Showing posts from March, 2011

March Miles

Year to date: 197
2011 Map: Hamlin, Pennsylvania

March Books

It's been a slow book month because I discovered the television show Weeds. I just finished season 4 and have one more season to stream on Netflix before I run out so I should be back to books soon.

11. Your Best Body Now by Tosca Reno
12. Run Like a Mother by Sarah Bowen Shea & Dimity McDowell


Today would have been my Great Grandma Roll's 103rd birthday. I was cleaning out the closet in our bathroom yesterday and I found a few random scrap booking items: a dog rawhide bone die cut and a headshot of G. Roll so I put her inside my cabinet near my makeup. She was a lipstick wearer and seeing her every morning may just remind me to put some on. Or at least switch to mint Chapstick and Jergens lotion so I can smell like her.

Laundry Solution

Here's what is working for now:

Day 1: sort clothes into 5-6 loads, wash 3 loads
Day 2: wash remaining loads
Day 3: towels and sheets
Day 4: rest and reflect

It's working because:
*all of the clothes get sorted at once so socks don't get separated
*I don't have to do more than 3 loads in one day
*I get a full day off per rotation
*the days rotate so I can get an occasional weekend day off


It's a theme day around here:
*due to terrible persistent diarrhea Thomas has a honey of a diaper rash and is on the BRAT diet (bananas, rice, applesauce, toast)

*due to the above we were up in the middle of the night with a crying boy so Allan and I are cranky and fighting over petty little things: acting like a couple of brats.

*The snow is gone and it's grilling season so for everyone over age 2: brats for dinner. Mmm!

Three Things

-I've printed a list of detailed cleaning tasks for the entire house and am working on them during nap time. I'm also going to pay a friend to watch my little boys for 3 hours so I can tackle a chunk of it. It's cheaper than hiring a service and it'll be done to my liking.

-I'm running the Hartford Marathon on October 15th. The full 26.2 miles! I plan to join a training group in June. I wish I could say my family is enthusiastic but I think Allan realizes what a time commitment the training will be.

-We booked our trip to North Dakota for two weeks in July. I can't wait, I've been dreaming of Taco Johns, Sammy's Pizza and my mom's home cooking.


Alex is going to a friend's house after school. He had trouble falling asleep last night because he was afraid I would forget to write him a note so he can ride a different bus.

I got up before he did and wrote his note. I wrote:
Please allow Alex to ride bus 76 home today Friday March 25, 2011.
He fretted over the word 'home' claiming that it might confuse the teachers. I argued that it's fine, you are going 'home' from school not necessarily to your home. After cleaning up a shit storm I came down to find a template in his handwriting on the kitchen counter:

________will be riding on bus___to_____

I rewrote his stinking note!


I used to love getting my groceries delivered. Then once we were in the house and it became clear that I wouldn't be getting a job I could no longer justify the expense.

So after two days of dealing with kids with diarrhea and a quick, necessary trip to the grocery store wherein Thomas screamed much of the time I made the decision to have a week's worth of goods delivered tomorrow morning.

Just this once though, I promise ;)

Eating Right On a Budget

The $233 I spent at BJ's when I had to restock my pantry kinda hurt. But I told myself it's worth it to pay a little more to fuel my body right. I've been living on a budget since Jan 2008 and we've been living on one income for 18 months so I have been applying what I've learned to this new lifestyle.

-sorry for the buzzword-lifestyle but it just fit. I'm thinking of inventing a drinking game where you watch the Biggest Loser and every time someone says 'lifestyle' or 'journey' you take a shot.

So here are my top tips:

*Give up the bottle-get a water filter for your faucet and several reusable bottles and save $800-$1,000 a year (Source: The Econimides-America's Cheapest Family) Brew your own coffee and tea and skip fruit juices. A whole piece of fruit will satisfy you longer and provide fiber. I used to drink about $10 in Diet Coke a week and now I get 160 organic green tea bags for under $8 at BJ's.
*Know your prices-start keep…

Military Man

Allan came home from the dentist and reported that the dentist told him his gumline is starting to retreat.

I said, "you mean recede?"

He said, "No, I mean retreat. Like my hairline."

O'So Close

O'Hartford 5K=30:05

Not the sub 30 min. I was hoping for but a personal record nonetheless. And nearly seven minutes faster than my first 5K.

5K Playlist

Ready to Run-Dixie Chicks
Early in the Morning-Peter, Paul & Mary
Pocketful of Sunshine-Natasha Bedingfield
Viva la Vida-Coldplay
Come on Eileen-Dexy's Midnight Runners
I'm Shipping Up to Boston-Dropkick Murphys
Tik Tok-Ke$sha
Boom Boom Pow-Black Eyed Peas
How Far We've Come-Matchbox Twenty

And I hope to finish before the music!

Clean Eating

For the last 3 weeks I've been following a diet plan called clean eating. You eat fruits, vegetables, nuts, whole grains, lean protein, plenty of water and avoid processed foods and sugar. I'm not following all the rules like combining protein and carbs at every meal and I'm not eating the recommended six small meals. I start my day with steel cut oatmeal or eggs, have homemade soup or leftovers for lunch and dinner which includes lean meat, a vegetable and a whole grain. I snack on fresh fruit, nuts, plain popcorn, veggies & hummus, roasted spiced chickpeas, iced green tea, and my treat is plain greek yogurt with a drizzle of honey or a piece of dark chocolate. There's no counting or tracking I eat when I want to and I've lost 5 pounds.

At first I gave up coffee, not wanting to even bother without my beloved Coffeemate but now I'm grinding fresh beans and adding half and half and it's GOOD!

I started by waiting until close to payday when the sh…


I didn't play sports as a kid so I didn't appreciate this until this year: a good coach is invaluable. Alex had a nice coach last year in basketball and played okay. This year he has an excellent coach and his growth from the beginning to the end of the season is just amazing. He is also spending a lot of time practicing on his own-before and after school and even during recess and I think it's because he knows how to practice better and is feeding off his results. His team's record is 1 and 10 and the coach missed half of the game they lost leaving the asst. coach in charge and once he got there they made up some points but not enough to win the game. Tomorrow is his last game and I really hope he gets this coach next year.

Tumbler Quest

I've been on a quest to find a better iced coffee cup since I fell in love with this one about a year ago:
The problem with the Copco is that it's not insulated so your drink sweats and leaves a table ring. If I were they type to savor my iced coffee I'd have an issue with the fact that the ice melts too quickly but I suck it down so fast it doesn't matter.

I bought two pounds of New England coffee and sent in my UPC's and got this one free:

and it became my new favorite because it didn't sweat as much but then I dropped and broke it.

So I finally found what I've been looking for:

and here it is on it's inaugural coffee. It's a Tervis Tumbler. It's dishwasher safe, insulated, BPA-free, sweat proof and virtually unbreakable. And the 24 oz baby fits in most cup holders. The only complaint is that it was expensive and since I fell in love with the Red Sox one and paid $4 more (I guess that would make it wicked expensive) it cost $20 for the c…

Professional Mess Makers

I left David doing one of his jobs-unloading the silverware basket on the dishwasher and later when I tried to put soap in the soap door I found it full of dry rice from the pantry.

I thought Thomas and David were watching TV but actually Thomas had taken the foaming soap dispenser from the bathroom and squirted it all over the ottoman in the living room.

I was 15' away from David and Thomas in the rec office while I signed up for Spring sports and they seemed occupied with the books I'd brought in...until I realized they were taking turns pressing the lever on the wall-mounted hand sanitizer dispenser creating a puddle on the floor.

So naturally when I found a piece of paper taped to the top of our desk with blue painters tape I thought it was on of them but it turns out it was Allan working from home last night putting together a makeshift mouse pad because his mouse didn't work on the glass top.

Be Still My Heart

I registered David for kindergarten today.


I'm in my last week of the 8 weeks to a faster 5K plan. My personal record is 31:42 in Minot last summer but that was almost all downhill. I did a test on the treadmill on Saturday and pushed it to the point of almost puking and got 30:04 so my goal of under 30 minutes seems not likely. I'll be happy if I can set a new PR, thrilled if I can hit my goal. But overall I know I'm getting faster because last Fall when I ran 7 miles it took 1 hour 35 minutes and Sunday I did the same distance in 1 hour 27 minutes.

And I'm thrilled to report that my sister is going to run the Minot 5K with me this summer. She's not a runner yet but I told her I'd stick with her no matter how long it takes. When she asked if that would be true even if it took 3 days I thought I'll crawl with you if that's what it takes to have you by my side. She's had a rough year working full time, going to nurse practitioner school full time and raising two monkeys full time and…

Animal Torture

I caught David hiding a dog biscuit in a big plastic toy food storage container last week. He also likes to cup the treats in his hands and let Nugget smell it. Yesterday he got a biscuit, put it under Nugget's nose and then put it in a low kitchen cabinet and shut the door.

First Communion

I almost forgot to post about Alex's First Communion a couple of weeks ago. My little boy is growing up!

Cleam Up

Toxic Friend

I had a bad friendship when we lived in MA. She started out as a good friend but over time I realized she was a control freak, had to make all the decisions and was very competitive. I'm not competitive by nature but when around her I get that way and I don't like myself. And she wouldn't let me get a word in edgewise during her repeated phone calls. I tried to just distance myself from her but she's so persistent that it didn't work at all. When we moved I thought it was over but she still wanted to call me repeatedly and she somehow invited herself to stay here for a weekend. Last Fall I decided I'd had enough. I quit answering calls and emails. But because our kids knew each other since they were infants I sent a Christmas card which only seemed to revitalize her. I'm too nice to tell her outright so I'm continuing to ignore her. The woman just can't take a hint!

And no, I didn't ever give her my blog url so if she's reading thi…

Couponing 101

Want to save money at the grocery store? Here are my getting started tips.
1. Start buying the Sunday paper. Buy at least two copies, preferably four. Better yet, ask friends and family to save the coupons for you or find a source like your local library. Date the inserts in the upper left hand corner and on the bottom write the date that the last coupon expires. Stack the inserts oldest to newest, don't bother clipping anything. Let the internet do the work for you, most blogs will list sale item and the place to look for the appropriate coupon-Dannon yogurt 10/$5 $1 off ten coupon 1/2 SS (SS-Smart Source, RP-Red Plum, P&G=Proctor and Gamble, GM=General Mills OR they'll link to the printable coupon site.) Periodically go through your inserts and recycle the expired ones.

2. Pick a drugstore that's near your home or work and start reading the sidebar of the appropriate blog:
Rite Aid
Learn how the store coupons work with manufacturer's coupons…

Bennick & Davin

I told David's friend Bennett's mom that David insists his name is 'Bennick' and she told me that Bennett insists David's name is 'Davin!'

Then David held up a spatula that he'd taken from my kitchen drawer and told his teacher he brought a 'Statue La' for show and tell.


In late 2002 we decided to buy the new Honda Pilot. We ordered it from the dealer and realized he'd accidentally ordered the Honda Odyssey van and hindsight being 20/20 I wish we would have just gone with it. But we corrected the mistake and took possession of my very first new car. I wish I had a picture of our actual Pilot when we sold it on Auto Trader. I do, however, have a picture of the wad of cash the buyer brought in a sock.

So with this post where we bought our Accord (first car we paid cash for!) and this post where we caved in and bought our first minivan the car posts are now current. Maybe in a year or two Allan will be able to upgrade but I'm planning on driving that van until it dies.

I Caught These Two Trying to Cook the Books


Blue & Gold Banquet Cookies

Out of 100 cookies I probably had 60 left, there were so many desserts at the Cub Scout banquet. So I brought the leftovers to church and the Sunday School crowd polished them off in 10 minutes flat.

1997 Camry

Allan traded in his truck for a Camry like this in 1998 or 1999. It was nearly new with low miles and absolutely no bells or whistles. It was our last manual window car. We drove that baby until Spring 2008 where it was probably sold for scrap. After we paid off this loan it marked the first time in our marriage when we had no car payments and had two titles to rub together.


I'm inviting you to write a guest post about your experience at the ticket counter in the Frankfurt airport. Readers: would you like to read it?


Allan brought me the flowers on the Friday before Valentine's day. These daisies are just about dead but I think they can last until trash day tomorrow. That'll be 25 days of a gradually shrinking bouquet in my kitchen-sure beats a dozen highly overpriced roses because the roses died first and within a week.

ABC's of Me

My turn with these letters:
A~Age: 35
B~ Bed Size: King and Allan takes up 2/3 of it
C~Chore you hate: emptying the dishwasher I *wish* Allan did 2/3 of it
D~Dogs: 1-Nugget our 6yo Golden Retriever
E~Essential Start your Day Item: Coffee
F~Favorite Color: Green
G~Gold or Silver: Silver
H~Height: 6'1"
I~Instruments you play: the computer keyboard
J~Job Title: Full time mother
K~Kids: Alex-9, David-4, Thomas-2
L~Live: Connecticut
M~Mom’s Name: Kathy
N~Nicknames: Scissorbill
O~Overnight Hospital Stays: Several times as a kid with asthma and three times with childbirth
P~Pet Peeve: inappropriate apostrophes
Q~Quote from a Movie: "I carried a watermelon." from Dirty Dancing
R~Righty or Lefty: Righty
S~Siblings: Older sister Allison-37
T~Time you wake up: 7:something
U~Underwear: unless I'm in the shower or...
V~Vegetable you Dislike: spaghetti squash
W~What Makes You Late: Alex-9, David-4, Thomas-2
X~X-rays You’ve had Done: dental, chest, wrist after I fell off m…


We bought this car the year before I graduated from nursing school. It was a '93 Honda Civic which we called the Chivic. It was so nice being able to drive myself to clinical and not have to carpool or take Allan to work first. This car is probably still on the road. It was also the first car that we paid off before selling. I had it in my head that we'd always have two car payments but once we paid this baby off there was a sense of freedom that we loved. Getting the title in the mail was one of the best feelings.

While You Were Gone

I only damaged one of them. Not bad for 3 boys, 1 dog, six days.

Allan recently put pull down shades on two of our living room windows leaving the one that faces the opposite wall without one since it doesn't shine on the TV. David was trying to block the light by climbing on the windowsill and place pillows over the window and he fell and hit his forehead on the train table. All while I was in the shower. I might have to quit showering-he always seems to get himself in trouble.

The Bees

For the last three weeks we've been giving Nugget antibiotics three times a day for some infection (anaplasma?) that the vet claims he tested positive for but I'm not 100% convinced. Since Allan is in Denmark this week I've had to give all three doses and it ain't pretty. I have to pry his jaw open and use my incredibly long middle finger to poke the pill down into his esophagus and then quickly put a treat in his mouth so he won't gag it up. Since the pills are yellow and black we've been calling them bees. He knows the word now and actually comes with his tail wagging because he expects the treat. I can hardly wait to give him his last dose this afternoon.

Car By Marriage

I married into a truck like this, a 1994 Mazda B4000. Allan picked me up for our first date in it, taught me how to drive a manual transmission with it and it got decorated by the groomsmen at our wedding. Then we drove it off to Ohio to begin our married life together.

Feb Books

7. One Day by David Nicholls
8. Buyology by Martin Lindstrom
9. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
10. Lego: A Love Story by Jonathan Bender

My favorite was The Book Thief. Buyology was kinda slow. I aborted Run Fast by Hal Higdon after a quick skim and I have had What the Dog Saw by Malcolm Gladwell on my nightstand for months, I'll read one chapter and then lose interest, it's nothing like his other books.

Feb Miles

Better than January even though it's a short month.