Sunday, January 29, 2012

Under 100 Days Until Ironman

This week I passed under 100 days until my next Ironman and I'll tell you what my training is starting to take it's toll.  This was week number two of my official Ironman training plan and like I said in an earlier blog entry a very busy and hectic week for me.  I was able to get all of my main workouts in but it meant doing two very tough workouts on the same day a couple times this week.  I knew signing up for Ironman Utah was going to be tough but spending 5-6 hours on my bike in the pain cave each weekend is nothing short of hell.  The first two hours aren't too bad but by hour number three the boredom has started to set in and your crotch hurts like hell.  By day number two, my always be pushing ride, it takes a lot of determination to stay in the aerobars and punch out 2 hours at 200+ watts.  I guess if nothing else all this time spent indoors on my trainer, in my cold basement is going to build a strong mind and by the time I start my Wisconsin training, and I'm able to get outdoors, it will be cake.  Here's to the next 97 days.

Fort Building

This morning the boys were still trying to shake what remains of their sickness and stayed home from church.  Of course its the weekend so the boys were up at the crack of down running and banging around the house while Jen and I were trying to sleep in a bit.  It just isn't a fun day running around the house without building a fort out of cushions and blankets.  The only bad part about building forts out of cushions are blankets is that there is no where to lay around an relax when Jen and I finally made our way downstairs.  I guess that's alright I'm supposed to go down to the pain cave for a two hour bike ride at some point today and right now seems like as good of a time as any.  

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Long Week

This week tuned out to be one long week and I'm sure glad it's the weekend. Between the council budget meeting, fight with the library board at the library building committee meeting, having a hard busy week at work and then having two sick kids it was tough. On top of all of that I had to try and get my training in for my Ironman race that is less then 100 days away now. I do have to confess that my training did suffer some this week but I got all the important workouts in.I was supposed to work all night tonight but thank gosh that got cancelled so I can just use the night to relax. Now that I'm done with my workout I think my day is going to pretty much consist of laying around relaxing and possibly getting my butt kicked at Go a couple times by the boys.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Mike and Michelle Visit

Mike and Michelle decided to make the long trip across the state to visit Marshall for his birthday. We weren't sure they were going to be able make it since the weather is a little suspect today but they got up early and beat the weather. Not sure they will be able to make it back but I guess we will cross that bridge when we get there. The boys were really excited that they made the trip over because they will have someone to play with them all afternoon, plus they haven't seen them in a while. I'm sure Marshall will convince Mike to play some chess or Go later he better watch out cause Marshall is getting good.

Trivia Night


Last night we had our Trivia Night fund raiser for the new library and I got sucked into being the MC for the event.  All in all the event went well, except that we didn't have PA system which meant I had to pretty much yell for everyone to hear me.  The questions were pretty hard and had I participated in the event I'm not sure I would have done all that great.  The team that ultimately won had one guy on the team who pretty much knew all the answers.  In fact by the end of the night I was referring to him as Alex Trebeck, although Ken Jennings was probably the more appropriate name for him.  Once we completed the trivia event we all headed over to the local bar for a drink before we headed home.  It turned out to be a successful event and a fun night, can't wait until we do it again.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Beat At Go

So today Marshall and I were playing Go and Clancey was watching us. After Marshall managed to beat me in the game then Clancey demanded to play. Well I didn't think that he knew how to play so I told him that he was to young to play and we should play a different game. He was pretty upset so I finally gave in and told him he could start placing pieces and in would beat him real quick. Apparently he had been watching Marshall and I play the game because he clearly knew what to do and what the objective was. I was kind of half ass playing until about about 3/4 of the way through and I realized that he was putting my main group in jeopardy. It was too late by then and I knew he was going to beat me. Darn it! I suck at this game or maybe my kids are both just prodigies at it. That's the one I will go with. ;)

Present Time

And of course no birthday is complete without presents.  Marshall got a lot of neat handmade gifts this year.  Jen made him a 9 3/4 sign for his room.  For those of you who aren't familiar with what that means I would refer you to the Harry Potter books.  Jen also made him the really neat shirt that said "Muggle Born" on it.  Once again I would refer you to the Harry Potter books for the meaning of that.  

Mema handmade Marshall a new pair of knit socks.  For those of you who don't know both Marshall and Clancey are huge fans of socks.  Christmas socks, Halloween socks and crazy socks but there favorite socks of all are knitted socks.  Two Christmas's ago mema handmade all of us our own knit socks well about a year ago Marshall lost one of his and has been kind of bummed about it ever since.  Well now Marshall has a new pair that he can enjoy.  


Finally, in what was probably the favorite gift, mema and papa got Marshall 2 magazines about weather and space and then a book on UFO's.  Marshall was pretty excited about the book and hasn't put it down since he opened it up.  With all the books this kid has now he is going to have to do a lot of reading to catch up.

Birthday Cake


No birthday can is complete without the homemade birthday cake.  Well I guess it doesn't have to actually be homemade but I was told at our house they do.  This year, as you can see from the images below, Jen got off quite easy because didn't really request to complex of a design.  Not like the one year he requested trains, cars, planes, and a tunnel.  I think Jen put frosting dots on the cake for hours.  
When it came to deal with the cake Clancey wanted to get in on the action.  In fact all morning Clancey had to keep going to check on the cake. I'm pretty surprised the cake actually made it to the afternoon without a little finger print in the frosting.  Clancey really wanted to put the candles on the cake and we didn't see the harm in that.  Well as you can see from the picture below, Clancey being who he is had to put a candle in the anatomical correct place for the skeleton's penis.  That meant that poor Jen had to serve Marshall an offensive skeleton cake with a flaming penis ;)

Marshall's Birthday

Today we are having the family celebration for Marshall's birthday. Marshall requested homemade pizza for his birthday lunch so Jen had to get started early make the perfect pizza for his lunch. As you can see the pizza turned out to be quite the hit with everyone.

First Long Bike Ride Of The Year

This morning I had the first long bike ride of my training season in preparation for Ironman St. George that is coming up in 15 weeks.  The ride was 3:20 and I ended up going right around 64 miles which isn't too bad for an indoor bike ride.  Today also happened to be the longest bike ride I have ever done on an indoor trainer and it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be.  I just popped on some music videos on my laptop and started to ride.  I'm going to have to get used to these extremely long indoor rides because the weather just isn't going to cooperate with a race that is so early in the season.  I think I will be able to get used to the 3 hour indoor rides but I'm thinking that beyond that is going to suck quite a bit.  In a few weeks I'm going to have to do a century ride indoors on the trainer which is going to be zero fun.  I guess that is what I signed up for when I got the great idea to do 2 Ironman races this year.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Marshall's 8th Birthday Party

Cake And Presents

We've now moved onto cake and presents as part of our birthday celebration. Both of Marshall's gifts were books that Jen and I had picked out. Jen got him the Boxcar Children and I got him his first computer programming book on how to program Python. He ran right off with Jean's book to start reading it and mine sits lonely on the table. I'm sure he will read mine eventually it just isn't as interesting as the other books right now. ;).

Marshall's Birthday Party

Today is Marshall's 8th birthday and we are having a little family party for him to celebrate. Can't believe that Marshall is already 8 and in 10 years he will be headed off to college if not sooner, being he is a genius. This weekend we are having Marshall's official birthday party where he gets more presents and another cake so this is just a preview.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Supper At Wildwood

After having lunch down here last Sunday with Marshall I had a craving for some ribs tonight. Clancey wasn't able to go out in public yet so that meant Marshall and I were on our own again. I can't wait until Clancey is feeling better and we can come down here as a family. At least tonight I'm bringing home some of this great stuff for Jen and Clancey to enjoy tonight.

Two Wild And Crazy Kids

This morning Clancey is really getting back to his old self and has been running and playing with Marshall all morning. Every now and again he will complain that his eyes hurt but for the most part he is feeling pretty good I think. It's good to see Clancey back to his old self and running around. This afternoon, after I get back from my swim, Marshall asked if we could go outside and play in the snow with him. I told him we could but I wasnt sure if Clancey could come out so we may have to sneak out during Clancey's nap time. Otherwise I'm not sure we have any major plans for the day. Just another weekend of relaxing around the house and trying to stay warm. After all of those temps in the 50's we just aren't used to this cold weather and snow.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Last Day Of Out Season Training

Today I finished the last workout of the my outseason training plan before I get into my official Ironman training next week.  At this point I've been training for 13 weeks and I feel like I made a lot of gains on my biking during the session.  I'm not sure I'm ready to get into my Ironman training yet because it means additional training hours and I will have to start getting up early in the morning again.  I guess that is what I signed up for when I entered two Ironman races this year.  During the week it isn't so bad, I just add swimming to my training but the weekends consist of a 3 hour or greater bike on Saturday and another 3 hour or greater bike on Sunday.  Probably means my sleeping in on weekends has come to an end too.  I'll tell you one thing spending 6 hours a weekend on my trainer in the basement is going to make me really appreciate the spring and I can get outside for those multi-hour rides.  As of today I have 112 days until my Ironman race in Utah and 239 days until my Ironman race in Wisconsin.  Going to be a long season but I'm putting the work in to run my first 13 hour Ironman race.

Clancey Is Feeling Better

As you can see Clancey is up and about and feeling a heck of a lot better then he did yesterday at this time.  His eye undilated today so he isn't as sensitive to light as he was yesterday and for the most part he is doing great.  His eyes still do itch some and he being a pain about letting Jen put his eye drops in though.  The plan is to take it easy today and get another full day of resting in before we let him do to much running around.  With snow finally on the ground and it being pretty cold out today it is pretty easy to just bundle up under a blanket and relax.  Now if we could just convince Clancey to watch something other then Nick Jr. we would be set.  

Friday, January 13, 2012

Clancey is Home

We just walked in the door after a long morning down in Iowa City for Clancey's surgery.  Like I reported in my previous posts the surgery went well and Clancey is recovering well.  I can't believe how tough this kid is.  He went through surgery and hasn't cried at all and it doing good not rubbing his eyes.  The poor kids eye's are dilated so we closed all the curtains and he is resting on the couch in the dark.  That is also why there aren't any pictures of Clancey on the blog either.  Once Clancey's eye's start to undilate I'll post a picture so everyone can see that he is doing well.  The rest of the day for Clancey is going to be spent resting on the couch and just recovering.  We did brighten his day by getting him a Cyclone Pillow Pet that he can cuddle with this afternoon.

Just a second ago Jen called up the stairs and said Clancey wanted to talk to me.  When I got down there Clancey asked me where I had gotten the pillow pet at.  I told him that I got it at Target, that it was the one he was looking at the other day.  Since Clancey can't really see right now he had a serious question for me... He wanted to make sure that I didn't get mixed up and get him a Hawkeye one since they were right by the Cyclone ones.  I assured him that yes indeed I had gotten him the Cyclone home and not the crappy Hawkeye one.

On a totally different subject I just noticed as I was getting ready to post that this will be my 2000th post to my blog.  I can't believe that I have put that many posts up the few years that I've been actively maintaining my blog.  Well here is too another 2000 posts!

Clancey Is Back

Clancey is back in the room and doing good. No crying he is tired and looks like he wants to just take it easy. He is such a tough kid and is doing a great job.

Out Of Surgery

Clancey just got out of surgery has moved to recovery and everything went well. We haven't got to see him yet but the doctor is feeling good that should have gotten the problem solved. Now we just want to see our little man and give him some hugs and kisses.

In Surgery

About a half hour ago they took Clancey back to start his surgery. They gave him a little something to help with anxiety, which he didn't really like that much but he took it like a trooper. Clancey was so brave when the doctor came to take him back. They do what they call a trial run to see if the kids will separate from their parents and Clancey did great. They took him and there was no issues, he looked nervous but he left with the doctor. Now we just sit and wait for the next two hours. I'll update as soon as we find anything out.

Getting Ready For Surgery

We got called back and we are getting ready for surgery. First they took all of Clancey's vitals and everything checked out perfect. He does like the new socks they gave him to wear, he can't wait to show Marshall. He is starting to get a little worried and is telling us he doesn't want the funny air. Even though he is a bit nervous he is letting the nurse do everything she needs too. Hopefully they don't make us wait too long so Clancey doesn't have to dwell on the funny air too long.

Checked In

We just got checked into the hospital and are now hanging around the children's waiting room waiting for them to come get us. On the way down Jen told Clancey about his surgery and the funny gas they are going to give him to make him go to sleep. Clancey assured us that the funny gas won't make him sleepy. I'm happy to report that Clancey isn't to worried this morning. Jen on the other hand is quite nervous but that makes sense, her little baby is getting ready to head in for surgery. Hopefully they get him in and out and it goes well. I'll be sure to keep the up to date.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Clancey's Surgery Tomorrow

Tomorrow morning at 6:30 am we have to head to Iowa City for Clancey's third surgery in his young life.  For the past few years we have been working to correct a 6th nerve palsy that was brought on by a severe ear infection.  A couple years ago we went in for his first surgery to attempt to fix it.  The surgery went well and for a year and a half he was making good progress but over the past few months his progress had stalled and surgery became more and more likely.  Finally our surgeon got back from maternity leave and we decided it was time to get the issue licked once and for all.  The poor little guy is pretty nervous about his surgery he knows it's coming up but he doesn't know its tomorrow.  Quite frankly the whole family is worried and just the other day Marshall was drawn to tears talking about it with Jen.  It's not a very risky surgery but there, of course, is some risk and you worry.  We all just hope this fixes it and we can be done with this stage of his life.  Wish us luck!

First Snow

Well after two weeks of some of the nicest weather we've had in January, temps in the 50's. Last night mother nature finally decided to start the winter season for us. We really didn't get a whole lot of snow just a couple inches but its enough to make driving a huge pain in the ass and its blowing too so it is quite miserable. Now we get to start the long hard trudge to spring and the start of outdoor biking season.

Sunday, January 08, 2012

Parcheesi Time

It has been years since I've last played parcheesi and I'm not sure I ever actually played parcheesi itself, just parcheesi like games. When we got home from our awesome barbeque lunch Marshall got the board set up so we could play a game so much for my laying on the couch. The game is pretty fun and way less frustrating then the game of Trouble. On a side note I hope Clancey is being good for Jen so they don't both come home in a crabby mood. That would really cut into my relaxing afternoon ;)

Update:
Initial reports are coming in on Clancey's behavior and it isn't sounding good. Marshall and I got our game of Parcheesi done quickly so we could both get a little more relaxation time in before Jen and Clancey get home and its over. ;-)

Great Food

Well it turns out that the food is really good here but my eyes were way bigger then my stomach. As you can see the sampler platter they brought me was freaking huge and I had no chance of eating it all. At least I have something to bring home and share with Jen so she can try it out. Now it may be a bit hard to bike ride this afternoon with a stomach full of barbeque but it was worth it.

Lunch With Marshall

Today Jen and Clancey headed into Cedar Rapids to run errands and get groceries which meant that Marshall and I had the afternoon to do whatever we wanted. We started it off by laying around and relaxing on the couch but soon we got hungry so we jumped in the car and headed to find some food. Well we got to Tipton and all the places were packed and we just kind of kept driving. After driving we ended by West Branch and I fired my Xoom up to try to find something. Well what we finally found was a barbeque place near iowa city off the interstate. The place is enormous and there is no one here, hopefully its good.

Saturday, January 07, 2012

Playing Outside In January

Hard to believe its January and we can play bat and ball outside. Normally if there isn't snow on the ground its way to cold to be outside and enjoy it. I'm thinking that I will try to get outside and get a long run in today maybe 7-8 miles just something to enjoy the weather some. It won't be long and I will be stuck inside on the treadmill so I'm going to enjoy it now.

Lazy Saturday

This morning has been just one of those lazy Saturdays. Woke up around 9 and had a late breakfast. After that we all piled onto the couch to watch the last have of the Harry Potter movie we started last night. If you remember we had a Harry Potter Marathon last weekend but didn't get through all the movies well last night we started up again with The Half Blood Prince and will probably finish this weekend. Its kind of nice to just sit around and relax this weekend as we slowly get back into the swing of things from our long Christmas break. Not sure what we will do the rest of the day but I do have to get a long bike in at some point other then that I have no big plans.

Friday, January 06, 2012

Back To Work and Crazy Weather

Well this was my first week back to work and to school for the boys and I have to say it was somewhat of a rough transition for is all. We all kind of got used to sleeping in until 8-9 in the morning staying up late and really just not worrying about anything. It wasn't too bad early in the week but by yesterday I could hardly drag myself out of bed. I'm hoping next week I will finally get back into the swing of things. On another note this week has been absurdly warm week. Yesterday it got to nearly 60 degrees and today it was nearly 50 degrees which is hard to believe for January. Be nice for it to stay like this for the rest for the year.

Monday, January 02, 2012

The Shaving Of The Christmas Beard


With today being the last day of Christmas break it was the day that Christmas beard gets officially cut off.  This year I actually managed to keep the Christmas beard the whole time, I think for the first time ever, normally it get itching and annoying the middle of week 2 and I cut it off early.  Not sure I am a big fan of beards and I'm not sure I would ever sport one unless it served a real purpose, like keeping my face warm if I ever had an outdoor job in the winter.  I'm not sure how the whole Christmas beard thing started but probably just kind of happened one year when after a week of not shaving, because I didn't have too, I declared it my Christmas beard and it became tradition.  Well it's gone now and its time to get back to real life again.  Next up is Ironman St. George. which is only 124 days away now.  

Last Day Of Christmas Break


After being off of work for nearly two weeks it's hard to believe but today is the last day of Christmas break. The picture above is meant to show you what happens to the den after the boys have been home for 2 weeks, it gets completely covered in toys.  I think the boys have had nearly every block, train set and game out this Christmas break but they have had a lot of fun so I guess the den can suffer a little.  This morning Marshall told me that he wanted today to be the longest day ever and I don't blame him.  While I am looking forward to getting back to my routine it sure is nice to sleep in until 9am and do nothing all day but I bet if I did that everyday I would get sick of that eventually too.  Today we don't have any major plans, probably bum around a bit more but start trying to gather everything today that we are going to need for school and work tomorrow.  I'm sure we will oversleep tomorrow and be very tired, the last thing we need is to be running around the house looking for things that we managed to misplace over break.  

Sunday, January 01, 2012

New Years Day Harry Potter Marathon

For Christmas Marshall got all of the Harry Potter movies as a present.  Well today when I was sleeping in a bit, Marshall came charging up the stairs to tell me that I needed to get out of bed. He told me that the plan was to have a Harry Potter movie marathon and I needed to get out of bed so we could get it started.  By the time he woke me up it was nearly 9pm and with eight 2 hour long movies I told him it was unlikely we could get though them all before bed but we could try.  I'm sure that the marathon is probably going to turn into a afternoon nap session for Jen and I but with it being windy and cold I can't think of a better way to spend the afternoon.  :)

First Blog Of The Year

Normally I try to get my first blog of the year up right after midnight but I was tired and went right to bed the turn of the New Year.  I've been thinking about the last year trying to decide if it was a good or bad year.  I guess I came to the conclusion that I'm glad the year is over.  There were a lot of good things that happened of the year, finished my third Ironman, find out Marshall is a genius, Clancey starts school and Jen's sign business really took off. Jen and I also went on our first adult vacation ever when we took our cruise and we did find a great new family vacation spot, Beaver Island.  Even with all of those good things we had a couple crappy things happen, more specifically, a small group of people be complete and utter jerkoffs to us this year which really took the wind out of our sails.  This year one of my resolutions is to just keep my distance from those folks and just have a good year.  There are no reasons for us to have to be around them this year so it should be a far better year this year.

Normally I don't make New Year's resolutions but this year I think I will.
1. Learn a second language.  Haven't decided if it will be spanish, swedish or french.
2. Develop some Android tablet games that the boys and I can use on our tablets.
3. Eat better.  I would like to start both of my Ironman races this year at 170 pounds.

 Here's to a good year and wish me luck tackling two full Ironman races this year.