Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Keeping Up With...Family (Teacher Conferences)

I'm late with this week's update because I lost the whole weekend to a stomach virus, ugh!  And then yesterday Zak's pink eye came back.  I seriously feel like one of the five of us has been sick every day this year.  I'm so over it.

But I don't want to dwell on that.  In between all of that, last week was pretty great.  I had a conference with Daniel's teacher & we are both super proud of how well he is doing.  Academically he is either at the level he should be or above it.  His writing and cutting need some help, but other than that he is doing great and is right on track for Kindergarten next fall. 

She does have some concerns about his confidence and social skills, as do I, but we're both seeing huge progress.  He had two different play dates last week and is talking more in class.  He is also telling me more about his day and who is playing with and what they are doing.  And on Friday he tried a center that he didn't want to (because you had to yell) and he ended up having a great time doing it and told me he would try more centers now.
Daniel being silly at bedtime

I also got a note from AJ's teacher that it is time for parent teacher conferences but she doesn't feel she needs to meet with me because we are already in pretty good contact.  She gives me an update every month when I'm in the class.  So grateful for that opportunity!!  We got AJ's interim report for the 3rd(!) quarter of school and he is also either at his level or above it.  Super proud of both boys!!
AJ after bath

We also had a super fun weekend!  On Saturday it was close to 60 degrees so the boys and Adrian played outside for over three hours!  They had a blast swinging, playing baseball, walking around the block and taking turns on their new scooter.  Then on Sunday we had another birthday party, this time for one of AJ's friends.  It was a roller skating party, a first for the boys.  AJ took a little while to get used to it, then did pretty good.  Daniel skated for about 30 minutes, then he was done.  Zak even got to skate for about 15 minutes.  We all had a fun time!  The boys said they enjoyed it, but prefer ice skating.
Zak's first time on skates!

Monday, February 24, 2014

Keeping Up With...Food (Menu 2/24 - 3/2)

I was cruising along pretty nicely last week until I was struck with some horrible stomach virus early Saturday morning.  It may have been stress related (more on that on Weds) or it could have been these ever present germs.  One or more of us have been sick for almost two straight months.  I'm over it.

OK, on to the food plan.  I pushed 2 recipes from last week to this week and the rest are all new recipes that I'm trying out.  Adrian took a personal day today to allow me to do some things both personally & professionally that needed to happen today.  I was able to get to Aldi & Meijer this afternoon and stock up on fresh fruits & veggies, yay!  I still have to get to Giant Eagle & Kroger later this week, but I'll tackle that with the kids.  I thought about running back out tonight, but I'm tired.

Here's what we're eating this week.
Monday, 2/24 - Sausage Beans & Greens Soup - this post is late & I already made this for dinner.  It's amazing!!!  Go try it!
The leftovers from dinner tonight.  SO good!
Tuesday, 2/25 - Saucy Asian Meatballs over cauliflower "rice"
Wednesday, 2/26 - Oven Fried Chicken (Relish Recipe)
Thursday, 2/27 - Chicken Burritos (Relish Recipe)
Friday, 2/28 - Crab Cakes (Relish Recipe)
Saturday, 3/1 Lunch - Turkey Meatball Tortellini Soup
Saturday, 3/1 Dinner - Pork Chops (Relish Recipe)
Sunday, 3/2 - Out to my brother's for dinner - yay for no cooking!!

I'm linking up with Laura at Mommy, Run Fast & Jill at Fitness, Health and Happiness.  Go check them out for some more yummy recipes!

What's on your menu this week?

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Keeping Up With...Workouts (2/12 - 2/18 & Race Recap)

 Race #3 of 14 for the year is in the books!  On Saturday I did the Valentine's Day 5K with two of my special lady friends.  :-)

Amy, Janna & I bundled up before the race
I got a little concerned about this race when it started snowing Friday night.  I knew a lot of the trails in the area aren't cleared already, then we got another 2-3 inches of slippery snow.  We were all concerned about ice & decided we'd go & take it slow if we had to.

I got there Saturday morning & we froze while we waited to start.  This is a brand new race and the field was super small.  It was limited to 200 people and I don't think it sold out.  We were off right at 9:00 with a warning that the bridges might be icy.

The trail was FANTASTIC!!  We walked thru Creekside in Gahanna which is one of my favorite places to walk anyway and the snow made it even better.  But I could not believe how perfectly clear the trail was.  We didn't slip or slide at all.  We finished in around 47:00 (I don't know exactly, I was so bundled up I couldn't get to my app to track my time) and I'm super happy about it.
With our recovery bananas - you have to be a little goofy to walk in this weather!
A normal shot.  Don't we look thinner than the start line??
The race was run by Speedy Sneakers Racing, whose director I have become friends with.  They also do the LadyTutu Race which I love.  Once again, I thought they did a great job.  Our long sleeve tech shirts are amazing!!  (Peter, if you are reading this & have extras, let me know!)  It is the most comfy tech shirt I have.  The medals are very fun too!  And again the trails were in amazing shape.  Great race, great friends & I would definitely do it again!!
My awesome shirt & medal!  The other medal was from the Chiller Olympics
I had a pretty awesome week workout wise too.  Here's how it looked:

Wednesday, 2/12 - Taught a one hour Zumba class, rode the bike 20 minutes & took a 45 minute Barre class
Thursday, 2/13 - Taught 2 one hour Zumba classes - one in the am & one in the pm
Friday, 2/14 - Taught a one hour Zumba class
Saturday, 2/15 - 5K race, 1.5 hours of ice skating with the boys at the Chiller Olympics
Sunday, 2/16 - rest day
Monday, 2/17 - Taught a one hour Zumba class, did the elliptical for 20 minutes
Tuesday, 2/18 - Practiced new Zumba songs for about 30 minutes

Weigh in:
2/12 weight - 213
2/19 weight - 215
Change - up 2 lbs

There's the bad news.  It is so true that you can't out exercise a bad diet.  For Friday, Saturday & Sunday I ate ALL the things.  And almost all of them were not healthy.  It was bad.  So I'm up 2 lbs.  I even said over the weekend that I was throwing away my hard work...as I stuffed birthday cake in my pie hole.  Hoping for a better balance this week!

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Keeping Up With...Family (Parties Part 3)

We have been in a super long stretch of parties over here.  You can read part 1 and part 2 if you want to catch up.

So I left off with Friday, Valentine's Day.  Daniel had his party at school that day.  All the kids made a bag for their cards, Daniel made his look like an owl.  They all exchanged cards, played games and had cupcakes & snacks.  Daniel also made some home made cards, one for the family, one for me and one for Dad.  He also made one for his friend Brady in his class.  He had a fun morning!
Friday night Adrian & I had plans to go out since we actually had a babysitter.  Then I was offered the chance to sub a Zumba class & we decided to do that & have a stay home date night instead.  Our night got kind of messed up when it started snowing at 4:00pm and totally messed up traffic.  Plus Zak had been up most of the night before so I was exhausted.  We got 5 Guys for dinner & were going to watch "We're the Millers" but I fell asleep.  So romantic.  :-)  We did finally watch the movie Saturday night.
Daniel's Valentines

Saturday was a busy, fun filled day!  I had a race (recap tomorrow), Zak had soccer and AJ and Daniel wanted to go to the Olympic event at The Chiller.  Adrian took Zak and I took the big boys.  We had a ton of fun making flags, torches and doing 2 ice skating challenges.  All 3 of us earned medals for completing all the events.  The Chiller did a great job with this event!  AJ tried hockey skates for the first time and did really well.  He will be using them again for the next 2 weeks in class and then we will decide if he's ready for hockey classes or needs one more session of skating.
Ice Skating Selfie
Our medals!  I had 2, one from ice skating & one from my race
We reconvened at home and warmed up a little before heading out to our next party...celebrating Isabelle's second birthday!  We went over to Carl & Sarah's and the boys played while the adults caught up.  We ate yummy food, delicious cake and had a great time.  Isabelle had fun playing with all her cousins.  Great way to celebrate a special Princess' Birthday!
Happy Birthday Isabelle!!
Sunday was spent recovering and trying to get the house back in order.  Thankfully it was also President's Day on Monday so we had an extra day to rest & recover.  That is the end of our super busy 2 week stretch, but things don't slow down that much.  We have more parties on the horizon and lots of other fun things planned, so stay tuned!

Monday, February 17, 2014

Keeping Up With...Food (Menu Plan 2/17 - 2/23)

So my menu this week looks very similar to last week's because in my Dayquill haze sick state, I forgot a few things when I menu planned last week.  First, I got a half price deal for meals for a company called Hello Fresh.  They deliver meals to your door with everything you need to cook the meals.  We got a box with 3 meals, with tons of fresh veggies & meat so we had to put those on the menu immediately.

Our box from Hello Fresh had Mahi Mahi, Balsamic Beef & Chicken Paillard.  We have made 2 of the 3 and they were both really good.  We're making the chicken tonight.  I think this is a great concept, especially if you are super busy but still want to eat fresh, healthy, good food.  For us, it was very expensive.  I can buy similar ingredients for much less.  With the half price deal it was worth it, and I would do it again with a deal like that.

Balsamic Beef & Broccoli over Polenta
I also ended up working a lot more than we were expecting, including Valentine's Day so our plans changed.  I worked early & we decided that I would pick up dinner & then we'd watch a movie.  So that bumped more meals to this week.  And we had my niece's birthday party on Saturday.  For some reason, I planned a meal that night, even though I knew my brother would have awesome food.  He did so we ate there...and came home with some leftovers.

This week the menu is all about using up the veggies I bought for last week before they go bad.  Gotta love that kind of menu planning!  At least I think with this plan we'll use everything before it goes bad.  Here's what we're eating:

Monday, 2/17 - Chicken Paillard from Hello Fresh
Tuesday, 2/18 - Spaghetti Pie - will sub out spaghetti squash for the pasta & cook on Weds so I can just heat it up
Wednesday, 2/19 - BBQ Chicken Pizza (Relish Recipe)
Thursday, 2/20 - Lentil & Greens Soup & Grilled Cheese (Relish Recipe)
Friday, 2/21 - Shrimp & Salad (Relish Recipe)
Saturday, 2/22 - Sausage Beans & Greens Soup - hoping to cook this Friday, but we'll see how it goes
Sunday, 2/23 - Saucy Asian Meatballs over cauliflower "rice"

I'm linking up with Laura at Mommy, Run Fast & Jill at Fitness, Health and Happiness.  Go check them out for some more yummy recipes!

What's on your menu this week?
Anyone else racing to use veggies before they go bad?

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Keeping Up with...Family (Parties - Part 2)

As I mentioned, we are in a 2 week long stretch of parties.  I may have to split this post into two posts as we have had so many parties this past week.

The week started with Daniel's 5th birthday on Monday.  He wanted to bring Superman cupcakes to share with his friends at school so Adrian &  I spent Sunday night trying to do that.  They didn't come out great (and there are no pictures - they were that bad!)  But the kids loved them.  What's not to love, chocolate cupcakes with chocolate icing??  We all sang & had cupcakes as a family again that night too.

Tuesday wasn't really a party, but I had a super fun day volunteering in AJ's class room.  I am so thankful that Tammy volunteers to watch the younger boys once each month so I can go into AJ's class.  This month I was able to work with 4 kids who are struggling with learning their sight words.  I was able to give them some one on one attention to work on those words.  I also got to help the kids make their Valentine's for their families.  I helped them do the hand prints for the cards.  And I made a ton of copies making things a little easier on the teacher.  I was exhausted after only 2 1/2 hours in the class room, I don't know how these teachers do it!!
AJ's Valentine for us.  I didn't help with his, only his class mates.
Wednesday Daniel had the zoo come to his school.  He was so excited about this visit and told me ALL about it.  The highlight for him (and all the other kids) was the flamingo, who charged at the kids and then pooped on the floor!  They all thought that was hysterical.  Daniel also really liked the possum, he thought it was cool how he could hang upside down from his tail.  And I was super proud of Daniel for touching Ruby the lizard!  The zoo also brought an owl, snake, aadvark, and baby alligator.  Super fun day for the kids!  Thanks Columbus Zoo, you are awesome!

Thursday AJ had his Valentine's Day party at school because he didn't have school on Friday.  I was supposed to go back and volunteer again but Zak got pink eye so I wasn't able to.  AJ was disappointed, but he had a blast anyway.  The kids got to decorate sugar cookies with icing and sprinkles.  They also had fruit & pretzels to snack on.  And then each kid gave out Valentines to everyone in class.  AJ was so excited to come home & read all his cards & see all his crap presents.  He also had a really good time filling out his cards to his class mates & figuring out who would like which character.

I think I'll end there for now and finish up with rest of the week and the weekend in a post in the next day or two.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Keeping Up With...Daniel

Happy 5th Birthday Daniel Stephen!!

You came into this world on February 10, 2009 and haven't stopped surprising us since.  Everyone thought you were going to be a girl, but surprise!  Good thing we saved all of our boy stuff from your big brother.  You were the runt of the family, weighing in at "only" 8 lbs, 8 oz.  You continue to weigh less than AJ did, but you are always in the 50% for your age & height.  You have shot up like a weed, we need to get you longer pants ASAP!

You were a bit of a pain in the butt rough baby, but you were also a huge snuggle bug.  You continue to be a combination of those two.  You will make me crazy with your stubbornness and then turn around and give me one of your gigantic hugs & I'll forget why you were making me crazy.  I love how sweet, loving and caring you are and you never miss an opportunity to give me a hug, although you don't love kisses.

Daniel you are an amazing big brother to Zachary and little brother to AJ.  You get along with both of them so well.  You love to play video games with AJ and cars with Zak.  You love to jump on the bed with Zak and play "Spin-day" with both of your brothers.  I love watching the 3 of you together, even when you're fighting.  
Out to lunch with Mommy & Zak
Ice Skating with Mom & AJ
You have been so brave the past year and tried so many new things.  I am SO proud of you for all that you have done.  You tried new things like ice skating, playing in the rain & you even touched a lizard this week when the zoo came to your school.  You have also let the teachers paint on your hands so I now have hand print crafts from you.  All of these things would have sent you screaming & running last year.
Touching the rain - this was a big day for you.  SO proud!!
You have a big year ahead of you.  You will graduate from preschool & leave behind your amazing teachers there to enter Kindergarten.  I know this is going to be a huge adjustment for you, especially having to go to school every day, but I know you will excel at this challenge like you have so many already.  You are going to play t-ball and take art  lessons this spring and I can't wait to see how you like these two new areas, I think you will love them both.  You will also learn golf this summer and may go back to ice skating.

Daniel I love watching you grow into a sweet, smart, amazing young man.  Can't wait to see where this next year takes you.  I hope you enjoyed your 5th birthday party!!  I'm going to enjoy every minute with you the next 6 months before you start school. 

Stay sweet and loving my boy!!

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Keeping Up with...Workouts (2/5 - 2/11 and Barre Class Review)

Back in November I saw a Living Social deal for Barre classes at Judy Dollenmayer Studio in Gahanna.  I have heard a lot of great things about Barre classes & was excited to check it out.  The deal was for unlimited classes for a month.  My plan was to do it for the month of Dec, but that timing didn't work out for us as a family so I waited until Jan.

Their website defines their "Barre Approach" classes as:
The Barre Approach is a fitness method guaranteed to work.  The workout includes cardio, full body toning, and stretching, while utilizing the ballet barre and staying in your fat burning zone. You will see your body transform
The Barre Approach can be modified to any fitness level.  Because of the non-impact approach, the workout is excellent for individuals with past injuries, and even effective for mothers to be.  The Barre Approach will protect your joints, while toning and lengthening your muscles.
Light weights & a ball - that plus a barre is all you need for class!

The first class I went to I liked, but wasn't as impressed as I thought I would be.  It was basically the same as the Total Body Conditioning (TBC) classes I take at my current gym, with half the exercises using the ballet bar.  I figured I'd keep going though since I already had paid for the month.

The second class I loved!  And every class after that I have loved!  There are 5 different teachers there and as like many other group fitness classes a lot depends on the instructor.  I have now taken classes with all 5 & love 4 of them.  They do a great workout and I always leave sweaty & sore.

So how would I describe a barre class?  It is very similar to a TBC class, only more concentrated.  It's a 45 minute class, so you basically have 3 15 minute segments.  You do about 1 minute of cardio, then 14 minutes of strength.  The first 15 minutes you do arms, the second legs and the third abs/core.  The exercises are strength exercises with a ballet touch.  My favorite work is the barre work, probably because it's all new to me.  I especially like the push variations, the leg sequence with the ball & all the ab work on the barre.  I am definitely stronger from taking these classes!

I met the owner last week & she said I was welcome to keep coming month to month on the same price I paid for the deal so I've been mulling that over.  I decided not to continue right now since we are very busy with the boys & all of these classes are in the evening.  The studio did give me an extra week on my existing deal since so many classes have been cancelled because of the bad weather so I get to go to classes one more week.  They are going to run the deal again soon on Living Social & I will buy it again and use it over the summer when the boys' schedule isn't so busy.  I will miss it, but am thankful I got to try it & will get to do it again.

My week was pretty low key because I spent most of the time sick or celebrating birthdays.  Here's how it looked:
Wednesday, 2/5 thru Sunday, 2/9 - rested to get over the horrible cold I had
Monday, 2/10 - Taught a 50 minute Zumba class, rode the bike for 20 minutes
Tuesday, 2/11 - Took a 45 minute Barre class

Weigh in:
2/5 weight - 214
2/12 weight - 213
Change - down 1 lb

Again, I'm not sure what happened here.  Last week I did everything right and I gained a pound.  This week I did everything wrong and I lost a pound.  I guess that's weight loss.  I'm happy I maintained thru the past 2 weeks, that was the goal with the all the birthdays we had going on.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Keeping Up With...Zachary

Happy 2nd Birthday Zachary Christopher!!

You shocked everyone with how big you were when you arrived on 2/8/12.  I knew you were really big when I heard my doctor say, "Wow, he's even bigger than we thought he was."  You continue to be a big boy, weighing in around 30 pounds at your last doctor's appointment.  We have your 2 year check up next week, I'm eager to see how much you've grown.

We had to document your weight, big boy!
Just a few hours old

Your brothers loved you instantly.  They were so excited to meet you and were even more excited when they got to the hospital and you had a super hero blanket.  You all continue to be close, and now that you're getting bigger I love to watch you all play together.  They have been asking since you were born for all 3 of you to share a room.  As soon as you get the sleeping thru the night thing down, we'll move you in there with them.

Meeting baby brother
Watching your personality develop is amazing.  You are so much fun to be around, always laughing with that contagious laugh.  And now you talk all the time!!  Your vocabulary & sentences continue to amaze me.  You dictate everything we see when we're out driving, which usually consists of snow & trees but somehow you make it all exciting.  You do have quite a stubborn streak I have no idea where you got that, certainly not the Latacz side and you really keep us on our toes.  You get into more than your fair share of trouble.  You are a great climber, runner, tumbler and ball thrower already.  You are also great about playing by yourself when everyone else is busy with life.

I can't wait to see what this year brings for you.  You have just started soccer and I think you'll continue with those classes.  I know you love sports & can't wait to see which ones you decide to do as you get older.  We will also be starting a music class soon since you love singing, dancing and playing music.

I hope you always keep your sense of humor, love for your brothers, stubbornness, independence and happy attitude.  I'm so enjoying getting to know you as you grow, learn and change.  Enjoy your last year before school starts, I know I plan to!  Can't wait for many more adventures with you Zak Attack!!

First photo shoot - about 6 months old
First Birthday!!
Fall 2013 - about 18 months old
Two Years Old!!

Monday, February 10, 2014

Keeping Up With...Food (Menu 2/10 - 2/16)

Wow, last week was kind of a blur of sickness, parties and just trying to keep my head above water.  The cold I had really knocked me out.  Thankfully I had shopped for the week before it hit & we were able to keep with most of the menu.  I did bump one day in favor of soup & sandwiches from Panera.  Thanks to my parents for the gift card for Christmas!!

The one constant on my menu this week is going to be fruit salad.  We had a birthday party on Saturday & I made a huge bowl of it...then left it home.  So now I have to try to eat thru it all before it goes bad.  Luckily we do a lot of smoothies so I know I can freeze some of it and use it for that.  My young boys also have 2 play dates this week so I'll be bringing it to those as well.  
Doesn't it look good??  Just so much of it!

This is a busy week, so I'm doing some slow cooker and some precooked meals that I can just heat up.  I'm thankful that I planned & shopped for this week on Friday so I don't have to squeeze in a grocery trip too!

Here's my menu for this week (plus fruit salad with every meal):

Monday, 2/10 - Buffalo Chicken Quinoa Salad, Spinach Balls
Tuesday, 2/11 - Slow Cooker Beef Stew (Relish Recipe)
Wednesday, 2/12 - BBQ Chicken Pizza (Relish Recipe)
Thursday, 2/13 - Spaghetti Pie - will sub out spaghetti squash for the pasta & cook on Weds so I can just heat it up
Friday, 2/14 - Stuffed Peppers - We actually have a sitter & are going out this night!!  We decided to skip dinner out & do a movie & dessert instead.
Saturday, 2/15 - Sausage Beans & Greens Soup - hoping to cook this Friday, but we'll see how it goes
Sunday, 2/16 - Leftovers for the guys, I am going out for dinner with my book club

I'm linking up with Laura at Mommy, Run Fast & Jill at Fitness, Health and Happiness.  Go check them out for some more yummy recipes!

What's on your menu this week?
Any Valentine's Day plans??

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Keeping Up With...Family (Parties Part 1)

Wow, we are in a 2 week long stretch of parties over here!  It's nice to break up the snow & cold with something different.

The parties started this week with me spending the day at AJ's school and making popcorn for the hallway that won our Box Tops contest for November & December.  That was a lot of work, but it was kind of nice for me to be at the school all day & have adult conversations with my PTO friends and some of the teachers.

Then Friday both boys had parties at school.  Daniel's class has been working very hard to have good behavior and stay on green.  They finally filled up their behavior jar and earned an ice cream party.  Daniel was super excited to have chocolate ice cream with chocolate sprinkles for snack!  He also had the letter K for show & tell & he brought a bag of kisses which he shared with all his class mates.

AJ & Daniel ready for school on Friday

Friday was also AJ's 100th day of school for the year!  They celebrated by doing a lot of different activities with the number 100.  The did a lot of counting, writing and playing around the number.  They also made hats to wear.  And each student in his class had homework to bring in 100 small items.  AJ chose to bring in 100 "MNMs"

The parties continued this weekend as we celebrated our 2 February birthdays!  Zak turned 2 on the 8th & Daniel turns 5 on the 10th.  We had a party with our friends & family at Kingdom of Bounce & everyone had a really good time.  The kids enjoyed playing in all the bounce houses while the parents actually had some time to talk to each other.  And then we all enjoyed pizza, snacks & cake.  We would have also enjoyed fruit salad but Adrian & I left that at home so now we're going to be enjoying that all week!
The Batman, Superman, Lex Luthor, Gorilla Grod cake that Daniel requested
The party crew!

The Birthday Boys!!

Sunday was another day full of partying.  AJ was invited to his best friend's birthday party at Rule 3.  He had to go by himself because of our schedule & he did a really great job.  He got to eat more pizza and cake and then he was able to go play video games with his friends from school.  He said he had a great time & the parents said he was super well behaved.

When we all got home from that, we finished up the weekend by celebrating Zak & Daniel together again.  Since tomorrow will be busy with our normal schedule, we did gifts today.  We also had their gifts from my brother in FL and my parents.  We ate some leftover pizza and cake from yesterday and played with all the new toys.
The boys' big gift - a train table!
I'm worn out from all this partying...and dealing with the children being stuck in sugar shock!  We have another full week of parties coming up so stay tuned for another update next weekend!!
Happy 2nd Birthday Zachary Christopher!

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Keeping Up With...Workouts (1/29 - 2/4 and race recap)

I'm a day late with this post because I have been hit with the sickness that has been going thru my house.  I'm SO done with all of these germs, being cooped up in the house, not getting on a schedule, cancelling plans, etc.  I am taking today to rest, then most of the weekend off to celebrate Zachary's & Daniel's birthdays, then I'm hitting the diet & exercise hard on Monday.  I'm having such a hard time getting my groove back after the holidays, grr!!

I did finish my second race for the year this weekend and my first MIT training walk.  It was icy and snowy on the trail, but I managed to get 6 miles done and stayed upright for the whole thing.
Lots of snow & ice on the trail
The morning started with me driving through rain for the entire 20 minute drive to meet my group.  I was not looking forward to walking in the rain, but knew I had to get this walk in plus I had to do my 5 by the 5th virtual race.  Thankfully by the time I got to my car & parked it stopped raining and it never started again.

I headed inside and met my group and was excited to get started.  We headed down the slight hill from the school to the Olentangy trail & it was obvious that speed wasn't going to be a priority on this walk.  Our coaches kept telling us that this walk was just about getting the miles done & having time on our feet.

The first two miles were really rough.  I almost fell at least 4 times, but managed to stay upright.  The woman I was walking with was very concerned with falling so I tried to keep her talking and calm.  She was thinking she was going to go back to her car when we hit the school (about 4 miles) but I was determined to do another mile out & back to hit my 6 for the week. 

The next two miles were much better, probably because there were SO many people on the trail.  I was seriously inspired by how many people were out running & walking that morning.  It made me so proud to be part of that.  When we got back to the school, my partner decided to keep going with me and finish up the six.

The last two miles were our best & fastest miles.  The trail in that direction was much clearer and the ice was pretty much melted.  We found a nice pace and got those miles done quickly.  I felt great when I got back to the school and was pretty happy with my time.  I finished the 6 miles in 1:45:23.  The first 5 miles counted for my second race of 2014, my first virtual race for the 5 by the 5th series with a a time of 1:28:21.

Here's how the rest of my week looked:
Wednesday, 1/29 - Taught a 60 minute Zumba Class, Biked 15 minutes, Elliptical 15 minutes
Thursday, 1/30 - Taught a 60 minute Zumba Class (am), Taught a 60 minute Zumba Class (pm) Friday, 1/31 - Elliptical 35 minutes, 35 minutes of Total Body Class, & did 90 push ups & 150 squats to finish up my monthly challenge!  On to love handles (abs) this month!
Saturday, 2/1 - 6 mile walk
Sunday, 2/2 - Rest Day
Monday, 2/3 - Taught a 60 minute Zumba Class, Elliptical 25 minutes
Tuesday, 2/4 - Unplanned rest day because I was exhausted after volunteering in AJ's school all day.  I also now know that I was starting to get sick.

Weigh in:
1/29 weight - 213
2/5 weight - 214

Not really sure what happened this week.  I know I was over on Sunday, but I still usually lose 1-2 lbs with one day over.  Tuesday I didn't exercise but I was active & I didn't eat badly.  Sigh.  Oh well, on to this week!

Monday, February 3, 2014

Keeping Up With...Food (Menu 2/3 - 2/9)

Yikes, we are in a super busy time of year!  Today really got away from me and I am just now getting to get this post together.  Thankfully I had the menu done & we had a delicious dinner today.
Potato Skins & Spicy Zucchini Boats - Yum!
I love these zucchini boats, probably don't make them as often as I should.  We tend to do them on special occasions, not much when it's just us eating.  I may have to change that!  Here is the recipe I use:

4 Zucchinis, sliced & blanched in water for 2-3 minutes
8 oz cream cheese
1 cup shredded pepper jack cheese (sometimes I sub Mexican blend cheese)
1 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
1 tsp Tastfully Simple Mexican Dip Mix (or some other spices that you like)

Preheat oven to 350.  Hollow out zucchini (I save the insides to hide in other recipes).  Combine the cheeses and spice(s) and stuff into the zucchini.  Place in lightly greased baking dish. Bake 8-10 minutes, or until the zucchini is heated through and the cheese is melted.

Now on to the menu.  We had to cancel dinner with my brother again, but I had the turkey out so I went ahead & made it for just us.  We have a bunch left over so you'll notice a lot of meals using turkey (including tonight's dinner).  Good thing it's so versatile...and yummy!

Monday, 2/3 - Santa Fe Potato Skins, Spicy Zucchini Boats
Tuesday, 2/4 - Turkey Rubens, Skinny Mashed Potatoes (using the insides of the potatoes & zucchini from today), Leftover Brussels Sprouts
Wednesday, 2/5 - Turkey Cuban Sandwich with Turkey Noodle Soup
Thursday, 2/6 - Buffalo Chicken Quinoa Salad, Spinach Balls
Friday, 2/7 - Mom's Night Out with friends - WOOT!!  The boys will have brats or sausages
Saturday, 2/8 - Pizza at Zak & Daniel's birthday party!
Sunday, 2/9 - Leftovers or out (it's a beyond busy weekend!)

I'm linking up with Laura at Mommy, Run Fast & Jill at Fitness, Health and Happiness.  Go check them out for some more yummy recipes!

What's on your menu this week??

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Keeping Up With...Family (Random Chaos)

This week started with more sickness (AJ still) and coldness and ended with some warmth and more sickness (Zak & Daniel).  We had some routine in the middle there with AJ going to school on Thursday and Friday, Daniel going to school on Friday & both boys going to soccer on Thursday.  But we pretty much had to cancel our weekend.  I'm really crossing my fingers that a weekend of rest will do the trick and we can be back full force on Monday.

We were able to have a family movie night Friday night to finally watch Despicable Me 2.  We hadn't seen either movie and my brother got Despicable Me for the boys for Christmas.  We have watched it at least 5 times the past month, everyone loves it.  Even Zak watches parts of it, he really likes the minions.  We bought DM2 with the money we had left from a Christmas return but couldn't find a good time to watch it.  We finally had time on Friday.  It was good, but I liked the first one better.  I thought it was funnier and had a better story and villain.  Adrian agrees with me.  AJ liked the second one better because he really liked the bad minions.  He was cracking up through a lot of the movie so that made it even better for me.

The boys are also getting more interested in sports these days, especially AJ.  This weekend we watched a hockey game, basketball game and some of the Super Bowl together.  I love teaching him about all the sports.  He will be starting hockey lessons and t-ball in March and is very excited, especially for hockey.

Other than that, it's been a pretty calm & by the book week.  We are gearing up for the big celebrations next week...Zak turns 2 and Daniel turns 5!!  Here are a few pictures from the week:

Zak & Daniel watching Mickey Mouse in my bed while I get a shower
AJ playing video games