The day I’m confused about my culture more than normal because I’m not ‘allowed’ to do or like things NOT in my culture of birth but everyone can be Irish if they feel like it. I also don’t especially know if I’m all that Irish. However, based on my research from my Irish cousins and FancyPaperBlog there is very little difference beyond some vocabulary from my life here and their lives there. (except for the president… I can’t guess the current president of Ireland and I can only name one; Mary Robenson, and our presidents seem to get more international notoriety) So I am Irish and so are you, unless you super identify with some other culture.
American Irish, mixed with Pinterest and hallmark, creates a bit of a crazy little holiday focused on green and rainbows. School lunch today was desirable so no cute lunches to pack but I did break out the special ‘rainbow’ cereal for snacks. They left an entire beer * and some soda bread for our resident leprechaun, Mr McCabbage, who ate and drank it all, leaving a spill of gold wrapped chocolate for them to find. The tricky guy also dyed the milk green and also poured some on the floor **
Tonight we are having soda bread and soup, good for lent and all that. When the kids asked why we didn’t celebrate more since this was ‘our’ holiday I gave them my dad’s answer that this is day to go to church in Ireland…
Still like celebrating things that have no more sress then what you personally choose. I celebrated by doing my part of the tax prep and taking a short nap all while looking like an Irish Ari flight attendant.
*Lars thought someone loved him since that ‘door’ is right above his office so he drank it
**Lars also accidently spilled a dish of cereal and Niamh saw him cleaning it up and deduced that the tricky leprechaun had made a mess.
Edit – I googled the president of Ireland and he is also on twitter. To support my Irish side, I’m following him now. You also get to be president of Ireland for 7 years, thats a long time…
Since last June when the Y was opened locally, I had to re-do my fitness routine. There were plenty of other wrenches in that machine too: summer is always crazy, kids needing different things, new school schedules, clients that I need to take care of etc. I think I have found a decent balance and, at least right now, I’ve got a pretty good handle on things.
For my record to look back on, and, if you would like to know what a stay at home mom/freelancer does to not devolve into a pile of fat here are some notes/thoughts
- FitBit. I have worn it for a year (and gone through 3, but, they replaced under warranty so I’m not too mad). I like the tracker, it tells me many cool stats even if it won’t acknowledge some workout classes as ‘workouts’ but the added interaction with a few friends in groups, and, challenges to myself to meet the goals has helped. I average over 50k steps a week these days
- Kids. So kids at home definitely HELP my step count because I’m going going going. With 3 in school 3 days a week I notice the days I need to motivate myself to not just sit at the computer. Warning to office workers! you probably don’t move around enough. I know if I do a sit and work day I hardly get 2k steps and that is mostly before and after work time doing stuff with the kids.
- Classes. In Shoreview I didn’t do classes because I didn’t want to rush to get there on time, they were an extra fee, and, they didn’t assure child care so I just contented myself with ‘doing my own thing’ and that was a good start. I got confidence on heavy squats and on the machines etc. BUT classes are way better. They push me to work longer, harder and different. When the Y opened and included classes (although the price of the Y reflects that!) I wanted to make sure I got my money worth and actually went to a class a week. I’m up to 2 regular classes and I try to get in a 3rd.
- ‘Date’ night. At Shoreview, Lars seldom went with me and usually only went with the kids swimming. He could also use more exercise in his life so we started picking a class *together* one night a week. Finding something we both like and can do/is challenged by is not easy but right now we are doing an ab class on Thursday nights. It is something we do together and working out with another person always makes it better (and you are less likely to blow it off). Lars also found another evening class he likes and I plan on joining it too once swim lessons are over because the timing just won’t work right now.
- Swim lessons. Speaking of those lessons, I still say that Lars teaching the girls was way better but Fiona needed a jump start and Niamh and Zoe needed some refining so we sprung for lessons this season. The hidden benefit is that 2x a week I am at the Y for an extra time and I can use that time well by working out. I do want to watch them learn so my options are more limited, but, I’ve found that there is a spin bike right at the window so I get a great view of classes and earn a few thousand steps.
- Older kids. I’ve had an elliptical for at least 10 years now and some years it is more like a towel rack but in the past 2, I’ve gotten good at setting them up for dinner, or, after dinner with a show and getting a solid 45min on days I don’t get to the gym. I like that I can leave them for a bit and I don’t (usually) have constant interruptions.
I think the key for me is accountability. Between the Fitbit and the company in classes, I do better. Classes push me to go longer too. The only real negatives right now are things I’m not sure how to solve; I have sold many hours a week to work, I also feel I need to clean since I’m home and between the two sometimes the workout gets skipped. I know that I’m the only one that cares if the house is clean but that is just something I can’t ever win on because I feel guilty for not doing the thing I’m not doing…
After all this I don’t think I’ve lost a pound, but, I do feel fitter and I am certainly stronger. No troubles carrying even my biggest girl. I think I’m also setting a decent example because I’ve heard all three parrot that we need to work out to be healthy and live a long time.
nothing super exciting happening here. We have a busy night tonight with 2 things semi-conflicting, but, we worked it out. The weekend should be full of getting ready and holiday cheer. This ‘normal’ week has been nice for getting things on track and I needed it! here is a fun picture of Niamh’s hair, I love the clip in color, it looks awesome on her.
In other generally dull news here are some updates/happenings for those of you who need something longer to read on a break in your day;
- The dishwasher magically healed? Or I cleaned it enough that I got whatever the clog was out. All hail the shopvac! For good measure, I did the baking soda, viniger, and boiling water trick too.
- Hot tub – fixed – it was a switch that got crudded up because of our hard water. Oh well, fixed now and I do enjoy having it back.
- Cutting the chord. I guess I didn’t tell the beginning here but I got mad at our cable company for all the normal reasons. I’m definitely not the first nor the last. I know that there is a price that will make you go to a company and a price that will make you leave. I am now firmly in ‘leave’. Lucky for us, a ton of others have blazed this path already so it really is not a hassle to dump the cable and phone. We expect to do it post-holiday travel though, just no time between now and then.
- Since I’ve been watching the hour for my fitbit I’ve made improvements on that stat. That tells me I sit by habit too long. If the kids are home I have no such troubles, 10 min sitting still is a lot if they are all home!
- Fiona overnight dry is in process. We have mixed results. On the bad side there was the 3am wake up. On the good side, there were a few totally dry wakeups. In between was waking up wet, but, at 7am. Not a win for dryness, but, a win for sleeping mom.
- Christmas card address, envelopes, and cards are actually in my hands – they will get put together tonight and hopefully mailed tomorrow.
So thats the run down off the top of my head. My brain is a series of lists, my house is covered in lists of things to do or bake or check. Far better than dull!
Last night after I finished up here I got a phone call telling me that Niamh won a competition in school for her grade. It was for an anti-drug poster and I’m really glad she won, not just because winning is cool, but she has asked me at semi-regular intervals since LAST YEAR why she didn’t win last year and daily since she turned in her poster this year. She did a good one but I’m torn because it was not exactly original because she got the idea from Pinterest. On the other hand, I like the use of research tools, and, interpreting the picture on the screen into real life. It was a real project, she got leaves from the yard as templates and then cut them out of construction paper. She wanted me to draw the tree and I did but I declined to help more. It came out about how you would expect an artistic 3rd grade project to be. Maybe now she will get a little more confidence in her art.
I am also glad she won because Zoe has been raking in the rewards from school this week. My thought is that 1st grade just gives them out more than 3rd, and, Zoe may be an ‘example’ kid in her class. (I think she saves her crazy for home) because she said she got one today for being the only kid doing what the teacher asked. Honestly, I would like a little more of that good listening at home and a few less kudos from her teacher, but, she actually is good at just getting things done. Regardless, Niamh was feeling left behind and not good enough but this came at just the right time.
It also happened that I was able to go to school to see her get the award. I remind myself I choose to stay home so I could be there for my kids. They don’t need a super clean kitchen, my contract work is flexible on timing, and if I can I should so I did! She was double happy to see me AND I was able to get tons of good pictures of all the kids to post on the PTA facebook site.
Today I started the list of what to do before we leave. I combined culling out the summer clothing, because winter is really here, with pre-packing for the trip and I’m done with 2:5. If I keep this up I’ll be mostly packed over a week early, that is a new record for me. There are also a few lingering things like bikes that need to be really put away but fall is seriously the best biking weather. I think the list is do-able, just need to keep doing.
And with that, I’m off to do more.
Health; 50% of us have colds. I am in that 50%
Workout; keeping a decent rate, don’t know what I’ll be up for today though but coughing should count as an ab workout.
Cat; I get requests… yes, Mr Pink is still here, still very cat.
Projects; I’m transforming Halloween costumes into real things 🙂
My post yesterday was a dashed off line I ran downstairs to do between dinner, kids bed, and having people over for a group game we are playing weekly on Sunday. The day in general was perfect weather and I can’t help but feel that I’m losing half the space in my life very very soon because we won’t be able to be outside anymore. We finished the gardens; took in any lingering veggies and our massive kale crop and the kids picked and sorted all the herbs. The house smelled really good with a pound of mint, lavender, lemon balm, basil etc sitting on the table. We have snow forecast for this coming weekend and I’m glad I got so much done yesterday, and, I’m glad to have spent one more good day outside.
- I finally have the garage empty and ready for car(s)
- The gutters are now clean – since our lawn guy was coming today, yesterday was the best day to clean them since I could just throw it all on the grass and he was going to clean it anyway.
- All the outside toys and playhouse are packed away or ready for snow
I would have been content to keep churning through the chores but Zoe really really really wanted to ride her bike to the Y that is 2mi away. She has been wanting this for weeks and I told her that it would have to be a day that both parents were able to go because Fiona can’t ride a bike that far so she and I would take the car. (I also thought they might be too tired to get home again so I wanted a bail out option). We went to the Y and she not only rode there, she did it at a decent pace and with no fussing AND she wanted to ride home again too. While we were at the Y I did a workout and then we all did the pool and Zoe was swimming laps with Niamh when I got there. When we got home I told them to run around the block so they can claim a triathlon day, and so they did. In my workout I rode the bike and ran, and, I also swam so I had a triathlon day too 🙂
Saturday we actually ended up with an odd day. We had plans for the day that got changed last minute so we but we figured something out. The evening plans were thrown together on a whim on Friday and it actually worked out that we had someone to watch the girls (thank you vacation mom!) and friends were free and the Escape Room Groupon we got last year had an available slot for Saturday night so we did that. It was really fun and we had a great group to do the puzzles. We finished in 50 minutes and that puts us in the top 10% and we only needed one clue. We technically didn’t need that clue because we were in the middle of checking our work and would have found our error, but, it did save us a few minutes. I spend all night dreaming of puzzle room scenarios that would be fun to build, I think I need to send in a few of them to the place just so I get the brain space back!
Today is a ‘regular’ Monday and I’ve done my client work and next on my list is to dig out all the snow pants and real coats to see who fits and who needs. I also plan on taking a rest, this cold is creeping in and my weekend was fun but not restful.
Oh! I also still need to plant bulbs. I decided to wait until someone else found the garden under the leaves to do the planting 🙂 Hopefully there are a few days lefts…