How did that happen?

This is a little premature but…I was reading Mom 101 this morning, her non-Blogiversary occurred today. It got me thinking about how old my blog is, and damned if I wasn’t surprised to find that my humble little blog will be one year old tomorrow. It is hard to believe that for some insane reason I felt the need to just get-my-own-blog-already a year ago. I haven’t been horribly consistent about blogging during this year, like everything else in my life I seem to go in fits and bursts. I have enjoyed doing it though. It is a good outlet for me. I can write what I want, without concern that I am being self-centered (as would be my feeling if I just spouted this stuff on a message board). Other people actually read what I write sometimes too, which never ceases to give me warm fuzzies. I don’t get all that many comments, but Google Analytics tells me that there are some people reading anyway! As I am more of a lurker than a commenter when I read blogs, I can respect the lack of comments. Still, if you ever want to shout out to me, please do, I love seeing just treadmilling around emails telling me there is a new comment. Does that make me vain? Oh well, too bad if it does!



I’ve mentioned before that my children watch far too much television, so it should come as no surprise that The Girl has a favorite show. It is hands down The Backyardagins. She will get up and run to the television when she hears even a hint of the theme music so she can be closer to her beloved little singing and dancing fools. She screams “Pa boh” and gets giddy with anticipation. The show is okay as far as kids shows go. I get a little too excited over new episodes, simply because you can watch the "Snow Fort" only so many times before your head threatens to explode. All of the Grandparents have witnessed The Girl’s reaction to Backyardigans, so it came as no surprise that she got not one, not two, but all five of the funny little creatures for Christmas. Thank you Mom, for sending the Beanie Baby characters in favor of the more annoying talking/dancing ones we’ve seen at Target!

*If you are not familiar with the Backyardigans you should probably just skip this entry, no worries.*

The characters are as follows: Pablo, who upon examination reveals himself to be a penguin. Pablo is in nearly every episode, and he generally is a happy-go-lucky guy. Tasha, whom is almost always wearing a dress and some maryjane style shoes, is a hippo. Tasha is annoying. She is the prissy friend in the neighborhood who likes to boss everyone around, and has to control most interaction. She never participates in physical challenges, this is magnified in the Egypt episode where she sings over and over again about how she “likes being a Prin-cess.” As a tom-boy myself, I find Tasha hard to relate to, and might just barf a little in my mouth if The Girl develops princess envy at some point. Tyrone is a moose. He is a good friend to all of the Backyardigans and doesn’t complain too much. My favorite Tyrone episode involves Tyrone as the “Moose of the Mist,” something to be feared, but Tyrone isn’t even aware that He is the Moose of the Mist until Uniqua points it out to him. Austin is not in every episode, but he is a cool little guy. I waver a bit on what exactly Austin is supposed to be, sometimes I think rabbit because of the tall ears on his head, but his tail is not so rabbit-ish so I sometimes think he is some kind of lizard.

This brings me to the enigma of the group, and that is Uniqua. Her name and species is listed as Uniqua, whatever that means. She is the fearless little tomboy of the group. Before checking out the character bios on the UK Nick Jr. page, DH and I went back and forth about what exactly Uniqua was. He insisted she was a salamander, and I kept thinking pig because she is pink. Our babysitter sided with DH the other night though, so perhaps I am overruled. I find it a bit curious that the tomboy of the group, the girl who doesn’t fit girl stereotypes is labeled as her own species. It is as if *gasp* girls don’t play sports. What century are we living in anyway?

Yes, I have put far too much thought into this.

Is it spring yet?

January is almost over, which means February is about to begin, yippee! Oh wait, what does the start of February mean? That’s right, not much at all. Another 4 weeks until we get to March, which can still be frigid here in the frozen tundra, but just sounds like spring. I can’t believe I actually posted in December about it being too warm, what was I thinking? That is seasonal amnesia for you. My treadmill is getting quite a workout lately, as this weather wimp is opting for every run on the good old TM rather than braving the frigid outdoor air. Still the thought of spring keeps creeping into my mind, and I keep plugging away on the TM so I will be ready to run outside when it warms up again. I need to find a new goal race to aim towards, perhaps a late spring half marathon?


I've got Nothin'

Sorry for being neglectful of this blog. It turns out that my life just isn’t that interesting lately. I could write about my most recent attempt to drop the last bit of baby weight, or I could write more about the home renovations, or I suppose I could write about my children. However, I don’t really feel like writing about any of those things so I’ve just been silent. I haven’t even had to travel for work since late November, so I can’t even add complaint posts. I guess it is a good place to be in, but it doesn’t make for a very interesting blog. Oh well, if you are reading this you will likely still be around when I find something of interest to write about again won’t you?

I do have to say that Johnny and the Sprites is now a full half hour show on Playhouse Disney. It turns out that it is worse than I ever imagined. I lasted about 5 minutes into the program before searching Sprout, Noggin, and PBS Kids digital channel for something more acceptable, and finally just turning the TV off because the kids didn’t seem to mind. I’ll just come out with the hard truth that I don’t like Muppets in any form. I find them disturbing and have since I was an adult. I don’t recall being afraid of them as a child, so I’m sure the annoyance set in only as I aged. My poor kids will be deprived simply because I can’t stand having Sesame Street on in my presence. Oh well, TV is bad for kids anyway right?


Let's piss off some women runners

I just read this post here, about this article, and am fuming mad. The guy who wrote the article is deemed an "expert" but has no PhD or MD after his name so I assume he is just spewing a theory.

The only reason women would ever even consider running is so that they could be "little and cute" don't you know. We wouldn't want to risk being "saggy and hurt." Perhaps if we buy more of the author's products or services we can become "little and cute" without *gasp* running. Please. I've been a runner since 1999, and I do not have a classic runner's body. I've never been injured in a way that didn't directly relate to shoes, despite training for and running two marathons and many half marathons. I have no words for the author, he is not worthy of them.

A remodeling journey

I alluded to a big house remodel project in my last post, so I thought that I would elaborate just a bit about what that project will entail. Our wonderful 2 story house was built in 1986. It is a nice house, but in 1986 people were more inclined to separate dining rooms from kitchens, kitchens from living rooms, and to have family rooms in the partially finished basement. This is not how we want to live though, so from the first time we set foot in our house we knew when it was ours we would eventually remodel it. We had plans drawn up to remove walls between the living room and dining room and between the dining room and kitchen so we could have the open floor plan we dream about (well I don’t know that I’ve ever actually dreamed about it but you know what I mean). We also want to add a shower to the ½ bathroom on our main floor so my Mom who uses a wheelchair as her primary means of mobility doesn’t stink so much when she visits us for a week at a time. We love you Mom, but you really do need to shower *wink*. I also really really really want to be able to watch television while I am cooking in the kitchen. There I’ve admitted it, I’m a TV junkie. We could rig something up in the existing kitchen, but then I’d lose the TV that sits on the desk in the office – so I can surf the web AND watch HGTV at the same time (after the kids to go sleep). Yes, I could do the same in the living room, but then I’d have to use my work laptop and I think our desktop computer needs the attention. Oh, and I want to be able to see the children in the family room when I’m in the kitchen, because quiet children are almost always up to no good.

After nearly completing the plans for our main floor remodel, we started discussing how we would live in the house through the construction. We do have a nice family room in the basement complete with a partially functioning wet bar (with a beautiful blue countertop *sarcasm*), so we figured we will create a pseudo kitchen in that area to get us through. Of course there is no functioning bathroom in the basement, and the prospect of walking up 2 flights of stairs when a 3 year old needs to pee doesn’t seem realistic, so we are now about to add a 4th bathroom to our house. The nice family room has a nice fireplace, that currently has a nice Pacemaster Treadmill parked right in front of it, and a barely used recumbent bike right next to it. In order to live through construction without the kids killing themselves on the exercise equipment we need to add an exercise room as well (or at least carve out a new spot for the treadmill). Do you see how these projects just take on a life of their own?

I can’t tell you how much I want to be featured on Designer’s Challenge, or a similar show on HGTV, but alas it doesn’t look like they are accepting applications right now. I do feel that as a home improvement/design shown enthusiast it is my responsibility to document the projects from start to finish. However, I’m not sure if I am up to that challenge. So my question to you is this: should I start a sister blog devoted solely to our home renovations? If nothing else it might be interesting for us after the project is complete. I’ll post a link if I decide to take the leap…I suppose I need to take some before pictures before we start construction.



Every once in a while I like to take a step back from the craziness of my daily routines to really consider what I have going on in my life. I did that the other day and came to the conclusion that my life is pretty good. My DH is great, sure he isn’t perfect, but who is. He puts up with my craziness which says a lot, I know I wouldn’t like being married to me. My kids are great too. The Boy is so loving and caring; he has a fun little zest for life that I wish I could bottle. The Girl is amazingly strong willed; she and I will end up butting heads one day I can bet on it, but for now she looks up to me like I am the world. She wants to be next to me and near me no matter what her other options are, and I know this won’t last forever. We haven’t decided for certain whether there will be a baby #3, but to even have that option makes us very lucky. I know several people who have struggled with infertility, and aside from my early miscarriage before The Boy we have had little trouble in that department.

There are many other good things in my life, we have wonderful families who love us, and care about us. We have a nice home, we aren’t in debt, and we have good jobs. We have a good chunk of money already set aside for retirement, and are able to add to it each and every month. I know many people who really do live paycheck to paycheck and struggle to make ends meet. Again, we are lucky we don’t have that added stress. It almost makes me feel a little guilty when a friend complains about not being able to buy any extras, or worse can’t even meet their current expenses.

I believe that luck, a good dose of common sense, and a good upbringing helped us to get to this position, oh and cheapness. DH and I have lived together since I was a junior in college; we lived in a roach-infested $430 a month shit hole apartment for the first few years. He worked, I worked, and we scraped by. We had an apartment filled with free furniture. We splurged on a VCR after we had lived together for a few months, and that was a well calculated expenditure (we did have cable TV though, because that is a necessity). I graduated from college with minimal student loans outstanding. We moved to a nicer apartment, but kept our free furniture, and began to invest. Eventually we bought our first house, and lived there for a good 6 months before we had any furniture in our main floor living room. Every big purchase was still heavily weighed before buying, despite the fact that we could now afford to buy nice things. We are now in our second house, and still have no bedroom set. I use the dresser that was my Dad’s at one point in time; the legs have broken off in one of the many moves, so it sits right on the floor in all of its ugliness. DH’s parents bought new bedroom furniture at some point so The Girl got DH’s old dresser (his from childhood) and he switched to his Dad’s cast off. The Boy somehow managed an IKEA dresser, and a Target bookcase, but he uses my old bed and mattress from childhood. Do you sense a theme here?

We were watching HGTV the other day (well every day, but the conversation the other day is what I am thinking about) and were relaying the conversation that would happen when the designers entered our bedroom.

THEM: you make how much money and you seriously are using this bedroom furniture?
US: Um, yeah, someday we will buy new bedroom furniture, but this stuff works so we aren’t in a big hurry.
THEM: Have you looked at your bedroom?
US: Yes, but it is just our bedroom so what difference does it make?
THEM: Lots of eye rolling, Did you guys paint this leaf stencil pattern on the walls?
US: No, it was here when we moved in, we will repaint it someday
THEM: How long have you lived here?
US: almost 2 years
THEM: Leaving in disgust

The conversation could repeat about almost any room in our house. This is why we have decided to hire a decorator to help us with our big house remodel project. We are afraid it will finish, we will move our current LR set over a bit and just move on. I guess this is what happens when two very practical engineer types get married and have kids.

Yes, we are lucky and we are uninspired, but if our lack of motivation to spend loads of money on furniture and decorating is our only problem I guess we aren’t so bad off. Life is pretty good here, even if our style looks like something that was found for free after the college kids moved out of their dorms in the spring. Scratch that, the college kids today probably all have new looking IKEA furniture, which while cheap, is probably an improvement over our stuff! You know your furniture is bad when underemployed relatives refuse your cast offs. Oh well, at least we are happy, and we don’t worry so much about the kids ruining our things.