Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Adults are so strange

When I imagined going back to work after staying home with young kids, I had this idealistic vision of having uninterrupted adult conversations about a wide and diverse range of topics. This vision wasn't a total lie, but I've been reminded that adults can be even weirder than kids. I've been back at work for less than a month and I've overheard some seriously WTF things. I know eavesdropping is technically weird but I'm not sure how to shut that off. I think the rude part is probably talking about things you've overheard.



Opening discussing the poop consequences of cleanses. Not shockingly, but doing a juice cleanse that requires you to add "psyllium husks" to your juice is basically like an all natural colonscopy prep. I'm pretty well versed in poop talk so I wasn't offended or anything, but since I don't know the guy's name who was talking about it, I call him "Leaky Butt Dude" in my head.



Overly personal phone conversations. I brought in headphones the day after I overheard a guy going into uncomfortably personal details about his divorce related issues. Conversations like these are why cell phones and walking outside are an awesome idea.



Weird food stuff. I fully expected to have coworkers who were into fad dieting and talking about Crossfit. I never expected to overhear someone calling all over town looking for a specific protein bar made with "cricket flour protein".



I actually assumed that cricket flour protein must be a brand name, because no one would actually eat a bug granola bar. Because I'm insatiably nosy, I of course googled the brand name while she was still doing her calls. Fun fact: It's actually made of mother fucking ground up crickets.



Apparently those hoppy nasty bugs are high in omega 3 and exactly what you need to be eating to get bikini ready. Even if the bar came with a guarantee that I would look like Marissa Miller, I don't think I could do it. Also, these bug bars are three bucks a piece! You can get boxes of crickets at the pet store for much cheaper than that.

This may be the first food fad that I agree should have the title "paleo". Cavemen would be all about this shit, way more than kale salad and sweet potato fries.




I know you're all wishing you could work with someone as nosy and judgmental as me. I'm looking forward to making future new people uncomfortable. I'm still in the "be quiet, you're new" phase of working. I'd probably overhear less if I wasn't constantly in the kitchen area or in the bathroom. It's not my fault though, they provide free coffee and free juice. That's right, all I can drink, all day long.




What's the weirdest or most awkward thing you've overheard at work?

Monday, April 13, 2015

10K Recap and My Favorite Time of the Year

On Saturday, I ran a 10K race. Going into it, I was slightly concerned about publicly humiliating myself in front of pretty much everyone I know since it's a really popular local event. Two weeks ago I struggle shuffled through a six mile run and that wasn't exactly a confidence booster. On race morning, most of my mental state was just happy to be at the start line feeling good and didn't care about the finish time.



Happiness aside, I was pretty sure if I ran a 60+ minute 10K that my pride might actually bleed. I didn't wear my Garmin because I find that it helps me focus on how I feel versus pushing for a specific pace. I know the course pretty well so mileage wouldn't be a mystery but my pace was harder to judge.

The weather was absolutely perfect for running, with a cool breeze but warm sun. The first two miles were flat and I struggled with finding a steady pace. This is traditional for me, as I do better with hills instead of flat stretches. I hit the timing mat at mile 2.2 at 19:06, which marked the end of the flat section of the race.



Once we hit the rolling hills, I relaxed and decided to just cruise it in instead of pushing it to the max. I was finally able to cash in on all of those hours I spend on the stair master and I felt great on the hills. The only issue I had was feeling hot since it was the first warm run I've done for the year, but it didn't really damper the experience. I just cruised along, listening to my music and enjoying the people watching.

When I got close to the finish line, a volunteer was calling out times. As I got close, he said "48! You're at 48 minutes!".



I was sure that wasn't the right time, but it did work to convince me to kick it to the end and I finished at 52:12 for the 6.2 miles. I felt great at the end, which isn't my normal for short distance efforts but a welcome change. Like any serious athlete, I immediately refueled:

#cleaneating

I should probably be ashamed to admit that I reached over a bunch of kids to snag that donut, but I've told myself that I'm helping fight childhood obesity.




Last year I ran this same 10K over 2 minutes faster and I won 3rd in my age group. Apparently that was wasted effort because I still got 3rd in my age group this year. I even got a shiny medal so everyone can know that I'm special.



I was pretty surprised with how good I felt during and after the 10K, and I think my new focus on "Core before cardio" is helping. That's probably a whole other post, but I've been restructuring my workouts to give first priority to core work, with cardio as secondary. It's an experiment to see if it can help the last niggling back pain issues I have, mostly when sitting in an office chair and driving my car.

Running is fun and all, but the best part of the weekend was the return of Game of Thrones. It's my favorite time of the year!



Do you prefer flat races or elevation changes? My ideal is rolling hills, with short steep climbs.

What show do you look forward to seeing every year? I have a long list, but the two top ones right now are Game of Thrones and The Walking Dead.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

A Penny for Your Thoughts

I've had a rescue hound for almost seven years now and one of the most frequently asked questions I get is "Where did you get her?" usually followed by "I wish I had a dog to run with me".



Well, I have good news for you! One of my awesome readers has a foster puppy who is essentially Peanut as a puppy, so you can be just like me and have a built in running buddy!





The puppy's name is Penny and she's currently being fostered in Tennessee but her rescue is located in Hagerstown, MD (home of the JFK 50 mile race!). She's 4 months old, already spayed and housebroken and completely up to date on her vaccinations.  She's very much a hound and loves everyone, especially other dogs. She would be a great running or hiking companion and you'd never have to talk her into playing with you, or just hanging out next to you.




She gets along with cats and hounds in general are great dogs for kids.

Vintage Peanut and Faith


Hounds are great dog dogs, and by that I mean they are up for anything you'd expect from a dog, from an endless game of fetch to rolling in the mud in the woods.



They aren't good dogs for people who want a quiet companion, but if you're a runner, especially a trail runner, and you've been considering adopting a training partner then this would be a perfect match.


SO ADORABLE


Penny's adoption fee is $375 and that covers all of her vet fees and her transportation to Maryland. If you're interested in adopting Penny but you're intimidated by that adoption fee, please shoot me an email. Penny is a Peanut clone so I'd love to help her get into a great permanent home.

Penny will likely be the same size as Peanut when she's done growing (around 60-65lb, depending on winter weight) and I really hope she can find herself a runner or hiker owner. If you know anyone who is looking for a dog like Penny, please send them her adoption link!



Monday, April 6, 2015

Hipster Mimosas and Grammar Humor

I finished up another work week! I'm officially moved into my new office because the space is now personalized.


Best decision ever

So far no one has asked "WTF is an alot?" but I'm totally prepared to give them a long answer with too much information. In other work-related news, I'm still enjoying what essentially feels like playing dress up everyday.


Realtor lady look

So many stripes

This past week of work was different because the kids were on spring break and my husband stayed home with them while I was at work all day. He nailed the stay at home parent thing and the kids did science experiments (they have a mail order kit subscription), flew kites and paper airplanes, and went to the local sculpture garden for their "Rocket Ship" craft event. I should have gotten him to do a guest post on the blog too while he was at it.



I did early AM gym workouts all week, so it was nice to get outside on Saturday morning. I met up with my friends and we did an easy paced 7ish mile run. I still haven't taken my Garmin out of the drawer, but when you run once a week you don't really care about specifics for mileage. After we finished up, we did what all elite athletes do and refueled immediately.

Bunnies with sticks up their butts

Hipster mimosa
Apparently Peanut thinks she should get champagne too. I bet our other neighbors thought it was hilarious that a group of women were drinking in the common area parking lot at 9am. When people ask me how to get "into" running, this is my answer. End the runs with chocolate and booze, no matter what time of day. You're welcome.

I'm still getting used to being so busy all week. I'm not trying to start one of those tired "Which is harder?" arguments about staying home with kids versus working, as I'm just pointing out that the transition is pretty exhausting. The combination of getting used to the new routine and getting up to speed with my work stuff has been a recipe for feeling fried by the end of the day.

Since no one wants to hear me bitch about my cushy office job, here is some grammar humor instead:



In running news, I registered for the Baltimore 10 miler! That's a reasonable distance for me to tackle right now and I get to see one of the cutest babies around if I go up to Baltimore, so it was really a no-brainer.

What's your next race on the calendar? I'm running a 10K on Saturday. I expect it to be a humbling experience, but hopefully still fun.

Do you like dressing up for work, or is it a chore? So far, I like it but I'm only two weeks in.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Easter Fun Shouldn't Involve the Tooth Fairy

This was supposed to be a seasonally festive sponsored post, but the sponsor decided to not run the campaign (for everyone, not just me. I'm pretty sure). Don't worry, you'll still get to enjoy my shilling anyway. 

Like every holiday, Easter can be both exciting for the older kids and both exciting and a little overwhelming for littler kids.

Who is this bunny and why is he hiding my eggs??

There is nothing like doing a fun seasonal craft project with your big sister to make everyone happy for the holiday!


Craft? What's a craft?

Why are we dressed the same? I'm scared, hold me.

Since I'm not exactly the Martha Stewart of Pinterest, I went with a standard egg dying kit. The beauty of having small children is that they are easy to impress, so I don't see any reason to set the bar too high.


Magic!

This was Faith's second year dying eggs, so she's basically an expert at this point.

Easy....easy.....

I let the kids do all the egg dying, but I did have a little fun with the decorations. Everyone loved my Egg Olaf...even the dog.

I'm Olaf and I like warm hugs!

Cordelia was really impressed with the egg dying activity and she seemed to be convinced that she was practicing magic.

I command you to be....BLUE!

After the eggs dried, the kids really enjoyed adding stickers for additional decorations.

This is my greatest work

I need more stickers!

Easy...easy....

The sticker application part was serious business for Cordelia. Until it wasn't.

Hey! LOOK AT ME!

I am HILARIOUS

Like most holidays, Easter has some great food traditions. Most of these foods are sweet desserts and that happens to be exactly the kind of food that the kids adore.

It must be bunnies!

It's funny to me that even little kids will instinctively bite the bunny heads off first. It's like it's part of human nature to save the butt for last.

Delicious bunny brains

Where will you be when the sugar hits?

Once that sweet candy hits their bloodstream, the kids usually need to run it off. It's called the Toddler Diet Plan and I'm sure that book will come out soon. Chapter 3: How Many Dress Spins to Burn off a Peep.

How many spins to throw up a Peep?

I think just one more than I've already done

Like every parent, I don't want these sugary treats to have a negative effect on my kids' teeth. Before they go to bed (or before they lay down to nap), they brush their teeth with a great toothpaste like [REDACTED] to remove all the sugar acids from their teeth. Brushing with a toothpaste like [REDACTED] for kids means that they can have all the Easter fun of eating sweets without worrying about damage to their enamel or potential cavities. I'm glad they can enjoy seasonal candy like Peeps and twirling around the kitchen in a sugar-induced stupor without worrying about damage from sugar acids to their teeth!


What's your favorite way to celebrate Easter or springtime? Tell me in the comments for a chance to win a $100 Visa gift card [REDACTED, SORRY SUCKERS].

Monday, March 30, 2015

TL;DR: I'm not dead

I survived my first week of being a busy urban professional and I didn't even toss any coffee on my fancy new outfits.


Business Lady Look

Library Lady Look

I spent the first part of the week at corporate on-boarding training, which was interesting. It was fun meeting people from all over the country and finding out what they'll be doing. It was also fun receiving so many motivational talks about how my future was starting now.





One week into being employed again and I've already picked up a new vice: coffee. I didn't drink before, not because I'm smugly above caffeine addiction but because I didn't like the way it tasted and it usually gave me a headache. It turns that I just really don't like my husband's coffee or Starbucks coffee. My new office has one of those fancy Flavia machines (it's like a giant Keurig) and I've already moved from one cup to two in my first week.




To balance out my new found coffee addiction, I'm also becoming emotionally invested in the lives of the geese who hang out by my office window. Yes, I have a window by my desk and a door to close for potential George Contanza style naps. Be jealous.



There are two huge geese that spend most of their time in the area by my window and I'm pretty sure they are a mated pair. They seem to fight and one of the days, the brown goose was just forlornly waddling around, honking for his lady friend. Then I saw the lady goose cavorting with a Canadian goose while her brown goose husband just followed behind them like a sad third wheel. Now we all know what I meant by "becoming emotionally invested in the lives of geese".



The week actually went pretty well. I used the crock pot for dinners and I was able to fit in exercise 6 of the 7 days. The kids adapted really well to the new schedule and we only had one rough goodbye. Cordelia doesn't even look back when I leave now, mostly because she's in such a hurry to get to the bin of dinosaur toys. She's been in a great mood when I pick her up in the afternoon.

EVERYTHING IS AWESOME

Faith has rolled with the punches too, but she is really tired. She started kindergarten last week and did a full week without napping. She's going to be five in June so it's time, but she built up some cumulative exhaustion from getting up early and not napping. She slept in over the weekend and napped a little, so hopefully she will adapt soon. They don't have school this week because of spring break, so my husband and I are doing a little role reversal and he's staying home with them while I go off to work. He's so excited at the prospect of being solely in charge of both of them all day with no planned activities.






I'm looking for ideas to decorate my new office space. Lots of people have really personalized office spaces but I think I want to be a little more restrained. I don't want to be like that one chick who brings in her larping gear to decorate the walls.

What do you have hanging on the wall by your desk at work? I'd love something like this, but maybe a little more work appropriate (lame, I know).