock in the front office at work had stopped. When I commented on it, one of the guys (that sits about seven feet from this clock) said, "Hmm. I didn't notice. I always look at the clock on my computer or my phone." Whenever we go over to my brother and sister-in-law's house, I go NUTS because they don't have ANY clocks... AT ALL. Who lives like this? They just use their phones. Am I crazy? At any given point in our first floor (except the bathroom), you can see a clock. From a couple of points, you can see three. Am I crazy?

These photos were taken while pivoting on one foot.

Running. I had an amazing run yesterday. I stuck with the one minute jog, one minute walk intervals for twenty minutes, and it felt awesome. I even bumped up the speed on the last two jog intervals because everything felt good. My lower back was a little tight afterward, but that faded after a couple of hours. Yay! That makes three treadmill workouts last week. This week, I'm going to add a five minute warm up and five minute cool down, for a total of 30 minutes. I'll do that three times during the week, and if all feels good, I'd like to do a fourth day on the weekend. It has been really hard to hold back, but I know I'll be sorry if I overdo.

Behold - running feet! ... with a basset hound photo bomb.
She wanted her picture taken, so I obliged. She's totally posing.

Solid Food. Little man has been doing awesome with his sweet potato mush. The ice cube servings seem to be perfect. I've been putting one of the cubes in a mini Tupperware container and keeping two of those in the fridge at a time. I ended up with eighteen servings out of one sweet potato. I think we'll have to try carrots this weekend and maybe apples the week after that.

He has the most expressive face, until I grab the camera. Then he looks surprised.
S spent most of the weekend in these pajamas. Can you see the moose on the belly? So Cute!

 Dinner. I think the time change threw all of us off yesterday. Little man was grumpy all day and then he crashed about 4:45 while I was making dinner. I brought Cody some food and saw this:

Poor guy is just too cozy for his own good. We ended up eating in shifts. He's a good sport.

How was your weekend?

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Tattoos and Goals

Yesterday, someone at work mentioned that they'd always wanted to get a tattoo. I talked about my experience and how excited I was to finally get my long-awaited tattoo. Since that tattoo is marathon- related (and I'm a blogger, so it's kind of my thing), I thought I'd share:

At first, I hesitated to go through with it because our family is pretty conservative and my parents aren't very fond of tattoos. This took me a long time to get past, but it helps that we were in Seattle and told them over the phone (sorry Mom, I know you're reading). Then, I wanted an accomplishment worth commemorating. It was going to be the half marathon, but once that was done, it didn't seem like a big enough deal. After I decided to tackle the marathon, I knew that was the accomplishment I'd been waiting for. Finally, I came across this sketch and knew that was it. 

Yes, I'm hiding love handles.
About ten years ago, I made a list of things I wanted to accomplish in my life (this was before the term "bucket list" became popular"). The conversation I had at work reminded me of this. Naturally, I couldn't find the list, but I remember several of the items on it (conveniently mostly the ones I've completed). It is fun to look back at the goals you once had and think about how much you've accomplished and how many experiences you've had since then.

Get one small tattoo. When I put this on the list, I remember that in the back of my mind, I thought that I'd never actually do it. I'm so glad I did!

Travel somewhere that requires flying. At that time, I'd only ever flown to Washington D.C. on a school trip. Cody and I were fortunate enough to get a great deal on a trip to Hawaii when he came back from Basic Training and I sort of thought that would be the only time we ever flew anywhere.

Now - I've been all over the country, traveling mostly by myself for work. If you told my 20 year old self that I would be comfortable navigating large cities and airports by myself, I don't think I would've believed you.

Raise a dog from puppyhood. Of course, we have our Lola, whom we got as a puppy in 2013. Having also adopted an adult dog, I think most of our future pets will be adult rescues. Puppies are a lot of work!

Basset hounds are the cutest puppies.
Run in a public race. This one cracks me up. I ran in track my junior and senior year of high school and in cross country my senior year, but I've never been speedy and was self-conscious in such a public setting. At the time, running in an official race seemed like a really big deal and something like running a full marathon hadn't even occurred to me.

Go skydiving. This one, I haven't completed. While I would still like to have the experience, I don't think I could risk it now that we have S.

 Finish my four year degree. I got my Associate's degree in 2005, but I didn't want to spend the money on two more years of school when I didn't have a specific career goal in mind. Now, I'm about one year away from my Bachelor's in Accounting.

Have a mastiff and a blood basset hound. No joke, since I was ten years old, I wanted to have a mastiff named Webster and a blood hound named Lola. A few years later, I swapped out blood hound for basset when I discovered how active blood hounds are and how much activity they need to be happy. Basset hounds are much more my speed.
The couch was his favorite place.

Sure enough, our first dog was a mastiff rescue named Ace and our second dog was Lola. Ace was five when we got him, so we didn't feel right changing his name. He was everything I thought a mastiff would be and so much more. We got five wonderful years with him before he passed away. As soon as S gets a bit older, Cody wants to get another mastiff.

I was talking to Cody about the experiences we've had that we couldn't have imagined: Cody joining the National Guard, living in Seattle for eight months, becoming parents. While there have been hard times as well, we have tons of amazing memories.

I love that there were so many things I never thought would really happen that did. I guess it's time to set some new impossible goals and go after those too. 

What have you accomplished that would surprise your younger self?

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Hump Day and a Treadmill Workout

Little man has started this super-charming habit of waking up at 3:30 in the morning. When my alarm is set for 4:30 - there's no sense in going back to sleep. Cody got up with him, but then I ended up listening to see if S was still fussy, so I just got up. Sigh - I'm sleepy.
We forgive his 3am tendencies 'cause he's adorable.

The good news is, I was able to get in a workout on my treadmill this morning! I did 20 minutes of 1 minute walk/1 minute jog. When I hit 17 minutes, I knew that was enough. My lower back started to tighten and get a little stabby (totally a medical term, trust me). It feels good that my legs and lungs are fine and I'm barely out of breath after the jog segments. I hope once my back starts to get better, building back up to faster speeds and longer distances won't be too bad.

This morning, several little things happened. When I went to get out of the car at the bus stop, the handle of my bag got wrapped around the gear shift and it took several tugs to pull it loose. Then I forgot to grab my lunch and Cody had to hurry and knock on the bus door before it took off to give it to me. My tired brain made a silly mistake at work and I felt stupid. It wasn't a big deal, but I hate feeling like a doofus. Any of these things individually, and especially all of them together on top of being tired, would have sent me into a tailspin a few days ago. Now, I'm able to be a little annoyed, but then laugh it off and move on. Endorphins, I've missed you. I'm feeling much more like myself. Yay!

Yeah, I'm not sure what's going on with my face either.
Yesterday I pulled one of my favorite shirts out of the drawer (okay, let's be honest - it was in a stack of clean laundry that I folded on Sunday) and noticed it had a stain on it. Solution? Hope a scarf distracts others from the stain. No one seemed to notice, so I'm considering it a success. Then again, maybe people don't scrutinize my outfits as closely as I do. Hmmmm...

Happy Hump Day everyone! **Please note this is said with the inflection of the "Hump Day" camel.

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Treadmills fix everything

I have to start out by saying that my wonderful husband fixed my treadmill last night. He's the best! I'm not gonna lie, I was a little nervous when he started ripping the belt (yes, ripping). I'll explain in a minute.

So, I've had a rough couple of days - which you may have picked up on in yesterday's post. I've been struggling with depression and stress and have been very short-tempered (sorry loved ones!), and feeling like I've turned into some horrible person that's angry at the world. I finally realized that part of the problem is that I don't have an outlet for my stress. Don't get me wrong, I have an amazing support system that will let me vent at a moment's notice and would help with anything they can, but sometimes you've talked it to death and there is nothing left to say. Sometimes you just need a run.

I came to this conclusion on Sunday night so Cody informed me that we were going to fix my treadmill as soon as he picked me up from the bus stop after work. I then (tearfully - I mentioned the depression, right?) proceeded to explain that that wouldn't work because:
1) I had to cook dinner when we got home.
2) Immediately after eating dinner, I have to soak up all the baby snuggles I can before the little man falls asleep - this can be a very slim window and there are tears involved (mine) if I miss my snuggle time after being at work all day.
**Sometimes Most of the time, when I am really depressed, I tend to get really pessimistic and everything seems impossible.

Wow. Different eCard, same runner.
Because my fella knows this about me, he was prepared with a rebuttal:
1) We can afford ONE night of McDonald's.
2) We are taking the little man downstairs with us and you are going to snuggle him while I fix your treadmill. Boom - lawyered.

So that's exactly what we did. As soon as we got home, I changed into running clothes and bundled up the little dude and we all went downstairs. Little man and I settled in to my comfy chair and watched Cody work.

He loosened the belt, flipped it back, and tightened things back up. Then he turned it on and about 10 seconds later, the belt flipped again. He repeated the steps, working the belt a little to the right to try and keep things from catching - but the exact same thing happened again. I was starting to think we wouldn't be able to fix it (feeling pessimistic, remember?) when he looked up at me and said, "do you mind if I trim the belt?" My mama bear instinct kicked in on behalf of my beloved treadmill, but since the next step would likely be replacing the belt anyway, I told him to go ahead.

He made a snip - with nail clippers because the scissors were upstairs and he gets a strange enjoyment from making things work - and then started ripping the edge off. He only took off about 3/8 of an inch and because it ripped along the weave of the belt, it is perfectly straight and you can't even tell. I have to give him credit - he fixed my treadmill with an Allen wrench and nail clippers. Well done, sir.

So, I hopped on to check the tension and make some final adjustments... and then... I went for a run!!! "Run" might be a bit generous, but I got sweaty and out of breath and it was amazing. I made myself stop after 20 minutes to see how my back would hold up, but things felt pretty good. I did one minute walk/one minute jog intervals. My back did tighten up after I sat for a bit, but it feels fine this morning.

I'm pretty sure I was grinning like an idiot the rest of the evening. I slept like a rock (with a minor 3 am baby wake-up) and actually feel well-rested this morning. I can't remember the last time I felt well-rested. I also feel like someone took the chaos in my head and shook it so that things settled into neater stacks of manageable issues.  

I'd almost forgotten how much of a relief running can be. Running has a way of draining away all of my irritation, frustration, anger at the injustices of the world, or fears that I'm not doing all that I could/should be doing. It makes me feel like a better, more patient, happier version of myself.

I told Cody this morning how much better and well-rested I feel, ending with, "treadmills fix everything. Maybe if I run hard enough, money will start to come out, too."

Lastly, I will leave you with a picture from one of my indoor walks last week because I didn't take any pictures of the events listed above. 

Happy Tuesday!!!