Life as we know it

Our family adventures

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Going for a stroll

Allie likes to walk…
and walk…
and walk some more!

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Lets talk about running again, shall we?

I’ve had plenty of stuff to write about, but life has gotten in the way the past few days.

In the midst of chaos, I’ve been running. I don’t get stressed out too often anymore, but when I was there this week, running help. Monday night I had a very surprising hill run. I needed to clear my head and that task was accomplished.

Last week I had planned 9 miles for Sunday. I wasn’t sure I’d make it that far as I indulged in some strong wine on Saturday night. Well, I surprised myself by not only covering the 9, but going for 10!

Then this morning was the bad run. I should have expected it, given how well I’ve been running lately! This week is a cutback week because we are traveling this weekend and even if I have time to run, it won’t be enough for a long run. So this morning I wanted to do a longer mid-week run. I set out about 5:15 for 6 miles. I was a tough first mile, like the first mile always is for me. Then the next few miles I kept feeling kind of sluggish, even though I was maintaining about 11:40 pace. I was trying to keep slower anyway since I’ve been so speedy lately. I’m familiar enough with my neighborhood and different distances that I chould have shortened the run. I considered that but thought I could push through it. Well, I did… except that my legs felt like lead in the last mile and felt even more like lead in the last half mile!

I got pretty hungry during the run. I think perhaps I just didn’t have enough gas in the tank even though I ate my normal breakfast. Not enough gas and just tired, as I got to work and had to keep myself from falling asleep at my desk. I think its just stress and stuff catching up with me. Besides, you can’t run great all the time! So I’m not upset, but I am going to cut back even more than I originally planned the rest of the week. I’m thinking like two 3-milers or even less the rest of the week.

This will be a nice break before half marathon training, if only I could figure out my goal and approach for the training this time around!

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Never too early for pumpkin

I made these amazing pumpkin chocolate chip cookies last week. I wanted to bake and while I was initially thinking of carrot cake, I started thinking of a recipe I’d seen for soft pumpkin cookies. I searched and was reminded of the pumpkin chocolate chip combination, which is amazing! I had a treat day at work last week and we wanted to have plenty of cookies at home, so I doubled the batch. In hind sight, I always have leftovers from the treat days and I probably should quit doubling the recipe! Because we ate a bunch of cookies last week… and I complain about not losing weight!

These were good cookies. I created a monster with them, however, a cookie monster otherwise known as Allie. When I was baking them I gave her one. Then she wanted more, and more. I told her we had to wait for Dada to come home. We started enforcing finishing dinner before having dessert. It got to the point where she would finish her food and start asking “cookie?” She remembered even when the cookies weren’t in sight. We were afraid of how she’d react when the cookies were gone. Luckily it went OK!

In other news, remember how I said we’d have the pea and ham risotto again soon? We did, less than a week later. This time it took much less time because I was stirring the risotto constantly. It only took about 20 minutes as opposed to the 45 last time. That was still a rough mean, however, because we gambled on a cranky Allie staying patient waiting for dinner to be ready. You’d think we’d eventually learn our lesson on that!


We’ve got a cookie monster

Monday when it was just me and Allie, I started making some cookies. I’ve been on a baking kick lately and today was a treat day at work. I decided to make these pumpkin chocolate chip cookies. I started while Allie was napping, but she woke up while I was baking them. I gave her one and then she wanted another… and another…

Ya can’t really blame her. These cookies are chocked full of cakey goodness. I told her we’d have to wait for Dada to get home before we could have more. That didn’t really appease her. She cried and yelled a lot. I finally got done baking and she was still crying for the darn cookies. So I took her outside and she finally forgot. And now she knows about cookies. Luckily she doesn’t ask for one as long as they are not in her sight! Lesson learned… don’t talk about cookies with Allie or show them to her!

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This is so frustrating

Where’s the logic? I weighed 173.6 (or less) all weekend. Then on Tuesday I went up to 175.8 and yesterday and today settle in at 175.4. This is about the same thing that happened last week. I eat bad over the weekend and better in the week, but my weight result shows the opposite of what I expect. I guess it just takes a few days for the ice cream to show up in that number. Ugggh. Maybe I can’t do it without weight watchers. I canceled three weeks ago and my net weight change is a gain of .4. Yeah, I’m glad I didn’t gain more, but I want to lose at least 15 more, if not 35! I guess I need to eat better on the weekend, duh. I thought I did eat slightly better last weekend, but I guess not if I gained .4 instead of staying the same or losing! Surely my body can lose weight and be less than 175 can’t it?

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All about choo-choos

Original plans for Saturday included a trip with my sister Jeni to a bridal shower in New Richmond, four hours away. We unfortunately had to cancel because Jeni and Dave have been having car trouble. I was a little sad but also glad I wasn’t going to leave my family all day!

So instead we went to the Mid-Continent Railway Museum in North Freedom, which is about an hour away from here. We’ve wanted to go there for a long time.

The draw of the museum is the ride in the restored old-time train. Its a 7-mile ride on a ´╗┐former branch of the Chicago & Northwestern line with authentic-dressed conductors. We started by getting our tickets for the 1:00 train. Then we needed to get lunch. North Freedom isn’t really a bustling metroplex though. In fact, the population, according to the line, is 649. There’s not much to North Freedom. Using my fancy new phone I found there was the “Railroad Cafe” in North Freedom and no other food until Baraboo, about 5 miles away. We were a little short on time and looking for something interesting, so we braved the Railroad Cafe.

We were pleasantly surprised. It was an old fashioned diner and we were the only customers, at noon on a Saturday. That worked just fine for us.

Allie enjoyed some crackers and fries. We got her a grilled cheese but she wasn’t into it. The only hangup of the restaurant was that it didn’t have a changing table in the bathroom. I had to get creative and change her on the floor! It worked fine though.

The food was quick and it was good. We finished in plenty of time to get back to the train.

This is the historic depot built in 1894!

We rode in the Delaware Lackawanna & Western coach #563. They also used cars 425, 557 and 595. According to the pamphlet we got, these cars “were constructed by the Pullman Company between 1914 and 1917 for suburban passenger service in New York and New Jersey. These cars are of riveted steel construction and were one of the last large orders of open-vestibule coaches ever built. Their simple design provided economical transportation in short-distance use.”

The weekend staff is volunteer! I’m sure its a labor of love for these people. Fascinating.

Allie liked looking out the windows at all the other trains. She really loved the entire experience, though we had taken a calculated risk, however, in skipping nap time. She had a mini meltdown before the ride started. Luckily she recovered nicely and we all enjoyed our ride.

The way her face lit up when the train whistle blew was priceless. This is the only real picture I got of the expression, hence the picture with only half her face!

After the conductor punched our tickets, we let Allie hold on to hers. Her ride was free, but she still got her own ticket.

The ride was a bit more than 3 miles down the track. When we got to the end of the line they separated the engine from the train to display for people to get a closer look. After everyone got a look, they moved the engine to the other end of the train for the trip back to the depot.
Allie’s reaction was interesting. She loved the horn, but I think she was a little scared of it as well. Because her face would light up, but she’d also snuggle in closer to Mama. I think her tiredness played a part in this as well.

After the ride Allie ran around a bit while Mama used the bathroom. You gotta leave time for running around!

The other part of the museum is the coach shed, where they display the other restored trains. Its so interesting, but it was difficult, really impossible, to spend much time looking at the trains with Allie, especially with a tired Allie in tow.

Allie enjoyed walking between the trains though. She especially liked going up and down the stairs on the platforms.

It was a great family day. On the way home we stopped at Culvers in Sauk City for some sundaes. Allie didn’t care for the frozen custard though. She enthusiastically took a couple spoonfuls and was startled by how cold it was. After a few bites she didn’t want anymore part of it! Its better that way though, for her at least. Toward the end of the trip home we really started losing Allie. She’d been in the car and without a nap a bit too long. She was much more relaxed once we got home!
We really enjoyed this trip. We had considered going to one of the Milwaukee museums, but this trip was so much easier and perhaps cheaper. The train kept Allie’s attention better than a normal museum would have for sure. They have several special events and we’d love to do any of them. They have a fall colors weekend, pumpkin special where you get a pumpkin at the end of the line, a Santa Express, and a winter train. The one we really want to try though is the dinner trip. Its $80 a person but it sounds like an awesome experience.
The train we rode Saturday was pulled by a diesel engine. The museum’s mission though, is to get a steam engine in service. The conductor said they expect that to happen in a year. We were a bit bummed, however, to find out that a steam engine had made a guest appearance the weekend before! Now that would have been an experience. But now we have an excuse to go back next year!