Sunday, November 27, 2011

Sick Today

On black Friday while Jen and I were out shopping I started to come down with something. I was able to make it through the day but by the end of the day I felt like dog poop. Well now two days later I still feel like dog poop and I think I'm going to spend the day resting in bed since we don't have anywhere to go today. The bad part about being sick is I've managed to miss one workout, yesterday's bike, and its pretty likely I'm going to miss today's run. I guess I have to remember that my race is a long ways away and taking two days off to rest and get better will be better for me in the long run.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Mike And Michelle

The family and I all went out to see Mike and Michelle's new farm they just closed on the other day. The farm is absolutely amazing and they were really fortune to find such a nice farm for such a good price. The house is brand new and they have a bunch of nice out buildings. I'm thinking the family will be visiting their farm a lot over the next year.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Supper At Hickory Park

After a long day of shopping in both Ames and Des Moines Jen and I are enjoying a supper at Hickory Park. As you can see from the picture above we are looking a bit tired and I'm a bit sick but its been a long time since we've been here so we are really going to enjoy it. All in all we had a great day shopping and got most of our shopping for Christmas done today. I think the boys are going to really enjoy their gifts this year. Should be a fun Christmas this year.

Lunch At Great Plains

Hard to believe that in just a couple short hours Jen and I got all of our shopping done already. We are hitting lunch up here at Great Plains and then I think we are going to head to Des Moines to go see what is going on. Probably hit up Jordan Creek for a bit and then just kind of play it by ear from there.

Black Friday Shopping

Jen and I are out on our annual ritual of black Friday shopping. We used to always make the trek down to Des Moines but last year we decided to shop in Ames instead and found it to be a way more enjoyable experience since it is way less busy. We also don't go out at midnight, we miss the huge sales but we enjoy ourselves a lot more. So far we have found all the stuff we wanted to at each of the stores and haven't encountered any crazy people yet.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Putting Up The Christmas Tree

Now that the guests are gone and the turkey dinner is done it is time for the official start of the Christmas season by putting up the Christmas tree. As you can see from the picture above the assembly of the tree is a total family operation. While you don't see it in the photo I did my part by carrying the heavy as tree down from upstairs. Since its a prelit Christmas tree there is no need to worry about putting lights on but out do have to fluff it and get the decorations on it. While we are getting the tree up we are participating in another Thanksgiving day ritual and that is having leftovers for supper.

Thanksgiving Dinner

Well our Thanksgiving dinner is over and and it was a damn fine dinner. The good part about going out for a distance run before dinner is you are really hungry and can eat without guilt. I ended up having two full plates of food and multiple desserts as part of my dinner. The lunch went good, not a lot of people were able to make it but no fist fights broke out and that is more the I can say for other family events I've been to recently. ;-)  It was good to sit and chat with Carl about a wide range of topics ranging from politics to the the mortgage crisis. Never did get my nap in but I guess I can go to bed early tonight as preparation for Jen and my black Friday shopping.

Thanksgiving Day Run

For athletes training for the Ironman there are no off days just because its a holiday. In fact holidays are good days to get in long training sessions because you have the whole day off. Today I had a run and in reality I had 3x1 mile repeats but since it was a holiday I decided to forgo the intervals and just do an hour long run. I was at my inlaws house in Thor which worked out well because they have a bike trail that runs right though the town. I jumped on the bike trail headed 4 miles out and subsequently had a 4 mile run back. It was a good run, 43 degrees, a pretty good wind but I ran perpendicular to it so it wasn't much of an issue. I was a bit tired when I got back but it wasn't too bad. Now I'm going to sit back and enjoy a good dinner, some relaxation and a bit of football. All in all a great day.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Kelly Tree Farm Picture

Every year when we go and pick out our Christmas at Kelly Tree Farm they take a picture of us with our new tree. The only thing is that they don't get around to sending you the picture until the next Christmas. Well here is our picture from last year and right in time to put us in the Christmas mood. Also we are planning on going next weekend to pick out our family tree for the year. No worries I'll be sure to blog the whole thing ;-)

Mema and Papa's

About an hour ago we made it to mema and papa's house for the holiday weekend. It sure was nice to walk in the house and have a great lasagna dinner ready for us. Clancey had been talking about going to see papa all week and as you can see he is really excited to see him. Its nice to be here and just be able to relax for a couple of days, except for the 8 mile run I have to do tomorrow.

Lunch At Mill Creek

Since I'm taking the day off I decided that I would go over and pick Clancey up from preschool. I also thought it would be a special treat to take Clancey up to Mill Creek Cafe for some lunch. Jen had planned on coming to but after the window incident this morning Jen had to stay home and wait for the call from the window people. I did tell her that I would bring her home something to eat though.

Vacation Time

Well hopefully this isn't an omen for how my 3 day vacation is going to go. On the way home from dropping the boys off at school we got passed by a semi in the oncoming lane and something just nailed the windshield. In fact it was so loud that it made our ears ring and in the process it left the nice little round circle crack that you see above. Right now Jen is on the phone with the insurance company trying to get it taken care of.  She just got off the phone and they will be here between 12-5 to fix our windshield.

None the less I have 3 days of vacation starting today and we are planning on going down to meme to papa's to celebrate the holiday. The boys are pretty excited to get to spend a few days with the grandparents. On Friday Jen and I are going to do our yearly ritual and brave the crowds for a little black Friday shopping. Well to tell you the truth we don't shop and much and people watch and take in the Christmas spirit, and by that i mean a bunch of angry people who have been up all night try to get some good deals. As long as you go out and not let the cranky people bring you down it is pretty fun.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Decorating For Christmas

Today Jen  thought  it was time to get the Christmas tree up  for the year.   If you didn't know we have two Christmas trees that we put up every year.  The tree she put up today was the fancy tree as we all lovingly call it. She lets us help if we want but if we do it wrong she will go back and correct it ;) I kid, we all love the fancy tree but like to give kid Jen a hard time about it when we can.

While Jen was decorating the fancy tree Clancey started to get a little excited for Christmas. Today while we were at the store in Cedar Rapids I bought Clancey some of these Little Debbie Christmas Cakes as a treat since he was such a good kid. Well it didn't take long once we got home, with three boys, to eat most of the treats. Clancey decided that we had better save one of them for Santa, so he had Jen get out the Santa treat plate and he set one out for him. We all tried to tell him that there was over a month until Christmas but he didn't want to hear none of it. That treat is for Santa and none of us had better touch it. Maybe he is a little worried about his behavior this year and didn't want to risk it.


As you can see Jen got the fancy tree all done and it looks good as always. We have such a nice front entrance it is cool that we have a really nice looking tree when you come in the front door. It's just too bad that we don't really use the front entrance all that often. I guess when people come for the holiday home tour they will use the front door and get to experience it in all its glory.

Outseason Week 5 Complete

Tonight I finished up week number 5 of my outseason training plan and I have to say that I'm really happy with how it went. The last two weeks have been some of the best training weeks I've had since I started training for Ironman. For the past 2 weeks I haven't missed any workouts and in fact been getting extra workouts in. Last week I did an extra run and today I did a 40 minute swim before I did my hour long 3x1 mile repeats. So far every workout has been above FTP targets and I'm feeling pretty good that my next power test will show I've gained 10-20 watts on my FTP from my first test. All in all im really enjoying training this year and I hope I can keep this motivation all year. I think it helps that im not waking up at the butt crack of dawn to train and right now I only have to train one time a day. Eventually I'll have to get up at 5am to train but there is no need to do it when i don't have too. There will plenty of time to get up early and train but right now is not that time.

Clancey and Daddy Boy Day

With Marshall feeling a bit under the weather and Jen needing to clean up for the holiday home tour in two weeks that left Clancey and I on our own in Cedar Rapids today. First Clancey and I hit up Panchero's for some lunch, always a favorite when we make the trek to town. Once we were done there we had to head over to Target to get Jen some new Christmas lights. The ones she worked so hard to put back in their package every year finally died. We then headed over to Best Buy to get papa a new wifi router. The one I gave him from about 8 years ago finally died and he really needed a new one. The plan is to get it ready so we can take it over for Thanksgiving later this week. Finally it was on to Hy-Vee to get some groceries for the short week we have coming up. Now we have to head home so i can get an hour long run in and possibly a swim if i hurry.

Sick Marshall

Last night right about midnight Marshall's sickness graduated from diarrhea to puking flu. Yesterday after we missed basketball Marshall was pretty good all day so we thought maybe he was better but after having Marshall all these years we knew he was probably still sick. He has been alright since last night so we are hoping that he is getting better but we won't push it. Im just hoping that everyone feels better so we can enjoy our Thanksgiving and not be stuck home celebrating by ourselves.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Decorating The House

Today Jen has decided she is going to decorate the house for Christmas, which makes me feel like a lazy swine since my decision for the day has been to lay on the couch and watch television. I'm thinking i will go downstairs and train for a couple hours so i don't feel so bad about myself. I was joking with Jen while I was out taking the pictures asking her if she cab remember what she was doing last week at this time. I told her she is allowed the decorate the house as long as it doesn't cause her any stress ;-)  

No Basketball Today

Its looking like there won't be any basketball ball for us this morning. While the picture doesn't necessarily show it Marshall is feeling a bit sick this morning. For the past two days poor Marshall has had a bit of diarrhea and a stomach ache so this morning he said he wasn't sure he could play basketball today. At least this weekend the sick one in the family doesn't have to go to the hospital all weekend. With no basketball next weekend its going to be 4 weeks until Jen and I can make it to our first game.

Not sure what the plan for the day is yet. I have a 2 hour workout I need to get in at some point and we need to get to CR but other then that im not sure. May just be a mostly lazy day at home for the family.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Back Home

We made it back home from the Jen and Claney's doctor appointments.  Now we have to go pick up Marshall at 3:30, take him to Basketball practice at 5:30, then Jen has a meeting in Tipton at 7:00 and I have a city council meeting at 7:00.  We are only part way through out crazy busy day that is looking to extend well into the evening.  If my meeting gets over at a somewhat early time I plan on getting up in the morning for my bike/run brick if not I guess I'll be doing it late tomorrow.

Marshall School Picture


Marshall got his school pictures back about a month ago but I have been lazy and haven't made it up to the office to scan it in.  Well finally today I had some time and figured I could get it scanned and uploaded for all the world to see.  Marshall is growing up so fast it's not going to be that long and we are going to be sending this kid off to MIT.

Steroid Treatment

Here we are at the hospital getting Jen's last steroid treatment before she starts on her pills for the next 9 days. They pulled her IV yesterday before she left the hospital so they had to put another one in today which appears like it didn't feel that great. Its going to take 45 minutes to get the whole dose which means Clancey's going to get a lot of Angry Birds play time in.

Clancey's 4 Year Checkup

Today I took the day off work so i could help Jen get all the things we need get do done. First off it was off to Clancey's 4 year checkup. Everything checked out just perfect, Clancey is healthy as an ox. He is still big for his age, he is 95th percentile both height and weight, which I believe when you compare him to the other kids in preschool. Other then that not a whole lot else to report. He got a flu mist instead of a shot which made him happy and that was pretty much it. Now we are headed over to Rockwell pharmacy to pick up Jen's prescription and then grab some lunch before she goes in to the hospital for an hour of IV steroids.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

We're home

Jen and i just got back from her weekend adventure at the hospital. Little did we know that when we headed over there yesterday morning at 9am Jen wouldn't be home until 3pm today. Everything is alright we are thankful for that and Jen is just happy to be home. The doctor prescribed rest and no stress our plan is to follow the doctors orders. If you plan on causing stress in our life you are just going to have to wait because we are a no stress household until at least after the holidays :-)

Getting Discharged

Yeah, Jen is being discharged in a few minutes. They just pulled her IV gave her discharge instructions and they are letting us head home. The doctors are pretty certain this is an isolated incident and it will not occur again. She has to come in tomorrow for one more IV treatment of steroids but after that we will be done until she has her follow up with the neurologist in 6 months. We are happy everything is alright and the steroid seemed to make the issue go away. We are even more happy to be heading home, being at the hospital all weekend was not in the plan.

174 Days Until Utah, 301 Days Until Wisconsin

Well as you can see from the blog title as of yesterday I had 175 until Ironman St George and tomorrow I will have 300 days until Ironman Wisconsin. Hard to believe how fast these races are coming up. As of today I've been training for about 4 weeks and it is going good so far. I've pretty much come to the realization that i am going to have sore quads and calves from now until race day. The Endurance Nation plan is tough but being an epic Ironman year for me I'm going to need to train hard if i am going to be successful. When i first started training for triathlons I pretty much hated swimming, biking, and running but after doing it for 4 years I have come to really enjoy it. In fact I would go so far as to call myself a runner and a biker at this point. I really wouldn't call myself a swimmer, being I really suck at it,  but im good enough to survive an Ironman distance swim which is all I really need to be able to do.

The plan this year was originally to spend two days driving out to Utah but the more I have thought about it I'm thinking I may ship my bike and fly. I have a ton of frequent flyer miles so my ticket will be pretty much free and we would just have to buy Jen's. Sure be nice to not be trapped in the car for 4 days but sometime road trips can be pretty fun. I guess I have 174 days to decide.

Too Much Screen Time

This morning as I was getting ready to head over to the hospital to be with Jen I came bounding down the stairs and this is what I encountered. Clancey was since there about a foot from the television playing Marshall's DS while he watched cartoons. I had to take a picture of the obsurdity of what I was seeing but also wondered to myself if it may be time to limit Clancey's screen time. When a kid is regularly sitting with 2 screens in front of him all the time it probably can't be good for them. Time to learn to use your imagination kid and invent a little fun that isn't served on a platter to you via one of your screens.

Unplanned Weekend


This weekend was supposed to be a weekend full of fun things. Mema and Papa came over and Saturday morning we were all going to head over to Tipton to watch Marshall play in his first basketball game of the year. Then that night Jen was going to have her pizza making class in our kitchen as a fund raiser for the new library. After that we were going to head over to her friends graduation party in Stanwood at Bubba's do some dancing while we warched our favorite local band the Love Dogs. Finally today the boys were singing and Marshall was playing bells in church. Well neither Jen or I got to do any of those things because we spent our whole weekend in the hospital.
About a week ago Jen's shoulder started to hurt and the outside of her arm felt numb. She assumed it wasn't anything big and it was something that happened in yoga the day before. Well the shoulder pain went away throughout the week but the numbness in her right side didn't. Finally on Saturday morning when she woke up the numbness had spread to her face and her leg which made her nervous. It was at this point we head to the emergency room to go get it checked out. We spent a couple hours down in the ER when they finally decided to admit Jen so they could run a battery of test on her checking for all kinds of neurological problems. So far all the tests have come back negative and the doctors think this is an isolated incident but they are running a couple more this morning just to be sure. Right now they are treating her with a steroid to bring down any possible inflammation that she could have in her spinal cord that could be causing the issue. The MRI she did didn't show anything but this is their best guess. They are going to give her a second steroid treatment at noon and then hopefully they will discharge Jen and she can come for her last treatment tomorrow. I will update the blog when we finally do get discharged.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Marshall's Parent/Teacher Conference

Tonight we had Marshall's parent/teacher conference and it went very well. We had both his teacher and his extended learning program teacher in there and they showed us scores that blew us out of the water. He is gifted in every area reading, mathematics but he is especially gifted in general science. In general sciences he got a higher score then she had ever seen. They did mention about possibly skipping a grade or possibly even two in the future just so he can learn with the class. Right now the teacher has a hard time creating a challenge for him without making him an outcast to the class. Needless to say Jen and I are really proud of the kid.

Clancey Ghost Riding The Whip

Tonight after we got home from Marshall's parent/teacher conference Clancey was acting like a crazy person. Sure enough we look up and see Clancey sitting on top of his plastic car. The teenage crowd is really into doing this in real cars driving down the road and they call in ghost riding the whip.

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Marshall The Ravenous Reader

Marshall has turned into quite the reader these days. He is just about through the second Harry Potter book and just got a couple books from the book fair that he is excited to read them. Anymore you will find him sitting on the couch reading as opposed watching TV or playing video games.

More Surgery For Clancey

Well poor little Clancey has to go back in for surgery to get his eye fixed.  For about two years now we've been working with doctors to try and get the issue fixed by non-invasive means and for a while we were making good progress.  Well for the past 6 months his progress has flatlined and the only way to get it all the way to fixed is to send him back in for another surgery.  The doctors assure us that this will be the final surgery and his eye will finally be fixed.  He goes in for his pre-op appointment on December 21st and his surgery is schedule for January 13th.  The bad part about this surgery is Clancey is old enough to understand what it means and is scared about having to get more surgery.  Let's all just hope this fixes the issue for good and the poor kid can be done with the issue. 

Sunday, November 06, 2011

Angry Bird Addicts

Today has kind of been a lazy day around the house. This morning Jen had to teach Sunday school so I decided to get my long bike ride in on my trainer downstairs. After she and the boys got back and I got done riding we really haven't done a whole lot. Marshall played Xbox for a bit but then he heard me playing Angry Birds so he decided to trade me the Xbox so he and Clancey could play it on my Xoom for a while. I'm beginning to think I may never get my Xoom back. I've been seriously considering getting Marshall an iPad for Christmas I'm thinking its a better idea every day.

Saturday, November 05, 2011

I Want Some Candy

After we got done playing in the leaf pile in the front yard we headed in to warm up. Marshall and I were in the living room while Clancey scampered off to the kitchen. After a bit I decided I better go and see what he was doing. I go wondering into the kitchen and what do I see but Clancey standing on a stole trying to get at the candy. As you can see he looks like the cat who ate the canary when I caught him.

Playing in the Leaves

Jumping In The Leaves

Well we got the first part of the lawn raked up and the boys are jumping in the leaves. They are having a really good time!

Raking Leaves

This morning while Jen was out and about shopping the boys and i headed out to rake leaves. The purpose isn't so much about getting the leaves raked as much as it is about making a pile the boys could jump in to. Marshall is one hard little worker I think that kid has raked as many leaves as I have by now. Well I better get back at it cause Clancey is yelling at me to help them.

Thursday, November 03, 2011

No School

Yesterday the boys didn't have school so that meant Jen's work day, both of the kids at school all day, turned into a day with the kids all day. Also it was rainy and cold all day so the boys were trapped inside. Normally that means a day full of Jen having to referee a bunch of fights between Clancey and Marshall but yesterday they played nice all day long. At one point they built a city out of blocks with a commuter all the way around it. Then they had a bunch of animals attack the city and subsequently destroy it. They then decided to build a monument out of blocks in the new city they built to memorialize the tragedy that befell the previous city. To have the imagination of a child. Also, as you can see from the picture above, what kid play day isn't complete without building some kind of fort. All in all sounds like the kids had a fun day.