Tuesday, April 26, 2016

TV Tuesday - Showtime & Homeland

The series "Homeland" was recommended to us, and Hubs wanted to give it a try. Unfortunately, it's not one available on Netflix or Amazon Prime. It was available at our local library on DVD, but I've gotten so spoiled by instant streaming that the thought of putting the disks on hold, picking them up, and having to return them by their due date seemed like a lot of work!

I noticed Hulu(a Showtime promotion) was offering a couple episodes free. I figured that would be a good test to see if it was a series we wanted to continue. We were interested, so ...

Did you know there are several ways to get a free trial of Showtime without going through a cable company? And with a subscription like this, you have access to all the content on demand. You can get a trial directly through Showtime, or through various services (Roku, Hulu, Amazon). We did our free trial a bit ago ... and if I remember correctly, we actually got three free trials going through different services.

First I went directly through Showtime. It was a 30-day free trial, and I could access it through the Showtime channel on my Roku, or add the credentials to my PlayOn and even record the shows. As I mentioned, it was a little bit ago, but I don't believe I had to provide any credit card information for the free trial, so when it ended, I just didn't have access anymore. I could continue it for $10.99 a month. Looking at the fine print now, it looks like you DO have to provide a card and have to proactively cancel before the trial to avoid being charged.

After our Showtime trial ended, our Roku was offering a free trial. I didn't think we could do a "free trial" again, but we were able to. With our Roku program, we do have to have a credit card number on file, and it would have been billed automatically when the trial ended. We happened to have a credit card on file that expired right before our subscription ended so ... we just didn't update that and our trial ended, no billing. I do think it would have been fairly easy to cancel regardless, using the "manage subscriptions" option on the Roku site. Now it looks like Roku is offering a 2-month free trial with the purchase of a new Roku box (applies to new Showtime subscriptions only). I'm sure the terms and offers are always changing. To continue with Roku, it would also be the $10.99 per month.

Amazon also offers a free trial through them. It's only seven days. But it's monthly fee (as an add on to your Prime membership) is just $8.99. $2 less than directly from Showtime or Roku. I guess it's because you are already paying for a service and this is an add on? Glancing at Hulu, they offer the same add on price of $8.99. We did end up paying for a month of Showtime on Amazon, but it was quite easy to cancel (log into your account online, under "Digital Content" go to the "manage digital subscriptions" tab. I just clicked, and it didn't renew once that payment period was done.

I'm often wary of free trials ... one that I have to proactively cancel to avoid being billed. I know many people have complained that it IS difficult to cancel via the various services, but I didn't find it bad. Through our free trials, and then one month of payment, Hubs and I were able to get through all five seasons of Homeland. We sampled some of the other shows, but I think we'll wait, and then maybe pay for a month and binge again if there is something we want to watch. 

My brother mentioned he was watching Homeland too ... which was a little surprising, because being a cable show, there are language/sex/violence issues beyond what he and his wife usually partake of. He said that they were renting via VidAngel. VidAngel has will edit out whatever you want (you have the choice to mark your edit choices) and you can watch a "clean" version ... all for $1 (with their "buy back" program). My brother said they rent all their movies from VidAngel now, and have enjoyed Homeland (although a series can get a little spendy at $1 per episode). It's another option for anyone who wants to see a "cable" show without the "cable content" that always always accompanies it.

Hubs and I enjoyed Homeland ... Hubs had never been able to get into "24", and I honestly think I liked "24" a bit better. We were years behind on our viewing, but I honestly prefer to watch a series like this back to back on a binge, rather than waiting weeks and months between episodes and seasons.

So that's one thing we've been watching ...
Have you watched "Homeland"?  

Monday, April 25, 2016

Distracted by Duckies

If you followed my blog last year, you probably picked up on the fact that we raised ducklings. I never got around to doing a blog post here, although I had one in mind ("Are My Pets Making Me Fat?"). I just barely got around to posting a summary of our experience on the family blog (Daddy's Duckies). It's almost duckie time again... we have seven eggs in the incubator getting ready to hatch.

I'm a little worried about the disruption to my morning routine. I remember last year ... instead of getting in my early elliptical, I was changing the bedding and water in the ducky box. I was taking them outside or putting them in the bath for their exercise. Even when they got older and moved outside, every morning I'd be getting them fresh food and water ... it ate into my exercise time! I've been complaining a bit about the the upcoming hatch. Ducklings are cute, but they are a LOT of work. Last year we only had three, this year, it looks like all seven eggs are developing ... SEVEN? Yikes!

"Candeling" the eggs ... a bit like an egg ultrasound.



A few weeks ago, I noticed a pair of adult ducks wandering the neighborhood. Now that isn't at all unusual. There is a nearby canal, and many a Mallard nests there. Every year we walk the canal and see so many mama birds with their babies. But it IS a little more unusual for ducks to actually be in our neighbors front yards. I mentioned to Hubby how much simpler it would be if a pair of wild ducks nested. We could get the whole egg experience without as much work. He laughed and said the chances of that were pretty much zero.


But ... after seeing the ducks several times, I was able to coax them into our backyard. I filled up a pool for them to swim in, and provided them with food and water. I could TRY. That first night, I spent more than an hour with the ducks, and my son #3 said "see Mom, you DO like duckies!"  The ducks have been flying away each night, but they have been returning every single day! Sometimes they would again land in a neighbor's yard, and I'd again encourage them into ours. I've spent time out digging in the garden to find them worms. Making sure their food is full and their water is clean. Come on duckies ... it's a great place for a nest! I'm already attached, and worry when they are late showing up, or I only get one of the two. We are suspecting that the female MAY be one of ours that flew away last fall. While still skittish, she's not as afraid of us as her boyfriend. When I go dig worms, she comes right up to me with a look of expectation (not eating out of my hand, but coming within a foot or so). Even with the boys walking through the backyard to head to the trampoline, the ducks have stuck around. During the day anyway. They are still flying away each night. Stay duckies, stay!

We're going to get ducklings one way or another ... I guess we might be overrun with our own AND a wild pair and their babies. But it sure would be fun! You can follow my Day to Day Doings and Weekly Recaps to see how things progress. I'm sure duckies will be playing a bit part in our family in the near future.

It's going to impact my exercise ... I know it! Taking away my time. It already has a bit (with my wild birds). I'm watching out the window and worrying about them. Even today, I WAS going to get in weights or a session on the bike, but instead, I ended up making a muvee (Ducky Days 2015) and spending time on my ducky blog posts. Distracted by duckies indeed!

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Weekly Weigh-in #143




I've been making it though the Mon-Thurs ... getting in my Zumba and hour of elliptical each day. The weekends are harder, with the shift in schedules, my motivation melts away. Eating is a challenge every single day. I like to eat. I like empty calories. I eat empty calories. NUMBERS: Official weekly weigh-in is down a smidge (.3) but average weight was up .15 (165.09). Average intake was 2629. Average daily burn was 2647. That equaled an overage of 2626 for the week. I didn't get in any weights this week. 675 active minutes. 56.35 exercise miles. 20547 was the step average for the week. It was a busy week, back to basketball for the older boys. Here's a quick look at the day by day ...

  • Friday (0415): Not a very productive day. Just an hour of elliptical, but at least kept calories in check. Hubs had a derby in the evening and I dropped the kids off at basketball practice.
  • Saturday (0416): Started the day with basketball (a win!) and ended with a dinner date (Texas Roadhouse) ... very over in calories, and only 30minElliptical. 
  • Sunday (0417): Lazy (rest) day (no exercise) ... over on calories with our Sunday Circle breakfast and delicious dinner by Daddy (bbq ribs, potatoes and Brazilian cheese rolls). Another big calorie intake day.
  • Monday (0418): Hour of elliptical, Zumba and Bike, also kept calories in check. A little shopping and two basketball games in the evening.
  • Tuesday (0419): Zumba and my hour of elliptical. Sent #5 to his games with a teammate so I could watch #2 play over at the high school. Kept calories in control again today.
  • Wednesday (0420): Got in my hour of elliptical and Zumba. Calories a little high, under burn but over goal. Two basketball games in the evening, walked while I watched.
  • Thursday (0421): Got in my hour of elliptical and Zumba. Way over on calories though. 
Pictures from the Week
 Feeling Pink on Tuesday while walking to Zumba


Soccer City on Wednesday for two games for #3. It's crazy chaos there! Two basketball games, two volleyball games, two soccer games. NO parking. Overwhelming sound from ref whistles, cheering parents, yelling coaches, scoreboard buzzing and pounding feet. I brought my noise cancelling headphones and audiobook and got 2+ hours of listening in while tuning other stuff out (and was still able to watch our kids get totally creamed! WHY do I keep allowing us to participate in these AAU tournaments?). 

More basketball next week ... Tuesday will be crazy with FIVE games (I think I can hit two of them to watch).  Hubs has derbies, and then there is a big activity on Saturday. I'll be glad to get this next week over with!

Friday, April 15, 2016

Weekly Weigh-In #142

BAD week. I've just been dragging. Every. Single. Day. Not sure what's up ... besides my weight, obviously. Just feeling so tired, and down emotionally as well. There were some extreme anxiety issues which leave me feeling very down, Hubs not feeling great, super sad stuff happening to Zumba friends (a loss of a baby, a toddler almost drowning). We owe in taxes this year. We've had some dreary weather too, that really doesn't help. On the bright side, we did have a visit from friends we haven't seen in a couple years, there have been duckies, and we successfully got #3 registered at the high school, getting every class he wanted.

NUMBERS: Official weigh-in was up 1.2. Average weight was up .83 (164.94). Average intake was 2714. Average daily burn was 2534. No surprise there, over for the week by 3727. Step average for the week was just 17393. I got in four sessions of Zumba.  Elliptical was a little down, only hit my hour of elliptical four days, got in 40 on two others and took Sunday off completely for a rest day. One session on the bike. No weights this week.  Here's a quick week recap (for more detail check out the Daily Doings posts):

  • Friday (0408): Dragging day. Late start, so sleep in and no Zumba. Just my hour of elliptical for the day. Uber over on empty calories ... as usual. High School registration for #3.
  • Saturday (0409): 40min on the elliptical for activity. Basketball game for #5 (with some drama when I couldn't find the charger for my video camera). Some Popeyes chicken, cheesy bread and popcorn while watching a movie pushed me way over calories.
  • Sunday (0410): Down day :(  No exercise. Didn't really eat much for the first half of the day, then overate the last half of the day. Hubs had a Menier's attack in the evening again.
  • Monday (0411): Not my usual motivated Monday. Didn't have the energy to attempt Zumba, only got in 40min on the elliptical. Had friends over in the evening.
  • Tuesday (0412): Decent exercise day, with my hour of elliptical and Zumba. Double basketball games in the evening, I walked while waiting the hour in-between. Overate ... as always.
  • Wednesday (0413): Hour of elliptical, Zumba and a session on the bike (as I had to pick up #3 from a 10:00pm practice, and figured reading while riding would be the only way to stay awake). 
  • Thursday (0414): Dragging this week. Got in my hour of elliptical and Zumba but it was a push. But still so easy to go uber over on calories in ...
A bunch of boys! Three of mine, and three friends. We used to hang out all the time until the DiFran Family moved away to California. It was so fun to see them as they came back for a visit!

I had noticed a pair of ducks in the neighborhood lately. I was able to coax them into our backyard. They do fly away every night, but they've been coming back regularly too. I have set them up with a pool to swim in, water to drink, and food to eat. We're really wondering if perhaps the female is ours ... one of the three we raised last summer who flew away in the fall. Has she come home? My son teased me saying "See Mom, you like duckies!" ... because I've been moaning a bit about the prospect of hatching a batch this year. I do like ducks, but raising ducklings is SUCH a big job. Cleaning their box (poop and spilled water), giving them time outside, time in the tub ... eventually they move outside, but it's a lot of work! A wild pair raising their own ducklings in the backyard would be downright easy in comparison. I don't know if these two will decide to nest here or not. I can keep hoping. Hubs went ahead ... and we have seven eggs in the incubator right now too. So I think we'll get ducklings one way or another!

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Weekly Weigh-In #141

The week was decent. NUMBERS: Official weigh-in was down .5, average down .58 (to 164.11). Average intake 2529. Average Daily burn 2741. No deficit this week, over by 305. Average Steps were 21043. 80min spent in strength training, 804 active minutes, 84.41 miles. FOOD&FITNESS: Still overeating as always. Exercise was good though, with five sessions of Zumba, lots of elliptical, a couple sessions on the bike and two sessions of weights. FAMILY: We had a family gathering at my MIL's on Sunday. #5 started up his midweek basketball, and it was high school registration, which occupied much thought this week for #2 and #3.

Here's a quick weekly recap:

  • Friday (0401):  An hour of elliptical, and a Zumba class (as the older boys were out of school). I indulged in a pink cookie, I'd gotten for easter ... and some Reeses eggs and other treats. Not a good eating day!
  • Saturday (0402): Not bad on the activity for a Saturday. 40minElliptical, 30minBike and mowed the front lawn. Eating though ... not so good.
  • Sunday (0403): Completely lazy day! No exercise ... but still overeating.
  • Monday (0404): Back at it with extra energy! 90minElliptical, Zumba, bike and weights. Also kept calories in check. If only everyday could be like this!
  • Tuesday (0405): Zumba and 80minElliptical. Double header for #5 in the evening.
  • Wednesday (0406): Same activity as yesterday (Zumba and 80minElliptical). Over on calories today though, whereas I kept them in check yesterday.
  • Thursday (0407): An hour of elliptical, Zumba and bike. Over on calories though. Under burn, but barely.
I don't think I took any pictures this week ... but I did make a highlight video of the first two games for #5's Spring Saturday Season. They won both of these games! My #5 IS #5 ... yes, he picked that number at MY request!


Thursday, April 7, 2016

A 5-Star Spotlight

Recent Read ~ The Tripartite Soul 

Every month here on my blog, I'll spotlight a book(s) or series I've been reading recently (JenB'sBookReviews). Lately? I've been DEVOURING books! Audiobooks while I clean the house or drive in the car, reading on my kindle app on the bike and before bed (and any spare minute I have). I got through 17 books in March, and already reviewed/rated five for April so far.

It's almost embarrassing.
I saw this shirt featured on Facebook this past month. Definitely applies to me! I might buy it, but I'm also uber cheap, so I probably won't *Ü*.  I rarely BUY any books either, as there are so many free offerings (I have 500+ books in my Kindle cloud). I also love my library and take advantage of my Kindle Prime to borrow a book a month from Amazon's lending library.

The Tripartite Soul was one I downloaded in April. 
I started it on Saturday ... finished it on Sunday.  

Now a bit of an admission ... I know Eve (the author). We went to high school together. Her house was THE place to hang for me and my friends during those years. Her older brother John was my dear friend. Of course I think it's totally awesome that someone I know has written a book ... I feel like I have to admit it in a review though, and hope you don't think it made me biased. Maybe a tiny tich, but that's all.

I was actually very nervous to read this book. I'm a bit picky. I'm pretty straightforward in my reviews and ratings on GoodReads. I've been blunt about things I don't like. Very few five star ratings (lots of three/four star, I have to be fairly displeased to rate two or one ... but I have.) I wasn't sure what I would do if I read this and did NOT like it ... quite the predicament, right? I figured I would read it, but not tell anyone I was reading it. I have two GoodRead accounts, my main, more anonymous one (she(e)reader) and one under my name (I joke that I have a split personality as I have multiple accounts on facebook, Instagram, twitter, and Fitbit too ... family account, fitness account). If the book didn't do it for me, I could just rate/review it as sh(e)reader and I doubted anyone who knew me (or Eve) personally would track it back to me.

Another thing that made me a bit wary, is following Eve's reading patterns. She always seemed more into the sophisticated books and classics ... while I like supernatural, post-apocalyptic, fantasy or sci-fi YA. Yet reading the description of this book, it did seem right up my alley.

And it was. 
I loved it.

We are introduced to Evionia - a young girl with a mystical connection to Dyre (an unlikable fellow) and Zefforah, (described as part giant winged horse with a reptilian tail ... I think I just saw her as a dragon in my mind. I'd LOVED the Anne McAffrey "Dragonriders of Pern" series which had dragons and humans with a physical/mind connection as well). These three share senses (sight/smell ... any physical injury will affect them all). They can also build mental walls to block each other out (so there isn't a sensory overload, and  privacy is possible). This is Evionia's tale, as we follow her travels and all she goes through. There is a mysterious prophecy ... will it come to pass? What is the role of this tripartite soul? There is an interesting love triangle. It's a stand alone book, no cliff-hanger ending (I usually like to know this going in! If there are sequels, I'll try to wait until a series is complete, then read books back to back ... even if it means putting off a series for several years).

One thing I really enjoyed ... at the beginning of each chapter, there was a word and a definition (related to the coming text).   I often THINK I know what a word means, but I would have trouble actually defining it if asked. Here we had a mini vocabulary lesson throughout the book. I was reminded of my childhood when my mother would  introduce us to a "word of the day" to learn and use. The title ... "tripartite" IS a bit tricky. I'd always forget how to spell it when searching it up on Amazon or Good Reads. I think I finally have it down :)

It was fun to chat a bit with Eve after reading the book. I saw a typo or two, and she requested the info so she could get those corrected. I mentioned I saw some things coming, yet another item caught me completely by surprise (she asked which one, as feedback from friends have people uncovering different things). 

Right now the book is only available for Kindle download. Just $4.99. Or, if you have Kindle Unlimited, it's on there, and is also available to borrow for free from the Amazon Lending Library if you are a Prime member and have a Kindle device.

So I just thought I'd share and shout out ... independent authors have a hard time getting attention at times. There are SO many books out there (as I mentioned, the 500+ in my Kindle cloud). The more reviews and ratings on Amazon and Good Reads really helps authors out. Personally I like to review/rate on GoodReads for my own records (I read so many books, sometimes I forget what I read, or what I liked), but I sure hope my reviews help out others, and authors.

Do you stop and rate/review your reads?






Tuesday, April 5, 2016

March 2016

For the most part, I think March was pretty good. I got back into a routine, and even with the Daylight Savings time change, was able to start getting up extra early (5:30) to jumpstart the day. Sleeping in on Weekends though! Near the end of the month, with Easter and Spring Break looming, I got a little lazy.

WEIGHT: Started the month at 162.4, ended at 164.7. High was 165.9. Low was 160.40. Average weight came in at 163.42. FOOD&FITNESS:  On weekdays I was quite consistent at getting in my Zumba and hour of elliptical. I hit the bike about 10times during the month, had a couple treadmill times, and got in some weights. 8 sessions. Overeating and empty calories a BIG problem. Girl Scout cookies, mint chocolate chip ice cream and Easter treats were temptations this month. STATS: Average intake 2603. Average burn 2654. Step average for the month was 19139. 265 minutes of weights, 3155 active minutes, 303.01 miles.

FAMILY: #3 was in his cast most of March (got it removed right there at the end). Hubs had a nasty Menier's episode. He's been very busy at work and doing derbies. Not too busy to take two of the boys and run a 5k! Not much basketball, just #5 starting up in a Saturday league. We had some TV trouble, but got it repaired. The boys been improving their eating, even unto wheat bread! Spring Break and Easter. I've been reading up a storm, and Hubs and I watched several movies this month.


*** JenB's Journal ***

0301 (Tuesday) 162.4. Steps 23416. Total Burn 2886. Exercise Burn 1190/1148 (60minElliptical, Zumba, Bike). Calories in 2200. It was the ACT at school today for #2, which meant he got to sleep in a bit (no early morning seminary) but he was pretty nervous when he left. I got in my early elliptical, and it was early Zumba day. Good thing too, as upon returning home, I needed to start scrambling three dozen eggs to take to the school, as the parents were providing breakfast for the boys before they left for their state basketball game. It took a while to cook that many eggs. Then I loaded them in the crock pot and headed to the school. The crock pot tipped over in the car, and there were eggs everywhere. I dropped off what was left (still enough) and one of the other moms said she'd return the crock pot to me so I didn't have to stay. I went home and cleaned out the car, then cleaned up the kitchen. Then, off to the middle school to check out #3 for a dentist appointment. Finished up that, then grabbed the munchkins from elementary. Busy day, but we didn't really have anything in the evening. I cooked some chicken for dinner, did some blogging and data entry. Hubs had slept in and hadn't got a workout in yet, so he hit the treadmill for a bit. I was a little over on calories in ... I just really like to eat, and like to eat treats.

0302 (Wednesday) 161.6. Steps 22800. Total Burn 2872. Exercise Burn 1125/1129 (60minElliptical, Zumba, WEIGHTS). Calories in 2350. With my early elliptical and Zumba, I'm hitting my 10x10 fairly often. This morning though, #4 told me he had 14k as we went to school (at 8:30!) Crazy kid! At Zumba, it was a little low on people (although Stephanie came, and I saw another gal I hadn't seen in a while), especially up on the stage. I wondered if they'd ask me to help out, doing a couple numbers. Then, more people came, both instructors and followers, but near the end they did have me do a couple of songs. MZL has added more classes, another one at the same time on Wednesdays (different location) and also an early morning one. After class, I stopped at Sam's to gas up and grab a few groceries. Back at home I got in additional elliptical and did 30min of weights. In the evening, #5 had a basketball game. It was downtown, so I had to hitch a ride with braver drivers than I. We'd anticipated this being fairly easy, like our first couple games in this tournament, but it was pretty even the entire way. At the end, we were up by one point with 10 or so seconds left. My munchkin got fouled, and hit two at the line to extend the lead to three and we got the win. I didn't have game brain or anything, but sure had a hard time getting to sleep.

0303 (Thursday) 161.6. Steps 25864. Total Burn 2991. Exercise Burn 1094/1248 (60minElliptical, Zumba). Calories in 1800. Got in early elliptical, and Zumba was fun today. We had a couple new (but certified) instructors joining Mountain View, so that added some energy and new songs. Sariah, from Heather's Friday class came too. I got good stats. I should have stopped at Smiths on the way home, as we're really low on cat food. I miss Fitstudio ... I'd always taken care of the cat needs with points. But, I didn't feel like stopping. I was wearing leggings, and I don't really like to wear them in public (just my own self-consciousness, no judgement on anyone who does). It was early out at the elementary, as they don't have school tomorrow. I grabbed Dominos on the way home from picking up #3 from middle school. It was the quarter-finals in the state playoffs. #2 was gone with the team, as JV sitting the bench. #3 wanted to go, and was able to find a ride with friends. Hubs ended up going straight from work. #5 had two games, 7:00 and 8:00 at different locations. That's a problem. Five of the boys had to leave the first game early to get to the second on time. Our boys had been ahead at the half, but the remaining team wasn't able to hold and ended up losing, which wasn't unexpected, as it was the top team from the other division. If we had won, we would have had another game at 9:00. I wasn't up for the mad dash across town, so I arranged for #5 to catch a ride to the first game, and I met the team at the second. It was pretty close, but our boys got the win and move onto the championship game on Saturday. Downtown, our high school boys won too, moving onto the semi-finals. Knowing I had weigh-in tomorrow, I did manage to keep calories in check, just barely.

0304 (Friday) 160.4. Steps 22584. Total Burn 2822. Exercise Burn 1075/1085 (60minElliptical, Zumba, Weights). Calories in 1850. The elementary was out today, and they are the ones that get me up on Friday ... so I slept in. I did still need to take #3 to middle school, late start. There was a Zumba class starting at 9:30 right by the school, so that worked out perfectly. Afterwards I stopped by the high school to fill out the permit for #3. He was accepted. Yea! I had been a little nervous as the school wasn't accepting permits (I was first on the waiting list and we have a sibling at the school) and didn't know how he'd handle it if he didn't get in. It's where all his friends are going. I had just enough time to stop home and clean up and change then head to the doctor's for my IUD removal. The waiting room was packed, but luckily I didn't have to sit in it long. It was a tough removal, but it was finally out. I went ahead and had the Merina put in as well. It eliminates periods in many women ... I hope I am one! #2 was heading up to the U again for the semi-final game. #3 wanted to go watch, so Hubs came home from work a little early to take him and his friends, and #5 went along too. It was actually on TV on a local station, so #4 and I watched at home. It was so fun to see peeks of #2 on the big screen. And Copper Hills won again, so it's on to the championships tomorrow. I wished I'd been able to watch the game downstairs in the gym, but it was only available via the cable box. I did bring some weights upstairs and did some strength training, not my usual weight workout, but hopefully still a good one. I also kept calories in check.
 
0305 (Saturday) 160.4. Steps 11298. Total Burn 2166. Exercise Burn 316/436 (30minElliptical). Calories in 3300. Not sure why I'm SO unmotivated over the weekends. I have time to get in some extra exercise, but then I don't do it. I really planned on trying some treadmill today. Didn't happen. Hubs was in the garage early setting up for his Pinewood Derby workshop. Every year, before our scout derby, he opens our garage ... his tools and know how to help anyone who wants help with their cars. That went on for several hours. #5 and I were off to the Junior Jazz championship game (hitching a ride as it was downtown). It was a close game, always just within a few points. After the press at last game, we asked the coordinator/refs. We just didn't want to be caught off guard again if they were going to allow a press in the final minute. And ... I realized WHY they do that. Our team was only ahead by two points, and there were about 20 seconds left on the clock. Our coach had my son hold the ball behind the half (where the other team wasn't allowed to press) for as long as he could (they have 5-10 seconds to cross) and the he called time out, and then they did it again, ensuring the win.The other team wasn't very happy about it, but I'm sure they would have done the same if they had been in that position (rather than risking a turnover and score to tie or win). One of the spectators, not even for either one of our teams threw a fit and got a technical and was thrown out. It was a lackluster ending, and I do agree a press probably should be allowed to be more fair and exciting, but, it wasn't in this game and both coaches had agreed to it at the beginning. Our boys got the win, took the championship, and got the cool t-shirt. Back at home, #5 had a birthday party to go to for one of the kids on the team. I dropped him off, as Hubs and #3 and a friend headed up to the U for the state championship game. Copperhills vs Bingham. The teams had played three times, and Bingham had won two of those. #4 and I stayed home and watched the game on TV. I quickly ran and grabbed #5 from his party at halftime, and then he watched the end with us. Our boys were up by one at the half, but then they just couldn't quite keep up, and had foul trouble, and Bingham took it. Bummer. This CHHS team has been aiming for the playoffs for four years, as several of the kids have been playing varsity since they were freshmen.  When Hubs and #3 got back, he suggested going out to eat. I was already over calories ... and yet still hungry! We went to Tepanyaki, sans #2, who was still with the team, and #4 who didn't want to go. It was yummy. Girl Scout cookies had also been delivered earlier in the day ... I can eat an entire box of Tagalongs so easy! I didn't eat the whole box, but I ate a few! Uber over in calories today.
 
0306 (Sunday) 163.4. Steps 5218. Total Burn 1834. Exercise Burn 160/80 (15minElliptical). Calories in 2800. Ahhh, slept in. Hubs went and jogged the track at the high school, even though it was quite cool and breezy and started to drizzle. We made our big Sunday Circles breakfast ... then back to bed for a nap. Sundays are lazy days! In the early evening we went out to my brother's house. He was hosting our monthly family gathering. This time there were scones, instead of waffles, and I'd been asked to bring Brazillian Cheese Rolls for the gluten-free guys, although they are really a favorite for many. It was a fun night. There was a bit of conversation about how all the picture frames in the house had family photos replaced by the cast of "Friends" ... I guess my brother's family are fans of the show, and my niece was bored one day and replaced the pictures, watching to see how long it would take people to notice. Funny. My boys are "Friends" fans too, and I'd purchased the "Friends" version of "Heads Up" a while back, and we pulled it out. Everyone was amazed at how much my 10 and 12-year old knew about the show ... which really is NOT something to be proud of. My niece pulled out a trivia game they had about the show, and my boys enjoyed it as well (we borrowed it from them). Hubs and I watched "The Imitation Game" before bed.

0307 (Monday) 163.9. Steps 27947. Total Burn 3140. Exercise Burn 1500/1394 (80minElliptical, Zumba, Bike, 40minWeights). Calories in 3000. Good exercise day, bad eating day! But ... Tagalongs. I did get in my early elliptical, got the boys off to school and headed to Zumba. As I passed the church there on the corner and saw a few cars there, I wondered if we were moving to it ... sure enough, as I went to the stake center there was a note to meet at the other church. Got in a good class, but I forgot my Scosche! Bummer, I like my backup readings. It often motivates me too. I did some cleaning around the house at home. Usually I was saving it for after school, but they kids were teasing me with my headphones on (pretending they were talking to me) so I did it while they were out. I got in some additional exercise too. #5 had a friend over, and requested Mac&Cheese for dinner.

0308 (Tuesday) 162.7. Steps 17123. Total Burn 2545. Exercise Burn 865/814 (40minElliptical, Zumba). Calories in 2800. My son asked me to make him breakfast this morning ... who does he think I am? His mother? The boys are generally very self-sufficient, but sometimes do make requests. So cocoa and toast it was. I ate some too, and didn't get in my early elliptical. It was early Zumba, and I was subbing, so I had to be extra early, making sure I had everything as I took the littles to school so I could stop at the church on the way back. It was a small crew. Back at home ... I lost my motivation. Just didn't feel up to anything, except a nap. Picked up the kids after school, then went with #2 to Vasa, as he wanted to get a gym membership. I guess it's better than having him and his friends trying to crowd into our home gym like last summer. But I wasn't impressed with the prices. $20 a month, plus a $10 enrollment, plus $25 to cancel if you don't stay six months. A $40 annual fee after two months. Expensive! Luckily, he has enough money from working so hard at KFC. He stayed and worked out after. I stopped at Fantastic Sams on put our names on the list, then went home and got #3 and #4 who needed haircuts. Still quite a wait. #4 ended up with a buzz (I could have done that). Hubs was late coming home, then was ready for bed about 8:00. In fact at 9:00, pretty much everyone was in bed. We are early to bed Blackhams. I managed to overeat again today.
 
0309 (Wednesday) 163.7. Steps 20836. Total Burn 2800. Exercise Burn 923 (40minElliptical, Zumba). Calories in 2900. Just out of the habit of getting in my early mornning elliptical this week. I put a roast in the crockpot, and that took some of my time this morning. Off to Zumba. Good stats today. I stopped at Walmart on the way home, grabbing some groceries. Not a lot of "exercise" but it does get some steps in. It should have been a weights day, but it wasn't happening. #3 had a dental appointment in the afternoon, and then I went with the two littles back to the school in the evening for Parent/Teacher conferences. Rave reviews ... as always. We stopped by the booksale afterward and picked up a couple. Bad eating day. Again.
0310 (Thursday) 163.2. Stepes 18597. Total Burn 2645. Exercise Burn 795/889 (40minElliptical, Zumba). Calories in 3000. Just 10min early elliptical this morning. I had Marian's box, so I made sure I was on time to class to get it set up for her ... except she wasn't there. I'd known she was gone Tuesday, but I thought she was back today, and that Tirsa and Melanie would be there (Melanie was) ... so I hadn't prepped anything. I did try to quickly set some songs up (Christa and Silva were there to help too) and the three of us did the first 30min, then turned the time over to Melanie for the rest. I didn't get the best stats, still rearranging songs, and we were a little under. I did a quick stop at Reams, then hurried home and baked up some Brazillian cheese rolls and then headed over to the elementary school. It was "Invite your Grandparents to lunch" day, and my folks had said they would come out. The little one's lunch started at 11:10, and the 6th grader not until 12:40, but they excused him from class to come join us at the earlier time. My boys aren't lunch lingerers though, they eat and run, even with company there. They want their recess time! Even #4, who was getting over an extra hour of recess! I did manage to grab a picture before they took off. Then Grandma stopped at the bookfair and picked up a few books. I stopped at Macey's on the way home, but didn't end up getting what I'd gone in for. It was early out at the elementary, so I was back there again before long. At home, the TV hasn't been working. It's been having issues for months now. If it turns off ... it won't turn back on. We've always eventually been able to get it back on, sometimes after letting it sit overnight or something, but we'd been without it for a couple of days. Which had lead to early bedtimes for everyone ... another overeating day. Hubs and #3 did a derby ... #3 was grumpy though, feeling like he wasn't much help with his broken wrist.

0311 (Friday) 163.3. Steps 5918. Total Burn 1880. Exercise Burn 100/91 (10minElliptical). Calories in 3450. Well, not a good weigh-in change from last week. The littles were out of school today, so I got to sleep in. Hubs even slept in, and took the day off. He went jogging in the morning, and I hit the elliptical for 10min, but it felt hard (even with a Grey's Anatomy, which is usually a show that motivates me to finish it). I was just feeling a bit off, or maybe more than a bit. I probably could have convinced Hubs to take #3 to school, allowing me to hit a Zumba class, but I wasn't feeling up to it and didn't even ask him. He worked a bit with #5 on his pinewood derby car and then ran some errands. He even grabbed #3 from school in the afternoon and took him out to the DMV for his driver's test. #3 failed the written test the first time, but passed the second. Yea! Not really happy about having another driver, but happy to have the learner's permit done. Not that he'll be practicing much with his broken wrist. In the evening, we were meeting my folks and my brother and his wife for dinner. We dropped #5 off to catch a ride to basketball practice on the way. We went to Braza Grill, which is good for the gluten-free guys. I was very full, and had eaten bad earlier too, so I was UBER over today ... and I had never gotten back down to my gym. 

0312 (Saturday) 164.9. Steps 9693. Total Burn 2119. Exercise Burn 315/360 (30minElliptical). Calories in 3500. Feeling a bit better than yesterday. Finished up my show (Grey's Anatomy) from yesterday while on the elliptical. Still not a very productive day for me though. I did finish up the highlight video from #5's Junior Jazz championship games and did a missionary blog update. Made orange chicken and rice for the kids for dinner, then Hubs and I watched a movie (The Intern) and ate mucho popcorn. ♥♥

0313 (Sunday) 164.8. Steps 5612. Total Burn 1914. Exercise Burn 105/152 (10minElliptical). Calories in 2250. Daylight Savings ... all the clocks in the kitchen were changed and up to date (or time rather). I guess #3 had done it last night. It's nice that most of the electronic items update themselves. Hubs decided to hit his gym and drop off his food prep to his work (stocks a little fridge there). Without him, we skipped our big breakfast, and I just made eggs and sausage. I did get in my usual Sunday nap ... which was perhaps a mistake as I couldn't get to sleep when evening rolled around. Hubs made marinated flank steak and mashed taters, I added Brazilian cheese rolls. It was a yummy dinner. I hadn't eaten too badly today, but still exceeding my burn, as it wasn't an active day. In addition to my little bit of elliptical, #4 and I had a game of ping pong. Hubs and I watched a movie (Mission Impossible Rouge Nation) ... but skipped the popcorn, as we were both still quite full from dinner.

0314 (Monday) 165.4. Steps 23052. Total Burn 2952. Exercise Burn 1200/1187 (60minElliptical, Zumba, WEIGHTS). Calories in 2350. I thought the morning might be a rough one, after the time change. 6:30 would feel like 5:30 ... but I was actually up at 5:30 (so like 4:30!) to pack up a lunch for #2 and make him a smoothie for breakfast before he was off. Hubs was up then anyway, and I don't usually fall back asleep. Might as well get up and get started, right? All the other kids got up easily as well. Yea! My kids are so great. Got them off to school, and got in a full 40min of elliptical before heading out to Zumba. I was there on time, as was Nina, but still a late start, as it took a while for us to get more. I stopped at Kmart on the way home, not as great a deals as before with my Fitstudio points, but I did have some surprise points to use. Bought new  basketballs for the two little boys as they both said theirs were too old, going flat, etc. Stopped at Smiths too, grabbing a few groceries. Pelting rain as I left the store. Yuck. Back at home, I let laziness take up some time, but I did finish up my hour of elliptical and got in a weight workout. Made a spaghetti dinner and got a blog post up. Eating was a little over goal, but under burn anyway.  Hubs and #5 finished up his derby car, the race is tomorrow. I might have hit the bike in the evening, but Hubs wanted to get some walking on the treadmill in. Still, a decent day. I was pretty tired come 10:00. #2 was still working and #3 was to a late Jazz game. I woke around 11:00 when #2 came home. #3 didn't get home until midnight (on a school night!)

0315 (Tuesday) 164.3. Steps 25472. Total Burn 3072. Exercise Burn 1257/1315 (60minElliptical, Zumba, Bike). Calories in 2100. I prepped a lunch for #2 last night and alas ... didn't get up early to see him off this morning. I stayed in bed until my 6:30 alarm. I only got in 20min early elliptical, as I was baking up some croissants - for breakfast and for the chicken salad I picked up yesterday. Early Zumba as well, although Marian said she's going to switch it to 9:00 the week after next, as she's taking a step back from work. Even with our late start (Marian, Suzanne and I were all there on time, but no one else was ... we had a decent crowd a little later as people trickled in) I got my full hour and some extra. I finished up my elliptical and got in a session on the bike during the day. Got up a blog post, laundry, some house stuff. Derby in the evening. It's hard for me to handle the chaos and the kids ... I could never be a scout leader! I admire Hubs patience running all these derbies! #5 came in 6th, which was fine with him (he took 1st last year) and that is OUR last official derby! Hubs will keep running them all over of course, but our boys are now aged out. Eating was a little over, but still well below burn.

0316 (Wednesday) 162.8. Steps 29982. Total Burn 3244. Exercise Burn 1400/1491 (80minElliptical, Zumba, Bike, WEIGHTS). Calories in 2500. I was able to get up early, make some scrambled eggs for #2, pack his lunch and see him off to school. Got caught up on my journal and dailymile entries. I was able to get a full 20 on the elliptical before taking #3 to school, and another 20 before taking the munchkins. Another 10 before Zumba. Good early start to the day. Stopped at Walmart and Sams on the way home from class, restocking and milk and eggs and such. Bought me some new sports bras, as all mine are very old. Got in some bike and weights during the day. Made chicken pillows for dinner ... the plan was haystacks but #3 objected so I switched up. I hadn't made chicken pillows since #1 left last year! If #3 hadn't broken his wrist, he would have had his first spring game tonight. I thought he'd still like to go and watch, cheer on the team, but he was too depressed about it. Kitchen clean up, a little laundry and to bed. If I'd noticed my steps, I would have done a few more to hit 30k.  

 0317 (Thursday) 162.8. Steps 23963. Total Burn 2876. Exercise Burn 1074/1129 (60minElliptical, Zumba, Bike). Calories in 2700. Got up early again, packed a lunch for #2, but he just did a banana for breakfast as he was up late and in a rush. I got in two 20min sessions on the elliptical between driving the boys to school. Off to Zumba, and dropping the bag off to Marian after. I was dragging a bit at home. I did manage to get in some bike, and finished up my elliptical. Got a couple packages from Amazon ... some smoothie cups/lids I'd ordered, and the box will work perfect for sending stuff to my missionary (I've been gathering items but needed a box!) and a couple pullover jackets for the boys ... one for each of the little boys, but even though they were a medium and a large, they were the same size (only fitting the 10-year old). I ordered a couple more (they were just $5!) that will hopefully fit #4. Not sure what "CB" stands for on the shirt (Champion Brand?) but it's the initials of both little boys, and they thought that was cool. Hubs had gone on a bike ride after work, so I understand why he was tired, but I was ready to drop too. Of course once I got into bed ... not quite so sleepy. Did a little reading until I finally dropped off. And even the day before weigh-in, it was a BAD eating day. TOM time?
 
0318 (Friday) 162.7. Steps 20853. Total Burn 2727. Exercise Burn 1000/978 (40minElliptical, Zumba, Bike, Weights). Calories in 2550. Slept in until 7:30 today. Made a lunch and breakfast smoothie for #2 and he was off. I dropped off the munchkins (#4 forgot his lunch) and then #3 for 9:30 late start. I got in a little elliptical, and then I did do an hour of Zumba on my own. In the master bathroom. Mirror on one side, open window with cool air coming in on the other. Not a lot of room though. Early out at the elementary. I'd ordered Dominos (they had their 50% off all pizza special running) and picked it up on the way home from grabbing #3. We actually had everyone home for a bit in the afternoon, #2 was around and Hubs came home early to leave for a derby. #3 wanted to grab some birthday presents for his buddies, so we ran to a couple stores trying to find Nike Elites (they weren't at the Nike store!) I got in some bike and elliptical, but my Grey's Anatomy had run short on the elliptical, and that threw me off, so I only got 40 minutes on that machine. Much overeating in the "empty calories" department, and then add in the pizza ... 

0319 (Saturday) 162.6. Steps 11184. Total Burn 2174. Exercise Burn 410/425 (40ninElliptical). Calories in 2600. So Hubs had brought up the possibility of a 5k this Saturday. It was local, small ... at 11:00, which wasn't the preferred time. Although snuggling in bed Saturday morning we were more than okay with that. Hubs was planning on it and hoping that #4 and any of the other boys would try it too. #4 had told me that he was running three miles consistently on the treadmill (in 30min), so I figured this would be something he might excel at. #3 said he would, #2 said "I'd whip everyone" (and it's likely true) but he had to work. #5 ... didn't want to. I'd placed MY participation on #5's participation, and I did honestly try to talk him into it. But, we two stayed home. I was really anxious to hear how it went. Hubs said he planned on starting near the back of the pack, so the boys could pass people up. He hoped he could keep up with the boys! The boys had NO interest in starting at the back of the pack however, and they were off and Hubs lost them both almost immediately. #4 finished just under 24 min, 19th overall, second in his age group, with #3 right behind (2nd in the 19-24 age group, he should have been in the 15-18, not sure what happened there). No prizes, but they all got a medal and long sleeved running shirt. I think my #4, whose anxiety has driven him from team sports, really enjoyed it, and he did great! And that was wearing clunky basketball shoes. I need to get him some running shoes. #5 had a basketball game at 3:00 and #3 came along to watch (and commentate in a hilarious but annoying way). Our boys got the win. Hub suggested he and I go out to dinner, so we hit Archibalds, a new favorite, but possibly old favorite now. They changed their menu! Took off the cheese sticks, which were my main reason for coming! Raised the price (and cut down the portion) of the fish ... so who knows if we'll be back. It was Prom night, and tons of couples were there at Gardner Village taking pictures. #2 was just working KFC, no prom this year. He got home from work rather early (10:45) and I was happy my kidlets were all in, when he then said he was going out bowling with buddies. Sigh. #3 had gone to friends earlier. I'd picked him up at 10:00 because I told him I was too tired to stay up any later. I'm not a good mom to teens, I'm too tired! 

0320 (Sunday) 163.6. Steps 13173. Total Burn 2280. Exercise Burn 500/718 (40minTreadmill Intervals, Bike). Calories in 2350. Ahhh, Sunday sleep in. Hubs took off for a big bike ride with a work buddy and was gone most of the day. Without him, we didn't do our traditional Sunday Circles, but I still made a big breakfast, with french toast, hashbrowns, bacon and eggs. The kids were loud and crazy playing ball and laughing over snapchat's faceswap feature. It was a fun morning. Yesterday #3 spontaneously cleaned up the kitchen, and today #2 loaded the dishwasher without me asking (and I don't ask, I just do it usually). I got in a lovely nap. Hubs was doing some weekly food prep in the evening, and I got a bit motivated and went downstairs and did a treadmill 5k. I still wasn't that tired, with my nap, so I did a session on the bike too. It was a fairly productive day for a Sunday. #2 did some Spring Cleaning in his room, and we packed away a bunch of clothes he doesn't wear. I got the boys to write their brother and got my own letter done and off. I had finished up the Pinewood Derby video yesterday, and got a blog post about it up, as well as my weekly weigh-in post on my fitness blog. Finished up a couple books (Ruby Circle and Virals) and TV series (Colony was the season ender, and Dark Matter is now done). Ready to start a new week ...  

0321 (Monday) 163.6. Steps 23579. Total Burn 2970. Exercise Burn 1200/1215 (60minElliptial, Zumba, 45minWEIGHTS). Calories in 2300. Got up at 5:30 to pack a lunch for #2 and make him a smoothie breakfast. Packed up lunches for the other boys and then got caught up on some computer stuff. 20min on the elliptical before taking #3 to school, and then 20 more before taking the munchkins. I left a little early to Zumba, stopping at a shipping place, dropping off a package to go to #1 son in Mexico. Got good stats dancing today. Stopped at Big5 and Kmart on the way home, picking up some stuff for Easter. I got a weights session in and finished up my hour of elliptical. Making meatball subs for dinner. Hubs called around 6:00 ... he had pulled over into a church parking lot hit hard with a Meriere's attack :(  It hit fast, out of the blue, he was barely able to get off the street. He wasn't that far from home, but he said there was nothing I could do, he just has to wait it out. I finished up dinner for the boys and tried to concentrate, but finally got in the car and went and checked on Hubs. He could barely roll down the window to talk to me (couldn't quite find the unlock button, but opening the truck door probably wouldn't have done him any good). I grabbed him a bottled water, but that was really all. He didn't think he could transfer to my car without triggering things again. He waited there another hour or so and it finally passed enough he felt like he could get home. Got him into bed, where at least I can check on him more easily, make sure he's still breathing and get him anything he needs. An attack like this, out of the blue, is very unnerving! I'd planned on getting in a session on the bike, but couldn't concentrate enough to do so. I was stressed enough I lost my evening appetite, not that I hadn't already eating over today anyway, but I didn't have any mint chocolate chip ice cream today. 

0322 (Tuesday) 162.8. Steps 20558. Total Burn 2692. Exercise Burn 1080/958 (60minElliptical, Zumba). Calories in 3000. Hubs said he slept alright, but I had bad dreams, didn't feel very refreshed in the morning. I heard #2 get up, and I'd already prepped his lunch, so I didn't get up to see him off. It's harder to stay in bed when Hubs is still in bed, and he was after his attack last night. I only got 20min of early elliptical in. As I was getting #3 off, I realized #2 hadn't left ... but at least he got off to regular classes (missed his early morning seminary). It was a cool morning, and started hailing after I dropped the little ones off. I hoped they brought the kids inside the school, as it was really pelting! Over at the church, there were a few people standing outside. Oops, the door much have relocked. Luckily I had Marian's number (she was inside with a couple others wondering where everyone was) and they let us in. The hail turned to snow, and our cars were completely covered after class. Isn't it supposed to be Spring now?? Between the gray skies and snowy weather, the stress of last night, and waiting for an appointment during the day (that always throws me off my game, I don't feel like I can do anything while waiting for a repairman to come) ... I wasn't very productive today. Just felt like curling up in bed and reading a book. I may have done just that. GeekSquad came and the TV in the front room will now turn on. I picked up the kids ... still snowing all afternoon. I hadn't received a letter from my missionary yesterday, but he wrote today. I updated his steps in Fitbit. Made dinner and early to bed. I managed to overeat by a lot today!

0323 (Wednesday) 163.8. Steps 23473. Total Burn 2952. Exercise Burn 1100/1171 (60minElliptical, Zumba, 30minWEIGHTS). Calories in 2350. I did get up early this morning, and pulled #2 out of bed (promising him he could sleep in the next few days for Spring Break). I packed up his lunch and made him some eggs for breakfast. Got in some early elliptical as I got the other boys off to school, then hit Zumba. Not quite as crowded as in weeks past, and again it was slightly under the hour with a couple of cool down songs. So stats weren't great. Stopped at Maceys on the way home. Fruit snacks on sale. The kids go through a ton of them. Love my headphones for listening to my audiobook while I bring groceries in and put them away. Got in additional elliptical and weights during the day. Early out at the elementary. Picked up pizza on the way home from grabbing #3 from school. That was an early dinner. Hubs and #3 went to do a derby. I got a couple blog updates done (missionary and fitness blogs) and had to make some calls about insurance (apparently it changed last November, and #2's physical a few months ago isn't being covered, uggg!) Headphones on again while I cleaned up the kitchen and put laundry away. I've been getting through more books this way! I thought I was doing good on calorie intake ... totally forgot about that piece of pizza I ate. Really HAVE to record stuff immediately! So easy to forget! 

0324 (Thursday) 162.4. Steps 21228. Total Burn 2675. Exercise Burn 1093/927 (60minElliptical, Zumba). Calories in 2900. With kids out for Spring Break, we all slept in ... although I was awakened early (about 6:00) to a crash from the family room. #5, sleeping on the couch, had knocked the end table over. After investigating, I did go crawl back in bed. He did it again about an hour later! So strong in his sleep. I got one 10min session of elliptical in before Zumba. Not sure if not getting up and at early affects me negatively or what, but I could not get my heart rate up in class. It was fun too, with Marian there the whole time, and Tirsa and Melanie helping out. I did a quick stop at Reams after, and then stopped at Dunford. I should NOT have stopped there. Donuts. High calorie intake today! Not a lot on deck today. The littles kept themselves entertained pretty well. They went and played at the park for a bit. In the evening, Hubs and #3 went to do a derby.
 
0325 (Friday) 163.4. Steps 19963. Total Burn 2705. Exercise Burn 793/951 (40minElliptical, Zumba). Calories in 2600. Another sleep in morning. With the kids out, I could hit a Zumba class. I decided to go to Nicole's at 9:00. They were having some sound trouble, the av jack at the church was broken. At times like this I wish I had a backup box or cord. I've talked about it a bit and just need to do it. I carried a speaker in my car for a while too, but it was too bulky. We finally got the music up, but it wasn't very loud, and that does really make an impact. Again, couldn't really get heart rate up. I checked in at home, and then ran to Walmart/Sams for some groceries. We were almost out of milk! #3 got invited to go see a movie with his friends, so I dropped him off. I dropped #5 off at his ride to basketball practice (mentioning to her that I'd drive the kids to the birthday party tomorrow, only to discover I had the date down wrong and it had been last night. Mommy goof again!) I made meatball sub for Hubby, and texted #2 to see if he was around to come home for dinner. He said yes, and brought two friends with him. Luckily, I had enough. Another friend came over too, and I made skookie for them all, which they liked. Our house generally isn't the "hang out" house, so it was rather fun to host for once.

0326 (Saturday) 163.4. Steps 9233. Total Burn 2118. Exercise Burn 205/364 (20minElliptical). Calories 2500. It's so much better sleeping in when Hubs stays in bed too.  I started off the day with a session on the elliptical ... and never made it back down. I finished up some easter prep. Finished filling eggs (I'd had the boys work on it yesterday, and we don't need that many this year so it was pretty easy) and made some chex mix. Hubs left early, jogging, and we'd pick him up on the way to my folks, which we did. He got about five miles in and said he felt pretty good.  Only my oldest and youngest brother and their families were able to attend this year, my three other siblings didn't make it. Mom's Wii had gone out. I brought an extra power cord we had, and luckily that was the problem, so it was a fix. Hubs was able to straighten a tree that was leaning out front. We like to make ourselves useful ;) It was a nice afternoon, although a little chilly. Got to meet my new little niece for the first time too. The older kids hid the eggs and the two little girls found them. We sent out the 10 and two 12-year olds to gather the rest (as there were too many for just the two little ones).  Hubs picked up some Sonic for dinner, which filled us up too much, so we didn't have popcorn with our movie (Spy, on HBOgo). I had been SO tired during the day, but couldn't get to sleep that night!

0327 (Sunday) 164.8. Steps 10756. Total Burn 2293. Exercise Burn 225/530 (20minElliptical). Calories in 2700.  Sunday sleep in ... even with Easter. Mr. Bunny hadn't brought anything too exciting, and as the kids are getting older (and had already peeked) it wasn't a big deal. We all snacked on goodies, and skipped our usual Sunday breakfast. I got some roll dough rising, making orange rolls and regular dinner rolls. Hubs made mashed taters for the family party (his side today). We ate, had a pinata, and an egg toss. Took pictures in the ears and other photo booth props I brought. Some of the other grandkids were sleeping over, and #5 decided to stay too (even though we hadn't brought him jammies or a change of clothes). The kitchen was a mess after all our cooking. I'd loaded the dishwasher before leaving and thought I'd set it to wash, but alas, I must not have pressed the button. Further cleanup will have to wait until tomorrow (still Spring Break for the kidlets).
 
0328 (Monday) 165.9. Steps 22892. Total Burn 2877. Exercise Burn 1134/1109 (60minElliptical, Zumba). Calories in 2300. I did wake up around 5:00 when Hubs left for work, but I went back to sleep for a wonderful sleep in. Barely rolled out of bed in time to hit Zumba. It was a snowy cold morning, but luckily to roads weren't bad. Class was good. I was able to get my heart rate up this time. I stopped at Kmart on the way home, grabbing some Easter candy clearance. #5 returned home from his sleep over, and the two little boys wanted to go to the local gym to play basketball (as they couldn't outside) so I took them. I got the dishes from yesterday cleaned up, and also worked on getting all of Easter put away. I'd really planned on getting one more session of something in during the evening hours, but I was pretty tired.
 
0329 (Tuesday) 165.9. Steps 25867. Total Burn 3014. Exercise Burn 1246/1311 (60minElliptical, Zumba, Bike). Calories in 2900. I did manage to pull myself out of bed, and then pull the 17-year old out of bed. Packed his lunch and made him eggs for breakfast and pushed him out the door. Got in 30min early elliptical in. Zumba switched to 9:00 this week. I needed a store run, and debated trying to squeeze it in after dropping kids before class, but figured I wouldn't have enough time. Zumba was good, we had a nice crowd and I was able to keep my heart rate up. Got good stats. Back at home, the power went out for a while. I did a session on the bike, as neither it nor my book require electricity. I headed to the middle school to check out #3 for his doctor appointment and he got his cast removed. Back home in time for me to get the store run in before picking up the littles. Power was back on. I cooked up some chicken and made haystacks for dinner (chicken pillows for #3 as he'd been craving them). Very tired all evening though! Maybe my early rising. Ate way too much (Reeses eggs!) but according to estimates, did keep calories under burn, if just barely.

0330 (Wednesday) 164.7. Steps 25716. Total Burn 3016. Exercise Burn 1330/1253 (60minElliptical, Zumba, Bike, 20minIncline). Calories in 2400. Up early again, got in some elliptical before Zumba. Class was good today, better stats than the last couple weeks at MZL. I did a quick stop at Sears, just for a package pickup. I got in bike and some treadmill time. The incline didn't raise the heart rate as much as I thought. Nothing like a real hike. Not too much different than a walk without (although I'll have to try tracking that again to really compare). #5 had a friend come over after school. It was a good day for it, as Hubs and #3 left for a derby. The friend stays until 7:00 (even if I say only until 6:00) so it makes it hard on dinner days or when Hubs is home and would like it quieter than it is with friends over. I pulled out a couple Papa Murphy pizzas from the freezer, but they'd been in there too long and didn't cook up well. Into the trash. Oh well, I didn't need the calories myself. I almost made homemade oreos, but again ... calories. With Hubs trying to eat better, I'm not sure if he considers it a reward, or a temptation/punishment.  Still managed to overeat today.

0331 (Thursday) 164.7. Steps 25449. Total Burn 3019. Exercise Burn 1258/1259 (60minElliptical, Zumba, 1.5mileTreadmillIntervals). Calories in 2400. Up early to pull #2 from bed (literally), make him breakfast and pack his lunch. Hubs was still in bed (unusual) but his siatica has made it hard for him to get good sleep recently. Poor guy.  I must admit I crawled back into bed for a bit. I did still get in two 20min sessions on the elliptical in the morning while getting the other boys off to school. MountainView Zumba today, Tirsa and Melanie were there, and Marian had Christa and I do a number as well. We had a good group. One gal from Friday class had come on my recommendation too. Lots of energy and good stats. I wore a sleeveless shirt ... not quite comfortable in it, but my underarm rash has been painful.  I'm trying to prevent perspiration and rubbing. I stopped at Smiths on the way home to grab a few groceries. Picked up the kidlets from schools. #3 had his team dinner in the evening. Just socializing and eating, a few awards handed out. Home and to bed early.

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Zumba Stats 2016


Since I started going to Zumba classes a couple years ago, I've tracked my stats (steps, calorie burn estimate, heart rate, etc.) from the beginning. At first, I'd grab a photo of my Fitbit and Polar, and post the picture on Facebook. Then I started keeping an excel file, and posting the results monthly. For 2016, I think I'll just keep it a running blog post, just one, updating it each month.  

I regularly hit four classes a week, Southziders on Monday, Marian's class on Tuesday, MZL on Wednesday and MountainView on Thursday. I'll try to fit in a Friday if I can make it work. I wear the Fitbit ChargeHR and the Fitbit One. This year, I also added the Sosche/Digifit combo for some additional heart rate estimates.

To hit new highs on the Fitbits, I would need to exceed a 500 calorie burn, over 7600 steps, and heart-rate highs in the 140s (although anytime I get a 130 average reading I'm pretty thrilled.) The Sosche is coming in quite a bit higher on all counts, so it will have it's own set of record setting stats. I'll continually update this post,  so although it will look familiar, it will have new information monthly.

January 2016
I only hit 14 Zumba classes in January, which was slightly better than December, but not up to my usual activity ... especially considering the whole "new years resolutions" motivation for the month.  I was building myself back up I guess. Two classes the first week, three the next, four the following, and finally the full five for the last week of the month. In addition to my regulars, I was able to hit a couple Fridays, once with Debbie, and once with Nicole. I've highlighted the highs for the month, nothing quite record setting, but some good stats. With the Scosche being new, the January highlighted numbers are the ones to beat ...

February 2016

February is a short month ... even with an extra day this year. Still, I got more classes in than I did in January. 20 in total. With some early morning basketball practices on Fridays, I was able to hit five classes a week a few times this month (with both Debbie and Nicole). No double days. I've highlighted the top stats for the month. Steps beat January's high, as did the ChargeHR calorie estimate (just squeaking in the last, extra day in February).



22 classes in March. I did pretty good hitting Friday classes this month (the middle school was out a few times which alleviates the carpool conflict), even doing an hour all on my own one week. No night classes (double days), I'm not sure if I'll ever get back to that. I just don't have the energy in the evenings! I did hit one new high (steps) this month. I love seeing how the stats stack up class to class, month to month!


Stay tuned for stats. Moving in March up next ... 

***2016 in Pictures ***

MountainView - January 21, 2016
Marian had a meeting so we three "babes in black" ran the class. I do tend to get higher numbers when I'm up on stage, and when I get to pick the playlist ... as it's all songs I know and like. So it's not surprising this day was one of the highest in January.

 All shapes, sizes and colors are welcome at Zumba.

Saturday, April 2, 2016

WWI #140 - Up After Easter

I'd pull a prank and say I hit my goal weight ... but it's pretty obvious that is an April Fools joke! Up again after Easter, which isn't surprising, nor undeserved. With the holiday, and kids out of school Friday and Monday for Spring Break, I had a bit of an "it's not going to happen so I'm not even going to try" attitude (this attitude actually kicked in early last week in anticipation). 

NUMBERS: Up .7 for the official weekly weigh-in, but average was actually up 1.62 (164.69). Average intake was 2543. Average daily burn 2720. This equaled an overage of 1204 for the week. Average steps were 19982. 725 active minutes. 69.27 miles.  FOOD: Was just BAD. With family feasts Sat/Sun, and the Easter treat temptations (my chex mix, jellybeans, malted milk eggs, Reeses eggs) I was easily over every day. FITNESS: I got in five sessions of Zumba. I was a little low on elliptical (under an hour) Fri-Sun, but hit goal (60min) every other day. I got a couple sessions on the bike, and a couple on the treadmill, but no weights this week.  FAMILY: The 16-year old had friends over on Friday (and a Skookie indulgence), an Easter party with my side of the family on Saturday, and with Hubs side of the family on Sunday. #3 got his cast off on Tuesday, and there was a team dinner for his basketball bunch on Thursday.

Here's a quick day to day recap: 

  • Friday (0325): Kids out of school for Spring Break. I hit Zumba with Nicole, but only got in 40min on the elliptical. Some grocery shopping, basketball practice for #5, and #2's friends over for dinner and dessert (our house isn't "the house" very often, it was fun to host). Prepped some eggs for Easter.
  • Saturday (0326):  Just 20min on the elliptical this morning. Party at my folks house in the early afternoon. Hubs and I watched "Spy" in the evening. I was so tired having to stay up late being the Easter Bunny!
  • Sunday (0327): Two 10min sessions on the elliptical today. I prepped roll dough (orange rolls, dinner rolls and Brazilian cheese rolls). Hubs made mashed taters. Dinner was at his mom's. Fun evening seeing her baby chicks, smashing a pinata and competing in an egg toss. #5 stayed and slept over.
  • Monday (0328): Last day of Spring Break. I did get in my hour of elliptical and Zumba class. Calories over goal, but under burn at least.
  • Tuesday (0329): Back to the routine. Up early. An hour of elliptical, Zumba, and a session on the bike. Calories were very high though, as I snacked, AND made a dinner I actually eat. Dr. appointment for #3 to get his cast off.
  • Wednesday (0330): Good exercise day. An hour of elliptical, Zumba, bike and 20min on the treadmill at an incline. Hubs and #3 were off to a derby.
  • Thursday (0331): Early rising ... an hour of elliptical, Zumba, and 20minTreadmill Intervals. #3 had his basketball team dinner in the evening. End of the month!


... and pictures (and video) from the week

 These meringue nests are a favorite for a few of us!
I ate several this Easter season.

Easter buckets ... the one closest to the camera is for the kitties!

Grandma and her Grandbunnies Easter photo booth.

... and finally, a quick capture of #5 attempting to bring down the pinata.
A video posted by JenB (@jenblackham) on




Thursday, March 31, 2016

No Power? No Problem!

On Tuesday, I was twiddling about at home when ...voomp. The power went out. Now what? What could I possibly do without electricity?

Happily, my mornings are my main exercise time. I'd already gotten in some elliptical and my Zumba class. I had planned on another session of something during the day though.

The treadmill was out, as it needs power to run. The my elliptical doesn't plug in, but I watch TV while on it  ... that requires power. The stationary bike doesn't require power, AND I read my book on it (on my ipad, which luckily was fully charged and ready to go).  I got my biking in. I DID miss my fan blowing me with cool air during my workout. The fan requires electricity.

As I finished up my fitness ... now what? I can't work on the computer. Can't vacuum. I was able to slap on my headphones and listen to my audiobook while I put away the clean dishes, loaded the dishwasher, and folded some laundry that had finished before the power went out. 

Luckily the power came back on a few hours later, before the kids got home from school. They always struggle a bit ... "what can we do now?"  with no TV or video games. Well, you can play outside (it was a nice day yesterday), board games, read a book, and some video games are still a possibility if they had been charged up.

A friend of mine recently posted she couldn't get her wifi to work, so she didn't get to watch a show during her bike session. I recommended always having a book (audio or otherwise) as a backup. This applied to Hubby as well, when he couldn't connect to the wifi at the gym, and it left him frustrated. 

We become so reliant on our technology, often our fitness relies on watching a program directing our moves (and motivating us), powering equipment, lighting the room, cooling us down, or simply entertaining us while we work out. I know this applies to indoor exercisers more than those taking advantage of the great outdoors. Just give it a thought BEFORE the power goes out, or the wireless goes wonky ... do you have a backup plan? Don't let it derail your day! *Ü*


Funny (but true) quote shared by a friend recently ...



How put out are you when the power goes out?
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