Friday, March 24, 2017

Keeping up with...Family (Weekly Wrap 3/17 - 3/23)

Friday (3/17) Happy St Patrick's Day!  We didn't do anything special to celebrate, we usually don't.  Occasionally we wear some green but that's all.  But it was a super fun day for us.  Adrian took the day off to spend with Zak so I could go on a field trip with Daniel.  I went with him and his class to a local ice skating rink.  We had so much fun!  We learned the science behind making the ice and then got to skate some.  We finished up with lunch and then the bus ride home in the snow, which the kids thought was awesome.


While we were gone, Adrian took Zak and went to a few stores.  Zak bought the new Beyblade that he has been saving his allowance for and Adrian got a new card game.  When we got back to the school, Adrian and Zak picked up Daniel and I and we went to pick up the van with it's newly fixed seat warmers.  Then we came home and picked up AJ and I went to the Y to teach a very small Barre class.  I picked up Jets pizza for us for dinner on my way home and we had family night eating pizza and finally watching "Trolls."  I was exhausted after a very long week so I headed to bed early while Adrian stayed up to watch some of the basketball games.  Great day!!

Saturday (3/18) started with us splitting up for the morning activities.  Adrian took AJ and Daniel to their Pinewood Derby.  Daniel's car did great and came in 4th, just shy of getting the 3rd place medal.  AJ's car didn't fall apart (a huge concern!) and also didn't finish last so he was very happy.  They have a few ideas how to make the cars better next year.  While they were there, I took Zak to his first soccer class of this session.  He did great playing all the games and said it was the best time!

We spent the afternoon doing as much as we could around the house while the boys played.  It's another busy week coming up and then we have company coming the week after so we're trying to get everything done this weekend.  Then Adrian and I headed out to an early birthday present for me - the Bon Jovi concert!!  We had so much fun at the concert!  I sang and danced and smiled all night!  We bought tickets behind the stage which I was back and forth about when we bought them.  I figured there would be a TV screen and worst case I could just watch that.  Well there was a screen, but I barely looked at it.  I watched their backs for most of the show and it was amazing.  They music is so great and they don't really have a "show" so it didn't really matter.  He turned around a lot and it was actually the closest I've ever seen him.  Plus I had the same view as the band which was a pretty cool experience.  I would definitely buy seats back there again, it was fantastic!

Sunday (3/19) started way too early after a late night last night.  Daniel and Zak were up at 6am, gah!  I made them go downstairs alone and watch TV and laid in bed for a while but never really went back to sleep.  At least Adrian and AJ got to sleep in a little longer.  I headed to church to volunteer in childcare while Adrian stayed home with the kids to get them ready for their first swim lesson of the session.  AJ and Daniel did great, Zak struggled with listening to the instructor.  After that we just hung out at home and got ready for our week.  Adrian has a sleep study tonight so he is there for the night.  I'm hoping everyone stays in their own bed and I can enjoy our nice big bed alone tonight.

Monday (3/20) I got a great night of sleep last night!  We all got up and out to school and work and I ran a few errands as well.  Then Zak and I grabbed a quick lunch and headed back out to the church to register him for kindergarten next year.  He enjoyed talking to the teachers and "playing all of their games."  He did great with the assessment, struggled a little with rhyming and cutting, but he's a lefty and they didn't have lefty scissors.  Other than that he did great and is all set to start at West in the fall.  I had fun catching up with some friends at the church for registration as well.
After that, we had a quick stop home before we had to run out to meet up with someone who picked up AJ's jacket since he had left it at the Pinewood Derby on Saturday.  Then Zak and I picked up the other boys and headed to the Y for my Zumba class.  Adrian came home and cooked meatball subs for us for dinner before heading out with Daniel to his baseball practice.  We finished up the night with Adrian heading out to his weekly basketball game.  Busy start to our week!

Tuesday (3/21) started early because Zak thought 4:30 was a good time to get up.  I laid in bed until my normal time to get up but never really fell back asleep.  I got everyone out to school and work and went to teach my Silver Sneakers class.  I had a huge full class again, it's such a great group of seniors!!  Then I came back and picked up Zak from school and headed home for lunch and some relaxing.  We were able to walk up the school to pick up AJ and Daniel which is so nice when we can do it!  I'm hoping it's a daily thing after spring break next week.  The boys had a great time playing together after school and then we all enjoyed taco Tuesday!  We finished up the day with Adrian taking AJ to Brain Balance for his session and then we all relaxed with some TV and an early bedtime.

Wednesday (3/22) started with a sick Daniel.  He was complaining his throat hurt and had a fever all day.  Thankfully Adrian was able to stay home with him today so I was still able to get everyone to school and teach my two classes.  Other than that we didn't do a whole lot.  Daniel laid on the couch all day, still had a fever when he went to bed.  If he still has the fever tomorrow, we'll be heading to the doctor.  AJ and Zak played together some and Adrian was able to play with them too since he didn't have his normal commute.  We enjoyed pasta together for dinner and Adrian and I finished the night with Survivor.
Thursday (3/23) started similar to Wednesday with a sick Daniel.  Thankfully Adrian was again able to work from home in the morning so I could get everyone to school and teach my Silver Sneakers class.  I was exhausted after that since I had been up on and off with Daniel all night.  He spent the day on the couch while everyone was at school.  Adrian went in to his office for the afternoon, then to happy hour with his coworkers.  Since we were all exhausted, we cancelled AJ's Brain Balanace appointment for the night and decided to have a calm night.  However soon after Adrian got home, Daniel became very disoriented and started talking jibberish.  So we rushed to Children's Urgent Care to see what was going on.  It was nothing to worry about, it happens to children when their fever spikes suddenly.  They did a strep test and it was positive so Daniel is out of school again tomorrow and on antibiotics.  I'm hoping no one else in the house gets it!

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Keeping Up With...Food (Meal Plan for Mar 20 - Mar 26)

I got a little off course with my meal plan last week.  I was really tired for the second half of the week and just did not feel like cooking.  I did pasta one day and then picked up Jets pizza the other day.  So there are a few meals that are carrying over to this week.  I'm doing very little grocery shopping this week and trying to eat what we have.  The next week the older boys have spring break and my parents will be here so I'll wing it for most of that week.  And then I will stock up the first week in April.

I'm keeping it fairly simple this week with lots of the boys favorites so I don't have to fight with them over dinners.  We've also decided to make Wednesdays leftover night since we have about 40 minutes between my Zumba class and the boys' soccer class.  I'm thinking if we just have to heat and eat something that's better than trying to cook or eating after class (like 7:45pm).  If I notice we are running low on leftovers, I will do a crockpot meal on Wednesdays so it's ready when we all get home.

Here's what we're eating this week:
Monday - Blue Cheese & Spinach Meatloaf Muffins with salad
Tuesday - Taco Tuesday!
Wednesday - Leftovers
Thursday - Pasta for me and the boys (Adrian has happy hour with work)
Friday - Spicy Shrimp & Grits
Saturday - Chicken and Cabbage Stir Fry - thanks to a super cheap head of cabbage!
Sunday -  either dinner at my brother's house or everyone over our house for pizza.  It's the one day my parents will be here and Carl & Sarah are off so we're doing a big family dinner.  I'm very excited!  We'll also be celebrating my birthday!

Water Flavor - Lemon

Overnight Oats Flavors - Original, Chocolate Peanut Butter, Blueberry Cobbler & Banana Chocolate Chip - we weren't thrilled with tropical or strawberry shortcake last week so we won't be making those again.  Sticking with our favorites this week.  May look for one using raspberries or blackberries since those are on sale this week.

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Keeping up with...Family (Weekly Wrap 3/10 - 3/16)

Friday (3/10) Daniel was feeling better so everyone went to school today.  I was subbing for another instructor so I headed to the Y to teach two Zumba classes while Adrian headed to a doctor's appointment, oil change and Dad's Day at Zak's school.  While he was at school, he did a super hero obstacle course with Zak including things like climbing thru webs, jumping over walls & diffusing bombs.  Then they had donuts together and Zak gave Adrian a few homemade gifts.  It was a fun morning for both of them!
Adrian headed to work for the afternoon while Zak and I hung out at home.  Then we picked up the other boys and we all headed to the Y so I could teach my barre class.  Adrian picked them all up from the Y and went to AJ's final soccer class for the session.  I finished up class then headed to the bar for dinner with some of my students.  It was a fun night out with them enjoying tacos and margaritas!!

Saturday (3/11) was the day AJ has been waiting for for like a month - his Webelos den went to the Microsoft store to learn how to use Kudo to code their own video games.  Adrian took him there in the morning and they had a great time.  AJ said it was the best day ever (as did a few other scouts in his troop).  While they were there, I took Daniel and Zak to the Y so I could take a dance fitness class.  Then the three of us went swimming for a while.  That was about all we had on the agenda today, which was nice after months of running like crazy.  We spent the afternoon watching TV, playing, doing laundry & catching up on stuff around the house.  Adrian and I finished the night with at home date night - a nice dinner and watching "Captain America - Winter Soldier."

Sunday (3/12) I hate Daylight Savings Time.  That is all for today.  OK, just kidding.  But it was a seriously rough day and I feel like I have a rough week ahead of me.  The kids were tired and cranky when they woke up so we decided to let them skip church.  Adrian went to the early service and I went to the late one to volunteer in childcare.  The rest of the day I tried to get things done around the house while Adrian worked on the boys' Pinewood Derby cars with them.  At least I got a lot done around the house and feel somewhat ready to face the week.

Monday (3/13) The time change still sucks.  I am so tired.  But thankfully the boys seem to be adjusting fine, everyone got up without any problems this morning & their behavior was normal.  Today was the first day of Zak's spring break so we got to sleep in a little later since we got to leave later.  Zak and I dropped AJ and Daniel off and then headed to Kroger for some grocery shopping before heading to Brickhouse to teach my first class of the day.  Then we came home and chilled on the couch.  We played games, watched TV and did a few puzzles.  We picked up the older boys and headed to the Y for class number two of the day for me.  After that we came home and ate healthy pancakes for dinner, which everyone loved - yay!  Then we did a few more puzzles, cleaned up and called it a night.  Adrian is still finishing up the Pinewood Derby cars, hopefully they will be ready for turn in tomorrow night.

Tuesday (3/14) I'm finally feeling normal after the time change!  And the boys still seem to be unaffected, yay.  We all got up and ready on time for drop off at school.  Zak and I ran to Aldi for some groceries and then went to teach my class.  After that we came home and hung out for a while then made lunch and dinner.  Zak enjoys helping me cook, especially when I make soup.  After that we picked up the other boys from school and they came home to play while I headed out to teach a Zumba class.  We finished up the night with Boy Scouts for AJ and Daniel where they turned in their Pinewood Derby cars.  They are ready to race on Saturday!
Wednesday (3/15) was another typical day for us.  I got AJ and Daniel to school and then Zak and I headed to Brickhouse so I could teach a Silver Sneakers class.  We also ran to Giant Eagle and Meijer to pick up a prescription.  I have forgotten how hard it is to get things done with a 5 year old with me!  When we got home we had lunch, played with Nerf guns and then Zak played some Super Mario while I got dinner ready.  We picked up the other boys and headed to the Y for my Zumba class.  Then we rushed home, ate dinner and I headed out to soccer with AJ and Daniel.  Zak was thankfully able to stay home with Adrian.  While I was gone, Adrian found a YouTube tutorial to fix our hot water heater so now we're holding our breath that it lasts a few more months years.  We finished up the night with some snacks and some TV, Survivor is back and we are loving it!
Thursday (3/16) was another fairly typical day, although the night got very busy.  Zak and I dropped off the other two boys and we headed to Target to get him new sneakers.  He was in desperate need and it was on the top of my priority list for this spring break week.  He picked the same Batman shoes that Daniel did and the two of them are so excited to have matching shoes.  We then headed to my Silver Sneakers class and a quick eye brow wax.  We got back and I was exhausted so we just chilled out all afternoon before walking to pick up the boys.  AJ had his final day of AIR testing until next month and he said it was very easy and thinks he did pretty well.  This month was English, next month is Math so I'm sure he'll ace that one as well.
After a quick dinner of pasta for everyone, we headed off in different directions for the night.  AJ and I headed to Brain Balance.  I dropped him off for his appointment and headed to Gigi's Cupcakes to get my first birthday freebie of the month.  I also grabbed a few quick groceries from Kroger then went back to pick him up.  Adrian took Daniel and Zak to Daniel's first baseball practice of the season.  He practices from 8-9pm which is brutal but we'll survive.  AJ and I met them there so we could go drop off my van to have the seat warmers fixed.  It was a very late night and were all exhausted when we got home!  After a quick snack and a few minutes of TV, we all headed to bed.

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Keeping Up With...Food (Meal Plan for Mar 13 - Mar 19)

We stuck with our meal plan last week - yay!  Of course it was a fairly easy week to stick to but I'm still proud of us.  This week things are fairly slow, including Zak being on spring break, so I will hopefully have some more time to cook and stick to a little more ambitious plan this week.  One of our highlights last week was dinner last night.  We had an at home date night with steak, green beans and risotto - and wine of course.
I'm still working my way through things that we have in the fridge and the pantry.  This week I'm still trying to use up the open bottle of wheat germ and I'm also starting to use up an open container of grits in our pantry.  I also used up an open bag of bacon today between lunch and dinner (I didn't know there was bacon in the fridge - yum!)  Finally there is an open bottle of turkey gravy in the fridge and a closed one in the garage so I'm hoping to use those both up with the turkey tenderloins this week.  I am still focusing mostly on the fridge to empty right now, but will start on the pantry very soon.

Here's what we're eating this week:
Monday - Chocolate Chip Pancakes with fruit
Tuesday - Turkey Tenderloins with gravy, potatoes and Brussels Sprouts
Wednesday - Chicken Florentine Casserole
Thursday - Sausage Vegetable & Barley Stew
Friday - Blue Cheese & Spinach Meatloaf Muffins
Saturday - Spicy Shrimp & Grits
Sunday - Meatball Subs

Water Flavor - Mango (they are still on sale - yay!)

Overnight Oats Flavors - Original, Tropical Fruit, Strawberry Cheese Cake & Banana Chocolate Chip

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Keeping up with...Family (Weekly Wrap 3/3 - 3/9)

Friday (3/3) was a rough morning but we all got out the door and to school and work on time.  I was subbing a class for a friend so I headed to the Y to teach.  It was fun seeing the morning crew, I haven't been there in the mornings for a while.  Then I picked Zak up and we went home to have lunch and get a few things done around the house.  We picked up the other boys and went back to the Y for class number 3 of the day for me.

Adrian picked AJ up from the Y and took him to soccer.  I brought the other boys home and cooked our dinner.  After we all had dinner, we started a new weekly movie night.  Every other week we will have family movie night where the 5 of us watch a family movie together.  The other nights will be adults only movie night where Adrian and I watch a movie.  This week we finally watched "Kung Fu Panda 3" which AJ has wanted to see for over a year.  It was pretty cute, some funny parts.  I had a hard time staying focused because I was SO tired.
Saturday (3/4) we all slept in a little bit and then got ready for a relatively calm Saturday, at least for us.  Adrian took AJ to his final basketball while I stayed home with the other two kids.  I had planned to go to the gym but none of us were motivated to get out the door when we needed to.  After basketball AJ came home to rest while Adrian went to the gym.  Then he came home and I took AJ to a soccer makeup where he got to play with his favorite coach.  We finished up the day with Adrian taking Daniel to his all star celebration for basketball.  Daniel got the Teamwork award for the year and also competed in the two person crazy lay up competition where he finished 4th (out of 5).  We were all tired after all of that running around so we just enjoyed some couch time in the evening, watching video games, TV and getting a few thing done around the house.
Sunday (3/5) was Cross Over Sunday at church.  We enjoyed an inspirational sermon from Kody Kasey, a college football player who had to have his lower leg amputated.  It was a great way to start our day.  Then we came home and got to work on all of the things we needed to do around the house.  Since my brother was out of town, Sarah came over with the kids for a break in the afternoon.  It was gorgeous outside so Isabelle played with the boys outside while Sarah, Vincent and I hung out and chatted.  We also enjoyed a few shandies, and I found a new one that I love:
They headed home and we sat down for our weekly Sunday dinner.  We enjoyed some meatball subs and a nice conversation describing things we saw outside the past week.  It was a good pick for a topic since we had spent a lot of time outside this past week.  We did our best to finish up our to do list tonight and have a little rest before starting another busy week.

Monday (3/6) we were back to our regular schedule of work and school for everyone.  I started teaching a new Silver Sneakers class on Mondays & Wednesdays so after I dropped everyone off at school I headed to the gym to teach that.  After class I picked up Zak from school and we hung out at home for a while before picking up the other boys and heading to the Y so I could teach class number 2 of the day.  Adrian had to pick the boys up from the Y because they both had sports in the evening.  He brought them home for dinner and then he headed out with AJ for his basketball All Star celebration.  AJ earned Most Improved player for the season and competed in the crazy lay up competition.  While they were there, I took Daniel to baseball evaluations since he is the only one who decided to play this season.  Zak and I hung out in the cafeteria while Daniel played baseball in the gym.  We finally all got home and got ready for bed while Adrian headed out to play his weekly basketball game.  It was a crazy (and active!) Monday for all of us!
Tuesday (3/7) was a fairly typical day for us.  Everyone went to school and work in the morning.  I picked up Zak and we hung out here in the afternoon.  Then we picked up the older kids and waited for Adrian to get home.  He took over so I could go teach a Zumba class.  He got them thru taco Tuesday for dinner and took all three to Brain Balance.  He dropped AJ off there and took the other 2 to Toys R Us because Daniel had a toy from his birthday to return.  Nice and easy day for us!

Wednesday (3/8) started the same as every other day except we were late getting AJ and Daniel to school.  They claim it was because I talked to Noah's mom too much.  I claim it was because we didn't leave on time because they were not listening and doing what they were supposed to do.  Either way, they were late and it made me late for the whole morning as well. 

After school we headed to the Y for my Zumba class then on to Lil Kickers for Daniel and Zak's last day of soccer for this session.  It was parent participation and since Adrian was stuck at work, AJ was the other "parent."  I started in Zak's class and did a bunch of drills with him and the two other kids in his class.  Then AJ and I switched and I was in Daniel's class in a 5 on 5 scrimmage.  I worked up a sweat running around with the kids!  Adrian got there in the second half of class so he played with Zak for a bit then we switched so he could play with Dan for a bit.  It was a fun family night!!
Thursday (3/9) started with Daniel complaining his stomach hurt.  He seemed fine but I let him stay home from school anyway.  He may have needed a mental health day.  I dropped off Zak and AJ while Daniel rested and then the two of us headed to my Silver Sneakers class.  We had some time to kill so we went to Target to buy him new sneakers, he was in desperate need!  We picked up Zak and headed home for a quick lunch before heading to my rescheduled chiropractor appointment.  I felt so good after my adjustment!  
We picked up AJ and he was so excited that his new Yu Gi Oh cards came from Amazon, nearly a week earlier than expected.  The boys played for like three hours while I cooked dinner, cleaned up and got ready to head to Brain Balance.  I had a progress conference while AJ was in his therapy.  He is doing great and he improved on nearly every area in the past 4 weeks!!  He still has some work to do so they are recommending another 3 months there.  We think it is worth it so we'll be investing in that in a few weeks.

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Keeping up with...Family (Weekly Wrap 2/24 - 3/2)

Friday (2/24) was gorgeous outside!  I almost felt bad sending the boys to school, but then I remembered I had a breakfast date and I didn't feel bad at all.  I dropped everyone off and headed to Easton to meet my friend Katie.  We had pancakes at Northstar Cafe and then walked around window shopping for like an hour.  It was a glorious start to my day!
Zak got home from school shortly after I got home and Noah and Darnell stayed to play in the yard for a little after school.  The boys ran around having a blast while Darnell & I chatted.  So much adult conversation for me today!  They left to head home for lunch and Zak and I played with silly string and bubbles before heading in for our own lunch.  Before I knew it, it was time to pick up the other boys.  We walked up to get them and then stayed out front drawing with chalk for a while.

AJ needed to get ready for soccer so the other boys headed to the yard so I could help get him ready.  Adrian came home and picked him up while I headed back to the yard for more bubbles.  We finally headed inside for a short break before Carl, Sarah, Isabelle & Vincent came over for dinner.  The little ones quickly headed outside while the adults chatted inside.  Adrian picked up Jets pizza for us for dinner and we had ice cream cake for Daniel's birthday.  The kids had a great time playing together as always and Daniel was super excited about his (final) birthday gifts.  What a fun filled day!!

Saturday (2/25) started early after a rough night of sleep due to Zak having some nightmares.  He came into our room and woke us both up at around 3am.  But we didn't have a choice but to get up and moving since we had a jam packed day.  Adrian got AJ ready and took him up to Brain Balance.  I got the other two ready and took Zak to a soccer make up.  He was way larger than the kids in the class he was supposed to be in so I bumped him up a level and he did great!  He said he loved class and can't wait to do that one every week.

We headed home and passed Adrian and AJ on the road to AJ's soccer make up.  We had lunch then all got ready to head to basketball.  AJ and Daniel were playing at the same time so Zak and I went to watch both games.  We jumped back and forth every 5 minutes (they change players every 5 mins) to watch them both.  They were both really close games, with Daniel's team winning at the last minute and AJ's team losing.  Everyone played great!  They had their awards ceremony after the game and AJ and Daniel both won the "Christ like Attitude" award.  I was so proud of both of them!
AJ had a double header so after awards, his team headed to game number 2 and I took Daniel and Zak home.  We were all exhausted by the time we got home.  We ordered out for dinner and spent the rest of the night watching TV, playing video games, cleaning up a little and relaxing.  Fun but tiring day!

Sunday (2/26) we all slept in and it was glorious!  We only have a few Sundays left that we can sleep in and start slow before we have swimming every week.  I'm enjoying them as much as I can.  We got ready and headed to the second service at church.  After we got home, we spent most of the day getting stuff done around the house.  We had stuff to go thru from Valentine's Day, birthdays and lots of general cleaning to get done.  We did sneak out for about an hour to get BOGO Menchie's ice cream treats and we also sat down for family dinner and talked about nice things people had done for us the past week.  That may have been one of my favorite conversation starters we have done this year.  We finished the night with some wine and the Oscars, even though I haven't seen any of the movies that are nominated.

Monday (2/27) we were back to our routine and up bright and early to get to school and work.  After I picked up Zak from school, we went to his friend Noah's house for a play date.  They have been asking to play together for a while and our schedules finally allowed it.  I got to catch up with his mom which is always nice.  Then we picked up the other boys and headed to the Y so I could teach my first class in over a week.  It was tough but I was so happy to be moving!

When I picked up the boys I found out that neither of them ate lunch because I sent the wrong lunchboxes with them.  AJ had Daniel's and vice versa.  They didn't like what I packed for the other person.  Oops!  I told them they can feel free to pack their own lunch in the morning to make sure they get the right stuff, they weren't impressed.  We stopped home to get them some food before heading to the Y.  After class, we came home, had dinner and Adrian went to basketball.  It was a fairly routine Monday, which is just how I like it!

Tuesday (2/28) we got up and out to work on time again today.  I ran a few errands and taught a class while everyone was at school.  Then I picked up Zak and we headed to Costco.  He loves going there with me, it's his new favorite store (sorry Aldi!)  We grabbed what we needed and a few free samples and headed back home to get ready for the evening.  It was a busy one after school!  I headed to my Zumba class while Adrian fed the boys dinner and took them to their school art show.  I met them at the art show and we had a nice time walking around looking at all of the art.  Then I took Zak home while Adrian took the other two to Boy Scouts.  Lots of running but lots of fun!

Wednesday (3/1) we got up and out and after I dropped everyone off at school, I headed into the older boys' school to volunteer in their classrooms.  I practiced telling time with Daniel's class and then tried to make some copies for the math work books for AJ's class but the copiers were not working with card stock so I had to wait on that.  I did a few things to help for the PTO then headed out early to run and grab a few groceries before picking Zak up.  It was Wacky Wednesday for him at school so he told me all about the "wacky" things that happened in his classroom.  He thought it was great that he got to wear his clothes backwards to school today!

We spent the afternoon trying to do a few things around the house and catch our breath in the middle of what was becoming a crazy week for all of us.  Then we picked up AJ and Daniel and headed over to the Y for my Zumba class.  When I finished with that, we hustled down the street for Zak and Daniel's soccer classes.  They both did great playing!!  Next week is parents week and then this session is over and everyone moves up a level. 

Thursday (3/2) I got everyone out to school and then went into the boys' school to help set up for feed the teachers that evening.  Then I went to teach my Silver Sneakers class and pick up Zak from school.  We ran a few errands together and then headed to Chick Fil A to meet another one of Zak's friends for a play date.  The kids played in the play area while the other mom and I caught up.  It was a very fun play date!  In fact, it was so fun that we lost track of time and had to rush to get out and get back to pick up AJ and Daniel in time.

We all got home and I decided to make a theme dinner for Dr Suess' birthday.  It took a while but it was fun.  Then we all had to run out to our night activities.  Adrian took AJ to his last basketball practice for the season while I took the other two to a parent teacher conference with AJ's teacher.  She had great things to say about his academics, he's still struggling socially but doing better.  It's the same thing I hear all the time about him.  After that we switched kids and Daniel had his last basketball practice with Adrian while I took AJ and Zak to Brain Balance.  I was so tired by then that I was thrilled to be able to just sit in the waiting room and chat with a few of the other moms.  It was a long and tiring week for all of us!!

Monday, March 6, 2017

Keeping Up With...Family Goals (Feb Recap & March Goals)

As I already mentioned in my Fitness Goals Recap, February was a crazy month for me!  Ironically while it hindered my fitness goals, it may have helped my family goals.  It did make Daniel's birthday party a little interesting since I was down with a back injury for it.  But Adrian stepped up and made the cupcakes (it was his first time ever making cupcakes!) and they were great.  Other than that, it was a pretty good family month for us.
Here are my specific family goals for February and how I did:

1.  Finish "Little Women" and read at least 50% of another book (1 book for the month towards 14 for the year) - I finished "Little Women" early in the month and had a hard time picking another book.  Everything I want to read had a wait list at the library.  So I went thru my Kindle & found "Balancing it All" by Candace Cameron Bure which I had read about 5% of a while ago.  So I decided to try to finish that.  I did finish that one and have also read 20% of "Love the One You're With" by Emily Giffin.  It was very easy to read a lot while I was injured for a week.
2.  Have family dinner every Sunday night and use AJ's conversation starters during in (4 dinners for the month) - We did this each week although with a very busy schedule it wasn't always on Sunday.  We made it work and had 4 great conversations this month.  Here are our four topics:  ask each other any question; what should we do on our day off; what did you learn this week; what is something kind someone did for you recently.  I was really happy to hear all the kind things that we had experienced, what a great prompt to think about!
3.  Continue doing my week in review blog (4 posts for the month) - I actually did 7 posts this month about what we were doing.  Some of the weeks required two posts because there was so much going on with birthdays, Valentine's day, everyday life, etc.
4.  Continue taking one picture each day and posting on Facebook (28 pictures for the month) - I'm pretty much a pro at this now and I took 28 pictures this month for this challenge.
5.  Go see "Lego Batman" movie as a family (1 special night for the month) - Done!  It had to be rescheduled and we didn't actually go as a family since Zak didn't want to go.  But Adrian took Daniel once and then I took AJ and Daniel and we met Carl and Isabelle.  It was a cute movie that we all really enjoyed!
6.  Have one family board game night (1 special night for the month) - This was the one thing we didn't get to this week.  We were super busy all month and this just didn't happen.
7.  Survive the birthdays and Valentine's parties with as little stress as possible - We nailed this one!!  Everything was fantastic - Zak's party, birthday celebrations at school & home, Valentine's parties and Daniel's party!!  I did take one full morning where I didn't have any kids and solely focus on shopping for everything for these events.  I think this made a HUGE difference since I had everything here, just needed to pull it together as needed. 
And here are my specific family goals for March:
1.  Finish "Love the One You're With" and read at least 50% of another book (1.5 books toward 14 for the year)
2.  Have family dinner every Sunday night and use AJ's conversation starters during in (4 dinners for the month)
3.  Continue doing my week in review blog (4 posts for the month)
4.  Continue taking one picture each day and posting on Facebook (31 pictures for the month)
5.  Watch a movie every Friday night (5 movies for the month) - We want to start this after watching the Oscars and realizing we don't watch any movies.  Every other week will be family movie night where we watch something with the boys.  The other weeks will be adult move night where we watch something after they go to bed.
6.  Have one family board game night (1 special night for the month)
7.  Enjoy our spring break week with my parents here - Again this isn't very specific but I'd like to do at least one or two special things that week.  Will figure it out as it gets closer.

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Keeping Up With...Food (Meal Plan for Mar 6 - Mar 12)

Last week I may have been a bit ambitious with everything I had planned.  In addition to all of the cooking, we had multiple extra things on our schedule giving me less time to get to my everyday things.  Plus I had tons of grocery shopping to do because I was down a week with my back injury.  But with all that was going on, I still managed to mostly stick to my plan.  I forgot that Thursday was Dr Suess' Birthday so I decided to do a theme dinner on the fly.  We had green eggs and ham with Grinch kabobs and Cat in the Hat strawberry stacks.
This week the cooking is a little easier so I can catch my breath.  I also haven't forgotten my project to clean out the pantry and have been doing it unintentionally.  We are using up a bunch of bottles of maple syrup we inherited in our overnight oats.  I also used up an open bottle of hoisan sauce in the fridge in the Moo Shu Pork.  This week I'm working on an open bottle of wheat germ that is in the fridge.  I'm making oatmeal raisin cookies for Adrian to have to snack on at work.  I hope he likes them!

Here's what we're eating this week:
Monday - Roasted Cauliflower Soup
Tuesday - Taco Tuesday!
Wednesday - Pasta
Thursday - Pork Chops with Sauerkraut to use up an open bag of kraut in the fridge
Friday - Leftovers for the boys, I'm going out to dinner with friends
Saturday - London Broil, Baked Potatoes & whatever veggies we have leftover from the week
Sunday - Alfredo Chicken over zoodles for us and pasta for the boys

Water Flavor - Orange (thanks to a few free cuties from basketball snacks)

Overnight Oats Flavors - Original, Chocolate Peanut Butter, Carrot Cake, Strawberry Cheese Cake & Banana Chocolate Chip 

Lunches - Salads with Protein Ranch dressing or Chicken Avocado Soup

Saturday, March 4, 2017

Keeping Up With...Fitness Goals (Feb Recap & March Goals)

Even though February is the shortest month of the year, it seemed to take forever this year.  We were crazy the entire month, some good crazy, some not so good.  All of the crazy obviously impacted my goals for the month.  I was very busy the beginning of the month getting ready for the two birthdays and Valentine's Day.  I missed one barre class to just shop for the full 3 hours I don't have kids in the morning.  I'm thankful I did that because things were crazy enough and if I had to squeeze in all of that shopping, I would have been losing my mind.

I thought I would make up some of the progress I lost fitness wise in the second half of the month, but that didn't happen either.  We had a horrible head cold go through our house that knocked me out for almost a week, plus I missed a few days because of sick kids.  When we all got healthy, I was ready to refocus with about 10 days left in the never ending month and I threw my back out.  That injury had me on the couch for a full week.  I hated it!  I'm thankful for all of the help I had that week, especially Adrian for stepping up around the house & all of the people who subbed my classes for me.

So with all of that stuff happening, my fitness goals for this month really suffered.  I'm glad I kept the bar low for the month, I actually hit a few of the goals for February.  We're a few days into March, but I did figure out & draft my goals on the 1st.  I just didn't have time to write out a whole blog post.  I've already started working on my March goals and am excited to be back to moving and eating right!
Here are my specific goals for Feb and how I did:
1.  Maintain my weight for the month (0 pounds gained) - Fail - 5 lbs gained.  I'm not surprised by this and I'm actually thrilled it wasn't more.  My diet was mostly cake, pizza and bread for this month.  Couple that with a lot less movement and a gain was inevitable.  Focusing on the fact that it wasn't that big and that I know I can get it off quickly. 
2.  Maintain my inches for the month (0 inches gained) - I did my measurements on the 4th and I had 0 inches gained.  I'm shocked that I hit this goal, especially considering goal number 1.  I'm assuming this is because I'm doing a lot of strength training so some of it is an increase in muscles.
3.  Go to one barre class each week to continue to improve my skills (4 classes for the month) - I made it to 2 classes for the month.  I'm disappointed I didn't make it to more, but glad I got to a few.  It's going to be very hard to get to barre classes with my current schedule, I will have to take any opportunity that I have!
4.  Learn 2 new Zumba songs to add to my classes (2 songs for the month) - I only learned one new song "El Cepillo."  I introduced a bunch of old songs to new students though so that takes some time plus I didn't want to overwhelm them because for them the "old" songs are actually "new."  I also subbed a Toning class so I had to remember enough songs for that class.
5.  Switch up one circuit for my barre connect class each week (4 new circuits) - I changed 3 circuits this month which isn't bad since I missed two of these classes due to my back injury. 
Here are my specific goals for March:
1. Lose 2 lbs/week (8 pounds lost for the month) - I think this is very manageable
2. Lose 1 inch for the month (1 inch lost for the month) - Also manageable, especially with all of the strength training I'll be doing
3. Exercise a minimum of 30 minutes every day this month - This actually morphed into a Lent challenge and I'll do doing 30 minutes of exercise everyday until Easter.
4.  Go to one class that I'm not teaching each week (4 classes for the month) - This will help with goal number 3.
5.  Learn 3 new Zumba songs to add to my classes (3 songs for the month) - I already have 2 that I'm working on so I'll just need to figure out one more.
6.  Switch up two circuits for my barre connect class for the month & add band work to class (2 new circuits) - I really want to use the band in this class!  I'm hoping I can figure out exercises for this and goal number 6 at the same time.
7.  Split up my Silver Sneakers exercises to teach 2 different classes each week - I'm now teaching 4 mornings every week and I don't want to do the same class each day.  I'm hoping to come up with enough exercises to do a class for Mon/Tues and a call for Weds/Thurs.  They are at different places so they will be different people so I think this will help them as well.

All in all, February wasn't nearly as bad as I thought it would be.  I have a lot of work to do to hit my March goals though.  I may be a bit over ambitious but I really want to accomplish all of these goals this month.  Come back early next month to see how I did!