Monday, February 23, 2009

A few cute pics

Macen is preparing to swim! We are actually hoping to take him to the pool this weekend and maybe swim lessons this summer. We might be back next week with actual swim pictures.

And he is getting good at brushing his teeth. He's getting the back and forth motion down. Of course, he doesn't want me helping much anymore. And since he isn't a fan of anything going in his mouth that he doesn't wholeheartedly approve of, we are struggling with toothpaste. I can't even convince him that Dora toothpaste is cool.

February playdates

Macen has had an abundance of playdates since we moved and he is loving it. Here are some from this month:

Sunday, February 22, 2009

New Look

I hope everyone likes the new look of the blog. We've been wanting to change and spice things up for a while now. The addition of the third column allows people to see more of the cool widgets and other stuff we've added without having to scroll down to get to it. I need to thank for the HTML code that allowed me to modify the original template into what we now have. Unfortunately changing the code and keeping all of the widgets that we currently had made my head hurt so you are still stuck with the dots background for now. Give me some time and I'll figure out how to change the background while still keeping the three columns......maybe.

Some things we've added that we think are pretty cool are the important 2009 dates on the left hand side, we'll keep those updated as I add new races and other things come up. We've also added a widget from that shows us where people are coming from when they come to the blog and which section they are going to. It seems that my fashion commentary in the Iraqi Clothing Styles Post gets a lot of hits as well as the AK-47 vs M-16 post.

Well like I said, I hope everyone likes the new look.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

The Infamous Maggie Dog

Going back through some of the blog posts I've realized that there really aren't that many posts or mentions of one of the big parts of our family, "The Infamous Maggie Dog". Now there are several reasons for that, the big ones being that Maggie hates having her picture taken and runs every time the camera comes out, both video and digital. Most of the pictures we have of her are taken with a camera phone or when she's not paying attention. The other reason is that Shantel has a love/hate relationship with her and since Shantel does most of the posting, that's why. Haha, just kidding babe. Shantel does like having her around but some of things that Maggie does just drives her nuts, like alway being wanting to be close to you and how much energy she always has.

The above pictures are how most of you see Maggie whenever you are at our house. Mainly a lazy house dog that always has a stuffed animal in her mouth. For the most part that is a pretty accurate picture, stuffed animals don't stand a chance in our house, Maggie always appropriates them as hers and if they have squeeker then she trys to get it out. But there are things that she does.

German Shorthaired Pointers have a lot of energy and Maggie is no exception. Most of you know that I like to run and Maggie is the perfect running partner. She gets all excited when I get her leash out and she knows what my running clothes look like and she can barely contain her excitment. When she was younger it was nothing for her to pull me for 6 or 7 miles as she tried to do a 6-7 minute/mile pace. Nowadays she is much more comfortable with a 8-9 minute/miles for 6 or 7 miles.

OK this isn't a very good picture but it shows Maggie doing one of her other favorite activities, which also happens to be one of my favorites as well, bird hunting. That's her in the orange vest "honoring" a point by another dog on a pheasant. Actually from this day of hunting, I think this was the only time that she didn't find the birds first. I took a friend of mine who had only seen her lounging around the house and he couldn't believe how good she was at pointing and retrieving. For a house dog who only hunts once or twice a year, she is pretty good, if I must say so myself.

This is Maggie with Mo, one of our cats. I find this picture highly amusing because for the most part Maggie hates cats and Mo isn't that fond of dogs but they both get along great and will play together quite often. To illustrate how much Maggie doesn't like cats, she will spend hours at the window watching wild or outdoor cats that come into our yard, just quivering and waiting for a chance to get outside and chase them. I've also seen her chase and tree wild farm cats, but she could care less about Mo or Myles.

Friday, February 13, 2009


In light of Mizzou's big Monday night win over KU and the fact that KC area radio sports talk shows are still talking about it, along with a lot of what I would call whining by KU fans, I thought I would relate the following story.

Everyone knows I'm a big Mizzou fan, my whole side of the family, mother, father,brother, sister, uncles, aunts, and cousins are for the most part Mizzou fans and most of them have graduated or are tied to MU somehow. That's not true for Shantel's family, in fact my 17 year old sister-in-law, Mariah, is a huge KU fan and is under the delusion that she wants to go to school at KU.

For Christmas this year Mariah thought it would be funny to get Macen a KU onesie and stocking hat. Now for the record that kind of "crap" I mean stuff is not allowed in my house. So Mariah put all of her KU gear on and put Macen into the onsie and put the stocking on his head and got her mom to take a picture of the two of them together. Here it is.

OK look closely at Macen. That is one UNHAPPY kid. You've all seen the video where he didn't like the jeans he was wearing, but we've never had a problem putting a onsie or stocking hat/beanie on him. The tantrum he threw after Mariah put the outfit on him was crazy, the picture doesn't do it justice, I wish we had video of it. He was crying and screaming, pulling at the onsie trying to get it off and pulling the hat off. It didn't stop there, his cousin Haillee was there too and Mariah picked the hat up after Macen had thrown it off and put it on Haillee, Macen ripped it off her head and continued screaming until my mother-in-law, Lori, got the outfit off of him. Then he calmed down and was as good as could be.

What can I say the kid has taste and he's predisposed to hate KU.

Thursday, February 12, 2009


OK, Many of you have heard by now that I've started training for triathlons again and you have been asking me "Why on Earth do you want to do that? Don't you know you're not 18 anymore?" Well the answer to the second question is easy. Yes I know I'm not 18 anymore, my body reminds me everytime I get done with a long ride or a run. The answer to the first question is a little longer.

I woke up one day last summer and realized that I was fat and out of shape. Now those are relative terms, I could still pass the PT test and I was under my maximum body fat percentage, but I wasn't happy with myself. So I asked myself what I could do to get back in better shape. At the same time I happened to be emailing back and forth with a couple of friends who knew that I would be in the KC area this summer and were looking forward to getting together with me. Both are fairly active guys and I've done either a triathlon or an adventure race with both them and both guys individually suggested doing another one together this summer. Viola, my fitness plan came to me all at once.

So I've set a couple of goals for myself for this summer. One I will complete two Half Ironmen triathlons, for those of you that don't know what that consists of it's a 1.2 miles swim followed by a 56 mile bike ride followed by a 13.1 mile run, that's a total of 70.3 miles. I did one of these when I was 26 which gives me my second goal. I decided that I wanted to do two because I want to complete at least one of these faster than I did when I was 26. That means I have to complete the race in less than 7 hours 33 minutes, hopefully since I'm older and wiser I'll be able to do both faster. Finally my third goal, which shouldn't be too hard with all the training I have to do, is to get down to 185lbs from a high of 220lbs in the spring of 2008. I'm almost there now at about 193lbs

So I've scheduled some warm up races all summer with the two Half Ironmen, Ironman 70.3 Kansas on 14 June and the Pigman Half Iron distance on 16 August. Standby for pictures and race reports.

Shantel has been ultra supportive of all this with comments like "Well, if you want some of the free beer at the end of the race you need to finish faster" and "I'm glad you think your new bike is faster, that means we can go home sooner" Geez, thanks babe. No seriously she'll be there cheering me on taking all of the pictures you should eventually see here.


Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Back to Work....I Mean Back to School

Well, I have finally gone back to work and what that really means is that I've gone back to school. For those of you who didn't know I'm attending the Army's Command and General Staff School, which in a nutshell means that the Army is teaching me the skills that they think I need for the majority of the rest of my career.

You hear a lot of things from friends and peers who have gone through the year long class about how this is supposed to be a great year to reconnect with your family, maybe take a break from the break neck pace that has been the Army since 9/11, maybe take the opportunity to get yourself back in good physical shape, getting any medical procedures done that you might not of had time for at other places, and other things like that. Well the faculty here has done a great job during the inprocessing week to disabuse us of those notions, letting us know that the year will be academically challenging and there is a lot of work and reading required, although they do mention that it is a great time to find some balance. Their comments have been backed up by friends of mine who are in the August class who say they have had a lot of reading to do and just because you are done with class at 2pm, doesn't mean you are done for the day, you still probably have 4-5 hours of reading to do that night. So far, I'll have to agree with the faculty and the guys in the August class it does seem like a lot of work and reading and maybe those graduates are just "misremembering" how much work they had to put in. Of course I've also been told that it's only a lot of reading if you do it. Luckily for me most of the topics so far, I've covered while working on my Master's so it should just be a little brushing up.

It has been a little bit of a shock to get back into the swing of things after being "off" for almost 50 days but it is good to get back into a rhythm and with me being gone most of the day now, Macen seems much more interested in playing with me when I get home. Although he is still a Momma's boy if he falls or bumps his head, and bath and bed time still remain a Mom and Macen time, although he is letting me give him a bath and I have gotten him to go to bed for me once with out help from Shantel, it's not much but it is a start.

OK time to go get caught up on the readings for tomorrow.



Okay so hopefully we can get back into the swing of this again. It's been pretty busy and it looks like we have a little down time right now. Lets see in the first 5 weeks of moving here, we've had company each weekend, James went out of town for a few days, then him and Macen were sick for a week with me getting it the following week and we have each attended a funeral out of town.

I'm sure you are all wanting some pics of Macen. The new house as offered new games for him. He loves when we play the ball game. James and I sit at the bottom of the stairs and he goes up to the landing where we throw the balls at him...I mean to him. He throws them back and we repeat. He could play this game He is usually grabbing one if not both of our hands and leading us to the stairs while saying ball.

No has become a favorite word. Everything is no. He is saying several words on his own now like eat, nose, night-night, oh no, please and juice. James has been working with him alot on signing please when he wants something as well as thank you. I had mentioned his fake sneezes before and he still does them but now when he is in trouble or we ask him to not do something, he immediately throws in a "sneeze" in the attempt to get a positive reaction and smile out of us. And if you are wondering if it works, it does. He still loves numbers. He can now recognize each number from 1-10 and say each one by name. They don't need to be in order to recognize them but he does need them in front of him except for 1-3. The pic of him and James are of them counting. James has him count 1,2,3 with him and then throws him in the air. James starts with 1 and Macen use to repeat each one but now after James says 1, Macen says 2. The pic is when Macen says 2 - with very curled lips. And the first pic is of him with his fingers in ears. He didn't like it when we turned to look at him and apparently he didn't want to listen to us talk either. He is also quite the little copy cat - particularly when people/characters start dancing on his favorite shows.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Breaking down

So James ventured out with his new bike this weekend...and broke down. Macen and I had to hop in the truck and drive to post to get him. I thought it was a kodak moment. Hopefully all the breakdowns occur in training and not during the triathlons.

Monday, February 2, 2009


Who knew pebbles could entertain for so long? We have a big playset in our backyard now. A playset that Macen is too young for - he is a little afraid of it right now and there is no where he can easily climb on it. But underneath it, the owners put pebbles instead of sand (Thank you!). Macen played in it for a long time when we had a really nice day last week. So long that he didn't even muster up any jabbering. He was so engrossed in picking up, raking and pouring the pebbles.