Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Stacked Steps

I really don't think I'm a very competitive person. When I first started wearing a pedometer, counting steps and entering them online (Walker Tracker) I must admit, some of the competitions DID drive me. That was several years ago. Now ... I really am stepping for ME. That said, it is still fun to see how I stack up to family and friends and other Fitbitters and pedometer people out there.

In the picture up top, Hubs sent me a quick snag to show he was gaining on me. He never did catch me though. #2 son (iCallahan) DID top me once, but among family, I'm generally in the #1 spot.

After four years of being on Fitbit, I do have quite a few "friends" on there. Honestly, I don't know many of them in real life (or even online life, although some are Facebook friends or blogging buddies). Unlike my family's Fitbit accounts, which have stayed limited to family and close friends, I have over 100 Fitbit friends, and I rarely see my family in those select spots the Fitbit site (it only shows seven, three above you, you,  three below). To be able to see my family together, I set up a group. For the month of March,  my 9-year old is currently in second place, followed by Grandpa (my dad) and then my other three boys (my 14-year old has stopped tracking his steps, he just didn't like the feel of the Fitbit). Then my brother, Hubs, and more family under that. Being a SAHM, not having to work or go to school does give me a bit of an edge ...

The people who know me and have me as a Fitbit friend generally think I'm completely crazy for getting the steps I do. They always tell me I'm in the top spot all the time on their accounts.

But on mine?
I'm not.
There are people much crazier than me!

I just grabbed this little snag today. It's a seven day total, so that equates to about 21,000 steps per day for me. My goal I've set for myself is 22K a day, so I'm pretty close. I'll hit 30K days, then have low step days (under 5,000) on Sundays, as I take a break.

The gal at the top of MY friends list (I wasn't sure anyone would ever beat her, but it has happened a time or two) AVERAGES over 41K a day! 

I'm generally in the top 10 on my account unless I'm sick or on vacation. Occasionally, I will see #2 son make an appearance on my list. Hubby made it on there once. I really like when I see people I actually KNOW.

On the picture to the right, I do actually know Jane (mom to one of my son's basketball buddies) and Terrilynne (a neighbor). I'm always happy when I see a friendly face appear on my Fitbit friends tile.

The numbered ranking is constantly changing, as your steps sync, as other add their steps to the mix. It changes daily, even hourly!

Fitbit has recently added "Challenges" to their program. You can invite people to specific step challenges and compete. I've only done it once ... like I said, I'm mainly  just competing against myself. But that said, it is fun to see where I stand, and know how others are doing with their step counts too!

I recently bought a Fitbit Charge HR ... as you can't have two Fitbits on the same account, I set up another account, and I wear them both (my new Charge and my original One). I'm the only friend I have on that account *Ü* Truly only going against myself. My Charge is lagging behind. Most people seem to indicate they thin the arm styles OVERestimate, but that isn't the case with me.

Friday, March 27, 2015

WWI # 88 - SameO

Well, weight is exactly the same as last week, which I guess is a good thing, as eating was still atrocious this week. I'm not sure what it is. Am I extra hungry? Am I craving sugar and snacks, or am I just eating because ... it tastes good, it makes me happy (for a time anyway)? I'm really not binging, I'm not out of control. I'm writing it all down. I'm conscious of it. I just can't quite get the self-control to reign it in and improve the content. I just keep trying to out-cardio my calories.

As far as exercise, it actually was a better week (although my numbers weren't as impressive as I might have anticipated). I actually did weights. I jogged the track. I hiked on the treadmill. I biked ... all in addition to my usual elliptical and Zumba.

Here's a quick rundown of the week ...
  • Friday: Zumba, elliptical and WEIGHTS. I finally did them! Calorie intake was high with snacking during the day, and #2 bringing home Popeye's chicken in the evening.
  • Saturday: I jogged! #5's basketball games are at the gym with a track above it. #3 manned the video camera, so I hit the track. I can totally watch and cheer him on while getting in a workout. I haven't "run" in forever, but it felt good. Got in elliptical today too ... but eating? Ouch! Grabbed donuts after basketball, and went out to dinner in the evening.
  • Sunday: Physical ouch ... whether from the weights or the jogging, or both, but I was definitely feeling it. Actually did 40min on the elliptical (I haven't been getting in any exercise on Sundays). Eating was still pretty high with our Sunday Circles, and homemade oreos in the evening. 
  • Monday: Zumba, an hour of elliptical, and one mile treadmill incline. Still feeling sore ... and eating too much. Making Lemon Jello Cake didn't help with the calories (but it was yummy!)
  • Tuesday: Zumba in the morning, an hour of elliptical during the day. 1 mile on the treadmill, and 10 miles on the bike. I was happy to get through my book. I've been loving reading again, but hadn't been doing much on the bike. Calories still over 2000, but not as bad as the other days. 
  • Wednesday: Took it a little easy today, just Zumba and one show on the elliptical (40min). Ice cream has been a temptation lately!
  • Thursday: Zumba in the morning, elliptical during the day, and then Zumba again at night. 
NUMBERS: Actual weight came in exactly the same as last week. Average was up though (.86). Average intake was 2614. Average daily burn was 2794. No deficit, I was over by 1278 calories. 

I know the eating is more of a mental thing, than me actually being hungry. Food is just so at the center of so many enjoyable activities (going out to eat, family breakfast, making cookies for the kids, popcorn with a movie). But that's not even the main problem for me ... it's being home, with all the treats right here. I know that is in my control too (I mean the kids would revolt if I didn't buy a bunch of the stuff I do, but I knowingly buy things I know I can't resist). Gotta work on that! Part of the problem too, is that I feel pretty good where I'm at. Yes, I'd like to lose 5-15 more pounds, but most of the time I'm happy with what I see in the mirror, and even in the recent family photos. It makes me lack the motivation ... and enjoy my snacks!

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Family Photos and Steps from Mexico

I'm a snapshot kind of girl. I take a ton of pictures, but I had NEVER set up a "professional" family photo shoot. Oh, I've been in them before, when extended family have made the arrangements. With our oldest boy heading off to Mexico for two years, Hubs and I figured we should get in some family photos before #1 left. So on a rather chilly day in February, we did just that. I got the photos back yesterday *Ü*

I had to update my Facebook of course ...

Here's a couple more fun ones ...

 Aren't my boys cute?

It's so nice having these pictures, especially with #1 feeling so far away. He's doing good, and we get to exchange emails once a week. A couple of months before he left, we got him the new Fitbit Charge. He had given up on the Flex, and had been wearing a Zip, but wanted to try the latest gadget. But with his mission to Mexico, we were pretty sure he wouldn't be able to sync regularly (and the missionaries are advised to not wear expensive gadgets) ... so he ended up leaving it home (much to the delight of #4, who is now wearing said Charge and loving it). 

Being the pedometer person I am, I REALLY wanted to get step counts from my son while he was gone. While I would have really preferred the Fitbit, being able to log onto his account and "see" his steps, I told him I'd be content with a daily step total once a week. I got him an inexpensive clip pedometer, and he's been a good son, giving me an accounting of his steps in our weekly email. When I get his steps, I manually enter them into Fitbit, thus keeping him competitive with the rest of the family. 

I've really been impressed at how active they have kept him! Right now, he's in the Mexico Missionary Training Center. Learning Spanish, and the missionary discussions. But apparently there is gym time too, basketball and volleyball. There have only been a few days he's been under 10K. His current high is 24K.  

In the snag above ... of course I'm #1 *Ü*  I was a little surprised that my #2 son wasn't on there (I mean, the 9-year old is beating the 16 year old?) I told #2 to make sure he was syncing and up to date, and he admitted now that basketball season was over, his steps and stats had really fallen. 

The next week, #1 sons steps weren't quite as high, but it is fun to see where he stands among his Fitbit family and friends, even though he isn't even around right now. It's silly, but this little connection makes me feel closer to him.

Much of missionary work is walking around knocking on doors and such, so it will be interesting to see how his steps adjust when he leaves the MTC and is out in the field.

Of course ... I set up ANOTHER blog to keep track of HIS journey.

Friday, March 20, 2015

WWI #87 -- Overeating!

Blah ... this is one of those weeks where I don't even want to post my weekly weigh-in. But, online accountability is a bit what it's about. It wasn't a good week. Again. The scale definitely reflects it with a 2.1 increase and some higher weigh-ins during the week. Here's a quick week recap ...

  • Friday: It was Friday the 13th. The elementary kids were out of school. I still hit Zumba and got my 40min of elliptical in. Hubs was taking off for the weekend, but plans weren't finalized until the evening. He ended up taking the three younger boys (I stayed home with #2 and the cat). I was a little stressed out ... and I ate. 
  • Saturday: #2 was off with friends most of the day, so I was basically home alone. Often, I go exercise crazy when I'm not on mommy-duty ... but not today. Just not feeling motivated. Only 40min elliptical, and overeating again.
  • Sunday: Do nothing day ... literally. Well, I ate. Hubs and the boys made it back.
  • Monday: Not feeling my usual Motivated Monday. Did get in my Zumba and elliptical. Did ok on eating, until Hubs came home from work and suggested we go out. Over calories again.
  • Tuesday: Actually kept eating in check today! Got in Zumba and elliptical ... and then went to an evening Zumba! Felt like it was a good day!
  • Wednesday: Zumba and elliptical ... AND BIKE. First time back on the bike in a while! But, overate again. 
  • Thursday: Zumba and elliptical, and evening Zumba again. Way too many snack calories though.
So while I'm doing pretty good on the fitness front ... it's the food. 
 I am not losing weight.

I must admit ... on Saturday #2 and I picked up some more Girl Scout Cookies. I was craving popcorn, with real butter (and I made some ... twice). After not indulging in ice cream for quite a while, I've been eating it again. Easter candy has come out ... I don't like the Cadbury eggs that many people rave about, but I love the Whoppers Robin Eggs. And Reeses.  So much yummy stuff out there.

I have my little MFP ticker here in the sidebar of the blog. I weigh in daily on my Aria scale and my weight is automatically updated on the Fitbit site and on MFP.  I been as far as 30 pounds lost, 15 to go. I really liked those numbers.

I haven't seen those numbers for several months.  When I did finally drop a few pounds back in October ... it was the eating. For some reason, for a while there I was able to control the calories. If I can keep my calories until 2000, I am generally quite successful on the scale. I know so many keep calories at 1200! I'm just a little piggy!

NUMBERS: Eating was SO bad this week ... the average was 2700. Yikes! Not a good week. My daily burn average was actually less than my intake (2678). I don't know if that has even happened before. So obviously, no deficit for the week. Over by 2540.

It is TOM time too ... if that comes into play at all.

Today, Friday, starts the "new week" for me. I'm not doing wonderful today, but I DID do weights in addition to my Zumba and elliptical. Hopefully I'll be able to control my calories and have a better check-in next Friday! Linking up late with Weigh-In Wednesday ... *Ü*

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Music vs Silence

I LOVE music. I grew up playing the piano. I sang in high school and college. Music has such a profound power ... motivating you, making memories, affecting mood. In many ways, I think it's almost essential to exercise. To jogging anyway ... I am one that must match my footfalls with the beat. Of course music is mandatory for Zumba! I've posted about my music several times on the blog.

But something interesting has happened lately.

I always listened to music in the car. I can't stand commercials, so I'd generally go with an ipod plugged into the stereo system. Occasionally, we have to do a car swap in the family, and several months ago I ended up driving #1 son's truck for a bit. The sound system doesn't work in the truck. No itunes, no radio. And I actually got used to the silence.

I'm back in my burb now, with a working sound system ... but I'm finding I'm not turning it on. I've learned to enjoy the silence. I'm comfortable with it. It gives me time to think, or just be, without any noise.

I still love music. As far as exercise ... I'm going to continue to play my music (or in my home gym, TV takes the place of music much of the time). I know there are some runners who just run, without music. I've never understood that. HOW? I need that music to drive me (and who am I kidding, I'm not much of  a runner anyway). I know it's actually recommended for safety, to be in tune with the surroundings. But maybe, those runners have discovered the secret of silence. Of listening to their own breathing, their heartbeat, just being ...

In the car, there are times we'll turn on the radio or the ipod playlist, but most of the time now ... I'm driving in silence, and I like it.

Just Thinking Out Loud this Thursday.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Zumba Shoes

I discovered Zumba a little over a year ago. At first, it was just a once-a-week workout. But then, I started going to another class, then another. It was Tues/Wed/Thurs for a bit. Then I added a Mon/Fri class. I decided perhaps I should look into some shoes recommended for Zumba rather than the ratty running shoes I had been wearing.

I Googled "Zumba Shoes" and came across several informational websites (I can't remember which ones right off). Many recommendations and descriptions of what was best for a dance workout. I discovered that running shoes are NOT recommended at all, as they are usually heavier with a strong tread (which can actually cause your feet to catch). 

After reading all the recommendations, I tried the Puma Janine Dance Shoe (pictured above). I didn't like it. Now admittedly, I hate all shoes. I never wear shoes unless I am required to wear shoes. I am also cheap! $60 may not sound like a lot for you shoe connoisseurs out there, but I'd never spent that much on SHOES. I noted that one of my Zumba instructors was wearing this exact style, so I went ahead and bought them. They didn't work for me. Although the "split-sole" was recommended for dancing, I didn't feel like I had support. My feet hurt after an hour class. I sent them back. I'd never returned anything on Amazon before, but I was thankful for the return policy, as I would have hated wasting my money.

I then stopped at my local Nike outlet. While running shoes are not recommended, the Nike Free (which are running shoes) were mentioned as a popular choice on many of the sites I investigated. Very lightweight, not a lot of tread. I did have the opportunity to try them on first (unlike ordering from Amazon) and they felt comfortable.  While the hot pink seems a perfect fit for Zumba ... I'm not a very colorful gal myself (Lacking in Color Confidence).  As far as appearance, the simple B&W Puma's had been much more up my boring alley. But ...they were on clearance, and I had a gift certificate. I bought them, and I liked them.

I asked another of my Zumba instructors what shoes she liked, and she excitedly told me about a great deal she had just found out about. An online store (6pm.com) had the Ryka Downbeat (Ryka was one of the brand names I had read recommendations on from several different websites) for a great price. I compared the price from some other sellers, and it was a great deal (new customers even got an additional 10% off, and shipping was free!)

They were only available in "boring black" ... but that was great by me! 
(This deal is gone, but 6pm has other styles at great prices still)

These were a high-top, giving support to the ankles. Just the right amount of grip, a spin-spot to make twists and turns easier.  I felt like it was worth the risk (of purchasing without trying them on) and I have ended up really liking them. They are my main Zumba shoe now. Sometimes I'll wear the pink Nike's ... if they match my outfit better, or if I'm working out on carpet (they slide easily where the Ryka's feel too heavy).

I'm really not a "shoe" gal ... but I was glad I took some time and researched what to look for in a Zumba shoe. I really hadn't been aware of what worked and what didn't. In truth, the running shoes I started with really weren't that bad ... but I figured I'd save them for running (not that I do THAT very often) and buy something specific for MY workout. And it made me feel a bit more Zumba-ish too. That never hurts *Ü*

Friday, March 13, 2015

WWI #86 - Friday the 13th

It's Friday the 13th today ... and tomorrow is PI day! I won't be eating pie tomorrow, but that doesn't make up for the bad week I had this week. What is wrong with me? I'm just in a bit of a slump. Going through the motions ... so I am still getting in my elliptical and Zumba. I'm recording what I'm eating, but haven't been eating good at all. I just have a bit of an "I don't care" attitude at the moment. So with that, I'm glad at least that the scale isn't higher than it is.  Here's the quick weekly recap ...

  • Friday: Hit an earlier Zumba (as the kids were out of school) ... I hope this gives me an extra hour in my day to accomplish something additional. That didn't happen. I did get in 40min on the elliptical. I should have ... really, really, need to do weights. It's been weeks! Hubs was gone, which in the past has given me extra workout time in the evening ... but I just went to bed early instead.
  • Saturday: I really had quite a bit of time today, but only got in 20min on the elliptical. Just not feeling motivated.
  • Sunday: Slow Sunday. Walked to/from church, and that was the extent of my "exercise" for the day. Totally overboard on the eats today too!
  • Monday: Not totally feeling my usual "Motivated Monday" self. Went to Zumba and got in 30min on the elliptical. Had some unexpected extra time in the evening, but didn't do anything with it. Feeling down. Some emotional eating. Higher calorie intake day.
  • Tuesday: It's early morning Zumba day (8:45 start), so I try to get in a little extra on Tuesdays. I did ... I got in a nap. But I did get a little extra elliptical too (total of an hour). 
  • Wednesday: Zumba in the morning, and 45min on the elliptical throughout the day. PT Conferences in the afternoon.
  • Thursday: Zumba switched to 9:00 again (they had tried 9:30) so I go straight from dropping off elementary kids, and it gets me there about 10 minutes early. It is Marian though, so it starts on time. Had to run back to the elementary as it was a special "Grandparent's Lunch". My folks came out to eat with the kids and then I walked Mom through the book fair ... it really wasn't enough time to go back home, so I just waited for the boys until school got out. Got in 40min on the elliptical, and then hit evening Zumba while Daddy took the four boys to a basketball game. 

NUMBERS ... are bad this week. Average intake 2414. Yikes! A few really high days, other moderately high, and not one low day to try and balance things out. Daily burn is down too ... average of 2565. That ended up with NO deficit for the week, but an overage of 1236 calories. 

I'm so bad when things mess with my schedule! A basketball banquet, PT conferences, Grandparent's Lunch ... little things but they throw me off. I don't think I have much, if anything to disrupt my days next week. Maybe I can get back on track, improve my numbers and see the scale slide down a bit!

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Thrifty Thursday :)

I love fitness ... my elliptical, my Zumba. I'm not sure where I'd be without them. I'm also cheap ... even as active as I am, I know I wouldn't get my monies worth from paying gym fees.  Luckily, ou really don't need expensive equipment to workout at home. I admit, I'm super spoiled with our home gym  which did require investments (added to  over years)... but it's been worth it.  No excuses when it's right downstairs. I've also discovered a ton of free Zumba classes here in my area (♥Utah). I NEVER thought I'd try Zumba (much less love it) but seeing that first class advertised for free ... the frugal part of me said "you HAVE to try it, it's FREE". 

I will admit ... I did get a little spendy with my gadgets. I started with a cheap-o pedometer ... and went through several of those. Then I invested in one that was a little more expensive (an Omron, not this one, but close, mine was about $25 and I still use it!) When the Fitbit came out ... I stressed over the cost a little. $100. But I bit the bullet and bought it. And I LOVE it.

My little Fitbit has more than paid for itself though. In actual money. There are many reward programs out there. And as my parents and hubby&kids jumped on the Fitbit bandwagon, I've gotten them on board with many of these programs too. In addition to setting up their Fitbits, I've also signed them up for Achievemint, Fitstudio and Walgreens Balance Rewards. I'll check in on things occasionally, letting my mom know that Dad earned his $50 award from Achievemint, and to watch for the email with the information. I looked up the balance on their Walgreens before they made a trip in ... and I'll admit, when they have some Fitstudio points and aren't going to get into a Kmart or Sears themselves before they expire, I'll sometimes stop in, buy something with their points and tell the boys it was a gift from Grandma and Grandpa. 

My mom just happily received her first $50 Achievemint award this past week, and encouraged me to share the programs with my siblings (as many of them have become Fitbit fans as well). I've copied a bit from my email to them ...

  • Achievemint: http://www.achievemint.com/login  It's quick and easy to sign up and link your Fitbit account. Then you can just forget about it, and check in occasionally (website or app). After a while, you earn enough points to claim a reward. It takes a little time to earn, and then another wait to receive ... but I've earned it several times ($50), Callahan, Landon, Dad and now Mom.
  • FitStudio: www.fitstudio.com *** Update 02/2016 ... Fitstudio had shut down ;( (Farewell Fitstudio). This program works with the Kmart/Sears ShopYourWayPoints ... you get store credit (up to about $8 a week). The credit does expire quickly (within a week, you can't let it roll over and add up. Use it or lose it) ... but while I rarely ever shopped at either store before, I sure do now! You DO have to be a little proactive (tell them you want to use your points, they don't always ask). The program has had a few kinks here and there, but hey, it's free credit so I'm really not going to complain.
  • Walgreens https://www.walgreens.com/balancerewards/balance-rewards.jsp You can earn points (store credit) by linking your Fitbit. Walgreens does have a monthly limit to what you can earn through activity (just $2, or 2000 points) but unlike Fitstudio, the points do not expire and can roll over and add up. I'd signed up Mom a while back and forgot about it, then Mom was making a trip in and wala ... had $20 in credit to use.
These are the top three reward programs I like and recommend. Mainly because there is no risk, only reward. Link up your Fitbit ... or if you don't have a Fitbit (why don't you have a Fitbit?), Fitstudio and Walgreens will work with manual logins or with some other brands of trackers. 

Another program I do like, and just did another review of recently is Pact (My Yearlong Pact). The reason I didn't recommend this one to my parents or siblings is that there IS a risk. You make a commitment, and if you do NOT meet your pact, you will end up paying (they do require a credit card #). But as I mentioned in my review, I've never paid a dime, I've only collected.

Here's a little "snag" from my Paypal account ... $50 from Achievemint (they pay with a GiftRocket E-card), then some of the money earned in 2014 from Pact, which I had let pile up after my first couple smaller withdrawals (just to make sure I did actually get the money!)  The outgoing $$ were some new batteries for my PolarHRM :)

When I see people pondering getting a Fitbit ... I like them to know in addition to all the wonderful feedback, graphs, competition with family and friends for motivation ... it may not be the investment they think it is, as it can actually pay you back!

So that's my Thrifty Thursday report ... I'll probably post more about certain programs as I continue to have additional experiences with them. I hope to post other little money saving tips too. Sometimes fitness related, sometimes not.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

WIAW - Girl Scout Cookies

The "What I Ate Wednesday" posts are big all over the Internet. I don't participate often ... because what I'm eating isn't share worthy or anything anyone would want to emulate. In fact, IF I were to participate, I'd have to admit that GIRL SCOUT COOKIES appeared way too much in my MFP food log these past couple of days. 

I didn't order any girl scout cookies. 
Hubby did. 

He ordered several boxes of Samoas. With #1 son gone, I am the only one who eats the Samoas. At least I had help with the Thin Mints (although I still easily managed to eat one sleeve, yikes!). The little boys liked the Trefoils. So did I. The older boys LOVE the Tagalongs and fought viciously over them ... but I still got a few.

What is it about Girl Scout cookies? They are ridiculously overpriced ... often that can actually impact my enjoyment when eating things (I'm just a little too frugally minded). Is it that they are so temporary? Only offered once a year? Keebler does make a some knockoffs that are quite good ... but they aren't quite the same.

So ... now the boxes are empty. The cookies are gone. I can't really say it's time to get "back" to healthy eating, as I haven't mastered that at all yet ... but perhaps I can improve on eating with such reckless abandon. I HAVE recorded everything, in my private MFP diary so no one can actually witness my shame. 

Anyone else struggling with Girl Scout cookie issues this time of year?

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Books the Boys are Reading

My boys aren't really readers. Despite seeing how much their mommy LOVES reading, they really only do it because it's a requirement from school. Occasionally, a book or series will click with one of them, and I love to see that! For this month's "Recent Reads" topic, I thought I'd share some of the  books the boys have read and liked.

Just a couple weeks ago, #4 asked me if we had the book "Hatchet". We do. I have read it, and I remember #2 and #3 mustering through. I actually enjoyed it enough that I went on to read two of the sequels (there are five I believe, and I have them all in my personal library).  I pulled out "Hatchet" and #4 surprised me by reading the entire thing very quickly (it isn't a big book, but still). He was interested in reading the sequels too!

Hatchet is a pretty well known book. #4 did NOT want spoilers before he read it, and was mad I mentioned a plane crash and survival skills. Although, if you read the blurb on back, you are going to get that much!

Now, technically, "The River" is book two. It was written second ... but I recommend reading "Brian's Winter" as book 2. Now ... this IS a spoiler, if you haven't read this series. At the end of book 1, Brian gets rescued. I've never heard of an author doing this before, but he decided to write another book as if Brian had NOT gotten rescued as written, but had to survive the winter (and THEN make it back to civilization).  So that is "Brian's Winter" and in my opinion, it should be read before "The River" (which chronologically happens a couple years later).

I really liked the Brian series. Apparently #4 does too. In addition to reading, he made cute matching bookmarks (he has done this in the past with some other books too). I've been so happy to see him reading and actually enjoying it!

#3 has been reading the Swindle series. I remember I bought the first book for son #2 at a school book fair. I'm not sure if he ever even read it. Then #3 needed a book for school and picked Swindle from the bookshelf (this is why I love having a home library). It was quick and easy for him to get through and he asked for the 2nd, then the 3rd, 4th and is currently reading the 5th one.

He had been enjoying the Percy Jackson series and the Micheal Vey books (but then was required to read a "realistic fiction" thus the switch to Swindle). The other series I'll always remember impacting #3 was the Origami Yoda series. #3 has always been a Star Wars fan, so grabbing the first book for him to try was really a no-brainer. The story itself was fine (I did read it myself, as I like to do to see what the boys are reading), but it was the actual origami that intrigued my boy (as you can see in the picture above). There is a fifth book out now ...

Even my munchkin has seemed to enjoy his recent reading. Each month his 3rd grade class needs to read a specific genre (realistic, fantasy, biography, historical fiction) and this month it was "fairy or tall tales" ... hmmm, that was a little bit harder. I showed him a book from the Myth-O-Mania series (I figured myths were similar to fairy tales and tall tales, the same stories passed down from generation to generation) and got the ok from the teacher, so he's been reading "Have a Hot Time Hades".  I read this (and some of the others) a while back. They have a very conversational tone and a lot of humor (here, Hades is explaining that he's really a good guy and Zeus is really quite the dunce). I've always enjoyed mythology, and while these take a slightly different approach than the more traditional fare, the basic mythology facts are still there for the kids to learn. I also turned on Disney's "Hercules" so #5 could get another view of how Hades is most often represented (as the bad guy).

I'm always on the lookout for book for my boys. I realize they may not be interested in the same books I loved as a child (Anne of Green Gables, Little Women, The Witch of Blackbird Pond ... although #3 did read that for school, and when #4 finishes the Hatchet series I think I'll recommend Island of the Blue Dolphins to him). I do fall a little into the thought trap of "oh this book's main character is a girl, the boys won't want to read it" ... Shannon Hale, author of the Princess Academy books and more, wrote on this topic and it was good to read. Shannon Hale's No Boys Allowed?

Personally, I haven't been reading quite as much. I haven't done any reading and riding in several weeks. I was just so busy (still got in my Zumba and Elliptical, but no the bike), then got sick, and I've just lacked motivation. I've done some regular reading, but I need to get back to it on the stationary bike. Check back next month (second Tuesday) for my recent reads!

Saturday, March 7, 2015

WWI #85 ... 152?

I was hitting 151 consistently for a few days before weigh-in, and I wondered if it would stay for Friday, not jump to 153, as it has been (alternating between 151 & 153) for the past several weeks. Not quite ... but not up to 153 either! Maybe I've broken the either/or trend! One of these weeks, I'm GOING to be under 150 again! But this last week ... kids were home, schedule was a bit off. I think I'm pretty much over the cold, but still struggling with a sore nose.  I just didn't care that much this week. I never even posted a weekend recap on Monday ...
  • Saturday: Busy with basketball. My boy actually only had two games, but then he wanted to watch some others, which required additional driving around. Got in some grocery shopping and stuff around the house, and hubs even suggested a date. A what? It's been a while. We went to Red Robin. I only got in 20 min of exercise (on the elliptical). 
  • Sunday: Rest day. No Exercise. Church in the morning and a family party in the evening. #4 concluded the festivities by throwing up all over Grandma's kitchen.
  • Monday: #4 hadn't thrown up all night but wasn't sure he felt well enough for school. I let him stay home (which meant I missed my Zumba class) and we did a little homeschooling.  I DID still get my Zumba on (on my own, two 30min sessions) and got in 30min elliptical. I really kept calories in check too (1600, that is LOW for me!)
  • Tuesday: Hit with a snowstorm! Glad I didn't really have anywhere to be other than getting kids to school and close Zumba.  #2 was out of school today but just hung around home. I got in two 20min sessions on the elliptical ... my first full 20 minutes since I'd been sick (I'd only been doing little 10 minute spots for the past week and a half). I hit the treadmill for the first time in a while, tried a little jogging, a little at incline, but spent most of the 30 minutes just at an easy walk. Kept calories in check (1800).
  • Wednesday: Zumba in the morning, 30min elliptical, and then I did some walking the hallways while waiting between games for #3 in the evening (he played at 6:00 and 8:00 so we had an hour to kill in between). #2 was out of school again (for PT conferences) and I ended up running him around a bit during the day. Also had PT conferences for #3 at 4:00.
  • Thursday: Zumba in the morning. 30min elliptical during the day. Zumba in the evening (great class/great numbers!). I had to remember it was early out for the elementary. #3 had me drive him to a friend's house (there are NO kids his age in our neighborhood). Calories got a little out of control today ... I blame girl scout cookies and ice cream!

NUMBERS: My average intake for the week was 2114. My average daily burn was 2600.  Crunching the ins and outs of the days, I did have a deficit for the week, but just a tiny one (-265). I'd like to get back into my different workouts ... back to the bike, a return to racquetball, I know I need to keep weight training as part of the routine, but I haven't done it for a while! As always, I know it's the eating ... I just really enjoy eating.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

TV Tuesday - On At Our House

Through the years, my boys have discovered some shows not currently on primetime, but ones I remember from my childhood or early married years. From Full House, to The Cosby Show, to Home Improvement. I can't recall how they discovered "Friends" ... but they did, and they loved it. I'm not sure WHY they liked it, and I know much of it isn't appropriate for their innocent minds, but ... We ended up picking up the entire series on DVD. I'd seen some of the episodes over the years, but I hadn't been a die hard fan. I think I have seen them all now, as they have played a LOT in our home over the past couple years.

If you are a fan of Friends, and a Netflix subscriber, you are probably aware that starting a couple months ago (in January), Friends has been available for streaming.  Streaming is easier than putting in a DVD ... so Friends has made a comeback in the past couple months.

Just so you know the boys aren't only watching mindless comedy ... another show that has peaked their interest lately is Brain Games, by National Geographic. I'm not sure where we heard about this one originally, I think it was my oldest son in his psychology class. 

Brain Games is an interactive series that uses games, illusions and experiments to show how our brains manufacture our reality and can often be easily tricked. My younger boys get just an engrossed in this as the older ones, and there are some interesting ideas (for upcoming science fair projects maybe?)  Seasons 1&2 are now available for streaming on Netflix. I was able to snag Season 3 from our local library ... I had to buy Season 4 for the kids as we didn't have another way of watching it.   It's pop science ... but it's still science! I like to see my kids watching something that makes them think.

Big Hero 6 also came out this last month. I went ahead and picked it up for the little boys the day it came out ($19.99 at Target for DVD/BlueRay and digital copy). They had seen it in the theaters with Daddy and had anxiously been awaiting watching it again.  As with most kids movies ... I rarely ever stop and watch, but just catch pieces here and there until I think I've seen the whole thing.  I really should stick it in the DVD player downstairs and watch it from beginning to end while I workout ...

February was a bit of an "off" month, what with prepping my oldest to leave on his mission to Mexico, rearranging/redoing many rooms in the house and then catching a cold ... I haven't been exercising as much. Thus, I haven't been watching as much TV.

Many of the shows that went on break before Christmas have started back up, and even though I don't have a lot of "must see TV" I've struggled to keep up. Grey's Anatomy is generally at the top of my  list. I've currently watched all but the most recent episode. I have the most recent "Good Wife" waiting for me, and just got in a couple past episodes of Nashville (but still have one waiting). I'm currently caught up on "The Walking Dead" (although hubby hasn't seen any since they started up again). I have several "Scandal" waiting for me, and I think I've just given up on "Revenge" ...

What have YOU been watching?

Monday, March 2, 2015

Zumba Stats - February 2015

What was Zumba like in February? I started out strong, and ended up sick. I also misplaced my Polar FT4 HRM watch (not that it had been working all that great anyway). I just went without it the last week, and while I missed it's feedback and motivation, I didn't miss the uncomfortable chest strap, and the distraction and frustration it often brings when it isn't working correctly. I have since found the missing watch ... but not before I invested in another HRM I'd been keeping my eye on. The Fitbit Charge HR. I only wore it once for Zumba in February (that last Friday) but so far I like it! It gives me some interesting stats and graphs. I may add a couple columns to my stacked stat list.

You can see I was able to hit some highs ... readings of over 500 on the Fitbit, over 8000 steps for a class (Thanks Southziders!) I had a really hard day (Friday the 13th) when I tried a Zumba class, but left early as I just wasn't feeling it (that was a first).  I hit double Zumba on Thursdays several times, and that evening class has really grown (I think there is a demand for nights).  I've been leading a few more songs in several of the classes, and even lead an entire class (Tues Feb 24) when the instructor was on vacation! I still do NOT plan on becoming an instructor ever (A Zumba Instructor?) but it's nice to be able to help out and give back a little. I do think I get a higher heart rate and burn when I'm up front ... but I also like to be just one of the crowd following along.

Unfortunately I'm missing my Zumba the first Monday of March ... I'm still feeling sick (my poor nose is as red as Rudolf) and #4 is home sick from school. I'm trying to get a little Zumba on by myself at home, but it's harder to get the motivation up on my own. Love my Zumba classes!


 Marian's Thursday Night


Sunday, March 1, 2015

February 2015

Ah February ... a few days less than all the other months, but it was sure packed! February 2015 will be most remembered as when we sent our firstborn off on a 2-year LDS mission. That required a lot of prep, a "farewell" ... which meant Hubs wanted to improved on the house before having people over, so there was new carpet and couches. Once #1 was gone, we rearranged rooms for the other four boys, which was a big job. We celebrated Superbowl Sunday, and I battled a cold for a couple weeks. I still got in my Zumba most days, but my activity level went down. I was able to decrease my eating a bit to match ... for a bit anyway. My weight bounced between 153 and 151 for weigh ins.

*** Jen's Journal ***

0201 (Sunday) Weight 153.5. Bad Day. Fitbit Steps 8217. Total Burn 2103. Exercise Burn 250/399 (20minElliptical). Calories in 3000. Early morning church ... it's a bit hard after the lazy mornings on the 1:00 schedule. I made our classic Sunday Circles for brunch, and then Daddy prepped our traditional Superbowl Sunday Smorgasbord ... steak, chicken, mashed taters. #1 was actually gone to a friends, so he missed out. I made Superbowl sugar cookies too. We've never been a big football family, but with the Seahawks in contention, and #4's new-found interest in football (albeit the flag variety) we were actually watching this year. It was an exciting game too. Very full tummy though!

0202 (Monday) Weight 156.6. Pretty Good Day. Fitbit Steps 22910. Total Burn 2872. Exercise Burn 1170/1150 (40minElliptical, Zumba, 10milesBike). Calories in 2050. Well, yesterday's indulgences showed up on the scale! Back to the routine. We'd tentatively planned on new carpet this morning, but it got postponed until tomorrow, which works out better anyway. I got the boys to school then hit Zumba. Stopped at JC Penny on the way home, picking up some shoes I'd ordered for the bigger boys. Got in some exercise and picked up the kids after school. The evening was busy with prep for the new carpet. Moving all the furniture and pulling up the old carpet. Lots of work, lots of stress!

0203 (Tuesday) Weight 154.6. Good Day. Fitbit Steps 23848. Total Burn 3039. Exercise Burn 1250/1329 (40minElliptical, Zumba, 10milesBike, 45minWeights). Calories in 1600. A bit crazy trying to get ready (breakfast/lunches) with the kitchen chaos. Dropped the boys to school then went to Zumba. Carpet installer came around 11:00. I spent much of the day in the gym, as I really didn't have other places to be. Did elliptical, bike and weights. He was finished by afternoon, and #1 and put a few things back into place. I went to #2's basketball game (they lost) and then I had to help out in the snack bar. I'm not quite comfortable in that position (money handling, having to do math!) but it wasn't too bad. On the way home I stopped at Smiths for gas and groceries. I got an alert on my phone reminding me of #5's basketball practice, which had completely slipped my mind! I called #1 and had him run the little one to practice. I got home, unloaded, and was able to go pick him up, then pick up the older boys at the high school as the varsity game ended. Back at home, Hubs and #1 had been busy. My poor piano is banished to the den (instead of the front room) and my cabinet of paper is now out in the shed :(  Hubs also brought home a new loveseat and chairs. Lots of change ...

0204 (Wednesday) Weight 152.4. Pretty Good Day. Fitbit Steps 22084. Total Burn 2810. Exercise Burn 850/1112 (40minElliptical, Zumba). Calories in 2000. I wasn't quite feeling it at Zumba today. Or rather, I was feeling my weights from yesterday. I was a bit stiff and sore. Didn't quite get my usual numbers. Not feeling super motivated today. Spent quite a bit of time going through the old coffee table (which was full of toys and games) as it doesn't fit into the new "room" decor. Went through a bunch of stuff in a side cabinet as well. Filled up boxes for good will and garbage. #3 had a game in the evening. He had practice after school, then got taken to a "good grades" dinner. Another team member had the same schedule, so my kid hitched a ride with them and I met them at the game. We expected an easy win ... got the win but it wasn't that easy.

0205 (Thursday) Weight 153.6. Good Day. Fitbit Steps 29777. Total Burn 3218. Exercise Burn 1480/1514 (40minElliptical, Zumba x2, 10milesBike). Calories in 1850. Marian started Zumba, and then a guest instructor finished it up as none of the other regulars were there. I did get my elliptical and bike in today. #3 had a game in the evening, but I just sent him (he doesn't get much playing time) and I went to Zumba in the evening too. Crowded class today!

0206 (Friday) Weight 153.6. Bad Day. Fitbit Steps 16614. Total Burn 2553. Exercise Burn 400/849 (Zumba). Calories in 2900. Friday mornings are too busy. Up at 6:00, to get #3 to practice at 6:30. I should have hit the elliptical after that ... but I climbed back into bed. Up again to get the other boys off to school. Dropped off #2 just after 8:00, home just in time to turn around and go pick up #3 (last week I went straight there and ended up waiting and waiting). Didn't think I'd quite make it home in time, so I had #1 drop off the little ones. It's been nice having him around, in a couple weeks I'll be on my own again to try and figure this out (just for a couple weeks, then early morning basketball practices and the seasons are over). Dropped #3 back at school then off to Zumba. It started a bit late (later than usual) and looked like the instructor was having an emotional morning :(  Stopped at Kmart on the way home to spend some Fitstudio points, although the program still seems to be struggling a bit. Early out at the elementary, then I went to the neighboring high school to watch #2 play in his game. Another loss, bummer! I'd picked up #3 and his friend and took them too. I left after the first game, and they were able to get a ride home. Varsity won in an unexpected upset though!

0207 (Saturday) Weight 154.1 Bad Day. Fitbit Steps 15417. Total Burn 2392. Exercise Burn 100/685 (10minElliptical). Calories in 3000. Slept in some, then hit Sam's Club during their early hours, grabbing strawberries, bananas and rice krispie treats for fountain dippers. Then #5 had his final basketball game. We brought treats. I then hit Smiths to pick up the croissants and chicken salad. Daddy had the boys working hard all morning (bathrooms, window wells, windows, patio) but they had done good, so I dropped #2 off at his girlfriend's house, and took #3 to his game. They won. He stayed to watch the other team play, then I picked him up and took him to the other high school to watch the 9th graders play in a double header. I picked him up around 9:00, and #2 got a ride home. We tried out nacho cheese in one of the fountains and will do that for the open house.  I think we're all ready for tomorrow.

0208 (Sunday) Weight 154.6. Bad Day. Fitbit Steps 6900. Total Burn 1969. No Exercise. calories in 2500+.  I slept okay, but Hubs was super stressed. He got up early for a run. He melted the chocolate and prepped the cheese in a crock pot. I had everything that could be laid out, laid out. Everything else easily ready in the fridge. Our church meeting was at 9:00. Both #2 and #1 spoke and did a good job. There were a lot of old friends and neighbors come back to hear the boys speak. We had those who wanted to come over to the house for food and visiting. It was a little cramped, but the weather was nice, so some people could go outside too. Very happy when 1:00 rolled around and it was over. We got things cleaned up and Hubs and I took a nap! Pretty calm for the rest of the evening. We didn't really feel like we had a "weekend" but it's back to the routine tomorrow!

0209 (Monday) Weight 155.0. Pretty Good Day. Fitbit Steps 23325. Total Burn 2873. Exercise Burn 1100/1162 (30minElliptical, Zumba, 10milesBike). Calories in 2300. Back to the routine. Zumba was good. I just went straight home after, not stopping at a store like I usually do. Only got in 30min on the elliptical today, as I had watched 10 minutes of my show on Saturday. 30 minutes finished it up and I didn't feel like getting off-kilter again watching 10 minutes into something else. Did some reading/riding ... liking my book "Departure" as my borrowed book from the Kindle lending library.

0210 (Tuesday) Weight 153.6. Good Day. Fitbit Steps 27354. Total Burn 3200. Exercise Burn 1300/1496 (60minElliptical, Zumba, 10milesBike). Calories in 2100. The weather has been so nice. I dropped the boys off a little early to school and made it to Zumba on time. A little smaller class today. Home again for a few sessions on the elliptical and some bike. I debated doing weights, but I really didn't want to be stiff and sore for Zumba. I've been really snacking these past couple of days. I hadn't eaten ice cream in a while, but it's back ... cold cereal too. #2 had a game in the afternoon so I had #1 pick up the munchkins. The boys were playing West Jordan, which had beat us the first go-round. Not this time though, easy win. I had to work the snack bar after his game.

0211 (Wednesday) Weight 152.8. Ok Day. Fitbit Steps 18621. Total Burn 2677. Exercise Burn 854/977 (40minElliptical, Zumba). Calories in 2300. Woke up not feeling great. Not sure if I slept wrong or what, but my back is a bit tweaked. Also, tummy troubles. I went to Zumba, but it was a hard workout. I dropped off #4's lunch (which he had forgotten) and had a pickup at Sears. I did some elliptical back at home, but didn't get to the bike today. I had to lay down and rest for a bit. After school, I caught #4 looking guilty and he admitted he couldn't find his Fitbit. He was pretty sure he'd had it after school ... I pulled up the BTLExplorer app and walked around the house and checked the car, but it wasn't around. We went back to the school, and pretty much as we got out of the car another "One" appeared. It was there on the sidewalk. It must have fallen off as he and his brother made a mad dash race to the car after school. Happy it was found! I picked up #2 from his practice, then #3 had a basketball game. Nice and close tonight (Elkridge, where #1 when to middle school). Our boys won. Still feeling very off, and at home Hubs was in bed saying he thought he was coming down with something too. No fun.

0212 (Thursday) Weight 151.5. Good Day. Fitbit Steps 26159. Total Burn 3112. Exercise Burn 1230/1420 (40minElliptical, Zumba x2). Calories in 2100. Still feeling a bit off. Hubs stayed in bed this morning, but I think that was more to meet a contractor to look at the kitchen. I can't even express how much the thought stresses me out and just brings me down. Made it through Zumba. I stopped at Kmart on the way home, spending some Fitstudio points. I had some coupons I wasn't going to use and I passed them along. The lady in front of me was pretty happy with her $5 off. Stopped at SmithsMarketplace too, grabbing some fruit and milk and bread. Today was the first day I had to pick up #3 after school (he's had practice or gone to games all the other days). I was glad I remembered. I dropped him off at a basketball buddy's house to get a ride to his game. I was really dragging, emotionally and physically. I debated not going to Zumba, and then #2 called for a ride right about when I was going to leave. I picked him up and went to Zumba, even though I was late. At least the traffic had cleared up some, the road there had been completely backed up when I'd gone taking kids just a bit earlier. Zumba was actually quite crowded! Marian and "turned" it so it was "long" rather than "deep" as it had been the previous weeks. I little easier for people to see her. The only spots left were right up front, almost parallel, but that was ok as I'm pretty familiar with most of these routines. I got really good numbers in the time I was there and it improved my mood dramatically!

0213 (Friday) Weight 151.1 Ok Day. Fitbit Steps 11390. Total Burn 2456. Exercise Burn 300/464 (20minElliptical/30minZumba). Calories in 2100. Decent weigh-in, but not a good day. Coincidentally Friday the 13th? I didn't sleep well at all, stressing about stuff. Too bad, as I actually didn't need to get up early as #3 didn't have early morning practice. #4 was insisting I come to his Valentine Party (10:30-12:30), so I had #1 drop #3 off to late start and I hit Zumba with MZL instead of my usual one across town. They were late in starting, and I was dragging and emotionally off. When they finally did get started, my heart just wasn't in it. I couldn't get my heart rate up at all! I told myself to stick out 30 minutes, that would give me time to make it back home and change and get to the school. I wasn't really needed at the school, the kids were rotating classrooms and they had enough parent volunteers (my kid's class was a "movie room" so it didn't really even need any help). I stayed until #4 rotated out and then went home. Went to bed. Early out pickup, then I went over to the high school to watch #2 play in his basketball game. They won. Hubs came for some.These early games are hard (starting at 3:30). We didn't really do anything for the evening. Had to pickup the boys around 8:30 when the varsity game ended.

0214 (Saturday) Weight 152.0. Bad Day. Fitbit Steps 7234. Total Burn 1886. Exercise Burn 100/191 (10minutesElliptical). Calories in 2000. I saw all over the internet people doing cute breakfasts and such for Valentine's day. I didn't do that. I DID make some sugar cookie hearts. I'd made some yesterday, but they were gone and I was still craving. Just kind of a do nothing day. I got in 10 minutes on the elliptical and thought I'd get back down, but I didn't. I spent quite a bit of time on the computer turning video clips from the basketball games into highlight reels. #3 had a game in the afternoon ... hmmm, what else did we do? Hubs tried to grab "Gone Girl" to watch but none of the Redbox near us had it. We ate some popcorn and watched "Better Call Saul" ...

0215 (Sunday) Weight 153.5. Ok Day. Fitbit Steps 10910. Total Burn 2269. Exercise Burn 350/565 (30minElliptical). Calories in 2600.  Not too bad for a Sunday. Had croissants for a quick breakfast. Went to church for the farewell of #1's buddy. They did lots of their mission prep together.  Made Sunday Circles after meetings and homemade oreos for dessert (one last time for #1). Hubs and I spent some time helping #3 on a science project making a Rube Goldberg contraption.  The boys wanted to watch the All-Star basketball game, but the Comcast cable box isn't working! Here we hardly ever actually watch live TV and when they want to, it doesn't work. I don't want to have to call Comcast and deal with their customer service ...

0216 (Monday) Weight 153.2. Ok Day. Fitbit Steps 20885. Total Burn 2746. Exercise Burn 896/1044 (40minElliptical, Zumba). Calories in 2500. The kids were out of school for president's day. I hit Zumba and stopped at JC Penny on the way home to grab an order (shoes for the boys). #2 still had basketball practice. In the early evening we went out to Bucca De Beppo for a "last supper" with #1 and the extended family. Sat at the "pope" table. 

0217 (Tuesday) Weight 154.1. Good Day. Total Burn 3099. Exercise Burn 870/1392 (40minElliptical, Zumba). Calories in 2350. Tuesdays I usually get a little more exercise in, but I'm not really worrying about it this week. It's too crazy. Get in my Zumba and elliptical and calling it good. Some last minute packing and prep for #1. Hubs picked up the kidlets from school so I could go out and watch #2 play in his last basketball game of the season. They won. Picked up #3 from practice. I was so tired, but we still had the setting apart. It had been pushed to 9:00 hoping #2 would be back from his games, but he wasn't. We just did it without him and then went and picked him up after. Early morning tomorrow!

0218 (Wednesday) Weight 153.8. Good Day. Total Burn 3266. Exercise Burn 825/1561 (40minElliptical, Zumba). Calories in 2600. The day started around 3:00 getting everyone up and off to the airport. We parked and took the shuttle in. Maga beat us there. We said our goodbyes and he's off! We went out to breakfast after ... I usually don't eat much for breakfast, especially not a full meal and never this early (6:00am). Got home and hubs took a little nap before heading into work. I got the kids off to school. Got started on the big room rearrange ... packing up what was left of #1's stuff. #2 came home and helped, and then moved all his stuff in. One down ... except as he moved everything he uses out of his closet, his basement closet was still completely full of stuff! I pulled everything out to look through later and moved #5's stuff down, leaving an empty spot in that room. Moved #3's stuff up there, and then moved #4's stuff down to the space vacated by #3. Going through a ton of clothes that apparently are not being worn. Some outgrown stuff too. Gathered a HUGE pile of stuff for local goodwill. Managed to empty out two dressers and not even need them (so they were set aside for DI too). All this didn't really happen just on Wednesday, but was an ongoing process Thurs/Fri and Saturday too. #3 had practice after school but no game tonight. Also, I had called Comcast and they sent a technition to come out today. He ended up replacing the box and we are back in business. It actually went very smoothly (unlike my previous Comcast nightmare!)

0219 (Thursday) Weight 153.7. Good Day. Total Burn 3403. Exercise Burn 1265/1698 (40minElliptical, Zumba x2). Calories in 1900. The boys seemed to enjoy the new sleeping arrangements ... although #3 didn't want to sleep on the old queen bed so he slept on the couch until we could get him a new twin bed. Getting in a lot of stairs and non-aerobic steps with all this moving. Hit Zumba in the morning, got in my elliptical throughout the day, and then had Zumba in the evening too.

0220 (Friday) Weight 153.2.  Good Day. Total Burn 3148. Exercise Burn 850/1446 (40minElliptical, Zumba). Calories in 2400. Definetly missed #1 this morning, as he has been helping out with crazy carpools Friday morning. I dropped #3 off at 6:30 for practice. #2 off just after 8:00 for school. Then is the decision whether to take the elementary kids, or if #3's practice will end in time for me to grab him first (otherwise he ends up waiting about 20 minutes). He did text that they were done about 8:25, so I went back and grabbed him and got home just in time to get the little ones to school. They weren't as early as they like. They enjoy playing with friends before school. But it was a cold and rainy morning, and an inside day, so it worked out. Dropped #3 back off for his school start and went out to Zumba. Home for a couple of hours ... I'll admit, I did stop and take a little nap while the house was empty and quiet. After picking up kids from school it was more moving, rearranging, going through clothes, cleaning ... but getting there!

0221 (Saturday) Weight 153.9. Ok Day. Total Burn 2455. Exercise Burn 0/750 (No exercise). Calories in 2200. Uggg, bad night. I felt fine all day Friday but as I went to bed I could feel it, a tickle in my throat, a headache, some sniffles. I didn't sleep well at all. And I could have slept in in the morning ... except I couldn't sleep. #2 had practice at 9:00. Hubs emptied out the trailer and we loaded all the stuff we were taking to goodwill. It pretty much filled the entire trailer! Hubs dropped off the donations and then stopped and bought a twin bed and came home and set it up. Still need a few things for #3's room (comforter, curtains, nightstand) ... it's very bare now, but the kid is a bare bones type of boy. Even though he has a ton of space he is tossing out anything he doesn't feel like he is using (including the 2nd pair of jeans I just bought him a couple months ago, for heavens sake you can keep it as a back-up to the one pair you prefer!). He has the old desk from the front room. The room really needs painting, maybe new carpet. I tried washing down the walls, but all the old drawings and boogers didn't come off. #3 had a basketball game too. I was not feeling well, I video taped it (they lost, but #3 had a pretty good game so I still might make a highlight reel) but was anxious for it to be over ... not that laying down really helped me feel any better either. Oh yes ... it is also #2's BIRTHDAY! I'm such a bad mom, in between getting #1 off and the room rearrange I have been completely preoccupied and I didn't have anything for him. Sweet kid said it didn't matter. I'll make it up to him! I have been giving him a lot of stuff here and there (new clothes and such). I hit the store for some grocery shopping and grabbed him some of his favorite treats. He hadn't committed to which kind of cake he wanted (chocolate fudge or white buttercream) ... so I got them both! We had one in the evening with Hubs side of the family over, and we'll have the other tomorrow with my folks and his girlfriend (who was gone over the weekend to a dance competition).

0222 (Sunday) Weight 154.3.  Ok Day. Total  Burn 2193. Exercise Burn 0/485 (no exercise). Calories in 2000. Another awful night. I don't feel great during the day, but it's at night where a cold like this really affects me. I didn't even take any medication during the day yesterday ... but no sleep. Hubs had a lesson to prepare, and with me not feeling well, we didn't go to the first couple church meetings. I had to play the piano and hubs had to teach, so we did hit the third hour. I had made our Sunday Circle breakfast, but I abstained from a waffle. I must admit I had some chocolate cake though (yes, for breakfast). I don't really even like the chocolate cake! After church, hubs took a little nap while I continued to work on the piles of clothes. Since we took the last batch of donations to the DI I am starting again! I also cleaned the bathroom (normally #2's job, but I couldn't have him do it yesterday on his birthday!) and prepped for company. Made spaghetti for dinner ... I haven't been a good wife/mother lately, I can't remember the last time I made dinner. Got that cleaned up and time for company and cake. Turned on home videos of #2 as a baby ... his girlfriend liked that. Grandparents came over and we had cake and played games. I wasn't feeling well though, although bed really isn't that appealing either, as I know I'm not going to be able to sleep :(

0223 (Monday) Weight 153.2. OK Day. Total Burn 2573. Exercise Burn 450/876 (40minElliptical) Calories in 1100. Still sick. I voluntarily skipped Zumba, I just didn't think I had it in me. I did try a little elliptical. It was hard. Just 10 minute sessions throughout the day. Still did some cleaning, I want this room rearrange finished up (it is almost, just a few things still out in the main room downstairs). Did take a long, hot shower and then a little nap. The high school was playing at Weber State in the playoffs. #2 rode with the team, and friends offered to give #3 a ride. I dropped him off at a basketball buddies house then picked up the munchkins from school. I caught a little of the game as there was a live stream on KSL ... our poor boys were getting pummled (not unexpected, we were 4th seed against the #1 seed). So, last game for the high school (single elimination). I had to go grab the boys as they arrived back home. Hubs had been up uber early and was out cold by about 8:30.  I hadn't been super hungry today ... low calorie day for me.

0224 (Tuesday) Weight 152.6. Good Day. Total Burn 3006. Exercise Burn 880/1307 (40minElliptical, Zumba). Calories in 1200. I might have skipped Zumba today, except that I was committed to help teach. Marian was out of town in Mexico and had asked me and another gal to lead the songs. I had the sound box, the other gal had the music. I went ... but the other gal didn't show, so it was just me and the songs I had on my phone. It still went ok, we did have to repeat a few songs to hit the full hour (and I didn't have a "cool down"). I actually felt okay, the cold didn't impact me as much as I thought. Still stayed somewhat busy during the day and had another low calorie day. Hubs had a derby and #2 went along to help. I dropped #3 at his practice and made a quick trip to the grocery store to grab some bananas and a couple other items. Back to take #3 from one practice to another one ... but then the second practice ended up cancelled. It was ok though, then I got to go to bed early rather than the anticipated 10:00 pickup.

0225 (Wednesday) Weight 150.5. Pretty Good day. Total Burn 2464. Exercise Burn 600/777 (20minElliptical, Zumba). Calories in 2200. I went to Zumba today, it was a push, but I made it. I stopped at Sears on the way home. I was feeling quite lightheaded though ... I hadn't eaten breakfast. I was ravenous when I got home and ate quite a bit. Had more of a lazy day today. Took a bit of a rest and only got two 10min sessions on the elliptical. No basketball game in the evening again. I had tried going without medication today but gave in and took some and was ready to try to go to bed early!

0226 (Thursday) Weight 152.1. Pretty Good Day. Total Burn 2545. Exercise Burn 450/849 (Zumba). Calories in 1900. Again, I might have taken a break from Zumba, except that I had to get the box back to Marian. I didn't feel great, but I was glad I had gone. It was snowing when it was time to leave. It's been such a mild winter this snow in February is a shock to the system! I stopped at the dollar store, hoping to get some snack bags, but they were out. Picked up a few other things.  Heard from #1 son today, got to exchange a few emails. I figured I wasn't in for a double Zumba day, so I took #3 to his basketball game. They'd lost to this team once already, and it looked like it was going that way again. They our boys rebounded and at least made it exciting. Only lost by 2, but at this point it's a single elimination tournament, so that was the final game. #3 and I stopped at Kmart on the way home and grabbed some stuff for #4 with his points, which were going to expire. Then we stopped and grabbed #2, who was at his girlfriend's house (he'd stayed after to do a driving roads session then gone there). Hubs had taken the two little ones and gone to pick up cousins and hit Chick-fil-a for some dinner and ice cream.

0227 (Friday) Weight 151.2. Pretty Good Day. Total Burn 2811. Exercise Burn 600/1120 (20minElliptical, Zumba). Calories in 1800. Final Friday with the crazy schedule (meaning last early morning basketball practice for #3). I had really considered skipping Zumba, as I haven't really had the energy to put enough effort to get a big burn in and this one was clear across town... but I went. I was glad I did. Got in a couple elliptical sessions and then spent some time cleaning out my own closet (after having gone through the boys in the previous weeks). Still have loads of stuff, but I did make a dent. Was able to clear out a couple of things (my nightstand, some shoes) enough to make a noticeable difference. The cleaning kept me pretty active too. Kept it a low calorie day as well.

0228 (Saturday) Weight 151.2.  Ok Day. Total Burn 2286. Exercise Burn 220/595 (20minElliptical).  Calories in 2500. Hit Sams Club in the morning to stock up on bread and bananas. I miss my early morning hours I used to hit before they changed the elementary school start time. Saturday is the only time I can take advantage of it anymore. #3 had games today, at 1:00, and if they won that (which they did) at 3:00. As we went from one location to another, I realized I didn't have my phone. Luckily someone had turned it in to the snack bar, so it was there as I backtracked. #3 then wanted to watch the A team play, then wanted to watch the 9th graders play ... which meant I had to make a couple more trips to get him to those games. Hubs suggested a date ... a date? It's been a while! We went out to Red Robin. Even getting there around 5:30 it was pretty packed, but luckily the wait wasn't too long.  I picked up the boys (#2 had been out most of the day) and turned in. Hubs was out late with a buddy.

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