Wednesday, May 29, 2013

5k May: Week 6

Well, May is almost over and I've only blogged about my 5k training once!  Oops.  I think about it every time I go for a run, but I've had other things that have been on my mind lately.  Important things, like drunk parenting and my dog with an over-developed sense of self importance.  My intentions have been good, but as usual, my follow-through is lacking.

Currently, I'm in week 6 of my C25K training.  Week 6 day 1 is 5 min jogging/3 min walking/8 min jogging/3 min walking/5 min jogging.  Day 2 jumps up to 10 min jogging/3 min walking/10 min jogging.  Needless to say, I've not yet reached day 2. 

It's interesting to me how much your environment and conditions can effect your running.  I started out running indoors on a track (I didn't want to run on a treadmill, and it was still winter-like conditions here in northeastern Nebraska).  It was a great start; challenging, but I was always able to finish my workouts.  As the weather got nicer, I started running outside.  Why is it so much harder to do that?! 

I've been stuck on day 1 of week 6 for a week now.  I was able to finish it the first couple of times, but it was a struggle.  The last two times I've done it, I actually had to stop half-way through my 8 minute jog to catch my breath.  Most recently, I've been having a sharp pinching on my right shoulder, close to my neck.  I'm not sure what it is, but it usually goes away after about a minute and a half of walking.  I think it's just something I have to push through.

Do you run?  What kinds of pains or road blocks have you encountered?

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Dexter Mayhem: all in a day's work.

For those of you who haven’t met my semi-loyal companion (he only likes me when I’m feeding him, scratching his belly, or pregnant), I think it’s probably time to get you more familiar with Dexter, the self-appointed CEO of the Hurricane Household.

As CEO, his duties include (but of course, are not limited to):

  • Greeting all guests with a goofy grin and excessive jumping/body-wagging
  • Sharing his toys with O
  • Answering tough questions like “whosagooboy?” and “Who the hell ate the whole roll of toilet paper?” with a passive eyebrow-raise and leisurely departure of the room
  • Eating rolls of toilet paper (as indicated in previous duty)
  • Enforcing security:
    • Barking at neighbor children for using our segment of the road
    • Barking at the mailman as he delivers our mail
    • Barking at scary commercials on tv
    • Barking when our garage door opens (typically indicating that it is someone who lives here or has our security code)
    • Barking at any and all decorative door items including but not limited to: 
      • wreaths
      • signs
      • sashes
      • bells
      • floral arrangements (especially those damn floral arrangements... oh, how he hates those flowers)
  • Ensuring proper noise levels at night (He snores.  Louder than some humans)
  • Post-meal kitchen clean up (although he's now on a restricted diet for his allergies, so we do our best to not leave anything for him to clean up, which, if you've ever lived with a toddler, you know is impossible)
  • Kid clean up specializing in facial and forelimb areas
  • Stealth-farting (and not-so-stealth farting) and leaving the room, spurring “who farted?” arguments among all speaking inhabitants
  • Ensuring daily tug-of-war and ball-playing quotas are met
  • Lightening the mood and cheering up all Hurricane Household members with silly antics including but not limited to:
    • Licking face
    • Chasing imaginary fly
    • Jumping up and down (literally, all four paws off the floor at once)
    • Wagging entire body in circles around said person’s feet, rendering them immobile until proper cheering has occurred
  • Scaring away varmints within the perimeter of the Hurricane Household, including but not limited to:
    • Cats
    • Raccoons
    • Opossums
    • Stray children

In addition to these duties, he’s also held accountable for the following:
  • Being the reason we can’t have nice things
  • Being the reason we house our toilet paper rolls on the vanity or the toilet tank like a frat house
  • Being the reason O can’t have a pacifier outside of his crib
  • Keeping us guessing as to his medical condition (constantly itching/balding/licking, through various food changes, medicines, lotions, sprays and voo-doo magic)
As you can tell, this job is no walk in the park (or pee on a fire hydrant), but he handles it with the grace of a rhinoceros and the expertise that only he can bring to the table.

Monday, May 20, 2013

7 Ways Being a New Parents is Like Being Drunk

I am in the middle of baby-stravaganza (Babypalooza? Babpocalypse?).  Is it just me, or has half of the population either had a child within the last month, or is expecting one in the next couple of months?  I’m so happy for all of my friends and family members, (have I mentioned I'm about to be a proud aunt again-- twice?!) but I feel like someone needs to warn them about what they're in for.  And no-- this is no What to Expect When You're Expecting.  Congratulations, everyone!  Now, get ready for the ride of your life!

I've alluded to the fact that I've slowed down my party habits here.  If you're wondering why, it pretty much boils down to the fact that I feel like I’m living in a frat house already.  Maybe you’ve seen the funny memes or ecards that say something to that effect, but if this is a new theory to you, go ahead and read about it here.

You might laugh (especially if you don't have kids), but it's true.  You'll find out someday; consider yourself warned.  What nobody told me was that for the first nine months of that little one's life, it feels like you're the drunk person.  Don't believe me?  Here are 7 Ways Being a New Parents is Like Being Drunk.

1. You can fall asleep/pass out anywhere.
  The bus, the doctor's office, the bathroom, the kitchen table... all you need is to sit still longer than two minutes.  It's no different than passing out in your Friday morning history class.
2. You stumble around the house at all hours of the night.  It's 2 am, what are you doing up?  Heading to the fridge for another bottle!  Tripping over bouncy seats and teddy bears all the way, stubbing your toe on the pack & play you left out for daytime naps in the living room.
3. You do dumb things.  Car keys in the fridge.  Cell phone in the mailbox.  I can't even remember all the stupid stuff I did in the first month I brought O home... I vaguely remember using diaper cream as hand lotion.  When you're responsible for the life of another human being, you've got more important things to think about than whether you paid your phone bill or if you got the gas nozzle out of your tank and back onto the pump.
4. Your speech is slurred. Lack of sleep coupled with "sshhhh shhh shhh"ing a baby for hours will do that to you.
5. You have no regard for how you look.  You want to care.  You want to put the effort forth.  But you also want cereal, and right now you're out of milk, so the bitches at the grocery store can deal with your pajama pants and haphazard ponytail today.
6. You've got the drunchies.  It's 3am and dang, what you wouldn't give for a Big Mac or some nachos, man! 
7. You're highly emotional.  "What did she SAY TO ME?!" Just like a cat fight at the bar or the drunk girl sobbing in the corner, it doesn't take much to spark an emotional reaction right now. 

Parents, what do you think?  Did I miss anything?  Congratulations to all of my friends bringing home their new bundles of joy!  You will sleep again some day :)

Friday, May 17, 2013

5k May

It’s taken me over half the month, but I’m finally going to start writing about my 5k “training.”  If you recall from my resolutions, this is the month I had planned to complete my first 5k.  Although training began back in March for me, I want to share my progress with you this month.

 Let me start by telling you that I’m the furthest thing from a runner imaginable.  You know that lady who runs every day and signs up for at least one marathon every year (and enjoys it)?  Yep, not me.  You know that lady who signs up for a marathon and ends up walking ¾ of it, only to struggle, gasping for air across the finish line?  Also not me.  I’m the woman my family would end up searching for hours after the last runner has finished, only to be found in the fetal position off to the side of the road, barely a mile from the starting point.  I’m that kind of a non-runner.  So, when my friend asked me to run a 5k with her, naturally, I said yes (because apparently I’m a glutton for punishment).

I had been hearing a lot about the Couch to 5k app, so I thought that was a good place to start.  If you’re not familiar, it’s an app that takes a “beginner” runner, and trains them over a course of 8 weeks to ultimately be able to run a 5k.

Week one starts with alternating 1 minute of running with 90 seconds of walking.  Week two gradually moves up to 90 seconds of jogging and 2 minutes of walking.  It continues to slowly increase the time you spend running, and decrease the time you spend walking.  Easy, right?  That’s what I thought… until I got to week five.  Day one is ok; it’s five minutes of running and three minutes of walking, three times.  On day two, they surprise you with eight minutes of running, five minutes of walking, and eight minutes of running.  Oh jeez, wasn’t expecting that.  It was tough, but I got through it.  On day three, though, they slap you in the face with a 20 minute run.  WTFrack, C25K app?  What the hell about the fact that I need an app entitled COUCH to 5k would lead you to believe that I’m capable of running for TWENTY flipping minutes?!  On week 5?!

So, in a nutshell, that’s how it’s going.  Not great, but I’m going to keep going.  We’ll see what week 6 brings.

What about you, do you run?  If so, for the love of God, why?!  Can someone honestly tell me it gets better, and that maybe it becomes enjoyable?

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Clutter-Busting: Makeup Edition

I've had a few busy clutter-busting days, but I don't have many pictures to show for it. As most of you know, Tots and I put our house on the market last week, so this challenge really couldn't have come at a better time for us.

I left off with our dryer on Friday. We spent most of Saturday cleaning out our unfinished basement, which had become our catch-all. Old appliances, abandoned pieces of projects long forgotten, college textbooks and syllabi, you name it, it was down there. I didn't keep track of my seven things for Saturday, because I know we ended up getting rid of far more than that. In fact, we probably took out seven bags of trash!

Sunday was Mother's Day, so I gave myself the day off. Tots and O made me breakfast in bed and then took me to lunch. I didn't lift a finger all day :).

On Monday, we got a call from our realtor that she would be showing our house on Tuesday. Our basement was cleared out, but it was far from ready to be shown. Again, we got rid of probably two or three more bags of trash. I also cleaned out one of my linen closets and got rid of six old pillows and one ratty old sleeping bag. I didn't take a picture because quite honestly, I was embarrassed! Who hangs on to that sort of stuff?!

We took Tuesday off after working into the wee hours the night before.

Tonight, I'm excited to bring you... Clutter-Busting: Makeup Edition.

You're looking at seven different lipsticks/glosses. None of them have been touched within the last year. Possibly the last two years. And yes, one is missing it's lid.

I'm not a lipstick person. I went through a phase where I tried to find the right color, but to this day, have not succeeded. Now I'm left with a drawer full of nudes, pinks, reds, and a few browns (ick- blondes should never wear browns) that I pull out from time to time and remind myself why I don't wear lipsticks.

Friday, May 10, 2013

A whole week of clutter-busting

I've been a bad blogger.  Unfortunately, the beautiful unpredictable Nebraska weather has kept me out of the house and away from the computer, with many gorgeous rainy and crappy days to enjoy endure.  I'm a little bitter, if you can't tell, but I'm so grateful all our snow is gone, and I'm hoping it's safe to say spring is here.

Just because I wasn't here doesn't mean I wasn't keeping up with the challenge.  Here is my week, in junk:
On Friday, I went through my closet and found at least seven shirts to get rid of.

 O's closet felt my wrath on Saturday.  I know, it's not seven.  You've gotta trust me, we found LOTS more that we took out of his closet, I just happened to have a picture of these five items because I knew they were given to us by two different families, and I couldn't remember who gave what, so needed to send a picture so they could return to their correct home.

 Sunday we cleaned out our spare bedroom.  Trust me, there's more than seven different books and magazines in this stack.  Am I the only one who does this?  Why the hell would I keep these old magazines?  My only defense is that I got pregnant about a quarter into my subscription and I quit reading it then because I couldn't do the exercises.  I told myself I would look through them after I had the baby... because apparently before I became a mother, I was delusional.  In the words of Sweet Brown, ain't nobody got time for that.  I barely have time to brush my teeth before I pass out from exhaustion every night, much less read anything that doesn't have big, colorful pictures and rhyming words.

 On Monday, I dug out a broken necklace, three mugs, lullaby cds (they worked for me, not for baby), an unused lamp, and a cross picture frame.

 Tuesday was a little bit of a slacker day for me.  I found an old fake plant that looks just a little too fake, an old throw pillow, and old gift bags.  Don't tell me I'm the only one who recycles gift bags... It's a great way to save some money, but somehow I always end up collecting more than I'm able to use.  Maybe that says something about the number of parties we get invited to, or the number of friends I have?  I don't know. 

 On Wednesday I found more pieces from the depths of my closet.  This time I ventured over to Tots' side, too.  The shirts you see here are the ones he gave me permission to garage sale.  I have yet to get my hands on anything I really want to see gone (he keeps a pretty tight inventory of his Cowboys gear).

 Thursday: two hoodies and a fairly new sweater.  I know, again, not quite seven.  But these hoodies were a little hard to part with, so I think it's ok.

Today I'm posting a picture of our old dryer.  This might be cheating; we've been planning to get rid of her for a while, we just haven't done it.  We've got to clean out our basement, though, so she needs to find a new home ASAP.

Have you been participating in the challenge?  How are you doing so far?

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Cheapskate April: revisited. Five ways having kids can SAVE you money.

**DISCLAIMER: I love my son, and motherhood is my favorite job.  I just refuse to lose my sense of humor just because I became a parent.  In fact, I believe that in order to SURVIVE parenthood, you have to be able to laugh at yourself and whatever life throws at you… especially if it’s spaghetti or something else tomato-based.  I’m sure to offend some of you with this list, but that’s ok.    

I know I’ve talked a good game about deciphering between wants and needs, but let me tell you, nothing forces you to do it like adding a kid to the mix.  For those of you who don’t have kids, you probably think they’re pretty expensive.  You’re not necessarily wrong (diapers, formula, clothing, toys, etc. all adds up), but you’re not exactly right either.  I’ve put together a list of five ways off the top of my head that kids can actually save you money.

1.       You will no longer buy nice shoes.  Not only are they going to get messy (there’s a good chance they’ll be puked on, chewed on, colored on, and probably stomped around in by feet much smaller than yours), you’re going to be standing in them a lot more.  In the last year, the amount of time I’ve spent on my ass has dropped drastically, in direct correlation with O’s spiked mobile abilities.  Anytime I think it’s safe to sit down and relax, I hear a crash from O’s bedroom, or he’s calling for me so he can point out something really important (like that Dexter’s bed is not in the right spot, or that his pants are slightly twisted, or that there is dirt on the toe of his shoe).  Also, when you are on your feet, you’ll probably be carrying more weight than your own.  Goodbye, stilettos.  Hello house slippers and sneakers!  

2.       You will think twice about buying nice furniture.  Why spend the extra money on a leather couch when you know it’s just going to get muddy sneakers dragged across it, or popsicles buried in the cushions? Becoming a parent means you’ll think twice before buying that beautiful espresso coffee table. Gorgeous though it may be, it probably won’t hold up to the pen/pencil/crayon/marker abuse that’s certain to occur at some point in its residence in your home. 

3.       You can kiss your nice vehicle goodbye.  I’ll admit it: when I decided to become a mom, I swore that I wouldn’t have a “mom vehicle.” (19 months later, you can’t tell my messy truck apart from any other moms’).  You know what I’m talking about here.  You climb in and find soccer balls, paper towels, sippy cups, crumbs, and wrappers all over the backseat.  A closer look reveals boogers on the windows, scuff marks on the backs of the front seats, and pen marks that refuse to let you forget that one time you thought the risk of ink stains was worth a few minutes of a quiet drive (it wasn’t. It never is). Let’s not forget the telltale smell of a mom vehicle. You can’t quite put your finger on it, but it’s definitely not new car scent or fresh pines. Considering all of this, why in the world would you buy a nice vehicle? Save your money until your kid is old enough to drive.  Then, buy yourself a Corvette (that should align nicely with the appropriate age for a mid-life crisis anyway, right?) and make HIM drive the smelly mama wagon as his first car. 

4.       Your entertainment costs go WAY down. Mostly because you rarely leave the house. By the time Friday night rolls around, you and your honey are so tired, the only thing that sounds good is pizza, beer, and a Netflix movie (that you will make it half-way through before falling asleep).  On the days you do feel like going out, you’ll think twice because you’ll know it means you have to bring “them” with you, and that adds a whole new element of surprise and potential disaster.  This also drastically limits the venues you’ll consider going to, as they’ll all need to be kid-friendly.

5.       You spend less money on booze. This may only be true in my household.  When Tots and I were newlyweds, we always had a case of beer in the fridge and fancy alcohol in the cabinet.  It didn’t matter that we were eating mac & cheese for supper; we were drinking classy at dessert.  Once we had O, not only were we less interested in drinking, we were too exhausted to finish our drinks anyway. 

Parents, have I left anything out?  What would you add to the list?