Saturday, July 31, 2010

Family Picnic

Today being such a nice summer day we decided to head down to Tipton to have a picnic at the park. Been a while since we've been out on a picnic so the boys are really enjoying it. We always say when we do these kind of things that we should do it more often. It is hard to remember to stop and relax when your life is so hectic.

Nice Morning

I was just sitting here on the porch waiting for a friend to get here so we can start our long Saturday bike ride in preparation for the Ironman triathalons we both have coming up. When I was realized how great of a morning it was outside, No bugs, no breeze, nice and cool. Makes you kind of long for summer to last forever. 

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Clancey's New Bed

Tonight when I was coming home from I stopped and picked up Clancey's new "big boy" bed. The poor kid has been sleeping on his crib matress on the floor for the past couple months, ever since he feel out of his crib. So Jen decided when she was in Cedar Rapids on Tuesday that it was time for him to get a real bed. Clancey is pretty excited about getting to sleep in his new bed so hopefully he will stay in his bed all night. 

Monday, July 26, 2010

Clancey's Naughty Phase

In the last couple of months little mister Clancey has gone through a bit of a naughty phase. Just today Jen took both the boys into Cedar Rapids so she could go to the dentist and run a few errands. At the dentist Clancey was started to be naughty by hitting his brother and just being rowdy but the real action started when they got to Target. Have you ever been at a store we a kid had the complete throw yourself on the floor screaming fit, well today that kid was Clancey. I guess he through a temper tantrum to end all temper tantrums and poor Jen was there trying to hold it together while everyone gave her the "you need lessons on how to handle your kids" look. Being she drove all the way into Cedar Rapids she couldn't just leave the cart and go so she had to deal with this psycho kid as walked isle to isle trying to finish her shopping. It is so hard to know what to do because Marshall was never like this. He had his moments as a two year old but nothing like Clancey has been like lately. In fact tonight he spent 30 minutes in timeout having a screaming fit while I was trying to put him into bed. Lately we've been scared to go anywhere with the kid for fear of a major freakout. Uggghhhh.... I can't wait until we get through the terrible two's.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Ross Butterbrodt Benefit

Today is the benefit at the park for Ross Butterbrodt a local resident who has been an integral part of the community for many years. He was recently diagnosed with cancer and the community came together to help out the family with the bills. So far the the benefit has been well attended and looks to be a success. We are headed to the auction now to see how much the various items that were donated go far.

Update: Last night when we went to check out the silent auction Jen's hand painted Clarence Fire Department sign was up to $200 which was pretty impressive. At the time we checked it was one of only two items going for $200 and the other one involved tickets to a Hawkeye game.

Update: 9/8/2010

I just noticed today when I looked at the stats for my blog that a lot of people are finding my blog when they search for Ross Butterbrodt. In an effort to help there people get information about Ross I have posted a link to the Care Page that provides the information people are looking for when they happen upon my blog. You have to register but once you do you will be able to get updates on Ross.

Ice Cream!

We decided to finish our boy day with a trip to cold stone for some ice cream.  Can't go wrong with your favorite ice cream with sprinkles in it.

Science Station

After Panchero's we decided to head over to the mall to see if we could find anything to do. First we hit the video game store up and didn't see anything that really interested us. Then we head over to the escaltor for a couple rides. Then Marshall asked if we could go to the science station for a bit, how could I say no. So now the kids are having fun playing with all the stuff here at the science station. So far they like the big blocks the best.

Boy Day

The boys have been feeling a bit stir crazy lately and Jen needed a break so we thought we would head out on a boy day today. Of course Panchero's is up first, it just isn't a boy day with quesadilla's. No clue what is next but I'm sure the boys can think of something.

50 Days Until Ironman

Hard to believe but as of today there is only 50 days until Ironman Wisconsin. So far I have been training for 200 days and I have to say it is starting to take it's toll. My motivation to get up early everyday to train is starting to wane. I make sure that I tell myself that I have put in far to many days training to give up now. It is tough because I've entered the point of the training where you need to put in really long training weeks especially the weekends. For example today the plan is to head out for a 4 hour bike ride and follow it up with a 1 hour run and then tomorrow a 2 hour run followed by a 1 hour bike. If I complete it that will add up to 8 hours of workouts which no matter how you cut it is a lot of working out. I make sure that I remind myself that it is all worth it when you finally cross that finish line, especially when it is still light out.

Jen The Canning Machine

For the last 3 weeks Jen has been spending nearly every waking moment, that she's not taking care of the boys, canning stuff out of the garden. So far she has spend most of her time canning pickles, which she finally got done with last night, and now it's time to move onto the tomatoes. It sure is nice during the middle of winter to be able to still be eating stuff out of your garden.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Damn Electricity

This morning, for the 5th time in the last two weeks, the electricity went out again. At about 5:30 this morning I was eating breakfast before heading out on my morning ride and the electricity went out. So I finished my breakfast, finished getting ready in the dark and headed out. I figured since it wasn't storming or anything it would come back on pretty quick so I assumed it would be back by the time I got home. Well about 7am I come rolling back to the house and much to my surprise the lights are still off. Jen and the boys were still in bed so I hit the shower, ate my second breakfast, and got ready for work. I left the house right around 7:30 and the electricity was still out. Jen told me later that the lights didn't come back on until 10am. Come on Alliant, I can understand in the middle of the winter or severe storm but a regular morning with nothing more then some fog and the lights go for nearly 5 hours, not cool!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Slow Weekend

This weekend, after a pretty busy week for both Jen and I, we've spent the weekend inside trying to stay cool and not doing a whole lot. In fact the only time I've left the house was to head to Tipton to pick the mower up and take the cans back. Ok, I guess I did leave the house for a 3.5 hour bike yesterday but I was lazy and didn't run. This morning I even slept in until nearly 8am which was hard to believe. Jen, of course, has been working on canning pickles and relish so it hasn't been exactly a "slow, lazy" weekend for her but the boys and I have been taking it easy. After lunch I'm planning on headed out for hour and a half run followed by a hour long bike so I won't be taking it easy much longer but after that I plan on staying cool and relaxing.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Haircut For Clancey

Yesturday Jen gave Clancey his second haircut of his young life. Clancey does quite a bit better at getting haircuts then his brother ever did. Marshall used to scream like a banshee when we gave him haircuts and did that up until we took him too a haircut place to get it done. Clancey, besides not being able to sit still for very long, did a good job. It is surprising to see how much older he looks with a "big boy" haircut. He is just growing up so quick.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Boys Back Home

The boys made it back home today after spending all week at mema and papa's house. This was a pretty good week for the boys to go and visit mema and papa's because I have been playing catch up all week at work, by working late, after taking three days of vacation last week. It sure is nice to have them back because after just a couple days you start to really miss them and the house just seems to quiet. This weekend we are all going to have to go do soemthing fun to welcome them back.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

New Laptop

Yesterday I finally broke down and bought myself a new laptop. My current computer, a desktop I built over 7 years ago, is starting to see it's age and not act entire happy. It was getting to the point that I couldn't even run it during the summer because the fan would kick up so loud it sounded like my computer was preparing for launch. It also would increase out power bill fairly significantly if we left it on for any amount of time during the month. My new laptop has windows 7 on it, which I've never run before, but I'm sure I'll get used to it. I've spent the last day and a half trying to get all of my files moved from my old PC to my new PC and also getting all the programs I need installed on my new laptop. So far I like it a lot and am excited to get to writing some code on it.

Cornman Triathlon

This morning I did my third triathlon of the year, the Cornman Triathlon in Gladbrook, Iowa. This race was a sprint distance race (500 meter swim, 14 mile bike, 3 mile run) which also happened to be the shortest distance race I'll do of the year. It was actually 2 years ago at this race that my triathlon career officially started. If I remember right the race was really hard and after the race I didn't really feel all that confident for the my first Ironman. Today was a different story, the race felt good and it went well. I had a goal of going sub 1:20 and I just barely squeaked it out with an official time of 1:19:59. This is the last race that I'm officially signed up for before Ironman Wisconsin on September 12th. I'm considering signing up for the Pigman Half Ironman in late August but I may have to go to Sweden that weekend. I should know if I'm going to Sweden in the next week or two and that will decide it for me.

Friday, July 09, 2010

Marshall's First Piano Lesson

Tonight a 5:30 Jen took Marshall to his first piano lesson. I didn't go so I can't report firsthand but Jen tells me he did great. As soon he is good enough to play something I'll post a video of him.

Thursday, July 08, 2010

Marshall Rides The Tornado!!!

Tonight Marshall officially became a Tornado survivor here at Adventureland. We had just got done riding the bumper cars and were walking over to play skeeball when I casually mentioned to Marshall that we should ride the Tornado and much to my surprise he said let's do it. As we walked up the ramp he got a little nervous and wanted to back out but I kept telling him it would fun. Finally when we got to the head of the line he was going to back out so I whipped out the big guns. I told him I would buy him a hotwheel set if he did it. That finally sealed the deal he was in. He was scared as our picture shows but no tears were shed and he made it. We ended up buying the picture and a t-shirt so he could show off to everyone. Now we are off to find a hotwheel set and then on to home. Probably get home close to midnight but it was worth it for a fun day.

Still Going Strong

Marshall and I are still going strong here at Adventureland. I think the plan is to stay until closing time at 9pm tonight. I'm betting I'm going to have a sleeping kid on the way home though, too bad I can't get a snooze in too. Day turned out to be pretty nice not too hot not too cold. I guess it was a bit chilly for Kocomo Cove but Marshall still had a good time there. Better get back at it only an hour and a half left.

Skeeball Time

Can't go to Adventureland without playing a little skeeball. Now we are headed to Kokomo Cove for a little fun in the water.

Bumper Cars

So far the bumper cars are Marshall's favorite ride. I think that has been is continual favorite for the past 3 years. We are getting ready to go a third time now. :)

Marshall's First Rollercoaster

Today Marshall did his first rollercoaster, the Outlaw, here at Adventureland and he did great. As we got closer to the front of the line but like a little trooper he toughed it out and got on. It's been 10 years since I rode the Outlaw so I forgot how fast and crazy it was. Marshall was scared as heck but no tears were shed which was pretty amazing. Once we got off Marshall said "Did I just ride that thing, it seemed like a dream."  Then he said "daddy you said after I did it I would want to go again, you were wrong.  I don't want to do that again until I'm an adult!"  


Marshall and I just got to Adeventureland for a day of fun. From the look of the parking lot it looks busy as heck so there could be some long lines. I guess we will see.

Back Home

We made it back last night about 10:30 with a car full of sleeping people. Makes for a long day when you start on foot at Field Museum on foot and take both a train and car to get home. Clancey and I are up and waiting for Jen and Marshall to get up so we can continue on our vacation. Today Marshall and I are going to head to Adventureland for the day. Jen and Clancey aren't going to go because we don't think that Clancey's behavior can hold out for another day of traveling and visiting places. Hopefully he isn't a bear for Jen all day.

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Headed Home

We are on the train just headed out of Chicago making our way home. The trip turned out to be a really good time. Clancey only had one small timeout just when we left Field Museum other then that he did a great job today. I think once Clancey realized we could do a timeout anywhere he was less apt to act up. Taking the train sure seems like the way to travel. No security checks, a lot of leg room and 3G coverage the whole way. Being dropped off in downtown Chicago and not having to fight traffic is awesome. I just wish that they had a train station closer to home.

Both the boys had a great time. Marshall liked the museum the best and more specifically the dinosaur bones and no surprise Clancey said he liked the same thing. Being in the big city was a good thing for Marshall he got too see that they are places in the world that are bigger than Clarence and Cedar Rapids. I think we will definately make the trip agvain in the future and for sure Jen and I will be making an adults only trip sometime soon.

Union Station

Here we are back at Union Station. We got here a bit earlier than we though we would but it didn't take as long to walk from the museum as we thought it would. So far we have had a lot of fun today. Both kids have behaved real well and we've gotten to explore a lot of the city. After being here for 2 days I could see the appeal of living down here. Except I wouldn't want to ever drive down here and you would need to make 6 figures to afford it. Nothing is free, you can't even use a bathroom down here without spending money.

Yesturday about this time we were really regretting our decision to come here but after today the trip turned out to be worth it. Marshall really enjoyed his first expierence in the big city and Clancey got to feel a lot of people up, ask me sometime and I will explain that too you. Tomorrow we are onto Adventureland to continue our vacation adventure. Which I'm sure Marshall will really enjoy.

Sears Tower

Right now we are on top of the Sears Tower taking in the view.

Having Fun

The boys seem to be enjoying the Field Museum a bit more then they did the aquarium. Not that they didn't like the aquarium juust that there is more to see here and it is way less crowded. Here is Clancey posing by the skeletons which he was pretty excited to see. Marshall was really excited to see the mummy until he realized we had to take a stair case down into the pyramid then he was a bit scared. Clancey reassured him and said "don't worry brother the mummy will stay behind the glass".

Field Museum

Here we are on the second day of our Chicago adventure at the Field Museum. Here is Marshall and Clancey posing in front of the dinosaur bones, the thing he wanted to see the most. So far everything is going good and it looks to be a fun day.

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Shedd Aquarium and the Rest of the Day

After an hour and half nap Clancey got up in a little better mood and we headed off to Shedd Aquarium. We decided we probably should take a taxi over as opposed to walking, didn't want to do anymore street side timeouts. That turned out to be a good decision because for the first half hour Clancey was a bear again so I doubt we would have made it to the aquarium. Once we got over that fit Clancey started to have a good time. I think both the boys favorite thing was the shark tank. We spent around two hours walking around looking at all the fish before everyone decided that they had enough.

Once we got done at the aquarium we headed back to the hotel and started to think about supper. We knew that going anywhere with Clancey was going to be a nightmare so we decided it had to be carry out. We looked at room service but I wasn't real excited about spending $100 on supper. Then I started searching for options, the boys wanted hamburgers so, in the heart of the Chicago loop and a 100 great restaurants, I hoofed it down the 5 blocks to McDonalds. I got there put my order in and then I heard the pouring rain on the window. I was like you have to be kidding me. By the time I got my order the rain had let up a bit and I thought I would be alright. That was the case for 2 blocks and then the bags started to get wet and rip. I stopped stacked things up and went on. At block 4 the drink carrier ripped and one of the happy meals took a dive, uggghhh. So I stopped tried to restack my torn mess of bags and drinks and make it the rest of the way. I did end up making it without losing any food but I looked pathetic. Soaking wet, torn bags and lemonade spilling down the front of my shorts. When Jen opened the door she couldn't help but laugh. After the day we had that is all you could do. The food did end up making it without getting destroyed and we had a picnic dinner of McDonalds on the hotel room floor. That trip kind of summed up how the day went, just one thing after another. Note to self never ever, ever take a two year old on a vaction that involves a ton of walking and looking at stuff. Hopefully tomorrow is better but I fully expect to have a crying 2 year old on the trip back to Galesburg. I just keep telling myself we will look back on this and laugh someday.

Out On A Walk

We ended up getting the pyscho kid down for a nap so Marshall and I headed out on a walk around the city. Above is a picture of our hotel, the Chicago Hilton, that we took while we were out walking. Chicago is one busy city, seems like a great place to visit but don't see the appeal of living down here, there are just too many people to ever really relax. Hopefully Clancey gets up from his nap soon so we can head to the aquarium.

In Chicago

Well we made it to Chicago and it wasn't too bad of trip. Both the boys enjoyed the train ride and were good on the train. Once we reached Chicago Clancey decided to throw a huge fit. Currently we are our second street side timeout, one on the side of the Chicago Federal Reserve Bank and number two right now in front of the Chicago Hilton. Besides Clancey being a total bear Marshall is having a good time and is excited to go to Shedd Aquarium. Hopefully he will start acting better and we can have some fun. Not a big fan of street side timeouts in 90 degree heat. ;)

On The Train To Chicago

Here we are on the train to Chicago and they sure don't mess around getting you on the train and taking off. We hadn't even found seats yet and the train was off down the tracks. Be sure to check out my youtube channel periodically over the next week because I will be uploading video's off the days activities.

In Front of the Depot

Were standing outside the depot waiting for the train to get here now. I do have to admit that this morning I was being a bit of a psycho trying to get people out the door.  In my defense, when you get up at 5am it seems like everyone is taking too long. ;)

At The Train Station

Here we are at the Amtrak station getting ready to board the train. The boys are pretty excited to get on board, they are bouncing around the train station right now. 

Monday, July 05, 2010

Marshall In the Mall Wind Machine

Here is the video I took earlier today of Marshall in the wind machine. The video doesn't really show it but he gathered a pretty big crowd when he was in it.

Supper At Happy Joe's

We did end up hoofing it over to Happy Joe's tonight for supper. Before a couple weeks ago it had probably been ten years since I last ate at a Happy Joe's but one night we were in Tipton looking for something to eat so on a whim we went to Happy Joe's. Turns out they have some damn good pizza. Anyways tonight we thought we would shoot in for a quick bite and be out, boy were we mistaken. We went in there and it was a mad house, about 4,000 kids, couple birthday parties, the works. Given Clancey's propencity for crazy fits we figured he would fit right in. When we got to the counter there were a ton of people waiting for carry out and about 3 people actually working behind the counter. I think they must have forgotten that today was a holiday for most people when they made the schedule. Anyways I put my order in and we settled in for the wait. Ended up being 50 minutes before we got our pizza. Good thing it a kid friendly place because Clancey was a bit stir crazy by the end. The pizza turned to be really good but I don't if it was good enough to justify the wait. At least everyone is fed and we are off on our big train adventure tomorrow. :)

Let Vacation Begin

Tonight we officially started our vacation by heading over to Galesburg, Illinios for the night. Bright and early tomorrow we are going to be taking the Amtrak into Chicago's Union Station for 2 days visiting Field Museum and Shedd Aquarium. The boys are pretty excited to get to ride the train tomorrow. To tell you the truth I'm a bit excited too since I've never ridden a passenger train before. Now we are headed off to find some supper maybe pizza at Happy Joe's, I guess we will see.

Boy Day

Today was supposed to be the first day of our official vacation with a picnic. Turned out that mother nature didn't agree with that plan so we had to have an impromptu boy trip instead. First we went over to Panchero's for lunch which was followed by a trip to Best Buy. At Best Buy I had to get a printer cable for Jen and then I looked at the laptops for a bit followed by checking out the video games. Then Marshall want to go to the mall to see what was going on. We all decided to try the wind machine out and gathered quite a crowd when we did. I took a video of Marshall when he did it alone that I will post later.

10 Weeks Until Ironman

Hard to believe that I have been preparing for my race for 26 weeks now. Doesn't seem like it was that long ago that I started this crazy endeavour again. Training has been going well but it starting to take it's toll on me. My weekend workouts are 3-5 hours a day for a total that is approaching 8 hours of workouts over a two day period. I find there are days during the week where I just don't have any energy to do much. I guess I really only have 8 more weekends of this level of training and then I will be in taper so it's not that much longer. It sure will be nice when the off season comes and my workouts aren't measured in hours any longer. I would say my confidence for Ironman is really high. I had a great race at Ironman Kansas 70.3 and my fitness has improved quite a bit since then. My long weekend workouts are going well and my motivation for the most part is still there. I thought I would post another Ironman video for those of you who follow my blog but don't know much about the event itself. This is one of those video's that really captures the reason people do Ironman.

Sunday, July 04, 2010

Tiring Day For Clancey

Actually for the past couple weeks Clancey has a had a pretty rough go of it, a lot of crying and a lot of timeouts. Today was no exception after we got done swimming and were getting ready to shower and change our cloths Clancey had a major meltdown. Screaming, kicking, you know the works. One of those tantrums that ends an hour later and you have no clue what actually led to the show.  Of course when we got home I took Clancey right to the time out stair. I think he must have spent a good 30 minutes in time out. When it was done we sent him off so Jen and I could eat our supper in peace. It wasn't long before we thought it was just too quite in the other room so I decided to check what was going on and found this. Clancey fast asleep on the couch at 6. You know you have a tired 2 year old when he willingly lays down on the couch and goes to sleep himself. Now I'm thinking the 30 minute time out may have been a bit too much for a kid that was that tired.

4th Of July Parade

This afternoon the family and I headed down to Tipton for the 4th of July parade. The boys were pretty excited to be able to go and collect a bunch of candy. I was surprised that neither of the boys got freaked out when the sirens on the fire trucks went off. I think the promise of candy outweighted any fear of loud noises. Now that the parade is over the family is headed to the pool to spend the rest of the afternoon.

Saturday, July 03, 2010

Mommy's Day Off

After a tough week of running Marshall to swim lessons and summer discovery program with a little 2 year old who refused to cooperate Jen needed a day off. This morning shortly after I got done with my 5 hour workout at around 10:30 Jen dumped the boys on me and headed to the big city of Cedar Rapids. Now I must clarify that Mommy's off day includes grocery shopping and running errands so it really isn't an off day so much but it is a bit of time away from the boys. She loves them to death but after I worked late nearly everyday last week and being hung on and cried at for a week straight she needed some time away. Hopefully with me home all week this week it will give her a well derserved break.

Vacation Time

Today marks the official start of my week of summer vacation. This year instead of going to Fish Creek in Door County like we normally do we opted for what was dubbed by last years newcasters as a "staycation". While I we are calling it a "staycation" we hardly plan on staying home the whole week. For 2 days we plan on catching the Amtrak and taking it into Chicago and going to the Museum and Aquarium, one of the days we are planning on heading down to Adventureland for the day, going to do a picnic one day and then finally we are going to have a food day filled with fun things around the house. I know Marshall really wants to go hiking so one day I think we will see if we can't fit that in too. All in all it should be a good time and unless it's a total emergency I'm not going to do any work. Keep an eye on the blog for updates on all the fun.

Marshall Passes Swim Lessons

Marshall did really good this week in his swim lessons and today he passed his level one test. Before Marshall went into swim lessons he was afraid to put his face in the water and by the end of the day today he was able to touch his hands to the bottom of the pool. In fact he wanted to go off the diving board today but wasn't able to since other kids were testing in the deep end. He isn't quite able to swim but now that he can hold his breath and put his head under water that shouldn't be too far behind. It is really too bad I was so busy all week that I wasn't able to come and watch him one morning. This weekend I plan on taking Marshall to the pool so he can show me his new tricks. Maybe next year Marshall will be able to do a triathlon with me :)