Trying to keep up

Trying to keep up

We have lots going on these days. In the next week we’ll be driving 11 hours to Denver to visit my brother and soon-to-be sister-in-law (then driving back), hiking some sweet trails, moving into our new rental house as soon as we get back, starting baby swim lessons, starting the 2nd grad class of the summer, celebrating the forth of July, oh…and having fun doing ALL of those things!

This week the little man has decided to let go – he’s off walking! Right now it’s just small distances, which is exciting, but also nerve-wracking at the same time.

Who knew being a mom would be so. freaking. awesome.??!!

Also, Henry and I did our…3rd 5k distance with the stroller this afternoon. I’m seriously considering registering for the Roots ‘N Blues 10k this fall and running it with him. I’ve never done a 10k, and I think I can manage to work up to 6 miles (with the stroller!) by then.

What’s keeping you busy this summer?

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Happy National Running Day!

As a runner (hah!  a few years back I would’ve never called myself that) it’s sometimes hard to keep up your motivation.  Here are some ways I’m finding the ability to keep motivated lately:

Following inspiring athletes on Social Media:

@mileposts

@nycrunningmama

Runner’s World on Facebook

Reading running/health related blogs/magazines:

Runner’s World (seriously, I like every article!)

Mileposts

AnotherMotherRunner (really cool site!)

Mama Laughlin (runner and busy mom w/an attitude, it’s a nice change sometimes)

SkinnyMeg (makes me feel like I should cross train more!)

Buy cute running gear:

Bicbands (non-slip, amazingness….also, apparently my head is HUGE)

This shirt (I want…a lot)

Oh…and this guy:

nationalrunningdayHe kept me company on our first stroller 5k.  I started out saying I’d do 2 miles…then as I was running I thought, why not 3?  Then 3 came and I just had to see what a 5k would be like.  I seriously need to pick a 5k to do with the little guy.  Preferably one with no hills. 🙂

Happy National Running Day!

 

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DIY: Clothespin Bag

So the weather is pretty amazing lately, which means it’s time to hang the clothes out to dry.  I love the smell of line dried clothes 🙂

Well, recently my Mom moved and took with her the clothespin bag I made for her a LONG time ago.  It’s in need of repair…and I also wanted one of my own.  So, I made an outing to Hobby Lobby and found some weather resistant material.  It’s cute.

I based my bag off the one I found here (from Pinterest).

Looked easy enough.

Step One – I cut mine about 15″ x 21″

clothespin1

Step Two: Sew around the edges (to prevent fraying).  I just sewed about 1/4″ around the edge all the way around.

clothespin2

Step Three: Lay the fabric right side facing up and decide how deep you want your clothespin pocket to be.  Sew around the edges again.  Once that’s done, flip it right side out.

clothespin3

Step Four: Then place your hanger on the fabric and fold it over…sew close to the hanger and TADA!

clothespindiy

Step Five: Fill ‘er up – with clothespins of course.  Ikea makes some awesome ones.

clothespin5Next time, I might actually choose thread that matches my fabric.  Maybe.  🙂  And I might make it 24″ long, so as to have a longer/bigger pouch.  Still, very easy.  I’m sure an accomplished seamstress might tell me it could look prettier, but really…it’s a clothespin bag!  No need to be too picky.

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Recipe Review: Bran Pancakes

Oh yeah, you know you’re jealous.

No, but really, I just needed to use some All-Bran.  We’ve been feeding it to my son to keep him…happy…and now that he’s decided that he feeds himself, I needed something that used a lot of bran, to, well…keep him happy still!

Enter: Bran Pancakes.

pancakebatter

I must say…they’re tasty.  Of course, they do have plenty of sugar.

brancakes

The little man liked ’em.

mmmpancakes

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups Fiber One, All Bran or other high fiber bran cereal
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 4 T sugar
  • 5 t baking powder
  • 1 1/2 t salt
  • 6 T oil
  • 2 beaten eggs

I pretty much followed the recipe, I think I used 1 T less oil.  And less sugar.

Directions:

  1. Combine milk with bran to soften while you mix the other ingredients.
  2. Mix all dry ingredients.  Mix the wet ingredients with the bran/milk mixture.
  3. Combine both mixtures.
  4. Use 1/4 c. of the mixture on a hot griddle to make your cakes.  Add your toppings of choice and enjoy!

If you make 14 pancakes from it, it’s 4 PP Values per pancake.

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The trip that wouldn’t end…Part II

Read about Part I here.

We made it to the hotel around 10:30.  Mom and I still hadn’t eaten dinner, Henry needed a new diaper, we needed s….l….e….e….p…OH, and we needed to figure out how we were going to get home.

Mom and Dad left to track down some food and diapers (hopefully) while I stayed nursed Henry to sleep.  He was just so out of it, almost nothing could soothe him.

Diapers were out of the question (only a tiny gas station across the street, nada).  Food came from the vending machine.

Once the little guy was asleep I called American Airlines.  Thus the beginning of our luggage fun began.  That night I was on hold with them for 2 hours (on 2 separate phones and skype).  We were able to cancel our flight since there were no flights for the next 24 hours into the state of Missouri (all full), but on the luggage?  No progress.

Mom was stressed, said she wouldn’t sleep anyway, so she headed back to the airport (around 2 am) while Dad and I slept.  The plan was to catch the 6:10 shuttle to the airport, drop dad off for his flight, race to the train station, and catch Amtrack home.

That didn’t work.

Are you surprised? 🙂

The 6:10 shuttle was full.  The 6:40 shuttle was not.  Dad made it fine, but the 1/2 hour ride on the subway to the airport actually took 50 minutes.  So…you guessed it…we missed the train.

We were able to figure out pretty quickly that another train left for St. Louis at 9:30, so we regrouped, got some food, got DIAPERS (thank goodness), and got ready to board.  In the meantime we had to figure out who could come get us.  One of my aunts was more than willing (relatives really are the best), but Erik wanted to as well – so the husband got to drive to STL again.  Lucky guy.

Once we boarded Amtrak I finally was able to really breathe.  We just might make it home.

Oh, and here’s where I sing the praises of Amtrak.  Seriously.  SO much more comfortable than flying.  Your seats are bigger, you can roam around a lot more freely, there’s SPACE, and SCENERY.  And…man.  It’s just great.  If they traveled a little faster and offered free wi-fi, I’d go Amtrak every time.

trainOur go-to toys on this trip?  A plastic cup provided by American Airlines (the only flight we actually took on the way back), a spoon from our breakfast, and an empty Diet Coke bottle.  Yay for babies who love non-toy toys.

Can you tell this guy was ready to be home?

get me home

 

The other reason I like Amtrak?  They got us home, on time.  Crazy!!

So Erik met us at the train station and that’s when Henry decided to remind us exactly how much he hates riding in the car seat.  🙂  Poor kid.

It was a 2 hour drive home.  About 30 minutes from home my cell phone rang.  Boone County had a tornado warning.  We were supposed to take cover immediately.

That’s when I looked at Erik, “We are gonna make it home…right?”

We made it home around 6:30 Wednesday, April 17th.  About 36 hours after we were supposed to get home.  But we made it.  In one piece.  We were lucky.

Our luggage finally greeted us on Saturday.  And after writing a letter to American Airlines, Mom and I now both have a voucher for another ticket.  Ha.  I think I’ll wait awhile.

 

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There’s always something.

This week has called for a lot of time sitting on my butt reading Crime and Punishment and essays.  Lots and lots of essays.

But, I just saw something pretty sweet.

Image

If you use the website Edmodo, that might look familiar.  If you’re a teacher and you’ve never heard of Edmodo, um, wake up!  It’s awesome.  Maybe I should explain…in another post…someday.  But basically, that little message means I’m DONE grading essays.

In other news, I’m 3/4 of the way through my first week of my 4 week grad class.  So far…not bad.  I’m just looking forward to only having books to read, and not books AND essays.

Also, did you know it’s summer?  And it’s awesome.  I seriously love the leave your windows open weather we’ve been having lately.  And the fact that I can run outside.  ::sigh::

 

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It was the trip that wouldn’t end…Part I

It all started on April 16th, 2013.

We were headed home from our Boston vacation.  When we got to the airport I got the evil eye from one of the American Airline employees who looked skeptically at my carry on baggage.

“Does it fit in the compartment?” She asked, gesturing to the bag sizer.

I was feeling guilty anyway, since I knew it’d be close.  So I handed off the baby and went to check my bag.  $25 dollars later I was back in line strapping the baby on with my lovely Ergo carrier (seriously, it’s a necessity.).

We got to our gate fairly easily, we had an hour or so to kill so Mom got coffee, I used the complimentary wi-fi to check in with my students, and Henry played with an empty coffee cup.

While we waited they announced that they were doing complimentary baggage checking (oh sure, now you tell me).  So we figured, since I had already checked my baggage, Mom might as well check hers too, since we’d have to go to baggage claim for mine anyway.  That also left us with just a carseatlaptop, baby and huge purse/diaper bag to cart through the airport.

I was a little worried about this flight, because I was seated in the middle seat with Henry (in between two strangers) while Mom was seated two rows behind me.  Please please please be good Henry.

As we prepared for takeoff the pilot came over the air and told us that all American Airlines computers had gone down and we had to wait to get some more information before we could takeoff.  Awesome.

I had already started nursing Henry in preparation for takeoff, and he fell asleep.  All cute and sweaty underneath my scarf.

An hour later we took off.  Needless to say by that time Henry’d woken up.  He stayed awake (and relatively content) for the entire 2 hour 20 minute plane ride.

Once we got to Chicago we headed for the food court.  Our original 3 hour 45 minute layover was now only 2 hours.  I could deal with that.  Diapers (okay, just one) were changed, food was eaten.  Phones rang.

Dad (who had left Boston on an earlier flight to Chicago – who knows why we weren’t on the same flight) was for some reason STILL in Chicago.  He met up with us.  This is about the time that we found out they’d grounded all American Airlines flights until 5 o’clock.

Great.

Soon after that we learned that Dad’s flight to Minneapolis had been cancelled.  Our flight to Columbia, MO was delayed.  Dad went to figure out how he was getting home.  We went to check on our flight.

Cancelled.

This is when we followed the extremely long line of American Airlines passengers who were trying to figure out what to do next.  With a baby, carseat, and other luggage.  It was fun.

Seriously.

A super nice American Airlines employee booked us on a later flight (7:15pm) that went to St. Louis, and also got my dad a voucher for a hotel room and some food.  Since we had to hang out for awhile we chilled near the disabled seating in the ticketing area (the only place with chairs.

Henry was a trooper.

airport1We hung out with Dad while waiting on our flight.  Eventually, we said goodbye so he could get to his hotel, and we headed to our gate.

airport2I should also mention, this is where I put Henry in the last diaper I had with me.  I had packed twice as many as I thought we’d need for the 7 hour trip home.  The “extra” diapers were in my checked luggage. ::shakes head::

At this point, we’d been traveling for 12 hours.

Now, we had to go back through security.  I strapped Henry on again and we headed through.  This time I asked the TSA agent, “What’re you checking for anyway?” when they swabbed my hands, “Drugs?”

“We test all mothers wearing their babies for explosives.” She explained.

“Oh, that’s smart.” I replied as the explosive detector DETECTED EXPLOSIVES.  No joke.

So, I had to hand Henry to Mom and walk barefoot behind the TSA agent to a private room to get a private pat down.  Awesome.  Guess what?  No explosives.

I could’ve told her that. Just took some pride.  No biggie.

Tip: If you plan on wearing your baby through the security checkpoint they will test your hands for explosives.  I wore Henry through both Boston Logan International Airport and Chicago O’Hare.

Once we made it to our gate and hung out awhile were given some good news.  Our plane was there.  It was cleaned and ready to go.  They had a pilot.  They were just waiting on the rest of the crew.

Should be soon, right?

At 10 o’clock that night, they cancelled our second flight to St. Louis.  By this time, my husband had driven 1 1/2 hours towards the St. Louis airport expecting to pick us up.  Henry was beyond exhausted.  Mom and I were tired from carting him around.  We were out of diapers.  And when they cancelled our flight, they also informed us that they were out of hotel vouchers.  They would be bringing cots out for people to sleep on.

That’s when we called Dad and took a shuttle to the hotel.

If only it ended there…

 

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