Saturday, April 14, 2012

Weekly Exercise Report

Distance (mi)
Blossom to Bottle 5k

Blossom to Bottle 5k

This morning I ran in a 5k race held at the Johnson's Orchard in Bedford. All proceeds of this race went to The YMCA's Oncology Wellness Program, so it was for a good cause. Plus, how often to get to run through an apple orchard? The course was a lot tougher than I expected. Even though the orchard is located at the foot of the Peaks of Otter, I was stupid to not expect some crazy hills. I think the combination of the hills and having to run on primarily uneven grass surfaces took its toll on my legs. I had no energy at the end to give myself a push. I was still able to finish with a time of 24:05. Which was not my best 5k time ever, but this was my first "trail" 5k and it was on a very challenging course. So I guess I pretty happy with my performance.

There were quite a few Bedford folks in the race, so it was nice to see the familiar faces. I also got to high five Eli half way through the race, so that gave me a little extra boast for the second half of the race. Also, I had Chris Blair cheering me on during several sections of the race. He was working the race for the Y and was on a 4 wheeler making sure everyone was taking the correct path. It was a great morning and it was great to catch up with a number of friends.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Tasty Thursday

No recipe this week, but I will share a picture of our supper tonight. Broiled lemon pepper and rosemary tilapia. We also had sides of asparagus and onions, lima beans, and wild rice.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Random Thoughts

I find it sad how much energy we waste everyday. I was using the restroom this week and there was an automatic paper towel dispenser. Even though I do appreciate not getting the extra germs by touching a lever or knob, I could not help be feel a little guilty for using energy to do such an easy task. Some bathrooms have electric toilets, faucets, and soap dispensers. I am sure most of this equipment is powered by batteries, which make it even worse. Those batteries are going to end up in the trash at some point.

This got me thinking. If there was some way to harness the energy of people actually entering the bathroom and use this energy to power these hygienic automatic equipment pieces. Then it came to me. There could be generator type hinges on the doors. The energy gathered by the act of the each person opening the door to the bathroom could be stored in a capacitor and used for the electric features. I am sure there would not be a lot of energy created, but if you think about this technology being applied to every door in a large office building. This energy source could really contribute to a companies total energy consumption.

So I did a google search and this technology has already been considered. So, it doesn't look like I am going to get rich off this idea. There are already "hinge" generators being used in experiments to power LED lights. Also, it would probably cost a company more to implement the technology versus the actual monetary savings it would provide. On to the next idea to save humanity! This is just one of the random thoughts that passed through my mind this week. I know, I need help!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Product Review - Strollers/Travel Systems

Since I have more experience being a Dad, than I do being a runner. I figured I would spend my first product review post on something parent related. When I started this blog, I wanted it to be helpful to new parents. While I am no expert when it comes to raising children, it is an experience that allows you to learn something new every day. If I can pass along just a portion of this knowledge to someone else and if that information helps someone else make a better parenting decision, then I will consider my blog to be a success.

So for my inaugural product review post, I am going to spend a little time talking our experience with strollers and travel systems. Before Eli was born, we registered for baby shower gifts. We knew we would need to get a travel system. For those that do not know what a travel system consists of, there is a stroller, baby carrier, and car base. These systems allow you to carry your baby in a carrier that will easily attach to a car base to make a car set and also attach to a stroller. These travel systems are awesome because it allows babies to remain a sleep while being transported here and there. A sleeping baby is much better than a crying baby!
Anna and I decided on an Eddie Bauer travel system from Target. It was a very reasonably priced system with a gender neutral color. At least we thought ahead enough to plan for future children, if only gender-wise. Once Eli was born and we started using the travel system, we were very happy with our decision. The stroller fit nicely in the trunk of our car and it was very maneuverable.  The car base fit securely in car and it was easy to latch to the carrier.

Although we were initially happy with our travel system, we soon realized that we had a limitation. Since I was going to start taking Eli to my parent’s house in the morning before work, I needed to have a second car base in my car. We came to find out that Target doesn’t carry extra Eddie Bauer car bases. You could not even order them from Target online. After doing some online searching, I was able to find some bases, but the bases I found didn’t appear to be exactly the same as our existing one. I didn’t want to order something online that may or may not work, so we decided to just get a second inexpensive carrier and car base for my car. This caused a little extra work because I would have to leave my carrier at my parent’s in the morning and Anna would pick up Eli after work. Since my carrier didn’t fit in her car, she had to put him in her carrier and tote my carrier back to our house in the front seat of the car. So, my first pointer to new parents is to determine if you are going to need an extra car base. If so, make sure you buy a system that you will be able to find a second base easily.
We also picked up a walking stroller from a yard sale. We used the walking stroller when we were doing outdoor activities where the pneumatic tires made maneuvering easier. Since the carrier from the travel system didn’t fit the walking stroller, we had to wait until Eli was big enough to support his head well before we could use the walking stroller. So, the second point I want to make about purchasing strollers is to consider whether or not you want to use a walking stroller while your baby is still small enough for a carrier. If you do, then you need to look for travel systems that work with a secondary walking/jogging stroller.

Other than the second car base issue and the walking stroller compatibility issue, we were very pleased with our travel system. We used the stroller up until we were graced with another addition to our family. Once we knew we were expecting Coy, we realized that we needed a double stroller. More specifically we needed a double stroller that would tote a baby carrier. After searching for an Eddie Bauer double stroller that would work with our existing baby carrier, we came to the realization that we were going to have to invest in a new travel system. This brings me to my third point, if you are planning to have multiple children in the near future, you may want to check to seek if you will be able to get a double stroller that will work with your initial travel system.
Since we did enjoy having a walking/jogging stroller for Eli, we were smart enough to search for a standard double stroller (front to back) and a walking/jogging stroller (side by side) that would work with a single car carrier. We decided on purchasing the Sit N Stand Stroller by Baby Trend. Not only will this stroller accept a baby carrier, the second seat converts to a standing area. This will allow your larger child ride with a little more freedom (although Eli doesn’t know the stroller converts to this yet). The Baby Trend carrier will also work with the Navigator Double Jogging stroller by Baby Trend. We ended up purchasing this stroller too, so that we could continue with our family walks and other outdoor activities.

We have really enjoyed our Baby Trend double strollers. We used the Sit N Stand when we go places where there might be small doorways or crowds. This stroller is much narrower because of the front to back configuration. The Navigator jogging stroller is much wider and needs a lot of room. Even though it is much bigger, it is a lot easier to actually maneuver, thanks to it pneumatic tires. Another drawback to the side by side jogging stroller is that takes up the entire truck of our Honda Accord and it will not even fit in my Honda Civic’s trunk. There are narrower side by side jogging strollers on the market, but this was the only one that would work with our baby carrier. It will actually hold two baby carriers if needed.

Although we have really enjoyed our new double strollers, now we have a complete travel system and extra walking/jogging stroller in our garage collecting dust. You can’t take them to the mission or goodwill. They do not accept second hand car seats. We would really like for someone else to use the Eddie Bauer travel system because it is still in great condition. We attempted to sell it at a yard sale, but I guess we were asking too much because it didn’t sale. If you know anyone that could really use a travel system, we would be willing to part with it. We would like to help someone out that really needs the help.

So if you are a soon to be parent or you are in the hunt for a new stroller/travel system, please consider the points I made in this post. Hopefully you can avoid collecting strollers and car seats in your garage! Just remember to answer the following questions when you are shopping. Will I need a second car base? Will I need a walking/jogging stroller that accepts the same baby carrier? Will I need to get a double stroller in the future? I hope someone finds this helpful and I hope I haven’t turned anyone away from reading any more of my posts. I promise to not be so long with my future product reviews. This review actually consisted of multiple products in a single category. Anyway, thanks for your time and have a great day!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Top Ten Tuesday

Books I Like to Read to the Boys

1.)    The Night You Were Born by Nancy Tillman

I will always think of this book when I see a sleeping bear at the zoo or when I see the moon out during the day.

2.)    I Love You Through and Through by Bernadette Rossetti-Shustak

I love the last few lines of this book.

3.)    Guess How Much I Love You by Sam McBratney

The great story of little Nut brown Hare

4.)    Little Blue Truck by Alice Schertle

The big green toad saves the day!

5.)    Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel by V. Lee Burton

This is one of the books I remember the most from when I was a child.

6.)    I Love You Stinky Face by Lisa McCourt

Who can resist a green bug eating alien from Mars?

7.)    Big Red Barn by Margaret Wise Brown

This is a great bedtime story.

8.)    The Diggingest Dog by Al Perkins

About the dog who digs a well.

9.)    Brown Bear Brown Bear by Bill Martin

This is a great book to learn colors and has a great repeating pattern. There are also Polar Bear Polar Bear, Panda Bear Panda Bear, and Baby Bear Baby Bear that are very similar.

10.) Hop on Pop by Dr. Seuss

A great rhyming book, as long as you can pronounce “Constantinople” and “Timbuktu” (which I always struggle with when I am half asleep trying to read).

Honorable Mention:
How Do I Love You? By Marion Dane Bauer
The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle

Monday, April 9, 2012

Stuff the Boys Say

1.) Eli just being honest...

Eli: “Mommy, can I watch something?”
Mommy: “No.”

Eli: “Why?”
Mommy: “Why can’t you watch something?”

Eli: “Because I hit Coy in the head with a shovel.”

2.) As Anna is getting ready for church on Easter morning, she walked through the bedroom with bobby pins in her recently curled hair.
Eli: “What wrong with your hair?”

Mommy: “What you don’t like it? I am going to wear it to church like this.”

Eli: “It’s gorgeous.”

3.) As Eli was looking through his goodies in his Easter basket, he noticed a notepad from the “dollar spot” at Target
Eli: “The Easter bunny shopped at Target.”

4.) After finding some sour apple gum in this Easter basket, knowing he doesn’t like that flavor, and knowing his Daddy does like that flavor, Eli handed me the gum and said:
Eli: “Here Daddy, the Easter bunny must have brought this for you.”