Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Keeping Up With...Family (Weekly Wrap 5/20 - 5/26)

Last year I recapped each week of our summer vacation.  I decided I wanted to do that again this summer, and possibly beyond.  I feel like I've gotten away from writing about my family so this will give me an opportunity to refocus on that.  I'll try to do the recap every Friday and it will be last Friday to this Thursday...although some weeks it probably won't get done until the weekend.

Friday (5/20) was a fairly normal day for us.  Adrian went to work and AJ and Daniel went to school.  Zak and I headed to the YMCA so I could teach my class and then ran errands after that.  We spent the afternoon hanging out at home until everyone else got home.  After school, Daniel and Zak were determined to play in the sprinkler in the yard, even though it wasn't very warm.  They had a blast.  That night AJ & Daniel played a baseball game which was close but they ended up losing.  Daniel got a force out at 2nd base (his first out on defense - yay!) and AJ got 2 hits.

Saturday (5/21) was the day that went completely haywire.  I got to Zumba class that morning and didn't have my music player so I had to try to recreate my playlist from memory and my Amazon cloud.  Then I was late getting the Y for the spinning class Adrian & I were going to take together so I missed out on that.  The boys baseball game for that afternoon was rained out and rescheduled for a time we can not make it.  And finally Adrian & I were supposed to go see "Dirty Dancing - The Musical" but neither of us felt like going and sitting through a play.  So we decided to ditch our tickets & go car shopping instead.  We actually had a fun time test driving cars, then went out for dessert and got home fairly early.  Even though the whole day didn't go as planned, it worked out alright in the end.

Sunday (5/22) we tried to get as much done around the house as we could and then we had my brother, sister in law and niece over for homemade pizza for dinner.  It had been over 3 months since we had seen them between sickness, busy schedules and life in general.  It was so nice to catch up with them and just relax with family.  It's also so fun to watch my boys interact with their cousin!

Monday (5/23) Adrian worked from home so that I could go on AJ's field trip with him.  We had so much fun learning about Flint Ridge Park.  We went on a nature walk, learned all about how Native Americans found flint and how they used it for various things.  We also got to do some of the things that Native Americans did including napping flint using a special tool, drilling a hole in a shell with a hand drill to make a necklace and throwing spears to try to hit a deer for dinner.  It was so nice to have a day with AJ and see him with his classmates.  Here are some of our pictures from that day:

AJ & his buddy Brooks
AJ "napping" slate
The drill we used to drill holes in shells - it was like a pump & my arm was sore after helping 2 kids

AJ & his teacher making his necklace
Me throwing a spear with a tool made from flint

Tuesday (5/24) was a pretty standard day.  The boys went to school and I taught my Silver Sneakers class.  Adrian was off for his grandmother's funeral and took some time to finish up car shopping.  The boys had baseball that night where they got destroyed by the other team, but took it like champs.  Daniel got to do a fun science experiment in school and made solar smores.  While they were waiting for the chocolate to melt they drew with chalk.  He and his two buddies did a picture together to represent "the three friends."
Wednesday (5/25) was Zak's last day of school!!  He had a great time this year with his class and learned a lot.  But he is also excited that the school year is over and that he will be moving to a new school next year.  We got awesome portfolios of his art work and pictures of him and the class from the year.  AJ also participated in the Potato Olympics at school.  He created his own athlete, Potampion from Latvia and together they won the bronze medal in swimming!  AJ was very excited about his win, he's still wearing the medal just about every day.

Thursday (5/26) Zak and I enjoyed our last day at home alone.  We played board games, watched video games and I tried to get some stuff crossed off my to do list.  Daniel celebrated the end of school by wearing his pajamas and bringing his favorite stuffed animal to school for the day.  AJ had his last awards ceremony for the year and earned an award for demonstrating "Hornet Pride" by being respectful, responsible & safe all year.  He was one of only 2 third graders to earn this award and we are very proud of him!

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Keeping Up With...Workouts (Recap of 5/18 - 5/24)

So I realized on Tuesday that I have been teaching Silver Sneakers at the Y for almost 2 months now and I kept saying I would talk about it on here and I never did.  I went and got my certification in March and started teaching when we got back from vacation in April.  I had been shadowing the previous teacher for about two months so I had a pretty good idea of what I should do.

My first class was horrible!  I kept forgetting to count out loud, which they are used to (and I am not because we don't count out loud in Zumba).  It was not smooth.  I went really slow and couldn't think of how to explain anything.  Now in my (slight) defense, I was still in vacation hangover mode but it was still really bad.

Each week since then has improved.  And the past two weeks I feel like I've really hit my stride and classes have been awesome!  I'm holding steady numbers (around 40 each week) and have had a lot of students come up to me after class and tell me how much they are enjoying class.  I have also sped up the class and have been able to get thru my whole list of exercises the past two weeks.  And this past week I even added in a new one that wasn't on my list.

I am trying to find my balance between working on this class and continuing to work on new choreography for Zumba.  It's challenging since I'm already stretched but I think I'm finding it.  I am only switching up the exercises in Silver Sneakers once per month, normally in the first week of the month.  But I am spending a little bit of time each week looking for new exercises so that I am ready to go on that first week of the month.  The rest of my practice time is for Zumba.

This weekend I am taking Zumba Gold training while will combine both Zumba and the low intensity of Silver Sneakers.  Gold is specifically for older or injured students.  I'm SO excited for this training.  Look for a review next week!

Here's what I did for this past week:
Wednesday - Taught a 90 minute Zumba class (combo of dancing & toning), taught a one hour Zumba class & walked back and forth from school
Thursday - Taught a one hour Zumba class & walked back and forth from school
Friday - Taught a one hour Zumba class & walked back and forth from school
Saturday - Taught a one hour Zumba Toning class and took about 45 minutes of another Zumba class
Sunday - Rest Day!  15 minutes of Zumba practice
Monday - Walked for close to two hours with AJ on his field trip & taught a one hour Zumba Toning class
Tuesday - Taught a one hour Silver Sneakers class & walked back and forth from school

When I weighed in yesterday morning I was very upset to see that I didn't lose anything.  But I guess the upside is that I didn't gain anything either.  I was hoping to see a loss as it was a very good week for me.  And this one will not be a good week since we have lots of celebrations this weekend between end of the school year, our anniversary and Memorial Day.  Oh well, at some point the number has to drop.  Right?!?!?!

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Keeping Up With...Food (Menu Plan 5/23 - 5/29)

Happy Sunday!!  We are hosting my brother, sister in law and niece for dinner tonight (homemade pizza - drool) so I'm going to keep this short and sweet.  We did really well last week sticking to our plan and eating almost all of our vegetables from our last CSA bag.  There was a mix up with the farm and we didn't get a bag last week like we were supposed to so we're getting one this week.

This is the boys' last week of school and we have some extra things on the schedule because of that.  Adrian and I will also celebrate our 10 year wedding anniversary next weekend!!  I'm keeping things very light and quick all week.  There is also more eating out than normal with all the extra activity.  And things may change for next weekend's meal depending on what we get from our CSA bag.

Here's our plan for this week:
Monday - Cheeseburger Casserole with roasted radishes - one of the few remaining CSA veggies
Tuesday - Taco Casserole - making 2, one for us and one to share with a friend
Wednesday - Spinach & Orzo Salad - to finish up the spinach we have from our CSA since we didn't make this last week
Thursday - Spaghetti & Meatballs with the rest of our kale pesto sauce
Friday - Tortellini Alfredo and out for ice cream to celebrate the last day of school & our anniversary
Saturday - Pizza with friends who are in from out of town
Sunday - Out to dinner for our anniversary!!  Boys will probably have leftover pizza

I'm doing two big casseroles at the beginning of the week because we have zero leftovers for lunches.  Adrian is working from home on Monday so he'll be OK that day but will need leftovers for the rest of the week.  I'll make this Spinach Chicken Salad again for myself a few days this week.  It is SO good!!

Water Flavor - Strawberry Orange

Food Prep - Not much going on this weekend.  The water is set up and our fruit is all washed and cut up and ready for snacks.  And I have the chicken cooked for lunches. 

As always, I'm linking up with Laura at Mommy, Run Fast.  Go check out the other blogs on the link up for some more yummy recipes!  Have a great week!!

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Keeping Up With...Workouts (Recap of 4/27 - 5/17)

So I've been MIA on the workout recaps the past three weeks and this time it's not a lack of time, it was a lack of workouts.  On Saturday 4/30 I spiked a fever and I was down and out for the next 10 days.  I didn't exercise AT ALL.  I was very sick, could barely do the bare minimum.  I'm not sure what it was, probably just a virus.  There have been some thoughts it was exhaustion.  I hope not because I don't know that life will slow down for me at all any time soon.  I will be listening to my body more, resting more, getting more sleep and eating better.  Hopefully that will help me avoid being down for an extended period of time again.

So this sickness ended my exercise streak that I was going for at 112 days.  I was really bummed on Sunday when I realized I physically could not work out.  But then as the days went by it got easier to swallow, mostly because I knew it was impossible to do anything physical.  And then I spent a few days trying to decide what to do.  Do I just stop since I didn't meet my goal?  Do I start over and try to beat 112?  Do I go for 365 starting today?  I decided that I am going to start again and go for 365 again.  It was fun to be challenged to work out every day.  Plus I will have a little bit more free time come the fall when all 3 boys are in school so I should be able to keep the streak going, barring any major illness.

So here's how the last streak ended and the next streak began:
Wednesday 4/27 - Taught a 1 hour Zumba class and taught a 90 minute class that is half Zumba and half Zumba Toning
Thursday 4/28 - Taught a 1 hour Zumba Toning class and taught 2 1 hour Zumba class
Friday 4/29 - Taught a 1 hour Zumba class and walked back and forth from school
Saturday 4/30 - Taught a 1 hour Zumba Toning class
Sunday 5/1 thru Monday 5/9 - Rest Days for sickness
Tuesday 5/10 - Taught a 1 hour Silver Sneakers class - eased myself back into it after all those days off
Wednesday 5/11 - Taught a 1 hour Zumba class and taught a 90 minute class that is half Zumba and half Zumba Toning
Thursday 5/12 - Taught a 1 hour Zumba Toning class and taught a 1 hour Zumba class
Friday 5/13 - Taught a 1 hour Zumba class and walked back and forth from school
Saturday 5/14 - Taught a 1 hour Zumba Toning class and taught a 1 hour Zumba class - finally felt like myself this day - YAY!!
Sunday 5/15 - Practiced Zumba songs for about 15 minutes
Monday 5/16 - Taught a 1 hour Zumba Toning class, taught a 1 hour cardio dance class & walked back and forth from school
Tuesday 5/17 - Taught a 1 hour Silver Sneakers class & took 20 minutes of a Zumba Gold class

Over these three weeks, I am down 2 total pounds and that brings me to 11 pounds lost for the year - yay for double digits!!  I am thrilled with this weigh in!  I was down 6 pounds after being sick but I quickly put that back on with lots of carbs and hydration.  I have had a lot of people recently tell me that I look like I lost weight which is the best compliment ever, especially when the scale isn't moving very fast.  I feel like I'm smaller.  Clothes fit better, my energy is higher and I just feel better all around. 

The next 3 months will be very rough to lose between the boys being off school (so no set schedule), 2 vacations, AJ's birthday and our anniversary.  But I'm not giving up.  I'm going to do what I can whenever I can and then enjoy all the special occasions!!  Bring on the summer!!

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Keeping Up With...My Fab 40! - April review

April has long come and gone and I haven't had time to update these goals.  I almost skipped this month and did a 2 month recap in a few weeks, but I thought that might be too much at once.  I'm going to try to remember what I did in April vs May.  I know April flew by between the vacation hang over and then Adrian getting sick and being down for over a week.  It was really hard being a single-ish mom for that week!! 

Here's how I'm doing after 4 months.  I have broken them down into three categories (on-going, one time and finished) so it's easier for me to update.  The goals are in black and my current month comments are in red.

1.  Lose 40 pounds - one for each year - Lost 9 of the 40 lbs.  I kicked it up some this month, but am still behind for the year.  I am seeing huge loses in terms of inches & feeling better, but the scale just isn't moving too quick.  I'm hoping the second half of the year that will change with the incorporation of more weight training.
2.  Read 12 books - I was so close last year! - Read 5 of the 12.  I finished 1 book this month, "Burned Bridges of Ward, Nebraska."  It was a Kindle First book that I got for free back in November.  I really enjoyed it!!  It is a book I never would have picked on my own, but I'm so glad I had it and gave it a try.
3.  Go on 12 dates with Adrian - Went on 7 of the 12.  We had one date night in April, we went and saw "Book of Mormon" for the second time.  Hilarious!!
4.  Get rid of 12 bags of stuff - Donated 1 bag this month from our closets and also passed along my bike trailer to one of my Zumba students.  5 of the 12 are gone.
5.  Take 1 picture every day for the year - Up to date on this 121 of 366
6.  Go on 2 special dates with AJ - Went on 1 out of 2.  I took AJ & Daniel to see Snoopy: The Musical at the local children's theater in April.  We had so much fun!  We stopped at Krispy Kreme for donuts on our way home too.  I'm counting this for both boys & may aim for 3 dates each, another together & one alone.
7.  Go on 2 special dates with Daniel -
Went on 1 out of 2.  See above
8.  Go on 2 special dates with Zak - Went on 0 out of 2, I'll be saving these for the 2nd half of the year when he's in preschool everyday.
 9.  Do a 365 day exercise streak - 112 days of 365, every day from Jan 11-April 30!!  This was a fairly easy month to do this since I was on my regular schedule all month.  I started doing a recap each week so check in on Weds for more info on this.
10.  Finish the 30 Day Shred - Did 0 days of 30 - I need to get started on this one!
11.  Attend one class each week that isn't mine - Did this 10 weeks out of 52.  I only did this once in April.  And I'll be honest, May isn't starting out that great either.  This is a really hard goal for me!!
12.  Teach an average of 5 classes each week -
Did this 14 weeks out of 52.  I actually taught at least 7 classes each week in April.  It was a very busy month for me!!
13.  Menu plan and prep our dinners each week - Did this 14 weeks out of 52.  I jumped back in after vacation and planned each week.  I did a pretty good job on prep too and mostly made what I planned.
14.  Go to church every Sunday - Did this 13 weeks out of 52.  I missed 2 weeks in April, one because of Adrian being sick and one the Sunday we got back from Texas.
15.  Do one blog post each week - I did 8 posts in April, easily one per week. 
16.  See 2 movies that aren't animated - Saw 0 out of 2
17.  Pay off our Best Buy card and not incur any new debt - The Best Buy card is payed off!!  We will be incurring new debt because we unfortunately "need" a new car.  Our older van is very close to dying so we're looking for the best deal we can for a "new to us" car.  We are working on paying off another credit card as well, hoping to do that before the car payment starts.
18.  Have a family board game night once per month - Did this 4 out of 12 months
19.  Have a family movie night once per month
- Did this 4 out of 12 months (Inside Out, Charlie Brown Valentine's special, Justice League Frost Fight, Big Hero 6)
20.  Have a family video game night once per month - Did this 4 out of 12 months
21.  Go to 4 Zumba jams this year - Went to my 2 out of 4 and I loved every minute of it!  I'm using choreo from both of them right now and my classes love the songs!  I'm hoping to go to jam number 3 in June.
22.  Make one homemade breakfast for us each month - I did not do this in April.  I actually totally forgot about it, oops!!

One Time
23.  Go on a family trip to NJ - Booked for June!!
24.  Go on a family trip to Tennessee - Planned for July
25.  Go zip lining
26.  Go on a family hike in Hocking Hills
27.  Go on family camping trip
28.  Host an alcohol exchange with my girl friends
29.  Power wash and stain our play set
30.  Renovate our downstairs bathroom
31.  Conquer the Lynd's corn maze in the fall
32.  Go to Dollywood - Planned for Aug
33.  Go to Six Flags Great Adventure - Planned for June
34.  Renew our Zoombeezi Bay passes and go at least once every other week over the summer - I renewed our passes this summer and we already have our first trip planned for Memorial Day weekend
35.  Do something special to celebrate mine & Adrian's 10 year wedding anniversary

36.  Go on a family trip to Dallas - Done!  You can read about it here, here, here and here.
37.  Get 1 fitness certification - Done!!  Got Silver Sneakers Classic & Silver Sneakers Circuit in March.  Also signed up for Zumba Gold in May.  Going above & beyond on this goal.
38.  Go to the doctor for routine check up and tests - Done!  Did my physical, pap, blood work & mammogram in March.  Everything looks great, I'm supposed to keep doing what I'm doing!
39.  Tour Dallas Cowboys stadium - Done, sort of.  It was actually closed for the guided tours while we were there.  But we drove around it, took some pictures & went in the Pro Shop.  I'm considering it done.
40.  Go to Six Flags Over Texas - Done!  Also hit Six Flags St Louis, loved that park

So April turned out to be a pretty good month.  I'm struggling on a few of the goals and I don't think they will get any easier when the boys are home from school for the summer.  I'm just going to keep doing my best.  I also feel like we've had a lot thrown at us this year that we weren't expecting so that is impacting my goals as well.  Again, we are handling it all as best we can but it is starting to wear me out.  Hoping for a more stable second half of the year!

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Keeping Up With...Food (Menu Plan 5/16 - 5/22)

I'm back to menu planning after a week off.  I mentioned last time that I was popping in quickly while recovering from a fever.  That fever turned into a stomach bug and had me down and out for over a week.  It was really rough and I hope I am never that sick again.  I've spent most of last week trying to recover, eating, drinking lots of water and building up my energy.

This week I am trying to use up the remaining greens from my CSA bag last week so we are having lots of salads.  We will also get another bag on Thursday so that will dictate next week's menu plan.  We also have only 2 weeks left of school so I'm trying to keep our meals easy and quick since we're busy finishing up homework and projects for the year.  And the boys are in full swing with baseball right now so that keeps us out of the house at least once each week.

Here's my plan for this week:
Monday - Spicy Orange Beef & Broccoli Stir Fry with Roasted Swiss Chard
Tuesday - Taco Tuesday!!  plus this Spinach Chicken Salad for lunch
Wednesday - Ravioli with Swiss Chard (or spinach if I use all the Swiss Chard on Mon)
Thursday - Cobb Salad
Friday - Bermuda Spinach Salad
Saturday - Spinach & Orzo Salad
Sunday - Dinner with my brother and his family.  Not sure where we're eating so I'll pull something together if we are here.

I'll pair those salads with either store bought dinner rolls or English muffin garlic bread.  I may grab a loaf of crusty French bread if I see one too.  I'm super excited about this menu!!

Water Flavor - Mango (my favorite!!)

Food Prep - I already set up the water flavor for the week, made rice krispy treats for AJ for his snacks for the week and cut up two melons for snacks.  I am thawing the chicken for the salads for lunches and will be cooking that later today.  I will probably also hard boil some eggs.

As always, I'm linking up with Laura at Mommy, Run Fast.  Go check out the other blogs on the link up for some more yummy recipes!  Have a great week!!

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Keeping Up With...Family (Texas Trip Recap Part 4)

If you missed the start of the trip, you can read about it here, here and here.

Thursday was our last full day in Texas.  We decided to go check out the Lego Discovery Center that is in a nearby mall.  We have already visited the one in Chicago and were expecting this one to be similar.  And it was only with less to do, especially for the adults.  The kids had a blast playing in the play area, riding the two rides that were open and watching the 4D movie.  We also checked out Dallas built all in Legos.  Other than that, there wasn't really anything there to see or do.  I was kind of disappointed there weren't more things built out of legos to see.  But the kids really enjoyed it so I guess it was worth it.

After Legoland, Adrian and I took the boys to Rainforest Cafe for lunch.  They loved looking at all the animals there and we all really enjoyed our meal.  Then we headed back to the house to start packing up for the long journey back to Ohio.  Adrian and I were able to sneak out that night to go on a dinner date.  We went to a Mexican restaurant up the street and enjoyed delicious fajitas and a few $1 margaritas.  Good thing most of the packing was done before dinner!!

Friday morning we were up bright and early to hit the road.  We had one more breakfast together with the girls and then we loaded up and started heading north. 
We took a slightly different route home so we could stop in St Louis and use our Six Flags season passes again.  We got to the St Louis area (Eureka MO to be exact) around 8pm that night and checked into a hotel that was right next door to the park.  We all got a great night of sleep and were up bright and early and ready to hit the park.  We were there before it opened and were able to get in a little early since we're season pass holders.

We had each kid pick one ride that they wanted to do and we made sure to do those first.  We waited in line (again) to ride Battle for Metropolis.  We were about 10th in line but the ride kept breaking down so we had to wait about 30 minutes to ride.  Way better than in Texas but still annoying.  After that we barely waited in line for anything all day.  It helped that it was only about 45 degrees that day so it wasn't very crowded.  We did everything we wanted plus a bunch of extra rides and were back on the road by about 3:30.
The highlight of the Six Flags trip in St Louis for me was AJ and Daniel deciding that they were going to ride Superman: Tower of Power.  It's one of those rides that you go 230 feet into the air and then drop straight down.  Those scare the crap out of me!  I can ride coasters all day but I hate those drop rides.  Anyway the boys decided they were going to do it and they did!!  AJ had been battling with some fear of heights on some of the rides this trip but he overcame that and did this ride like a champ!  I was SO proud of them!!
AJ & Daniel ready to ride Tower of Power
We left St. Louis earlier than we planned and I was determined to get us home that day (Saturday).  I was done sleeping in hotels and just wanted my own bed.  We made really great time, the boys were rock stars once again.  We stopped at an adorable diner on Route 66 for dinner on the way home and only made 2 or 3 other bathroom stops at rest areas.  We got home a few minutes after midnight and went right to bed!  AJ and I were the only ones who stayed awake the whole way home, the other 3 all fell asleep in the car.

We slept great Saturday night in our own beds and had a lazy Sunday relaxing and unpacking and getting ready to head back to school on Monday.  All in all it was a great trip!!  We had a few bumps in the road but nothing that ruined the trip for us.  Would love to head back down to Dallas again for another vacation!!

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Keeping Up With...Family (Texas Trip Recap Part 3)

If you missed the start of the trip, you can read about it here and here.

Tuesday we decided to check out Fort Worth.  We had heard about the parade of the longhorns so we hit the road early to make sure we got there in time for that.  It was pretty cool to see the parade, but it was only about 5 minutes.  The biggest excitement was when one of the longhorns tried to mount another one right in front of all of us on the street!!  I thought I was going to have to explain the birds and the bees and the bulls.  ;) 

After the parade we walked around checking out the stockyards and then headed to the cow pen maze, which the boys were really looking forward to.  It was similar to a corn maze but it was made out of wooden cow pens.  You had to find the 4 letters of the word "maze" and then get out.  We did it in just over 30 minutes.  The boys loved it, especially Zak who was super excited to find the "Z."  It made me dizzy to walk around the pens but it was fun to try to figure it out.
After the maze I had possibly the highlight of the trip for me...I rode my first (and probably last) mechanical bull.  The boys really wanted someone to do it and they were trying to get my mom to do it but she wouldn't.  So I decided to give it a go.  It was a lot harder than I thought it would be!  But it was also a ton of fun!!  I stayed on for just about 40 seconds.  I think you can see the hilarious video here.  I'm glad I can say that I did it!!

It was hard to follow that excitement but we did some shopping, sight seeing and enjoyed a pretty good BBQ lunch before wrapping it up for the day.  My parents and brother checked out the Cowboy Hall of Fame but we figured the boys wouldn't be interested in that so we headed home.  On our way to the car we met an actual cowboy.  The boys were all amazed, AJ was even brave enough to pet the horse.
Fort Worth was a neat little town but I'm not sure I would go back.  It felt very tourist trappy and they nickel and dimed you for a lot.  While that is obviously the point of the town, it felt like a lot of money for not a lot of fun or education.  I'm glad we checked it out and it was a really nice way to spend the day, but it wouldn't be on my repeat visit list.  Well except maybe for riding the mechanical bull again.

As you can see, we had been pretty much non stop since we left Ohio on this trip.  We decided to take Wednesday to catch our breath and catch up on a few housekeeping things.  I did some laundry and caught up on some emails.  Adrian checked in at work.  My nieces went to school for the day.  The boys played and watched TV.  Adrian, Jon and my Dad did take all the kids bowling later that afternoon and everyone had a really fun time there.  It was nice to have a break in the action before one more day in Texas and then hitting the road back home.

I think I'll end there and finish up in part 4 with our trip to the Lego Discovery Center and then our trip home.

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Keeping Up With...Family (Texas Trip Recap Part 2)

If you missed the start of the trip, you can read about it here.

Sunday was the big day - my 40th birthday!!  Oh and also Easter Sunday.  Most of the family got up early to head to church but the boys and I decided to sleep in.  When everyone finally got home, we started the morning with a huge egg hunt for the cousins.  The Easter Bunny hid multiple eggs inside and outside the house.  The kids loved running around to find them all and then digging in to all the goodies.  We then enjoyed our traditional Polish Easter morning breakfast - kielbasa, eggs, farmer cheese, rye bread, meat pie (it's a heart attack waiting to happen - so good!)

After we got all of the Easter stuff out of the way, we moved on to the important stuff - celebrating mine and Antonia's birthdays!  She turned 2 a few days before we got there and we did a double party for both of us.  We had lots of presents, yummy cake and lots of family time.  It was really a great day just relaxing with family.  Adrian and I also got to escape for a little bit and go on a walk together to enjoy the beautiful Texas weather.  And my brother and father cooked an awesome dinner for us that night.  Seriously what's better than a day when I don't have to cook, clean or do laundry?  Plus I had help with the kids?  Best. Birthday. Ever!
Monday we headed to downtown Dallas to check out the Perot Museum of Nature & Science.  What a fantastic place!  We spent the whole day there and could probably have stayed longer.  We saw dinosaurs, played with robots, raced t-rex and so much more.  The boys loved every minute of it.  I think my favorite part was checking out the dinosaurs and seeing how interested the boys were in them.  I also enjoyed seeing everyone race the t-rex, especially my mom.  If you're ever in the area, especially with kids, check this museum out.  And make sure you spend the whole day, you'll need it.
Ready to go!
Cousins under the dino...
AJ created this bird - Swift Swooper

Daniel & Luci out for a drive
Zak was fascinated with this light machine.  I put his name up there for him later.
Adrian programing his robot
After fighting the traffic to get back out to where my brother lives, we decided to stop at a pizza place for dinner and to let the kids play some video games.  When we got home we were all exhausted after a very full and fun day!  I think I'll end part 2 there and pick up next time with our day trip to Fort Worth!!

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Keeping Up With...Food (Menu Plan 5/2 - 5/8)

We went two solid weeks with everyone healthy and things were getting back on track and then wham! I spiked a fever yesterday.  I went to bed around 7:00 and have barely moved from bed since then.  I feel horrible.  Adrian is trying to pick up the slack around the house, but it's just not the same when Mom isn't up and moving.  I finally crawled downstairs and on to the couch so I can direct from here.  Plus we needed to wash our sheets before heading to bed tonight.  :)

Last week our food was pretty awesome.  The Santa Fe Chicken Pasta was delicious, although it was a lot of work.  It is definitely not a weekday meal for us.  The Slow Cooker Chicken Burritos were also delicious and very easy to make.  And my first stab at making kale pesto was awesome.  I have about two servings of it left so we'll be having that this week and next.
Chicken burritos with cauliflower rice
Kale pesto - I want to eat it with a spoon but I held back
We did hit a bump in the road on Friday when I just didn't feel like cooking.  I was really tired and felt off.  Now I'm thinking that was probably the start of whatever caused the fever yesterday and today.  We picked up Chinese for Friday dinner and just had sandwiches and salad yesterday before I collapsed in bed.

Here's the plan for this week with a few carryovers from last week:
Monday - Kale Soup
Tuesday - Baked Ziti.  I'm making 2 trays, one for us and one for a friend who's going thru a tough time right now.
Thursday - Tacos for Cinco de Mayo
Saturday - Linguine with Kale Pesto and Shrimp
Sunday - Not sure yet, but I'm probably not cooking since it's Mother's Day

Water Flavor - Apple & Orange

Food Prep - None.  I'm crossing my fingers for the week.  I will make the grocery list and a plan to shop for everything.  But other than that I'm just resting today.

As always, I'm linking up with Laura at Mommy, Run Fast.  Go check out the other blogs on the link up for some more yummy recipes!  Have a great week!!