Monday, August 28, 2017

Weekly Report #212

With the big loss last week (just over seven pounds), I was really hoping to nudge the scale into the 160s. Unfortunately, I'm up this morning at weigh-in. I excelled with my eating and exercise Mon-Thurs, and while the weekend wasn't the best, it wasn't "wicked" either. So yes, it's a little frustrating that the scale moved in the wrong direction.

NUMBERS: Official weight up 2.5 pounds, but average was down (-4.18 to 171.06) so I feel good about that. I managed a deficit every day, with a weekly total of -6156.  The average intake came in at 1764, with average daily burn at 2940. Step average 26470, with 102.07 logged miles. cardio minutes came in at 1100/1036/1136 with 40min w/weights, 40min on abs/core.  Four 30k days, two 20k, and the last was still over 10k. Four days with burn 3000+.

Life ala Life Cycle ...

EXERCISE: I got in my hour of elliptical six days ... just 40min on Saturday. Five Zumba classes with a little extra on my own. Six times on the treadmill ... again skipping Saturday, but I got two miles on the track instead. That kinda counts! Four sessions on the bike. Just one full body weight workout, with two small sessions for abs/core.

OTHER ACTIVITIES: School started up ... that means more time in the car running kids around. The usual grocery shopping and time mowing the lawn. One basketball game for #5.

Here's a day by day ...
  • Monday (0821) Off day. Started with Debbie in Daybreak for Zumba. Just a half hour of elliptical. Some treadmill time and bike. Didn't have glasses to view the eclipse. 20144 steps. 2534 burn. 1200 intake.
  • Tuesday (0822) Back to school for #3. No car yet for him, so I had to drop him off and pick him up. Up early enough to get in two sessions on the elliptical early (some later in the day for my full hour). Then Zumba+, treadmill time, bike and weights. Back to school night and basketball camp in the evening for #5. The other four boys start school tomorrow. 32159 steps. 3069 burn. 1900 intake.
  • Wednesday (0823) Super busy day. First day of school for the other four boys. Triple drop-offs in the morning, triple pick-ups in the afternoon. I fit in my hour of elliptical, Zumba and some treadmill, but didn't make it to the bike. Still hit my 30k though, with grocery shopping steps and lawn mowing and just the fact that I don't know if I ever stopped moving! 32062 steps. 3305 burn. 1700 intake.
  • Thursday (0824) Not in the right habits yet (for back to school). Accidentally set my alarm for 6:45 instead of 5:45 ... slept until the alarm. Zumba with MZL. Three 20min sessions on the elliptical, treadmill time and bike. Also a little abs/core. Small plane crashed nearby, #3 and #5 were outside and saw it go down, and the smoke and debris as it crashed. The pilot survived. 31510 steps. 3303 burn. 1250 intake.
  • Friday (0825) Shifted school schedules with late start and early out. Got in half my elliptical early, and the other half later in the day. Zumba with MZL ... I didn't hit Fridays last year, but Mr. Middle school is getting picked up by carpool. Two times on the treadmill, and some reading/riding to finish up the day. Calories in were out of control though. 31257 steps. 3119 burn. 2700 intake.
  • Saturday (0826) Two 20min sessions on the elliptical, a couple miles walking around the track while waiting for #5's basketball game to start for exercise. Grocery shopping steps and lawn mowing as well. 21787 steps. 2715 burn. 1700 intake. 
  • Sunday (0827) Got in my hour of elliptical and some treadmill time. Also abs. Hubs brisket dinner and GOT season finale finished the day.16369 steps. 2533 burn. 2300 intake.
Five Featured Photos ...

Monday ... the eclipse 
(not my photo, but I loved how this shows what the glasses do)

Back to School ... #5 is a 6th grader!

Five boys starting school. 
Elementary, middle school, high school and a couple college kids.

Another not my photo (PC Deseret News)  ... Thursday, I was stopped by emergency vehicles as I went to pick up #3 from high school. Then as I headed toward the middle school, I could see all the emergency vehicles had descended on the street I was on. They hadn't closed the street completely, so I was able to get by.  As I picked up the kids, I got an automated call from the school district saying a small plane had crashed. It was near the hub for all the busses, and had taken out a power pole, so bussing for the kids could be affected. 

When I picked up #5 from school, he said he'd been out at recess and had seen the plane flying, and something about it caught his attention, and he saw the plane go down, followed by a "mushroom cloud" of debris and smoke after. All the kids were quickly ushered back into the school, and crisis counselors were made available to any of the students that were struggling with what they saw.

The pilot survived ... actually walked away with minor injuries. There is an airport for smaller planes close by, so unfortunately crashes of small planes in our immediate area have happened quite a bit over the years. Just five years ago, a small plane crashed IN the school yard stopping just short of hitting the school building itself.

Our golden girl (duck) has started laying eggs!
Most have been chicken sized ... but look at this monster from this morning!

So ... first week shifting back to the school schedule. I adjusted to the early mornings, although driving #3 to school screws up my schedule from last year, so I haven't been able to get in my hour of elliptical early (usually 30-40 minutes though). I kept eating in check, and kept up the exercise. This next week is BIRTHDAY week though (#4, #3 and #1 shortly after) so that might complicate things ... cake and all. We'll see ...

Monday, August 21, 2017

Weekly Report #211

I've had two drastic drops in weight in my life. Back in 2006, when I first lost the weight (20 pounds in two weeks, then 30 more over the next few months and kept if off for a few years). Then again December 2014,  I was super sick one week and dropped 10 pounds  (the scale shifted back pretty quick then, not surprised at all that it  didn't stick). Does this (7 pounds in one week) qualify as the third time? And will it stay... and continue?

STATS: Official loss from last week to today is -7.1 pounds. Average down too, but not as drastic (-2.89 to 175.24). Intake average was 1692. Burn average 3097. Intake was well under burn all week, creating a large deficit (-9755). Step average came in at 29,252 with 129.89 logged miles. 1320/1184/1298 cardio minutes. 140 minutes with weights or abs/core. Three 30k days, the rest all over 20k. Four days with burn over 3000.

EXERCISE: With the treadmill out of commission last week, I transferred my usual treadmill time back to the elliptical, getting in my hour for the first time in a while. This week .. I got in my hour of elliptical every day. I went to five Zumba classes and did extra on my own. With the treadmill up and running, I was walking on it every day. Only missed the bike one day (six sessions) and had two weight workouts, and two smaller ones for abs/core.

OTHER ACTIVITIES: Went in for a fill (nails), the usual grocery shopping and lawn mowing, and one basketball game for #5 ... which he didn't even end up playing in.

Here's the Day by Day...

  • Monday (0814) First 30k day in a while. Got in my hour of elliptical, Zumba w/Debbie, and hour on the treadmill (tried some jogging/incline ... ugg) and bike. Also some shopping steps and lawn mowing. Wanted to keep calories at 2000 and just barely did. 32564 steps. 3248 burn.
  • Tuesday (0815) Bad night for sleep. Three 20min sessions on the elliptical, Zumba at the church, treadmill time and bike. Should have done weights ... even started, but didn't have it in me. Nap and nails. Kept calories in check. 26726 steps. 2960 burn. 1500 intake.
  • Wednesday (0816) Zumba w/MZL, some treadmill time and bike. Three 20min sessions on the elliptical (morning, afternoon and evening). Also fit in a weight workout. The boys got back from their end-of-summer getaway. Tacos for dinner, and homemade oreos for dessert. 29134 steps. 3191 burn. 1500 intake.
  • Thursday (0817) Really needed Zumba this morning. Along with HR up, it lifted my spirits. Also got in my hour of elliptical, some treadmill time, bike and a little abs/core. Mowed the back lawn and did three quick store stops. Strog for dinner for the guys ... mealworms for the ducks. 30238 steps. 3306 burn. 1500 intake.
  • Friday (0818) Hmmm, it's not really four hours of "exercise" ... Zumba is as much for my mental health as anything else, elliptical and treadmill time is my TV time, and the bike is for reading/riding. So yes, I spent four hours today dancing, watching tv and reading. 33767 steps. 3240 burn. 1500 intake.
  • Saturday (0819) Got in my hour of elliptical, and did an hour walk on the treadmill. Also did a weight workout and mowed the lawn. #5 had a basketball game in the evening, but he ended up just cheering his team on as a bad blister (skin pulled off) on his baby toe was too painful in a shoe. Didn't really eat today. 23293 steps. 2779 burn.
  • Sunday (0820) No rest for the wicked. Did an hour of Zumba on my own, an hour of elliptical, plus treadmill time, bike and a little ab/core. 29043 steps. 2954 burn. 1550.
Five Featured Photos ...

 Three of my boys and cousins - final summer fling

Our two new adopted ducks ... doing a little yoga.

Got water? This was to the brim before Zumba.

The boys back home and back in their own beds ... I mean couches.

Blistered baby toe. Ouch!

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Zumba Conventions - CRAZY!

Every year (for the last 10 years anyway) there has been a big Zumba convention. ZinCon. Instructors come from all over to take classes, get certified and just dance and have fun. As I know quite a few instructors, I generally get a peek at it through their eyes (and social media accounts, which often overflow with images). I posted about ZinCon2016 last year, so here's a quick glance at the 2017 gathering.

Claudia, Heather and Nicole.
I've been to classes from all three instructors!

Maria and Eleika attended also ...

... so did Heather B. I'm friends w/Heather on Fitbit as well. She had super steps (39K one day, over 36K another). There are always big themed parties where everyone dresses up. Pretty crazy ...

... and crowded! On Zumba's Facebook account, they posted that there were 7500 instructors in attendance. That is truly attendance. They attended. They danced!

They the instructors return to their respective homes and classes. 
Hopefully re-energized and excited to share what they've learned with their students. 

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Weekly Review #210

It was a pretty good week. I felt a little more in control of calories ... at least a few days of the week. Still some sickness in the house, the boys just seem to shake it. #2 left for an end of summer trip Wednesday, and Hubs and the three youngest left on Saturday for a mini-vacation of their own.

NUMBERS: Weight down (-2.8) with average down a smidge (-.8 to 179.13). Kept intake under burn four of the seven days this week. Average Intake 2136. Average Daily Burn 2961. Decent deficit for the week (-3010). 23,823 step average. 106.07 logged miles. 1020/922/1060 active minutes. 90min w/weights, 60min Abs/Core.  No 30k days, but five of the days were well over 20k. Three days 3000+ burn.

I really wish LifeCyle would let me personalize the week (Fitbit does!) so it ends on Sunday rather than Saturday. I fudged the exercise (putting it on LAST Sunday so the graph would be correct).

EXERCISE: I got in an elliptical workout every day this week. I actually hit my hour of elliptical four of the seven days. That was mainly due to the treadmill being out of commission for four days. I spent that extra time on the elliptical. Five Zumba classes and some practice time on my own. Three times on the treadmill, six times on the bike. Two full-body workouts w/weights, and two sessions focused just on abs/core.

OTHER ACTIVITIES: #5 did have some basketball games Thursday and Friday, but it was such a chunk of time (commute and multiple games) that I just sent him with a teammate. Just one small lawn mowing this week (15min) ... I guess it didn't make the graph. It was a little too wet over the weekend for a second mow. Hubs and I got out for a belated anniversary dinner. A visit to the doctor for #4, and Hubs ended spending a bit of time at the hospital with his Mom.

Here's the day by day ...

  • Monday (0807) Up early enough to hit the elliptical first thing. Then Zumba w/Debbie. #3 was hanging with friends and then had work ... so no fighting him for gym time today. Got in treadmill and did some ab/core work. Hubs bought a new (used/commercial) treadmill and had movers over to switch the two ... unfortunately this industrial one requires different electrical, so no more treadmill time until that gets worked out :( Hit the bike for reading/riding before bed. Kept calories in check today. 26111 steps. 3088 burn. 1350 intake.
  • Tuesday (0808) Good day! Zumba w/Marian ... and Marian was there! I did a little Zumba practice on my own after as well. I'd managed to get in two elliptical sessions before class, and more after, so I got in my full hour of elliptical today (first time in a while). Treadmill still out of commission, but I hit the bike and did weights (full body workout). Black bean and spinach enchiladas for dinner ... I don't eat that though! Kept calories in check again today. 28668 steps. 3358 burn . 1200 intake.
  • Wednesday (0809) Got in half my hour of elliptical in early, and the other half later in the day. Zumba w/MZL. Rushed home, getting #4 to a Dr. appointment. This cold is just hanging on (#1 and #5 sick too) but now there is ear pain and hearing loss. Ear infection. Stopped at Target to grab the prescription. Mowed the lawn and hit the bike for some reading/riding. #1 took the two littles to see "Spiderman". Hubs came home a little early and we went out to eat at Market Street. Belated anniversary dinner. Then he got a call concerning his mom having some issues (she had a bad fall hitting her head several weeks ago) and he went out there and they ended up at the ER. He got home around 1:00, and then back there at 5:00. Not much sleep! 24747 steps. 2960 burn. 2550 intake.
  • Thursday (0810) Not a great day. Hubs was off early to check on MIL at the hospital. There for several hours but she was discharged. Just feeling a little stressed with all that, plus the sick kids, the tramp and treadmill situation and little sleep last night. Did make it to Zumba still, and fit in 30min of Elliptical. Eating was a little over, but not out of control. Hubs did comment that he succumbed to stress eating today! 19180 steps. 2754 burn. 2300 intake.
  • Friday (0811) Good day, especially for a Friday! Got in my hour of elliptical, Zumba with MZL and some on my own. Hit the bike for reading/riding and did 30min Ab/Core. A little hula hoop too. Kept calories in check... even with donuts in the house! 27952 steps. 3290 burn. 1900 intake. 
  • Saturday (0812) Crazy, chaotic morning as Hubs was attempting to wrap up a bunch of stuff before heading out of town with the three littles. I ended up getting in 1/2 hour of elliptical, bike, a weight workout and ... treadmill. One of those items on Hub's list was updating the electrical. Unfortunately, I personally prefer the old treadmill! Also unfortunate ... lots of stress eating today. 17858 steps. 2587 burn. 3000 intake.  
  • Sunday (0813) NOT a rest day. Got in my hour of elliptical, an hour of treadmill walk, and hit the bike for reading/riding. Eating was over though. Got hit with a hail storm! 22247 steps. 2690 burn. 2650 intake. 
Five Featured Photos ...

Off to see Spiderman.

 From our garden ...

 Out to dinner with Hubs ... my black Fitbit doesn't match!
Usually not an issue as I'm almost always in black.

 ... and my Fitbit band broke! It's not one of the holes that I need, so I can still wear it, but it's much more difficult to get off and on and now the little end pokes out. I should just upgrade to the ChargeHR, but the frugal part of me won't allow it while the device is still working.

The boys are off to "sunny" St. George. 
They got quite the storm! We had some storminess here too.

Monday, August 14, 2017

Toe Trouble (and Other Medical Mishaps)

Time for another Medical Monday.
Just a recap on the general health issues from the family these past few months.

 I'll start with a cute picture!
I've been mentioning #2's toes in the last couple "Medical Monday" installments ... but it was basketball season, so what do you do? Ingrown toenails are a pain. Literally! I suffered through them my teen years. #1 had issues and we had to get him in and taken care of. #2's turn.

Here's a bit of a before ...
... and you can see it's not only the big toe that's the trouble. He has a lot of chafing and itching and irritation between the little toes too. Nothing as serious as years ago when his case of athlete's foot morphed into something crazy (The Agony of Defeet). Anyway, I finally called the podiatrist and took him in (top picture). His toe was so bad, the doctor said they wouldn't be able to do the permanent fix. He cut in and did what he needed to do to get this one cleared up. I didn't watch, but #2 did. The doctor cut down and simply removed a big slice of the edge of the toenail. Bandaged him up and said he could return to activity when he felt ready (which was playing in a basketball scrimmage the next day). Had to stay out of water (shower) for a day, and any swimming or such for about a week. He recommended that we come back in during the next month or so for the permanent fix (what #1 and I had done ... no problems since!) but we haven't made it back.

I've had a little toe trouble myself. This second toe on my right foot has been afflicted with this scaly dryness for ages now. Not a huge deal, but it can feel fairly painful and burning at times. It hasn't spread at all, but it also hasn't gotten better. It's such a small problem, I can't quite justify going into the doctor for it, but it really bugs me!

... and my poor baby boy's baby toe!
 (added 08/12/2017) After my original post, but it certainly belongs here with "toe troubles" right?! His shoe rubbed and created a big ol blister, and the little man peeled the skin off. Probably shouldn't have done that! He had to sit out his basketball game, he just couldn't play through the pain (even with different shoes). We tried to leave it out in the open air (Sat/Sun/Mon) and then when he had a basketball clinic Tues/Wed (and school starting, needing to wear shoes) I bought some of the special "blister band-aids" and they seemed to help. By the following Saturday, he was able to play in his game.

... onto other issues!
I'm seeing RED!

This has happened to me a few times in the past. Usually I can pinpoint a "violent" event that caused the burst blood vessel (such as sickness/vomiting ... or tickle time from Hubs, in which I fight him off!) This time, I have NO idea what happened!

It took about a week for it to fade. 
Until then,
I just gave everyone the evil eye!

... then there was my mouth.

Back in April, I had such a sore throat. I didn't really show any other signs of sickness (coughing or sniffles) and when I did a glance in my mouth with a flashlight, I saw several little sores. Canker sores on the roof of my mouth.  It was SO painful, and lasted a couple weeks. It impacted eating a bit ... not enough to shift the scale though!

 Poor #4 came home from a neighborhood walk with a dog bite!

... and the same child's thumb(nail)
He smashed it playing basketball and damaged the nail bed.
Then he bites his nails to complete the look.

Hubs and I had some general testing done as we were applying for a life insurance policy for us both. Blood and urine samples taken. Tons of questions. Ages/health of parents and siblings. Smoking was asked about multiple times ... yet I can't recall them asking anything about alcohol. Weight changes are asked about, medical issues, etc.

Happily Hub's Meniere's hasn't raised its ugly head in a while. There was a time or two when he felt twinges, but no full fledged attacks. We are more than okay with that!

Not a bad few months. Staying pretty healthy!
Until next time ...

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Achievemint Evolution (Achievement)

What IS Achievement? It's a health/fitness rewards program. 
Earn $$ for exercise, eating right, tracking sleep, weight, water ...

I saw this image pop up on my Instagram feed August 1st.  As I follow fitness/health bloggers and my favorite programs and brands,  "Transformation Tuesday" posts are not uncommon. This is a twist on transformation though ... Achievemint has evolved into AchievemEnt. In addition to the name re-brand, they've increased their presence in social media (you can follow them on Facebook and Twitter and on Instagram). I'm excited to see what other enhancements this update brings.  Ironically, 2013 is when I re-committed to my personal "journey" and started this blog. It's also when I originally discovered and joined Achievemint. I guess I've been with them since the beginning!

So... Throwback Thursday.

Looking back on Achievemint's updates and evolution.
Reflecting on MY Achievemint experience along the way.

I joined Achievemint in June 2013, linking it to my Fitbit. August 2013 was the first time Achievemint was mentioned on my blog. It was a general post, outlining several different reward programs I was participating in (Reaping the Rewards ... only Achievement and Walgreens are still active at this time). 

In January 2014 I received my first payout, and did my first dedicated post (Achievemint Update). Back then it took 25,000 points for a $25 payout (with an incentivized option roll over points toward a larger payout).

Just as I'd recommended Fitbit (I'm a fan) to all my friends and family ... I also encouraged everyone to give Achievemint a try. I got my husband and my older son enrolled, set up both my parents ... but by the time my sister tried to get on board, immediate enrollment was halted (there was a waiting list).

Then, in July 2015 ...
After successfully earning and redeeming another award ... I also received this notice. I'd hit the threshold for the program. As I stated in that blog post (Another Achivemint Update), I was disappointed, but I understood. If there was a waiting list, hopefully this would open up a spot for someone else to be able to benefit from this program (my sister was able to join not long afterward). At that point, other than helping Hubs and my folks check their accounts, I figured MY Achievemint journey was done. 

Then ... big news in May 2016 (Achievemint Update ... Update). The program was changing. No more limits on rewards. I could start earning again. In fact, as I'd never disconnected my Fitbit, it had continued counting and crediting my steps and such.  I had enough points to redeem a $10 award right then. There were some additional updates as well. The goal switched to a 10,000 point $10 redemption, a new payout system (I can vouch that recent award payments have been FAST) and a revised points system. There were also new offers (referral program, surveys and such) to help augment the points balance.

Another addition to this update was the introduction of an Achievemint App. Previously, I'd simply logged in on my computer to check my balance (I'd also signed up to receive weekly email updates). The app was a handy way to do quick check-ins on my Achievemint account. 

... and the app options you can use to connect to Achievemint are constantly updating too. If you don't have a Fitbit, most other fitness trackers can connect, as well as fitness apps. When Hubs switched from the Fitbit to the Apple Watch, he stopped earning on Achievemint. But now I look and see that he could be connecting with Apple Health. Yea! Other health apps too, that track food, water intake, sleep, weight. So many different options to earn.

As I reflect, there have been other shifts over the years. My original payment came as a prepaid Visa card. Later, an Amazon gift card was an option. As of this post, rewards are paid via Paypal or GiftRocket (which has a few redemption possibilities, I had my award deposited directly to my checking account).
So now, new look, "new" name... new possibilities! If you haven’t already checked out Achievement, visit Achievement on the web at or as an iOS or Android app.

What can YOU Achieve?

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Weekly Review #209

And we're into August. School starts in a few weeks, and it will be interesting to see if the switch back to school schedules will help here with the scale at all. I think it's going to be a bit of a struggle to get up early again. Hitting my hour of elliptical as I get the boys off to school ... 10 x10 (10,000 steps by 10 am). Will that happen again? Will additional exercise help (it's the eating that's the issue). 

NUMBERS: Official weight was up .9. Average was down just slightly (-.33 to 178.93). Didn't do good with the eating (a bit of baking this week) ... intake  was over burn six of the seven days.  Average in was 2550. Burn average 2635. Only 295 over when crunching the numbers. I thought it would be worse. 19,076 for the step average. 58.2 logged miles. No 30k days, only four over 20k. One day with 3000+ burn (unfortunately a couple days with 3000+ intake).  Cardio minutes were 680/648/791. Weight workouts for 45 minutes. 

EXERCISE: No hour of elliptical, but I did hit it everyday (30min usually). Zumba classes Mon-Fri, so five total. Tuesday I was the teacher, on my own for the entire class. Didn't really get much extra Zumba on my own this week though. Four times on the treadmill, twice on the bike. One time with weights. 

OTHER ACTIVITIES: Back to basketball! #5 had a game on Saturday. Got out grocery shopping a few times... a quick trip to Kohls for new slides for #4 didn't take long enough to make it onto the graph (under 30minutes). The usual lawn mowing ...  my basic boring (and I'm okay with that) week. 

Here's a day by day recap ...
  • Monday (0731) Back to the standard summer routine. Started the day with Zumba w/Debbie. Only got in elliptical for extra exercise ... had some boys in my gym for several hours, I'll use that as my excuse. We have two ducks in the backyard again ... 20234 steps. 2787 burn. 1700 intake. 
  • Tuesday (0801) Good way to start August. I lead the entire Zumba class this morning. Sweat dripping in my eyes. My face was red for about an hour after! Hit the elliptical, treadmill and bike, and did weights (and a little hula hoop too). Lasagna for dinner, with homemade breadsticks, and cinnamon rolls for dessert. So yes, over on calories. I love bread! 25272 steps. 3082 burn. 2700 intake.
  • Wednesday (1802) A bit of a down day. Got in my Zumba w/MZL and 30min elliptical. Some shopping steps and I mowed the front lawn. 18871 steps. 2587 burn. 2200 intake.
  • Thursday (0803) Pretty good day for exercise, but over on the eating. Zumba w/MZL, elliptical, treadmill and bike. Had leftover dough from the other day, made scones for a late breakfast, and then rest into more cinnamon rolls. 23195 steps. 2773 burn. 3000 intake.
  • Friday (0804) Went to Zumba with MZL. Quick stop at the store on the way home. Got in some elliptical and some treadmill time. National chocolate chip cookie day, so I HAD to make cookies, right? 23043 steps. 2785 burn. 2900 intake.
  • Saturday (0805) Mowed the lawn. Just 30min on the elliptical. I'd hoped to hit weights, but #3 had friends over in the gym for much of the afternoon. #5 had a basketball game. 13135 steps. 2364 burn. 2750 intake
  • Sunday (0806) One session on the elliptical and a treadmill walk. Ozark binge! Finished the series while enjoying Hub's popcorn. 9784 steps. 2064 burn. 2600 intake.
Five Featured Photos ...

 #4 accidentally left his bag in the Uber after the airport. It had his nice headphones (which he'd bought with his own money) and his Fitbit Alta charger and other items. A few months ago, #3 had left his bag in an Uber (with HIS headphones and personalized water bottle and such) and  it was lost forever. Happily this time, Hubs was able to contact the Uber driver, reconnect and get the bag back! And if he looks a little under the weather ... he was. He started feeling a little sick on the trip and was down most of the week. #5 too, and #1 got it at the end of the week.

I had to clean out the crispers and restock veggies and fruits  now that the boys were back home. I THOUGHT I'd pulled out everything perishable (that wouldn't last the 10 days the guys were gone) but I'd missed a few items, and hadn't been in the drawers myself. There was some pretty sketchy stuff. Those drawers needed a complete cleaning!

Hubs on a hike Thursday morning.

My Thursday Zumba class has this HUGE fan.
I'm a fan of fans!

... and #1 napping in MY room, as I was using his room/bed to get the cinnamon rolls and breadsticks rising. His room has a Southern exposure, so it heats up, and I can keep the door closed to keep the kitties from stepping on the baby breads until it's time to bake. Unfortunately, I like to eat what I bake.

Monday, August 7, 2017

Home Alone 3

The family went on vacation.
I spent 10 days home alone. 
Luckily there were no bad guys to battle.

My husband has been bitten by the travel bug ... unfortunately, I'm allergic to that particular bug bite. Okay, not really, but I don't travel well. We've been able to adapt, and Hubs gets a bit of his bite attended to by traveling to or with his brother and their family. While it's not an official, annual trip, Hubs and the boys have been making the trek out to Seattle several times the past few years. This year marks my 3rd Home Alone staycation.

I made the first couple trips, when my BIL lived in Portland. Then they moved to Seattle. I never made it there. The first trip was in 2010. Fellow homebody #4 sat out the trip staying with me, so I wasn't alone that year. Then in 2013, Hubs and all five boys were off, leaving me Home Alone.  They went again the next year (Seattle 2014), that was Home Alone 2. In 2015, Hubs hit Europe (with his BIL and family) and that was the vacation for that summer. A Seattle trip was planned for 2016, but Hubs backed out at the last minute (Meniere's had been acting up). But 2017 ... it was on. This time, the whole family (sans myself) was flying. First time on an airplane for the two littles. I was home alone for 10 days. I know many a mommy wishes for "some" alone time. This was a little long, but Daddy and the boys kept in touch and I was able to enjoy the vacation vicariously.

I've documented this year's vacation on the family blog. Here at home ...
  • EXERCISE: Didn't increase dramatically like it did when I was Home Alone in 2013. I got in my Zumba class Mon-Fri and did do some Sat/Sun on my own (which I usually don't if everyone is around). No one to battle for gym time, so I did pretty good hitting elliptical, treadmill, bike and weights while they were gone. Hubs said he managed to get in several runs during the vacation.
  • EATING: Stayed pretty much the same ... it sure would have been a struggle on the trip! Between simply snacking a lot, and me just not liking stuff (Hubs had to make some special arrangements for #5 when he didn't like the location they were eating at, but I've much worse). I went out to eat twice ... my MIL took me to dinner, and I met my mom for lunch one afternoon. I made my mint brownies, so those were around to tempt me the entire time. I tried to be good, and had some good days ... but also had some days that were uber over.
  • SLEEP: Hubs is an early to bed boy (as he's almost always up early too) and I generally try to shut down and join him, even if I'm just reading in bed. When he's gone ... I tend to stay up later, and that was true in this case. Some sleeping in, but really no different than the usual summer schedule. I grabbed a couple naps in the quiet house too.
  • MOMMY DUTIES: With the family gone, many of my daily "chores" all but disappeared! When the guys first left, I did a pretty good house cleaning and ... it stays clean with just me around. Whereas laundry and dishes are usually a daily duty,  it was only needed a time or two these 10 days. Shopping was impacted ... I had to make sure I didn't overbuy before the boys left.  Anything perishable wouldn't last. I did a decent cleanout of the fridge. I still hit the store a time or two, and then restocked right before they got back. Making the bed was easier, with only half of it being used each night... and I'll admit I left it unmade some of the time. Lawn mowing requirements were the same. One job I had to take over was changing the kitty litter ... usually #4's job. 
  • OTHER ACTIVITIES: With no boys around, I admit I did a little sun-bathing in the back yard. With all my mowing and yard work in a tank top, my shoulders were already quite tan. I slipped on a swim suit and let my bottom half catch up a bit (with my head and shoulders in the shade for comfort). I did get in a bit of reading while sunning ... although the weather didn't quite cooperate. It's been a bit of a joke that as the boys go to Seattle, Utah gets hit with Seattle weather! Several rainy and overcast days (but no flooding as happened in 2014 ... at least not at our home. There WAS flooding in the Sugarhouse area.) I also went and got my nails done. I watched three movies (streaming, I generally don't get around to movies, just TV series while I work out). I had planned to catching up on some blogging, but only got a few posts done. LOTS of reading!

 My New Nails
I laughed a little, as Hubs had forgotten to notify the credit card companies of his travel plans. He managed to set off fraud alerts on both cards (we were able to get it resolved so he could continue to spend $$!) Hubs and the boys sent pictures, videos and texts to keep me up to date on their adventures. Also checking in to make sure I was alive and well here at home. Alone.

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