Monday, June 30, 2014

Keeping Up With...Family (Vacation Part 4)

So those who know me, know I like order.  I like schedules.  I don't like to change the plan.  That was not what happened this vacation.  If you missed the beginning of the story, you can check out Part 1 and Part 2 and Part 3.

Wednesday as we were visiting friends, we saw the weather forecast.  They were calling for bad storms Thursday night into Friday.  We had lots of outdoor plans, plus we were concerned about the tent in the high winds.  We decided we would pull up stakes on Thursday morning and if we couldn't figure anything else out, we would head back to Ohio a few days early. 

Thankfully our friends said we could stay with them Thursday night so our Thursday went on as planned.  We packed up our site, checked out and headed to Seaside for the day.  We met up with my mom and Pop there.  The boys loved playing in the water, even though we weren't dressed for it.  We got our clothes wet and didn't care.  After we got our water fix, we walked the boardwalk for a while, got some ice cream, and went to an arcade to play some games and use the tickets the boys won on Monday.  When we finished up there, we grabbed a few slices and then headed back to Pop's to spend a little more time with him.

Beach Selfie!
The boys & I jumping waves - SO fun!!

Pop and the boys
AJ & Daniel with some of their winnings - Superman & Picachu
This was my first trip to Seaside since Sandy and then the fire a year later.  It was really sad to see the whole pier in Seaside Park not be there.  I'm not sure I can put it into words.  I just kept looking over there and seeing no boardwalk, no rides, no clam bar.  We also drove around a little and saw houses that were still being rebuilt.  I was happy to part with a little more money than I normally would have there to help stimulate the economy and get everyone back on their feet.

After we finished up with Pop, we headed over to visit our family friends, the Triggs family.  Barbara and Ed were nice enough to offer us their basement to crash for the night so we could stay dry.  We had a delicious dinner and drinks with them, watched TV, played video games and enjoyed a hot bath and shower the next morning thanks to them.  We also celebrated my Mom's birthday a little early with here.  Carvel cake - my favorite!!
Happy Birthday Mom/Nana!
We all retired pretty early Thursday night, I think the week was starting to catch up with all of us, especially Zak.  He was a bit of a mess Thursday night, but he loved chasing the Triggs' dog around.  I can't speak for everyone, but I slept amazing that night.  My head hit the pillow and I was out until Zak woke me up around 7:30 the next morning.  It rained pretty hard all night, so I'm glad we made the decision to pull up the tent and sleep in a house.  We can't thank Barbara, Ed and Caitlyn enough for taking us in that night!!
How I found Daniel when I went to bed Thursday night.  I moved him back on the couch & he never even woke up!
I think I'll end here for this part and finish up later this week with part 5.  Friday was an interesting day and deserves some time to explain.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Keeping Up With...Food (Menu Plan 6/30 - 7/6)

Another week is over, time is really flying this summer!  I did pretty good sticking to my menu plan this past week.  I really didn't want to cook Friday night after a long day of Zumba and swimming but I forced myself to cook and dinner was awesome!
The leftovers from Friday night's Mexican casserole, yum!
Saturday was a different story.  We ran around all over the place in the morning, then spent almost 5 hours at a water park for a birthday party.  We were exhausted again and decided to just pick up dinner on the way home.  It was nice to not have to cook.  I bumped the meal from yesterday to tomorrow.

I am still going strong with staying under my calorie goal every day.  I was under yesterday even with a very high calorie dinner (thanks Zumba and swimming for burning so many calories).  I was over my goal this past Wednesday, because I didn't do any exercise that day.  But I was only over by about 50 calories, which is huge for me.  Normally I would realize I was over and just keep eating and eating and eating.

Here's my plan for this week.  We are busy again so I'm hoping to do some meal prep today and in the mornings before we start our days.  I also don't know if Adrian will have to work on Thursday or not, so that day is up in the air.

Monday, 6/30 - Chicken Caesar Pasta Salad
Tuesday, 7/1 - Spinach & Black Bean Lasagna, using zucchini as noodles (Relish recipe)
Wednesday, 7/2 - Shrimp Bruschetta Salad Sandwiches (Relish recipe)
Thursday, 7/3 - Eggplant Parmesan - found an awesome & cheap eggplant while shopping last week so I added this to my menu

Friday, 7/4 - Homemade Pizza - since we're going to a BBQ tomorrow, we decided to do something a little different to celebrate the holiday this year (plus we need to restock our dough in the freezer)
Saturday, 7/5 - BBQ at a friend's house - I need to figure out a side to make
Sunday, 7/6 -  Parmesan Romano Breaded Pork Chops (Relish recipe) - this is actually a chicken recipe, but I thought it would be great with pork instead

As always, 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! 

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Keeping Up With...Workouts (6/18 - 6/24)

Wow, this week flew by!  I've been busy having a great time with the kids and trying to maintain my exercise plan and healthy eating.  It has been a pretty good week, although I did have a few struggles.

The first thing I'm noticing this summer is that it's hard to get some variety in my workouts.  You'll see below that I'm doing mostly only Zumba.  And it's only my class, I'm not even going to other classes.  The fact is, it's hard to get everyone up, ready and out the door for a 9:30 class.  I know I get them up and out for school, but this isn't "have to" so it doesn't feel as urgent.  I know I will get some exercise most days with my Zumba, so I'm not stressing about other classes.  While I don't love this, it is what it is for the summer.  I'm still doing my monthly strength challenges so it's not like I'm doing nothing else.

The other thing I'm noticing is that the 2 days I don't teach (Weds & Sat) I'm not very motivated to do anything.  Again, I don't want to get everyone up and out for a morning class on Weds.  And since I'm gone 3 nights/week, I don't want to leave at night.  And Sunday has been working around the house day so I hate to leave that for a class or workout.  Again, it is what it is for the summer, but I want to stay on top of these things and make sure they don't become a problem.

I had to alter my Groupon plan a little.  I planned to start Cross Fit this week, but it is only at night and the boys have VBS this week at night so it would have been really hard to fit that in.  I will start next Tuesday, I don't have a choice, the Groupon expires soon!  I will probably be doing the barre class at the same time as boot camp in Aug, hoping that will work for my schedule.

I have been under my calorie goal for the past 9 days - yay!!  I had a few hurdles this weekend, like a husband who wanted to eat bad (I told him to go ahead, he doesn't have to do what I'm doing), 2 birthday parties, and the two things I already discussed.  A few of the days I was "just" under my goal, but under is under so I'll take it.  On to the next week!

Here's what I did last week:
Wednesday, 6/18 - Caught up on my two monthly challenges, did strength & cardio for 30 minutes
Thursday, 6/19 - Taught two one hour Zumba classes
Friday, 6/20 - Taught a one hour Zumba class, plus swam with the kids for almost 3 hours
Saturday, 6/21 - Taught a one hour Zumba class, plus about an hour of swimming
Sunday, 6/22 - Caught up on my two monthly challenges, did strength & cardio for 30 minutes
Monday, 6/23 - Taught a 45 minute Zumba class
Tuesday, 6/24 - Taught a one hour Zumba class

And the weigh in:
6/18 - 218
6/25 - 216

My goal is to lose 2 lbs per week, so I'm happy to see this.  I did think it would be a little bigger because I know I had a ton of water weight from vacation hanging around, but I think there may be some other monthly things going on this week.  I'm not complaining, I'm thrilled to see the scale move in the right direction!

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Keeping Up With...Family (Summer Week 1)

Normally after vacation, I suffer from vacation hangover and we spend most of the next week doing a whole lot of nothing.  That's not what has happened this time.  Maybe it's because we got home on Saturday and had all day Sunday to unpack, do 10 loads of laundry and catch our breaths.  Or maybe it's because it's the beginning of summer and I'm ready to have the best summer ever!

Monday we kicked off the week with the boys first week of bowling camp.  AJ and Daniel did really well, I was impressed with them.  Zak spent the time running around the arcade "playing" games.  The boys really like bowling and are excited to be on the same team for the camp this summer.
Ready for bowling camp!
Tuesday both boys had art class.  Daniel and I did water colors in the morning, then we ran home for a quick lunch (because it was 95 degrees outside and I was not ready for a picnic).  AJ went back in the afternoon and started working on a painting of animals in the jungle that he will be working on for the next 6 weeks.  They both love their art classes!  And while AJ was at his class, the rest of us ran to Best Buy and bought "The Lego Movie."
Daniel painting during art class

Wednesday everything did catch up with us and we had a "stay home" day.  We stayed in our pajamas, watched TV, played and lounged around.  It was glorious.  Zak was supposed to start gymnastics that night but our car battery was dead so we couldn't make it to class.  Boo!  This also happened on Wednesday, love it!
Thursday we met up with one of AJ's friends from his class and did a bowling make up from the week we missed while in NJ.  The kids had fun bowling together, although everyone was upset that we didn't get pizza.  (They get pizza on Mondays)  Zak also got to get into the bowling action thanks to the "Kids Bowl Free" program.  He got two games, we didn't make it thru one.  We also ran some errands, then played outside for a while since the heat finally broke.

Friday we met some friends at the local YMCA for a pool play date!  We tried to swim in the outside pool, but the rain chased us inside.  We still had a blast swimming for about 3 hours with our friends.  Then Friday night we had a family movie night and watched "The Lego Movie."  Everyone had seen it, except for me, but the boys really wanted me to watch it with them.  It was really cute, I enjoyed it!
Wow, that's a lot of boys in the pool!
Saturday we had two different birthday parties to go to.  The first one was at the neighbors' house and we got to meet Batman!  The boys also had fun playing with the trampoline and baseball stuff in their yard.  Then we headed out to the pool for a pool party for another friend.  It was a little cold for swimming, but we still had a good time playing tag in the water.  Then Zak got too cold so I took him to the kiddie pool.  I really enjoyed watching him play over there, he was SO happy.
Finally, Sunday we rested, sort of.  We did a bunch of housework and other stuff around the house that needed to get done.  We have decided that we want to have fun this summer, but obviously there is a lot that needs to get done.  So each weekend we'll have one day that we work and one day that we play.  It might be hard to hold to it sometimes, but we're going to do our best.

This was really a great first week of summer vacation!!  Can't wait for the rest of the summer!!

Monday, June 23, 2014

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

If you missed the beginning of the story, you can check out Part 1 and Part 2.

After the schedule changed on Monday, we decided to clear our day for Tuesday and head to Six Flags Great Adventure.  We got up and checked the weather and decided to go for it even though there was 50% chance of rain.  We had decided to buy season passes since that was the best option for us.

We got there shortly after they opened and started riding the rides.  We headed straight for The Dark Knight coaster that the boys were excited to ride.  We spent a good chunk of the day running around and riding rides and having a great time.  Then around 4:00, the sky opened up and it was downpouring.  Thankfully we were right near a shelter house so we hung there until the storm passed.  We rode one ride, then they told us the rides would be closed for at least 30 minutes.

Since Zak was really over tired we decided to leave the park and drive around and dry off a little.  We went back to the camp site so I could change out of my wet clothes into other damp clothes and then drove down to the local pizza place to get a menu so we could order dinner when we left the park.  Zak cat napped for about 30 minutes in the car and the storm passed so we headed back to ride more rides until the park closed at 8:00.  We picked up pizza, ate and called it a successful day!

Wednesday morning we woke up again to overcast skies and the chance of more rain.  We had plans in the afternoon and evening, but a free morning so we decided to head back to Great Adventure.  AJ & I had rode "El Toro" the day before and really loved it, so we decided to head there first this morning.  We rode it in the back row and had a blast!  We rode rides and stayed dry until around 2:00 when we headed out of the park to grab a quick lunch and head to my friend Jennie's house for a play date.

The rest of the day Wednesday was spent hanging out with friends and their kids.  We went to Jennie's house and the boys played with her daughter while she and I caught up.  Then we headed over to my friend Gabrielle's house for dinner.  My boys really enjoyed playing with her two boys, since they are the same age and into similar things.  I caught up with Gabrielle and Francine and Adrian caught up and grilled with Mike.  We had a delicious dinner and a very relaxing evening.

We had a bit of a scare on the way over to Gabrielle's house when Zak threw up.  We weren't sure if he was sick or if it was just all the extra stuff (bad food, rides, car time, etc).  We checked with everyone and everyone was OK with chancing germs so we went in.  We gave Zak a bath & got him changed & he was up and running around in no time.  I'm thinking it was just a fluke.  Another successful day!
My guys in the balloon ride!
Family ride
Downpour on Tuesday
AJ getting up close and personal with a giraffe on the safari ride
Flying Elephant Selfie!
AJ was super excited to meet Bugs & Daffy
Our souvenir photo from the safari ride - we so rarely get a nice family photo

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Keeping Up With...Food (Menu Plan 6/23-6/29)

My menu last week was pretty amazing.  Not a bad pick the whole week!  What a great way to kick off my summer eating reset.  I was able to stay under my calorie goal the whole week and enjoyed eating every meal.  I even got to have some birthday cake thanks to lots of exercise.

Some of the highlights from last week were the tomato soup with grilled cheese croutons and the flatbread pizza topped with lots of greens.  I never would have thought to put the grilled cheese in the soup, even though I love the two together and usually dip the sandwich in the soup.  I also love having a healthy-ish option for pizza.  We made the whole pizza, then had 1/4 each with a big salad.  Very filling meal.  We ate the leftovers for lunch the next day.
Tomato Soup with Grilled Cheese Croutons
"Green" Flat Bread
It's going to be hard to top last week's menu, but I think I have some really great choices on this week's menu as well.  Bring on week 2 of awesome eating and staying under my calorie goal!

Monday, 6/23 - Pork Chops with Pumpkin Casserole
Tuesday, 6/24 - Italian Quinoa Salad
Wednesday, 6/25 - Orzo Primavera
Thursday, 6/26 - Sweet Potato and Black Bean Casserole - will make this with ground turkey
Friday, 6/27 - Jambalaya
Saturday, 6/28 - Chicken Caesar Pasta Salad - hoping to pre-make this as we are spending the day at a water park

As always, 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!

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Keeping Up With...Workouts (Summer Plan)

It's been a few weeks since I updated about my workouts, mostly because they have been very hit or miss with what's been going on for the past 3 weeks.  But now that vacation is over and birthdays are behind us for the year, I'm refocused on losing some weight.

I have been right around the same weight since Oct of last year.  I've gained some and lost some since then, but it's been pretty much the same.  I know it's all because of what I'm eating.  So I'm making some changes and making some effort on that front.  I have some goals for the summer, none of which are a certain number on the scale though.

My first goal is to be under my calorie goal on My Fitness Pal almost every day from 6/16 - 8/26 (right before we leave for our Disney vacation).  I have two planned days that I will not be under my goal, the Jazz & Rib Fest in July and the Ohio State Fair in August.  This is a big goal for me since it's just over 2 months.  But I think it's doable.  One of the best parts of summer for me is all the fresh fruit so that will make it somewhat easier.

In order to stay under my goal, I pretty much have to exercise every day.  My plan for that will be to continue to teach my 6 classes per week, plus sub whenever I can for other classes.  I'm also going to use 3 Groupons that I have for different classes:  one for CrossFit, one for barre classes and one for boot camp.  I planned to start CrossFit this week, but I'm feeling a little overwhelmed and stressed since getting back from vacation so I decided to postpone one week when things are a little more under control.  Boot camp will be early mornings in August and then barre class will be end of July, beginning of August.

I will take some "rest" days in there, but they will most likely also include some Zumba practice, swimming with the kids or walking so I can still stay under my goal.  I will be smart about working out so I don't injure myself, but I'm really motivated and determined to do this.

I will also continue with my monthly strength challenges.  I'm planning to do 2 for June, July and August.  I'm behind for June since I didn't do anything over vacation, so I'm doing two days each day until I catch back up.  Because of this, I may only do one challenge for Sept since I'll be gone for the first week of that month and then gone for a weekend later that month.  If there is a month that they focus on the same muscle group, I will come back to the Little Black Dress Challenge that I'm doing now.  I love this one since it's a total body workout!
I haven't done too much since I've been back, but I'm 2 for 2 days for being under my calorie goal.  Here's how this week started:
Monday, 6/16 - Taught a one hour Zumba class (am), taught a 45 minute Zumba class (pm)
Tuesday, 6/17 - Taught a 45 minute Zumba class (pm)

And now the moment of truth, weigh in!
5/28 weight - 214
6/18 weight - 218
Change - up 4

I'm actually thrilled with this, I thought it would be a lot bigger.  I really thought I would be back over 220.  I guess stressing out, carrying kids, pulling the wagon & walking a ton really does burn off some calories.  I'm hoping this is the last gain for 2 months, we shall see!

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Keeping Up With...Family (Vacation Part 2)

If you missed the first two days of vacation, you can check out part 1 here.

Everyone (except me) woke up refreshed after a great night of sleep Saturday night.  I couldn't stay warm.  I kept waking up shivering.  We started to get ready for our day with family...and everything took longer than expected.  We had two different houses to hit and didn't want to short change anyone.  We finally got everyone showered, dressed and off the mini golf course and on the road!

The showers were one of the most interesting parts of our trip.  The boys HATED them!  They prefer baths and were very upset that we couldn't bring our bath tub with us.  Zachary screamed thru his whole shower.  That must have been wonderful at 8:00am for the campers who slept in.  AJ did OK and Daniel got to shower with a frog!  Thankfully he didn't see him until he was done showering, otherwise I don't know if he would have gotten in.

We headed to my Uncle Tony and Aunt Joan's house for brunch and to see their kids, grand kids and my Aunt Sue.  They live on the water so that was a little stressful for us at first, but the boys understood that they couldn't go near the water.  They had a blast playing with their cousins (David & Ksenia's kids) and Adrian & I enjoyed a delicious brunch and catching up with the family.  We stayed for a few hours then had to head on to our next stop.
Daniel & Zak playing with Matteo
AJ & Sophia in a heated game of war while Aunt Sue watches
 Sunday late afternoon we headed over the my grandfather's (Pop) house.  My Uncle Tom, cousins Melissa & Alexandra and my mom were all there.  They boys were really excited to see familiar faces!  They had a blast playing with everyone and we enjoyed a yummy pizza dinner.  I stole an extra blanket from Pop and we headed back to the camp ground.

AJ & Uncle Tom playing cards
Daniel and Melissa goofing around
Our plan for Monday was to spend the day at Great Adventure.  Uncle Tom and the girls surprised us by taking the day off to join us.  However we woke up to the horrible sound of rain on our tent!  We looked at the forecast and decided a trip to GA was not in the cards that day.  We decided to try to switch Monday & Tuesday's plans and headed back over to Pop's house.  We hung out a little there and had delicious Sub Doctor subs for lunch.

Then we split up for a few hours.  Adrian, Uncle Tom, Melissa, Alexandra and the boys went to Seaside to walk the boardwalk and play some games since the rain had stopped for a while.  I went with my Mom and Pop to visit my Nana who is in a nursing home.  She has advanced Alzheimer's and isn't doing great.  I enjoyed spending some time with her and she told me I was very nice and that she enjoyed meeting me.
Three generations of Aumente ladies
After that we all headed back to the house, spent a little more time there being dry and finished up some laundry.  Then we headed back to the camp ground, hoping to make it an early night.  We stopped to pick up Java Moon sandwiches for me and Adrian on the ride back and bought some firewood to attempt a fire that night.  We were a little nervous about the boys around the fire, but they did great.  We roasted hot dogs and marshmallows and had a great time!  We dried up the leaking tent as best we could and turned in for an early night.
The boys enjoying some TV time at Pop's
AJ roasting his marshmallow
Dad helping Zak roast his marshmallow

My guys around our fire
Daniel roasting his hot dog for dinner
I'll leave off there for today.  As you can see, we had some very good moments and some not so great ones.  That was the theme for the entire trip.

Monday, June 16, 2014

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

I have no idea how many posts this will end up being, but I'm just going to start recapping, stop when it gets too long and tell you guys about our week long vacation.

It technically started on Friday, even though due to a family emergency we were able to leave until Saturday morning.  Adrian still took Friday off and we were able to spend the morning packing and making sure we had everything done for the week.  It was nice not to be stressed trying to do this at night after working all day.  Then Friday afternoon I had a great play date with three of Daniel's friends from preschool.  We spent about 3 hours at the local pool while Adrian finished up cleaning and packing.  We all got a good nights sleep and were ready to hit the road first thing Saturday morning.

Saturday morning our goal was to leave by 8:00am. We were on the road by 7:50!  I was so excited to be on the road early.  I was hoping to make it to NJ for a friend's daughter's birthday party at 4:30.  But we had a lot of long stops on the way and that didn't happen.  The boys did pretty good in the car, playing cards, coloring, watching movies & playing the alphabet game.  Zak got a little grumpy for the second half, but he didn't have as much to do as the other boys.

Road trip selfie!
We got to Timberland Lake Campground right around 5:00pm.  We were so excited to be out of the car, especially the boys.  They ran right over to one of the 3 playgrounds and started exploring.  Adrian got us checked in for the week and went to start setting up the tent.  Our goal was for me to occupy the boys while he set up.  The boys and I played on the play ground and played a game or two of (free) mini golf.  Then we realized it was dinner time and everyone was hungry.
Zak and Daniel playing mini golf - the first of 329 games of the week!
I made mistake number one (of many) on the trip.  I took all 3 boys to get dinner.  Alone.  They were out of control!  I looked like a crazy parent in WaWa while I waited to order my sub, which I never was able to do.  I just grabbed a hot dog for AJ, some drinks & some chips and we left!  The other boys wanted Burger King so we went next door for that.  They were a little better there, but not much.  I know they were just stir crazy from being in the car all day, but it was a really rough hour.  Plus I was VERY hungry!

I drove them back to the camp ground and Adrian took them to the free ice cream social they were having.  I turned around and finally got our sub from WaWa.  We finally were able to eat our dinner and get the kids to bed.  They did great going to sleep the first night, everyone was asleep by around 10.  Adrian & I hung out for a little while, then headed to bed ourselves.  We were really tired from the drive and the stress of setting up camp.

I'll leave off there and pick up with our Sunday tomorrow.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Keeping Up With...Food (Menu Plan 6/16 - 6/22)

I'm back from vacation (more on that thru this week) and I'm ready to try to find whatever normal will be for us for the summer.  I know menu planning is going to be key because I will be very busy playing with the three boys and keeping them from killing each other.

We ate a ton of great food the past 2 weeks including some NJ staples last week like Wawa hoagies, pizza, bagels and BBQs with friends.  I'm thankful we had so many people feeding us such great food last week.  I'm also thankful that I didn't have to cook for the past 2 weeks!  I overate all week and am feeling it now, very sluggish and tired (although that could be from a week of camping).  I'm back to eating healthy for the rest of the summer.

I'll share more about my weight loss plans for the summer on Weds in my workout blog, but today I'll share my food goals.  My goal is to be under my calorie goal every day from tomorrow (6/16) thru the day before we leave for Disney (8/27) with 2 exceptions...Jazz & Rib Fest and Ohio State fair day.

So with that in mind, here's what's on my menu this week to keep me under my calorie goal.  Some of them may seem higher in calories, but those are on days when I will work out for 2 hours or more.

Monday, 6/16 - Buffalo Meatloaf Muffins
Tuesday, 6/17 - Sesame Chicken over cauliflower rice
Wednesday, 6/18 - Tomato Soup with Grilled Cheese Croutons (Relish recipe)
Thursday, 6/19 - Potato Pancakes (Relish recipe)
Friday, 6/20 - Peach Shrimp (Relish recipe)
Saturday, 6/21 - Flatbreads
Sunday, 6/22 - Beef Tostados (Relish recipe)

As always, 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!

Friday, June 6, 2014

Keeping Up With...Family (Other Recent Fun Stuff)

We've been super busy over here between AJ's birthday and the end of the school year.  And now we are getting ready to go on vacation!  I'll be taking a break for a week or two from my menu plan blog and workout update blog.  Next week I'll try to blog about my NJ trip as it's happening, but if I don't have time I'll recap when I get back.

We've had a few other fun things going on here that I wanted to share.  On the 27th Adrian and I celebrated 8 years of marriage.  As someone pointed out, it's been a busy 8 years!  We've bought a house, had 3 children, had some ups and downs and and a few vacations.  It's been a fun ride so far and I can't wait to see where we are going.  We celebrated early by going on a double date with Carl & Sarah.  We went to their house for yummy food, a few drinks, great conversation and a fire.
We have also had a TON of play dates recently.  I'm really happy that Daniel has made some good friends at his preschool and I like all of their moms.  We have had play dates at our house, at other people's houses and today we had our first play date at the pool!

We also started one of our summer activities, swim lessons for all three boys.  We are going to the local YMCA and I'm already super impressed with their program.  AJ has 3 other boys in his class, Daniel has 2 and Zak has about 7 (but it's a parent participation class).  I'm thankful we finally have an affordable way to do these lessons.

AJ in swim class
The rest of the summer will be spent with as many friends as we can see, swimming, playing, reading and playing some video games.  I can't wait for all of it!  I'm thinking about making a summer bucket list this year.  Good thing I'll have plenty of time in the car tomorrow!!
Zak during a play date - doesn't he look like he's having fun??

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Keeping Up With...Workouts (5/28 - 6/4)

I've kinda hit a lull with my workouts and I'm actually (surprisingly) enjoying it.  I haven't been working out much at all the past week.  Life has been happening and I'm more than a little overwhelmed with other things right now.  While working out always makes me feel better, this time I'm actually feeling better to not rush out to the gym every day and just relax with my guys.

The downside to this is that I'm sure I'm packing on the pounds.  And I am noticing that I have less energy.  I'm just going with it for now and then after vacation I will be hitting the exercise and eating right hard.  I'm passing on the scale for this week and next and will weigh in after vacation.  I won't be doing one of these posts next week, mostly because there probably won't be any structured exercise going on between now and then.  I will share my plans for getting back on track and goals for the summer when I get back.

The only thing I will be doing over the vacation week is keeping up with my monthly challenges as much as possible.  I have been doing 2 challenges each month since March.  In May they were both ab challenges.  Around half way thru the month, I was very sore and very exhausted.  So I decided to skip the rest of the month for the one ab challenge and only finished the Shrinking Jeans Melt Your Muffin Top challenge.  I'm glad I made this decision, it was the right one for my body.  Now I'm back to 2 challenges again this month, the Shrinking Jeans Strong Arm challenge and the Little Black Dress 30 day challenge.  I'm working ahead this month to give myself a little buffer for the travel and vacation week but I plan to finish both challenges this month, no matter what!

Here is the recap of what I did last week:
Wednesday, 5/28 - Taught a one hour Zumba class
Thursday, 5/29 - Took a one hour PlyoFit class (my favorite!!)
Friday, 5/30 - Taught a one hour Zumba class
Saturday, 5/31 - Taught a one hour Zumba class
Sunday, 6/1 - Rest day
Monday, 6/2 - Taught a 45 minute Zumba class
Tuesday, 6/3 - Taught a 45 minute Zumba class
Wednesday, 6/3 - Rest day
Thursday, 6/4 - Taught 2 one hour Zumba classes

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Keeping Up With...Family (All About AJ)

Around this time of year every year things are all about AJ.  He finishes up school for the year and turns another year older.  This year was no exception.  We've spent the past few days celebrating AJ turning 7 and finishing first grade.

We started celebrating on Saturday with a family BBQ after the boys' tee ball game.  The local family came over and we had hot dogs, hamburgers, salads and cake!  AJ got The Lego Movie video game for both XBox and 3DS, new Pokemon cards, a new Lego set and a gift card.  He's been playing with everything (except the Lego set, that's a project for after vacation!).  He's saving the gift card and all his birthday money to go shopping after vacation too.
Ice Cream Cake
Sunday afternoon we had a party with friends at Magic Mountain.  We had pizza, snacks and cake then headed outside for mini golf.  AJ loves golfing and was excited to do it with his friends.  After that we let everyone play video games in the arcade.  AJ played a Batman racing game and did really well.  Daniel and Zachary spent most of their time in the big climbing structure.  My phone died so I don't have many pictures from this party.
Monday was AJ's actual birthday.  He was SO excited that because of snow days, he still had school that day.  This is the first (and probably last) time AJ has had school on his birthday.  I got cupcakes for his class and me and the young boys planned to go in at the end of the day.  We were all surprised when Adrian was able to leave work a little early and join us for the party!
Super hero cupcakes for school
AJ with Mom & Dad in his class
AJ had a great birthday at school.  He was the star helper for the day, people kept wishing him Happy Birthday & giving him hugs and they did a science project where they made ice cream in the morning.  After school we gave him our presents, a Pokemon video game, The Lego Movie (pre-ordered) and more Pokemon cards.  Really a great birthday for a special 7 year old!

Then Tuesday was his last day of school.  AJ was excited for the water play the teacher had planned for the morning.  He told me all about it and had a great time "getting drenched!"  Then lunch was an extra was "kid's choice" so AJ got to have pepperoni pizza.  It's the little things.

I'm SO proud of all AJ has learned this year.  He is reading at a 2nd grade level right now.  His standard test score went from a 40 in Sept (average) to a 75 in May (above average).  He especially excels in Math, although his favorite subject is Math.  Both his teacher and his speech therapist commented on how he is such a hard worker and a pleasure to teach.  He made a few really good friends and stepped out of his shell a little bit.

AJ filled out a book with his first grade memories.  The thing I was most surprised to learn is that they set goals for themselves at the beginning of the year.  One of AJ's goals was to not be below green on the behavior chart.  He accomplished this goal every day of the school year!  Most days he was above green.  I'm super proud of his good behavior at school!!
AJ & his teacher Mrs Stevens - she is amazing!!
All done with first grade!  Bring it on second grade!
Selfie on our walk home on the last day
 Congratulations AJ on all you have accomplished this past year as a 6 year old and a first grader!!  I can't wait to see what the next year brings in your amazing life!!