Shoes ‘n’ laces

I have nothing to report, fitness-wise today, since I took this morning off. All planned, normal rest day, etc. Tomorrow I’ll be back at the gym in the wee hours. Saturday I may go to the gym but maybe not since I have that race on Sunday. We’ll see. I know, zzzzz.

After I picked up the boys from school yesterday, I had to take them to the shoe store so Miles could get a new pair. I swear, I feel like I am always buying them shoes. And I’ve discovered it doesn’t matter if I buy them cheap sneakers or more expensive ones, they destroy them just as quickly. So off to Payless we went.

The boys still don’t know how to tie laces, and it’s one of those boring things I’m not really interested in teaching and getting frustrated with and they won’t go to college unable to tie their shoes, right? But as they get bigger, velcro shoes are becoming less common, so I had to bite the bullet and buy lace up shoes.

I’ll admit, they also look a lot nicer. But I’m not looking forward to either tying six laces every morning or teaching them how to do it. If anyone has any great ideas or resources, I’m all ears. I’ve watched a few YouTube videos that supposedly will teach me how to teach them, but I’m not sold. I think learning how to teach someone to tie shoes is like knitting – I have to be shown in person how to do it, I can’t watch a video. Maybe a book instead?

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(Note about the photo at the top: Linus got new shoes, even though he didn’t really need them, but I bought them a half size bigger so in theory he can wear them longer. But because he didn’t need them, I would only buy him the clearance shoes, which are the uglier shoes on the left. Of course, he thinks they’re cool. But he’s a 7 year old boy.)

Wednesday (day 3)

I’d planned for my gym schedule to be Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday, but I went this morning instead of tomorrow. I’m having dinner with work people tonight and I am pretty sure I’ll want to “sleep in” (you know, til 6:30) tomorrow morning.

My Achilles tendon (or something at the back of my left ankle) was a little sore yesterday so I decided to cross train today. My gym got some of those old-school stair climbers (like tiny escalators) so I spent a bit of time on that (14 minutes climbing stairs is a long time!) and then did some strength training, then got on the elliptical for a little while (booorrrring) and then more strength training.

Okay, enough of that. Other things I’ve been meaning to write about:

– 2/3 of the boys had their first sleepover last week! Big milestone, and especially since Miles actually made it through the night. I was pretty shocked. Linus chose not to stay, though. It was kind of fun having one kid. It was very quiet.

– I’m reading this book right now. It’s set in Baton Rouge, and it takes place in 1991, when the main character is 16. I grew up in Baton Rouge, and I was 16 in 1991, so it’s kind of fascinating. Some of the setting is fictional, but enough of it is not to keep me enthralled.

When people ask me if I’m from here (New Orleans), I always have a hard time answering. Baton Rouge is a totally different world from New Orleans, and it’s so hard to describe. But this book nailed it.

You have to understand. When people think of Louisiana, they think exclusively of New Orleans. We are okay with that. New Orleans has the culture, the allure. They are The Big Easy. The Crescent City. The Birthplace of Jazz. The people of Baton Rouge don’t even have accents. Our parades, when compared to New Orleans, are amateur hour. Even our most raucous bars close at two o’clock in the morning. Theirs don’t close down at all. So, whenever people in Baton Rouge feel wild, we drive the sixty miles to New Orleans. We stay in upscale hotels and spend gobs of money. We drink beer on the street and make bad decisions. We take wrong turns at intersections and feel perpetually lost, and when we wake up in the morning, regretful and satisfied, we go back home saying, “It’s a fun place to visit, but I wouldn’t want to live there.”

From My Sunshine Away by M.O. Walsh

Well, I guess I did decide to live here, but growing up, I never had any desire to. Anyway, if you’re looking for a good read, I recommend you pick this up. (Even though I haven’t finished it yet.)

– I ended up signing up for that race on Sunday. I really really hope it’s cool and overcast. Hmmph.

– Last week, I got a box from HelloFresh. It’s one of those companies that’s cropping up that sends you the ingredients for meals and the recipe cards, and all you have to do is put them together. I got three meals, two of which were excellent (the third was good, but not outstanding.) We had a pasta bolognese one night, squash with quinoa another night, and chicken and potatoes another night. (The first two were the excellent ones.) (No, the boys didn’t eat this.) (Actually, George didn’t eat the squash one either. More for me!)

Anyway, I loved that I can make these again, because none of the ingredients were particularly unusual. It wasn’t like I’d have to buy from that company, you know? Just some more meal ideas.

If you want to try it and get $40 off your first box, you can use this referral code: R7KT4K (Yeah, it’s not cheap, but great for special meals, and the portion sizes mean you have enough for leftovers.)

Tuesday, March 10

I suppose I could come up with better post titles, but I really don’t want to name them all “DIY Bootcamp Day 2.” What if I manage to keep up with this for an extended period of time? I don’t want to have DIY Bootcamp Day 273.” Well, I mean, I do, but I don’t, if you know what I mean.

Anyway. Got to bed earlier last night, so was definitely a bit more well-rested (though was in the middle of a weird dream about miniscule bunnies in a balloon and my friend Lindsay and the zoo when the alarm went off) and this time managed a bit over 3 miles in 35 minutes.

My friend Heather is trying to convince me to do the Shamrock Run on Sunday (I’ve done it for the past two years, ever since it started, and part of me does like the idea of doing a race every year from the beginning) but I don’t know if I can run the whole thing (it’s 8K which is very nearly 5 miles, and maybe I can if I run slow enough, but it’s also mid-March and it could be warm and humid) but I have to decide today because the price goes up $15 tomorrow.

Also, you may have noticed I left out any mention of strength training. Well, I did a set of tricep somethings, but then I decided maybe I could do my arm stuff at home. So if anyone has a source of an arm routine that I can do at home that doesn’t involve the floor, I’m all ears.

In other, non-fitness news, Oliver and I had some one-on-one time at IHOP last night (every time I want to write iHop, good lord) which was super sweet and fun. We rode the bus (I mean, we sat on the same side of the booth, which in my opinion is only acceptable for parents and children) and ate pancakes. Well, Oliver ate the shit out of some chicken and waffles AND a short stack. So now I know how to fatten that kid up. I very virtuously only ate 2/3 of my Harvest Nut ‘n’ Grain waffles.

Oh, one last thing. If you blog (regularly or not) can you fill out this very short survey for me? Thanks!

DIY Bootcamp, day 1

Even though I didn’t get to sleep until later than I’d hoped (as is always the case on Sunday nights) I got right up when my alarm went off at 5:15, stumbled into my workout clothes and managed to be at the gym by 5:30.

I think it helped that I had my gym bag ready to go downstairs, next to my shoes. It’s easy enough to remember to put my clothes out, but it’s the stumbling around in the morning downstairs, finding a towel and water bottle and putting everything in a bag that takes more time than it should.

So, my workout. Best to start small and work my way up, right? I had said 35 minutes of cardio, so I spent it on the treadmill. I was feeling tired, so I decided to do a walk/run today. Walk a minute, run two or three. Took it pretty easy. 2.82 miles in 35 minutes. And then I spent a bit of time on the abs circuit, but not the 15 minutes I’d planned. I want to be home by 6:30, which means leaving at 6:20, and I got off the treadmill at 6:10, so I need to work in my timing. Maybe get up a few minutes earlier. We’ll see tomorrow.

A few pictures from yesterday afternoon, to keep this from being a total snoozefest.

Fitness accountability

I’ve been rather lax lately in my gym attendance. Ironically, part of it is because I got that treadmill that I walk on when working. I suppose I feel like that’s enough exercise. Of course it’s not. Then again, I haven’t been walking a ton either, so really it just comes down to laziness.

I thought about joining a bootcamp that meets at 5:30 on weekday mornings, but why should I shell out a bunch of money when I already belong to a gym?

Instead, I’m going to commit to going to the gym early in the morning (5:30 am) on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays. And I’m going to bore you all to death by posting afterwards, so I can be accountable to someone other than myself.

And I need a plan for when I’m at the gym. While I know I won’t be working as hard as I would be if I were participating in a fitness boot camp, I do need to make sure I don’t totally slack off. My main goal here is to not feel like a blobby sloth when we go to England in June.

I also want to do the Rocketchix triathlon again in July. Remembering I’ll be wearing black spandex again is a powerful motivator.

I’ll start with 35 minutes of cardio (3 mile run, more than likely) and then spend 15 minutes doing strength training. I should probably do more strength training, but I get bored easily. My gym has a 12 minute abs circuit, which would be a good use of my time, but no one uses it properly and it’s kind of infuriating. Hmm.Okay, so look out for my first post tomorrow! And I apologize in advance for the super boring posts.

My boys and me

I had a friend take a picture of the boys and me at the New Orleans Moms Blog Easter egg hunt today. They had more fun helping with the setup than actually hunting for stuff. That said, we brought home plenty of Smarties. Woot!

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Zoo pics

Some more pics from the zoo yesterday. Still loving my new lens!

It’s funny because for the past seven years, we had zoo memberships but the boys weren’t interested in going. And when we did, it was mostly to ride the carousel or the train. So we let the membership lapse. But ever since they had their time at the zoo for school, they’re obsessed and have been dying to go back. So we renewed our membership yesterday and actually went around and looked at animals.

These are the photos that I think are good…

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Some muddy animal. Linus could tell you what it is.
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Turtles on a log. If you don’t look for the fence in the background, it could almost look natural. Ish.
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Ollie.
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Sleeping macaw.
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Giraffe. (I guess I didn’t really need to label this one, huh?)
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Orangutan.
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George the peacock. Apparently all the peacocks at Audubon Zoo are named George. (Foreman? Not sure.)

And here are the photos that I just find amusing.

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They all wanted to pose in front of their favorite animals. Oliver is excited about the sun bear.
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Linus wanted a neck like a giraffe.
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Miles loves the spider monkeys because they use their tails like hands. Linus was just ready.to.go.
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Dancing in front of the Jaguar Jungle sign.

At the zoo for 87 months

The boys didn’t have school today, so George and I took them to the zoo before parent-teacher conferences. I thought this was a fitting place to get their monthly picture.

87 months

Tank.

The boys have this friend, Ethan. Well, first, George and I were friends with his parents. Well, before that, I knew his dad. But anyway. Ethan is about seven months younger than the boys. He was born almost three months prematurely, but considering his nickname at the daycare he went to with the boys was Tank, you really hardly would have known.

Ethan is just an awesome kid. You know. He’s like one of my own, he fits right in with my boys, and they all run around like goons when they get together. (When Miles and Ethan were both Luke Skywalker for Halloween a few years back, epic battles ensued. I guess Ethan isn’t as used to seeing a clone of himself as Miles is.)

Anyway, due to Ethan’s prematurity, he was diagnosed with a form of Cerebral Palsy called Spastic Diplegia. It affects the way his brain communicates with his muscles and causes tightness and weakness making it difficult for him to walk and balance even while standing still.

There is a surgical procedure that has helped other children with Spastic Diplegia called Selective Dorsal Rhizotomy (SDR). SDR treats muscle spasticity caused by abnormal communication among the brain, spinal cord, nerves, and muscles, and Ethan will be having the surgery this summer at St. Louis Children’s Hospital.

This is a spinal surgery, and Ethan will require lots of physical therapy for six months after the surgery.

So it’s a big deal, and it will be life-changing for Ethan. He’ll be able to walk without falling, and without tiring so easily. (Not that I’ve ever seen Ethan complain. He gets up, brushes himself off, and keeps on running.) But it’ll mean a lot of expenses for his family. So let’s help!

There’s a GoFundMe page here, where you can donate.

Or come to our garage sale on April 18 and buy snacks and beverages from the boys (don’t worry, I’m not going to let them actually make them or anything. But they’re in charge of selling.)

You can also sponsor Heather as she does the Ironman in New Orleans on April 19.

There will be other fundraisers to help raise money for Ethan’s surgery, so keep your eyes open for those!

Vegas, baby

Man, for someone who is going to be giving a talk on Making Blogging a Habit in three weeks, I’m not doing a stellar job, am I?

Well, I’m here to remedy that with a little recap of my trip to Las Vegas. It was Kristina’s 40th birthday trip, and I flew there Saturday morning to meet up with Kristina, Mike, and a few other couples that they’re friends with. (I joked that I was the 9th wheel, but I really never felt like it.)

I arrived early Saturday afternoon after a couple of thankfully uneventful flights. Got to the hotel and rested for a few minutes while I waited for Kristina to get back from another casino. The rooms at the Aria had automated lights and curtains, but I found the system somewhat buggy. I was just sitting there relaxing, and the TV and lights went off and the curtains closed. Oooookay. I guess they were trying to tell me to get out of there.

The view was nice, though…

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Basically, we ate a lot. Had lunch at a Mexican place in the Aria that had delicious pineapple margaritas. Then dinner at Bazaar Meat, where we ate a lot of amazing, um, meat. And Bill and Whitman surprised us by driving in from Los Angeles!

Sunday we had breakfast, then the ladies went to the spa. I didn’t get any treatments, but relaxed in the jacuzzi, steam room, and sauna. I also hung out in a “salt room” that was supposed to improve my upper respiratory system, or something. Whatever. It was chill.

That evening, we went to Ka, a Cirque du Soleil show. It was crazy. The set was immense. So fancy. After that, we ate at Yardbird, where I ate the most delicious fried chicken I’ve ever had in my entire life. Holy cow (or chicken.) So good.

Some more random photos from my trip…

Made it home last night without too much travel drama. Just a little bit.