Thursday, December 31, 2015

2015 in Review

It's kinda funny how a year changes things.  Last year at this time, I was planning out my 2016...a year of pushing the limits and seeing where I could go.  I thought about Mind the Ducks.  I thought about the Can Lakes 50s.  I started to think about Ironman....

Then the best endurance event ever happened.  A 9 month one.  And my 2015 changed to possibly the best year of my life.

Started off with these two goofballs....
 And became an even wilder ride. 

Our lives are crazy.  Sleep deprived.  Running around in a million directions.  But we have these two perfect presents to remind us of how awesome life can be.
 Oh yeah.  We are in big trouble as parents - not only are our kids smart and precocious as hell, they also like each other.  Alot.

So 2015 was a year of change.  But...it's the year I've dreamed about since I was six years old.  The perfect husband (ye, I said it), our two kids, and the happiest family ever.

No running marathons (though Baby Biz let me run a few halfs!).  But that's 2016.  And the first year of no triathlon.  I did a relay, and that was fine.  It's funny...I never even missed it.  Which tells me that my priorities are just right :-)

2015 just can't be topped, I know it.  But we'll give it a shot in 2016!  Planning on some cool ultra marathons, a beer mile (that should be special) and a few tris.  And family,  Lots of family time.  Cause why wouldn't ya?

Happy New Year from our family to yours!!

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Merry Christmas

Yep, I know.  I've been MIA.  It's been a little nuts around here - going back to work, getting ready for the holidays, a few sickies, and squeezing in a few runs here and there.  I've missed blogging, but December is so gosh darn busy as it is that the moments I've had in the last few weeks are spent with family.....doing christmas, as Rob would say.
Making cookies.....
Laughing with family and friends....
Christmas wishes to Santa....
and making wonderful traditions.
 A very merry christmas to everyone.....with love from all of us :-)


Saturday, December 12, 2015

Month 3: Ohhh Biz Biz

.....and time keeps on going faster and faster.  Well, Miss Biz (yo u know the name stuck when your 80 year old great aunt uses it), you are becoming less like an infant and more like the cutest, most expressive, awesome kiddo every day.  We are having so much fun.  Even though Momma had to go back to work this week (ick) you've been livin' it up with Daddy during the first week of his leave...and without a doubt, have us both wrapped around your little pinky (actually, all 3 of us.  Rob adores his Biz a Biz.....every time you cry, he gives you a big hug and goes "Ohhhh Biz biz".)  So what's crack a lackin this month?


Likes:

You never get enough of Daddy and Mommy snugs.  Ever.  (Kiddo, we love this).  You still love your pal Jeff the giraffe, and now your bootie slippers that GG gave Rob when he was a baby.  They are reindeer and they make you giggle. You LOVE your brother.  Even when he drives cars on your head.  You get this little tongue out grin every time Rob gives you a mooch or a bear hug, and Daddy and I can already tell you two will be thick as thieves.  Ruh roh.  You also have a big thing for your thumb....you guys are BFFs, and you self soothe like a champ.  What can I say kiddo?  You're a rockstar.  Oh, that too.  You like Mommy's singing...poor kid.  all the wrong words to "Blurred Lines" and "GDFR" and "Renegades"....don't worry, I'll chip in for your therapy in 20 years.  Promise.

Dislikes:
Bathtime.  Sleeping in the crib.  Not being able to eat all the cookies yet.  And whenever Mommy leaves for work.  How can I fault you for any of that??  Clearly, you know what's good and what's NOT.  Except bathtime.  Give that a few months, and we'll never get you out, just like bro.

Sleep:
It's all good.  Still a few naps in the pack and play and bouncer, a few on mom or dad (I know, shoot us) and co-sleeper at night.  Probably you don't sleep any better than your brother when we freaked out about him, but that's the key.  We aren't freaking.  Who needs sleep?  (Not BNL).  You're up to about 6-7 hour stretch at night, which rocks.  The last week has been kinda rough due to some congestion, but hey, who doesn't love a steamy shower at 2am? (Sadly, Bradley Cooper did not join us.  Damn.)

Eating:
You  rock.  Seriously.  I kinda doubt we will ever have issues with this one.  As Rob says..."Biz go in the tube (boppy) and eat the boob".  Yes, I know.  Double therapy.  I get it, kid, I do.

Milestones/Firsts:
First Giggle: November 14.  Now, you laugh all the time - and you kind of lift your chin when you giggle and have this most adorable look.  Heart. Breaker.

First Thanksgiving - You  were kinda annoyed that we wouldn't let you eat Turkey, but handled it well.  You gave awesome baby snugs to everyone.  Such a kiddo.
First Christmas tree - you LOVE lights.  They are fascinating.
First visit with Santa: December 12.  You weren't too sure who that fat guy was, but since Rob was there, it was all good.  

Best Moment of the Month:
I just can't pick.  First laugh, doing Christmas (as Rob says), or dancing and singing with you....snuggled and passed out on my chest.  Wow.  I knew I had a great life before you came along, but now I know I am truly the luckiest person in the world.  You, Rob and your Daddy make me so happy.  And I wouldn't trade it for eleventy million dollars.  (Wait, that's not a number?.....yet.)

Looking Forward to:
Christmas.  and New Years.  The best time of year, and I get to share it with you.  Could it get any better??

Thursday, December 3, 2015

And then I was run-ning

Funny how I'll quote a movie I don't even like.  Bonus points if you know what I mean. Hey, I never said I was original!!

My Angels
So, here goes.  Only one day left in my maternity leave....yikes.  I'll save the sappy stuff for my 3 month post for Biz, but suffice to say that I can't believe how freakin fast 12 weeks went! (my co workers beg to differ, I am sure).  I have loved every minute of my time home with my daughter  (and Rob too, of course!) but, am honestly ready to interact with the (mostly) adult humans again./  I know I'm basically the most lucky duck in the world, as I work from home a decent amount, and since we don't have child care yet, Greg will be home with Biz for te next few weeks.  So I get to see my little angel most days and don't have to pump....SCORE.  Oh right, and my husband too.  Yeah.  That part.

Anyways, I thought I would do a brief update on my MTD training.  It's only been two weeks, and probably the easiest two weeks (I am home) but I've found a few things out that I hope will help the training (again, I'm winging it.  I'm too frugal cheap broke to hire a coach for this, so the internets and my SMRTs are training me.  Heh).

THE PLAN - A 24 week running plan with progressive mileage.  4 runs a week - 2 mid week (one tempo, one easy) and a long run, followed by a mid long run the day after on the "weekend".  It worked best for me to start the week on a Sunday (usually training plans start on a Monday) and do Long run Sunday, fatigue run Monday, tempo Thursday and easy run Friday.  This might change when I go back to work but since I typically work at home Mondays I can do the fatigue run pre work or during my lunch (it doesn't go beyond 7 miles for the next month).

Gene Wilder memes.  They rock
Right now, I feel pretty darn good.  My long run last week was 10 miles, fatigue 6, then tempo today was 5 and easy run tomorrow is 7.  The first week went like a charm, and then this week I had a sick kiddo so my long run was 5 -5 instead of 10 all at once.  I have no issue with that - I'm not training for speed right now.  As a matter of fact, I need to slow the hell down  - I dont need 8 and 9 minute miles!!  I figure with kiddos, I want to get in a few 20-25 milers all at once, but if my long run is 18 miles and I run 6 miles 3 times during the day, it's probably better than 18 miles all at once for a 12 hour race.

I'm tired.  My legs hurt.  And most of this sucker is gonna be on the treadmill for training.  But I did get some pretty new pink shoes.  And my daughter naps to the sound of the treadmill belt (winning).  And my husband is supportive.  And so far, I have even been successful at hiding the buttered popcorn jelly beans from my toddler (the BEST mid run fuel!).  I also have the best support crew for post running recovery, though I wish Rob could figure out calf massage and how to get Mommy some coffee :-P

Will the luck continue?  I hope so!!!

MTD miles to date (end of week 2): 51




Tuesday, November 24, 2015

How to Play for Less: What's app?

 Time for another money saving topic....bout the right time, yes?  With the holidays around the corner, it's pretty easy to focus on the gifting and overlook the other large expense associated with 'tis the season - baking and cooking.  And while I hope that my grocery store post helped out, here are a few tips that extend beyond the couponing aspect to make that food bill a littel less hefty.

Since I joined the 21st century and got a droid, I find that apps are so freaking addictive.  and there is no shortage on ways you can save with 'em.  I'm sure there are four hundred zillion apps out there that I don't know about or use, but these are the seven that are on my weekly list - I htink its a happy number, any more might drive me nuts.  (Unless you have a better one.  Then, please share :-)).  Note that all the below with the exception of cartwheel are phone apps - there might be a way around them if you have a dumb phone (not knocking flips, if my company didn't help me with my phone, I would be a dumb phone owner).  all of these aps can be downloaded via google play on your phone. With that, happy saving, friends.

My Top Money Saving Apps

1.  Ibotta - I have to say, this is a recent development for me - they just started taking Tops as a store, so I am all in.  This app pays you to buy specific things at the store.  You do a small task (2 seconds to 30 seconds) to upload the item in your cache, then after you purchase you scan it and the receipt.  Offers range from alcohol to body wash, and the neat thing about this app is they do quite alot of any brand rebates - like cereal, milk, eggs, granola bars, oranges.  So you aren't tied to the super pricey store brand or stuff you don't buy - you just get some money back on things you do.  I usually earn a dollar or two a week, and you can cash out - I pick amazon or paypal - after you earn $10.  Super easy.  You also can shop online or get some rebates at vrestaurants and department stores, just give it a search before you hit up one of those to see if there's anything worth your while.  You also can join teams to earn points faster - happy to have anyone on my team :-)

2.  Checkout 51.  This is another grocery app that is pretty cool in the fact that it isn't tied to a specific store.  With Ibotta you need to go to Tops or Walmart, etc - with Checkout 51 any place that sells the item it is offering cash back on is a-ok.  Again, they do specific brands of food and personal care items, but every week they have at least one produce item.  You select your item, scan the receipt, and you're good.  once you hit $20, they send you a check.

3.  Snap - Very similar to Checkout 51.  It's not tied to a specific store, and if you;re patient, they have some awesome rebates.  a few months ago. they had $1 off any huggies wipes, so I stacked it with a coupon, bought 10 containers of wipes, paid $10 out of pocket and got $10 from snap.  Score.  Once you hit $20, they mail you a check.

4.  Mobisave - Another grocery rebate app, like the two above.  You need to make sure you select your item before you shop, but it will take a rebate from any store - this week they have kelloggs cereal and pop tarts - match em with Tops ad and pay $2 for two boxes of Fristed Flakes and a box of pop tarts.  This app was only available for Apple devices until last week so it's new to me, I'll let ya know what I think soon :-)

5.  Receipt Pal - Now we are into receipts.  Don't ever ever throw them out.  This app asks you to scan your receipts - you get 25 points per receipt, no matter how big.  You can enter 12-16 a week, and you can also forward email receipts from online purchases.  Once you hit 2000 points, you get a $5 amazon gift card or paypal deposit.  The rewards stagger, so it's better to hold out - a $25 gift card is 7500 points.  Slow going, but what are you gonna do with your old receipts?  I save them in an envelope and take pics once a week.  Takes about 6 weeks to get a reward, and about 30 seconds a week to snap pics.  No problem.

6.  Receipt Hog - this is a similar app, but is based on purchase amounts.  You get points by "feeding the hog" with receipts each week, ranging from 5 points to 20 points per receipt depending on what you spent.  at 1000 points, you can cash out for amazon or paypal ($5 gift card).  This app rewards consistency - you get extra points for scanning receipts every week.

7.  Cartwheel - This is a target specific app that is cool in teh fact that if you don't have a smart phone, you can upload offers online and print your barcode to scan in teh store.  The offers change daily and are for 5-50% off specific items or brands.  You can stack the cartwheel codes with target coupons and manufacturer coupons for some pretty sweet deals (ex: diaper deals - Take a 9.99 bag of seventh generation diapers - $2 target coupon = 7.99, -  10% cartwheel = 6.39 - $4 manufacturer coupon = $2.39.  Not too darn bad, especially if Ibotta has a $2 rebate on them (true haul from a few weeks ago.)

Hope this helps ease the burden of the expenses while shopping - I would say that I spend about a half hour on apps/rebates a week and make about $5-$10 a week.  In front of the TV.  Hey, every little bit helps.  This season (since July 2015) I have over $100 from rebates in paypal and $65 to spend on amazon.  Merry Christmas :-)



Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Quack Quack

Well how the heck did that happen??  It's November.  Thanksgiving is next week, and Christmas shopping and season is upon us.  YIKES.  Plus, I only have 12 more days maternity leave (tears).  I won't lie, I do miss the structure of working and my job (sometimes, lol.  I love my job but the time off is nice) and certainly my co- workers....but...I have grown quite used to snuggles and 24/7 with my Biz.  The nice thing is that my office moved virtual this month, so even though I will be working, Ill be home 3 days a week at least.  Greg is taking some time off to bridge the gap we have with child care, so I will still be able to feed and snuggle my kiddo sometimes.  Score.  Even though part of me wants to snuggle Biz forever, I know I have the best of both worlds, especially with the holidays coming up.

But.  In the Glaser household, this time of month means more than turkey and Santa.  It means plans for 2016....races, specifically.  Most of our big races start registration in November or December, so we start to plan our calendar around them.  And if you know me at all, I have been DYING to plan for next year.  Making babies is super important and I don't regret a single second of it, but it does put a damper on what I like to do best in my "me" time.  I feel like I've been massively on teh back burner since 2012 and I am ready to rock next year (Note - I know how freakin blessed I am.  That was not meant as a complaint in the slightest, just a fact).

MTD 2014
So...I signed up for an ultra.  Hell yeah.  You might remember back in 2014 when I did Mind the Ducks - a ridiculous 12 hour looped race where you run a one mile loop as many times in 12 hours as you can.  Yep, thats the one.  Since its close by, I figure its smartest, plus the whole bathroom and aid station every mile.  And I can feed Biz halfway through if I need to.  Yes, yes, I am still crazy.  But you all knew that.  Two years ago I did 54 miles in 12 hours...and this year i WILL break 60. 

So what does that mean?  a few things.  MTD16 is my big race next year - Ill throw in a few tris, maybe an Olympic distance race, and hoping for a fall marathon (Wineglass is on my birthday).  There's a marathon in Albany in February that if i can piggyback a work trip off it, I'll do.  But now?  Training.  Yep.  I fell off the running wagon a bit when I had Biz (I know, first world problems) so it's time to amp that back up.  I found a 24 week plan I liked online and tweaked it - training starts November 29, so look for some fun updates.  How does one train for a 12 hour race??  Well, I did a ton of research last time, and now I'll be tweaking that plan to fit my new schedule.  It's roughly 4 runs a week total -  two longer runs back to back, and two medium runs.  Ill probably throw in a few days where i do a 12 or 15 miler, 3 miles every two hours.  Basically. I need to figure out how to keep going when I'm tired and to be as strong 9 hours in as the beginning (where I collapsed two years ago.)  

So having kids...was my MTD training.  Kidding.  Stay tuned for updates - I can't wait to start training :-)


Friday, November 13, 2015

How To play For Less: Christmas Shopping

Ok, so I had a few posts I was going to get to before this one, but I looked down and realized, holy freaking cow, Christmas is coming soon.  and, as always, our American crazy culture makes the gift buying season come earlier every. stinking. year.  While our family is slowly moving toward the "less is more" modicum, we still like to get good deals on the stuff we buy - which means if you haven't started shopping yet, it's time to do it stat to minimize the lincolns and franklins coming out of your wallet.  (People still use cash for things, right??)  So, here goes....my thrifty Christmas (ahem, holiday) tips:


1.  Black Friday.  Do it right.  This probably could have a whole post on it, but I'll keep it short and sweet.  Gone are the days (thank god) of waiting in line for stores to do black Friday rush over a $5 Tickle me Elmo doll and a $99 iphone (see what I did there?)  I'm actually glad to see consumerism taking the boot a bit and some stores closing on Thanksgiving (what a shit show that was) but lets face it - black friday had its hey day, and its over.  Look through the circulars (go to bfads.net, most of them are up) and plan your attack.  Probably you don't even have to do it that day.....

2.  Turkey Day week - yep.  Black Friday has expanded.  Kohls starts their sale online usually the (dont forget ebates) in your pjs.  I hit up kohls pretty good each year (They have awesome deals and a great return policy) and 99% of the time, I'm done with most of the heavy lifting by Thanksgiving, and it's shipped to my door.  Check out fatwallet.com for any codes you can stack with the great sales.
Monday or Tuesday before T day, so you can get the same savings

3. ....Or even earlier.  This is for next year (sorry) but Veteran's day has some black friday status deal (which is sad....but what can you do).  On Wednesday I picked up roller skates, an activity table, yoga pants and a set of blocks for my kids...$110 worth of stuff, for $22 shipped.  Score.  Subscribe to kohls emails, go to "Black Friday" page on facebook, or get krazy Coupon Lady emails.  They all gotcha covered (love those ladies).

4.  Stocking stuffer freebies.  Who said stuffers had to be elaborate?  Look for free samples of toothpaste, mouthwash, or low cost Halloween leftovers (play doh, etc) to fill those stockings.  I also love Target's dollar spot and Five below to find nice goodies to fill those stockings.  It cracks me up every time I see someone advertising a $50 stocking stuffer.  Who are the people that buy these things and how can we be friends???

5.  Do a secret Santa.  If you're anything like our family, we all have too much stuff and find more joy in doing Christmas for the kids.  So we buy for the kids and do a swap for the rest - on Thanksgiving, everyone puts their name in the turkey hat, along with a few things they would like Santa to bring.  We set a loose dollar limit, pull out a name, and then shop for that person.  It makes the holiday less stressful, wondering who you should buy for, and is a ton of fun on Christmas to see who your santa was.

6. Pass it on.  This year, one of my friends started a facebook page (if you're local and want in, let me know) that is dedicated to passing along presents.  Each mama goes through her stash of un played with toys and posts them on a page in the spirit of giving.  Then if you see something you like, you take it.  No strings attached.  Rob got a cool cars tent and some Hulk gloves that are practically new and we passed along some puzzles and games that we don't play with.  Perfect.

I'm sure I have more tips, but naptime is limited today so there ya go - hope it helps get you started.  Happy shopping with some ideas that won't break the bank - now there's a ho ho ho :-)

Thursday, November 12, 2015

The Second act: Biz, month 2

Biz and Jeff....yikes.
Two months???  Kiddo, where did the time go??  (I know, I will be saying this alot).  Seems like yesterday they were placing you on my chest for the first time, and I look at you now...you are soooo big.  It sounds trite, but the days are long and the weeks and months and years are so short.  I can't believe my maternity leave is almost over - crazy.  I'm not sure I totally got to miss work (lol) but even though it will be hectic it will be nice to be back.  Greg and I needed to be creative with child care, so he will be taking some time off to be with the Biz which will make life a bit easier for a bit and give him some dad/daughter bonding time.  But for now Biz...you are mine, all mine :-)  So what's up this month, kiddo?

Likes:

Still adore snugs.  We put you in your bjorn and you snuggle up against mommy or daddy while we get some stuff done.  And of course, we take an afternoon nap together.  Once you get comfy, you snuggle up for hours, and make soft cooing noises.  Love.
You also have a serious thing for your giraffe, Jeff (we are the most creative parents ever).  He sits in your crib when you are being changed and playing and you just make eyes at him.  We think it's getting serious (Dad will be having a talk with him).
You also LOVE being sung to - you favor big hair bands and ballads from the 90s....god help us.  Mommy is getting good at singing Mr. Big and Firehouse.  Yikes.

Dislikes: 
Still have the witching hour after dinner, but we know that's typical.  Still not a fan of bath time - I suspect that will change when you can sit up like a big girl and go in the real tub (we are getting close).  Otherwise, you are a pretty even keeled kid.  Sometimes you have your moments, like we all do, and we have had a few 3am pajama parties, but overall, you are a super good kiddo. (duh).

Sleep:
You are really starting to rock out at this - we do a feed around 8, and you pass out usually from about 9-2:30.  You do another feed then, and about half the time drop back off to sleep until 6am.  Sometimes you want to play at 2:30 -working on that.  You take 3 naps during the day - one in the morning on your own, a short cat nap after lunch in the bjorn, and a two hour late PM nap, usually with one of us.  Funny how a schedule like that seems to be routine.  Its a little harder when Rob is home, but you deal with a noisy toddler rather well (most of the time).

Eating:
Still rockin out at this one!  You weighed 11 pounds at one month, and we go to the doc next month.  You are in the 75% for height and weight - go girl go.  You eat like a champ.  Bottles are another story, but you do pretty well, even tough you prefer it right from the source, lol.  I cant wait for some real food in a few months - I bet you'll kill it.  Right now though, moo juice is best.

Milestones/Firsts:
First Coo- October 14th.  You sound so sweet.  Working on your babbling now, you have vowel sounds down pat.  I'll be calling Mensa later.

First laugh- October 25.  Of course you laughed at mommy.  What took ya so long kiddo??
First Halloween - You did awesome with the trick or treating - Rob the monkey and you the banana.  Next year will be even better when you can see whats going on a bit more :-)
Rolling over - November 3.  Yep, you already roll back to front. Yikes.  I expect college is coming next....or a 5k where you beat the pants off mommy.
love my kiddos.

Best Moment of the Month:
Watching you and Rob together.  Kiddo, its awesome.  Your bro loves you so stinkin much,  When you cry, he comes over and says "Its ok biz biz" and tries to hug you or pick you up.  He gets super protective when anyone else is around you.  He helps you with tummy time.  and still drives cars on you (I swear, its an expression of love).  Oh, I love my babies.  So darn much.

Looking Forward to:
Getting ready for your first Thanksgiving and Christmas - this is the best time of year, kiddo.  even though Mommy has to go back to work in 3 weeks we will still have plenty of time to dance, decorate, and make cookies :-)

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Mendon Trail 20k- Bob The Builder

So, needless to say, 2015 racing season was a bit screwy - no tris, some short races, and a helluva long 9 month marathon.  Worth it?  You betcha.  Coming back in 2016 and dropping the hammer?  OF COURSE.  With my body healing quite nicely from Miss Biz, I decided to end the season with a race we hadn't run since 2012 (ironically, I ran it, then found out I was pregnant with Rob 2 weeks later....hmmm), The Mendon Trail  races.  This is a super low key race - there is a 10k, 20k, 30k and 50k option - costs $18 to enter, and post race bagels, soup and candy.  There is an aid station at start and halfway through (it's a 10k repeater loop in some pretty wicked trails) that is super stocked with ultra goodies.  And did I mention it's $18?  Yep.  So about 4 weeks ago, I signed up for the 20k, figuring I could ramp up to the 12.5 miles on the treadmill and be just fine.  Heh.  Famous last words. Life happened.  Long run capped at 8 miles.  But the promise of 5 kiddo free hours without a baby attached to me or a toddler needing attention ( I love them, you know i do, but Momma needs her time) outweighed any rational thought to going from 8 flat ish miles to 12.5 hilly miles.

go time (rich detwiler)
The race started at 9:30, so I woke up at 2am.  and 4;30.  And 6.  Oh wait, that's normal :-P  Got the kiddos breakfast, got ready, made a pbj and coffee for the road, and set out for Mendon about 8am.  In the past, this race has attracted about 50 people for all distances, but it seems this year the word got out and the parking lot was jammed.  I parked, got my bib, and tried to stay warm while I chatted with a few ultra friends.  Before we knew it, it was go time.

Loop 1: 1:08:xx.  The first 10k wasn't too bad.  I let my mind wander the first mile or so, then realized as I almost bit the dust on a root....you can't do that during a trail race, duh. Zoning during a road race - ok.  During a trail race - hello broken ankle.  I dialed it down a few paces, turned down Pendulum, and enjoyed the course.  About mile 4, at a stupid steep hill, a few key things occurred to me:  1.  8 miles was not enough... 2.  buy freakin trail shoes dummy 3.  bringing a fuel belt would have been smart.  ahh well.  the good/bad thing about looped races is if you're in trouble, you can tap out.  but if you're talking yourself into quitting, you can.  I thought about it for 5 minutes then said nah.....mom time in the woods is where its at.  Sorry Greg.  (note - he kicked butt at home with the kiddos).  I crossed lap one, fueled with some oreos (friggin awesome) then started lap 2.

Loop 2: 1:14.  as I trotted off wondering what brand of crazy I am, I made a runner friend who made mile 1 go by super quick.  As I started up steep hill one of seven thousand (how did they make them bigger on loop 2??) I heard someone breezing by me who must have had jets on his feet.  I told him good job and he waved at me - I realized I knew the guy, a fellow triathlete we call "ultra adam" because he's freaking crazy awesome and runs ultras and triple ironmans and crap.  ok, im jealous.  It was good to see him, though i must admit i felt damn inadequate as i realized he breezed by me as if i was sitting diwn for coffee and he was on lap 4 to my lap 2.  damn.  Regardless, I tried to chase em down and both my legs and mental math went out the window a half mile later.  oops.  I decided after the aid station halfway in to enjoy the rest, quit looking at my watch, and say the hell with my quads and storm the downhills (oh hell did i pay for that Sunday).  Before i knew it ( i lied, it took forever) i saw the finish.  i had been bobbing back and forth with a girl for a few miles, so i found my reserves, sprinted, and passed her right before the finish (,....as she went on for another loop.  whoops).  my time was 2:22, for an 11:30 pace and 3rd in my age group (yes, there were more than 3 of us :-P)

Even though it was freakin hard and I was in no way trained for it, it was an awesome race and I'm thrilled my body let me do it 8 weeks post baby.  Now it's time for some off season training - some weights, serious core, and a look to figure out what's up for 2016 and how to do it with 2 littles and a ft job.  stay tuned :-)

Thursday, November 5, 2015

How to Play for Less: Get in Mah Belly

Hey there everyone :-)  In the revamping of the blog (I know, you just can't wait), I've decided to do a bit of remodelling - look for new tags (welcome to the 21st century, Rae), pages, and regularly "aired" posts each week.  Is everyone on the edge of their seats?  Good.

One of the "hot spots" I get alot of questions and interest on is saving money.  Yep, I'm a thrifty girl and proud of it.  And even if I'm not cool 98% of the time, I realized that most of my friends and family think that saving money is pretty darn awesome and that I might just have a knock for it.  I've done some saving money posts in the past called "How to Play for Less" and it's time to resurrect the beast.  I'll wade through my archives and bring back the oldies and goodies, and hope to post a new entry each week on some aspect of saving money.  I don't have it all figured out, heck who does, but even if one of my tips can help you save a few bucks, then it was worth your time to read five minutes of nonsense, right?  Right.

So, to kick it all off, I thought I would start with grocery shopping post.  IN the last 8 weeks since the biz came about, I decided to work on stockpiling a bit.  We generally spend about $60 a week to feed our family of 3 (including TP, cat litter, etc.) and I'm perfectly happy with it, but since I have the feeling that life's gonna get a bit crazy when Greg and I are both working, I figured it wouldn't hurt to stock up on pasta sauce and canned veggies.  I break out the shopping into two parts - foodstuffs/grocery and health and beauty aids.  So for part one...how to grocery shop without breaking the bank...and avoiding Ramen?  Here goes.  My top ten tips.

1.  Pick a store.  Learn it. Love it.  For food stuffs, I live and die by Tops (Yes, all you Wegmans wegmans, even if their regular prices aren't.  For a family that isn't picky, that's crucial.  Two, I like the layout.  Wegmans is too big and too crowded.  I get lost and frustrated.  Three - proximity - we have a Tops 3 miles away, and to get corny about it, everyone knows my name.  $th - GaS POINTS.  at our Tops, you get one point for every dollar you spend and ten for every coupon you use.  100 points equals ten cents off a gallon of gas.  Last month Greg and I paid....$6 for gas.  And that was on a $200 budget for groceries for the month.  Tops Rocks.
$5.50 for all of that????  You got it.
devotees, chill.  To each his own).  I love Tops for a few reasons - 1.  I find their sale prices better than

2.  Like a page.  On facebook, that is,  For Tops, I use "Tops Markets Hottest Deals" and "Smart q Pon Clips".  These ladies post the sales flyer about 5 days ahead of time and DO THE WORK FOR YOU.  They match the flyer with the active coupons and tell you where to find them (which insert, where online, etc.).  So if canned chili beans are on sale for 10/10 and there is a coupon for BOGO in an insert, I can just grab it and go.  Or order or trade for more to get more bang for my buck.  (True story - next week these guys are on sale 10/10.  Buy 10 get 100 extra gas points.  Buy 10, use 5 bogo coupons, pay $5, get 160 gas points.  Do it twice = pay $10 out of pocket, get 320 gas points worth .30 off a gallon = $9.00 if you use all 30 gallons.  So you just paid a dollar for 20 cans of beans.  Chili all winter.

3.  Shop the cycles - Typically things hit rock bottom price once in a 12 week cycle.  Pay attention, then buy up.  Obviously we don't all have room for 12 weeks worth of milk or yogurt, but for non perishables, why the heck not???  So with the example above, I would be foolish not to buy 20 cans of beans if we will use them.

4.  COUPONS. - USE THEM.  I get the sunday paper, then print on my cheap printer from both my computer and phone (you can get two prints each device).  I also swap coupons with family and friends on the internet.  So if a great huggies coupon comes out, Ill trade online for stamps, other coupons, or go to wizclipz.com and buy 10 for 1.00.  If the coupon is even a dollar, that's so worth it - I can stock up, and get .10 off gas if I use all 10 at Tops.  So talk to your friends and family - my Uncle would never eat the greek yogurt I love, but I don't have a dog, so all purina coupons go to him.

5.  Stack your savings - gas, freebies, lodge, diaper points, etc. I used the gas points example above, but also take a look on your grocery store's website to see what other benefits they offer.  Tops gives out diaper points for every dollar you spend on diapers - when you hit 100 you get $20 free for diapers, which is 20% right off the bat for any sale even before coupons.  Same for "lodge points" - for every ten dollars you spend you get a point.  at the end of 5 months you can redeem for free bakeware.  Hey. why not?

6.  Know your price points. Just because something is on sale doesn't mean it's a good deal.  Last week, Tidy cat 20 pound litter went on sale for 8.99.  I can buy store brand for 5.99 on sale, and it works just as well.  Coffee?  Nope.  Need to have folgers.  I know what works for us in terms of brand name or generic, and what a good price per unit/pound is.  Pay attention next time you shop - sure the cereal you bought for 1.99 seems cheap, but if it's 8 ounces and the non sale cereal that is 18 didnt get a good deal.
ounces is 2.99.....you

7.  Just because it's cheap, doesn;t mean you need it.  Couponers are terrible at this.  Free toothpaste, free deodorant, free shampoo (more on that later).  It's all well and good.  But it got to a point at our house where my husband asked if I was stocking haircare for our teenaged daughter (who is...7 weeks old).  Ummm, good point.  I sort of laughed it off until I was in line a few weeks later with coupons for my free poligrip and realized....i know NO ONE that needs this.  (I did buy it.  Then donated).  But bottom line, don't have a cow, or chickens, over free or cheap stuff.  Especially stuff you don't use or need (Hey, those oreos were good at the time....).

8.  Stockpile...within reason.  Same as noted above.  Right now I have two shelving untis for canned goods, peanut butter, jarred stuff, and cleaners.  Since it;s in my basement I don't store dry goods, but I do have about 50 soups, canned veggies, a dozen jars of pb and jam, hot sauce, etc.  Probably enough of each for 6 months.  They make great quick dinners.  I also have about 20 dish washing detergents and soaps (each) from a basically free sale in June.  and enough cat food for 6 months (64 pounds) that I bought for $8 total at Target in august.  We will use all of this.  It doesn't go bad.  And I didn't have to take out an extra room to do it.  Once you get into couponing, you will be amazed at the crazy amounts people will stockpile - and I just say, know yourself.  3000 diapers makes sense to me, because I will use them all - and paid less than $150 for it.  65 boxes of hamburger helper or 8 gallons of milk....no room, and will go bad.  To each his own.

$4 total.  and .10 off gas/
9.  Be Flexible.  Number one rule for us.  I am so lucky to live in a family of non picky eaters - we plan our menu based on the sales.  Of course, sometimes stores run out and you have to think on your feet - if you planned to buy 30 coffees and the store only has 20, readjust your plan.  Find out when they restock.  Chicken on sale but it's all out?  Make roat pork tenderloin with the sell today clearance pack that was...cheaper then the chicken.  Or, if all else fails, have a back up store and do a second grocery run that week (we usually only shop once a week).

10.  Have FUN - Once couponing or sales shopping becomes a chore, its all done.  My couponistas and I make a game out of it....how much did you save, how many gas points, etc.  Greg tries to guess my out of pocket when I bring home a haul - I tell him retail and he guesses what I paid for it after all savings.  (Probably he is humoring me.  I love him for it.).

I hope this was helpful - as always, feel free to email me any questions or comment :-)  Coming up...how to save on HB, diapers, app savings....just to name a few.



Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Eat my Dust - 20 minutes or bust.

Well, as my husband would put it - It's a couch day.  Raining, yucky, cold, ick.  Probably most people despise these days or use it against NY in general to confirm we have crappy weather.  Well, first of all - not this year...or last.  The sunshine and pretty fall leaves have been awesome.  Secondly, am I the only one who enjoys a good rainy day every now and then?  Popcorn.  Hot cocoa.  Books.  A nice black and white movie.  Or even the challenge of how to figure out how to keep the toddler entertained, not killing his sister, and in a decent mood inside. Screen and sugar free.  (Answer - big cardboard box and markers.  Seriously, he got lost in that sucker for an hour.)  Such a good kid.  Then, because he is amazing, he passed out hardcore just for mom.  And the midget (that would be Biz) conked out at the same time.  So what did I do?  Duh, I ran :-)

I'm in the midst of a low key transition to training, with two bebes.  Part of it is happy go lucky running that I slip outside for whenever the weather is nice and my husband throws my shoes at me, (Sunday - 8 miles outside = heaven) and part of it is treadmill based.  Don't hate on it like I used to- it's actually a pretty nifty training tool.  That is, unless you decide your two year old can babysit the infant (ummmm).
So, again, I'm not an expert, but as I start to get back into the running game with at least one kidlet at home all the time and sometimes two....I've found a few running and other workouts that seem to work well for when you can't take a sole hour out of your day for "you".  (PS - Not working out is not an option.  I don't care if you're housing qunituplets, if there is a will,there is a way.)

Quickie Mom (parent) Workouts...

1.  The quickie run.  20 minute treadmill bust.  Warmup easy for 2 minutes, then repeat 5 times:  1 minute all out, 2 minutes easy jog.  Cool down 3 minutes easy.

2.  The tempo run.  Warm up 2 minutes, run your 10k pace for 15, cool down 3 minutes.

3.  Youtube blast.  Search "10 minute solutions" and do two segments.

4.  One minute blast - I've written down a list of 10 weight training exercises I can do with just body weight (dips, donkey kicks, squats, pushups, etc.) and do each for one minute, interspersed with a minute of jogging in place or fast feet or jump rope.

5.  Jillian Michaels.  Oh man, she is still my goddess, even though I've been romanced by p90x and Insanity.  She has an awesome workout "banish fat, boost metabolism" (youtube it) that is a 42 minute mix of cardio, weights, abs, and kickboxing broken into 7 segments.  I do one, or I do 7...or somewhere in between.

Mom life :-P
6.  HIIT it.  - Best done on treadmill, but also the bike or with high intensity cardio like burpees or high knees.  Warm up easy 2 minutes. then go all out like someone is chasing you for 30 seconds, recover for 90.  Repeat 7 times, cool down to get to 20 minutes.  Super fast and effective,

Truth?  Sometimes an hour happens, sometimes 5 minutes.  I find my best trick honestly is to get dressed in a shelf tank, shorts, a sports bra and sneaks at 8am.  and do anywhere from a minute to 20 at a time.  It all adds up.  Result?  Energy, heart health, and fitting jeans...coupled with some good race training :-P

Or.. you can just chase your toddler around in circles for 8 hours while carrying the baby in the bjorn.  Cause life happens.  Hey, it's a workout.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Stuffed.

Well, it happened.  Snow found us.  Woke up Sunday morning to a nice layer on the deck - Rob was so freakin excited! It's funny how not having to drive in the stuff makes it magical.  So we crunched it under our feet, watched it fall, and then, like sane and sensible people, came inside to watch some football.

Seems as if a true late fall is upon us - 60s one day, snow the next,  No complaints here - I am loving the fall weather that allows me to open the windows one day, then don tights and go for a long run the next (long being operative here, people).  I signed up for the Mendon 20k on November 7th, and am looking forward to seeing how my trail running goes (Greg has kiddo duty - he hates Mendon, so mommy is flying solo for 4 FREAKING hours.  I love my kids, but I can't wait to listen to some bad music, drink coffee uninterrupted on the drive, and run through the woods for 2 hours!)  Yes, I'm twisted.  No time goals in mind, just fun.

So Sundays are now my long run days again (YAY!) and of course, you're gonna need some fuel to recover after that mess.  And as the name implies, I decided to go with STUFFED.  With nutrients.  And food in my face.  Peppers, that is.


Stuffed Peppers (makes 6 pepper halves - served 2 in our house!)

3 bell peppers
1/2 cup brown rice
1 small onion, diced
1 cup crushed tomatoes
12 ounces extra lean ground beef (I used 95%)
1 tbsp minced garlic
1 tbsp garlic salt
1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 cup mozzarella cheese



Slice the peppers in half length wise and scoop out seeds and pith.  Rinse and set in a baking dish, side up.  Saute garlic and onion in olive oil for 5 minutes or until softened, add in ground beef and cook until brown.  Cook rice as directed, add in tomatoes, garlic salt, and ground beef mixture in last 5 minutes of cooking.  Bake peppers alone for 15 minutes at 350, then spoon stuffing mixture evenly over peppers, returning to oven to bake for 30 minutes at 400.  Add mozzarella cheese evenly over peppers, broil for 5 minutes or until browned.

Serve up with tomato sauce if desired.  

Freaking delicious.  And healthy enough to sneak a cookie or two post dinner as well :-P

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Takin' Care of "Biz"ness - One Month Old!

 Well, chalk it up to child #2 getting the leftovers (so sorry Biz) - I forgot the monthly updates until someone asked me if I was doing them yesterday!  OF COURSE - I can't resist the urge to talk about my little princess and also to document enough silly pics and updates so she has something to tell her therapist in 20 years -  I love ya kid, I really do.  So what's up with Biz?  Edition: 1 MONTH!

Likes:
You adore being snuggly warm in mommy's carrier - you settle right in and look up at me with those big baby blues while I vacuum, type, make dinner, or stop your brother from pinging matchbox cars off your head.  Probably you feel protected....I'm so glad I can mask that illusion :-)  
You also love your froggy slippers and your bug toys on your car seat.  They both make you smile and you just stare up at those bugs in wonder - you are such an observer, kiddo!
You adore snuggle time.  Whether its nestling in daddy's arms or taking a snooze on Mom, snugs are where it's at.  And I don't blame you - snuggles are super important things!!  You also love dancing with Mommy - we put on super educational stuff like GDFR or Cheerleader (I'm going to hell, I know) and we twirl around the living room.  So much fun!!

Dislikes: 
Bath time.  Being naked.  Non boob time.  Being smacked or catapulted by Rob.  Poor Biz.  You really have a rough life :-(.  Oh yeah, and the crib.,  Guess it's a
baby thing.  Thankfully, you don't mind the pack n play, so one day at a time!!
and sleep.  Little things :-P

Sleep:
Not too bad kiddo!  Obviously, you want to be near or on someone, so we bought a co sleeper and you take some naps in the pack n play and some on us.  (I have yet to hear any mother of a teenager that thinks they wasted a few hours on a weekend afternoon snuggling with their kid).  You have slept for up to 6 hours at a time (ok, once) but we are encouraged!!  There are days where Dad and I are walking zombies, but most of the time we feel ok - maybe we have just learned to live without sleep!  You usually wake up 2-3 times a night to eat, more 3 than 2.  Then you stay awake one of those times (awesome at 5am, not so much at 12:30) but we work it out together.  Mommy sucks at lullabies so usually you get some Rascal Flatts or Echosmith songs sung to you.  Or the theme from New Girl.  I'm not proud.

Eating:
Oh kiddo - you are a champ!!  I thought Rob was a good nomser, but you are epic.  From the first 5 minutes of your life on, you have known where the food is and gone after it!  We go for your one month check up on Monday and I am really curious to see what kind of growth you've had - all I know is you aren't a newborn for sure - we are solidly into 3 month clothes!!

Milestones/Firsts:
Aside from the obvious (eating, sleeping, pooping) cause EVERYTHING is a first this month....let's talk about some of your favorites!)
Shopping Trip - September 15.  Yep, just 3 days old and we were couponing!  (To be fair, we were waiting for labs).  You were the perfect little angel and impressed the pants off the workers at weggies!
First Smile- October 3rd.  We are guessing this wasn't gas....we were snuggling and you just looked up at me with the brightest grin and a little coo...and then did the same for daddy!  Aww, as if you didn't have us already wrapped around your tiny finger....
Neighborhood Stroller Stroll - September 22.  What a perfect season to be born - you and Rob both out in the "scooters" on the town, taking in the fall foliage!
Non Sponge Bath - September 30.  Not a rousing success.  Like we told your brother...someday you will love the bath!!
Photo Shoot- September 26 - It was quite the adventure with a toddler, a baby, a pregnant photographer (no, there is no punch line there!) but we did it.  Thanks Ashley!!

Best Moment of the Month:
As always, your birthday.  You were in such a freaking hurry to get here, but when they placed you on me, you just looked up as if to say "K, mom, I'm here...what next??".  Priceless.  I can't wait for the adventure you will surely be!

Looking Forward to:
Learning your personality - till now it's been Eat, sleep, poop, but you are starting to show us who you really are.  We've been working on tummy time (you are excellent at lifting your head and even beginning to roll, wow!).  Another day, another adventure, my lil Biz - you keep mommy on her toes (and I am so glad!)

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Scarecrow 5k: Blurred Lines

Back to the roots of the blog.  Or, at least, 1/3 of it!  4 years ago, I started Triing for Balance to document long distance tri training in a way that gave perspective to fitting it into a sane life - , cooking, living emotionally, time wise, and dollar wise.  I tapped into the things I enjoy the most - running, biking, swimming, socializing, living somewhat healthfully, and saving a buck or two. In the last few years it's turned into somewhat of a mommy blog, which I don't regret - it's who I am, and I look forward to bringing the kids into the blog so they can hate me when they are teenagers from time to time!  But now, racing talk.

I blogged a bit about returning to training - right now its running biking and weight lifting whenever I have 5 minutes.  Aside from being tired, i feel pretty good - its obvious I'm not hill or speed trained, but my body is handling working out really really well for one month PP.  So, like the moron I am, I signed up for a 5k.  Greg and I have done this race the past 2 years - it's a small (400 person) race in fairport that it super flat, fun, and reasonably priced - with excellent post race breakfast pizza :-)  The last two years we have raced with Rob, but he's getting to big to be patient in a stroller, so he tagged along and hung out with his great uncle while Mom and Dad raced (which he loved - only child for 3 hours!!)

I went into the race hoping to feel good doing it and not pee myself.  Yep, you read that right (did I really go there?)  Last year Greg and I clocked a 25:40, that was pushing a stroller, but also when I was running a bit more, so I optimistically was hoping to come in around the same time.  Pre race I ate an English muffin with pb and jam, Rob stole my piece of fruit, and I had some Gatorade.  Greg and I lined up apart, as we decided to just enjoy the race solo (hello introverts!)

Mile 1: 7:31 - As the gun went off, I charged ahead.  I lined up a bit faster than I expected because for once, I had no jogging stroller and I didn't feel like fending off the people that thought they could run 6 minute miles and really run 12 m FANTASTIC.  So I went with it.  The first mile has a slight downhill, so I wasn't too concerned about the fast time.  Figured I would settle in at mile 2,

Mile 2: 7:50.  I kept it up, and saw Greg about 20 seconds out from the turnaround, looking strong.  I gave him a thumbs up, and hit mile 2 before I knew it - 15:21.  Holy cow....can I PR this course?

Mile 3 - 7:42.  I started doing what every runner does in the last mile...math.  Could I PR?  nah.  my 5k pr in a 22:42, and that wasn't possible.  OK, I thought, under 24 - you can do that!  I was getting tired, but there's nothing like the fresh memory of labor to remind you that you're a tough b*tch, so I pushed through it - with the help of X Ambassadors on my IPod.  I gunned it, passed a few people, hit mile 3 in 23:12, and finished strong in 23:55.

Then I immediately sought out a garbage and heaved for a few minutes, lol.  Nothing like saying I didn't give it my all!!  I went and found Rob and my uncle, had some coffee and pizza, and wore a ridiculous grin on my face - I couldn't believe that I averaged a 7:37 mile - what??  Never expected it. After checking the results, I found out I cam in 3rd in my age group (out of 15) and missed 1 and 2 by less than a minute.  (Which I never would have found, I couldn't have run any faster!)  I got my award (ribbon and water bottle) and enjoyed the festival with my favorite boys.  Quite honestly, the perfect day.


What's next?  Well, I'm jazzed by that race, so I of course went and signed up for another - Ill be doing the Mendon 20k trail run on November 7th.  Flying solo - Greg hates trail running - but that's ok :-)  I can't wait and it gives me something to do for me while taking care of peanut.  Plus, I adore fall running - it's the prettiest season, best weather, and just happy to be alive activity - a win win win

Friday, October 9, 2015

He ain't Heavy....

He's my brother!!
Welcome to Friday, rainy Rochester style.  I won't pretend to do a TGIF post because...well....I would forget it's Friday if someone didn't remind me.  But, to be fair, if it wasn't light out, I would have no clue what time of day it was either!  Ahh, maternity leave.  It'll be 4 weeks tomorrow that I'm a mom of two and a 12 week SAHM, and it's been amazing, fun, interesting, and challenging as all get out.  All at once.  I'm really grateful for the time at home with my two amazing kiddos (save for the 3 days Rob goes to daycare), and it makes me sad that it has to end, so I am enjoying it while I can!  (Not everyone shares my sentiment....good to know I am missed at work by more than just one person :-D).

So, in the last few weeks, I have certainly NOT become the expert at siblings, but I've figured a few things out.  Let me say first of all that there's NO DOUBT that Rob adores his sister - Biz a Biz, as he....um...and everyone now!  calls her.  When he gets home, he goes and looks for her first.  He kisses her hello, goodbye, goodnight, and just cause.  He runs to her when she cries.  Ad he drives his cars on her head (hey, I heard that was a symbol of love in some country, lol).

As parents, we tried to prep Rob for the new bebe.  No, I didn't swallow a second child manual (seriously, who has time for that??) but just applied some common sense and a few pinterest tricks :-)

We talked about the baby.  We bought new baby books, set up the crib, brought out my cabbage patch doll circa 1985 (poor Katrina Marie) for rob to see what a baby was.  We practiced holding her (sometimes by the pacifier, oops).  I held her and encouraged Rob to sit next to me.  And we talked about the baby and Mommy's tummy and what it meant.  (He probably understood about 10% of that!)

We made him feel special.  We bought him a present from Biz.  And a present to her from him (A

Stache onesie, natch).  And the ever so important BIG BROTHER kit that was a homemade stash of about a dozen gifts designed to help with the baby....the tee, the camera, some candy, etc.  Rob opened a gift a day for the first two weeks and used it to help him be a big bro or help mom and dad or even just to have fun with.  We also signed him up for soccer - a fall mini mites league that was JUST his, not the baby's.  I think it helped - and he had a blast!

Of course, it hasn't all been sunshine and rainbows.  One kids screams, the other screams louder. Poor Rob, the star of the show until now, feels left out, especially by Mom, who is permanently attached to the baby. Sometimes, Rob forgets that Biz might not want a matchbox run up and down her head while eating (that isn't entertainment?  cmon!).  Or that "gentle" in the baby bouncer might result in a angry birds slingshot baby.  And eve though Greg and I have 68 years on them collectively, they can reduce us to a white flagged red cat surrender.

But Overall?  Our family is awesome.  And I wouldn't trade it in for anything.  In 20 years, when Greg and I sleep through the night, go out for a drink and dancing, or actually sit through a movie (yeah right)....it will be weird.  And admittedly wonderful, but wonderful circa 2035.  We are so loving the here and now and know that the grass is always green....where you water it :-)

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Sunny Side Up

I suppose if I thought I had life with two kiddos figured out, they are now laughing at me :-).  The last 4 nights have been pretty sleepless with a 3 week old fighting a cold and wishing to discuss politics at 3am (note, I do not have her vote unless it is for food.  Then I win).  When she passes out...Rob likes to discuss current events (people going poopy and news stations (aka what Mickey Mouse will be doing today in his clubhouse).  Needless to say, diet coke, coffee, and yes, wine, are all staples in my life (I just had my first bottle glass in months and it was DELISH! - what?  I meant coke.  errrm).  Life marches on.  I'm really enjoying every sleepless second and catching Biz up on the life of Genoa City during the day, amidst folding laundry load 47, working in free weights, and escaping for an hour most days to run or ride (bless you Daddy).  Of course, as I write this I have a sleeping bundle of perfection on my lap and....I wouldn't trade places for 8 hours of sleep, a massage, and a hot man servant at my disposal!  ...hmmmm....

Anyways, moving on.  This past weekend my in laws came to visit from Colorado - they had to meet Miss Biz and spent a few days with us.  We had a great time and even got some extended family and friends time - Greg and I hosted a brunch for 12 on Sunday.  It was awesome to see everyone, and with some good teamwork from my boys and some excellent guests, we managed to pull it off.  Everyone brought a dish to pass and I did bacon, coffee, and an egg bake.  Which turned out delish AND was pretty healthy to boot.  Oh you know I'm sharing....

Harvest Egg Bake (serves 8-10)

8 whole eggs
4 egg whites
1/2 cup skim milk
1 cup each, diced - red pepper, onion, broccoli
1 tbsp olive oil
4 medium potatoes
1 tbsp  each - garlic salt, black pepper, rosemary, and cumin
1/2 cup shredded fresh cheddar


Par boil potatoes for 10 minutes, let cool.  Slice into coin sized rounds.  Spray a 9x13 pan and line bottom with potatoes.  Saute diced veggies for 5 minutes or until softened.  Layer on top of potatoes.  Beat the eggs, whites, milk and spices until thoroughly mixed, pour over veggies.  Add cheese to top it all off.  Bake at 400 for 45 minutes, broil for 5.  Let set for 5 minutes before serving.

Company approved.  Ill take their word....I didn't even get a bite by the time I got to the table, which....empty dish = winning!!!

This one wasn't happy about it though.

Who am I kidding.  She just wanted a cow :-P


Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Run baby, run!

And here we are in week 3 of baby adventures - the sequel!  We are staring to settle into a routine, whatever the hell that means at this stage of a newborns life - basically goes something like this:  get up at 6, do kids breakfasts, changing, take to daycare or stay home, rando store trip, cry, eat, snuggle, change x 40, mom squeezes in food and a workout and whatever she can do one handed, Dad comes home, repeat above, crash, do it again.  I know a few things - there is never more than an hour and a half span where I don't change a diaper, become a cow, or wish I could shower.  But we are happy, and healthy, and no one has been thrown out the window.  Including me or Greg.  So there's progress.

In all seriousness, we are having a sleep deprived ball.  There are ups and downs but I am trying to soak in the most I can with Miss Biz and Rob while I am home - the days are long but the weeks, months and years are short, as they say.  And in about 18 years when Greg and I are looking at each other in a quiet house, I don't want to say "I wish I would have..."  (Oh who am I kidding.  We'll be doing Ironmans in 2033, lol).  But I digress.  And while there aren't any 140.6's in my immediate future, I've made sure that in addition to caring and loving Biz and Rob, that I also take some time for me....even though it's somewhat hard to come by, Greg and I have the firm belief that having some "me" time makes us better parents and partners - we have no desire to be "mommy and daddy martyrs" - in our experience, those parents end up resenting their spouses and kids, which isn't healthy.

Yeah, I used this with Rob.  I still can't resist!
Ergo, my "me" time is usually spent on a bike or in sneakers or a swimsuit - hey, everyone has their thing, right?  And while I might get a few raised eyebrows, I was out for a walk two days after having Biz and on my bike 5 days after.  Honestly, it has nothing to do with "losing the weight" - it's my me place, my sanctuary, my time to recharge and come back stronger. Well, on Sunday I put it to the real test - what about running??  As all runners know in NY - fall is hands down the best time to run.  The weather is usually perfect - perfect temp, low humidity, and the foliage is frickin gorgeous.  Happy to be alive and moving weather, if you will!!  Well, running is probably a big no no this soon, but I figured what the hey.  Worst case I would turn back after 5 minutes in tears, pain, or having completely peed my pants.  Best case - 3 miles and license to sign up for a 5k before the season is over!

45 (ok 46) minutes later, I returned home with a big ole smile on my face - 5 miles down with no pain except the knowledge that I haven't run hills in a long, long time.  I ran my old 5 mile loop around our neighborhood - taking in the farms (yes, we live in cow town), fall festivals, and the amazing smell of a perfect September day, laced with leaves and freshly mowed lawns.  Perfection.  And complete zen.

Let's race, baby!
Now comes the fun part - for the last year I've been on hiatus - last "race" was OBX marathon in November....and I can finally plan out my races.  WOOT!  The break was 110%  worth it (duh) but I am just itching to go!!  I signed up for a fast, flat 5k on October 10, and am debating a 20k on November 7.  No illusions of any PR's, but some good ole fashioned running and fun.  And 2016....well, so far I have a rough plan (Hey, I have alot of time on the couch with a newborn, people, and the internets are a persuasive beast when you belong to running pages!) here goes:

*  4 seasons challenge (4 half marathons in a year)
* Hudson Valley marathon (February Albany marathon - hope to connect this to a work visit)
* Mind the Ducks Ultra Marathon (goal = 100k)

and a few tris sprinkled in - some sprints and an Olympic, no Irons next year.  I hope to PR in the half marathon (need to break 1:50) and best my ultra run distance (54 miles).  I am so stoked!  How will I get it done?  I have some ideas....stay tuned for the first training plan, to commence November 1 (yep, I'm a dork.  I need a goal, dammit).  Till then it's a little biking, a little running, weights and a good ole 33 mile challenge on Friday (combo of run and bike) hey - to each his or her own on your birthday - I like to celebrate each year with a mile :-)

If you're runner, you get it.  If not, I'm sorry for the zzzz.......post.
But at least there was some baby cuteness in there :-)

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Body After baby - 10 days PP

Hey hey!

First and most importantly - family update!  We are settling in nicely as a happy family of 4...there is less sleep for sure, and an adjustment of "routines" but we seem to be working through it.  Rob is definitely spending more QT ith Daddy and Mommy the milk machine gets Biz most of the time, but we seem to be sticking to the important constants....dinner as a family (including biz), story time, tucking in bed at night and morning snuggles and huggles with my ro-bear.  Greg and I are super tired but hanging together ith a sense of humor and love for our little family!  He went back to work this week which means I have both kids 1-2 days a week on Rob's non daycare days - the first of which is tomorrow (wish me luck!)  I have been doing all nighttime wakings for Biz, which is only fair because I can take a nap ith her during the day (unless Daddy beats me to it on the weekend!!)

So, it's time for a bit of obligatory navel gazing....I promise this is the last time you get to hear about me and a baby update, but I figured since this is a healthy living blog (YES, I ill get back to it!) and I kept you guys in the loop for the last 38 eeks, so here's my rap up from #2.

First of all, let me say that while Miss Biz was a pain in the tushie for the first few months (I as SO SICK)  she ended up being pretty much a dream pregnancy and delivery (Though I doubt I would have really asked for a bathroom birth, it as so speedy and easy I couldn't complain!)  I posted alot more with Rob, but the overall experience body wise was the same...all in the belly, and aside from morning sickness, ran, swam, and biked through my pregnancy.  I actually rode 15 miles the day before she was born...aside from some swelling in the 9th month, my body treated me well!  I ended up gaining 27 pounds with her, 22 after I "found out" and the other 5 as Christmas yummies (no complaints, it really helped in trimester 1!)  My waist got up to 44 inches, from 27 normally.

2 days PP I had lost 18 pounds and 14 inches (best crash dieting EVER!) and 10 days PP I'm down 22 pounds and my waist is 28 inches.  Yep, my pants fit.  Please don't hate.  I am NOT dieting - as a moo cow momma, I eat ALL of the things, trust me (and can eat yogurt and chocolate again freely, yay!!).  I had the same thing happen with Rob - the biggest PP changes are a bit of a loose belly (ell duh) and Pam Anderson cup size (double duh).  Not a big fan of either, but I'll shelve any complaints....my body did well and Biz treated me well!!

As for the other?  ell, yeah, you all know I'm an idiot.  I tried to get back on the bike 4 days PP and Greg yelled at me....and the next day he acquiesced and let me go.  Right now I am biking, kickboxing, and walking for about 30 minutes a day - nothing super crazy.  It gets me some "me" time and some much needed movement, as life with a newborn is mostly couch bound or baby wearing!!  No running or swimming yet....I ill probably try both next week.  My mother jokingly asked why I didn't run the ROC marathon this past weekend.....sadly, I bet I could have done the half slowly - but I'm not that cracked!!  Looking at a 5k or a 10k for next month, some nice winter training, and then maybe an early
marathon in 2016 and Mind teh Ducks Ultra.  Next year will be mostly running centered (no Ironmans for a few years!) and I'm really looking forward to being able to train and race again!!

But for now?  My world is about my kids....snuggling and loving Miss Biz, and enjoying the time I get with Rob, the amazing big brother!!  I am loving all of falls produce (ratatouille in the crock pot, will post recipe soon!) and the gorgeous weather to take my kids to the park and on walks.  Life is good, and I feel so lucky to have a happy, healthy family.