Thursday, February 19, 2015

DIY Project: Treadmill Desk for less than $15

I don't usually write posts like this, but then, I don't usually do DIY projects, and today I did.

Since I work from home, I've been wanting a treadmill/desk setup for a long time so I can walk and work at the same time instead of just sitting all day. When I looked online, treadmill desks run anywhere from $400-$4,000, and most are big and bulky. After a bit of Googling, I found this post on how to make your own for less than $20 and figured it was worth a shot.

I modified it a bit, so thought I'd share my process:

Here are the raw materials from my local neighborhood orange mega-hardware store:
  • Wooden shelf (I chose a white coating but there are lots of wood-type options), 11.8" D x 35.8" W - $7.48
  • 4 Eye bolts, 1/4" x 3" - $1.96
  • 2 24" bungee cords - $3.45
  • Drill with a 13/64 bit (not pictured)

I drilled two holes in each end, and screwed in the eye bolts. Done! It took about 15 minutes total.

One note on hole placement - I just randomly picked 3" from each end, since that was how it looked in the original  post. My treadmill has short, stumpy handrails, so that almost didn't work. Before drilling, put the shelf on your treadmill to check eye bolt placement.

I attached the bungee cords to the eye bolts in an X pattern, slid it on my handrails, and now I have a treadmill desk!

I spent my first day walking between 1.0 and 2.0 mph depending on what I was doing, and my Fitbit says I'm at almost 17,000 miles as of about 2:00 p.m. This is going to put a big boost in my daily activity level - yay!

My only note so far is that it would be nice to have my monitor more at eye level instead of looking down... Some DIY treadmill desks used bookshelves or wall-mounted shelves for that purpose, but I would have to face the wall for that, and I would rather face into the room. Personal preference - there's a lot can be done with this with not much money or time. AND I can actually take it off my treadmill if I want a heftier workout, which you can't do with the big, expensive desks.

(Don't worry, loyal blog readers - another family post is coming soon...)

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Merry Christmas from the Formans!

It's been a busy year for the Formans, but in less international ways than in the past few years. Our big big change was that we moved from Costa Rica to Denver in January – quite a difference in weather! We do miss the tropical weather on occasion, and definitely the people, but we're also really enjoying living in Denver.

Saying goodbye to some of our friends in Costa Rica

In March we bought a house in the Stapleton neighborhood (Northeast Denver) – if you flew into Denver prior to 1999, you may have landed about where our house is now. We're about a block and a half from the old air tower, which is the only thing still standing. The rest of the airport has been turned into a fantastic, family friendly community with lots of parks, pools, shops and restaurants within walking distance, and diverse families with lots of young children. Come visit and we'll show you around!

Our bunnies in front of our new house

Our big trip this year was to Southern Idaho in the summer. Mindee turned 40 on July 4th, so we spent a week with her family, then drove home by way of Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Parks. The kids loved spending time with family, and then seeing the mountains, waterfalls, and wildlife, and throwing rocks into the lakes.

In front of Shoshone Falls in Twin Falls, Idaho, where Mindee's mom went to high school 

Throwing rocks into Jackson Lake at Grand Teton National Park 

Checking out the thermal activity at Yellowstone National Park

Sean and Mindee also made a quick trip to Northern Idaho in October to attend the memorial service for Mindee’s brother-in-law, Donnie Goecke. His passing has left a big hole in the lives of his family – please keep them in your prayers.

Graham and Donnie in Costa Rica, Thanksgiving 2012

Claire graduated kindergarten in May and is now a busy seven-year-old first-grader. Her week at the moment consists of a ballet/tap/tumbling class, swimming lessons, a "try it" music program where she gets to sample different instruments, and a theatre class where they’re working with the characters and story from "Frozen." Her absolute favorite thing this year is "Frozen," so the last one makes her very happy. There will be a performance on February 27 if anyone would like to come. She recently started reading chapter books and can’t seem to get enough, which makes her parents very happy.

When did she get so grown-up?

At two and a half years old, Sean is a non-stop boy of action. He loves airplanes, music, playing with his friends and Claire, and anything electronic with a button or switch. He has been at a Montessori school for almost a year now in a toddler program, but may switch to a Spanish-immersion preschool early next year to re-expose him to Spanish. He’s always open to new experiences, usually responding with, "Ooh, that’d be fun!"

Mister busy-britches

They've grown so much since last year:



Fall 2014

Graham continues to work with Netchemia as their VP of Business Development, and continues to grow his new company, Edovate Capital. He hopes to spend lots of time in the mountains skiing this winter and also hopes the kids will want to join him.

The Forman men in action

Mindee still works with the Kauffman Foundation, but is also increasingly doing more freelance editing work. She also does writing, formatting, social media, and web consulting if you know of anyone in need of such services. She also now sings with the Colorado Choir as a second alto and enjoys being artistic again.

With my babies on my birthday - I sure don't feel 40!

Bailey, our 13.5-year-old cat, has failing kidneys, but we now give her subcutaneous fluids at home every night, which helps a great deal. She's eating again, gaining back the weight she lost, and her energy level is coming back up. We're not ready to let her go just yet so are glad she's feeling better.

Feeling better every day

We wish you a very Merry Christmas or Happy Hanukkah  and hope 2015 brings you joy and peace.


Mindee, Graham, Claire, and Sean Forman

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Sean at 2.5

On the 6th of this month Sean turned 2.5. He’s such a busy boy! He will even tell you so himself these days. If there’s something he doesn't want to do, it’s "No, I busy!"

 Happy, busy boy

He’s really verbal these days and has a big big personality. Some of our favorite Sean-sayings: "Oh, that'd be yummy!" "Ooh, that'd be fun!" (usually accompanied by a hand to the side of his face for emphasis), "Look! Out my window!". A less-favorite saying is, "Put it BACK!," which we get when he doesn’t like something we've done. For example, if I wipe his face, he says, "Put it back!," so then I have to re-wipe it to put whatever it was back. Usually the actual cleaning happens on the second wipe, but he hasn't figured that out yet, thankfully.

Our big boy at school

At one point I chastised Claire about something and Sean repeated it. I said, "No, thank you, Sean - I'm the Mommy." To which he replied, "No, Mama - I'm the Seanny!" He also told us a story back in July that cracked us up – he had seen a boy at the pool who screamed and it really made an impression, because he told us about it over and over. See for yourselves here. He's a funny kid...

Some other favorite Sean-isms:
  • Cup-cup (ketchup)
  • Gocks (socks)
  • Bay-ders (Bailey, whom we call Bailers)
  • Gee gack (sleep sack)
Sean just up and decided one day shortly after he turned two that he was potty trained, at least at school. It took us a bit longer at home, but that was only maybe a week or two. Now he’s completely diaper-free except when he sleeps. We put him in pull-ups for the longer trips (both plane and car) recently, but he didn't need them. Go Sean!

Way too cool for diapers

He still adores music of all kinds. He loves to sing and to play anything he can get his hands on. I now sing with the Colorado Choir, and he came to our Christmas concert and stayed awake for the whole thing. Music lessons are definitely in his future. When we went to Coeur d'Alene, he entertained his Nana, Auntie, and Mom with a mini concert (it was that or go to sleep, and that's no fun). This is a must watch - it will make your day.

Playing his "guitar" - he also has a glockenspiel (a.k.a. his "pahno") and a recorder

Saxophone boy at Grandma and Grandpa's house - he even does fingerings for it

He also loves puzzles and is quite good at putting them together, even the 3+ ones. Airplanes are also still a huge favorite – that’s what he asked Santa to bring him this year.

Putting puzzles together with Daddy

Speaking of Santa, Sean’s legs are just now long enough to reach the pedals of the tricycle he got for Christmas last year. There may be a strider bike in his future…

The helmet makes it even more fun (he stopped for the picture, hence no feet on pedals)

We've tried moving him to his big boy bed a couple of times (at his request), but he always ends up back in his crib. Perhaps that's a project for the holidays. Any tips on how to get a two-year-old to stay in bed?

Snuggling with Bailey and his teddy bear in his big-boy bed

His favorite color has been green for quite some time - he's very consistent about one. He even says his favorite flavor of ice cream is "green" (thus far mint chocolate chip and pistachio - he doesn't care as long as it's green). He also loves balls, so much so that he likes to take them to bed with him. When he becomes a big basketball star, this will be part of his human-interest story:

As you can see, he's still very attached to his sleep sack and doesn't like to go to sleep without it

Sean also loves to climb on anything, and buttons and switches are still a big hit. The Christmas timers aren't safe from our mischievous boy.

Climber boy in action (thankfully, he doesn't go any higher)

Sean is a very loving boy and loves to play, especially with Claire, Daddy, and Mommy. He tells us every day when he comes home from school, "I have good my friends...Miss Jaira, Miss Susan, uh-huh." We're glad he's happy and delighted that he's a part of our lives! 

I love my big sister!

Rough-housing with Daddy is the best!