Friday, September 29, 2017

Keeping up with...Family (Weekly Wrap 9/22 - 9/28)

Friday (9/22) I slept for 8 uninterrupted hours last night and it was glorious!  I feel like a new woman already and I still have 2 full days of relaxing ahead of me.  While I was sleeping in, Adrian held down the home front and got everyone off to school on time.  He's working from home today so he can do all of the school pick ups and drop offs.  I spent the day working on all of the little things that I never get to do at home because I get distracted by the kids and the housework.  I also went swimming, drank lots of margaritas and wine, watched "Bad Moms" and had a ton of laughs and adult conversation.  And I made a frame for my Pop's Navy picture to hang on my wall in the living room, across from my Grandfather's picture.  While I was having a blast at the retreat, Adrian and the boys had a fun boys night in playing video games, grilling dinner and video calling me to see what the place I was staying at looked like.
Saturday (9/23) I slept for 8 uninterrupted hours again last night!!  I never want to leave this place.  I spent the day again eating, drinking, relaxing and getting things on my to do list done.  I also watched "Mother's Day" and "Rough Night" both of which were hilarious.  And we watched "No Strings Attached" which I've already seen but I enjoyed watching it again.
While I was resting and relaxing, the guys were sweating to death on the soccer fields.  They all played in the heat of the day and all did great.  Zak's team lost by 1 goal, but they played super tough.  Daniel and AJ both won!  AJ had an away game so my mother in law helped us out since I'm out of town.  She took Daniel and Zak out for ice cream after the game since they played so well in the heat.  After all day outside, Adrian took the boys home and had a relaxing dinner of Jets pizza.  They were supposed to watch "Power Rangers" together since Adrian missed it and the boys all loved it, but they forgot about it.  Maybe they'll watch it in the morning.

Sunday (9/24) One more night of 8 uninterrupted hours of sleep before I had to get up and pack up and head back to reality.  I didn't go on the retreat last year and I realize now how much I missed it.  I missed my guys while I was away, but boy is it nice to get away and just relax for a few days!  I hit the road a little after 11am and headed to the soccer field to watch AJ's second soccer game of the weekend.  It was brutal hot and the kids were really struggling but they pulled it together for an impressive win!  The boys were super excited to see me there, Adrian didn't tell them that I was coming to the game.
After we got home from the game and cooled off, I watched the Jets game while trying to do a few things around the house.  I'm happy they finally got a win although they still don't look great, Miami is just really bad.  After the game, we had leftover Jets pizza for dinner and watched "Power Rangers" since we had it rented until 9pm.  It was just as good the second time around!  When the movie was over, we finished up the few things that we needed to do around the house to get ready for the week, got the boys to bed and watched the first new show of this TV season "The Good Place."  Last season was great and we're looking forward to this season as well.  Truly back to reality tomorrow!

Monday (9/25) Reality smacked me in the face when that alarm went off this morning.  I had a rough night of sleeping between Adrian snoring and Zak coming in to sleep in our bed.  I got everyone up and out to school then I went and ran a bunch of errands before heading in to Zak's classroom to volunteer.  I had so much fun doing sight words and counting with all of the kids in his class.  They are so cute!  And Zak was super excited.  He had a huge smile on his face every time he saw me.  It was really sweet.  And I got a lot of hugs from his classmates!
After being in school for a while, I headed home to get some stuff done and cook dinner for tonight.  Then I got everyone home from school, we grabbed quick drinks and snacks and headed out to the Y for my Zumba class.  After class we rushed home and Daniel ate a quick dinner before his friend picked him up to take him to soccer practice.  Then the rest of us ate and I headed out to Scouts with Zak.  He had fun with his Lion den making smoothies and talking about which foods are healthy and not healthy.  While we were there, Adrian picked up Daniel and his friend from soccer.  We all got home and were hot, hungry and tired.  The boys did snack, show and bed and then Adrian and I came down and watched the Cowboys game.  It was a great game and I'm happy they pulled out the win!

Tuesday (9/26) Today started way too early, again.  Zak had us up around 4:00am.  I thankfully went back to sleep until my alarm went of at 5:30 and then Adrian took a 2 hour power nap.  I got everyone up and out to school.  We were all early to school because everyone got up early.  After drop off, I went to Giant Eagle and then to teach my two Silver Sneakers classes.  Then I drove out to Heath to meet my friend Jodi for a free lunch at Red Lobster.  We had to listen to a sales pitch about a service for the PTO but it was worth it for the free shrimp tacos.  And we left with some freebies, including a portable phone charger for me, woo hoo!

I stopped at Meijer on my way home to finish grocery shopping for the week and for the first time this year I wasn't home when AJ got home from school.  He did great letting himself in and was bummed that I got home 5 minutes later.  I left him to go get the other boys and then we all relaxed in the cold air since it's so hot outside!  I got dinner ready for us and also to bring to a friend who just had a baby.  I dropped off her dinner and took Zak to a brutally hot soccer practice.  I thankfully found some shade so it was somewhat better for me.  When I got home from that, AJ headed out to his first den meeting for Cub Scouts for the year.  When they got home we all did snack, show and bed.  We were all exhausted!
Wednesday (9/27) Finally everyone slept in a little later and we all got a good night of sleep.  We all got up and moving and got everyone to school on time.  Then I headed over to sub a Zumba class for a friend before coming home to get ready fora  super busy evening.  I picked everyone up from school and we loaded up in the car for my second Zumba class of the day at the Y.  As soon as class finished, we rushed to the car to eat a quick dinner in the car and head to the soccer field to watch Zak and his team play.  It was hot, but his team did great and they won by a ton.  The other boys had fun playing a the playground while Adrian and I watched Zak and his teammates.  We were the snack family for the game and the kids were thrilled to get cold Gatorades after the hot game.

After the game, Adrian took Daniel and Zak home while I headed to Brain Balance for another follow up evaluation for AJ.  He did a great job during the evaluation, improving in just about all of the areas.  When they were done evaluating him, I talked with the owner and she is thrilled to hear how well AJ is doing in 5th grade.  We discussed a few ideas that will keep him on this path and she agrees that right now he doesn't need another term with them.  We will continue to go up every 2-3 months for follow ups just to make sure we stay on the right track.  When we finally got home, we got the kids to bed then Adrian and I settled in for the premier of this season of "Survivor."  It's one of our favorite shows to watch, we've been watching together since we started dating.  Hoping for another good season!

Thursday (9/28) Another good night of sleep led to an easy morning getting everyone up and out to school on time.  I went and taught my two Silver Sneakers classes after dropping everyone off and then came home to get ready for another busy night.  I set up dinner for everyone and then got everyone home from school.  When they were settled and Adrian was home, I headed out to teach my Zumba class at Alliance Data and then ran to Costco for my monthly stock up run.  While I was there, Adrian took Daniel and AJ to soccer practice and played on the playgrounds with Zak.  When we all got home, they had a snack and watched a show and then we got them to bed.  We decided to check out the pilot of the new "Will and Grace" tonight.  It was great to see the characters again and they still made me laugh.  But it was very political tonight.  I'm hoping that's not the theme of the whole show.

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Keeping Up With...Food (Meal Plan for Sept 25 - Oct 1)

I can't remember a time when I was this early in my meal planning for the week ahead.  Of course it probably helps that I am away at a bed and breakfast with friends.  So I have no distractions from the children, husband or house.  Plus I'm not cooking for myself all weekend so I'm excited to cook again this week.  We did great sticking to our menu plan last week, although it was a pretty easy week for me.  We ran around all over the place but still managed to eat at home and pretty well.  The Steak Fajitas I made were definitely a favorite from the week and will be on our menu frequently going forward.

This week is another busy with a mid-week soccer game for Zak and lots of practices for the other boys.  It's not quite as busy as this past week was but I'm still going to need to be on my game to keep us on track.  I also really need to reign in my snacking this week and try to get back to focusing on losing weight.  In addition to planning these meals, I'm also stocking up on stuff for salads and sandwiches so if things go awry, I'll still be prepared.  I'm due for my monthly trip to Costco too, not sure if I'll get there this week or next but that will be happening soon for sure.

Here's what we're eating this week:
Monday - Chicken and Cabbage Soup - didn't get to this last week but will for sure make it this week
Tuesday - Pasta Alfredo Bake (making a double batch one for us and one for friends who just had a baby)
Wednesday - Goddess Bowls - I'll have these all ready to go since we'll be home late after soccer
Thursday - Zucchini Pasta
Friday - Asparagus Frittata
Saturday - Honey Garlic Salmon and Couscous
Sunday - Steak and Corn on the grill

Water flavor - Grapefruit - So I know I said last week was my last week but I realized after I posted this that I shouldn't set up a water flavor for last week.  I left on Thursday so it didn't seem worth it to have the water set up for only a few days.  Although I almost did it just to finish the grapefruits!  They will be done after this week and I won't be buying them for water any time soon.

Overnight Oats - I ended up setting up extra oats last week to finish up my Greek yogurt and almond milk.  I have enough chocolate with butterscotch chips to start the week so I won't set them up again until mid-week.  I'm loving the butterscotch chips so I may make more with those.  Although I also bought the triple chocolate chips last week and those are my favorite in the Banana Chocolate Chip.  We'll see how I feel as the week goes on.

Friday, September 22, 2017

Keeping up with...Family (Weekly Wrap 9/15 - 9/21)

Friday (9/15) Thankfully everyone slept thru the night and we all got up and out to where we needed to be this morning.  I was home most of the day and got a bunch of stuff done around the house while everyone else was at work and school.  Friday afternoons I pick up AJ from school and I'm really enjoying our time alone together in the car.  That is probably the most he talks to me, probably because there are no distractions.  Soon after we got home, I left to pick up Daniel and Zak as well.  The boys settled in for some video game time while I got dinner ready.  Zak had soccer practice tonight so Adrian took him there while I hung at home with the other two and finished dinner.  After a delicious dinner, we did a few more things then got the kids to bed. 
Saturday (9/16) We started early with another full day of soccer.  AJ played first and Adrian took him to the game while I got the other boys ready.  AJ's team had a come from behind victory and they all played really tough!  After his game, I met them in the parking lot and Adrian took Zak to his game while I took AJ to the high school where he was volunteering as a ball boy for the boys' varsity team.  AJ had a great time helping out at the high school and was especially excited that he knew one of the boys on the team.  He became friends with a boy at sports and art camp this summer and he is on the varsity team for our high school.  It was a sweet reunion for them!
While AJ and I were baking in the sun at the high school, Adrian was watching the other two boys' games.  Zak's team dominate and won by a ton.  Both teams actually scored a lot, not too much defense going on in that game.  Then they had a short break before Daniel's team played.  Although they played tough, Daniel's team lost in a tough match up.  The boys all had fun though and that is what we're focusing on this season anyway.

After all that soccer, we came home and relaxed.  We were all wiped out from the sun so we got a few things done, watched part of the OSU game and rested.  Then at night, our babysitters came over to hang with the boys while Adrian and I headed to Easton.  We had a great date night restaurant hopping!  We started with dinner at Condado, a restaurant Adrian goes to with his co-workers all the time but I have never been to.  The tacos were awesome, we both loved what we picked.  Then we headed to Cooper's Hawk to do our free wine tasting and pick up our monthly bottles.  We tasted some new wines and found two we loved - Vino Verde & Twice Oaked Chardonnay.  Those were the two we took home with us to enjoy over the next few weeks.  We finished up with dessert at Jeni's ice cream, always delicious!  When we came home, we finished up the OSU game and then finished up Suicide Squad.  It was a really good movie, way better than we were expecting!

Sunday (9/17) We all woke up feeling very lazy and not wanting to do anything.  So we decided to blow off our whole day and not do a whole lot.  We skipped church and swim lessons and just hung around the house getting stuff done and relaxing.  It wasn't our most responsible decision but it sure was fun!  We got everything done around the house, relaxed a lot, played some board games and video games and watched some football.  Unfortunately neither the Jets nor the Cowboys won today so that put a bit of a damper on the day.  But even a bad day of football is still a good day!  We finished up our day by starting to watch the Emmy awards.  We enjoy watching them but it takes us a few days since we only have limited time each night to watch them.

Monday (9/18)  We were well rested after our day off yesterday and ready to take on our busy week!  Zak got us started super early again, waking us up around 4:30am.  I don't know why he doesn't like to sleep, sometimes I wonder if he is really my child.  Everyone got up and out to school and then I came home and did some work around the house that we didn't finish up this weekend and also to get us ready for my upcoming retreat weekend.  I picked everyone up from school and we headed to the Y for my Zumba class.  After class we raced home, had a quick dinner of meatball subs and then Daniel and I were off to his soccer practice.  While we were there, Adrian took AJ and Zak to the high school girls varsity soccer game to watch one of their babysitters play.  The girls won 11-0 and Avery scored 2 goals!  Everyone enjoyed themselves at the game, they even got to enjoy ice cream from the Graeter's ice cream truck that was there for the game.  When everyone got home and to bed Adrian and I continued watching the Emmy awards.
Tuesday (9/19) Thankfully everyone slept in until a normal hour this morning and we still got out to work and school on time.  I dropped the boys off and ran a few errands to get ready for the weekend.  Then I headed to teach my two Silver Sneakers classes.  After class I came home and did a few things to get us ready for the busy night.  When the boys all got home from school, they grabbed a quick snack and we headed over to AJ's school for his parent teacher conferences.  I enjoyed talking to all three teachers and learning a little more about what AJ is doing this year.  His Math teacher continues to be impressed with his skills and how quickly he picks up the lessons.  His Science teacher said he participates a lot and gave us some tips on how to help with his homework.  And his Social Studies teacher enjoyed hearing him talk and getting to know him better since he is very quiet during class.  She gave us a preview of what they'll be learning this year.
After the conferences we headed to the book fair where each boy got to pick one book.  AJ picked "Dogman," Daniel picked "Dogman 3: A Tale of Two Kitties," and Zak picked "Pete the Cat: Trick or Treat."  Then we ran home and grabbed a quick dinner of tacos for the boys and fajitas for the adults.  After dinner, Adrian took AJ to soccer practice while I stayed home with the other boys.  When they got back from practice, we got the boys to bed and then settled in for night three of the Emmy awards.  I'm hoping to finish them up tomorrow before I'm gone for the long weekend!

Wednesday (9/20) We all got up and out to school on time today and then I came home and started packing for my weekend away.  I ran a few last minute errands and then started packing up my stuff.  I picked up the kids from school and then we headed to the Y for my Zumba class.  It was brutal hot outside and we were roasting on our walk home from school.  But as we pulled into the Y it started raining and when we came out it was significantly cooler.  We were all really thankful because Daniel had a soccer game after class.  It turned out to be a nice night to sit outside for the game.  Unfortunately the team was not feeling it and they had a rough loss to the first place team in our league.  But the kids seemed to have fun so that's what's important to me.  When we got home we got the kids snacks, show and to bed and then we finished up the Emmy awards. 
Thursday (9/21) We got up and out on time again.  We were so early getting Daniel and Zak ready that we decided to walk over to school.  I'm thankful we did because they are doing construction on that street and the line looked like a big mess.  After dropping them off I went to teach my two Silver Sneakers classes and then came home to finish packing and get ready to leave for the weekend.  I set up as much of the boys' stuff for tomorrow as I could and then I headed out to teach my Zumba class and head up to Oak Harbor for the weekend.

Adrian took the boys to Zak's soccer practice while I was at Zumba.  It was super hot but the kids did really well getting through it.  The coach said it was good practice for the weekend because it's supposed to be super hot for their game on Saturday.  They went home and did their normal night routine while I headed north for the weekend.  It was a mostly nice drive, although the twists and turns of the country roads in the dark were not fun.  I got here right around 9:30, unloaded my car, chatted for a bit and then headed to bed.  I'm so looking forward to resting, relaxing and catching up on some stuff this weekend.

Monday, September 18, 2017

Keeping up with...Family (Weekly Wrap 9/8 - 9/14)

Friday (9/8) We all got to sleep in a little today since Adrian was off and we decided to drive AJ to school instead of the bus.  Adrian took him to school and then ran to pick up a few things he needed before he leaves town.  Then he came back and helped me get Daniel and Zak ready and dropped them off before heading to the school district's office to start his background check for him to be a chaperone on the 5th grade camp trip.  When he finally got back, we hung out for a bit until we had to leave for the airport.  There was some confusion about when his flight would leave, first it was delayed, then all of a sudden it was on time!  So we raced to the airport only to find out there was a website glitch and he really was delayed.  But he did finally get on his plane and get safely to Dallas.

I came back home and finally fixed purple Yoshi's leg (a stuffed animal) and when the boys got back from school they were super excited!  Then we headed to the Y for my barre class and over to Family Video to stock up on movies for our weekend without Dad.  We came home and had frozen pizzas and leftovers for dinner.  They played some video games while I cleaned up and then we all watched Space Jam together.  It was a really cute movie!  Adrian called right before bed time so everyone talked to him and then we called it a night.  I had a pretty proud moment when I changed the light bulbs in my kitchen tonight.  The fixture is a nightmare and usually it takes me and Adrian to change the bulbs.  But all three were out so I had to do it myself, and I succeeded!
Saturday (9/9) Today started early with Zak climbing in bed with me around 6:30am.  We laid in bed for a bit and then heard AJ up so we all came downstairs.  They watched some Teen Titans that we got from video store yesterday while I woke up and started thinking about getting ready for the day.  We packed up for a full day of soccer and left the house around 10:15 for a full day at the field.  Zak played first.  His team was adorable to watch, they just all ran after the ball.  They didn't really keep score but Zak's team did win.  Then we headed to the big field to watch AJ's team.  They started great but ran out of steam towards the end and ended up losing.  The final game of the day was Daniel's team and they dominated the other team, winning 8-2.  It was a super fun day watching all three boys play!!

After over four hours at the fields, we decided we had earned some ice cream so we headed to Menchie's.  We all got delicious ice cream, we really liked the ice cream sandwich flavor they currently have.  And the boys loved that everything was Skylander's Imaginators themed.  After our ice cream we headed home to relax.  The boys played video games while I did a bunch of laundry and unpacked everything we packed for our day.  We had pasta for dinner and then settled in to watch the new Power Rangers movie.  I wasn't expecting much, but wow was it a good movie!  I really enjoyed it, as did all three boys.  Zak even mostly sat still and watched it.  He was bored at the beginning when they were setting up the story, but once the action started he loved it!  After I got the kids to bed, I relaxed with a beer and some Buckeyes football.  It was not a great game and I eventually turned it off and went back to binge watching "Drop Dead Diva." 
Sunday (9/10) Everyone slept in this morning, yay!!  The downside was that we missed first service of church because we slept so long.  I decided that it was more important for us to go to church than for Daniel to go to his soccer pictures so we went to second service instead.  Unfortunately they were really short staffed in childcare this morning so I ended up volunteering instead of going to service.  I was a little upset about it, but I got over it and had a fun time with the kids anyway!

After church, we ran home and grabbed a quick lunch before heading to the Y for everyone's swim lessons.  I enjoyed watching everyone swim and since they didn't have any rest periods, all three boys swam for 2 straight hours.  I pulled AJ from swim lessons a few minutes early so we could get to his soccer game.  We quickly got changed and ran to the fields.  He was a few minutes late but was in time to go in with the first set up subs.  His team played great and ended up winning 6-1!  AJ played much better today than yesterday, he really hustled and had a few really great kicks to his team mates.

After the game, soccer pictures for Zak and a few minutes on the playground, we finally headed home for the day.  Since the boys did such a great job again today, I decided to treat them to Jets pizza for dinner (read: I didn't feel like cooking).  We enjoyed a fun pizza dinner and then they spent most of the rest of the night playing video games.  I watched the Jets game which didn't end great but I was happy to be able to watch the whole game.  After snack, show and bed for the boys, I settled in to watch the Cowboys/Giants game.  Adrian sent me pictures of him on the field before the game.  I can't wait to hear all about his adventures when he gets back tomorrow!
Monday (9/11) My last day of being on my own with the boys!  I got AJ up and out the door on time, just barely making the bus.  It's hard to get him up and moving and ready on my own.  After he got on the bus, I was so tired I laid back down and slept for an hour before having to wake up the other boys for school.  Once again, we barely made it for drop off.  The boys took forever to get out the door!  When I got back from dropping them off, I got started working around the house while waiting for the garage door repair man.  Unfortunately they didn't have good news for us.  The panel is broken so we have to replace that.  They temporarily fixed the door so we can open and close it but we have to wait a few weeks for the new panel to come in before it's completely repaired.
I spent the rest of the afternoon getting stuff done and getting ready for a busy night.  AJ got home from school and I picked up Daniel and Zak.  We loaded up and headed to the Y for my Zumba class.  After class, we ate dinner in the car and then headed to the airport to pick up Adrian.  The boys were so excited to see him...and so was I!  We dropped Daniel off at soccer practice and then we were supposed to drop Zak off at Cub Scouts, but he threw a fit that he didn't want to go alone, and we couldn't make the timing work for one of us to stay with him.  So he skipped Scouts and came home to hang out with Dad.  We heard all about his awesome trip and then got to bed early since we were all tired!

Tuesday (9/12) was back to our normal routine with Adrian here.  We got AJ up and out together and then Adrian left for work and I got the other boys up and out.  I ran a few errands after dropping them off and then taught my two Silver Sneakers classes.  After class I met Jodi for lunch again.  We were supposed to get a free lunch for a PTO presentation but the times were wrong on the company's web page.  We still enjoyed burgers and beer at Red Robin and of course great conversation!

After lunch it was about time for everyone to be picked up from school.  AJ had soccer practice so we ate a quick and early Taco Tuesday dinner and then he and I headed out for practice.  I was going to run a few errands while he was there but it started sprinkling on the way to practice and AJ asked me to stay in case it started raining.  Good thing I did because about 20 minutes into practice, the sky opened up and the coach cancelled practice.  We ran over to another park since AJ's Cub Scout pack was having their popcorn kick off party.  We got our fundraiser forms and AJ got to spend some time with his scouting friends.  It had stopped raining by then so the boys played on the play ground while I chatted with the adults.  It wasn't what we had planned but it turned out to be a fun night.   

Wednesday (9/13) Another routine and busy day for us.  Everyone got up and out on time this morning.  I had volunteered to sub a class for my friend so I came home and did a few things before heading to the Y in the late morning for a Silver Sneakers class.  After class, I came home and fixed dinner before everyone got home from school.  We ran to my Zumba class at the Y and then came home to have a quick dinner together.  Adrian headed out to church small group while I hung out with the boys.  We had a lazy night of watching TV, playing and cleaning up.  Early bed time again for all of us!
Thursday (9/14) started super early when Zak woke up at 3:30am.  I already had Daniel in bed with me because he had a nightmare and couldn't sleep alone.  So Zak headed downstairs (where Adrian was sleeping) and woke him up.  Daniel also got up super early for him.  It was a rough start but we all got up and out on time.  I headed to teach my two Silver Sneakers classes in the morning, then had a quick lunch in the car before heading to Silver Sneakers class number three at the Y.  After class I ran home and did the school pick ups and got dinner together.

It had been raining on and off all day and all three boys were supposed to have soccer practice.  Zak's coach decided to cancel but AJ and Daniel still had practice.  So I headed out for class number four of the day, Zumba, while Adrian took everyone to practice.  The rain held off and everyone got their full practice in.  I picked Zak up after my class and we came home so he could rest and I could eat.  It was another early night and thankfully everyone went right to sleep and slept all night.  I was so tired so I headed up early too while Adrian stayed up to watch the Thursday night football game.  It was a very long day for all of us, but we survived!

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Keeping Up With...Food (Meal Plan for Sept 18 - Sept 24)

I didn't mean to skip a week for meal planning, but I accidentally did.  I actually did meal plan for this past week but I didn't get to blog about it.  Last weekend Adrian was out of town and I was crazy being a single mom.  I kept wanting to sit and down write out this post but my eyes were not cooperating.  We ate pretty well last week, with some of the highlights being another batch of this Thai Chicken Salad, this Tortellini Soup and these Steak and Potato Packs.  Another highlight was our Saturday night out, Adrian and I did a date night and went restaurant hopping at Easton.  We had tacos for dinner at Condado, wine from Cooper's Hawk and dessert from Jeni's ice cream.  It was a beautiful night to walk around Easton and relax!
One of the nice things about last week was that with a little planning I didn't have to do much grocery shopping at all.  Just a few produce items and some really good sale items.  I used what we had in our fridges and freezers for the week.  The downside to this is that I need to do a pretty decent shopping trip this week to restock.  And it's a weird week because we have our normal busy schedule and then I'm out of town for the weekend.  Adrian and the boys will be on their own for the weekend.  I am planning easy meals for them since I know how hard it is to take care of these three alone.

I'm still trying to use up a head of cabbage that I got from my mother in law.  So that is prominent in this week's menu.  I'll also be making another batch of "chocolate chip bread" for the boys for breakfast, everyone is loving eating this in the morning!  And I'm out of rice krispy treats for snacks so I'll be making a batch of those this weekend and freezing whatever we don't eat by Thursday.  It's going to be a busy week in my kitchen!

Here's what we're eating this week:
Monday - Meatball Subs
Tuesday - Steak Fajitas
Wednesday - Chicken and Cabbage Soup
Thursday - Cabbage Salad with broiled tilapia (eating on the run at a soccer game)
Friday - Pizza or Pasta for the guys, retreat food for me
Saturday - Pizza or Pasta for the guys, retreat food for me
Sunday - I think we're going to my brother's house after AJ's soccer game.  If not, we will probably pick up dinner before starting another busy week.

Water Flavor - One more week of grapefruit.  This is my last one!  I am getting sick of this flavor but I am very proud of myself for using up all of the grapefruits that I didn't want to eat.  Although I can't wait for a new flavor next week!  Now to decide what it will be...

Overnight Oats - Adrian has stopped eating these so I've slowed down on making them.  We are totally out right now but I'll only be here for breakfast four mornings this week.  So I'm just making two small batches, one Banana Chocolate Chip and one using the original recipe and adding cocoa and butterscotch chips.  That should get me through the week and then I'll reevaluate how many batches I should be making going forward.

Use It Up Challenge - I've been sticking with this and actually this whole past week was about using up what I have already.  This week my goal is to use up the cabbage and also a few heads of romaine that I have in the fridge.  I'll also be adding mushrooms to the fajitas to use those up as well.  This will just about empty my fridge from veggies so again I will restock when I get back next week.

Friday, September 8, 2017

Keeping up with...Family (Weekly Wrap 9/1 - 9/7)

Friday (9/1) Everyone got up and out the door on time again this morning.  Although I did hit a little hiccup with Daniel and Zak.  I planned to walk them to school this morning but when we walked outside, Daniel felt how cold it was and decided to change to pants.  That took long enough that we needed to drive.  But they still got to school on time so that's what matters.  Daniel is trying very hard to get perfect attendance this quarter.  While they were at school I got some stuff done around the house and then since it's Friday I picked AJ up after school instead of having him ride the bus.  This was our compromise for him riding the bus and it's working out great so far.
After I picked up Daniel and Zak, it was time to head to the Y for me to teach my Barre class for the first time in about 3 months.  I was a little rusty and the class was small since it's the holiday weekend, but we all got a great workout.  When class was over, we went and picked up Marco's pizza for dinner and headed home to have a relaxing night.  Adrian stayed at work with some friends to play board games so he didn't get home until close to the boys' bedtime.  After they went to bed we were going to watch a movie, but I was exhausted.  So we just watched an episode of "Silicon Valley" and headed to bed very early.

Saturday (9/2) Well, I found out why I was so tired last night, AJ shared his germs with me and I have the stomach bug.  I spent the day in bed or on the couch and slept a lot of the day.  I am very thankful that we didn't have a ton going on and that Adrian was able to do everything with minimal help from me.  There is never a "good" time to be sick, but this was probably the best timing ever for me to be sick.

While I was relaxing, AJ had his first two soccer scrimmages this morning.  His team was supposed to have practice but the league was looking for volunteers to play scrimmages for referee training so his team volunteered for that and played two short games.  It was cold and rainy but AJ said he had fun.  He played offense in the first game and then switched and played both offense and defense for the second game.  He did pretty well, kept up with everyone on the team.  They didn't keep score so we don't know who won.  AJ said he doesn't think anyone scored in either game.
After Adrian and AJ warmed up and dried off from the scrimmages, they all headed to Carl's house for Vinnie's first birthday party!  They had fun playing with their cousins and all of the other kids who were there.  They were there for most of the afternoon, which was nice for me to have a quiet house.  When they got home, they played a few video games and then it was time for bed.  Again, we thought about a movie but I was still pretty wiped out so we watched "Younger" from this past week and then I headed to bed while Adrian caught up on college football from the day.

Sunday (9/3) I woke up feeling much better today but am still taking it easy to make sure I make a full recovery.  Adrian went to church alone this morning because Daniel was complaining his stomach hurt.  I stayed home with the boys while he went.  After we all had lunch together, Adrian took Zak and AJ to the Y for their swim lessons.  We decided to let Daniel stay home since he's not feeling well.  They had a great time swimming, AJ said he was able to tread water longer than anyone else in his class today.  I'm sure he will be ready to move up to the next level for the next session.

After swimming, we spent the rest of the day hanging around the house.  The boys played and watched video games while Adrian and I did stuff around the house.  We decided to order Thurman burgers for dinner, and they were delicious.  After dinner AJ and I finally watched "Sing" together after trying to watch it together for the past 3 weeks.  It was a really cute movie, I'm glad we watched it.  We paused in the middle of the movie to go outside and watch a fantastic fireworks show that one of our neighbors put on.  It was fun to stand in our driveway and watch fireworks, even though I didn't know you normally had fireworks for Labor Day.  It turned into a nice family day!

Monday (9/4) Happy Labor Day!!  Today we had very little to do and we were very glad about that.  We could have done numerous things but we decided to just stay home and chill.  We all slept in and then had a lazy morning of TV, video games and relaxing.  Adrian and I finished up our to do lists and made sure the boys' weekly homework was done so we have less to worry about during the week.  We all decided we should do a family bike ride so we went out and rode around our neighborhood for about 20 minutes.  It was so much fun and a great work out!!  Zak had soccer practice in the early evening so Adrian took him to that while I stayed home with Daniel and AJ.  When they got home, Adrian grilled dinner, the boys played outside and we had a nice relaxing night.  Once the boys were in bed, we watched more "Silicon Valley."  We are nearly done and are hoping to finish it before Adrian leaves on Friday.

Tuesday (9/5) Started way earlier than I wanted it to!  We had a horrible thunderstorm come thru last night and I was up for most of the night.  First it was the thunder that was keeping me up, then Daniel woke up and had me move to the spare room with him.  I never sleep well in there so I dozed on and off for the rest of the night in there.  When the alarm went off, I dragged myself out of bed to wake AJ up and get him on the bus.  Adrian left for work and I enjoyed some alone time, one of the benefits of AJ's early start time.  Then I got Daniel and Zak up and out to school as well.  I went and taught two Silver Sneakers classes then went to get a pedicure, pick up my new glasses and do some shopping at Meijer.
After that I ran home and it was just about time to get everyone after school.  I'm so thankful AJ is enjoying riding the bus, it's nice not to have to do two pick ups every afternoon.  We got home, had snacks and watched some TV and then got started on our night routine.  We had an early dinner because AJ had soccer practice tonight.  Adrian took him there while I hung out at home with Zak and Daniel.  We were all dragging so there was a lot of TV watching going on.  Early bedtime for all and hoping we can get some sleep.

Wednesday (9/6) We all did get a good night's sleep, but then nothing went as planned the rest of the day.  I did manage to get everyone up and out to school on time.  Then my friend asked me to sub a barre class for her so I went and took her Zumba class and then taught a barre class in the morning.  I ran a few errands and then came home to wait for the furniture repair man.  Noticed the garage door was broken so figured out how to deal with that.  I had to get a sub for my afternoon Zumba class because Zak wasn't feeling well.  Adrian got stuck working late and then he had two friends stop by - one to help us figure out our garage door and one to buy his autographed Melissa Ethridge guitar.  It was a crazy and busy day and after everyone left, we ate a quick dinner and then got the boys to bed.  We did a quick clean up and then watched the last two episodes of "Silicon Valley."  Such a good show and we're both looking forward to new episodes next year.  Hoping for a calmer day tomorrow!

Thursday (9/7) Another good night of sleep and we all got up on time and got to school.  Adrian had a doctor's appointment in the morning so he was home to help get everyone to school.  After getting everyone off, I ran to Old Navy to use my super cash to get the boys a few more pairs of pants for the school year and then taught my two Silver Sneakers classes.  After class, I met my good friend Jodi for lunch and drinks at one of my favorite Mexican restaurants, La Fogata.  I enjoyed delicious steak fajitas, margarita and great conversation.  So nice to get out with friends!
After lunch I came home to get us ready for our super busy night.  I got dinner ready for everyone then grabbed a protein shake and headed out to teach my corporate Zumba class.  While I was there, Adrian took everyone to Zak's soccer practice, then headed over to Daniel's soccer practice.  I met them at Daniel's practice and picked up AJ to bring him over to school to get him registered for Cub Scouts this year.  He had fun playing with his friends and I caught up with a few friends as well.  When we finally got home, I had dinner while everyone else had a snack and got ready for bed.  We got the boys to bed, cleaned up some and Adrian packed up for his big trip to Dallas for the weekend.  We watched the first half of the Chiefs/Patriots game and then were too tired to stay up for the end.  I'm bummed we missed the Chiefs win!

Sunday, September 3, 2017

Keeping Up With...Food (Meal Plan for Sept 4 - Sept 10)

This week was super busy and not all of our meals went as planned.  We were also hit with some sickness - Adrian had a head cold at the beginning of the week, then AJ had a stomach bug in the middle of the week and I had the same stomach bug over the weekend.  Thankfully now everyone seems to be on the mend but there were a few meals from last week that will be pushed to this week.  I also decided to buy pizza for dinner on Friday night because I was exhausted (the start of the virus) and Adrian wasn't home for dinner.  And on Saturday the four guys ate at Vinnie's birthday party while I slept all day recovering from the bug.

This week continues to be busy and the weekend is jam packed.  Plus Adrian is away Friday thru Monday visiting my brother in Dallas and going to the Cowboys season opener.  I am planning to cook each of those nights, but I have BOGO free pizzas at Marco's so if things are crazy I will be using those.  I am also planning on making the boys favorite meals on Saturday and Sunday so I'm hoping after a weekend of soccer they will be willing to come home and eat what I make without fighting.  We'll see how it goes!

Here's what we're eating this week:
Monday - Grilled Steak with Cabbage Salad
Tuesday - Garlic Alfredo Tilapia over Zoodles
Wednesday - Egg Rolls in Bowls with Roasted Brussels Sprouts
Thursday - Unstuffed Cabbage
Friday - Chicken Enchilada Casserole
Saturday - Meatball Subs
Sunday - Pasta

I will also be making another batch of the Thai Chicken Salad to use up some of the cabbage that we still have.  Plus this salad is super filling and we have a lot of nights that I may need to eat on the run so I'll pack up a serving of this salad for those nights.  And the "chocolate chip bread" was a huge hit this past week with all three boys so I'll make another loaf of that tomorrow so we have it for their breakfasts for the week as well.

Water Flavor - Grapefruit again.  I still have 3 more to use up so that will probably be the flavor the next 3 weeks.  I'm a little bored with it but I also know it helps curb my appetite so I'm holding on to that for now.

Overnight Oats - With the sickness in the house we still have some left over from last week.  I am not setting any up this weekend and will wait to see how quickly we eat what we have.  If we need to, I'll throw some together during the week.  I bought some butterscotch chips this past week and I want to use them in the oats.  I think I'll do them with cocoa powder if I make any this week.

Use it Up Challenge - I'm still working on the cabbage from my mother in law last week as well as some other veggies that I bought this week.  And we're still working on eating our peaches that we picked with my mom last month.  That is the extent of the use it up challenge this week, most of this week is about survival for me since I'll be on my own while Adrian is gone.  Wish me luck!

Saturday, September 2, 2017

Keeping Up With...Family Goals (Aug Recap & Sept Goals)

August was a bit of a mixed month here.  It started awesome with our family staycation and a visit from my mom.  We had a great time exploring local attractions that we don't normally get to go to including the planetarium at COSI, Olentangy Caverens, the fair and a few other favorites.  We had our last week of summer vacation which was a combination of fun and getting stuff done.  And then school started back up and it's been a whirlwind of activity since then.  The boys also started swimming and soccer and no one is on the same team or in the same lessons so we are running around trying to keep up with it all.  It's taking some time but we're managing to find our groove with all of the new activities. 
I did pretty well with my goals, except for one that I didn't even start on.  I overestimated how much time I would have to myself with everyone in school.  Plus I had a lot of stuff to do around the house and errands to run once I had some time to myself.  I have gotten a to pretty good place decluttering the house and organizing it.  Now I need to start deep cleaning it.  I planned to do it this month, but it will have to wait until next month.  It's weird to have all this time to myself and I'm still figuring out how to stay motivated.  I'm sure it will work itself out.
Here's how I did with my goals for August:
1.  Finish two of the three books I'm reading (2 of my 14 books for the year) - I actually finished 3 books this month, I can't believe it!  And that put me up to 14 books for the year achieving that goal as well.  I finished "The Bean Trees" and it was so good I read almost the whole book in a weekend.  I also finished "The Odds of Loving Grover Cleveland" and "The One and Only Ivan."  Both were young adult books and very good.  They were quick reads and perfect for the summer.  I am still on the waiting list for "Bad Feminist" which I'm 45% done and I started reading "Americanah" which I'm 12% done.  That is over 600 pages long so that's going to take a bit longer, but I'm hoping by the end of the year I'll be done.

2.  Have family dinner every Sunday night and use AJ's conversation starters during it (4 dinners for the month) - Done!  We talked about our favorite parts of our staycation, told our favorite jokes, discussed goals for this school year and shared something we're wondering about.  We also talk about our day each night, at least briefly.
3.  Continue doing my week in review blog (4 new posts for the month) - Done!  I actually did 5 recap posts this month, I split some of the weeks up since we were so busy.
4.  Continue taking one picture each day and posting on Facebook (31 pictures for the month) - Done!  I took 31 pictures this month and am up to date with one picture each day so far this year.
5.  Watch a movie every Friday night (4 movies for the month) - We sort of hit this goal this month,  we watched "Pete's Dragon," "The Heat," and "Night at the Museum."  We also started "BFG" but since no one liked it we didn't finish it.  I plan to finish it next weekend since I enjoyed it.
6.  Have one family board game night (1 special night for the month) - Done!  We played a lot of games again this month.
7.  Start deep cleaning the house (3 rooms this month) - Fail!  I didn't even start on this.  I will start on Tuesday after this long, holiday weekend.  I'm starting with the living room since we are in that room most of the time.
8.  Have fun on our camping weekend - Done!  You can read about it in my weekly recap.
9.  Have a successful transition from summer back to school - Done!  We are all surviving, no tears, very little behavior issues.  We start with homework this coming week so that will be another adjustment to our already full schedule, but I think we're ready.
10.  Have a fun staycation week - Done!  You can read about it in my weekly recap.
And here are my goals for Sept:
1.  Make progress on "Americanah" and read one other book (1 book in 1 month)
2.  Have family dinner every Sunday night and use AJ's conversation starters during it (4 dinners for the month)
3.  Continue doing my week in review blog (5 new posts for the month)
4.  Continue taking one picture each day and posting on Facebook (30 pictures for the month)
5.  Watch a movie every Friday night (5 movies for the month)
6.  Have one family board game night (1 special night for the month)
7.  Start deep cleaning the house (3 rooms this month)
8.  Have fun on my retreat and survive Adrian's trip to Dallas

These are pretty standard goals for this month, lots of ongoing/repeats from previous months.  It's going to be a busy month for all of us with two weekend trips - one for Adrian to Dallas and one for me to Oak Harbor.  Plus all of the boys activities, swimming, soccer, Cub Scouts, school/homework, etc.  And I'm really focusing on my fitness goals and getting back to exercising and healthy eating.  I'm hoping for a calm and happy month for all of us!

Friday, September 1, 2017

Keeping up with...Family (Weekly Wrap 8/25 - 8/31)

Friday (8/25) Started early again with Zak coming into our room at around 2:30am.  At least this time I slept OK in the spare room.  The downside was that Adrian's alarm woke Zak up so he interrupted my daily alone time between putting AJ on the bus and waking them up for school.  We watched some TV and played Life while waiting until it was time to wake up Daniel.  I didn't have anything to do outside of the house today so I walked them to school this morning, it was a really nice morning!  Then I came home and did a bunch of stuff around the house.  I picked all three boys up from school in the afternoon and they jumped right on their video games since they didn't get them during the school week.  When Adrian got home, we had dinner and then settled in to watch "BFG" for family movie night.  Unfortunately no one liked the movie so we stopped after about 45 minutes.  Each kid picked a show, then they headed to bed.  I will finish the movie by myself Sunday night.  When we got them to bed, Adrian and I continued watching "Silicon Valley."

Saturday (8/26) I was motivated and got up early to go to a Turbo Kick class at the Y today.  It was so much fun, I can't wait to go back next week.  While I was there, Adrian got Zak and AJ ready for their soccer practices.  He drove them to AJ's practice and I met them there to take Zak to his practice.  It was so cute watching his practice, that age is really funny.  Every time Zak did something he looked at me to make sure I was watching, so cute!  When he was done, we ran back to pick up AJ from his practice.  He said he had a great time, he thinks he's going to play defense because he's better at that than offense.  We'll find out in two weeks when games start.
We got home and all had a quick lunch.  Then I dropped the boys off at their friends' house for an afternoon play date.  They were super excited to go over and play with Brooks, Yared and Simon.  While they were there, Adrian and I worked around the house and nearly finished our to do lists.  After about three hours, Adrian picked them up and they came home to relax a little before we grilled out for dinner and got ready to head to our first MLS soccer game as a family.  We saw the Columbus Crew play the Dallas soccer team and Columbus won!  It was interesting to be at my first MLS game.  The boys enjoyed most of it, but did get a little restless at the end of the first half.  Thankfully in the second half we had snacks and then saw three goals scored.  It was a super fun family night!
Sunday (8/27) I got up and headed to the early service for church where I enjoyed the next sermon in our "Crazy Busy" series.  Then I headed back to childcare to volunteer during the second service.  The kids were much calmer this week than they have been, probably because they are all worn out from going back to school.  After church I headed to Easton to meet a dear friend from NJ who was in visiting for the weekend.  We had a quick and delicious lunch at Northstar Cafe and enjoyed catching up.  I'm thankful we were able to meet up, even if it was just for a quick visit!

While I was at lunch, Adrian took the boys to their swimming lessons for the week.  Daniel did the backstroke for the whole length of the pool today.  We are SO proud of him!!  The boys are continuing to do amazing things in their swimming lessons.  When they got home, we spent the rest of the day relaxing and getting ready for a super busy week ahead.  We had family dinner and talking about things that we are wondering about.  After dinner, Adrian started to not feel well and he's been getting worse as the night goes on.  He called out of work tomorrow already.  I'm hoping after a good night of sleep he will feel better...and that he keeps his germs to himself!

Monday (8/28) I was off my schedule from the beginning of the day since Adrian was home sick.  I got up and got AJ out to school on time by myself and then also got the other two ready and out the door.  Adrian asked me to stay home with him for most of the day, so I did a quick grocery run and then came home and hung out with him.  I got some stuff done around the house and took care of him.  Before I knew it, it was time for everyone to get home from school and for me to head to the Y to teach my Zumba class.

After class, I came home and had a quick dinner before heading out for the night activities.  I dropped Daniel and his teammate Braxton off at soccer practice and then headed to Cub Scouts with Zak.  Thankfully we have friends on Daniel's soccer team so Braxton's parents picked them up so Adrian didn't have to leave the house.  I had fun at Scouts with Zak.  We learned a little about the Scouts (motto, salute, etc) and also about how to take care of our bodies.  We finished up with a fun craft, making lions out of Zak's handprint.  When we got home, everyone was pretty tired so we headed to bed early. 
Tuesday (8/29) Adrian was still not feeling well so he stayed home again today.  I got everyone up and out to school on time and then I had to go on with my normal day.  I went and taught my Silver Sneakers class and then ran to Costco for my monthly stock up trip.  I came home and spent some time with Adrian in the afternoon before the boys all got home from school.  After a quick dinner, I headed out with AJ for his soccer practice.  I dropped him off and ran two quick errands while he was at practice then came back to pick him up.  When we got home, we realized AJ was having some stomach issues.  We decided it would be best not to send him to school tomorrow.  It was a smart idea because he was up a lot overnight with both diarrhea and throwing up.  It was not a fun night for either of us.

Wednesday (8/30) Day three of Adrian being home sick and AJ also stayed home sick.  I decided to skip my planned workout classes again and stay home to hang out with them.  I was also exhausted after a rough night of sleep with AJ.  I got Daniel and Zak up and ready to head to school for their picture day.  They picked they outfits themselves, I don't fight over them picking their clothes for pictures, I'd rather capture their actual personalities.  While they were at school, I worked around the house while Adrian and AJ recovered.  After school, everyone hung out here while I went and taught a Zumba class at the Y.  Then we enjoyed a delicious dinner of stuffed peppers and some relaxing before it was time for snack, show and bed.  It's the only night during the week we don't have something and we enjoyed every minute of doing nothing.
Thursday (8/31) Finally everyone was healthy today and we were back to our regular schedule.  Adrian helped get AJ up and out to school.  Unfortunately Zak woke us up and 5am so I lost my early morning alone time and about 30 minutes of sleep.  But thankfully he just wanted to watch TV once AJ and Adrian left so we snuggled on the couch until it was time to get Daniel up and ready for school.  I dropped them off at school and headed to Meijer to finish the weekly grocery shopping and then on to Harcum to teach my Silver Sneakers class.  After that I came home and did a few things around the house including starting on one of my projects.

After everyone got back from school, we had a quick dinner and then Adrian took AJ and Daniel to their soccer practices.  It was nice to have the night off from running the boys around.  Zak and I hung out at home, watching TV, playing video games and cleaning up after dinner.  When everyone got home, we got ready for some football!  Ohio State started their season tonight.  We were going to let the boys stay up to watch the beginning of the game, but they weren't interested.  So we put them to bed at normal time and Adrian and I watched the game together.  I made it to the end of the third quarter before I had to head to bed.  Thankfully the Buckeyes pulled out the win!!