23 October 2013

5 Favorites: Moving House Edition

So remember that house we bought way, way, way back in August? Yeah, it feels like a lifetime ago. Especially because we haven't even moved in yet! But soon! Very soon! As in, this Sunday soon!

And here are some themed 5 Favorites for this couple of weeks.

Wardrobe boxes

Full disclosure: we saved all our boxes and supplies from last year's move. (Hey, the Navy paid for it!)

These suckers are the greatest things ever! Just put a bar on the top, hang your clothes, and then you are all packed. Genius!

Only drawback: doesn't fit much. But whatever.

Tons of packing paper

Yeah, we saved this too. And holy smokes, what a mountain! I've been keeping most of it in a closet in hopes that it doesn't sprout legs and attack us in our sleep.

This Picture
Even though she kept peering into the box, she did NOT want to be IN the box

New Carpet at the House!

I almost wrote a whole entire post about the carpet. See, the house we bought had carpet, but it was NAS-TAY. The previous owners had let their dogs and cats use the whole house as a litter box, it seems. Pee stains everywhere. The place disgusted me to the point where I didn't even want to change Cora's diaper on that floor, even with a mat. We ripped the carpet out ourselves, and every single little roll made had a pet stain on it. It was on the pads, and there were spots all over the floorboards. There was that lovely urine smell in the air at the house, and I hated being there.

So then we spent a lot of money on nice, beautiful new carpet. It is heavenly. I gave it a hug after it was installed. Then I just laid on the floor and promised it I would take care of it. With Resolve or Folex or whatever I need to do.

This was basically the whole reason we couldn't move in straightaway, but there was a ton of other stuff to clean at that place as well. (People who don't clean up after their pets mostly don't clean their kitchens or bathrooms either.)

My Husband

That needs to be in a darker shade of bold. He has done soooo much work both on the house and moving stuff. He and his mom were actually the ones to cut up and rip out all the old carpet (not "we" as I previously said). B then used this stuff (or something like it) to paint over the pet stains and kill the odors on the floorboards. (I honestly thought they needed replacing, but it turns out we didn't!) For moving, B has been taking stuff in his car for the past month (throwing it in the basement before the carpet came). He actually took all the pictures and put them in towels and blankets, so I didn't have to wrap them in paper! He hates having packed boxes in our small apartment, so he has been carrying them down the stairs to our apartment garage and parking his car in the lot (and it just got cold with frost and such, so that is quite the sacrifice). B is my moving hero.
Taking a well-deserved Candy Crush break

20 October 2013

A Post About My Cat

I haven't really posted about it before, but did you know I have a cat?

A 20-year-old 3-legged cat named Frisky.

I technically don't have him any more, but I still his 'owner,' in a way. I picked him out when I was 9, named him, and he was mine for all the years I lived under my parents' roof.

I still remember going to the pound and picking him. Before then, we had 2 cats named Sampson (called Sammy) and Phantom. These were my mom's cats from when she was single. Dad had to marry both her and the cats, and they were a fixture in our house growing up. They both died within a year of each other in their old age (over 15, each of them). After their passing, we obviously needed some new companions. My mom decided that my sister and I were old enough to each pick out a cat at the pound.

My sister picked out a tiny little black and white tuxedo cat with big paws. She named him Samie, in tribute to our previous black and white cat Sammy (my sister was a terrible speller).

I picked out a cat that was trying to do everything in his power to get out of that cage at the pound. He was jabbing his paw out of the cage and just being very 'frisky' in general. Hence the name I picked for him, Frisky.

Here's a picture of us on our cats' first Thanksgiving:
My sister with tiny little Samie, and I'm on the far right with Frisky.
I know you're jealous of the sweaters.
My sister's tiny little cat with the huge paws turned into a 25 pound part-Maine Coon (we think) chunker.

Frisky fought his way from being an indoor cat to an indoor/outdoor cat by escaping about 20 too many times, and it has been that way ever since. He even got his tail caught in the door once and it became permanently bent at the end.

10 years later, with less ugly sweaters, we got this picture at Thanksgiving:
My sister was pregnant with her first child here. And she's holding a 25-pound furball.
Frisky is obviously clawing me in the chest trying to escape. Typical.
I believe it was the following year that my sister's cat passed away. It was also possibly during that year, or maybe the one later that my cat needed his back leg amputated. This saved him from having a tumor in his upper leg spread to his midsection, and has luckily given us many many more years with Frisky.

Yes, I now 'owned' a broken-tailed 3-legged cat.

The only thing he couldn't do any more was climb trees.

About a month ago, after coming back from out of town, my parents noticed something off about Frisky. He had broken his leg. His only back leg. Yet he was still limping around, but Mom said he looked pretty pathetic.

I don't think my cat would have done as well as these dogs with wheels for legs. He ended up getting surgery. He's healing. Mom says he's doing alright.

But I'm always thinking in the back of my head about the day I'll get the call. 20 years is almost a centenarian in cat years. I try to give him some extra love every time I go back home (even though he hasn't had a bath in like 2 years), because I never know when it will be the last time. It's been 6 months since my last trip down there, and I'm not sure when the next will be.

As for 20th anniversary version of that picture? Unfortunately, it's won't be happening this year on Nov. 27; the subjects in it now live in 4 different states. But maybe I can make a collage version with my sister (pregnant again!) holding Frisky.

10 October 2013

What Real Motherhood Looks Like

I thought this link-up was so neat when I saw it a month ago.

There seems to be two mom-blogging camps on the internet: those with picture-perfect children in every way, and those that whine about their kids driving them nuts but then exclaiming "Sooo worth it!" at the end.

The truth is, there's a lot of in-between. Life isn't picture-perfect children doing some Pinteresty craft every day in your beautiful kitchen with the fresh flowers and amazing organizational chart on the wall (uh, we don't do crafts at all over here. Or fresh flowers).

My kid doesn't drive me nuts (usually). She doesn't barge in on me in the bathroom. If she's "too quiet" she's generally 'reading' her books, not getting into something bad. I've showered almost daily since she was born. Go me.

But some of motherhood day-to-day just isn't picture-worthy. Until now. Today the mundane of our lives is getting some time on this here blog.

Linking up with this once-a-monther thing

Let me just explain the lay of the land for our apartment. It's on the 2nd floor, but we have our own private staircase. It connects to a one-car garage that my husband has the only opener to (he leaves super early, and that way never has to scrape the ice off his car in the winter). I park in a spot out front.

I do all my "big" grocery shopping at night after B is home Cora is in bed. But Aldi isn't open past 8, so I take Cora there in the mornings some times (38¢/lb. bananas and $1.69 milk gallons, holla!). She does great at the store. It's just when we get home . . . getting everyone and everything to the top of the stairs into the living area is a bit of a feat.

Also, our staircase is 16 steps, which is 2 steps more than a regular staircase, so the least trips up and down the steps, the better. I'm sure there are more expedient ways to do all this, but this works for me. Sorta.

I present to you: How To Enter Our 2nd-Floor Apartment With 3 Bags of Groceries, 2 Water Bottles, One Purse, and One Young Toddler

1. Get baby out of car.
2. Put baby on sidewalk. (She doesn't know how to step off it on her own yet.)
3. Grab a few things and open door to apartment.
4. Grab rest of bags from trunk
5. Herd baby into apartment. (Occasionally she'll want to ring the doorbell and clack the door knocker, so put your bags down and pick her up to do that.)
6. Close door. Start herding baby up the stairs. Use bait if needed. Stay behind baby because you don't want a repeat of that one incident. You know the one.
7. Haul groceries up in various shifts to various stairs behind baby.
8. Keep encouraging/bating baby who has begun throwing things. Yell occasionally. Drop stuff.
9. Baby reaches the top and starts closing the gate. You and some groceries reach the top. Throw them over the gate.
10. Go back and get the other groceries that are on steps 6, 8, and 9.
11. Arrive at the top and latch-close baby gate.

Six minutes and 18 seconds later, you have officially made it from car to apartment with all your chattel. Even though I work out and run 3 miles every other day, this still exhausts me.

Here is a helpful video that I tried to shoot with one hand while trying not to impede the actual task at hand.

On the upside, we bought a house with a 3-car garage that attaches right into the kitchen/great room. Can't wait until we move in!

This has nothing to do with the rest of the post, but sometimes you look stupid when you attempt to kiss your kid:

09 October 2013

Race Recap: Fort4Fitness 4-Miler

This is the race I've basically been training all summer for. And it finally happened. And it was just as awesome I was hoping!

The race was back on September 28, but right after it happened we drove up to South Bend for the Notre Dame football game, then a few days later we headed off on a multi-state adventure. We're busy people!

I was looking forward to this race because I'd heard a lot a talk about it around town. There were actually FIVE different races as part of the event, but I chose the 4-mile race because I'm not quite ready for (or even sure I want to attempt) a 10K. There was also a half-marathon, but that's not even on my radar--I only get 2 hours of child-watch per day at the Y, so it's not even feasible.
A picture of the finish line I took the day before at packet pick-up
When I signed up for the race, I was asked my pace since they did corral starts. I put down a 9:30 pace, and noticed that my bib told me to go to Corral C. I figured the corrals were just big or something, because that pace isn't very fast. I got the corrals, and saw N and O at the back of the line. Seriously, I was right up front! Corral A was wheelchairs, so I was actually in the second corral! (I guess it technically was a Run/Walk, and I suppose there were a lot of walkers?) They did a little opening ceremony with a gal singing the national anthem, some minister did a prayer, and we had a countdown a canon-fire start. Then we were off!
Running through downtown Fort Wayne--fall colors starting to emerge!
The race had a pretty cool route. We raced a bit through downtown Fort Wayne, then through some old neighborhoods, then finished at our minor league baseball stadium. We ran the outfield, then down the first-base line and finished on home plate (although it was covered).
Yep, running through the dirt of the outfield!
We got lots of cool swag, the best being a Vera Bradley market tote, a more mesh-y t-shirt (although mine is ill-fitting), and FREE digital pictures!! They had a handful of photographers, too, so I got some good ones!

There was a lot of energy at this race, and a lot of community involvement. There were 2 drink stations on the route, and a lot of people just outside their houses cheering for us. This was also the first race where I've ever seen ads specifically put up for the runners. It was mostly banners for other races in the coming months, but I thought that was sorta neat. My favorite on-the-route thing, though, was the decorated streets! A few of the neighborhoods chalked some motivational messages for us to run over. Most were around the 3-mile mark, which is where we definitely needed it.
My favorite picture of me running EVER! Also how neat is it that our names were on our bibs?
I ran the whole race sans music. Mostly I listened to the pitter-patter of everyone else's feet (which was actually very cool to hear), but I also got to hear what I assume was a dad/daughter pair behind me. The dad was doing a really good job motivating the girl, and it was helping me out as well! They were right behind me for at least 2 miles but I lost them at a water stop I think. I never did get a good look at the girl, but thanks Dad!
I sprint my finishes. Can you tell?
The best part of this race, however, was finishing it! The whole point of this thing was to just get more people into fitness around here, so they did darn near everything to make you feel like a queen for accomplishing it. And hey, 4 miles is actually the longest race I've ever done, so I was okay with that! As I came down that stretch toward the finish, the baseball announcer said MY NAME over the PA system! And he said it in the style of a baseball announcer. It was cool! I also had signed B up to get a text when I finished (he stayed home again), and that was nice because I also could see my time (it was a second or two off, but still).

So yes yes, I should tell you my time, pace, and place, shouldn't I?
My time for this 4-mile race was 37:16. My goal was to be under 38, so I was very very happy with this! That's a pace of 9:19, which is way under what I was doing in practice runs. (I'm still convinced that races mark the courses short.)

My standings: I came in 293rd place overall out of just over 3600 runners! And I came in 18th in my division out of 286! I'm quite pleased.
Tough, but fun. Maybe I'll do it again next year?

03 October 2013

4 Years!

And the dress still fits :-)

We are actually in Washington, D.C., today preparing to celebrate my brother-in-law's wedding, so this picture was taken on Tuesday (and the post was scheduled). I'm hoping the monuments are open again because I really wanted to walk them at night with B (and Cora in the stroller). We'll make a night of it in one of my favorite cities regardless of the state of the government!

Previous years' dress pictures:
3rd anniversary
2nd anniversary (with a bump)
1st anniversary

And here's a wedding photo, because who doesn't love that?
We definitely didn't have a boring first dance!

01 October 2013

Skirtember: Week Four Recap

September is done and gone, and that means so is Skirtember! I am currently sitting here in my favorite pair of jeans and couldn't be happier. You'll be seeing me in skinnies and riding boots soon enough.

Last Monday did not bode well for a skirt. I wore one for an hour at home and forgot to take a picture. On to Tuesday.

My chambray dress is cute and comfy, but it was a mistake to wear this to an alteration shop. After they took the pants I needed altered away, I was left with the shirt I needed altered and no pants on! Luckily, a woman came into the dressing room and pinned the shirt while I stood there, pants-less.

On the upside, I had a cute headband on (which you can't see in the above picture).
This is actually a Sweaty Band that I wear for running. Cute enough to wear with a dress, too!
On to Wednesday. This outfit looks so dressy to me, but the shirt is just a cotton jersey t-shirt, and the shoes are pretty casual. The skirt and necklace (made by my aunt) do a lot for this basic tee.

Thursday was my favorite outfit of the week, but unfortunately it got too hot for both the boots and the cardigan within an hour of taking this picture.

Friday was actually the skirt I wore for an hour on Monday. It was good for whatever I did on Friday.

Saturday we went to the Notre Dame game. I am sooooo glad I did not wear a skirt. The weather was autumnal, so I went from cold to hot to cool in the span of time we were there. (I wore pants that were easy to roll up.) Also, the bleachers at the stadium are wood and were giving me splinters--mostly on my hands, but I was feeling it through my pants a bit, too. None of my skirts would have stood up to that!
Touchdown Jesus is in a 'dress' but I am not.
We also went to mass right after the game in B's old dorm, so yep, that's what I wore to mass.

Sunday was spent doing stuff at the new house, so no skirts that day either.

I ended the month on the right foot, though.

My feet were cold all day yesterday, and I wish I'd worn different shoes.

Overall, I'm glad Skirtember is over. I'm glad I did it, but I'm glad it's over. I wore skirts 24 days out of 30, and I didn't repeat any entire outfits. I call that a victory!

And here is Cora's Skirtember collage, since she participated a bit too!
Cora also learned the word "cheese" this month. Can you tell? She's definitely a ham for the camera.