Friday, February 22, 2013

Snow Day Part 2

Really? 2 snow days? Will there be a summer break at all?

I may be exaggerating a bit.

Today the kids had yet another snow day. Funny, they have yet to get bored. They played well with each other for most of the day. Alivia went to her friends this afternoon to play while Addison and Asher stayed here rotating between playing outside and playing in. While they played inside, I kept busy continuing my spring cleaning (one can hope for spring, right?!) that I started a couple weeks ago. I cleaned Addison's closet and drawers. Believe me, Addison is not a tidy little girl. She likes to keep everything. I found my tupperware, her socks and a set of mittens in her DESK DRAWERS! After cleaning her room, the hallway closet and Asher's room about 3 times (since the kids were playing in there), I continued with laundry.

While they played outside, Chris and I cleared the driveway and walks. Chris snow blows and I shovel. This morning, that worked fine. After the plows went by and filled up our side sidewalks and snowed us back in (THANK YOU!), I was sore and tired and had to call Chris out to help me. I was swearing up a storm at the snow plow. How does he get it all the way over to our side walks and fill them all up like that?! And, it was not the pretty fluffy stuff anymore, it was heavy street snow. I was not pleased. I have to remind myself, don't work out when it snows. The shoveling is enough work out! Gees!

Chris made his special spicy shrimp dinner tonight celebrating the completion of his project at work. Now, let's hope that does not mean the competition of his work altogether. He will find out what is next for him on Monday (hopefully!). Dinner was AMAZING!

As the day comes to a close, Alivia is at a sleepover, Addison is mad at me (Huh, didn't the day begin that way?!) and Asher is tucked into bed. Huh, what do you know?! I got my way! I asked for a 4 day weekend where I was not working and I got it.

Hum, what can I ask for next? Oh, I want to win the lottery and live somewhere warm WITHOUT SNOW! One can dream, right?!
Not the only one waiting for spring...

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Snowmageddon 2013

Another Snow Day?

I miss last winter. I liked not having snow days so we could have more summer days. That is just me.

Today school was cancelled for the third time this year. This time, there was not even snow on the ground or in the sky or in the area when school was cancelled. Crazy! People are sure afraid of law suits or something. What happened to early dismissals or cancelling school when it really snows?

Anyway, the kids were, of course, thrilled.

The kids got ready for the day with much excitement. Addison and Asher were invited to play dates, so Alivia and I drove to Council Bluffs on the dry roads to visit the Great Grandparents briefly and deliver some home made banana bread that Asher and I had made yesterday afternoon. It is always difficult to see those you love in pain, and this visit was hard on Alivia and I both. Alivia was sad to see her Great Grandma sad, but she knew that Grandma loved seeing Alivia and appreciated her visit and the cards they had made for her. As we left Council Bluffs around 11:00, the snow was just starting. Some was kinda sticking to the grass by the time we got home (there so could have been a half day of school!).

With Addison and Asher home from their play date, Chris put in a movie for us to enjoy. The kids have been outside twice to play in the little fluff of snow (still not much out there), drank their fair share of cocoa, before we settle down for some home made pizza for dinner. I do not enjoy winter AT ALL, but I do not mind an afternoon of feeling like I do not have to go anywhere.

Let's just hope this is the last of the snow days as spring has to be coming here soon, right?

4 Day Weekend

When I was a kid, WAY BACK WHEN, I do not remember getting so many days off of school. But, then again, I may have just forgotten.

Last week, the kids had off Friday and Monday from school (Teacher In Service followed by President's Day). So, what were we to do to fill up the time?

Addison kicked off the long weekend hosting a friend for a sleepover. Addison is getting better with sleepovers, but she still needs work. Addison has a very strong personality at home, but she does not seem to act like that around her friends or in school. She was the only one having a sleepover, too, so she liked feeling special.

Jumpin Jax in Papillion was the hot spot on Friday morning. I had a daily deal for there, so it worked out perfectly. It ended up being rather busy, but the kids had fun. After lunch...Grandma Bet and Grandpa came to pick up the kids to take them to the farm to stay. The kids were SO EXCITED! My parents are about to have a major overhaul to their home on the farm, so sleepovers will not be happening for a while. The kids could not wait to sleep in Grandma and Grandpa's bunk beds!

The kids left, the house went silent, and I went to bed while Chris worked. I had to work both Friday and Saturday over night while Chris was finishing up his project and worked all weekend, too. We are so much fun around here it is crazy. I texted Chris at 2 AM and he was still up working! He is nuts! I mean, I was up working, but I was AT WORK.

Anyway, the kids had a blast and my parents and my parents survived. :)

Monday morning we took a little trip to the zoo before Asher had his afternoon montessori preschool. It was absolutely freezing and it even snowed a little! We did get to see the baby lion cubs, so that made the trip worth it.

The kids had a fun long weekend. Next time they have multiple days off, I am NOT WORKING! Gees!

Valentine's Day 2013

I know, I am really falling behind on blogging. I will get there, eventually.

Valentine's Day was crazy busy around here. We started the morning out with Valentine's, of course. The girls received Justice shirts (I know, don't say it. Addison selected them, they were on clearance, so I caved) and new outfits they will wear for Easter, and Asher got a Spider-Man sweatshirt and airplane PJs. Chris got me a card about how he liked by butt, one rose (I hate flowers because they just die), along with some things he would like to see me wear. ;) The card...
"Nice Butt!"
"You know, I usually have such a hard time finding the right Valentine's Day Card for you."

This card has now been quoted to all the grandparents, by Alivia. I about died when Alivia told Chris Grandparents about the card. The card was opened and placed in a spot that I thought was out of reach. Alivia immediately jumped up and got it, reading it aloud to anyone that would listen, even reading Chris' words inside. Okay, I should be mortified. Honestly, I am. But (no pun intended), I will not always have a piece of my body to comment on positively, so I should accept it while I can, right? I mean, not everyone can get a card about their nice butts! :) Ha ha.


Asher had a party in the morning at preschool that I helped with, then lunch, before my parents arrived to take Asher to his afternoon Valentine's Party with his La Vista Library preschool group. Meanwhile, I went up to the girls' parties at school, helping with Addison's party and stopping by Alivia's. Lots of sugar later, we were home, in one piece. I awoke with a cold so was exhausted and sick by the end of the day. I tucked the kids into bed at 8 and went to bed. Chris worked until after midnight.


Happy Valentine's Day?

There is always next year. :) It was fun day as the kids had a blast. That is what our days are about anymore anyway.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Lenten Season 2013

Between Chris' long periods in front of his laptop, Asher and I were able to steal him away to go to Ash Wednesday Mass with us this morning. After Mass (in which Asher pointed out that the cross on my forehead in ash did not look like a cross at all...:) ), I asked Chris what he decided to give up this Lent.

His response, shocking and not repeatable.

Chris gave up Coke a week and a half ago, so I will say he will continue with that. And, I will give up Diet Coke. Now, this is going to be a real effort for me, too. No, I do not drink a Diet Coke on a daily basis. Hardly. I drink it only when going to Costco, we eat out, or if I work overnights for the caffeine. Yes, I am going to have to work ALL NIGHT LONG without any Diet Coke. I suppose, if Jesus could go 40 days without eating in a dessert, I can go 12 1/2 hours on my unit with no sleep without a Diet Coke.

Hum, I will have to see about that. Funny, we did just get an email about how it was not acceptable to sleep at work (really, who was doing that and why were they not fired? Nope, we just got an email).

I did not give up caffeine, so I could always try coffee. :)

I am also going to try to say only kind things about others, certain others in particular, if anything at all. I believe I will do best just remaining silent. Chris has taught me that well.

I may have to start counting shifts I need to get through.

I can be nice. I can be nice. I can be nice.

I can go all night on no sleep without my Diet Coke.

Repeating it over and over will help right?

What did you give up? Anything?

Monday, February 11, 2013

Beachbody Beach Bum

My love for Beachbody's Turbo Fire is not a secret as I have been working out to Chalean since last spring. Throughout the warmer months, I continued to run 4 miles a few days a week. I tend to make sure I get in 1 hour of cardio 5 times a week, and I get in some cardio (but not an hour) on weekends. When I work, I tend to get in little if any cardio as I don't sleep much between Friday morning and Sunday night. My cardio energy is reserved to help me stay awake for that long of a stretch.

Anyway, I started doing a little bit more and more as the months have passed. I love their workouts. They are typically short bursts yet high intensity. Some workouts are only 12 minutes. But, I am dead following them. I even splurged a little and purchased a Lebert Equalizer using my gift cards earned from wearing my pedometer. The equalizer is used all sorts of way in the Bodyrock workouts, but I like to used it for dips, aguility, abdominal pull ups, used as a weight and more. It is amazing! Bodyrock is like a 12 minute burst of Beachbody's Insanity (and I will get to that) without Shawn T yelling at you all the time, "Let's GO!!!!" and "DIG DEEPER!!!" And, instead of Shawn T, there is a quite skinny, fit girl named Lisa. Gotta love her toned body, and you get used to seeing a lot of her body in the images along with the workouts. There is a Sean in Bodyrock, too, but he does not yell (thank goodness). Can you tell I just love Bodyrock?! I would recommend anyone to try their workouts. I do not have all their equipment, but I exchange the Ugi Ball with a plain old weight, etc. No big deal. It is workable. Oh, and I even can get Chris to do it with me on weekends. Yeah! I have learned to jump rope, which is a great all around cardio exercise. With that said, it is very important to have the right jump rope. I whipped myself using my jump rope and had to switch to Chris' (and never missed!).  Believe me, you do not want to make that mistake! Anyway, I just finished their 30 day challenge, and I feel like I am in the best shape since my honeymoon. I may not weigh the same, but I have 4 pack abs (I'm still looking for the lower 2). Bodyrock Works!
My back is at least whipped into shape!

Next, Chris who has been a sedentary hermit for nearly a year (LOL) decided to step it up and do Insanity again, starting last week. To push him, I have been doing the workouts with him in the afternoons generally. I forgot how insane they are, how much I dislike the yelling to dig deeper, etc. With all of that said, Insanity is a killer workout. I am in much better shape after Bodyrocking and doing Turbo Fire for months, so I am actually able to do push ups! I know, amazing for this girl!

And, just for fun, on the weekends, I try something else to go along with my Bodyrock workout on my "day off." I have done just a few of Zuzana Light's workouts. Let me give you a little background story, although I do not know much. From what I have found, Zuzana and her husband started Bodyrock. Last Janurary, they separated (now divorced). Zuzana moved away and started her own web site and her husband continued Bodyrock with Lisa. Anyway, Zuzana's workouts seem tough, too, but different than Bodyrocks workouts now. I did not follow them when they were together, so all I know is what it is like today. Zuzana seems more real with a more real woman's figure (but she has killer abs and muscle tone,too). Her workouts are intense yet short, like Bodyrocks. I guess since I started with Bodyrock, it is more difficult for me to get used to. I will continue to try her workouts on weekend and TRY to do one when I work, too.

As Chris and I work out, the kids get into it. Addison likes the Insanity stretches, Asher likes the weights with Daddy and tries to do push ups. I think he just likes to pretend with Daddy. He does not really do much. But, he is learning the importance of exercise. Alivia, who is about to begin girls on the run, went running with me on Saturday afternoon. She did great! It was weird for me to run with someone who did not sound winded and never asked to stop. Not wanting to push her too hard, I would stop at given points to give her a rest. She did amazing! We are teaching the importance of keeping fit, to say the least.

Last but not least, Chris started using an app on the iPad to keep track of his exercise and food intake. So, I did as well. I hate keeping track of what I eat. We did this last year and lasted 3 weeks, so we will see. We are using the same app from last year, myfitnesspal, and find it easy to use. I have been trying not to eat after 8 pm, drink within an hour of bed (both of which are extremely difficult). I am a big snacker and love to eat at night. Drinking at night disrupts my sleep, so it is best to cut it off early. Eating at night disrupts my workout in the early morning, so I need to get better with that, too. I eat a lot of sugar, too, so that is next on my list to improve upon. I have my work cut out for myself, but want to take tiny steps. I am not going to give up my snacks, but hopefully find better snacks to eat (apples and plain almonds versus chocolate covered almonds for example. :) ). Chris is doing great, having given up Coke last week cold turkey! I'm sure that is hard. He is now drinking water. Amazing! I have started to drink some water along with my green tea and one cocoa a day.

So, that is how we are working it to become beach bums. :) I can't wait for summer. Okay, I can't wait to go outside without freezing! Please! Bring it! I want to run again!

Addis's First Grade Program

At the kids' elementary school, the classes perform in a singing program once a year, one class at a time. Last week, Addison and her entire (all 4 classes!) 1st grade class had their turn. The theme: Snow.

We find we learn more about our kids when we see them perform. From Addison, we learned that she does not like to perform in front of people and does not like the attention so much. Her lips were moving, but as her Mommy, I am not sure she was really singing. We attempted to make her smile to no avail. It was cute to see. She is one funny girl. She was lucky to have Grandma Bet and Grandpa Bill there to watch her too.
2013 First Grade Class

There's a smile! (Addison is in the middle in the denim dress and braided piggy tails).

Sunday, February 03, 2013

January 2013 in Review

What can I say, January is over. I'm not a fan of winter, so January and February in Nebraska are my least favorite months. I would be happy not leaving the house from New Years Day until April 1. Really, it is just too cold. But, I can't be a hermit like Chris (ha ha). Chris has been working his butt off from home. He did not have to take a Florida trip this month, but he still had to put in those 13 hour plus days, weekends included. He is just a shadow of the man I loved a year ago. We are hoping this month will bring us hope. I know, hope in the month of February? Anything is likely.

January was filled with play dates, playing in the snow, and keeping warm over a movie. Asher is now in montessori preschool as well as preschool at our Catholic Church. He is really enjoying it and learning a lot. He also started a preschool class at the La Vista Library that is enjoys taking with his friends Maggie and Mackenzie. We joined the La Vista Library for a whopping $55 a year. This will be the last year I will spend money on a community library. That is just insane! But, for now, the kids are happy with the new books that are reading now.

Asher likes to be with his friends during the week when he is not in school. We love to go to open play at the Kids Body Shop in Papillion. He runs and gets out all his little boy energy. We need more places like that! We look forward to getting back to the zoo and the other places we enjoy going when the weather is not so cold.

Alivia joined Girls on The Run and is excited to get started running with her friends in March (We may have a runner in the family!). Addison is still getting sick a lot. Her doctor thought she may be suffering from abdominal migraines. For now, we are just watching her oral intake and making sure she does not eat anything that can cause her to get sick. Believe me, we wish we knew! Addison really keeps busy with her friends and continues to keep the house LOUD! :) Addi turned 6 1/2 years old this month, too.

As for me, I am just trying to keep warm and look for rainbows. I'm hoping to find one both this month!

So, I guess, bring on Febraury, and with that...bring on HOPE! We are here, waiting, for our new future.

Here are a handful of January Pictures.