Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Stories of Shared Souls ... and light blue book covers

Time for a RECENT READS blog post ...
I've laughed a little to myself, and my "multiple personalities" ... I feel my life has three divisions. Family and Friends, Health and Fitness and then Basketball Mom. I have separate social media accounts for each "personality" and it works out perfectly.

It's been a bit of a theme in my recent reads too. I reviewed "The Body Institute" back in September, and then read The Hybrid Chronicles and the Starters/Enders series ... all completely different in storyline, yet they all had a similar feel, with more than one person in one body (and their covers all have a similar light blue look too!)

The Starters/Enders series had a different cover set too ...
Starters/Enders is a two book series. While the world setting was different (here, a virus has swept the globe. A vaccine was given to the most vulnerable, the children and the elderly, and they are the only ones to survive). Whereas in "The Body Institute" ... the mind of one (someone motivated to exercise and eat right) was inserted into an overweight body, here, Prime Destinations, called "the body bank" entices young people to loan their bodies so that the elderly and once again experience youth. Very similar premise. Contracts, agreements between parties, one mind "stored" while another takes over.

I experienced this as an audiobook. Not the best narrator, she was a little dry ... but I enjoyed the story. In addition to the "mind swap" similarities, I've read several books where the post-apocalyptic situation was similar (although in "The Girl Who Owned a City"  "Kahayatle" "Gone" and "Night of the Purple Moon" it was all just kids who survived. No adults. Here, the "grandparents" were still able to keep the world running more smoothly than in other apocalyptic reads. 

There was one little moment that caused me to laugh out loud though ... one of the older gentlemen was talking and says "remember when we could travel? Now Mexico built that wall to keep us all out!"  I just thought it was pretty funny considering the current political situation!

I really enjoyed "The Hybrid Chronicles" ... and I loved their covers! The consistency throughout the three books, the duality represented visually, the Me, We, Us emphasized in font and title. And such a unique idea! Everyone is born with two souls within them. For the first few years of life, both "children" are part of the family. As the child grows, it's expected that one soul will be dominant, and the other, recessive soul, will fade away. Can you even imagine? Even sharing one body, as a parent, having a child you knew you were going lose? It's just the way it is. There is a small, private mourning, then it's not really talked about and life goes on. It's NOT normal if one of the souls refuses to fade. Here, with Addy and Eva, Addy is the dominant soul and Eva is almost gone. No one but Addy knows she is actually still around. Eva is only a voice in Addy's mind, a presence. She can't take control of the physical body or speak ... until someone guesses that Eva is still there and works with the girls to help her regain those abilities. There are other "hybrids" out there but they are viewed with suspicion and taken for "treatment" ...

I listened to the first two as an audio download from my local library. Great narrator. Unfortunately book three wasn't available at my library in anything but a physical printed book. The thought of having to go to the library, pick up an actual book, lift the heavy thing to read it, turn pages, lug it with me ... what can I say? I'm a complete digi-convert! I actually paid $10 to buy the final  book (couldn't quite justify the extra cost of audio, although I did miss the narration). I'd recommend this series and think back on it very fondly!

Parts of it reminded me a bit of The Tripartite Soul, which I also read last year. In that one, three different people have their own separate bodies (and one of them is a dragonish creature, not a human) but their consciousness is linked. As Addy/Eva could leave to "leave" to give each other a bit of privacy, so could the characters in this story build walls to attempt to shut each other out a bit.

The blue/white covers reminded me of another series ...
I also read "The Clone Chronicles" last year ... unlike the other books in this blog post, this is not two minds in one body, but two identical bodies (an original and a clone), with their own individual souls (although the clone isn't encouraged to think that way).  But again, you have the idea of coming across this person and thinking "who is it really inside?"

I have NOT yet read this series ...
It sure matches the light blue cover theme doesn't it? I guess there are so many stories out there, that there are going to be similarities in covers and ideas. I'm sure there are more I haven't mentioned ... yet to discover. So much reading left to do ...

Monday, January 16, 2017

Weekly Review #181

So ... technically down a pound, but that's also within general fluctuations. Still, glad to be not quite as high this Monday morning as I was last Monday morning. I think I like the switch to Mondays. It feels like more of a representation of my week. Knowing I had the official weigh-in after the weekend helped a tiny bit... maybe? Weekend wasn't as wicked as it could have been. 

Still, I was hoping for a little more "return to routine" with the kids back in school. I was hoping for my "Motivated Monday" and weekday energy ... I had a couple good days, but I still feel like I'm dragging on a daily basis.  NUMBERS: Official weight was down 1.1. Average only -.02 (180.43). Intake average for the week was 2371. Burn average was 2675. An overage of 1074.  Step average 16404. Still no weights (I KNOW, I need to get back to that), 580 cardio minutes, 62.03 exercise miles. FITNESS: Got in my hour of elliptical four days this past week, two Zumba classes, hit the bike twice, and one time on the treadmill.

Oops, I'd been such a good girl and got my post up Monday morning, forgetting that my weekly Fitbit report hadn't come in yet. It popped up in my email, so here it is updated. This week was better than last week, with increases in every area. My treadmill walk on Sunday didn't register (I got the steps, and really should have received 7 days exercising ... although okay, it was just a walk, not really "exercise" per say, so ....). 

The Fitbit stats and MY stats differ a little on a couple of points ... cardio minutes is what I calculated (I always just input an hour of Zumba, whether it was 57 min or 65 min). Sometimes I'll get some extra credit from Fitbit as I walk away from a workout, whereas sometimes it won't count a bike ride (not a lot of "steps" in cycling). Fitbit's active minutes are usually higher, but not always. Miles ... I'll note down what my machine (treadmill, elliptical, bike) says for each workout, and I use the Fitbit estimate for Zumba to get my mile estimate. Fitbit takes the total steps (exercise and regular daily activity) and just uses the generalized "a mile is a bout 2000 steps" to get their estimate. With all the extra non-exercise steps, Fitbit's mile number SHOULD be higher, except for my bike/elliptical. An 8 mile ride on the bike will only credit about 1 mile per Fitbit (usually about 2000 "steps" register for those 30minutes) and my Elliptical says I've gone two miles in 20min, but the Fitbit will register just over 2000 steps. I really don't care much on the miles numbers ... just interesting to note how they change week to week.

I didn't grab my Friends List until I updated this post ... when I first looked this morning, my JenB profile was actually in 1st place. It sure can change quickly, depending if someone has updated recently (and if that included a good/bad day to impact the standings). Christa (#1 spot) hadn't been able to get hers to sync, and it finally did (so she popped up to the top).

The Day by Day ...

  • Monday (0109): Back to routine, but not back to Zumba. Got in 80min elliptical and a session on the bike though. Stayed busy with carpools, grocery shopping, dinner and a FunShot competition in the evening. 20924 steps. 2942 burn, 2400 intake.
  • Tuesday (0110): Got in 80min elliptical and Zumba with Marian. Basketball games in the evening. Three games, I was only able to get to two. 23919 steps. 3040 burn. 2400 intake.
  • Wednesday (0111): Managed my hour of elliptical in the morning, but that was it for exercise. Had to make a store run, prep dinner (soup, breadsticks, cinnamon rolls) and then had a dental appointment. 16363 steps, 2771 burn, 3100 intake (oops!)
  • Thursday (0112): Zumba with MountainView, 90min elliptical and a session on the bike. Good active day! Basketball practices in the afternoon/evening and Hubs is home! 25839 steps, 3421 burn, 2400 intake.
  • Friday (0113): Slow start morning. Only 30min elliptical today. Basketball games - two OT wins. 8917 steps, 2212 burn, 2200 intake.
  • Saturday (0114): Got in 30min elliptical again today (finished up "The OA") and the littles each had a game (one loss, one win). 11018 steps, 2311 burn, 1800 intake.
  • Sunday (0115): Did an easy walk on the treadmill, 1.5 miles. Sunday Circles for breakfast, smoked brisket for dinner. 7848 steps, 2027 burn, 2300 intake. 
Five Featured Photos ...

 Tuesday night game was at my old Alma Mater ... 
Cottonwood High School

 Pictures of my #2 from that Tuesday game. Got the win.

Hubs upgraded me to the iphone7 .... 
I forgot the little adapter for my headphones (I wear them at the games). 
I have it set up now.

 Wednesday's soup ... chicken veggie.

Hubs smoked brisket for Sunday dinner.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Thrifty Thursday - 2016 Reward Reviews

In the past, I've written several different Thrifty Thursday posts featuring different reward programs. My Achievemint Update Update has overtaken my Fitbit post for my most frequented blog. I think this has to do with the changes introduced to the program last year. People are hearing about Achievemint, Googling it,  and finding my reviews ...

I still love Achievemint. It's just an easy, no-brainer one. Sign up, link your device, and forget about it. Check it once in a while (I've signed up for weekly emails) and then redeem your reward.  I have mentioned ... my family has abandoned their Fitbits. As my husband got an Apple Watch instead, he was still wearing his Fitbit (a clip-on Zip) for me. I told him he didn't need to bother and he did stop, although he asked "don't you earn points for it or something though?"  Yes, yes we did. And not that he's been getting a lot of steps in, but it adds up after a while. Unfortunately, the Apple Watch is not one of Acheivemint's connected apps. But, I happened to log onto Hubs account ... and he had enough points to redeem $10! And boy were they quick! Unlike in the past when we had to wait weeks, this time turnaround was in a flash!

I'm still earning points for Achievemint ...
As 2016 ended, I decided to cash out my Pact earnings. 

 I'd earned just over $113 in 2015. I'd been a bit wimpy in 2016, only committing to four days (both fitness and food tracking) a week. In those two final weeks of December, I even took a break from that (and tried taking a break from my calorie counting on My Fitness Pal). As 2017 began, I restarted my Pact ...

I still really miss FitStudio (Kmart/Sears ShopYourWay points). Since FitStudio closed up shop, and my local Kmart closed too, I really haven't paid much attention to the program. I still get some emails (I haven't opted out) but I admit I rarely read them. Perhaps I should have. I was glancing at one this past weekend ...

 $13 at Sears, $7 at Kmart ... there isn't a Kmart nearby anymore, but we do still have a SearsGrand close, and I can often shop online and have an item delivered to that store and not incur any shipping costs. That would have been some almost free stuff! I had glanced at the email and for some reason Jan10 stuck in my mind as the expiration. I logged on Monday morning (the 9th) ... and I was too late. Even without FitStudio, sometimes there are still deals/coupons coming through that are worth investigating.

That's all for now! 
Check back for more Thrifty Thursday posts in the future!

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Entertainment ala International Espionage

When I first started exercising in my home gym, music was my motivator. I did have a TV/DVD in the room too, and I'd checked out "24" from the library. In order to get through the disks by the due date, I figured I'd better watch while working out ...

That was my first exercise entertainment ala espionage. 

I LOVED the action while I exercised. How could I not absorb the energy as Jack Bauer saved the world? How could I think I was tired on my little machine, when he was running for his life? As each episode ended on a cliff-hanger, I couldn't wait to get back to my gym for just one more session/episode to find out what happened next.

I've watched all the available seasons of 24. I know there is a new edition coming out, and I'll probably watch (although I think I'll wait until the season is complete rather than attempting the week to week). But there are other action/espionage shows to keep me entertained while on the elliptical. 

I just finished up Madam Secretary (season 1). Seasons 1 and 2 are available on Netflix. Season three has aired but isn't available yet.  This show had really high ratings, and I've always liked Téa Leoni, so I figured I've give it a try. I'm not super into politics, but after this last year's presidential election, it had been hard to stay in my little non-political bubble. While absolutely understanding that this is fiction, it was interesting to see the inner workings of the White House portrayed. To see how the US works with other countries. I also really enjoyed the family life included here. It wasn't quite "on the edge of my seat" action, but I liked it a lot. 

I'd also given "Strike Back" (on Amazon Prime) a try. I really liked it too. I was a bit confused at the start. Right at the top, we are introduced to captured agent "John Porter" and there seems to be a back story there. Apparently there is a "Strike Back" before this one, although the one I was watching is labeled Season 1 and is the start of this series. This comes from Cinemax, and it is very cable (profanity, sex, violence). I swear ... the one fellow gets laid almost every episode! While I started this downstairs myself, when Hubs wanted something new to watch, I mentioned it to him. We ended up watching together upstairs (although it was a good energy for exercise!). Seasons 1-3 are available on Prime, and we watched those. You have to pay for Season 4 (we have not watched it, it was about time for a break from all the blowing up of everything anyway) ...

 A while back, Hubs and I caught ...
I've generally liked AMC productions (The Walking Dead, Humans, The Killing, Breaking Bad) so when I saw this miniseries with some big names (recognized quite a few of the actors from other shows/movies), I figured I'd give it a try. It was quite "James Bond" ish, especially the intro song while the credits roll. A little cheesy. Honestly, I wasn't overly impressed with this one.  I had a hard enough time following it watching the episodes back to back ... if I'd had to wait a week in-between, watching other programs while waiting, I think I would have lost interest completely. But it was short, so I finished it up, but I was rather glad when it was over.

 What else?

While "24" was the first action show I exercised to, I'd loved Alias airing years before ... although I admit, I did stop watching around the third season I think. Hubs and I also watched Homeland and thought it was good. I've watched the first few seasons of The Unit. Army Wives doesn't have a lot of international espionage, but is a bit of a counter-point to The Unit which features the men and the action, with the wives as back stories. In Army Wives, the spouses and their daily lives are front and center, while the men's army careers add the action on the side (although still not a ton, more of a soap opera, not quite as heart pumping for working out, but I liked it and finished the series). I watched Last Resort on DVD (as it never hit streaming on Amazon, Netflix or Hulu). I am currently caught up with Designated Survivor, which premiered this fall.  

What action/espionage series have you enjoyed?

I did a post a bit ago on "End of the World" TV series ... and while I read a ton of post-apocalyptic stuff in addition to watching it, I really do NOT read action/espionage stories. I'll watch them, and love them, but they just don't really appeal when it comes to my book choices.

Monday, January 9, 2017

Weekly Review #180

It's 2017.

With the new year, and the fact that I hadn't completed my Weekly Weigh-In post last Friday, I thought "I wonder if I should switch my official weigh-in?"  Now, a Monday morning weigh-in is CRAZY, because that's almost always my high, as my exercise/eating slip Saturday/Sunday (Friday too).  But maybe, knowing it's coming, that might inspire me to be better with my food/fitness on weekends? Probably not ... but in my head, my week starts Monday, ends Sunday. My "weekly posts" here always felt just a little off as with my Friday weigh-in, my weekly report ran from Friday through Thursday ...

So, I thought I'd switch up the schedule ...
Unsurprisingly ... I'm up. Although the scale was holding (even went down) Saturday and Sunday. Monday mornings though. I hit the same high after last long weekend (Tuesday morning).  NUMBERS: Official weigh-in is a 2.7 increase. Average also up .72 (179.73). I tried to get back to tracking after taking a couple weeks off. Intake average 2370. Burn average 2394. Step average for the week was 12405. 491 cardio minutes, 39.18 exercise miles. I hit Zumba classes twice, and got in my hour of elliptical four times.

Another benefit to shifting to Mondays, is my Fitbit tracking runs from Monday-Sunday (this is a personal preference, you are in control of the setting).  I get a report each week. Currently my goal is set to 22k per day. I might switch it to 10k (which is what it is preset too, I had bumped it up, but ... my steps have slipped of late!) ...

I don't always look at this report ... it comes in my email and I move it to my "Fitbit" folder. I think I'll include it here on my weekly report though. My "burn average" estimate listed above is a bit lower. My miles listed above are only "exercise" miles, while the number listed here comes from the complete step total (so it will always be higher)... although THIS week, my totals above have three extra days included (Fri/Sat/Sun from the week before as I made the scheduling switch). I get this report from my ChargeHR account too ... I grabbed the three bottom tiles from that report, as they don't get calculated with my One device.

I still love my Fitbit(s) Feedback ... *Ü*

Day by Day ...
  • Friday (1230): No exercise. Hubs had the day off, but #5 and I were off to a couple games with his basketball tournament. Christmas cleanup. Dinner in the evening with my folks. 8497 steps. 2142 burn. 2400 intake. 
  • Saturday (1231): New Years Eve. Did one 20min Elliptical session. I got a new iphone7. Spent some time getting it set up. Hubs and the boys went to the Jazz game, then we had my folks over for games to ring in the new year. 10734 steps.
  • Sunday (0101): No exercise. Annual pastry wreath gathering. Popcorn and movie (DVD) in the evening. 13535 steps, 2489 burn, 2900 intake. 
  • Monday (0102): Southziders was taking the day off (New Year's observed), I did 20min Elliptical and shoveled snow. With #2 back home, we moved him from the upstairs bedroom to the downstairs one, completing the room rearrange. Hubs smoked tri tip for dinner. 13360 steps. 2455 burn. 2800 intake.
  • Tuesday (0103): Return to the routine. Got in 70min elliptical total for the day. Zumba with Marian. Watched/videoed Sophomore and Varsity games at  Hunter in the evening. Dominos for dinner. 23809 steps. 3141 burn. 1900 intake. 
  • Wednesday (0104): Got in my hour of elliptical in while getting the boys off to school. Zumba with MZL, but dragging! Made muvees of the wins last night, then technical difficulties had me frustrated! 22189 steps. 2932 burn. 1950 intake.
  • Thursday (0105): Not a productive day. I did get in my hour of elliptical, but no Zumba, as there was a funeral at the church. Still struggling with software, and had a dental exam/cleaning. Team dinner for the older boys, practice for #4. 13577 steps. 2474 burn, 2000 intake.
  • Friday (0106): Slow start ... and no exercise at all. So frustrated with the video editing issues. but downloaded a new program and got a couple highlight reels done. Early out for #5, and off to a birthday party. Sophomore and Varsity games in the evening. Finally got my customer support for my Muvee software and stayed up late making a highlight reel of the awesome OT win! 5381 steps. 1976 burn. 2200 intake. 
  • Saturday (0107): Busy basketball day. Dropped #3 at the school at 9:30 and didn't pick him up until after 8:00. Games at 1:00, 3:00 and 4:00. No exercise. 5478 steps. 1988 burn. 2000 intake.
  • Sunday (0108): Slow Sunday ... although I did a treadmill walk (2miles). 7492 steps, 1929 burn, 2650 intake.
Five Featured Photos ...
 New Year's Eve

Monday Snow Shoveling ... 
Hubs bought a snow blower later in the week.

Finished up the three bedroom switch up for the boys ...

Back to school ... Back to making lunches!

 Pro pictures (Tribune) of Friday's OT win.

... a couple video clips too.

A video posted by BlackhamBall (@blackhamball) on
Tuesday - my #3 got some playing time and made the most of it! 

Insane OT Friday night! 

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Books Stats (2016)

I read a lot of books last  year.
I mean ... 137. Most people would agree that is a lot of books, right? I read 102 in 2015, 108 in 2013. My biggest year yet! I don't know if that's something to be proud of ... or embarrassed by! I mean, while reading is looked upon as a good thing, there are other items that need to be accomplished too. The addition of AUDIO BOOKS to my repertoire was new this year and that made a huge difference. It started out as an option while I waited for my basketball boys at practice. Practice was an hour, depending on the local, going back home and coming back just wasn't worth it. So I'd stay and read while I walked. Just listening was easier than actual reading. Once I started on audiobooks, I incorporated into every possibility. In the car, while cleaning the house, while sewing, while taking walks (all my duck/canal walks during the summer), while watching the boy's basketball games and going over their video highlights. Lots of listening!

Is listening to an audio book considered the same as reading a book? I would never say watching a movie is the same as reading the book, but movies and books differ. A lot! An audio book is exactly the same. You are just consuming the book through your ears rather than your eyes. I'd put off audiobooks. Disadvantages include getting distracted (which is SO easy to do), not being able to highlight words/phrases, not being able to quickly flip back and skim sections as needed ... and I read faster than most narrators talk. Many audiobooks do have speed options, and of course you can rewind or jump forward as needed, but it isn't as easy or appealing. That being said, I've learned to love audiobooks. I love being able to multi-task and do two things at once (as I often feel guilty spending so much time "just" reading). Good narrators can really add to the experience, especially with accents or voices my imagination may not have produced on it's own.

Back to the audiobook debate ... one of my pet peeves on Good Reads is that most audiobooks entered do not have page numbers listed. I love looking at the amount of pages! It's a barometer at times... I can read a 500+ page book that goes quickly, whereas a 250 page book can feel like forever. I need to see the number of pages listed, compare them ... add them up at the end of the year.

As I looked back over my books ... 85 books "read" and 52 were audio. ALL digital I believe. Seriously, the thought of reading an actual physical book? Arrgg! I only gave five books top ratings (5star), four and three star reads stood at 61 each, with 10 two star. I HAVE given a one star rating before, but it takes a lot, and didn't feel deserved for any of my 2016 reads (even though I had a few  DNF this year ... did not finish). I've always tried to just finish books before ... but there are so many new novels  waiting for me, why keep reading something if I'm not enjoying it?

The majority of my books were borrowed (digitally) from my library. I did initiate the Kindle Unlimited trial, and I read several books (they also had audio options) during that 30-day span. I also tried to take advantage of my Amazon Prime perk, borrowing a book a month from their lending library. I only bought a couple books ... it's hard to justify when I have so many (library list/kindle cloud) available already.

It was interesting, as I went back and looked at the books from this year ... the audio books really stand out in my memory. For most, I can remember listening to them. I can recall what I was doing (oh yes, that book was while watching the boy's basketball, I remember mowing the lawn with that one, ahh ... cleaning the basement while listening to that). The narrator's voices have stuck in my head, especially if accents were involved. A couple times, I went from an audiobook to actually reading (several series had audio for some but not all the books) and would still read with the same "voice" or inflection I'd experienced thus far. Switching from reading to audio ... that doesn't always work well for me, because I've already formed voices (and sometimes name pronunciations) in my head, prejudicing me against audio in an established series.

I don't have shelves indicating the book topics ... that would be interesting to track too. I'm sure a majority of my reads were post-apocalyptic in premise. Then there is the supernatural ... vampires, mermaids, aliens, werewolves, angels. Several science-fiction and quite a few fantasy. Time travel came up again and again too. Not much (if any) realistic fiction (other than re-reading "To Kill a Mockingbird").

Monday, January 2, 2017

Medical Monday - The Last Half of 2016

Medical Mondays aren't a regular monthly post here on my blog. That's a good thing. Generally, there just isn't that much going on, and I'm okay with that! I'll just add "Medical Mondays" here and there as issues come up (and this blog is my journey, so I need to include it all). Here's a look at the last little bit of 2016 in our home ...

I had to go to the Doctor and the Dentist in December.

I pop a pill everyday for my thyroid. My bottle was empty with no refills left. I was NOT looking forward to my annual physical. No reason really, I was just really not in the mood. That is why doctors hold prescriptions hostage I guess though, right? To force reluctant patients in? So I went. The visit itself was fairly uneventful. A longer wait in the lab for a blood draw. Urine sample did have an issue (an infection?) so I'll have to come back to check that, once I get my known infection take care of ...

One of the doctor's questions is about dental health/last dental visit. Yes ... that's another one I've been putting off. I actually had a problem, a back tooth, broken off so just the roots remained. It was infected. I was so afraid I'd have to go to an oral surgeon, but my dentist was able to take care of it, with antibiotics for the infection. I'm still scheduled to go back for a cleaning and a little more work.

As for the family ... we had an allergy issue!
Poor #3 ... we KNEW he had allergy issues (#1 and #5 too).  Unlike his brothers, he hadn't had any accidental ingestions over the years as the other boys have. It's nuts! What they are allergic to I mean. He'd "experimented" a bit of late, and seemed okay with Nutella (hazelnuts) and a BananaNut Muffin (walnuts) so he decided to try a cashew (actually a few ...). Still reacts to those! Normally with our boys, it isn't a life-threatening allergy (although we did end up overnight at the hospital with #5 when he was a toddler). There is swelling, itching and misery, but it doesn't quite get to where it impacts their breathing. #3 was miserable though. His nose wouldn't stop running, spots all over, itching all over. His slips and eyes were swollen. Of course we gave him Benedryl immediately. An on call doctor gave us a prescription for Prednisone and an EpiPen ($700 for that!). A cold shower seemed to help too and he moved from the angry itching phase to the drunk Benedryl phase (have you seen the movie "Hitch" ... many similarities this night). We were a heartbeat away from the ER if he indicated any breathing issues. He fell into a deep, exhausted sleep ... but I kept checking on him all night long! No worse for the wear in the morning (still a bit swollen around the eyes) and NO MORE cashews or other experimenting!

Hubs has unfortunately had a few Menerie's attacks this month too. He hasn't had any for a while (since June I think) and these weren't as bad as some (no vomiting) but each one still lays him out for a few hours each time. They are just so hard, because you just never know when they will hit.

As far as feet ... there's been a touch of Athlete's foot on a couple of the boys (#3 and #5) and #2 has what I think is an ingrown toenail (or two), but we can't really do anything during until basketball season is done. Feet issues aren't really anything new for our family unfortunately (The Agony of DeFeet) but at least these aren't as bad in the past ... but I'm keeping my eye on them!

So I still have some follow up with the doctor and dentist. 
Wish me luck!

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Looking Toward 2017

A new year means new calendars!
I am a digital gal ... I do use Google calendars for planning and scheduling, but I still love physical calendars all around the house. As the year winds down, I start keeping my eyes open for inexpensive options (score at the dollar store!) and I stock up. Then the trick is remembering where I put them when the new year starts (one year I had to buy again because I couldn't recall where I'd put them!)

We have an annual tradition on my side of the family going back 20 years now. Started by one of the daughter's in-law, then passed around throughout the years (my hubs did it for a few, then a different SIL, I did it last year). Moving to digital creation (then sending in for printing) several years ago made it a snap to simply order additional calendars so that each family could have one in their home.

So that's one new calendar!

I keep one in the den, one in my gym, one in the bedroom, on by my desk. I like pictures of flowers, or pretty landscapes, or inspirational quotes. I grab one for each of the boy's rooms (classic cars, NBA teams. The little boys have actually liked one with cats). 

The family photo calendar in the kitchen gets a lot written on it. As the year ends ... not only is the calendar a keepsake for the photos, but for the schedules input upon the days. I LOVE looking back at old calendars. Seeing all the basketball games, the derbies, the doctor visits, the vacations. Just a quick glance can bring back memories galore.

At one point, I really tried to keep an "exercise" calendar ... noting my elliptical, Zumba, etc ... but while I keep all the info in an excel file, I haven't been able to keep it updated in calendar format.

However, I do use a little desk calendar to help me keep track of my workouts. In the picture above, you can see the yellow shell of my 2016 page-a-day calendar. It's been stripped bare! I kept it on my treadmill downstairs and each day, as I'd do a workout (or two or three or more) I'd write the stats down on the back and use the paper to transfer the info upstairs at the end of the day.  With 2016 ending, I needed a new calendar. My last year's "Happy Notes" was fine, but had been a little disappointing. Some days featured great inspirational quotes but others were just silly stuff ... "draw a picture of something that makes you happy" or "smile, it's a frown turned upside down"... I don't know, I guess even with needing content for 365 days I thought the makers could have featured more quality stuff.  

This year ... I'm going in knowing it's silly. I bought an "It's Different Every Day" page-a day calendar and I'm excited for the new, fun daily giggle. Here's a peek at day one (which incidentally, has two 20min elliptical sessions and two 10min ones ... yes, I started 2017 with an hour of elliptical, even on a Sunday!)

I'm prepared with my calendars! 
I switched them all out. 2017 here we come ...

December 2016

It's the end ... of the year anyway. Not a good end, not a good year here at JenB's Journey. Back in 2006 I originally lost 50 pounds. Ups and downs, with an up there at the end of 2012. I started this blog in 2013 and worked down some, although I never quite matched my original loss. Now ... back at the beginning. Again. 180s.

I was down (emotionally, not weight-wise) this month and really let things go. FITNESS: Only got in my hour of elliptical nine times this month. Only hit Zumba classes seven times. No bike, treadmill or weights. Average daily burn 2472. Step average 13474. 1547 cardio minutes. 129.85 cardio miles. FOOD: As far as eating/intake... I quit tracking mid-December, so I don't even have an average estimate. I put my Pact (both food and fitness) on a break for the last couple weeks. WEIGHT:  Started at 180.30, Ended at 180.80. High was 181.1, Low was 176.30. Average weight 178.8.  

*** JenB's Journey ***

1201 (Thursday) 180.3. Steps 24090. Total Burn 3079. Exercise Burn 1200/1259 (80minElliptical, Zumba). Calories in 3000. I got in my morning elliptical, even with middle school carpool duty today. Zumba with MountainView. 5574 steps. 2.47 miles. Fitbit calorie estimates 317/407. AvHr108, High137, in zone 7 of the 59 minutes. Scosche said 490 calories, avHR115, high155, in zone 21 min. I was feeling a bit sore today, and we had guests ... Tirsa and Debbie, and Christa's little fellow jumped up on the stage and started dancing. I stopped and got some video today, and that does generally impact my numbers. I stopped at Smiths on the way home and picked up my prescription and some groceries. Forgot to put away the Premium Creamie dessert in the freezer. #2 found it melted a few hours later. Oops. I made some chicken veggie soup for dinner. #2 and all his friends gathered at our house before heading out to the Coach's house for a pre-game dinner. #2 was taking my car, so he could fit more friends in, which meant I took his Charger when it was time to pick up #3 from practice. He was back by #4's 8:30 practice, so I had my car again. #5 went along and was able to practice on some side hoops. #2 went and did the pickup for me ... I was still awake (we'd hung out talking college and stuff, it had been nice to chat with him) but didn't want to go out in the cold again. No excuse on calories ... I just ate and ate and ate.

1202 (Friday) 180.3. Steps 11992. Total  Burn 2386. Exercise Burn 420/551 (40minElliptical). Calories in 2000.  Well ... I've definitely gotten off schedule, as I'm writing this a week late! Oops. Got in my two sessions on the elliptical. Middle school is late off, elementary is early out. A bit of a crazy afternoon too, with the first pre-season basketball games. This was the game we'd had to sell tickets to as well. I brought #5 (#4 elected to stay home) to watch #2 play ... or sit on the bench rather. He only got a minute or so of playing time in the second quarter. I knew this was a possibility. I'd seen it before, with my #2 ... mine being one of the favored players then, but other kids on the bench and hardly ever even getting in. They lost too. I then ran #5 to a teammate's house to hitch a ride to practice, then back to the high school for #2's first varsity game. They won, and #2 is the starting point guard and gets plenty of playing time. But, feeling quite down due to a disagreement.

1203 (Saturday) 178.5. Steps 15286. Total Burn 2529. Exercise Burn 650/369 (60minElliptical). Calories in 1300. I did keep calories low today, a bit of a depression diet, and a busy basketball day. #5 was up first with his 5th grade team. New uniforms, and they look good! #2 was there running the clock for the game too. They won. Then #4 had his first Junior Jazz game. They won and #4 did great. Hubs was busy with hot tub stuff all day, and it was ready to go by the evening. The two older boys were at the high school for the dinner/auction. They were waiters. We had tickets for the family, but no one wanted to go so I didn't make them. I stopped in for a minute but didn't stay. #5 and I took off in the evening for his first game in the Dimple Dell league with his Wolves team (6h grade). All the way out at Butler ... and 9:15 start time. Listened to my audiobook there and back, and during games ... so a lot of "reading" in anyway.

1204 (Sunday) 177.3. Steps 9030. Total Burn 2179. Exercise Burn 425/452 (40minElliptical). Calories in 2500. Sunday circles in the morning. Hit the elliptical a couple times ... usually I take Sundays off but ...

1205 (Monday) 179.0. Steps 22081. Total Burn 3046. Exercise Burn 850/1210 (80minElliptical). Calories in 2000. Snow was predicted, but didn't really hit during the morning commute. Still, I envisioned the longer drive to Draper, and the late start and ... talked myself out of going. I was a bit preoccupied as well. With #1 son coming home from his mission soon, we need to make room. I've had a craft/scrapbook room the entire time we've lived in this house, but I guess there's not room for that now. We need another bedroom. So ... rearranging, purging. The basement looks like a tornado hit it, and it's just a small start. #5 had basketball practice in the evening. #2 had said he'd pick him up for me (as it went late, until 10:00) but then fell asleep. I couldn't care to wake him, and I was still up. #3 went with me (I was in jammies, no makeup), he actually drove, and then went in to tell the munchkin we were there. I COULD have just sent #3 ... he has his license ...  

1206 (Tuesday) 177.5. Steps 20754. Total Burn 2984. Exercise Burn 800/1150 (40minElliptical, Zumba). Calories in 2500. I can only get my three 20min elliptical sessions in during the morning shove off if I plan perfectly and start on time. I got distracted this morning, and only got in two. I hit Zumba over at the church with Marian. 6005 steps/2.68 miles. Fitbit calorie estimates 331/370. AvHR111, high134, in sone 8 of the 57min. Scosche said 419 calories, avHR108, high152, in zone 8 mine. I knew my heart wasn't in it ... on of the reasons it was easy to skip out yesterday. But in addition to Zumba I was passing on my old serger and a bunch of batting to Marian, who does a humanitarian trip to Mexico each year (teaching the local women how to sew and earn an income). More downstairs stuff today. Posted a bunch of games on a neighborhood page to give away. #3 had a game in the afternoon ... scheduled to start at 4:00, but got pushed to 4:30 but no one told the parents, so just sitting/standing around for an extra half hour.  Same story as game #1. Loss, my kid only got a couple minutes playing time. Gonna be a bit of a sad season if that's how it stays. As I mentioned before ... I saw it when #2 was a sophomore and the bench kids didn't even bother to try out the next year. I can see that happening with my son. Been on both ends now. 

1207 (Wednesday) 178.5. Steps 21078. Total Burn 2940. Exercise Burn 650/111 (60minElliptical), Calories in 1600?? I haven't been good at logging my food. I'm sure I just forgot to imput it and it's really much higher. I got up and got my three 20min sessions in on the elliptical as I got the boys off to school, but I felt it again ... the giving up on Zumba and just getting to work on the basement. I needed to make a store trip, which I'd planned on doing after Zumba, but I went immediately after dropping off #5 to school instead. Made a return at Walmart (but no shopping) and then hit Sams for milk and such. Then ... more basement. One of the neighbor ladies came over to pick up a toy and I had her look around at all the other stuff and she ended up leaving with three big boxes. Less for me to transport to DI. But it's a bit discouraging to work all day and not make much of a dent. I get filthy too. I'd picked up some muffins for #3. There were some banana nut ones in the pack, and he experimented, trying one. He had some allergic reactions when he was a toddler, so we've avoided all nuts. He can do peanut butter (peanuts are legumes), but he'd done okay with Nutella (hazelnuts) and eating some of Maga's New Year's pastry wreath (which has almond paste and slivered almonds on top). He seemed fine with the muffin too (walnuts). He then thought he'd try a cashew (although I voted to keep the experiement to another night, to make SURE the walnuts were okay) but he went ahead. And cashews? NOT okay. Still allergic! My boys don't have life threatening allergies, although we did end up in the hospital overnight with #5 when he was young (maybe we overreacted a little, but his face/lips were swelling and you can't tell how much the throat is, and he was too young to really communicate how he was doing). Here again ... lips swelling, nose running, itching all over. Bumps all over his face and then his body. He tore off his shirt to itch, and went outside in the snow because he was burning up. Breathing didn't seem to be affected (I kept asking him and told him to tell me if it was impacted in any way) but he was miserable! The other boys, #1 and #5 both have nut allergies as well. Both of them have had several instances of accidental ingestion over the years. Usually they can tell the moment it hits the mouth, it sets off tingles and they spit it out before swallowing. I was a little worried because #3 HAD eaten them (more than one) entirely. I called an online consultation service our insurance provides and talked to a doctor, who said he could prescribe Prednisone and an Epi-Pen (we had given him Benedryl immedately of course), but did say the ER would be a good idea just to be safe. While I was on the phone Hubs had #3 get in a cold shower, and that did seem to help some. He moved from the scary, angry itchy phase to the Benedryl drunk phase, which was rather funny really. Hubs did run out and grab the prescribed medications. We gave him the pills ... they were a little hard for him to swallow (was his throat swollen??) but still breathing without issues. Then the Benedryl really kicked in and he fell asleep. This was about midnight. I tried to sleep, but had to check in on him every hour during the night to make sure he was still breathing okay (which he was). Long night!  

1208 (Thursday) 178.3. Steps 17761. Total Burn 2746. Exercise Burn 800 (40minElliptical, Zumba). Calories in ??? Again with the lack of logging. I think I've given up a bit. Only hit the elliptical twice getting the kids off to school. I did go to Zumba. 6112 steps. 2.74 miles. Fitbit calorie estimates 349/391. AvHR115, high137, in zone 12 of the 57 minutes. Scosche said 469 calories, avHR116, high153, in zone 13min. Straight home after ... I debated a stop at Smiths but put it off. I'll admit to laying down for a bit of a nap after the excitment of last night. #3 had seemed fine in the morning (although his eyes still had some swelling) and went to school, and was heading straight to a game after that. The games are for the Elite8 Tournament, held in American Fork. Beyond my driving comfort zone. I REALLY wanted to watch my boys play but couldn't get down there. Just added to my December depression. I'd hoped it would be streaming online ... it had been last year. I looked and asked around ... but no. One of the other moms there tweeted me updates each quarter. Both boys teams won their games. #2 said he played pretty much the entire game (out the last 20 seconds when it was over) and he felt thrashed. They play again tomorrow and Saturday ... and I'll miss those games too. Stupid driving anxiety issues.  

1209 (Friday) 178.5. Steps 7448. Total Burn 2086. Exercise Burn 0/260 (20minElliptical). Calories in  2200. Writing this a week late. I'm so off kilter. Down in the dumps again, knowing my boys were playing in the evening and my anxiety wouldn't let me drive down there to watch. Always feel like a failure. One of the other moms was texting me updates. I didn't get much done during the day though, just one session on the elliptical. Some work downstairs. The munchkin's practice got pushed to later in the evening, but it didn't impact me much as he was getting a ride. Home late though!

1210 (Saturday) 177.3. Steps 9098. Total Burn 2181. Exercise Burn 0/361 (no exercise). Calories in 2000.  Up and working in the basement. The never ending basement. Dropped #3 off at the school for his bus down to American Fork. #5 had a game at 2:00. Close one, but while our boys lead early, they couldn't quite keep it. Physical. One of the kids went down hard, cracking his head :(  Fun to see #2 and the varsity team there waiting for their bus. I got a picture that got passed around ... funny how the boys fight me on photos, but then sometimes they like them. The varsity game was being streamed, unfortunately, #4 had his game at the same time. I had my phone up and was attempting to watch both (and video the one in front of me). The 7th graders got the win, but Varsity couldn't quite hold off their nemesis, Bingham. 56-60. The sophomores won their game though, going undefeated this tournament (Bingham jumped on Twitter to announce that their sophomores had gone undefeated too, so the rivalry continues through the grades). #5 had a 9:15 game across town. Originally there had also been a 7:00 game on the schedule, so I thought I'd stop at my mom's house and drop off some stuff (from the cleaning purge) between games. But then the earlier game was gone off the schedule, but #5 and I went out early and dropped the stuff off anyway, getting it out of the house anyway. It was a rainy drive, hard to see lines on the road. Another close game, but loss ... #5 handled this one better. Tears at the first, but none this time. I'm not sure what exactly turns the tide for him. He himself did great in both games. Started to snow for the ride home, but made it back home safe.
1211 (Sunday) 177.3. Steps 4764. Total Burn 1972. Exercise Burn 0/124 (no exercise). Calories in 2300. Lazy day. No exercise, and I didn't really do much in the basement either. We didn't do our Sunday Circles, but I made French Toast. Hubs smoked ribs for the evening meal.

1212 (Monday) 178.2. Steps 22149. Total Burn 3019. Exercise Burn 907/1189 (40minElliptical, Zumba). Calories in 2300. Only got in two sessions on the elliptical in the morning, and never got back down to the home gym. Did hit Zumba, and got good numbers. 6851 steps. 3.08 miles. Fitbit Calorie estimates 454/494. AvHR125/high146, in zone 46 of the 64 minutes. Scosche said 725 calories, avHR136, high169, in zone 54 minutes. Stopped at Maceys on the way home to grab groceries. Hubs had an appointment with the optometrist and will be getting glasses. Nearsighted ... he's know he's needed them for a while. Triple carpools in the afternoon, and then back to the high school for #3's practice. They had their first official "team dinner" so the rest of us just had leftovers at home. 

1213 (Tuesday) 178.2. Steps 23553. Total Burn 3065. Exercise Burn 1197/1242 (80minElliptical, Zumba). Calories in 1900. Kept busy. Got in my early elliptical and then hit Zumba. Not the best numbers though. 5659 steps, 2.51 miles. Calorie estimates 317/366. AvHR110, High134, in zone 6 of the 56 minutes. Scosche said 400 calories, avHR107, high144, in zone 7 minutes. Did some paperwork stuff ... submitting for our FSA, email off to the mission home, blog update, game highlight video, etc. More basement stuff ... doing that every day still. Hubs had a Menieres attack at work today :(  Just two carpools in the afternoon as #2 stayed after for practice. But then I had to pick him up, and we both went back as #2 had a game. Endowment game against Cedar (that's about 4 hours away that they had to travel ... on a school night too? Ugg for them!) We got the win. I even hit the elliptical for my final 10min upon returning home (I've been so wimpy in the evenings lately, it's a win!)

1214 (Wednesday) 177.4. Steps 18314. Total Burn 2675. Exercise Burn 625/846 (60minElliptical). Calories in 2400. Oops I did it again ... I skipped MZL Zumba. I had to hit Walmart and Sams and the thought of getting it in during the morning hours before it gets busy was just too tempting. I haven't been getting a lot out of Zumba of late is seems too. So, after dropping off elementary, I hit Walmart and Sams. Got everything put away. Made a highlight video of last night's game. Got my missionary's box sent off.  Checked #3 out of school a little early and got him to his orthodontist appointment, and went ahead and paid off the balance on his braces. Back at home, we  put some ornaments up on the tree (last year we didn't! Just lights, and the kitties got into it still!) ... we're a very handmade, hodgepodge style. The favorites are the little ones the kids made with their pictures on. It made me want to make some this year with their school pictures, which turned into a big thing, pulling out all the pictures and lining them up year to year for all the boys. Hubs had gone to bed early, still some Meniere's hangover, but the boys and I gathered around the kitchen table and laughed and talked for over an hour. The ornaments themselves didn't get done ...

1215 (Thursday) 177.4. Steps 16215. Total Burn 2604. Exercise Burn 629/788 (60minElliptical). Calories in 2300. Hubs was still in bed ... another Menerie's attack. I remember another time when he had several in a row :(  Garbage day! Very glad for it, as we are FULL. I did still manage to pull up the bag from all the discards downstairs and top off the garbage can. It was so heavy though. That was part of my  morning workout. I've been putting off my annual physical, but needed to get in as my thyroid prescription was almost out. I did stop taking it years ago and didn't really tell any difference. I started up again when I got pregnant with #5 as I heard it was important for the health of the baby and I've been in a good habit ever since (unlike my anxiety medication, which I'd forget to take before bed and didn't really feel like it was doing anything anyway). I dread doctor's appointments, even just routine, quick stuff. But ... blah. The only opening they had was at 9:00 today, which was same time as Zumba but while in the past I wouldn't let anything interfere with Zumba, right now? Whatever. So. In, talk, urine test, blood test. Some blood in the urine ... not visible to me, but I'll need to come back in a week or so to see if it shows up again or was an anomaly.  If still there, more tests. The lab (for blood work) was backed up and that took a while. I did a quick stop at Smiths on the way home. Refilled the prescription and grabbed a few groceries. In the evening, it was the company dinner for Hub's work. These things always stress me out. Social situations where I don't know anyone. Crowds. Downtown. The drive on the freeway during rushhour about did me in (just as the passenger). Dinner was better than expected. I'm such a picky eater, that dinners can be awkward, but it was at Tucanos, Brazillian BBQ, which works for me. Afterwards, it was the Kurt Bestor concert. I'm just not a concert gal ... not a sitting still for a couple hours kind of gal. Ran into an old high school friend. I am rather glad to have this evening behind me.

1216 (Friday) 178.3. Steps 12934. Total Burn 2443. Exercise Burn 350/612 (30minElliptical). Okay ... some I'm taking off the calorie counting (intake anyway). Just burned out a bit on it all. Only hit the elliptical for 30min today. I was actually out of bed before Hubs, as he was taking the day off. Not that he relaxed or anything. He kept pretty busy. Having him around, I was able to ask if he'd be willing to help out with #5, getting him from a birthday party to his practice. I had games to go to, #3 at 3:30, and then #2 at 7:00. The transfer of #5 needed to happen about 5:30, so I would have actually been able to, but it would have pushed the comfort zone (from Riverton to SLCC, under rushed and rush hour conditions). Hubs was happy to help and it worked perfectly. The party ended at 5:30, and he got him to practice right at 6:00. #3 only got a minute of playing time ... on the games I'd missed, last week, down in American Fork, he'd gotten a little more, and had some highlights. I had been hoping that maybe here when I had the camera in hand I'd get something, but no. They won though. When I went back for varsity, I'd hoped to park in the driver's ed lot, but it was blocked off ... so I had to hoof it from way out in the parking lot. Normally ... I'm a "more steps on my pedometer" kind of gal, but that night it was dark, and freezing and I was running late, and seeing that entire empty space right there by the school, roped off for no apparent reason ... it just felt inhospitable and put me in a bad mood. The game had me on edge too. I don't do well with the yelling and such that goes along with a varsity game. My boy was off too, not getting any of his shots in. Then, there was the "stall" which I didn't really understand. Our boys were instructed not to go in, and the other team refused to come out of their defense to pressure the ball so ... nothing happened, just bouncing the ball for several minutes. There is talk of adding a shot clock to high school ball, and I can see why. It was just boring. The game was close the entire time. We were ahead by three with seconds left. They got a shot off but it didn't go in, rebound, and my #2 was at the line ... made them both to ensure the win.

1217 (Saturday) 176.3. Steps 7124. Total Burn 2132. Exercise Burn 0/305 (no exercise). No practice in the morning, so I was able to sleep in ... or at least stay in bed (you know how sometimes you just wake up early anyway). I thought Hubs was going to make a DI run, so I worked in the basement for a while, still emptying things (trying to get the big desk and sewing cabinet ready to go) when he said he was going to postpone the trip, as the weather really wasn't cooperating today. It was cold and snowy. #5 had his 5th grade game at 12:00, at West Jordan (usually they've been at Copper Hills, but both schools are nice and close). The other team wasn't there ... our boys went ahead and started practicing/scrimmage, and then the team showed 20min late! They are in two leagues and had an 11:00 game across town. Been there! They still allowed us to play the whole game, even with the late start. Easy win for our boys. Home for a bit, then Hubs took #5 (and a teammate) to his 6th grade game at Alta. I took #4 to JoelP for his Junior Jazz game. Not a very exciting first quarter, it was 1-0. Then things picked up, we won 28-8 with some exciting shots. #4 had a 3-point buzzer beater. Apparently #5's game was really good. While I was sorry to miss it, I was glad it was a good one for Hubs to catch. Then it was the Christmas party with Hub's side of the family. I'd made chicken noodle soup. We got to see the kittens a bit, although they were skittish and attempting to hide from the younger cousins. There was gingerbread house making, and then Santa and Mrs.Claus stopped by.  Not sure why, but I was SO tired, and #4 was a party pooper too. Home and to bed.

1218 (Sunday) 177.4. Steps 5486. Total Burn 1956. Exercise Burn 10/134 (10minElliptical). Sunday sleep in ... although Hubs had gotten up early (then come back to bed) to get the brisket on the smoker for dinner in the evening. #2 had requested chocolate chip pancakes for breakfast, so we did that. Bacon and sausage too. Our new, bigger skillet is nice to work with. Hubs ran some errands. #3 drove the Charger to church. I worked on getting caught up on my journal, blog entries and making a muvee of Friday's varsity highlights. Hubs and the boys went to go see the new Star Wars movie.

1219 (Monday) 178.5. Steps 14739. Total Burn 2517. Exercise Burn 622/711 (60minElliptical). I was able to get in my three 20min sessions on the elliptical in during the morning prep, even with double carpools. #2 was back when I got back from driving middle school. He'd just dropped off #3 and come home and gone back to bed, skipping seminary (it was a talent show). I could have/should have hit Southziders, but the drive, the late start ... it's just such a time commitment. I did get good numbers there last week, but I always wonder (lately anyway) if it's worth it. I got a few things done ... although making the bed was not one of them! Made some mint brownies. I still sure struggle with the ganache! Had to try twice and still was only so-so. Hubs was home rather late, staying for a company work party. #2 was out shopping, then we did some wrapping and more last minute Amazon ordering. Picked up #3 from practice ... and to bed!

1220 (Tuesday) 178.7. Steps 22056. Total Burn 2916. Exercise Burn 1032/1105 (60minElliptical, Zumba). Calories in 2400. Happy birthday to my baby today! Eleven years old! I had a new Nike jacket for him to unwrap and then wear to school in the morning. Took Airheads as his birthday treat to share. I actually went to Zumba today. It's been a full week since my last class. Small class, but I got the heart rate up some. 6074 steps. 2.62 miles. Fitbit calorie estimates 400/409. AvHR120, high146, in zone 28 of the 60 minutes. I "forgot" my Scosche ... although if I'd happened to look in my purse, I would have realized I had it! Not sure if it was charged after a full week though.  After class, I had an appointment at the dentist. I've been avoiding it for years. After my physical last week though, and the unexplained infection appearing ... well I'm pretty sure it is explained by tooth trouble. I finally made a call yesterday and they were able to see me for a consultation today. I was afraid I'd have to be referred to an oral surgeon for the situation, but the dentist thinks he can handle it. They have an opening for tomorrow, so I'll be back. After the appointment, I did a quick stop at Sam's and grabbed a cake for the birthday boy. Double carpool pickups in the afternoon. Would have been for #3 too, as it's a B day, but the sophomores had a game up in Bountiful right after school. Again, he didn't get much playing time and has pretty much decided that he'll finish up this year, but not even bother trying out next year. Just support from the student section. Makes me a little sad, but it's his decision. I had a few more gifts for the birthday boy (an RC car, Bounce Off game, some leggings) and then we went out to dinner in the evening. Unfortunately, #3 didn't get back to the school until quite late, so we didn't get to the restaurant until 7:00ish. It was pretty packed (Tepanyaki). I guess even on a Tuesday night, crowds are out this close to Christmas. 40min wait ... then I swear we waited another 40min at the table (with soup and salad) before the real meal started. Uggg, eating at 9:00 at night isn't my favorite thing to do. They served some ice cream for the birthday boy, and we had some of the cake back at home. 

1221 (Wednesday) 180.1. Steps 10809. Total Burn 2346. Exercise Burn 420/538 (40minElliptical). Well, even my decent activity yesterday couldn't combat the late meal, even though I don't think I necessarily overate. Got the younger kids off to school. The older boys had school ... but didn't go. They were just watching movies, so I let them sleep in. I only got two elliptical sessions in during the morning. My appointment at the dentist was at 10:30. I'd brought my headphones to try and listen to my audiobook. I should have brought the wired, noise-cancelling ones. Long appointment. A couple cavities filled and then the extraction. Spent a little time at home recovering, and then started making gingersnaps, as Hubs had suggested them for our neighbor gifts this year. It always takes a little longer than expected. Make the dough, roll into balls, roll into sugar. Bake for seven minutes. When they were cool, stack and wrap. Cellophane, raffia bow and a tag. I had to take a quick break to grab #3 from practice. Then he wanted to go hang with friends, but I needed the car to deliver (Hubs had been going to do that, but he'd had another Meniere's attack and was recovering himself). #3 helped here, to hurry things up, and then I let him take the car (first time!) and I went to bed.
1222 (Thursday) 180.8. Steps 13222. Total Burn 2402. Exercise Burn 428/573 (Zumba). No school for the kids. Hubs was in bed later than usual, having had another Menerie's attack during the night. I remember a November many years ago similar to this, where he had several episodes in a two-week period. Then he can go months, even a year, without one. We just never know. He did end up going into work. I went to Zumba with MountainView. 6040 steps. 2.66 miles. Fitbit calorie estimates 425/431. AvHR128, high162, in zone 42 of the 54 minutes. Scosche said 672 calories, avHR140, high167, in zone 50min. Class was a little short. In the past, I'd look at my watch and ask/tell the teacher to do another if we weren't at an hour (yes, I'm annoying that way) but lately ... I haven't really cared.  I had totally spaced a couple of my songs today. I'm out of practice! I stopped at Smiths on the way home to grab a prescription. The extracted tooth had been infected so I needed antibiotics... I'd just not gotten out yesterday to grab them. Maga stopped over in the evening to drop birthday money to #5 and we chatted a bit. I actually got into the hot tub ... but I don't think it will be a regular thing for me. Just a lot of effort ... and a swimsuit.

1223 (Friday) 181.1. Steps 5386. Total Burn 1953. Exercise Burn 100/145 (10minElliptical). Hubs was taking the day off  today, so everyone slept in a little. He took the boys and did some shopping. I made chicken (to break up the job of making soup tomorrow) and made another batch of gingersnaps for some neighbor's and friends we'd missed. It was the Junior Jazz game downtown (tickets through the program, to see actual NBA), but after having great seats, #4 didn't seem overly impressed with the nosebleed section, so they didn't end up going.  I spent much of the day on the annual family slideshow, but I got it done.

1224 (Saturday) 180.9. Steps 7064. Total Burn 2213. Exercise Burn 0/393 (no exercise). I was getting started on soup and breadsticks. Hubs enlisted the boys to help load up the trailer with all the DI donations I'd piled up downstairs. I hadn't quite prepped everything, so I quickly cleaned out the sewing cabinet (which we didn't end up taking, as my MIL wants it) and oversaw shipping everything out. As they went to drop things off, I got back to my bread and soup. Sadly, #2 was working and would miss the family party. We headed out and were just a little late. Soup and breadsticks, then the slideshow, then the nativity ... we actually haven't done it in years. I've been the one to have it, and we just never had the room to bring it out on Christmas Eve. With all the recent cleanout, I'd asked my folks if they would store it (I wasn't committed to keeping it at this point) and had dropped it off a couple weeks ago. So ... because it was already there, it was on the schedule again. Then the candy bar game, and the exchanging of gifts. Lots of treats too. Cookies and pies. Home around 7:00. #2 had been so sad to miss the breadsticks, so I'd set aside a pan for him and baked them up (as KFC closed at 7:00).  I was pretty wiped out from the day. We encouraged the kids to head to bed (or at least out of the family room) so Santa could come ... and then to bed.

1225 (Sunday) 179.3. Steps 4642. Total Burn 1981. Exercise Burn 105/144 (10minElliptical).  Christmas morning. With the kids being older, we don't have the early rising of days past. Hubs was up and hit the hot tub. We'd had snow! White Christmas. The kids did get up and opened their presents. Well ... there really wasn't much wrapped. I got a new video camera, and some chocolates ... the scale may not be shifting anytime soon. We headed out to Maga's and hung there for a bit. Gifts from her and Aunt Olivia. Back at home, Hubs tried out the new Instant Pot with some chuck roast he'd picked up. French dip. We got our call from our missionary at 6:00. Good to talk to him.
1226 (Monday) 179.3. Steps 13228. Total Burn 2446. Exercise Burn 105/594 (10minElliptical). Christmas was yesterday, but with it falling on a Sunday, it was the "observed" day today. Hubs was off work. #2 was off early to the airport. He and his basketball team off to warmer weather in Arizona. He'd packed and slept over at a teammates and caught a ride with them. He was good at checking in with me (when they got off, at the airport, arrived) and the team posted some pictures to social media too. Just practice today, games start tomorrow. My sister and her family are in town for the holiday, and their youngest son has a pinewood derby coming up. They asked if Hubs would be willing to help out (as he's an expert and has all the tools. They came out last year after Christmas too). They came out in the morning and Hubs, her hubs and Josh worked on getting the car done while my sister and her daughter (recently returned from a mission) and I chatted. Jared (age 17) hung out with my boys. After they left, I did more work on the basement and made quite a bit of progress. Almost there. I'd bought a new comforter set for #3 (he said he didn't care for his, and we would need a new one with the additional bedroom) and set it up. We ended up stealing the headboard from #2's room (#3 didn't have one, #2 doesn't care and it won't even be his room much longer), and then we switched out the desks too. Almost like a new room for #3! I seriously wonder if #2 would even notice the changes ... but I'm also temped to get the new room downstairs finished up and move him down there completely (he WOULD notice that). Hubs moved the arcade games (one had been moved out while the hot tub was installed, and I had him switch the two) and moved the filing cabinet. It was rather fun working with #3 as we rearranged and such. I let him take the car a couple times. Once to go play basketball with his buddies, then to go visit his girlfriend in the evening. Drop of his gifts to her, including the fleece blanket he and I had worked on together. French dip in the evening again. While I was eating, there was something hard, then sharp ... a broken tooth :(  It's not a surprise, it's been pretty obvious that this one wasn't going to hold out for much longer (discolored, the old filling lines visible) and at least I've been in recently, got my other embarrassing issue taken care of (which had been keeping me away) and am back in contact with my dentist ... I'd be a LOT more stressed out otherwise. No pain really (dull throb) ... are they in the office over the Christmas break?
1227 (Tuesday) 179.3. Steps 12277. Total Burn 2488. Exercise Burn 206/673 (20minElliptical).  I could NOT get to sleep last night. I love reading, but two hours at night is longer than even I want. Hubs had fallen asleep early (like 8:30), I went not too long after, but the kids were still up and noisy. I had to get up and after them a couple times. Hubs was then up and off early and I couldn't get back to sleep. Blah. No Zumba at the church today, but I hit the elliptical early for a 20min session ... finally finished the episode (I'd done 10 min Fri, 10min yesterday). More cleaning/rearranging. In the master, there just isn't quite enough room between the bed and the desk. If I'm at the computer and hubs is trying to get to the bed or grab something from the nightstand, I have to scooch in and it's just been a pain all these years. Hubs suggested a new bed set, smaller nightstands, so we could shift things over a foot or so, which would make all the difference. Today, I turned my nightstand (smaller width than length) and we shifted the bed over. It's actually rather nice having the longer side to have my stuff on next to the bed. Hubs can get by on his side much easier. Looks just a tad off-balance, but it's better I think. Almost finished up downstairs too. Even pulled out the sewing machine and made curtains for the downstairs room and #2's room (to match his new comforter). Ordered a new bed set for the upstairs room (for #1) as the one in there is several years old and looking shabby. We kept the big desk in the room downstairs. It's not really a "bedroom" desk, but the room is big enough, and #2 isn't picky. We could use a dresser though, drawers for socks and underwear and such. He'll actually have a bit more closet space than before. I should have called on my tooth. It isn't hurting, but I can feel that it's lost another piece. I hope there's still enough there to work with and save.

1228 (Wednesday) 179.3. Steps 15629. Total Burn 2563. Exercise Burn 419/739 (40minElliptical). I got up early and called the dentist's office. They were able to get me in, but it was just for a consultation. Even though the tooth is falling apart (will need a crown) it can wait as it isn't causing immediate pain. I guess I could have just waited for my appointment. They weren't able to schedule me for two weeks. Hope the "no pain" continues. The tooth continued to crumble and I lost a couple more big pieces a little later in the day. The upstairs bedroom looked a little bare without the headboard (which #3 confiscated) and I looked on KSL classifieds and saw one that was simple and cheap and close and arranged to buy it (and a frame, we will need a frame). Happy with the headboard, it matches the desk and nightstand. I've ordered a new comforter set for that room too. Finished up some work in the basement as well. The bedroom is now ready to the bed, and then ready to be moved into. The family room is clean again ... in fact, to celebrate the fact, I challenged #4 to a game of ping pong. We had played daily there for a while, then stopped, then it was impossible because so much stuff was piled on top and around it. I actually got in some elliptical today too. I'd debated Zumba, but couldn't tell if they were having it at the West Jordan location. I really thought about it though! Almost went! Got some bills paid, blog post up, worked on some video editing ...
1229 (Thursday) 178.9. Steps 10256. Total Burn 2241. Exercise Burn 208/406 (20minElliptical). Tournament starts for #5 today. 12:00 game, and then another at 3:00 if we lose. He also had a practice with his other team at 1:30, so ... better, more convenient to win and then just play again tomorrow. We won. I like Eastmont for playing. Not close, but not too far. Nice court. Plenty of space for spectators and filming. Easy win. It was 22-2 at the half, although the other team did better the second half. Final score was 36-21. I used my new video camera and went ahead and made my muvee today. Wanted to make sure it all worked good. Dropped #5 off at his practice/scrimmage. #4 had talked about going to play at Gene Fullmer with friends, but that fell through. #2 wanted to practice foul shots at the church gym, but it was set up for a wedding. Speaking of weddings, we had a reception in the evening. It was in Cedar Hills, and I just wasn't up for the freeway drive in the dark and the crowd and such. Hubs still went (his side of the family). #5 had a friend over after practice and then went and hung at his house for a while too. In Arizona, Varsity won their first game.
1230 (Friday) 179.7. Steps 8497. Total Burn 2142. Exercise Burn 0/319 (no exercise). Hubs was taking the day off. He ran some errands, making another drip to DI, picking up a twin bed for the room downstairs, putting away the Christmas tree. I finished things up, putting on the new comforter ... and the room can be lived in! I debated actually moving #2 in while he was gone, but I'll wait until he's back and have him help. #5 had games again. First one at 10:00. Win and play Saturday in the championships, lose and play again at 12:00. Win that and play at 2:00. We knew the first team was tough, and "planned" on losing. The second game would be the team we beat yesterday ... so we were thinking we'd be there all day. Lost the first game by six. Not unexpected. Some fighting back tears for #5 as he got called for a couple carries. There wasn't a game at 11:00 so the kids just got to practice and play. The second game didn't go well at all. We were winning, but not by much. Just not playing well. And ... we lost. Pretty embarrassing after the game yesterday, although I'm sure the other team was ecstatic, and it does go to show you that things can switch up! So, we ended up home early. I'd set up a dinner date with my folks, as I hadn't really had any other ideas for them for Christmas. We went to Archibalds again (where we went for November birthdays) and it was good. They are coming over tomorrow night for games too. When we got home, Hubs took the boys out to Sheels to spend their giftcards they'd received for Christmas. #2 had his final game in Arizona. Another win. They head home tomorrow.

1231 (Saturday) 180.8. Steps 10734. Total Burn 2413. Exercise Burn 212/567 (20minElliptical). I got in a 20min session on the elliptical, finishing up "Madame Secretary" season 1. I liked it, but think I may switch to something else and come back to Season 1. There is a season three, but it's not on Netflix or elsewhere yet. Cleaning out a closet to create a spot for the new vacuum and ended up going through all the coats and jackets ... creating yet another, never-ending pile for DI. I'd joined a Facebook garage sale list, but am not sure I'm really the selling sort. More trouble than it's worth. Hubs went out and brought me back a new iphone7. We'd talked about it, and while I didn't necessarily need the upgrade, he'd mentioned it being water resistant (I could read a book while in the hot tub) and just the thought of starting clean was appealing. #4 has been wanting a phone, so he'll get my old one. So, spent some time setting that up. Hubs had four tickets to the Jazz game, great seats with dinner and free parking. #2 had made it home, but wasn't interested (it was against the Phoenix Suns, and they'd just gone to a game while in Arizona) and #3 wanted to hang out with friends. I thought #5 could maybe invite a friend (sortof like a birthday party, right?) and had a little list of who to call last minute, but Austin (the friend over on Thursday) was available and excited. I think it was fun for Colton. A friend is better than a brother sometimes. I had #2 drop #3 off (#3 had been loving use of the Charger while #2 was gone ... alas, it ends) and Hubs had taken the Durango (and I don't drive his truck). Hubs and the boys got back a little after 9:00. My folks came over, just beating them. We played games ... Rummikub, Scattergories and then we ran out of time for Progressive Rummy (did get in a couple hands after midnight before Grandpa said he was too tired). We all lasted ... unlike last year when both littles fell asleep. Hubs had gotten a nap, and I had laid down for a bit, although I don't know if I actually slept. The bigger boys were home a little later.   

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