Sunday, January 29, 2012

8 miles

I planned to run 7 miles today.  I had a destination in mind, and my mapping indicated that there and back was a bit more than 7 miles.  I gave myself permission to stop and walk the rest of the way once I reached 7 miles.

The run went well.  I started off feeling not so great, but once I made it out to the first major big road, all was well.  I downloaded some learn to speak Spanish podcasts to listen to, just to give me some variety on my running playlist.  I also did a new playlist of music.  A lot of the same stuff as the old one, but I included only really uptempo songs.

On the way back, I realized that the route was much closer to a bit over 8 miles, than a bit over 7.  I still felt good when 7 miles came around, and I didn't really want to walk the rest of the way home, so I kept running.  Around 7 1/2 miles, I was ready to be done, but I had already said in my head I would go 8, and so I did.

I'll do 8 again next week.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Baked Oatmeal

I like to bake.  I like to eat baked goods.  I also am trying to lose the last of the pregnancy weight.  So I was excited when this recipe for baked oatmeal showed up in my facebook feed.  It looked yummy, and at least moderately good for me.  I made mental plans to make it Sunday morning.

It was fun to make.  I did a combination of fresh apples, strawberries, and blueberries, and added dried cherries.

It looked good going in, and smelled great while cooking.  The finished product looked pretty good too.  I discovered at the last minute that my husband had used our pie pan to make roasted vegetables the night before, so I had to use a cake tin instead.  This ended up being a good thing, as it made to much to go in the pie pan anyway.

Sadly, it was a bit disappointing.  Don't get me wrong, we all ate our pieces, but it just wasn't as tasty as I'd hoped.  It wasn't oatmeal-y enough.  I love oatmeal.  What other food is so good for you, and so tasty at the same time?  I find adding a bit of fruit, and a tablespoon or so of brown sugar, turns oatmeal into one of the tastiest food items on earth.  This had 1/3 cup of maple syrup, and tons of fruit, and it still managed to taste a bit bland.  

I'm making peanut butter cookies tonight to make up for this baking disappointment.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

6 miles

Six miles is a bad distance for me.  When I started training for my first half marathon, the first 6 mile run had me convinced that I was crazy for even trying.  Today my run was 6 miles, and it sucked.  Somewhere between mile 5 and 6, I hit a wall, and I'm not past it by the time the end of the run rolls around.  I did myself no favors when choosing my route today either.  I wanted to go somewhere different, and I underestimated the hills on one of the roads.  I hate hills.  I know I need to work on them, but this road had the two highest elevation points of my run, with a drop in the middle, so basically I ran up the same hill twice.  Ugh.

The training schedule I penciled into my planner has me running 6 miles again next week.  I think I may just up it to 7, just to see if I can get past the part of the run I hate.

I am also getting bored with my running music.  I don't like much music to begin with, and I am finding myself getting annoyed with 2 of every 3 songs that comes up on my playlist.  My husband suggested podcasts, and I may try that next week.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

More curtains

Today I tackled the middle boy's curtains.  I was surprised by his fabric choice -- he usually likes blues.  I thought he'd go for one with stripes, or dots, or something more boyish.  Instead he chose this dark orange with white and black birds.  We walked around the entire fabric and curtain area at Ikea twice, and he insisted on this fabric.  I hope he likes it for a while!

I tried a different type of iron on hemming tape.  This stuff came in packs of 10 yards, the stuff I bought earlier was in 3 yard packs.  This stuff also had paper backing.  The instructions said to iron it on adhesive side down for 2 seconds, then remove the backing, attach the fabric, and iron for 8 more seconds.  This is how I expected the stuff I used yesterday to work, but that stuff just said to iron on one side, and there was no backing.  I prefer the stuff I used today.  I did have trouble removing the paper backing on a few sections.

Another thing I did differently today was in how I made the second curtain.  Yesterday, after making the first, I measured its length, and then tried to make the second the same length.  It didn't work well.  The second curtain ended up about 1/2 an inch shorter than the first.  Today, after making the first curtain, and doing the top hem on the second curtain, I placed the first on top of the second, to figure out where to place the bottom hem on the second curtain.

Both the cat and dog tried to help. 

The middle boy's bedroom window has an arch over the top.  I have no idea what you are supposed to buy to cover that, so I installed the rod just straight across the bottom of the beginning of the arch.  

I was very happy with how these turned out.  They were much quicker than the first set too!  Tomorrow I'll try to do the fat little rabbit's.  

Thursday, January 19, 2012

In which I make curtains

So I decided to make some of the curtains today.  I went at got some iron on hem tape, rather than try to sew them by hand, or pay for a sewing machine.  The window started like this:

  So you can see why not having curtains or blinds was a problem. Windows that face out to the street?  They need curtains.

I set the fabric out, and started with the iron on tape.  We somehow failed to pack our ironing board when we moved, so I had to improvise with a towel on the floor.  It worked fine.

Our cat decided to help.  He was not very helpful.

The biggest problem came when I went to hang them up.  I bought curtain rods from IKEA, and when I went to hang the rods, I discovered that they did not come with the screws necessary to attach the holders to the wall. This seems wrong to me.  A quick stop at our local hardware store fixed that though, and I got them all hung!  I"m pretty happy with how they turned out!  I think I'll start on the others this weekend.

Monday, January 16, 2012

5 miles and new curtains (almost)

5 miles yesterday.  It was warm out, but really windy.  I ran mostly laps around the ponds at our local park, but it seemed I had a headwind no matter which direction I ran.  My pace showed it too - it was a struggle to stay under 12 minutes/mile.  6 miles next week!

We looked for curtains for the kids' rooms today.  I didn't really like any we saw, so I took the kids with me to IKEA to look there.  The two boys found fabric they really liked, and I found some cute stuff for the fat little rabbit's room.  The trick is, it was just fabric!  Now I have to figure out how to sew it into curtains.  I don't think it will be too difficult, just a couple of straight seems, right?

Oldest boy's choice:

Middle boy's choice:

Fat Little Rabbit's:

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

3 miles - night running

I went for a short run when I got home from work today.  I meant to go yesterday, but my husband had to return to work, so I had to take the kids to their weekly dinner with my mother-in-law.  The run went well tonight, although I didn't go as fast as I wanted to.  The sun was setting as I left, and it was dark about half way through. I just couldn't see the curbs and sidewalks well enough to confidently run quickly.

The fat little rabbit has a burst ear drum.  She had a fever and cold last week, and we took her to the pediatrician on Tuesday.  Doctor said her ears looked fine then, and her fever has gone away, but daycare noticed some clear fluid draining out on Monday, and by Monday night it was pus.  she went back to the doctor today, and the doctor confirmed a ruptured eardrum in one ear.  Both ears are infected.  I hope she is feeling better soon, and selfishly, hope she returns to mostly sleeping through the night too!

Sunday, January 8, 2012

5 miles

Nice 5 mile run this morning.  I ran over to our local park area, and did most of the run on the trail there.  I turned off on a major road to go home, and then decided to run down one more block, rather than wait at the light to cross.  This ended up being a bit of a mistake, as I then had to run through various parking lots to get back where I needed to be.  I thought I knew my way home, but ended up meandering around our subdivision for a while before finding my street!

I like running on the trails through the park when there are a lot of other people out too.  Today was a good day - a lot of people out walking dogs and running.  I think I was the slowest runner out there, but I was running!

Saturday, January 7, 2012

2012 Reading Challenge - book 1

A parenting message board I am a member of has a reading challenge every year.  The challenge is to read 50 new books a year - rereads don't count.  Although it is called a 50 book challenge, people are encouraged to sign up for any number of books.  There are people signed up for as few as 12, and as many as 200.  The first year I participated, I signed up for 25, and I think I ended up reading 32.  Last year, I initially signed up for 30, but after taking a less demanding job, upped my goal to 50.  I read 28.  Although I had more free time, I was no longer commuting by train, and lost my primary reading time!  I've challenged myself to 30 this year.

My first book of the year was George R.R. Martin's A Dance With Dragons.  I actually started it in December, but I didn't finish it until early this week, so I'm counting it in the 2012 challenge.  It was ok.  Not worth the however many years delay since the previous book in the series, but entertaining anyway.  I read some reviews prior to starting the book that indicated that it was a bit boring, and focused mostly on the characters missing from A Feast for Crows, characters some said no one cared about anyway.  Other than Tyrion, I tend to agree.  The first half to two-thirds of the book felt like a retread -- because for the most part it was.  The plot didn't really advance at all.  Once the timeline caught up to the end of A Feast for Crows, it got much better.  I'm not holding my breath for the next book in the series.

For the next book, I'm not sure what I'm going to do.  I've been reading Kate Elliott's Crown of Stars series off and on this year.  I really enjoyed the first two books, but thought the third book (The Burning Stone) was a bit of a slog.  I had to go on a short trip for work this week, and intended to bring the next book in the series with me.  I somehow convinced myself that I was on book 5 (The Gathering Storm) of the series, not book 4 (Child of Flame).  Oops.  But I was already at the airport, and didn't have room in my bags for another book, so I stuck with it.  Apparently a lot of stuff happened in Child of Flame.  The Burning Stone covered all of 6 months, painfully, and slowly.  The Gathering Storm starts, and almost three years have passed!  Anyway, I'm about 100 pages into The Gathering Storm, and I think I'm going to continue with it, and not go back and read Child of Flame.

My husband is appalled.  "But stuff happens!"  I know - but so far, that stuff has been summarized fairly neatly by the characters.  I'm not sure I need the nitty gritty details.  I'll admit to being a fairly lazy reader of fantasy novels.  I read them for enjoyment, I don't think they are great works of literature.  So I read for the story, and don't pay much attention to small details that end up being Very Important Pieces of the Puzzle three or four books later.  So I'm pretty much ok with not knowing everything that happened or was said in Child of Flame.  Maybe if I ever feel compelled to reread the series, I'll read it then.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

4.5 miles

After taking last weekend off due to sickness, holidays, and moving, I finally got to try out my new shoes yesterday.  I ran to our local park, which has some nice running trails.  The new shoes were great too!

I need to add some more music to my running playlist.  I'm getting bored with what I have.