Monday, November 27, 2017

Solo Thanksgiving Hike

On Thanksgiving morning I dropped my son at his father's house and continued about five minutes north to one of my favorite local hiking spots. My plan was to hike the 5K trail and pick up my son on the way home. This was my first time hiking without my son EVER. And the first time I've walked farther than his legs will carry him since abandoning the stroller and baby carriers. It was both weird and wonderful to be in the woods by myself. I'm predictably out of shape but was able to complete the trail in exactly my goal time (1 hour), even with stopping to snap pictures.

Old pumphouses

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

7 Miles In 7 Days Challenge

Last week I participated in the 7 Miles In 7 Days Challenge hosted by 365 Mile Challenge. The goal of the 7 day challenge is fairly obvious: to get outside 1 mile per day for 7 days. The miles must be self-propelled, so running, hiking, or biking all count.

Here's how my 7 days looked:
Monday: walk, round trip between the shuttle bus and office = 0.6 miles
Tuesday: bike, round trip between parking lot and office = 2.22 miles
Wednesday: walk, round trip between the shuttle bus and office = 0.6 miles and lunchtime walk around campus = 0.9 miles, daily total = 1.5 miles
Thursday: walk, round trip between the shuttle bus and office = 0.6 miles
Friday: walk, round trip between the shuttle bus and office = 0.6 miles
Saturday: none
Sunday: Bog Trail with Little Man = 0.94 miles.

7 day total = 6.46 miles

Notes: I was still suffering from Hand, Foot, and Mouth Disease the first two days. On Friday I mowed the lawn, so I while I took A LOT of steps outside I couldn't really track the mileage. On Saturday I took a civil service exam which ate up 3 hours of my life and is not how I normally spend my weekends.

Regardless, I obviously did not reach the goal of 7 miles in 7 days. So I did the most logical thing and signed up for the 2018 365 Mile Challenge. Duh.

(Inspiration: my kickass sister who has already clocked 731.9 miles as of Nov. 11 for the 2017 challenge. She also gifted me the 2018 entry fees. So yeah, she rocks.)

Monday, November 20, 2017

Bog in November

The weather Sunday morning didn't look particularly inviting, but it was our only opportunity to get outside. It had been too many weeks since we'd last been on trail, so I bundled us up and off we went. The falling snow was very wet and the wind was whipping, but the temps were in the low 30s so it didn't feel super cold. I put my son in snow pants, coat, hat, and mittens, but I figured his feet would be fine in his regular hiking boots. I dressed myself similarly but with rain pants instead. However I failed to account for the boardwalk being underwater in one spot, which clearly called for some puddle jumping and resulted in wet socks. We completed our regular route, including some rock throwing, before heading home to dry off. Time to try on some winter boots from the collection of hand-me-downs. (Hand-me-downs are the best.)


Monday, November 13, 2017

Hand, Foot, and Mouth

When your 2.5 year old asks repeatedly to go for a hike, but you're too sick? Not the best feeling.

The Little Man developed hand, foot, and mouth disease for the second time recently which kept us inside and taking it easy last weekend. This past Wednesday afternoon the virus hit me like a Mack truck. First one of the worst fevers I've ever had, then the blisters covered my throat. When the fever abated, the blisters started popping out on my hands. And now they're on my feet too. So no hiking this past weekend. And not much of anything at all.

I'm wearing my Uggs to work today because they're the softest shoes I own. Business casual be damned.

I keep trying to think of ways to describe how the blisters feel. They don't itch. They hurt. Each one feels like there's a needle or thorn stuck in it. Like if your hand falls asleep and you grab something, only worse. Simple things like opening food packages or wringing out a washcloth are extremely unpleasant. Last night after my shower I could barely walk. I can only assume the hot water has a negative effect on the blisters. Fortunately, I was able to walk again this morning. But I will not be showering again any time soon.

Ibuprofen seems to help take the edge off.

Trying to hold my hand to show as many blisters as possible. Only partially successful.

Wednesday, November 08, 2017


Eating: Halloween candy. And more Halloween candy.

Watching: All my shows. I love my DVR.

Reading: Prayers for Sale by Sandra Dallas. I've read a few of her other books and can pretty much be sure of a good read whenever I pick up another.

Listening: Is it time for Christmas music yet?

Playing: With Thomas Minis. Building towers. Puzzles.

Saying: "Is there anything I can do to make you feel better?" When my son is upset I try to ask him this question. He usually wants hugs and/or kisses, but sometimes (like when I've woken him up from his nap) he isn't ready to be consoled.

Feeling: Annoyed. I know it's a minor infraction, but I'm still annoyed. If my ex gets to my house to drop off our son before I get home from work, he checks the mail. I'm sure his intentions are at least mostly good, but it still irks me. I would never check his mail while I'm dropping off our son at his house, but I can think of no way to nicely suggest he stop.

Loving: How much my son is enjoying learning little bits of American Sign Language. He's mastered the alphabet and I love you. When his mimi was visiting recently she taught him squirrel and bird, both of which are great fun. My favorite part is now after I've left his classroom in the morning I look back in through the window in the door and we make the I love you sign at each other. Best.

Looking forward to: The season premier of Chicago Med in two weeks. Yup, it's an exciting life I lead.

What are you up to these days?

Thursday, November 02, 2017


As I mentioned previously I signed up for Walktober  through my employer. I didn't join any teams or go on any of the Monday Mile group walks (because of scheduling conflicts and rain), so all it amounted to was logging steps every night before bed. To complete the challenge you needed to have a minimum of 6,000 steps per day. Only one day was I concerned about that fairly low bar and did a little extra running around the kitchen with my son. I wore my Fitbit more conscientiously than usual, but I didn't bother to figure out how biking affects my step count. As you can see I had 16 days at the Gold level, which is 10,000 steps or more. That pleases me.

In the end, it didn't really encourage me to be more active (except for the one day). I think I'm already aware of the importance of being active, and while I don't make the time for "exercise" these days, I still do a lot of moving about (toddlers, yo). I know I have plenty of good hiking days in front of me. 

Wednesday, November 01, 2017

2017 To-Do List: October

  1. Rearrange/clean the family room to make it a usable space 
    1. Move books down there to make it a library/family room?
  2. Get rid of items we don't use and/or don't like 
    1. clothes
    2. furniture DONE 
    3. kitchenware
  3. Read at least 24 books - 27/24 DONE
  4. Develop a system to ensure bills get paid in a timely fashion DONE 
  5. Hang wall art 
  6. Hang some sort of window treatment (curtains? blinds?) in family room DONE - 3/19/2017
  7. Blog at least once a week - 43/52 
  8. Purchase new bras DONE *
  9. Purchase new underwear DONE - 2/5/2017
  10. Go on a date
  11. Go swimming, preferably in a natural body of water
  12. Take my son camping in a tent in the woods for at least one night
  13. Frame a picture of my son for my desk at work DONE - 1/17/2017
  14. Go to the Adirondacks
  15. Take my son to the zoo DONE - 1/14/2017
  16. Install anti-tip straps on the TV
  17. Open a 529 account for my son DONE - 3/8/2017
  18. Visit Second Home Nature Center at least once a month - 10/12 **
* I've been getting by with only two bras forEVER. They are both many years old (pre-pregnancy). And one started to lose elasticity, so this month I ordered one bra online and purchased another in store. The online one was promptly returned. How do people buy bras without trying them on? Befuddling. So now I have 3 bras. Or maybe two and a half. But for now, that'll have to do.

** We went to Second Home Nature Center THREE times this month. And all of the visits involved walking trails, so October for the win!