Thursday, January 31, 2013

Thankful Thursday - Appliances

This week I have been reminded how thankful I am for my appliances!  I know they are conveniences but this past week some of them have felt like necessities.  I'm so thankful we have them all!

Washer & Dryer - we had the stomach flu go through our house...need I say more?  :)  Seriously, both Daniel & Zak got sick multiple times.  And they pretty much hit a blanket every time.  Sometimes they took out full bedding sets.  I have done more loads of laundry this week than I have in a very long time.
My BFFs this week...and the ever present full laundry basket in front of them
 Food Processor - did I seriously live without this until just a month ago?  I use it nearly every day.  This week I have used it 3 times to "rice" cauliflower alone.  I also used it to grind up sweet potatoes.  And I will use it to make applesauce when I get a minute.

My new food processor with cauliflower rice - delicious!

Crock Pot - This is also a newer appliance to me.  I didn't even have one until I married Adrian.  Then I didn't use it for a good year or so after we got married.  Now I use it at least once/week, sometimes more.  I'm cooking tortilla soup in it right now.  It smells awesome!

Gadgets - Again, we the stomach flu so we didn't get to leave the house much the past 4 days.  I'm thankful I had all of our electronic gadgets to keep the boys busy...and myself entertained.  The boys are really into video games right now, so we spent a lot of time playing XBox & Wii this week.  And our DVR has been a life saver when I have kids who can't get off the couch.

Dishwasher - 5 people at home all day.  Eating 3 meals plus snacks at home.  Most of which are home made.  Yeah, that's a lot of dishes.  Some days I have had 2 loads in the dishwasher, plus some hand washed stuff.  Thankful I don't have to wash them all by hand!!

This is just a short list of my appliances that I'm grateful for.  Now excuse me, I'm off to switch more clothes from washer to dryer and probably start another load...  :)

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

1/2 Marathon Training - Week 3

Wow, this week flew by & it had some craziness in it.  :)  I'm super proud I got all of my workouts in and took 2 rest days this week.

On Thursdays I have been taking a cardio kickboxing class that I LOVE!  This Thursday it was taking a long time to get started.  After about 15 minutes, the instructor told us that he couldn't get the music to work & he would have to cancel class.  We begged him to stay & figured out music on someone else's phone.  It turned out to be a great class with lots of sweat & some laughs (like doing our ab work to "Ice Ice Baby.")  I was proud of myself that I stayed.

Then on Friday I fought through more snow than I expected, got to Zumba late & about 10 minutes later the teacher offered to end class early so we could get home safely.  Again we begged to stay (we were already there, how bad would it get in 30 more minutes?) & I got a great workout.

Finally on Sunday the alarm went off for me to go to walking club & I did not want to go.  At all.  But I dragged myself out of my nice warm bed, got dressed & headed downstairs.  I turned on the news to make sure I was dressed right & they said it felt like 7 degrees.  Seriously?  I'm going walking in this?  I forced myself out to door to the car & went to meet my club.  The first 1/2 mile or so I was freezing & seriously questioning my sanity.  But after I warmed up, the next 3 miles flew by.

Here's a recap of my workouts last week:
Monday, 1/21 - rest day
Tuesday, 1/22 - 1 mile on treadmill, 20 minutes on bike, 30 minutes of Zumba class
Wednesday, 1/23 - 60 minutes of Zumba class (am), 50 minute yoga class, 35 minutes of Zumba class (pm)
Thursday, 1/24 -25 minutes of Zumba class, 40 minutes of cardio kickboxing
Friday, 1/25 - 35 minutes of Zumba class, 10 minutes on bike
Saturday, 1/26 - rest day
Sunday, 1/27 - 3.5 mile walk with walking club

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Thankful Thursday - Grandparents

I am so thankful for my grandparents!  Beyond that, I'm thankful that my parents were so young when they had me that I was able to know all 4 of my grandparents and 3 of my great grandparents.

Two of my great grandparents (my Dad's grandmother & my Mom's grandfather) died when I was very young & although I remember meeting them & spending time with them, I have very few lasting memories of them.  But my Mom's grandmother, Big Nana, I was blessed enough to know for nearly 20 years.  I had an amazing relationship with her and I miss her every day.  I'm so thankful for all the time I got to spend getting to know her & all she taught me, including how to make her infamous yarn hangers.  I have vivid memories of time spent at her house talking, cooking, laughing, playing games & being happy.  I am forever thankful for my Big Nana.

My Dad's parents are now also both deceased.  We lost my grandfather about a year before Big Nana.  Again, I was able to know him & build a relationship with him for nearly 20 years.  He was an amazing man & I also had a special relationship with him.  I remember him taking me to the park, going on walks together, playing in the yard...he loved to be outside!  He and my grandmother had a loving relationship that was very obvious to all of us.  We lost my grandmother about a year ago.  I miss her everyday.  I obviously knew her the best as I had 35 years with her.  She was such a strong woman and I saw that especially after she lost her husband and best friend.  Grandma loved to play games and I'm happy to have her Trouble, Rumikub & Uno cards that I use to play with now.  She also loved her sweets so last week I had a special cookie in her honor.  And she was thrilled to become a great grandmother, 3 times while she was alive & twice more a month after she passed.  I'm so thankful for all the great memories of my Latacz grandparents and I think of them all the time.

My Mom's parents are thankfully still with us.  I'm thankful that I still have them to develop our relationship.  We don't see them as often as I would like, but I'm thankful that through the wonders of Skype my boys are getting to develop a relationship with Great Nana and Great Pop.  I will continue to treasure all the time I get with them.  I'm hoping we can swing a trip to NJ early this summer, mainly to spend time with them.

I know I am blessed to have so many special relationships with so many grandparents & for that I am forever thankful.  I am hopeful that my boys will have the time and opportunity to develop strong relationships with their grandparents as well.  They are lucky enough to have met 7 great  grandparents and 4 of their grandparents.  I will continue to work to make sure they know how special that relationship is.

Monday, January 21, 2013

1/2 Marathon Training - Week 2

Wow, I am loving this walking only once/week training plan!!  This past week flew by and I had a great week.  I even managed to get a rest day in (I told you I'd take them eventually).

Thursday morning was such a fun time.  I invited 4 of my friends to join me for Cardio Kickboxing class.  I can't say enough good things about this class!  It is so fun, burns a ton of calories & helps build your strength & endurance.  I was a little nervous having recruited so many new people because it is also a very hard class.  But everyone loved it!  One girl even hugged me after.  And I think everyone will be back this week.

This week I'm planning on 2 walks.  My normal one on Sun with my walking club and my virtual 5K to support the victims of the Sandy Hook tragedy.  I may also meet up with my friend for a walk one day, we'll see how the week goes.

Here's what I did last week:
Monday, 1/14 - 60 minute Total Body Conditioning Class, 20 minutes on bike
Tuesday, 1/15 - 40 minute Zumba class (am), 15 minutes on bike, 60 minute Zumba class (pm)
Wednesday, 1/16 - 45 minute Zumba class (Zak's dirty diaper got me called out early)
Thursday, 1/17 - 30 minute Zumba class, 60 minute Cardio Kick Boxing
Friday, 1/18 - rest day :)
Saturday, 1/19 - 60 minute Zumba class, 20 minutes on bike
Sunday, 1/20 - 3 mile walk in Creekside Park in Gahanna

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Thankful Thursday - Support

So I had a pretty crappy day yesterday.  Nothing horrible happened, just 900 little annoying Murphy's Law type of things happened.  I was defeated last night & left the house a horrible mess & went to bed.

Today didn't start much better...I overslept, the boys wouldn't get up for school, no one wanted to leave the house, I forgot to eat breakfast, etc.  I was driving to the gym, chatting with a friend & hoping the day would turn.

After 30 minutes of Zumba & 60 minutes of Kick Boxing, I think I sweat the bad out of me & had a really great Thursday!

What does this have to do with support??  I got a ton of it yesterday & today...most of it from people who didn't even know I was having a crappy time.  People made me smile, laugh, exercise & relax.  They made me feel good about myself.  So for all of that I am thankful. 

Never hold back a kind word.  You never know when that word might help someone through a crappy day.  Hope you all had a great Thursday & have a fantastic (long for most of you) weekend!!

Monday, January 14, 2013

1/2 Marathon Training - Week 1

Well, it's that time again.  As you know I blogged my training last time I trained for the 1/2 marathon & I plan to do it again this time.  It really helps keep me accountable.

When I finished the Columbus 1/2 Marathon in Oct, I wasn't sure if I wanted to do another one.  It was long & hard & I was tired of walking.  I didn't know if I wanted to train again.  After some time & some discussions with family & friends, I decided to try one more 1/2 at the Capital City 1/2 Marathon on May 4.

I decided to take 2 months off & just exercise.  I started taking a bunch of group fitness classes at my gym & I fell in love!  I love everything about the classes: the people, the variety, the huge calorie burn, etc.  As Jan got here I really didn't want to give that up to go back to walking all the time.  I found a shorter training plan, one I didn't have to start until Feb & decided to do that so I could get one more month of classes.

Then on Jan 6 I got an email from my Flylady subscription with the subject "Walkers & Runners - Free Training Plans."  It was from "Award-Winning Fitness Expert, 12-time Ironman Triathlon Finisher (9:50 is his best time) and 16-time Boston Marathon Finisher (3:12 is his best time) Jonathan Roche."  The plan basically has you exercise 5 days/week, rest one day, then do a long run/walk.  It is 16 weeks & it just so happened that if I started on Mon 1/7, I would finish on Sat 5/4.  I'm in!! 

I am a little nervous about not walking a lot during the week, but if I start to feel fatigued on my long walks, I'll just start adding a few days of walking during the week.  I also have multiple races coming up so that will be extra walking above my training plan.  I'm also not planning a rest day because life happens & I always wind up getting an unexpected rest day (although last week I didn't & I'm OK with that too).  I'm SO excited about my new training plan!

Week 1 was great!  I did classes 5 days last week, did a quick workout at home on Sat & walked on Sun.  I also joined a local walking club to help get through the long walks on this journey.  I'll walk with them Sun mornings.

Mon, 1/7 - 60 minute Total Body Conditioning class
Tues, 1/8 - 20 minutes on bike, 35 minutes of Zumba class
Weds, 1/9 - 60 minutes of Zumba class
Thurs, 1/10 - 35 minutes of Zumba class, 60 minutes of hell kickboxing class
Fri, 1/11 - 60 minutes of Zumba class
Sat, 1/12 - Countdown Workout
Sun, 1/13 - 3 mile walk (only 1 on the plan, but that didn't seem worth the effort in the rain so I did 3)

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Daniel's Christmas

Just like AJ, Daniel had a fantastic Christmas!  He was on Santa's nice list & got the Imaginext Eagle Talon Castle he was asking for.  He also got the Batcave and tons of accessories for both things.
Daniel & his castle

In my opinion, the coolest part about this castle is that it interacts with the accessories for it.  For example, their grandmother bought the boys the dragon that goes with this.  Every time it gets near it, the castle starts screaming "DRAGON!" or "Don't be dinner!" or "Stay away from his mouth!"  It cracks me and the boys up.  Their favorite saying is when you open the draw bridge it says "Who is it?"

Our Imaginext corner - that bag is full of guys, cars, costumes, etc

I also have to give credit where credit is due...Daniel continues to be a great big brother & may be responsible for the great sleep we've all been enjoying the past few days.  About a week ago at bed time, we were all upstairs together.  Daniel found Zak's Donald Duck stuffed animal & gave it to him to go to bed with.  After I weighed the pros & cons of an animal in the crib, I let it go (I was really tired!)  Well since then, Zak has been sleeping through the night.  Maybe he just needed a "guy" to sleep with.  Thanks Daniel!!

I love this picture of me & Daniel

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Thankful Thursday - Hand Me Downs!

This may look like 6 bags of trash to you but it is 6 bags full of hand me downs!  We have been very blessed to get a ton of clothes, toys, equipment, etc for our kids from our loving & generous friends.  I'm so thankful for all of it!  But recently, it has kind of slowed down.  Not because our friends changed, but because have you ever seen clothes after a 5/6/7 year old boy wears them for a while?  Yeah, not pretty.  ;)

I was thrilled when a few weeks ago one of my friends at the gym asked me if I needed boys clothes.  She has twin boys & was starting to clear out her old things.  At first I said no, thinking she had stuff for Zak.  Then I asked what she had.  When she said mostly size 5/6/7 boys stuff I almost left class right then to get it.

I didn't expect to get so much.  There are all kinds of clothes (still haven't sorted thru them, that's the project for this weekend), a few games & toys (one of which a map of the world puzzle that AJ will LOVE) and some boots & shoes.  We just realized we had no boots for our boys & they were on my shopping list for this week but not anymore.

I'm SO thankful for all of this stuff & can't wait to get through it this weekend & start using it!  Thank you so much Lisa for our "new" stuff!

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Zachary - 11 months!

Zachary has had an up and down month.  During the day he continues to be an amazing, happy, fun loving kid.  At night he continues to be the same...the problem is he wants to be happy & fun from like 2-4am.  Not cool, dude, not cool. 

But I think we have finally figured out the culprit...he is getting 4 of his top teeth!  I'm sure that is making him pretty uncomfortable.  We've been giving him Tylenol the past 2 nights & he has only been up to eat once both nights.  Hoping this will continue!  Don't get me wrong, I love spending time with my little dude, but this Momma needs some sleep!

Other than all the new teeth, Zak has been continuing to grow & learn every day.  He has mastered climbing up our stairs & will do it every chance he gets.  He is also walking some now.  He will stand up on his own, take a few steps, loose his balance, then crawl to his destination.  The other 4 of us are always cheering him on so I think he'll be a full fledged walker soon.

This month was also Zak's first Christmas!  He didn't really get all the hype.  :)  He wasn't interested at all in his presents.  I have to say I'm thankful I went shopping for him in our basement this year, it didn't matter to him.  Now that we have put away all the decorations & reorganized all the toys he LOVES all his new toys.  He constantly plays with them!  He also loves all of his big brothers' new toys, especially the Imaginext stuff.

I can't believe next month he'll be a year old.  Crazy!!

Happy boy...playing with Two Face's Safe & the Bat Cave  :)

Friday, January 4, 2013

Thankful Thursday - 4 Day Weekends!

We have been lucky enough to have two 4 day weekends the past 2 weeks.  Adrian's company closed on both Christmas Eve & New Year's Eve giving him 4 days off in a row.  Then we were even luckier to get a snow day on 12/26 so Adrian only worked 1/2 day.

It was great to have Adrian home for all that time.  We were both able to deal with the fact that Zak isn't sleeping well right now while also catching up on sleep.  We were able to get a ton done around the house while still spending a ton of time playing with the boys.  And we were both able to get in a few good workouts during the crazy week.

I'm always thankful for the fact that Adrian works for the state & that we get a ton of benefits from this job, even if he could probably earn more somewhere else.  These long weekends were just one of many perks we enjoy.

It will be hard to get back into our routine next week when Adrian has to work 5 whole days!  Not to mention everyone else is back to school, gymnastics, soccer, Awana, gym classes & 1/2 marathon training.  Luckily we have another 3 day weekend coming up soon for Martin Luther King Day!

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

AJ's Christmas

AJ had a fantastic Christmas this year!  He was on Santa's nice list & got what he has been asking for for two and a half years...a Nintendo 3DS!  We had it on the bottom of the pile of gifts so it was one of the last things he opened Christmas morning.  At first he was bummed because he thought he didn't get it, then when he opened it, he was SO excited.

In addition to the gaming system, AJ & Daniel also got 5 new games...Super Mario Brothers 2 (which I already beat, woot!), Dora & Team Umizoomi Adventures, Toy Story 3, Lego Batman 2 & Epic Mickey.  They have been using all of their video game time (which may be extended this week since there is no school) to play the new games.

Today I also let AJ take his DS to the gym.  Lots of other kids do this so I didn't think it was a big deal.  When we got there, AJ was like the King of Childcare.  All of the boys were gathered around him, comparing DSes & games.  I loved seeing AJ interact with the other boys.  One of the boys helped him beat a level on Toy Story 3 that he was stuck on & he helped someone beat a level on Super Mario Bros.

This was by far AJ's favorite gift this year.  He also is really enjoying the Imaginext Bat Cave, Prison & accessories that they got.  We are playing a ton with those toys!  And AJ got a few new board games as well, his favorite being Super Mario Memory, which both he & Daniel kill me at. 

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

First on the First Race Recap

So as you know, one of my goals for this year is to do 13 races in 2013.  The quest started today with the "First on the First" 5K in Westerville.

I wanted to do this race, and my walking buddy from MIT last season did as well.  We were super excited to walk together again, it's the first time since the 1/2 marathon.   However my excitement was slightly dampened when we got a few inches of snow yesterday.  I don't mind the snow, however I was a little concerned about walking in it.  My training for my next half is starting within the next month & I DO NOT want to be injured for that.

But I knew Tammy would be waiting for me, so I got up this morning & bundled up to go walk.  It.  Was.  Awesome!  The race was a 5K loop near the Westerville Rec Center.  The trails & sidewalks were completely cleared of ice & snow.  There were a few places that had a little slush & mud, but each place had a volunteer to warn us about it.  It wasn't even that cold once we started moving, I took off both my hat & my gloves while walking & if we had kept going I would have had to take off my jacket.

It was a very fun race & I felt like I did really well.  My official time was 50:32 & I finished 783 out of 868 people.  Tammy & I passed quite a few people & felt great while we were walking.  It was so fun to catch up with her.  We committed to doing more walks together over the coming months & a few more races as well.  I definitely want to do this race again next year & see how I improve.

Hope you all had a great New Year!!  1 of my 13 done.  Next on the schedule is the virtual Sandy Hook Elementary Memorial.

Me & Tammy with our medals after the race