Tuesday, August 12, 2014

In a pickle

Hey hey!!  Life update....short n sweet.....The new kitto-s are doing amazing (pics to come - they have a new cat castle and can jump 8 feet high, I swear!), Rob's learned the word "No" (ruh roh) and is doing pretty well except for a lil ole virus hats come to stay this week (aww) and Greg and I raced Sodus Point last weekend for the 10th year in a row (yikes!) Race report coming later this week. 

Today's post is short n simple....with the gorgeous NY weather this spring and summer, I've found myself with the wonderful produce problem....TOO MUCH!  I'm great with the fruit and most veggies- we freeze em, Rob eats 'em....oh right, he eats ALL of them.  Except one.  Cucumbers.  I don't know if it's a texture thing or a seed thing, but he's a little bit wary of them (seeing as the kid eats broccoli, beans and plain tofu, I feel that exploring the lack of love for this veggie is just not worth my time, ha).  But.  One can only eat so many salads.  Or tuna salads.  Or water infusions.  So....what to do with my bumper crop o cukes?  Duh, Rae...make pickles!!!

Day #1
So Easy Refrigerator Pickles

1 large cuke, sliced your way (I like spears)
1.5 cups water
1 cup vinegar
1 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp each dill, coriander, and garlic salt
5 cloves fresh garlic

Why I buy pickles, I don't know.  This was stupid easy.  Dice the cuke, add to a mason jar with a tight fitting lid.  Add in dill, coriander, and garlic salt, shake well.  In a medium sauce pan, add water, vinegar and sugar.  Bring to a boil and then remove from heat, let sit until cool.  Completely submerge the cukes and leave out to ferment for at least 3 days.  When fermented to your desire, place in the fridge, where they keep for up to a month (but....ours were gone 48 hours later.  And I got one pickle.  yeesh).  So what's a girl to do?  Start batches in shifts!!

Day #2
Batches 1 and 2, respectively
Super easy, super crunchy and deeelish!  (I think.  Hopefully I'll get some outta the next batch :-))  With a hint of sweet and just enough spice, these pickles are great on sandwiches, diced in salads, and straight outta the fridge munches.  Enjoy!

Monday, August 4, 2014

Cats outta the bag!

So.....you knew we would

And we did.  Get a new addition.

Too soon?   I don't know.  I'm a cat person.  I love em and have room in my heart and home for a new fur baby.  He does not replace in any way the Summeroo, but the house is....too quiet.  And we are ready to love our new fur child.  I had the thought of going to rescue a non kitten at Lollypop (kittens go to good homes ASAP, cats, not always).  And then....my dream kitteh happened.

Meet Meb. (Yes, as in Keflizhigi).  He is a 17 month old F5 generation Pure bread Bengal cat.  Love love love.  I have always wanted one of these babies, and the opportunity presented itself in a strange and wonderful way that I got my baby!  Handsome boy.....


 But.....what man can live alone (har).  So....meet Mirinda (yes, Greg and I are obsessed.  I named Meb and he named Mirinda).  She is also an F5 purebred Bengal. Beauty times a million!


And clearly quite a ham!!  We got these babies over the weekend (Rinny is also 17 months) and are now in the process of learning all about Bengals - raw, grain free diet, characteristics including taking a bath....going for walks...and 8 feet jumps! And could not be happier.  The kitt-os are adjusting to their new home beautifully and are even tolerant of Rob (mostly Meb).  We have a full house and it's the way it should be :-)

Thursday, July 31, 2014

My Furever Friend.

Oh, this is so hard.  But so is life sometimes.  I posted a few days ago on facebook, but to those that don't do social media, here goes.  We had a really hard weekend at the Glaser family home last weekend.  My fur kiddo, Summer, my bestest buddy for 17 years, passed away.  She had been not doing amazingly well for the last few months, but up until the last evening was purring, snuggling and chowing away at her food.  I noticed something off last Friday evening....and 5 hours later she was gone.  5 hours of hugging, holding, and being there for my baby, just like she was there for me every day since...1996.  Wow.  I'm not amazing at Eulogies....but I think my Summer girl deserves a big shout out for being an awesome cat.

The year was 1996.  I was a gangly, nerdy 8th grader who just lost her fur buddy to a hit and run.  So off we went to the local humane society to rescue a cat.  I wanted a big ole tom.  But this little pastel calico caught my eye- she was so petite and pretty, that I had to check her out.  They put us together in the observation room (remember when they had big glass rooms?) and this cat...wanted nothing to do with me.  She zoomed through the room like an idiot, and jumped down whenever I tried to grab her.  I was about to give up, when she ran toward the wall with all her little might....and knocked herself out, hard core.  She sat on the ground, dazed...shook her head, looked at me...and jumped in my lap, purring.  The rest, folks, was history.

High School.  Prom.  Graduation.  College.  My first apartment. Meeting Greg.  Buying a house, getting married, getting pregnant, and bringing Rob home with me.  She's been there through it all.  She was the first one to know about Rob!  She flirted with my boyfriends (and any boy, really...right Drew and Jack?).  She purred with me through heartache, loneliness, and bad days.  She snuggled in my lap.  She slept curled next to me every night, and even warmed the bed during the day, under the covers, waiting for her Momma to come home.



She had amazing personality.  She "spoke" to us- chattering away when it was food time, cuddle time, and any ole time.  She pranced.  She danced.  She had no chin (true story).

She was my friend.  I loved her.  And I miss her so. so. very much.  I do know that she is in a much better place now - the last few months were rough on her.  She lived a long, healthy, beautiful life and I know that she loved us just as very much as we loved her.

It's so very strange- for the first time in my life, I don't have a cat.  We have some housekeeping to do - a basement to clean, a litter area to clean, and some soul cleaning, but I do know that there will be another ball of fur - or two! to love very soon.  But there will never be another "Summe-roo" to love in the way that we all loved her.  My girlfriend - you were the bestest kitty a fur mom could ask for.  I love you so very much baby girl.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Musselman 2014 - I guess we ARE in Kansas.

Hmmm.  Since it's 12 days post race, I suppose I won't put it off any longer.  Honestly...I don't want to write this report.  But in the spirit of race reports, full disclosure, and for the good ole learning experience, I will.  Onward.

Need more cowbell...
I posted a bit about this 70.3 this year - if you've been reading for any length of time (bless you) you know that aside from Sodus, this is our yearly race.  I've done the half Iron  in 2008, 2009, Greg did it in 2010 (I had Ironman a few weeks later), I did it in 2011, 2012-and took off last year (wonder why?).  Well, no matter what happens I always settle in a few minutes above or below 6:30 on this course.  It's way out of line with my other PR's and I know I can break 6, so that's what I set out to do when I signed up in February.  I figured a double marathon would give me a solid running base and I would work on my bike base post May.

Then life happened.  My swim training sucked due to work commitments and lack of focused training (I own that).  My bike training- well, I didn't have enough time for the 3 hour rides I needed to be focused about this one.  And I knew it.  I went into the race over trained for the run and under trained for the bike and swim.  I figured I could still pull a PR out of my hat (6:28 - like I said, this course is not my friend) and have a fun weekend.

Obviously since it took me almost two weeks to post it, I did not have the race I dreamed of.  The forecast called for severe Thunderstorms and rain all day - which is fine for the run, but hell on the bike and swim.  I left Rob and Greg snuggled in bed at 5am and made the trek to Geneva - pre race fuel was oats, applesauce and peanut butter toast.  When I got to transition at 6, there was a (not so) nice sprinkling going on.  Lame.  I set up my stuff, socialized (this is THE race weekend for the finger lakes) and hit the port o let.  I don't remember feeling much of anything, which is weird.  Usually I get nervous, excited, nothing.  I noticed the lake had a few white caps going, so I pulled on my wetsuit and hit the water to get a warm up in.

My wave started at 7:05, so I left the water, snagged a gel and waited for pre race announcements.  One of

the reasons I adore this race so much is that the RD rock- he always makes it a fun and enjoyable weekend.  However, I think they tragedy of last year's race (2 deaths, both on the bike) got to him - he seemed really off (thankfully, there was no such tragedy this year).  I don't blame him - if it was my race I am sure I would be a bit out of sorts the year after such a weekend, but it didn't seem the same.  Onto the swim....

Mussels were not the issue this year!
Swim-  (50:55) This was a hot mess.  I'm not the best, fastest swimmer of the pack, but 100% capable of a 40 minute swim for a half.  I'm steady and consistent.  HAH.  The fact is, Seneca Lake always sucks.  Even if it looks flat- its choppy.  The last half mile of the swim is in a canal, so you just suck it up, deal with the chop, and wait for the fast part.  But this sucked.  The tide was out or something an the first 100 yards where shin deep.  We walked and felt like idiots....then I wished it was all walking, lol.  When I hit the deep water, the waves were a good foot or two high and it was disgusting.  I tried every breathing pattern I could and it all sucked.  I think I drank half the lake, ad I'm not proud, but about 5 minutes in I had a panic attack and flipped on my back.  I got very claustrophobic and could not, for the life of me, put my head back in the water.  TDLR; I doggy paddled 75% of that swim. I hit the canal 1300 yards in at 36:xx and finished the last half mile in 14 minutes.  LAME.

Bike (3:29- 16.3 mph) - Transition was a slow go, mostly because they restructured and you had to run over cobblestones to get anywhere, all around transition.  Yuck.  I got my bike stuff together super quick and headed out, hoping I could out bike a bad swim.  (My slowest.  Ever.).  About 5 minutes into the bike we all stretched out for the ride and relished being on terra firma.  I found out they pulled a ton of people out of the water and felt much better about my crap swim.  Then, the winds started.  The first 15 miles of this course suck anyways - false flats for 99% of it.  But the strong headwinds made going 15 a chore.  Ugh.  I wont belabor the bike - I have no desire to relive it.  In a nutshell - driving rain, head winds, cross winds, 5 nice fast miles of tail winds....and everything else was crap.  My legs never hurt, I never felt tired physically, just unable to push beyond the wind and honestly being afraid of toppling over.  Wimp.  For the first time...I wished I was at home, and not out in this mess.  Which really bummed me out- I might not be the fastest triathlete out there, but I always have a good time.  Otherwise why would I train at 4am?  Food for thought for 180 minutes.  Onto the run.

When I run my feet do not touch the ground :-P
Run (2:08, according to my watch - 2:10 according to race- 9:40/mi) - Hands down the best part.  I think I could have pushed it a bit more, but this part felt....fun.  And right.  It rained, the hills were there, but hey, I rolled with it.  Rob and Greg came out to cheer me on at parts of the run course, and so did my mom, which was awesome (I think I need them on the bike next time, lol).  I joked, ran 95% of it, walked the hills, and felt great.  Came in teh chute at 6:36, yet again in the spread of my Musselman 10 minute zone.  lol

Post race I ate some, stretched, got my crap and headed out with the boys.  I got a giant cheeseburger and fries for dinner and called it a day.  Later we found out that the county next door had a tornado, which would explain the bike winds and swim waves!!  Post race feeling - honestly...  I felt let down - for the first time I didn't really have fun at this race, which pains me to write.  I think I need to find another 70.3, or lay off the longer tris for awhile.  I just dont have the time for the bike, to be honest.  Maybe in a year or two...or maybe Ill change my mind next month :-P

Up next is Sodus Sprint, then finger lakes Olympic (haven't done this course since 2007!) and the OBX marathon in November, which I am hoping to break 4 in.  We move on.  Sorry for the lame race report, but I always strive for honesty...Musselman did not float my boat this year.  Jry's out for next year- we'll see what it brings!


Friday, July 18, 2014

Teddy Bear Picnic!!


Well, would you look at that- I go through a fabulous streak of all of the posting then...nothin' :-P  In my defense, the last week was so damn crazy that after June 13, Greg and I threw in the towel and sorta just zoned the last few days.  Between the party, docs appts, Musselman weekend and some family stuff, we were DONE!  Musselman report coming soon - spoiler alert, it was NOT the race a I hoped for, but if I'm honest, I'm not shocked.  I did get some wisdom out of it, and that's the real deal for experience, right?  Right.  But, backing up even further, I want to show you what we did for Rob's b day!!

We decided to go with a Teddy Bear picnic theme, 'cause he's our little "ro-bear".  Greg and I really got into it - we did a tedy bear invite (designed by Greg-glaserdesignservices.com lol), and Mama Bear, Papa Bear and Ro-Bear shirts....also designed by him.  I went a little Pinterest wild, and also threw in my own creativity.  We invited 30 friends and family over to share, and the snag was to do it on a budget.....which we managed to pull off at $120 for all the food, decorations, drinks, and favors.  It was a mix of bargain shopping and creativity.....take a look!!

FOOD - We did everything Bear themed.  BEAR-B-Q, honey cornbread, daytime porridge (barley salad), field greens.  Snacks were honeycomb, gummi bears, teddy grahams and BEAR-ies.  I shopped sales for weeks for the snacks, drinks (Target soda and awesome soda coups made the drinks less than $20 for 10 2 liters, 2 iced tea jugs, 3 12 packs and 48 bottles of water).  Tops had berries b2g3, and all snacks were bought with a coupon.  Same with the bread and buns, which coincided nicely with 4th of July.  For meat we used chicken thighs and chuck steak, which my Uncle brought, and my Dad and his new bride brought the field greens.
BEAR - ies
Personalized water bottles (yep, Pinterest)
The snack table! (Teddy bears everywhere - thank goodness for my moms '90s beanie baby obsession)
BEAR B Que (Chicken and Beef)


Honey Cornbread and "Daytime Porridge"

Cake and Favors - I was all set to do cupcakes,  then I couldn't find tins.  As I think I mentioned before, Tops offered a free smash cake for Rob (all I had to do was bring his birth certificate to the service desk, no purchase necessary), so I went a little wild with my chocolate cake recipe.  I had meant to use the teddy grahams for the cupcakes, and this just sort of evolved.  Novice, but I had fun doing it! (Why pay $40 for a friggin cake??)  The top is a round cake and a mini cake pan cut in two :-)  For favors we did more homemade labels with gummy bears thanking our guests "beary much!"  (Yes, this is why I had kids.  lol)
Picnic style cake!
Favors
N Stuff -  Obviously, we did the whole house in bears and gingham.  I got the paper goods at the dollar store mostly, and found a killer deal on plates and cups at Walmart - 1st birthday stuff for .25 each.  Score. I printed off lots of bear cutouts and peppered the house, and also jazzed up a first birthday banner and mural I got for $1.  Bear bib - Ebay for $1.
We did a time capsule (why hello PINTEREST) and asked each guest to write down (I came up with the qs!) when they first met Rob, their favorite moment, and a future wish.  We sealed it up in a high tech silver wrapped shoe box, to be opened on his 18th :-)

Lastly (and my favorite part) was the album.  Early on, I got into the habit of taking a picture of my super handsome son.  Every. Single. Day.  How could I not?  Everything he did was amazing to this in love momma.  Well, about 4 months in, I realized this could be a cool concept, so I kept at it, and a few months ago, started going through my pictures and picking my favorite one from every day (I think I ended up with over 1200 pics!) and stored them, dated, on a jump drive.  I stalked target sales and walmart, and got some great deals on prints, and started my photo album/scrapbook - it wouldn't fit in anything but a binder, but I used some cool scrapbook paper and stickers.  A picture and a caption for every day, sometimes more....from July 5, 2013- July 5, 2014.  My kiddo's first year, one day at a time.  It took me a ridiculous amount of time to finish, and I got incredibly teary doing it.  And it was amazing.  I know he will roll his eyes and me, but I'm sure someday when he is 6 foot tall and dating girls (like, next week), I will curl up on the sofa with a mug of hot cocoa and remember my baby :-)I highly recommend it - the whole thing was less than $50 to do and is probably my best memento from year one :-)


And that was the party!  It was so much fun to plan (even when I got carried away) and even more fun to have!  We did 90% in crock pots, which allowed us to enjoy the party and not stress about food, and had a great mix of cutesy and practical (according to our guests).  Now, onto #2.....PARTY #2, ya know.
 Geez :-P





Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Mommy Post Baby - Year 1

And the last one of these too, promise.  Of course, I've been posting like a mad woman this week, so maybe my amusing you makes up for the incessant Rob and Mom talk!  I wouldn't even care about this one, but i had a few requests for a "body post baby" one year last recap.  The narcissist in me will OF COURSE indulge you, ha.  This is another one where I feel like the updates end at year 1 - pretty much it stopped being about me when kiddo was born, and I'm fine with that.  But after being Momma for a year, I've discovered that my pre baby body and my post baby body...and mind....are totally different.  Here we go!

BODY

Pre Baby - All about me.  Let's train it, stuff it, starve it, beat it into submission.  I've lived within a 10 pound window for the last 10 years and had good years and bad years, but always tapped in super carefully to my Italian fat loving jeans genes.  Ahem.  When I found out I was pregnant with Rob, I fit into my normal clothes but was about 10 pounds above my happy weight.  I'll also finally admit it - I had some pretty severe body dysmorphia.  Thank you dance background.

Post Baby-  Everyone said that my body would never be the same.  They were right.  IN fact, I have never ever loved my body so much as I do now.  First and foremost, it grew a human being.  Bad ass.  It wasn't about me, it was all of a sudden about this kiddo I was growing, and then feeding, so my food choices weren't about restricting or binging, they were about getting Rob the nourishment he needed.  That'll change your outlook!  I also don't have all the time in the world to obsess or prepare my food, which for some people sucks, but for me, it's been excellent.  I have some great go to meals with lean protein, veggies and grains that can be made in 20 minutes or so.  I perfected homemade pizza and crockpot meals.  And I damn well enjoy my Kraft Mac n Cheese and M&Ms when I want them, and don't obsess.  Breastfeeding helped, as well as training (I was so lucky to be able to run 3 weeks pp), but now my body is different- I went down a size in pants, I am below my actual happy weight, and when I look in the mirror, I see a happy, healthy parent and role model for my kiddo.  Please stop throwing rotten tomatoes.


LIFE

Pre- Baby:  I felt pretty well adjusted.  Good job, good relationship, solid hobbies.  I was never bored, but did enjoy my own quiet time and was a bit of a hog with my training time - I used to sleep in till 9, pfaff around, then do a nice 3 hour ride or so, hang out, make dinner, call friends, go line dancing (I know, wild woman).  Greg and I each enjoyed our own time and did alot of things as a couple.  I also worked a few jobs and took my time scouting deals at the stores and garage sales.

Post-Baby:  6am is a late morning.  What time??  I rarely sleep for more than 5 hours, and never all at once - i haven't slept for more than 3 consecutive hours since Rob was born.  My to do list is a joke, and I find it an accomplishment if the laundry is done and dinner is made.  It baffles me what I did with my free time before....
I still run and bike and swim.  That was non-negotiable.  I've signed up for a few dumb races (hmmmm...double marathon with a 10 month old) and need to learn to scale back a bit....like...marathons instead of half irons.  I have time to train, but not TRAIN for anything with Iron in the title. But I do know that I need to hang on to what made me Rae, and not just Mommy.
I love my husband even more than I ever thought possible.  He helped me create the most beautiful child, takes on his share of parenting, and gives me my "me" time.  And he's still sexy as hell :-)
Speaking of Love.....I had no idea what that was before I had Rob.  I thought I did, and I was wrong.  This little kiddo is my sun and stars, and the thought that he could ever be hurt sends me into a Mam Bear rage and makes me feel helpless.  My heart has never been so full of...everything.  And it's the BEST. EVER.

So there ya go, life in a nutshell, one year post baby. I would do it again in a heartbeat.  (NO, that is not a hint).   Moving on to more of what this blog used to be...meals, running/tris, and life in the thrift!!

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

12 months/ 1 year - No more baby!

12 months - My big boy!

Oh holy cow, bud.  How has it been a whole year?  It's so strange - I feel like you've been in my life forever, but I can't hardly believe a whole year has gone by - no more baby, you're my big man now. It's sort of surreal....the days seem to stretch into foreverness because I'm so tired, but the weeks and months just fly by.  This past year has been hands down the best year ever and I am loving being your mommy so so much.  I have never loved your dad more than I do now, and you are the perfect addition to our family.  But this isn't about me...it's about YOU!  Let's see where you are at 12 months....

One week old....
Size - 24 pounds-ish.  We take you to the docs on the 16th for your one year check up, but according to the scale at home, that's where you're at.  You are 30" high (2.5 feet!) and are for sure a full blown toddler in my book.  You are smack dab at the 50% for your weight and height, but that's where the normal ends....lol.  I wouldn't have it ANY other way, bud!!

Likes: Sneezing (you find them HILARIOUS), walking to Mommy and Daddy, spinning and upside down baby, and reintro'ed to running!  You had a blast at our 4th of July family run, lounging in your running stroller and making Mom and Dad do all the work.  Classic, kiddo.  You also loves snuggles still, even though you've graduated from sleeping on mommy all the time....I have more time now that you do naps on your own, but darn am I tired!!  You also love family dinner time and spend most of it snorting through your food and giggling, which is something I need to remember 10 years down the road when I get one word answers from you about your day :-P


One year old!!
Dislikes: Being wiped off after mealtime and also having your nose wiped at any time.  You also hate the end of bath time and have a strong averse reaction to beef - your little nose crinkles up and you spit that burger out!  On the dislike side, right now strawberries also dislike YOU....you get a rash when you eat them.  That's a bummer- I hope you grow out of that one!!!
Sleep: We're in a decent rhythm, aside from teething episodes - bedtime is about 8-830, and you sleep until about 6am, with one or two wake ups, usually a solid one between 3-4am.  You usually do a quick morning nap (30 minutes) and then about an hour to an hour and a half in the afternoon.  I'll take it, bud.

Eating: It gets better and better.  This month we introduced tofu, whole eggs, peanut butter (which we expected hilarity from and you just looked at us like we were nuts), and citrus.  Your fave this month is raw snap peas- you pop em in your mouth like candy!

Milestones/Firsts:
Walking-  We are up to 12 unassisted steps!!
Beach Swim- We took you to Kershaw- you thought the sand was hilarious, and stuck your little toes right in the water.

I feel like there are more firsts, but I'm having a brain fart.  You did learn a new word..."no".  oh man, are we in doo doo.

Best Moment: Your first steps.  Awwww, bud, you are growing so darn much every day.  And I love you even more every. single. day.
 
Looking Forward to: Our family picnic, the summer of fun coming up, beach time, walks, playing in the yard, and all of the fun things having to do with summer!!

Now that you're one, I probably won't be doing monthly updates - I'm not a mom that says that their kid is 19.5 months.  I'm thinking a 1.5 year and 2 year check in is where it's at, although I fully expect Rob blogging to be part of this blog as cool things come up!  Hope you've enjoyed my pregnancy weeklies and infant monthlies as much as I've enjoyed doing them :-)