Accountability and public speaking and green hair and other things

It’s been way too long since I’ve posted a real post. The kind with words and stuff. I feel pretty bad about just posting a bunch of pics about Austin, when I have lots of great memories that I really should be writing down. Let’s just hope the pictures help me remember them later. Or maybe I’ll end up editing that post with more details. We’ll see.

I think the best way for me to organize my thoughts is with bullets, since this’ll be all over the place.

I’ve been thinking for a long time about doing some kind of bootcamp fitness program, but I’ve been unable to find one that was at the appropriate times, etc. I was talking to someone a few weeks ago and she mentioned she was going to Orange Theory Fitness so I looked into it and ended up going to a class yesterday.

It was tough, I gotta say. It’s funny, you think “I can run a few miles at a time, and I can do half marathons without dying, so I must be in some kind of shape” and then you do a class like this and

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It’s high intensity interval training, and there are treadmills and rowing machines and weights and floor exercises and wow, when I got off the rowing machines after a few minutes my legs were like jelly.

So I signed up to go as much as humanly possible and try to get really fit over the next two months (and beyond) because in two months, this is happening…
Say hello to our next group of #WCEU speakers!

Yes, my coworker Erica and I are giving a talk at WordCamp Europe in front of, oh, I don’t know, more than the 20 people I spoke to at WordCamp Dayton. At least I can hide behind Erica, except she is tiny.

Anyway, my only point is that I want to feel good about myself before getting on a stage in front of more than 20 people.

In non-me related things, I continued to allow my children to really express themselves through their hair. I mean, it’s not hurting anyone. It’s temporary (ish, I mean, I did have to bleach their hair to get it this vibrant, but hair does grow) and if you could have seen how happy Linus was after we made his green, well, any doubts would have been wiped away.

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Miles wanted to be in the picture too. He of course also now wants to dye his hair, but I pointed out that his acting career might suffer if he does. So we’re leaving it as is for now. Anyway, if I have to end up dying Linus and Oliver’s back, I’ll need a reference for the original color. Ha!

I had a really fun weekend with the boys, not just dying their hair. We saw Jungle Book (really good) and watched a bunch of baking shows on Netflix. MilesCupcake Wars in particular inspired us to whip up a batch of homemade vanilla cupcakes and vanilla buttercream frosting. I even scraped seeds out of vanilla bean pods, that’s how serious we were. They were deeeelish, in spite of the fact that I apparently left a box of powdered sugar at the grocery store after paying for it, so our frosting was more butter than anything. Nothin’ wrong with that

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Miles approves of my frosting recipe.

February 10, 11, 12, 2016

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8 year well visit at the doctor on Wednesday.

8 year stats:
Linus: 58ish lbs; 52ish” tall
Oliver: 59ish lbs; 52ish” tall
Miles: 60ish lbs; 51ish” tall
I lost the sheet of paper with the exact numbers, so it’s a good thing our next door neighbor is our pediatrician! I’ll get the exact numbers and edit this post sometime.

Compared with 7 years:
Linus: 49.6 lbs (50th); 49″ tall (50-75th)
Oliver: 47.8 lbs (25-50th); 48.7″ tall (50-75th)
Miles: 51.2 lbs (50th); 48.8″ tall (50-75th)

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Oliver has a 100th day of school project due Monday.

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On a walk with Ziggy and the boys. Here’s Linus caught in a sunbeam.

January 7, 2016

  
Oliver had mentioned he was having trouble seeing far away, so I took him to the eye doctor.

20/20 vision, the doc says. I guess he just wants X-ray vision. Who can blame him?

Resolutions

I honestly am not all that bothered by new year’s resolutions. I pretty much make them and then forget them. And it’s not like I ever make really original resolutions anyway. It’s always, “focus on health” or some other such nonsense.

But it’s not like that’s going to stop me from making them.

So some things I want to focus on in 2016:

  • Getting back into running. Now this is really all dependent on taking care of my ankle (Achilles tendonitis.) And because that is exacerbated by a lack of flexibility, this year I want to start yoga. So my fitness resolution is to start yoga so I can run without pain again.
  • Get to a good place, food-wise. I’m not going to say I want to do Weight Watchers or any other kind of diet, but really just take control. Figure out what that means for me. I think that means talking to a nutritionist and working on something that fits my life and my personality.
  • But let’s face it, I do want to lose weight, and money does motivate me, so I set up a DietBet. Join me! It starts on my birthday, January 9. Maybe it will stop me from overdoing it. Unlikely.
  • Get our house in order. I mean that literally. I spent too much time in 2015 fantasizing about moving – I do mean fantasizing. We did the research and now we know for sure – we won’t be able to move into a bigger house and stay in our neighborhood unless we win the lottery. And we don’t buy lottery tickets. So this means just doing the projects we’d have to do to sell our house, but not to sell our house. Instead, to make it the home I will want to spend the next 20 years in. That means fixing the floors once and for all. Painting. That kind of thing.
  • Get rid of stuff. I’ve gotten better about this, and it’s obviously related to the point above this, but I’m ready to purge like crazy.
  • Cook more. The boys are getting less picky, I got my awesome Instant Pot, and I want to be better about feeding everyone (including myself) more real foods.

There. No numbers. No “I’m going to run X miles, I’m going to lose X pounds.” Just general improvements.

Well, except for my 366 project. That’s a number. A photo a day, every day. Just like I did in 2010, 2011, 2012, and part of 2014. I’m not going to force myself to post all of them in separate posts like I have in the past. I’ll probably post a few at a time every few days. We’ll see.

Various things

I forgot to mention in last week’s post that we also got a new security system. So many improvements!

Also, we were looking at putting the boys in Cub Scouts, so we went to a meeting the other night to check it out. One of the activities they do is sleep on a warship, which sounds really cool, but Oliver told us later that he’d rather just sleep in his own bed. So we decided that Cub Scouts maybe isn’t for them, and instead, Oliver and Miles will be playing soccer and Linus will cheer them on. I hope.

The other night I made waffle pizzas for dinner. It was actually George’s idea. I guess he’s been perusing Pinterest in his free time. I toasted some waffles, let the boys put cheese and pepperoni on them (no sauce for them) and then stuck them under the broiler. Yum! They all gobbled them up.

Speaking of gobbling things up, I relented and bought those cotton candy grapes at the store. I’ve always been a bit weirded out by them for no rational reason, but Linus and I are huge fans. At $4 a pound, this could get expensive.

My ankle is doing a bit better, thank you very much. I got a brace that has these little gel pockets right around my achilles tendon, and I’ve stopped going barefoot. I hate wearing shoes all the time, but it’s working, so I’ll just have to suck it up.

Saturday, we went to my cousin’s house to have a big ol’ cousin hangout. We’re going to try to start doing that more. It was really great. Got the kids together for a pic:

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A friend from work got a photo made into a cartoon of herself, and I loved hers so much that I went on fiverr.com and found an artist whose style I liked and got my own.

I had them use this picture:
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Which resulted in this:
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but a “friend” said I looked like THIS:
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so I did a little photoshopping and ended up with this, which I hope looks more like me. Hmmph.
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If not, who cares, it was $5.

(But everyone who agreed with Betsy is on my shit list.)

The end. Happy Labor Day.

Goings on

Haven’t blogged about just stuff lately.

The boys are almost done with their second week of second grade. Time is flying, and I’m having a bit of a tricky time getting everything done. New schedule always takes some getting used to.

IMG_4515Last weekend we went swimming for the last time. That was sad.

I bought some new headphones for work. Nice Bose ones on sale at Target, but they hurt the top of my head. I really want a replacement pair of my old headphones, but the earpiece snaps off if you so much as look at it wrong (I’ve already been through two pairs.) But they cradle my noggin much better. So I’ll probably return the Bose headphones and keep looking for new ones.

I’m trying Dukan again. It worked so well last time, crossing my fingers it will work again. So far so good. (Almost 72 hours without sugar!) Meat meat meat meat meat.

DSCF6935My Achilles tendon is still bugging me a bit (it’s been six months) but I got some heel cups from Amazon which seem to actually be helping. My friend Steph and I meet at 6 every morning to walk/run about 3.5 miles. Some days are better than others. Nevertheless, I’m signed up for the Jazz half marathon on Halloween.

Tonight we finished watching the last Harry Potter movie with the boys. I almost forgot how great the last one is. My cold hearted children didn’t even flinch when the Weasley twin (Fred?) died, but that part just really gets me every time.

Took Miles to the doctor one day last week because of a weird blister thingy on his arm. I was paranoid it was mrsa or something, but turns out it’s just molluscum. And it could take a year to go away. But at least it’s not something really awful. What I am not going to do is google either of those terms because both will bring up vile photos. No thank you.

I hope this doesn’t affect Miles’s acting career. Oh, well, I mean, it doesn’t exist yet, but when he said he wants to be an actor when he grows up, I put him in an extras database, and signed him (and Oliver) up for the Drama and Improv after school activity. YES. That means there will be extensive documentation of a play in a few months. I think I’m going to be an awesome stage mom, I really do.

Until next time!

 

 

 

Thursday stuff

Oliver lost one of his top teeth, finally! Poor dude was getting a complex about it. Woke me up at 1am to show me. Glad he didn’t swallow it in his sleep! Looks like the adult tooth is already coming in.

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While getting in the van to take the boys to camp this morning, I stepped in a red ant pile that was hidden under some Asian jasmine. A lot of cursing and slapping at my feet followed. I hate those assholes. (Here’s the full video if you want to see them up close.)

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Today a company is coming by to give us an estimate on having the attic insulated. Hopefully we can afford to do it, because I imagine it would pay for itself in a couple of years. Upstairs gets so, so hot. Anyone have experience with this? Our a/c is just struggling to keep up with the heat.

I also am scheming to get the living room in order. Painting, first of all. And then just making it look a little nicer. Maybe it’s time to take down the baby gate at the top of the stairs? I dunno if I’m ready for that. Here’s what it looks like currently. At least I moved the lego table into the boys’ room. It’s a start.

Oh shoot. Two days til the triathlon. Better start thinking about that.



Lots of things

– You know I’m a big Morrissey fan, right? I got to see him 8 years ago in Virginia, but I was pregnant and, I don’t know, the show wasn’t as amazing as I’d hoped it would be. Well, I found out last week that he’s playing HERE! In New Orleans! For the first time since 1992! Exciting, right?

Except it’s the same week George and I will be in England. (We’re even flying into Manchester. Life is cruel.)

– In somewhat less sad news, I started planting jasmine vines along our iron fence. We don’t have a back yard, just a side yard, so maybe this will give us a little more privacy. In a few years, anyway. And it will smell nice.

– In case you were wondering where in the heck my “Bootcamp Day XX” posts have been (only kidding, I know no one has) it’s because I’m trying to let my achilles’ tendon heal. I’m not sure what’s going on with it, but it hurts sometimes, mostly when I’m going down stairs, or running. So I’ve been sticking to cycling. And sleeping later. It’s frustrating, I’ve never really had any running injuries before.

I ran a tiny bit on the treadmill this morning, just to see how it felt and it definitely felt weird. Tomorrow I have some new shoes coming in the mail (going back to my old trusty Nike Structures that I wore from 2001-2013, but got too expensive, but yay for old models on eBay) so maybe the extra stability will help.

I also read that I should be wearing shoes with a bit of a heel (I mean, not stilettos, but not my beloved Toms, either) so I guess I’ll be the cool mom sporting sneakers with my high-waisted pleated jeans this summer. Or something. Or maybe I’ll just get some wedges. Or something.

I just want to make sure that I can still do the Rocketchix triathlon in July again. We shall see.

– Just had the most delicious lunch, must share. I mixed together the following in a bowl:

  • shredded chicken that I slow-cooked last night in taco seasoning and salsa (the shredding-in-a-stand-mixer is the bomb, btw.)
  • quinoa
  • chopped avocado
  • salsa
  • plain greek yogurt (stand in for sour cream)

And  I just mixed it all up and gobbled it up. If I wasn’t doing the Simply Filling thing with Weight Watchers, I could have added beans, corn, and cheese, but it was really good even without those.

– I never finished posted pics from when everyone was visiting last week. This is one of my favorites, so I’ll just share this one. Me and my nieces and my boys. When we’re in Virginia, I’ll do one with Andrew and photoshop them together or something.

 

 

 

“Bootcamp” update

I haven’t forgotten about my “bootcamp,” but I did forget to post updates. (Thank god, I know.) I was pretty sore after Sunday’s race, so I took it pretty easy Monday morning, just keeping my legs loose. A few minutes on the stair stepping escalator thingy, a few minutes on the elliptical, some strength training, etc.

But I was pretty exhausted after that, so I did take Tuesday off. Back to it this morning, with a nice three mile run on the treadmill. Only problem is, I forgot my fitbit. I hate that! It’s like it didn’t happen now. Blah.

Other things that have happened:

– cut Linus’s hair last night, the other two will get shorn tonight. It’s fun to have one looking so different. Too bad the only haircut I can do is the 5/8″ with the clipper all the way around.

And, that’s about it. Yeah. So. Until tomorrow!

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!