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Posts by saroy
I ordered a walker toy from Amazon several weeks ago. Although Emma wasn’t ready to use it yet, the front had a detachable toy panel that she’s played with since it arrived. The walker itself has been in our bedroom since the carpet prevents it from rolling too fast, and Emma has shown mild interest in it when she’s in there. But on Saturday, we had it out in the living room. All of a sudden, she crawled right over and pulled up on it. It started to move forward and although I think the movement came as quite a surprise to Emma, she suddenly started walking behind it. I leapt from the couch, certain that she was about to face plant onto the floor — but she didn’t!
We immediately took her into the hall where she proceeded to walk back and forth as if she’d been doing it for weeks. Mom, Dad, Jose and I were clapping excitedly and exclaiming over what a good job she was doing, which only made her more excited to walk.
It was only 6 weeks ago that she pulled herself up to standing for the first time. And now she’s using her walker like a pro! Her balance is nowhere near good enough to take any unassisted steps yet (she still needs to hold on to something when she’s standing), but somehow I feel like that day will be here sooner than I think.
Jun 10 – 1.4 mile treadmill walk
Jun 11 – 2 mile treadmill wall
Jun 12 – 1.3 mile walk with Jose and Emma
Jun 13 – 1.5 mile treadmill walk
Jun 14 -
Jun 15 -
Jun 16 – 3.85 mile walk with Mom and Emma
I missed Friday and Saturday this week — my parents arrived on Thursday, so Jose and I took full advantage by going out to dinner both nights and didn’t get back until late enough that hopping on the treadmill didn’t make sense. I made up for it this morning though by taking a nice long walk with Mom and Emma. It was nasty humid outside but we survived.
In the middle of my walk on Thursday, the lights suddenly went out and the treadmill screeched to a halt. Somehow it tripped the circuit breaker for our master bedroom, even though it’s never done that before and even though everything had been successfully running for 10 minutes. Sometimes I’d swear the person who wired our house was drunk the day he did it.
June 7 – I sewed the fabric I’d prepped the day before and created two new throw pillows for our couch. (Well, two new covers anyway.) This was such an easy project that it’s embarrassing to admit that I’d been sitting on the fabric (which I bought specifically for this) for more than a year. From start to finish it took about 45 minutes to make two pillow covers.
June 8 – One of Emma’s three main teachers at daycare had back surgery on Wednesday and will be out for a couple months. I made her a card to thank her for everything! She was great and it’s a bummer that she doesn’t get to finish out the year with Emma and her classmates…but hopefully she’ll be back and feeling better in the fall. In August Emma will move from Room 1 (babies) to Room 2 (young toddlers), which is right next door, so I’m sure we’ll still see Ms. Joy.
June 9 – A little more work on Emma’s Christmas stocking.
June 10 – I saw a necklace at Target a while ago made of embroidery floss and metal rings. It occurred to me that it’d be very easy to make something similar so I bought the materials a while ago…and of course they’ve been sitting with the rest of my craft stuff for months. I finally dug the bag out on Monday evening and made this necklace. It didn’t turn out quite like I’d envisioned — tying the knots took up more of the length than I’d anticipated, so the necklace ended up shorter than I’d wanted. But overall it’s not too bad and I had fun doing it.
June 11 – Yep, more cross stitch!
June 12 – This was my low point of creativity this week since all I did was hem some work pants. Necessary, arguably crafty, but not very creative. Also? My blind hem stitch and I do not get along very well. I had to rip it out twice before finally being somewhat successful on the third go-round. And it still turned out wonky enough on one leg that I may rip it out again and just sew the hem by hand.
June 13 – I designed a simple card in Illustrator and imported it into my Silhouette software. One reason I bought the Silhouette instead of a Cricut is that I wanted the ability to make my own designs! Importing them into the software is a little kludgy, but as long as the design is simple it’s not too much of a hassle. The card turned out really cool so I’ll post a photo of the finished product once the recipient has received it!
Slide revamp by EmilandDC
This developing story about NSA data-gathering and the guy who leaked the info is sort of fascinating me. But I also couldn’t help but notice that the leaked Powerpoint slides…well, they’re hideous. It’s nice to know that the NSA produces ugly, cluttered and rather ineffective charts just like my own agency sometimes does. Anyway, someone else thought they were ugly too, so they redesigned them!
Google Reader is going away on July 1. They announced this several months ago, of course, but I’ve been living in denial since then. But now that its demise is imminent, I guess it’s time to switch. I’m trying out Feedly for now and it seems ok. I suppose I’ll get used to it with time. Sniffle.
I read an article back in March that basically says people who are bad at their jobs are also happier in their jobs. That in itself is rather depressing but I totally believe it’s true based on my own observations after 10+ years in the workforce. As a corollary, I think people who are able to “leave work at work” are happier in their jobs as well. And those two things seem to be becoming tied together — being available at any hour seems to imply in many cases that you are a more dedicated and higher-performing employee, whereas doing something like ignoring email after hours is starting to imply that you’re not as good. I don’t have a grand point to make here…but I think it’s interesting.
I read West Elm’s blog from time to time, and last week they posted about their summer catalog shoot in Stiltsville in Biscayne Bay near Miami. I think this place is so cool! I remember seeing houses out in the water off Key Biscayne when we were in Miami a few years ago for my brother’s wedding, but I never figured out why there were houses in the bay, or who owned them. Turns out they were built in the 30s to avoid Prohibition and do some offshore gambling, and now belong to the National Park Service. It doesn’t sound like they’re really open to the public these days, but man, that would be SUCH a cool place to vacation!
Yesterday I tackled the Sylvan Beach Tri over in La Porte. I’ve done this race once before two years ago — but that time I did the duathlon, not the tri. The old distances were somewhere between sprint and olympic distance but this year, they revamped the race to be more in line with most sprint distance races. The old was a 1000 yard swim, 18 mile bike and 5 mile run; the new was a 500 yard swim, 15 mile bike and 3 mile run. Even with the new, shorter distances I suspected that I would be pushing the limit of what I can really handle right now given that I’m not training whatsoever — and my results confirm that! There’s no way I could have managed a longer race now that the heat of summer has arrived.
500 yd swim – 12:28
T1 – 1:27
15 mile bike – 53:01
T2 – 1:29
3 mile run – 37:57
Total – 1:46:22
The race was at Sylvan Beach Park, which has a little man-made “beach” on the shore of Galveston Bay. The swim course was a three sides of a rectangle — we started on the beach and ran into the water, swam out ~200 yards, across ~100 yards, and then another ~200 yards back in to shore. The water was a little choppy, and we had to deal with incoming swells on the way out. I was in the third and final wave with all women, plus Clydesdales and relays and even though this is a fairly small race, it was hard to escape from the crowd. On top of that, my right goggle kept filling up with water. It wasn’t the greatest swim, but I made it through in decent time and headed up to transition. T1 was standard. I walked most of the way from the swim exit to my rack because I needed to catch my breath from the swim! But soon enough I was on my way.
I had a great bike at TriGirl last month — I felt fantastic, nothing hurt, and I just sailed through that short course. Unfortunately I was unable to repeat that yesterday! My neck started to ache before I’d even hit the 5-mile mark and my entire upper body felt tense. By mile 8, I had started checking my watch every few minutes to gauge my progress and by mile 12, I was ready to be done. I slowed to a crawl on the cruel bridge climb around mile 13 and was quite relieved to arrive back in transition soon after. In T2, I went down the wrong side of the bike rack and instead of just running around to the other side, I decided to just rack my bike from the wrong side. I started to put it in one way, then realized I was doing it wrong and turned it around. THEN after racking it, I realized I’d been right the first time and now my bike was racked in the wrong direction. I decided I didn’t care, grabbed my shoes, and started the run.
I felt about as good as could possibly be expected when I started the run — which is to say that I was already tired but determined to just make it to the finish line. My goal had been to average 12:00 miles but I realized pretty quickly that it wasn’t going to happen. It was too hot, and I was already too tired from the swim and bike. So I ran when I could and took several walk breaks. The first 2 miles weren’t completely awful, but mile 3 was downright pathetic. The only thing that kept me going was knowing that Jose and Emma were waiting near the finish — I’m smiling in the photo above only because I’d just run past them!
All in all, it was a nice morning, but clearly I am not in any kind of shape to do anything longer than this for a good while. There aren’t many races in July but there are several to choose from in August. It would be fun to do the August TriGirl (standard sprint distance as opposed to May’s super sprint) but I think I’ll probably target the sprint distance at Clear Lake (500m swim, 14 mile bike, 2 mile run). It’s too close to home to pass up in favor of anything else.
Jun 3 – 1.6 treadmill walk
Jun 4 – 1.1 treadmill walk
Jun 5 – 2 mile treadmill walk
Jun 6 – 1 mile treadmill walk
Jun 7 – 3.1 mile run outside
Jun 8 -
Jun 9 – Sylvan Beach Tri!
So it’s hot outside now. I get seriously overheated when I work out — I’m talking all day long overheated that doesn’t go away until I sleep. My face is hot to the touch. I sweat at the slightest provocation, even hours later. I ran on Friday morning around 10:30 since the humidity was low after a nice series of thunderstorms the night before. At 4:30 that afternoon, simply walking around the daycare for their “carnival” made me break a sweat.
It’s ridiculous and even after all these years, I’ve yet to find a sure-fire way to cool myself down. Any ideas??
This morning I did the Sylvan Beach Tri — 500 yard open water swim, 15 mile bike and 3 mile run. It wasn’t particularly pretty but I finished! I’ll post a race report this week.
And as I type this at 8:00 pm, 11 hours after I finished the race, my face is warm to the touch.
This was a great week! I did a lot of fun little things.
June 1 – I started off easy with a project I’ve been working on for months — Emma’s cross stitch Christmas stocking. I got started back in November and December, and then in languished for a while until I picked it up again in April. I’ve made slow but steady progress since then. I leave it out next to the couch where I can see it, and that’s enough of a reminder to keep at it. Cross stitch is a pretty mindless activity, so it’s easy to add some stitches while hanging out with Jose and watching TV. As you can see from the photo, it’s got a snowman theme. I estimate I’m ~20% complete right now.
June 2 – My friend Melissa has some cool magnetic photo sleeves in her cubicle, and a few weeks ago after finally using my Silhouette cutting machine for the first time, I realized I could make some neat “frames” on my own. I ordered some adhesive magnet paper (sticky on one side, magnet on the other) and my idea worked perfectly! I stuck scrapbook paper to the adhesive side, designed a frame shape in Illustrator, and then figured out how to (clunkily) import that into the Silhouette software. After one false start because I didn’t install the cutting blade correctly, it worked like a charm. I’m so in love with these!
June 3 – I laid out and ordered my first-ever photo book! I can’t believe I’ve never done one of these until now. I went with Blurb and am excited to see how it turns out.
June 4 – In some of my blog surfing, I came across an idea for a computer desktop “organizer.” I am really bad about keeping my desktop cluttered with files, and it makes it rather difficult for me to ever quickly find reference material or other documents I might need. I took 20 minutes and whipped up my own version of a desktop organizer, and I am not even a bit embarrassed to admit how ridiculously happy this makes me. I’ve got 3 categories that are appropriate for my two primary roles — Emergency Operations and Russian Vehicles — and one box for Other. The hardest part was figuring out how to size things just right, but that just involved finding the monitor resolution, dividing by the number of icons that can fit from left to right and top to bottom, and drawing appropriately sized boxes. (The sizing is also designed such that when I switch from docking station to laptop and the display resolution changes, my icons won’t scatter randomly.)
June 5 – More cross stitch.
June 6 – I bought two yards of home decor fabric at Ikea over a year ago to make some throw pillows but never got around to it. Throw pillows are SUPER easy to make, so yesterday I prepped the fabric and I plan to sew them up today.
Until next week!
You are officially in double digits — 10 months old! And if that’s not enough reason to celebrate, we can all sigh in relief that we survived this huge doozy of a month. But first I’d rather talk about the good things. This month I got to celebrate my first official Mother’s Day as a mom myself, and that’s all thanks to you! It was a very nice day. I did my first triathlon since you were born in the morning, and when I came home you and Daddy were there to greet me and tell me what a good job I did. You and Daddy made me a beautiful photo book filled with all sorts of pictures of you and me that I must’ve looked at a dozen times that day alone. We all went out for a yummy lunch and then Daddy played with you while I took a nap. It was a great day.
When you are awake, you are a ball of energy, always on the go, always exploring. You still try to put pretty much anything and everything in your mouth, and I kinda wish you’d grow out of that phase sooner than later. But I know it’s just part of figuring out what things are as you scoot from spot to spot. You’ve almost entirely abandoned the arms-and-belly army crawl, since you now can cover any distance just as fast on your hands and knees. You love to stand up, and scoot along the couch and around the coffee table. I often catch myself just watching you and marveling at how much you have learned to do in only a few short months, and how much you are already starting to resemble a little girl instead of a baby.
You are more obvious about your likes and dislikes, and make the most hilarious expressions when you are happy, confused, studious or impatient. You love sitting on daddy’s shoulders and getting to “fly” through the house while laying across my arms. You laugh like crazy when we let you sit on our big bed and then one of us jumps onto it, making you bounce and fall over. Daddy sometimes turns on PBS Kids in the morning and you watch the Cat in the Hat or Super Why with great interest and an occasional arm flap or clap of approval. And when we go out to lunch as a family on the weekends, it’s hard to even feed you since you’re so busy turning your head every which way to take in all that’s going on around you. Frankly, there’s not a whole lot that you aren’t interested in right now — well, except for the fact that after 5 pediatrician visits in 6 weeks, you have developed a strong aversion to the sight of a stethoscope. But who can blame you for that one?
Some of your new skills this month include being able to turn off the light switch in your room when we hold you next to it and opening and closing the door to your room (although you haven’t totally figured out how to get out of the way enough so that when you pull it open, you don’t just pull it into yourself). You also discovered that you can open the kitchen cabinets one day when I was making something and you were crawling around my feet. We managed to hide that kitchen “feature” from you for quite a while, but I guess it’s time to put cabinet latches on a few of those! Your eating is also starting to evolve as we introduce more and more foods and textures. You regularly eat small pieces of fruits, veggies and bread or cereal without us having to mush them up. You got your first taste of meat last weekend (tilapia! yum!) and seemed to like it. I’m a little freaked out about the thought of transitioning away from formula in two months because, oh boy, do you still love your bottles — but you also seem content to eat almost everything else we’ve tried.
Alas, I can’t write about your 10th month without also lamenting that it was the Month of Never-Ending Sickness. Two ear infections. Hand, foot and mouth disease. A nasty infected rash as a byproduct of that stuff. A minor case of pneumonia just when we thought you’d gotten healthy again. Two rounds of antibiotics to deal with all that, plus a week of inhaler treatment. And then earlier this week you took an accidental tumble at daycare and wound up with a big bump on your nose and a slightly swollen lip. Whew. I’m exhausted all over again just thinking about it. All of my friends with kids warned me that you would get sick at lot during your first year or so of daycare so I knew this was coming to some degree, but May really kicked our butts.
Ironically, I think you handled all of the illnesses better than Daddy or me! When you were strapped into the chest x-ray table at the hospital, I cried more than you did. The pneumonia made you appear obviously ill for a whopping total of about 24 hours. You popped out your 5th tooth last week without a fuss, and are working on your 6th. And even though the tumble at daycare scared Dad and me quite a bit, you seemed oblivious when we stopped by to check you out — in fact, you were much more interested in getting back to the kiddie table for snack time. If you could talk, I’m certain you would have said something like “Quit messing with my nose, Mom! It’s fine, and I’m missing out on eating some puffs!”
Whether it’s pneumonia or a unexpected face plant into the carpet, you bounce back. If you can’t pick up that piece of avocado, you keep trying until you get it — or until it’s so squishy that there’s nothing left to pick up, at which point you happily suck it off your fingers. If Dad or I leaves the room without your permission, you immediately crawl right after us and don’t stop until you’re pulling at our pants to stand. Emma, you are determined and you are resilient. Those qualities will take you far and serve you well in your life. I promise to do my best to make sure you never lose them.
Goals for May! To be honest, I think this is a pretty ambitious list — especially since 2 of the goals involve doing something (even if it’s small) on a daily basis. But I’m ready to go for it anyway.
Touch up the paint in the dining room, bonus room and kitchen. There are a few spots in each room with wonky edges and uneven lines. Touching up those spots has been on my list for a LONG time even though it would be a pretty quick thing to do — it would only take about 20 minutes for the dining room and bonus room combined, and maybe 1-1.5 hours for the kitchen since that needs more coverage.
Participate in 30 Days of Creativity. I did this last year and enjoyed it, so I’m doing it again! I already have some fun ideas of little things I can do each day. I started Saturday with some work on Emma’s cross-stitched Christmas stocking and yesterday I used my new Silhouette machine to make some neat magnet frames. I’ll post updates on my creative endeavors each Friday this month.
Make a will. This has been something on my to-do list since Emma was born. Our assets aren’t too complicated so there’s really no reason to delay any more. This should be a fairly quick and painless thing to get done.
Walk a mile each day. I’ve fallen off the wagon, so this goes on the June goal list to make sure I get back on. (Some other form of exercise can be substituted for walking a mile, but you get the idea.)
Redesign this blog. I’m tired of using canned WordPress themes and I know I have at least 75% of the basic knowledge needed to make my own. One month should be more than enough time for me to either design my own very basic theme, or modify an existing one to my liking.
Finish up May’s goals. I know this is kind of a cop-out, but if I want to make sure I wrap up the several May goals that are still in progress, it needs to be on the list.
May 27 –
May 28 –
May 29 – 2 mile walk with Emma and Jose
May 30 –
May 31 –
Jun 1 –
Jun 2 –
After 6 weeks straight, and another 6 only missing a few days…obviously the wheels have fallen off my “mile-a-day” bus. I didn’t even do anything this weekend, when I actually have free time! I just haven’t made the effort. So the question becomes: what’s next? Do I just say that it’s come to an end, and let myself off the hook going forward? Or do I double down and start anew?
I’m going to go with option 2. Because walking or exercising in some way, shape or form every day is good for me and makes me feel good.
I’m going to cover a mile (or do some other form of exercise) each day between now and Independence Day. The biggest challenge will be the last week of June when we’re on vacation. (That seems counterintuitive, but I’ve always found it difficult to work out when I’m not at home. Something about being off routine, maybe?)
Let’s do this, self.