Monday, April 16, 2012

I'll take "Auditions" for $200, Alex!

So, one of the things on my bucket list was to audition for Jeopardy. Okay, I say that, but I've never even so much as tried in the past. Last fall, a friend's husband was on did quite well. My friend convinced me to take the online test with her this past January. I obviously did pretty well because today I got to audition!

I had to Metro my way to Farragut North. It was a  route I'm used to taking, but I hadn't done since I stopped working on "Eye" Street in 2006. I got there pretty early, so I walked around the square a bit. The burrito vendor on K is gone, as is the guy who used to sell hot dogs in front of my building. They put a restaurant where I believe there used to be a bank. There are restaurants across the street. I didn't realize that Farragut Square was a big food truck scene for DC.

The audition was in the Capital Hilton. I picked a table in the holding room and looked up to realize that I was sitting across from The RoomStore lady! Baltimore and DC people know about whom I am talking. For those who don't, please check out THIS link and let me tell you that I couldn't find any of her REALLY annoying commercials on YouTube. Yes, she does sound like that and is that perky. Thankfully, she was not in my room for the test and personality interviews.

I can't talk about the questions, but let's say that after a slow start with my practice game (didn't have a clue about 2 of the first 4), I cleared a category about NFL logos going against two men. When they asked about my hobbies, I mentioned that I recently took up running and completed my first 5K yesterday, 2 minutes under my goal time. That actually resulted in applause from the peanut gallery. Apparently, I have a Southern accent. I don't hear it. Do you? The main audition interviewer told me that she asked Justin Sausville about a certain medicine for men, he told her that the problem was for women of child-bearing age :)

I had a fun time and am in the contestant pool for the next 18 months. Let's hope that out of the 3000 people in the pool, that I get to be one of the 400 on for next season.

Oh, and I'd use my winnings to buy season tickets to the Gator Football games, if you care to know :) They wanted something interesting and everyone else was taking trips places.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

First 5K down. Who knows how many to go?

Since shortly after Milk Dud was born, I've wanted to take up running again. Several of my friends from my infant and child loss message board had successfully completed the Couch 2 5K program. I wanted to join them, but every time I'd get started with it, I wouldn't be able to get past week 3. I felt like a failure and was resentful of the fact that I didn't have time to exercise because I had a very clingy baby.

Last year, two of my friends from Baltimore Mommies started running. One of them competed in a half marathon in the fall, only 6 or 7 months after she started running and less than a year after having her second child. I was jealous. I wanted to be a runner and get into shape.

Last December, I took my first run on the treadmill with the first week of the Couch 2 5K program yet again. Two of my local runner friends said that I should find a 5K and sign up for it and that they would do it with me. Today, I completed that 5K. I ran in The Red Shoe Shuffle to benefit the Ronald McDonald House of Baltimore. I raised over $350 for the charity. The event was initially expecting only 500 runners and walkers. They ended up with 1500 and raised over $100K!

I was excited and nervous. Squirty refused to go to sleep until midnight last night and Milk Dud woke up around 4... again... That meant I did this on about 3 hours of sleep. It was nice and cool, but a little humid. I'm not really used to running in the city, so the exhaust fumes started to really irritate my lungs at around 1 mile. I don't know how city runners do it. I had to cough and walk a couple of times. My goal was to finish the race in 35 minutes or less. Yes, I was silly and set a time goal for my first race. I beat that by 2 minutes, crossing the finish line at 33 minutes almost exactly.

I would absolutely do this again. I hope to run another 5K in May through our local Striders club. Hopefully, I can better my time with some more training. Now, I have to go ice my knee. It wasn't bothering me until I sat at a restaurant for an hour and then walked around Old Ellicott City, which is rather hilly.





Me and Milk Dud before the race. He was obsessed with my earbuds.

All done!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Pins to Projects: Pancake Muffins

I found THIS pin on Pinterest via one of my friends. It didn't link to any instructions and the ones they had in the pin were a little confusing, so I made them work for me.

Preheat the oven to 350F. Mix together 1c Bisquick complete, 2/3c cold water,  and 1/2c maple syrup. Spoon into a greased regular muffin tin to 3/4 full. Sprinkle your topping of choice on the muffins. I used Craisins and pecans. I made one with Cheerios for my 3.5-year old. Bake for 15 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. It made 7. I stuck the 2 remaining ones in the freezer so I could see how well they freeze.




They turned out pretty well. L really liked his Cheerio one once I finally talked him into eating. It was a rough morning.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Breastfeeding affirmations

I recently read THIS post about breastfeeding affirmations. I wish I had seen it 3.5 years ago when I was exclusively pumping for my preemie, not knowing if I would ever be able to transition him to the breast. I know how hard I worked to switch him and how lucky I was to be able to do so. Many a lactation consultant has told me these facts, but I didn't have a lot of actual support or help with it in the beginning. My fear of taking Squirty anywhere in the early days prevented me from attending La Leche League meetings and a former coworker made me think that were too militant for me. I was lucky to have my mother-in-law who understood how much I wanted to nurse. I did eventually seek out La Leche League as my first reached a year and I didn't want to wean.

As I approach 20 months of breastfeeding with Milk Dud, I need to look at breastfeeding in a different way. It is a special time for him and me (and whatever toy he occasionally decides to bring along). In spite of the fact he was so sick all winter, breastfeeding has kept him healthier than he would have been otherwise. When he had a stomach bug, I was able to comfort him through nursing. He is super smart and I like to think that breastfeeding has something to do with that. I do want to get him weaned before the Ragnar race in September. He will be over 2 at that point and I don't want to bring a hand pump.

What are your breastfeeding affirmations? What positive thoughts do you use to get you through a rough patch?

Thursday, April 5, 2012

10 Days until Red Shoe!

So, it's only 10 days (including today) until my first 5K. I'm both excited and scared about running with a lot of other people. My goal is to finish without walking, but I'd like to be under 33-minutes.

The Red Shoe Shuffle is a race to benefit the Ronald McDonald House of Baltimore. I picked this event as my first 5K because it is an awesome charity.

If you want to sponsor me, my FirstGiving page can be found here: http://www.firstgiving.com/fundraiser/alyssakendall/red-shoe-shuffle

Please help me raise money for the Ronald McDonald House!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Pins to Projects: Flower Cookies

Yes, a second blog post from me today. I promised Squirty that I would make cookies. He was supposed to help me, but then he went and did this:






So I did some cookies using the basic idea found HERE.

I just used bagged sugar cookie mix. I have my own awesome recipe, but this was easier with L since what I wanted to do was decorate them.

First I rolled the dough into small balls and then I rolled the balls in colored sugar.





Next, I cut each one down into petals, so they looked like this





The original site left them like this and put a piece of candy in the middle. I didn't do that. I flipped them over so the sugar side was up.





Baked them for 9 minutes, per the instructions





Voila! Flower cookies ready for spring!





Made Squirty rather happy with his pre-soccer snack. Pardon his crazy nap hair.

Will it work? Pins to Projects: Jewelry Cleaner Recipe

My wedding ring always seems to be filthy. I'm constantly scrubbing it with a toothbrush to clean the diamond. My childhood friend Rachel pinned THIS recipe for jewelry cleaner, so I decided I would try it.

Here are my rings before. There is lots of build-up on the prongs and the area where the two overlap.






To clean the jewelry, you put a piece of aluminum foil in the bottom of a bowl. Then you heat up one cup of water for 1-2 minutes. Pour that in the bowl. Add 1T each of baking soda, salt and dish soap. Add your jewelry for 5-10 minutes (I went with 10)





Remove your jewelry. Rinse with cool water. Dry with a cloth.





It got most of the junk of the gold, but my diamond is still pretty cloudy. I'd say that it does work, but only on metal, not gemstones. I wouldn't try it with a soft item like an opal or a pearl.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Pins to Projects: Fun with baking soda

Since Milk Dud was sick last week, I had to come up with something fun for his big brother to do. Last week, I had pinned THIS project with baking soda and vinegar/water/food coloring. It's from Amber who write the awesome Binkertation blog and has inspired me to actually do some of the projects I pinned.

So all you need is a large dish, some baking soda, white vinegar, water, food coloring, an eye dropper and a mug or two to hold the food coloring/white vinegar/water combo.










So, nothing much to say. L had a lot of fun doing this.

video
He talked about doing it for days! We will do it again after we dye Easter Eggs this week. I will just add a little more vinegar to the dye.