Friday, October 31, 2014

WWI#67 and Halloween Friday Five

Happy Halloween!
Celebrating this day of sugar over-indulgence 
with my lowest weigh-in yet!

 I'm far from an angel (especially when it comes to eating!) but I must be doing something right! After months and MONTHS of being STUCK between 150-155, the scale has finally shifted and seems to be staying there. This is week four under 150, and a nice little drop from last week.

The weekend wasn't great, but I still managed my lowest Monday weigh-in since I restarted this journey. I was really hoping that would bode will for my official weigh-in today, and it did. I think it motivated me to be extra good this week too. I enjoy exercise and activity, and I got a LOT in this week (elliptical and Zumba Mon-Friday, several sessions on the bike and treadmill, weights, walking instead of just watching during the boy's basketball games). I kept eating in check too.

NUMBERS: Down 2.5 pounds from last week. Average is down too (146.16, -.34 from last week). I managed to keep my average intake under 2000 ... just barely, at 1950. So close to hitting an average of 3000 on the activity. 2947, about the same as last week. Crunching the numbers, I had a total weekly deficit of 5764. That's great!  Last week I had a good deficit and didn't show a loss, but this week I got even more off a loss than the numbers would have indicated. TOM did wrap up over the weekend, I wonder if that plays a part.

My MFP ticker showed a new number.
I'm always excited when I see it shift ...
I'm very happy with the recent losses. 
Whether I stay here or loose a little more, I'm feeling good!

Linking up with my weekly check-in link-ups:
Fitness Friday with Jill and Aubrey 
 and a late Weigh-In Wednesday.  

On to the Friday Five .... Halloween Style!

Now I'm NOT really a fan of Halloween. But for many years, I've been the room mother at the boy's school, and one of the duties is to plan out the Halloween party. Usually several stations of games and activities that groups of kids rotate through. This year I wasn't in charge of anything, I just went in (to #4, Anxiety Child of course) and helped out, manning the "memory" game. 

I thought I'd share a few of MY favorites ...

  • Monster Toss: This could be adapted in many ways, simply trying to get a small item into a bucket. For the Halloween theme, I picked up these darling plush monsters, and a cute cauldron. The game is always a hit! Another option could be tossing candy corn into a plastic pumpkin.
  • Cup Crash: There are always oodles of themed party supplies. I picked up some plastic cups and a couple plush pumpkins. Stack the cups ... have the kids toss a pumpkin to knock them down. This one is always a favorite!
  • Make a Mummy: With rolls of toilet paper, each group of kids wraps up one of their members into a mummy. Take pictures, as it's always very fun to see!
  • Pass the Pumpkin: With another plush pumpkin, the kids sit in a circle. Play spooky Halloween music and the kids pass the pumpkin around. When the music stops, if you are holding the pumpkin, you must move to the dead spot (a designated position within the circle). If you are caught holding the pumpkin while in the dead spot, you are out.
  • Purchased Games: I picked up the Halloween edition of "Pictueka" several years ago, and we like it even better than the every day game. It's great for this type of play ... easy to pickup and for several kids to play. No real winner or loser, just a quick, fun activity.  I also found a "Twister" type mat with a Halloween theme, and a nice set of "Memory" cards. There is a little investment with these items, but I've used them year after year!

Halloween tonight! 
Don't eat TOO much candy!

Linking up with the Friday Five blog hops ... the DC Bloggers ((Courtney, Mar and Cynthia), Five on Friday at The Good Life, Friday Favorites at Running4Cupcakes, Friday Favorites at Housewife Glamour, High Five Friday at LaurenElizabeth and Five Things Friday at Fitting It All In and with my

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

... Another Missed Monday

I didn't actually MISS Monday, I just missed getting a blog post up. I really like doing a  post on Monday. Recapping the weekend. Admitting to a bump up in weight that seems to inevitably happen. Giving a little motivational Monday quip ...

Monday mornings can be a little crazy though, especially since school has started back up. Back to setting the alarm after sleeping in on Saturday and Sunday. Getting the kids off to school, me off to Zumba, with a stop at the store on the way home. It has been hard to squeeze in a blog post in the morning, and before I know it, the day is done!

But I still wanted to recap the weekend. I WAS up in weight yesterday morning, but it was my lowest "Monday" weigh-in in ... I can't remember how long! It bodes well for the week! I'd banked calories on Friday, unsure if the hubs would suggest dinner/movie. I wanted to make sure I still had some wiggle room. We didn't end up going out ... but I didn't indulge. Saturday morning was my lowest weight in years. 

Hubs and I did end up going out to lunch ...
Have you heard of Rodizio Grill?
 It's a Brazilian steakhouse. 
Lots of yummy meat, served up on swords.

Here's the hubs and I waiting to be seated.

Oh, I ate too much! I can't remember the last time I was uncomfortably full, but that was definitely what happened Saturday afternoon. It was really good though.

The previous weekend we had a break in basketball (for Fall Break) ... but game were back on this weekend. Usually I'm video taping the games (Basketball Mom) but the boys haven't been that interested in looking over their clips. This past weekend, I walked during the games instead. Neither of the boy's games were at one of the gyms with a track above the court, but both locations had a small area I could pace around in. I probably look like a stressed out mom ... I'm really not, I just can't stand sitting for very long. I got in 6000+ steps during each of the games.

Sunday was the normal "rest" day ... I still started/ended the day with a 20min session on the elliptical. I walked to/from church as well, but a pretty low step day. Slow Sundays ... I did keep calories in check and was thrilled Monday morning when the weigh-in didn't bump up. I had a very good day for eating and activity, and weigh-in this morning reflected my Motivated Monday *Ü* Hoping to keep it up (down) for official weigh-in this coming Friday ... Halloween!

Late link-up with Marvelous In My Monday ...

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Saturday Stats

Five Days, Five Different Classes ... Multiple Instructors.
Quick Recap of my Zumba this week.
  • Monday... at Southziders: A little slow to start (chairs left up and some sound problems) but once going, we were going. Smaller group today, but that means more room to move around. Hit goal numbers and even felt a Zumba "high" ... you know like a runner's high, where suddenly you have a lot of energy and you don't feel tired!  ...
  • Tuesday... Marian is always ready to go right at 8:45, I was a little late (came straight from dropping kids to school, forgot my hat!) and was only the second person there. We started anyway and soon more people showed, as they usually do. Glad I didn't miss the first song, as I like the warmup! HRM does continue to have sporadic problems, if you see me fiddling with it, I'm trying to get it to pick up my heart rate!
  • Wednesday ... MZL in West Jordan. Got to the church late (at almost 9:20) but it hadn't started yet. HRM seemed to be working well today. I got pulled up on stage at one point! I mean I've been a "backup dancer" at Southziders, and I even lead a number in Marian's class sometimes, but that is when I know it's a song/steps I KNOW. I did ok for those couple of songs but I'm good being down among the masses ... this class having such a large audience makes being on stage a little more intimidating too!
  • Thursday ...  Had to Zumba at home on my own today. The munchkin was getting an award at school, and of course the presentation was right during Claudia's class I tried Zumba-ing upstairs today. A little more room, but shaggy carpet. I didn't wear shoes today (I hate shoes). Did get a call from the school and had to go get #4, so my Zumba hour was broken up into two parts. HRM was misbehaving again today!
  • Friday ... with Heather Jones. Grateful for this Zumba a little later in the day, so I can make it after dropping off the late-start middle schooler. At the church, the gym was set up for a Halloween party. Heather took the stage (she usually stays on the floor) and the rest of us moved where we could between the tables. Heather was still suffering a bit from a pinched nerve, so a couple dances she had others come up to help lead. Time was cut a little short today, but I did do a bit more at home so I did actually get in an hour today with that.

Friday, October 24, 2014

WWI#66 and Five Recent Reads

Holding! Week three of staying under 150. I am up just a smidge from last week. I really didn't think I'd even be as close as I was. I had the usual gain after the weekend, and then I didn't have the much of a drop the following days like I usually do. But stepping on the scale this morning ... the drop was there.

It's been a bit of a stressful week. Things have just been a bit off. Anxiety issues with my 11-year old have been a daily battle. Such sobbing every morning before school :(  There has been more homework help needed, as some big assignments were due this week. #5 earned an award at school, so I spent some time there one morning for the program. Hubs had two pinewood derbies this week. Back to basketball practices and games after a bit of a break last weekend.

NUMBERS: While my actual weight was up just a bit, my average went down (again, just by ounces). Eating is always a struggle ... I didn't have any huge days (2600 calories on Sunday) but also didn't have many low days (yesterday, 1500, that is low for me!) I did pretty good on exercise. I got in a Zumba session last Saturday ... my first Saturday Zumba in a while! I got in my hour of elliptical and Zumba every weekday. Even on Thursday, when my son's award program was at the same time as my Zumba class, I still did an hour on my own. I got in three sessions on the bike, just one treadmill time and one weight workout this week.  It did all equal out to a deficit of -4484 for the week. I'm happy with that.

On to the Friday Five ...

I've been reading a LOT lately. Every time I have a session on the bike, that's 30+ minutes of reading for me. I think it's more about the reading than the riding really. 

The last time I posted a "recent reads" Friday Five was about a month and a half ago (WWI#59). Yes ... I've read five more books in that time. What can I say? I love reading!  My spotlight here isn't necessarily a recommendation or in-depth review, just a quick peek at what has been capturing my interest of late ...

Both of these books are post-apocalyptic stories. Both of them feature a "safe" but flawed world, with an "outside" that is barren, dangerous and unknown. In "Breathe" ... trees have been destroyed, and with it, the oxygen they produced. Oxygen is now manufactured, measured and sold. From that standpoint, it was interesting that only the rich elite could afford to exercise! "Breathe" is the first of two books ... I'm not sure I enjoyed it enough to continue on. But only one more book ... maybe I will, just for the sake of closure.  "Wool" is a series of five books, but they aren't long ones. I'd read the first one ages ago (it had been a free Kindle download) and the "outside world" theme reminded me of it. I'd picked up the remaining books where they were on sale (for Kindle $1.99). I was a little unsure I could get back into the story, but I did. I really quite liked this series. I believe it's only available in digital format. Whereas "Breathe" is aimed at teens, "Wool" is a little more adult (although really just in the age of the characters, not really because of content).

You can see I like a little something different in my reads ...
These books centered on Artificial Intelligence, Time Travel and Alien Abduction.

  • Turing Evolved: This had really high reviews on Amazon, and I was able to snag it when it was offered free (just follow Book Bub or Pixal of Ink to watch deals and steals). It IS adult, in language, content and complexity.  It was really interesting though.
  • TimeBound: This is definitely a teen read, but I still enjoyed it. As an Amazon Prime member, I borrowed this from the Kindle Lending Library. It's the first in a series, but other than a novella, the other books aren't out yet.
  • The Taking: I've always been a fan of alien abduction tales... loved the TV series "The 4400". This had some similarities to that ... the protagonist is "taken" and returned, thinking she has been away a day, but five years have passed and she is still the same ... or is she?  It is book one in a trilogy, but the other books haven't been written or released yet. It did have a cliffhanger ending!
So that's my weigh-in, and what I've been reading. At the rate I'm going, I'll be able to do another "Five Recent Reads" shortly!

Linking up with the Friday Five blog hops ... the DC Bloggers ((Courtney, Mar and Cynthia), Five on Friday at The Good Life, Friday Favorites at Running4Cupcakes, Friday Favorites at Housewife Glamour, High Five Friday at LaurenElizabeth and Five Things Friday at Fitting It All In and with my weekly check-in link-ups: Fitness Friday with Jill and Aubrey and a late Weigh-In Wednesday.   

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

A Zumba Instructor?

"You love Zumba, have you thought about becoming an instructor?"  I have been asked that a few times, and while I'll never say never, I really don't think it's in the cards for me.

It's not that I'm uncomfortable up on a stage. I practically LIVED on stage throughout my teenage years (high school and local theater). I could sing in front of large audiences without batting an eye. But my skills were limited to singing and acting ... dance was always out of my comfort zone.  

Today at Zumba ... I got pulled up on the stage to be one of the "backup dancers".  Now, I've done it before at my Monday class. I'll even lead a song at the Tuesday class. But those were songs/steps I KNEW and had practiced. The Wednesday class is HUGE, and more intimidating, and I didn't know what songs were coming up. It went fine, but I think I'm more comfortable down among the masses just following along. 

I know several Zumba instructors that started in exactly that way. Coming up on the stage to help, leading a number here and there. But I doubt that will ever be me, for many reasons ...
  • MEMORIZATION: I don't know why I have such a hard time remembering steps! I have a few songs that I feel like I know, and most others I can follow along quite well, but I definitely need to be following an instructor's lead! There are generally around 14-16 songs for an hour of Zumba ... I don't know if I'd ever be able to master that many! And most instructors are pulling from a playlist of SO many more songs and are constantly adding new ones into the mix. I don't know how they keep them all straight! I do think the fact that the songs are in Spanish does impact me. I feel like I pick up the steps on pop songs easier.
  • MOVES: I can eventually learn most steps, but there are certain moves (anything with the hips, a body roll, anything too flowery with the arms) that I just can NOT master. Even the choreography I do have down, I don't have the "flow" that some of the instructors do. It's just pleasurable to watch some people dance ... not me! I'm more athletic than graceful.
  • MONEY: It costs a bit of money to be a Zumba instructor! You have to pay to take a class to get certified, and then I believe there is a monthly fee as well to stay "active". You CAN earn money as an instructor, but I don't know that I'd be able to recoup the costs.
  • MOBILITY: Most instructors travel around to teach various places ... I have anxiety issues driving in the unknown, or at night, or on the freeway. I've expanded my Zumba travels to where I'm driving 15-20 minutes for a couple of my classes, and that has been a pretty big deal. I know many instructors teach at various locations, many beyond where I'd dare drive.
  • MOTIVATION: Once you become a Zumba instructor, jobs don't just fall in your lap, you have to go after and earn them.  You would have to advertise yourself . Many of the free classes offered are to build up a reputation. I DO love my Zumba classes, and many people think I'm crazy for doing it five days a week. As an instructor ... they do even more! I very rarely am not in the mood for Zumba, but it's still nice having it be MY choice, not a commitment or a job. 
 ...  So many of the instructors will yell or whoop to encourage their students. I'm very quiet. Most instructors wear the cute, bright (tight) Zumba clothes ... I'm only comfortable in baggy and black. But you know? It's okay! I'm happy being a follower. Just being part of the crowd. I'll be willing to help out on stage here and there, but I don't crave the spotlight (like I used to ... just NOT dancing!) I'm just so happy to have gotten to where I am. I never thought I'd fall in love with Zumba, so I'll never say never. I sure do admire all the instructors out there though. Thanks for all you do!

Linking up with Workout Wednesday and Fitness Blondie.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Long Weekend

I didn't get a post up yesterday! I think that's the first Monday I've missed in ages. As part of the "Motivation Monday Team" I actually felt like my blog post was a bit of my "job" (not in a bad way, just something I'd committed to, so I always got it done). But as it looks like the Motivation Monday linkup has faded ... so did MY motivation to get a blog post up. 

But better late than never, right? It was a long weekend, as the kids were out of school Thursday and Friday for Fall Break. Monday mornings can be a bit challenging after a normal weekend, but even harder after a long one! A couple extra days of sleeping in. Late nights (for Mr. Social anyway). Freedom from schools and schedules. It's really hard on my Anxiety Child, so I was pretty much expecting a rough Monday morning.

I got one!

#4 (my 5th grader) didn't want to get out of bed and cried for a solid 30 minutes. He was scared to go back to school, scared of an assignment the teacher had mentioned. Little brother and I try to stay positive and give him encouragement, but it was tough. I stayed with him until the start of school and then watched my phone, wondering if I'd get a call. He did make it through the day, and hopefully the rest of the week will go smoother with "the first day back" behind us. 

It threw off my morning a bit, I didn't get as much done as I usually do. I did still get to Zumba. I took #4 into the pediatrician after school to check on options (counseling, biofeedback, medication) and hopefully we can get a handle on this.

Back to the weekend recap  ... 

I pulled out the "bloonies" for the boys to play with ... at first it seemed more frustration than fun as they attempted to master the blowing technique. I tried to get a picture with big balloons, but you can see that didn't really happen (my three youngest and a couple of friends). 

My oldest got home early on Friday and was quite entertaining with a little extender tool.
He always makes us laugh!

I didn't get pictures, but I packed up the boys (sand #2, Mr. Social who of course was out with friends) and we went out to Grandma and Grandpa's house. It was a big cousin bash, with some of the out of town cousins visiting. There was swimming (the weather is still nice!), games and pizza.

We don't have a lot of leaves, but the boys tried to gather what we did have into a pile. They buried #3. They couldn't find a rake, so they used snow shovels ... very innovative!

The hubs and I took the three youngest to a local theater (Desert Star). We'd taken the older boys (#3 had been a few times and wanted to go again) but it was the first time for the two little ones. They weren't too impressed and were ready for it to be over, even though it's a fun, goofy show (Dracula ... he's so vein! Do you you think I'm your type? O Positive!  ... very punny stuff!) AND there was pizza.

There was also a little homework help going on. #3 needed to make a poster for Spanish class, so I pulled out my neglected scrapbook supplies. I did make him do most of the work! I hope "we" get a good grade *Ü*   He has another assignment due Friday, and #5 does too. We didn't get as much done over the long weekend as we should have!

But happy to say ... weigh-in Monday morning was still under 150 pounds even after the long weekend. That's where I want to be. We've got basketball, derbies, homework, and I was just notified #5 is receiving an award on Thursday ... meaning I'll have to miss Zumba that day to see him receive it. And I'll have to miss the following Thursday for the Halloween parade at the school. I actually hit TWO Zumba classes last Thursday!

Well ... enough blogging, time to hit the gym, again!
Linking up with MIMM (even though I'm a day late!)

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Sunday Stats

Every week I attend five different Zumba classes. Different instructors, songs and steps. I like to recap and "stack" my stats each Saturday. I didn't quite get my blog post done yesterday ... but I DID get in a Saturday Zumba session! I also got in a second session on Thursday, so there are seven stats to look back on this week!
  • Monday Zumba ...  I'm always ready to get back to Zumba after taking the weekend off. Monday's almost always start off the week with a bang! Some of the other classes came close, but this class wasy the high for the week in all the categories. 
  • Tuesday Zumba ...  Good Fitbit numbers, didn't quite get the heart rate up as much. Missing a few of the higher impact songs/steps, ones I like but dread a little too. They do get the heart rate up.
  • Wednesday Zumba ... I actually thought the numbers would be a little higher. I felt like I was working ... I was definitely sweating! But over 400 for calorie burn, and 7000 for steps is goal. Just since getting over 500 recently at Southziders, I've really wanted to do that again! I'll keep working!
  • Thursday  Zumba (Morning Session) ...  My HRM was misbehaving a bit today, I looked at it a couple times and it was reading zero until I adjusted it, so I don't totally trust the numbers today. I really felt like it was a great class. Lots of high energy numbers, the music was back to back, no waiting in-between songs. I was super sweaty ... and yes, I was "so excited, and I just can't hide it" ... I'm not sure if any other instructor besides Claudia Bran Silva could pull that song off! She has SO much crazy personality (and awesome moves too!)
  • Thursday Zumba (Evening Session) ... Second Zumba workout today! Marian now offers a free evening class on Thursdays. Usually my son has a basketball game, but not tonight.  I wondered if I'd still have energy at the end of the day ... and I did. It felt good! I'd cleaned the HRM strap/transmitter after the morning class, and didn't have any problems with it not picking up heart rate tonight.
  • Friday Zumba ... Quite the difference in the two calorie estimates today. I was dragging a bit today, my heart wasn't in it as much even though I was still attempting all the steps. Any break between songs and my heart rate just plummets and is hard to get back up again. It was quite crowded today (both participants and kids) and sometimes a little claustrophobia kicks in when I don't feel like I can move as freely ... although Wednesday/MZL is always crowded (but a bigger space overall). Sometimes I'm not sure what all affects my numbers!
  • Saturday Zumba  ...  Claudia said we could get in free to Gold's Gym this weekend, so I hit her Saturday class. I THOUGHT I knew where it was, but I should have written down the address. I was a few minutes late. My heart rate popped up and stayed there and it hit my goals. I thought the numbers would be a little higher, those missing minutes would have added a bit. I also should have worn different shorts, these ones didn't have a drawstring, and they are a big too big, which was a little distracting. I had to keep pulling them up!

Friday, October 17, 2014

Weekly Weigh-In #65

 I did it again! No "oops" about it! Under 150 for two weeks now. I even dropped just a bit from the weigh-in last week. Enough that my MFP ticker changed to "34 pounds lost" and only 11 to go.

 I mentioned in weeks past, that while of course I'd love to get to my goal weight (135 - pre-wedding weight) I'm actually ok with anything under 150. I did reach my 135 pound goal eight years ago. I was able to maintain it for a while, but then a little weight crept back on bringing me to 140. I maintained there for a while, then a little blip up to 145. I remember actually being surprised that I wasn't more frustrated with the 10 pound gain ... but I still felt good, even with being smaller right there in recent memory.  

It's not so recent anymore ... over eight years since I was there at 135. But I have to say I feel pretty dang good being where I'm at too! I even tucked in my shirt and wore a belt the other day! Unheard of for me!

My week was pretty good, but not great. I slacked off a bit over the weekend. Friday/Sat/Sunday numbers weren't great. I kicked back into gear Mon-Thursday (as is normal for me) but my intake was higher than the last couple weeks. I only had one day under 2000.

NUMBERS: Weight is down .8 from last weigh-in, but as I mentioned above, it was enough to change my MFP ticker! My average was down too, but just a smidge (.03 ... that's a smidge!).  I ate a little more this week ... candy corn, banana bread and tortilla chips were calling. Average intake was 2314. I got in some great workouts, 30K days Mon-Thurs, but the slower weekend brought my average burn down to 2853.  I did have a decent weekly deficit of 3230. 

I don't really plan on making any changes ... just keep plugging along and hope the weight drops a bit more, or at least stays the same. Linking up with my weekly check-in link-ups: Fitness Friday with Jill and Aubrey.

How was your week?


Thursday, October 16, 2014

TOL - Shaving & Fall

Fall can be a wonderful season. In years past, it seems like we skipped Fall, going straight from Summer to Winter snow. But this year ... it's Autumn, and it's nice! Leaves are changing colors, the days are getting shorter and the cooler weather has come.

We had our first cool down a few weeks ago. We pulled out our hot chocolate maker, but have yet to turn on the heat. I enjoy opening the windows and letting the fresh air in. As the first "official" day of Fall hit, I noticed the comic above come across my Facebook feed and couldn't help but laugh. I HAD started wearing the long workout wear instead of my usual shorts of summer and had wondered if I could get away with skipping a shaving session or two.  As I was looking for the illustration above to use here in my post, I found a few others along the same lines ...

I don't think I'll ever give up shaving for any real length of time ... but I do get a little laid back when the legs aren't actually on display during the day. My jammies are still short though ... and hubs likes the smooth legs, so I will keep on shaving. Especially if I'm anticipating any action *Ü*

My oldest son even brought up shaving the other day. He finds shaving his face a huge pain and commented "I don't know how you women do it, legs have to be hard!" I actually don't think they are that bad ... although sometimes I do see stray hairs missed around the knees. Knees are hard!

Hubs will sometimes go a few days without shaving. I don't really mind. I like the look of a little stubble. It's manly. But just a couple days ... then it gets too bushy. It's almost strange to go back to the baby soft skin of a freshly shaved face after having the stubble there.  I do start to tease Hubs a bit when the hair on his face is longer than the hair on his head (and that only takes a few days to do!)

So ... that's my Thinking Out Loud for today.
What are your thoughts about shaving?

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Wii Weigh-In and Workout

I don't get on the Wii Fit very often.
As I gave it a go yesterday, my Wii told me ...
"It's been 78 days since your last visit"

I wonder if our other exercise equipment could talk ... what would they say? Do your shoes see you as much as they would like? Does the elliptical feel slighted if you don't pay it a daily visit? How long has it been since your dumbbells saw you around? The Wii does actually seem to have a bit of a personality. It actually looks dejected if you don't want to hear it's suggested fitness tip.

I knew I hadn't been on the Wii in a while ... I hadn't realized it had been THAT long. I posted about the Wii back in April (WiiFit Funnies), and in March (Wii Fit Fail). As I stepped on the balance board and weighed in ... I cam in at NORMAL. At the very tip top of normal, but I've been in the overweight category for a while. I had lost 3.7 pounds since I'd weighed in on the Wii last. 78 days ago. And that was an evening weigh in too.

My son has had a lot of late evening basketball practices lately. Mon and Tuesday, they were from 8:00-10:00. I'd already hit goal, and had a lot of steps and a good burn for both days ... but since I couldn't go to bed (as I had to pick up the kid at 10:00) I hit the gym again. I simply had to keep moving. If I stopped and sat, or worse, lay down ... I'd fall asleep! So when he has these late night practices, you'll often find my on the elliptical, treadmill or stationary bike. Not because I need more exercise, but at least it keeps me awake. I don't seem to have any trouble falling asleep once I've done the pickup and do get to bed.

Last night, I'd done a little treadmill time, and some reading and riding (I've been getting through a LOT of books lately!) and still had a little time to kill before the pickup. So I stepped on the Wii. I usually only do 10-15 minutes.

My second son poked his head in the gym and taunted me a bit. I did get a perfect score on the soccer heading, even with him trying to distract me! I was a little out of practice on the Skiing and the table tilt. I do mainly stick with the balance exercises. The ones that work the core. I'd had enough cardio for the day already.  I do enjoy the Wii Fit once I remember to use it ... which just isn't that often.

It was a good addition to my workout routine this week. I enjoyed seeing the drop in weight ... I mean I was aware of it, and have been marking it every day, every week ... but to see it listed there in a bigger chunk from a weigh-in a while ago, makes me more aware of my recent progress.

Onward and upward ... I mean downward!

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Crazy for Candy Corn

Everyone has temptations, right?
Especially when it comes to food!

As Fall rolls around, candy corn hits the store shelves. I suppose it is there somewhere year round,  but not quite as prevalent as in the weeks preceding Halloween. I have this cute glass pumpkin that we like to fill with candy corn as part of our holiday decor. But it's SUCH a temptation for me!

I LOVE candy corn. I'll ONLY eat the original though ... don't try to switch up the colors, or add flavors. Only the original will do. And while I can't seem to keep from grabbing handfuls of the stuff, if it was the mallow pumpkins? I won't touch them. I'm weird, I know!

Our local Sam's Club has had a big 4.5 pound bag of Brachs (I do prefer Brachs) candy corn for just over $7. I'm ashamed to admit to having gone through a couple of these bags already ... the kids have helped! It's not JUST me eating it all ...

Often candy corn disappears after Halloween, but I want to make sure I still have plenty on hand through Thanksgiving, as I make "Turkey Cookies" ...

I also have to start setting aside the malformed candy corns without the white tip. I use those for the beaks. Aren't they cute? And SO yummy too. Not low calorie at all. As much as I love candy corn alone, after they have been sitting on a sugar cookie overnight, they are even better! Not much protein in these turkeys! Here's a link to some of the other temping Tricky Treats I make this time of year. 

Do you like candy corn?

Monday, October 13, 2014

Back At It ...

It's Monday morning.  
I'm ready to get back at it, are you?

I do have to say "back at it" because I slide during the weekend. I don't STOP, but I don't do nearly as well as I do Monday-Thursday. The graph above (from my Fitbit dashboard) illustrates that pretty well. I'm always the most motivated on Mondays, in both eating and exercise. Over the weekend ... not so much. I can't tell you how excited I was to sleep in Saturday and Sunday. But those extra hours awake do add to my activity, even if I'm not spending it in active exercise. Still worth it to me though. I managed to weigh in under 150 still this morning! That's the goal!

I have my Pact set to six days a week, so I can take a day off if I want to. I still easily got in my 10,000 steps on Saturday but on Sunday (yesterday) ... I took a rest day. I didn't hit 10K, but I'd already fulfilled my Pact for the week, so I was fine. I do always track my food, there was some commotion over at MFP last week as a glitch in the app allowed people to add food on previous days and still count towards the pack. That was updated, and all food entries for the day had to be entered by midnight to count. A lot of people were upset, but I always try to add my food immediately  upon eating (or even before) ... it's just so easy to forget otherwise. The MFP app on my phone makes it easy to log, wherever I am. That it and Fitbit sync with Pact just makes earning a little $$ a no brainer. It's only about $3 a week, but it adds up. 

... my Achievemint points are also adding up. I should hit my reward soon. I've earned it a couple times already. So has my son and my dad. It generally is pretty slow to actually GET the award (I've heard many people complain about it) but I have gotten mine in the past. Fingers crossed that I will again, even if I have to wait a few months. 

Mondays I stop at Kmart on the way home from Zumba. It's my weekly spending of my earned Fitstudio points. I've simply linked up my Fitbit, and then everything happens automatically. I get $5-$8 in credit each week. I now stop at the store weekly, as the rewards have a quick expiration (just seven days). My son has a Fitstudio account too ... today I checked out with mine, and picked up some stuff for him, and didn't pay a penny for either purchase. If you want quick, tangible rewards, this is a great program.

It's a short week here, with the kids out of school for Fall Break on Thurs/Friday. That might impact me a little, screwing up my schedule a bit. I best take advantage of my routine for these days I have! I've got my Zumba and weight workout in so far today ... a little elliptical, and I'd like to hit the treadmill and/or bike. I'll probably NEED to, as #3 son has basketball practice until 10:00. If I stop, or even slow down, I'll want to go to sleep. I'll probably keep moving, simply as an attempt to stay awake. The 10:00 pickups do help me get good numbers most Mondays!

If you're looking for the Motivation Monday link-up ... I'm not sure it's happening any more. Our host said that there have been so few participants that she wasn't going to bother keeping it up. I am linking up with Marvelous In My Monday though ... Mondays ARE Marvelous! I love getting back at it!

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Saturday Stats (1011)

Five different days ... Five different Zumba classes.
Different songs, steps and instructors ... how do they compare?
Here are my Stacked Stats for this past week.

  • Monday: I'm always ready to get back to Zumba after taking the weekend off. I've noticed, my class on Monday seems to set the standard for the week. If I have a good class, get higher numbers ... I tend to get good numbers all week. If I don't get good numbers, I don't in any class that week. At least that's the trend I've noticed. So I was pleased as punch with my numbers today! I did really feel like I was giving it my all, and the heart rate monitor was reflecting that. Mostly fast songs today. Great class!
  • Tuesday: I was able to make it to class on time (this one has the earliest start, and unlike every other free Zumba class, it does actually start right on time!) There aren't a lot of people in this class, but that means there is plenty of room to move.
  • Wednesday: Whereas yesterday's class is a little sparse, the MZL classes are always packed! A little too crowded for comfort, but it adds it's own atmosphere. One of the gals from yesterday's class hit this one for the first time today. A lot of the songs/steps were new to me today, but I'm able to pick up new choreography a lot better than when I first started out. This is usually one of my step heavy classes, but I didn't quite get over 7000... so close!
  • Thursday: There was an activity over at the elementary school and I said I'd help out even though it meant missing Zumba. Seriously ... I SO did not want to miss, but I felt like my son needed my support at school. I went ahead and did an hour on my own at home in the afternoon. With a YouTube playlist, I can select all my favorite songs. There is still a bit of a delay in-between songs, but I'd try to keep walking around. I got my high for step count, but there is something missing doing it on my own. I don't mind it every once in a while, but I wouldn't want to do it every week ... or every day. I love the variety of all my different classes!
  • Friday: I always look forward to Friday, this class is always very energetic with some favorite songs! My HRM gave me a bit of trouble, which can distract me. Hit all my favorite songs today. Usually this class is completely different, but I did recognize a couple songs/steps from my other (I think Thursday) class. I do bring water to this class ... and I need it! *Ü*
... another Zumba week down. Going to the variety of instructors and locations, and the seemingly endless supply of songs and steps, it never gets boring or repetitive, even going five times a week! I'm so happy I discovered Zumba this year.

Friday, October 10, 2014

WWI #64 and Family Friday Five

I did it! The entire week under 150! Today's weight is a new low, and it changed my MFP ticker to a new number I've never had before...

I've been keeping track of my weekly weigh-ins since I started this journey again (a little over a year ago). Back in March, I managed to get the MFP ticker to 32 pounds lost. I had a week under 150 then. But I couldn't keep it. I bumped back up a little and stayed there for months. Here's hoping I can keep "under 150" a consistent thing this time! I could still lose another 10 pounds or so, but I'll be content if I stay here. 

The 150 number was my "second" goal (see sidebar). I hit it momentarily back in January, but it didn't stick. I hit it again in March, even stayed under an entire week, similar to above. Again ... couldn't quite hang onto it. Do you count it as goal accomplished when you hit the number? Or do you have to STAY at that number, and for how long, before you say you have officially reached that goal?

NUMBERS: I'm down 2.4 pounds from my weigh in last Friday. My average is down 2.4 pounds too (147.87). I did better controlling my calories ... my daily intake averaged in at 1857. That's only the second time in a long time I've been able to keep it under 2000. My average daily burn was 2966. I didn't quite beat last week ... there was some stuff going on (more on that below *Ü*). But the intake vs burn came out with a deficit for the week of -6450. I like that!

Onto the Friday Five ...

I haven't been that great at blogging lately. I can't express how much I dislike simply sitting. Blogging requires sitting, as I don't have a fancy treadmill desk. Lately I've just been working out, instead of writing about working out.  But I miss the Friday Five link-ups. I thought today I'd give a quick peek into our family, featuring my FIVE boys ...

Wednesday this week took an unexpected turn when a big white envelope arrived in the mail. I mean, we were expecting the envelope ... just not quite this quickly. It was a mission call for my oldest son. At the age of 18, the youth of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (LDS/Mormons) often elect to serve a mission for the church for two years. You don't know where you will be called until said envelope arrives. We threw together a quick "opening" party and invited family and friends who could make it on such short notice. A map of the world was set up, and guesses as to where he might be going ... Mexico, Puebla North.  He'll be leaving in February, so we get to keep him around for another few months.

My second  son is Mr. Social! Seriously, between friends and basketball, he is never home! He and his buddies love Frazils ... similar to a slurpee or Icee.  It's traditional to take Frazil Photos now ... I don't even think I have all of them. This gang of guys will hang out all the time. They are a good group of kids.

In the wee hours of Wednesday morning, there was a lunar eclipse  (Blood Moon). Son #3 told me he would get extra credit in his science class if he took a "selfie" with said moon. It would require waking up around 4:30 in the morning. I wasn't particularly interested in setting my alarm for that hour and did not commit to that mommy duty. But ... I had trouble sleeping that night. Around 4:20, I was awake anyway, so I went ahead and woke up #3 (THAT was a chore!) and we took a picture. While our picture isn't great, it was pretty cool to see!

#4 son is my anxiety child. He's like me in so many ways ... any break from routine can really throw him off. His school was doing an activity, Colonial Days. The kids would learn basic skills from back in the 1800s. Things like making bricks, carding wool, weaving, dipping candles, making soup, quill pen writing. Parents were asked to come help out if they could, so I signed up (even though it meant missing Zumba!). My son's class had tried the weaving a day early, and my poor child couldn't quite master it and was completely stressed out about it all. I ended up helping out at the weaving activity, which was a favorite for most of the kids ... followed closely by the candle dipping.

#5 is my angel. Such a good little boy! He is a rough and tumble kid, and a few weeks ago he bonked his head while at recess. It created a nice big mark right in the middle of his forehead ... just in time for school pictures! I was just happy that the scab finally did come off and didn't seem to leave any permanent scar. But it is forever memorialized in the school picture. I think there are retakes coming up ... should we have a do over, or just let the picture be a representation of my boy?

I love my five boys so much! Six boys really, because Daddy is just a big boy himself! It's crazy how good life can be. And the recent success on the scale has added to my happiness. It's nice to finally see a little bit of progress, even on a week with an unexpected ice cream party, early morning awakenings and a missed Zumba class (I did an hour on my own later in the day, Zumba Stats coming tomorrow). 

The weekend is now upon us ... Can I hold onto the loss? 
Check back next week!

Linking up with the Friday Five blog hops ... the DC Bloggers ((Courtney, Mar and Cynthia), Five on Friday at The Good Life, Friday Favorites at Running4Cupcakes, Friday Favorites at Housewife Glamour, High Five Friday at LaurenElizabeth and Five Things Friday at Fitting It All In and with my weekly check-in link-ups: Fitness Friday with Jill and Aubrey and a late Weigh-In Wednesday.  

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

TV Talk Tuesday

I very rarely simply sit and watch TV. Sometime the hubs and I will wind down watching something at night. But for the most part, the only time I watch television is when I'm exercising. On the elliptical, treadmill, or even while I'm doing a weight workout. 

With the Fall, comes the return of many programs. Several new shows hit the networks as well. I NEVER watch anything when it is actually on ... live programming. I seriously don't even know how to run the "tv" anymore. I'll wait until a series hits Netflix or Amazon Prime. The collage above spotlights several of the last series I watched over the summer ... I do keep up a mini review section here on the blog (What I'm Watching) which is also for my own records (have I watched that? Which season was I on?). Sometimes I'll watch a new show not long after it has been released ... other times I'm watching a series that ended several years ago! I'm often very behind the times and I'm fine with that.  I enjoy watching a series from start to finish, without waiting weeks in between episodes, months between seasons, and without the disruptions of commercials. When I downgraded cable, they actually threw in HBO, which opened up HBO GO as a new avenue (watched Big Love, and TrueBlood ... although I gave up on the latter, just too dark and gory and melodramatic for me).

There are a couple shows I did keep up on last season (Grey's Anatomy, Scandal, The Good Wife) and I'll use PlayOn to record them to my computer and then stream them to my exercise room (I do have to wait a day, when the networks post the programming online). I was glad I kept up with those last season, I don't know if I would have been able to avoid spoilers (still sad about Will).

As the new seasons start, I'm faced with the dilemma ... try to keep up as new episodes come out, or just wait?  I know there are links out there to watch Downton Abby (I've watched seasons 1-4), should I start, or just wait and watch the entire season when it's available? "The Voice" is starting up again, and I do like it ... I like to at least be familiar with some of the contestants so I can take part in conversations about it. I don't think I'll be able to resist Grey's Anatomy or Good Wife ... I'll probably be watching those the day after they air. Scandal hit Netflix really quick after it concluded last season, so maybe I'll wait on it. The Walking Dead is about to start up again. That one I do watch with the hubs ... but sometimes I'll watch it first myself while I workout (then he doesn't have to pause it if I need to run out and help the kidlets with something.)

I have a Netflix queue a mile long. Plenty on my Amazon Prime list too. There are DVD sets from the library as well. New shows keep hitting the airwaves every season. My mom is always anxiously watching new programming, trying to Tivo favorites. Sometimes she'll have two or three shows a night on that she wants to watch. I'll just wait on the majority of them ... 

Even though I exercise a lot ... I don't think I'll ever catch up!

Have you watched any of the series I did over the summer?
What are your must watch programs starting back up?

Monday, October 6, 2014

Sleeping In

Ah, the weekend. For me, it means sleeping in!
I grabbed my little "sleep tile" from my Fitbit dashboard. This was yesterday (Sunday). I went to bed at 11:31 and got out of bed at 8:30. I was in bed for 8.59 hours, but only asleep (according to my Fitbit) for 6.20 hours. Sunday sleep-in. It felt so nice. I slept in Saturday too. 

I read an article that said your body is better off if you wake at a consistent time every day, even over the weekends. I don't care ... I'm sleeping in! It's so nice to turn off the alarm clock and just wake when I want. 

It was a really relaxing weekend. I banked calories in case the hubs suggested dinner or a movie on Friday night. We didn't end up going out (which I'm fine with too) and then I didn't eat much more anyway. I had a nice little scale drop for Saturday.

Saturday and Sunday were really slow, relaxing days. Not much on the docket. #5 had his final soccer game (they tied! The first game they didn't lose!) I actually got a little nap both Saturday and Sunday. I got in a bit of exercise (elliptical and bike), and just barely managed to keep calories under by burn. Still under 150 this Monday morning!

Normally I'm not a big fan of weekends. They just throw off the routine too much. I'm usually more than ready to get back to my schedule Monday morning. This weekend ... I really enjoyed, even though we didn't really do much. But ... still looking forward to today and the week ahead. Will this be the week I stay under 150 the entire time? I'm looking forward to Zumba today (and every weekday). I actually feel the urge to lift weights today, I want to feel the strength that comes when I finish. I've been enjoying my "hikes" on the treadmill, and I'm watching "Hostages" which is quite good and keeping my interest. I've also liked getting back to my reading and riding on the stationary bike. I finished up a book over the weekend (Gated) and started a new one (Anna and the French Kiss) which I'm enjoying a lot. I do have a 10:00 pickup tonight, so I'll probably keep exercising through the evening, just an attempt to stay awake. I know I was up until 11:30 over the weekend (the image at top) but that is unusual for me!

I got some blogging done over the weekend. My Saturday Stats and a September Recap. As I was inputting my journal entries, I noticed a statement I made early in September ... "The new carpool schedule gets me up a little earlier, but allows me to get in a full 40 minutes on the elliptical in the mornings (20 min before the first carpool and another session after, before 2nd carpool)." Ha Ha ... that hasn't exactly been happening of late! I've been struggling to get up and get in 10 minutes before first carpool. I usually (but not always) get in a second 10 minutes before elementary carpool, but it doesn't always happen. I really should get back to that motivation I had when school first started.

Why does sleeping in feel so good?

Linking up with MIMM and the Motivation Monday team. 
Feel free to link up YOUR Motivational Monday post too!

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Saturday Stats

I love Zumba classes. It never gets old, especially as I go to five different classes each week. Each class, each instructor, has something unique to offer. Here's a quick comparison of MY numbers (Heart Rate Monitor and Fitbit) and a small recap of the classes ...

Click on the image to enlarge.
  • Monday: Starting off the week with Southziders. There were some fast numbers where I'd get my heart rate up, but more slower numbers than usual. Sometimes I can modify steps to try and keep my heart rate up, but had trouble with that today. A hula number (my hips don't lie ... I'm an old, white girl and they just don't move that way *Ü*) and then a couple cool down numbers. Class was a little short today too. So not quite the numbers I usually get from this class. No Cassie today or Sabik today.
  • Tuesday: This class starts earlier than all the others, at 8:45. And unlike almost all the other free Zumba classes, this one does start on time. It's a bit of a challenge to get there, after dropping off the kids. I asked them if we could leave five minutes early, and that got me to class on time. It was a small class today, only four plus the instructor. I found out later that at least one other gal tried to come but the door was locked!
  • Wednesday: MZL is a big Zumba group ... they offer free classes Mon-Fri at various locations. This spot/time work well for Wednesdays for me. They always have several instructors on stage, which is nice to showcase the possible variations and intensities. Not sure if it was my shoe, or the floor ... but it was a little slippery today. Kept me on my toes. I was also feeling my weight workout from a couple days ago ... a little stiff and sore.
  • Thursday: I've been coming to this class straight from dropping off the elementary kids too. I got there uber early last week, so I ran a quick errand today, which almost made me late. But I made it, there and ready when they started up. No Kristy today. I happily watched as my heart rate seemed higher. Still didn't break 400 on the HRM, but I think that was because the class went a little short again.
  • Friday: My middle-schooler didn't have school (late start drop-off at 9:30) so I actually could have stayed closer to home and hit MZL (which does Fridays at the same location as Wednesdays) but I just can't imagine skipping my Friday class across town at 10:00. Whereas the other four classes have a bit of a connection (some of the same instructors travel between the classes, some of the same songs/steps) this class is completely different. Different songs, steps and just a really high impact and energy. Seems like cutting class a bit short was a trend for the week ... I'm always disappointed when the cool down numbers come on. I want a little bit more, to see if I can push my numbers a little bit higher!
So ... I didn't get out of the 400s on the heart rate monitor this week. I did break 500 on the Fitbit once, and got an impressive 7500+steps that day. I'm always amazed at how many different songs and steps there are. I did have a few repeats during the week, some old favorites, some new ones that I haven't mastered yet.  There's always just this moment of "what's coming next?" at Zumba class ... I even helped lead a song in the Monday & Tuesday class. I could never be an instructor myself (many reasons!) but I don't mind taking the stage for ONE song here and there. Still loving my Zumba. I'm fine taking a break Sat/Sun ... but the thought of missing any one of my classes during the week, say it isn't so! It's going to happen next week, as my 5th grader wants me to come help out at a school activity. I'll be ok ... I think

Friday, October 3, 2014

Weekly Weigh-In #63

I keep this little ticker on my blog sidebar.
 As long as it's 30 or higher, I'm happy!

Last week I was a bit disappointed when I bumped up a little, over 150. That is just a bit of a magic number for me (it equals the 30 pounds lost, mentioned above). Happy to be below it again this week (just barely), but I did bump up over during the week. Still striving to get a whole week ... then an entire life, under that magic number.  I know the scale isn't everything, but that small change in the numbers does a lot for me mentally. Here's a look back at the week ...

I felt like it was a really good week. Just seeing the scale move that tiny bit has re-energized me these past few weeks. I'm feeling more confident in my body, feeling better about myself. I'm conscious of sucking in my tummy, really trying to work those core muscles during Zumba routines and even just when walking.

Eating ... is still the issue! I just love my sweets and treats. I bought a bag of candy corn last Friday. I've eaten quite a bit of candy corn this past week. I can eat it by the handful (that isn't a measurement in MFP though). The weather was cooler this weekend and we broke out the hot chocolate maker. I've had quite a bit of hot chocolate this week. I made cinnamon rolls this past weekend, I ate cinnamon rolls this weekend. For some reason, I don't see tortilla chips in the same evil light as potato chips ... I eat too many tortilla chips. I didn't have any HORRIBLE eating days, I had some good days ... well, low calorie days anyway.

Exercise ... I had 30K days Mon-Thursday this week. That is unusual for me. Hubs owes me a footrub or two (or four). I got in my hour of elliptical every day but Sunday (only 40min that day ... basically a rest day for me). I had my five different Zumba classes Mon-Friday ... I wasn't able to get the heart rate monitor over 400 for any of my classes this week, but I am still loving Zumba. I'll post my weekly stats and reviews tomorrow. I've got back to the bike this week! 10 miles Mon-Thursday. Getting back to reading and riding. I do have a ton of books on deck that I want to read! I've given up on my "mile jog" a bit ... I did do it once this past week. I have switched to a "hike" most days, upping the incline to 10 for my treadmill time, and I've done that almost every day. I did get a good weights session in on Monday ... I did feel the DOMS from that. Not enough to hobble me, but enough that I know I did something! The perfect amount of soreness.

Numbers ... my weight is down 1.1 from last week (when I bumped up from the week before. You can see all my Friday weigh-ins at a glance here). My average weight for the week was up a bit (150.27, 1.07 higher than last week). The high was 152.3, the low was 148.5.  My intake average was 2114, my average burn was 3044. I had a deficit for the week of 5235, which I'm pretty happy with. 

I haven't been very good at blogging lately. I used to post almost every day. I have ideas running through my head all the time, but I just would rather be active, than sitting at the computer typing.  They often don't never make it out of my head and onto the blog. I've spent enough time right now sitting recapping the week, so I'm going to skip the Friday Five again ... but I did post FIVE FUNNIES about cleaning house on yesterday's post Exercise, Chores and Children as I posted some random thoughts and gave a quick "stream of consciousness" peek into one of my days.

Happy Friday ... with today's weigh-in under 150, I can TRY for a full week under 150. It's a challenge, especially with the weekend here. Linking up with Fitness Friday with Jill and Aubrey and a late Weigh-In Wednesday

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Exercise, Chores & Children

I've given up on being a "runner" ... but I am an avid exerciser. 

Every morning I start the day with a workout, and then I do several more sessions throughout the day. I really like how exercise break things up and gets the blood moving. Instead of exhausting me, I'm more energized after each session.

I almost always get my exercise in. The same isn't always true about the house. Now, living with five active boys, I can clean the house ... and you wouldn't know it just an hour later. Admittedly, I often use that as an excuse.

As a SAHM, and with the kids back in school, I actually have quite a bit of time during the day. I really don't have an excuse not to get in both the exercise and the house work. Sometimes the two can even be combined a bit. I'll turn on the music and get in quite a few steps while putting things away, vacuuming, mopping, etc.  Often, I'll do one job (folding the laundry) then pop down for 10-20 minutes on the elliptical. Then I'll do the dishes and clean the kitchen, then hit my home gym again for some reading and riding (on the stationary bike). Prep dinner, then have a little treadmill time.

Occasionally, I have one of those days where one thing turns into another and it's just rather crazy. I wrote up a little of my afternoon this past Tuesday ...

... clean the kitchen, put away the peanut butter and jam, oh, the jam is gone. Run down to the food storage to grab another. Oh, I haven't put away the last few bags of groceries. Stop and sort everything. Empty boxes and bags out the recycling. Back to the kitchen, put away the towels I folded yesterday. Oh, I'll replace the hanging towels as they missed the wash last time. Put them in the laundry basket and oh, I need to put the darks in the washing machine. Back to the kitchen. Unload, the dishwasher ... I could use some music. I really need to update the playlist on the Ipod. Spend a minute on the computer, while that is syncing, go to the other computer and check Facebook and email and pay a couple bills. The toilets really need cleaning, spray them and let them sit. Back to the kitchen to load the dishwasher. Oh, the washing machine is done, I need to go put the clothes in the dryer. Oops, #2's clothes are still in there from yesterday. Set the dryer to warm them up and go vacuum the kitchen. Oh, that poor plant is wilting, hurry and water all the plants. Back to vacuuming. Ok, that should be long enough in the dryer, pull out those clothes and fold them. Shoot, I forgot about the toilets, quickly clean them ... I really should do the whole bathroom, but I'm actually not finished with the kitchen yet. Oh, the mail has come, so out to grab it. Quickly call Time Magazine and tell them NOT to automatically renew (I like it yes, but the kids are doing a fundraiser at school and will get credit if I subscribe through them) ... and speaking of the kids, it's time to pick them up! I'm off!

Do you ever have days like that? 
I actually felt like I got a lot done ... just very distracted!

A couple months ago when Daddy and the boys went to Seattle on vacation, I stayed home (vacation anxiety!) and had even more time than usual on my hands. I went ahead and tackled a couple projects. Taking everything out of the pantry and laying down contact paper. Reorganizing everything there and in a few of the drawers. It got pretty crazy there ... looked like the kitchen had exploded. Stuff everywhere! It often gets worse before it gets better, right?

I know ... it really doesn't look that "clean" (or Pinterest worthy) but this was a BIG improvement on how it looked before! Everything actually had a place, easy to put away and to find our everyday items.

Normally, one of the kid's jobs is to unload the dishwasher. After getting everything organized, I'll admit I was a little loathe to let the kids goof it up again. I wasn't sure if they would put things away in the new proper places. For quite a while there ... I was unloading the dishwasher. I did finally turn it back over to the kids (much to their chagrin) and they don't always get things where they should go, but that's life.

I struggle a bit with the whole "children and chores" ... I know the boys need to learn how to do these simple household tasks. They need to learn the value of work. So often, it is harder to be the "mean mom" and get after them, it would just be simpler to do it myself. Being a SAHM ... I am a bit conflicted too. I don't "work" outside the home, I do have quite a bit of time. The kids are so busy with school and sports. I remember as a teen having that "discussion" with my mother ... me saying "I have SO much on my plate getting good grades, extracurricular activities, etc ... I shouldn't have to do housework too!"  Even as the parent now ... I do still feel that way a bit, and I try to pick up the slack.

I've been impressed with my oldest. He is a hard worker. He graduated this past Spring and has a full time job at present. He gets himself up and off to work on his own. He packs his own lunch. He does his own laundry. He can handle many household tasks and can even cook quite a few dinners and such.  #2 has started to do his own laundry ... several of his white shirts are pink now. The younger boys have their jobs, and they actually get paid when they help Daddy with a derby. Even with five boys I still mow the lawn ... I like mowing the lawn. I don't like mopping the kitchen floor!

 I feel like the house is never really "clean" ... it's "straight". 
Often I don't make "dinner" ... I make "leftovers".

Here's a few funnies I found.

Just Thinking Out Loud this Thursday ... so many random thoughts on housework! Is it more important to take of me, or the house? How many chores should children have? How do working mom's do it all? Does blogging count as a household task?

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