Posted in Around the House, Computers and Internet, Crafts, Exercise, Family Time, Friend Time, health, Lifelong learning, Music, My Own Personal Weirdness, Organizing, Parenting, Television & Film

Huge List of Activities to do with Kids during Covid-19

I started this document ages ago and have shared it with many friends, family members, and FB forums already. It’s compiled from many, many different places: lists on facebook, travel websites, space websites, family websites, school websites. It’s broken down into categories for ease of use: The Arts, Books, Celebrities, Coding, Crafts, Disney, Exercise, Food, Movies/TV/ Mental Health, Museums, Music, School Related, Travel, and Non-Internet Things to Do.

Hope you enjoy it. Here’s the link.

Posted in Around the House, Computers and Internet, Exercise, Family Time, Lifelong learning, My Own Personal Weirdness, Organizing, Parenting

Our Quarantine Home Life

Sundays are fairly normal. My husband, Nick, gets up around 6:30am and exercises, then I get up and make some breakfast. The midkid and I watch our church service online instead of driving two minutes down the road. Nick and Greg make a grocery list, which Ree and I add to once our church is over. Then Nick goes out shopping for a couple hours while the kids and I do some household chores. In the later afternoon we watch another documentary or play a board game. Sometimes Nick has to work some more. Then the Nick makes dinner, the kids set the table, and we eat dinner. Then it’s time for showers and bed.

On any given weekday, Nick gets up at 5:30am, goes to the living room and exercises with some weights my kid brought home randomly from my dad’s house. He is so thankful for that. I wake up at 6am and grab a cup of tea and a chat with him before he heads off to shower. I read the news until it’s time to swap. After my shower, I dress myself and put on makeup and jewelry because that is one little piece of sanity in my day.

Nick starts work at 7:15am in the home office I rigged up for him from the desk our college kind left behind. It’s perpendicular to my own home office. We hung a curtain from the ceiling between us so our online meeting people don’t have to see the other person in the room. I also need it there because I cannot write if someone is looking over my shoulder. I’m also not used to people being home during the day. I usually spend quite a lot of time alone and I’m going a little bit crazy without alone time.

7:15am is also when I wake up the kids. They don’t wander out until nearly 8am, so I spend time playing the new Animal Crossing Game. It’s very soothing to have someplace to go and other villagers to visit with. My brain doesn’t care that it’s not real. Once the kids come out, we eat breakfast and then take a walk around the neighborhood. I try to pick a different kind of thing to look for every day, just to keep it interesting. Sometimes it’s a kind of tree or a bug or a bird.

When we come back inside, our 7th grader  has an online meeting at 9am. The teacher says its optional, but she also texts me every time he doesn’t show up, so I try to make sure he goes into the Zoom meeting before I leave his room. Then I encourage our 10th grader to look at his assignments. His teachers haven’t posted much at all, so he’s inclined not to check unless I stand there and watch him do it. Since he has 8 classes to check, this takes a while.

At 11am,  I coax the kids away from the computers and we start looking at our lunch options. I’m usually the one that buys the lunch food, but I cannot go out because I’m immunocompromised, so we have to make do with what my husband brings home. He rarely thinks of lunch food. By noon, we’ve come up with something, eaten it, and the kids wander back to their devices for some recreational screen time while I chat with my husband, who has an hour off for lunch. Sometimes instead I hide in our now-quiet bedroom and luxuriate in the fact that no one is speaking to me.

At 1pm, it’s instrument practicing time. Each kid has two instruments, so one plays for 30 minutes, then the other, and then back and forth again. Sometimes I don’t have to monitor this time period. If I can get away with it, I sneak off to do some writing or editing.

From 3-5pm, it’s serious school work time. The middle school teachers have been assigning all the things, so our youngest has a TON of work. The high school kid does not. So I have the youngest ask the middle one for help during this time while I go do my “work hours.” I have a lot of volunteer positions — Secretary for the Tyler Council of PTA’s as well as focus person for Bell, Moore, Lee, and Andy Woods PTA’s when they need help, Secretary for the Lee Band Parents Association, Secretary for the Moore Middle School PTA, Membership chair and Assistant Webmaster for the East Texas Writers Guild, Facilitator for this group. Plus I’m a member of  two critique groups. Some of my groups have successfully transitioned to online meetings, some have not.

At 5pm, I encourage the kids to go play outside or water the garden or weed something. Soon it will be too hot for that, so we may swap our morning walk for yard work, do indoor chores during this time, and take a post dinner walk.

From there, the kids get some non-homework time until dinner set up starts. I usually try to find some artistic thing for them to do or science experiment to run instead of more screen time. Some times it works. Occasionally one of them has an online music lesson during this time.

We eat dinner around 7pm, like we always have. After dinner, it’s time for a family board game or more Animal Crossing, which we play on the big screen together in group mode. Occasionally Nick or I will have an online meeting for one of our groups instead. (He’s on the security and media teams at church and he’s also trying to host online game nights for some of his co-workers who are quarantined alone.)  Then showers for the kids and they are sent off to read in bed until they fall asleep. Nick and I go to bed around 10pm after watching Star Trek: the Next Generation.

Fridays are different because Nick only works half days. We have our eldest son over (he lives alone around the corner from us) and do some take-out for lunch. Then play a game, usually. He goes home afterwards. Then Nick’s been finding household jobs to do to keep him occupied while the kids finish their school days. He’ll make a fancier dinner that night.

Saturdays are pretty normal. We wake up later, sit around reading or playing music on our instruments, then eat a bigger brunch. Nick’s church meets on Saturday, so he and the bookend boys watch the service online while I sneak off to write. Our midkid wanders off to read. After church is over, we have a family dinner and maybe some more board games. Sometimes we watch a documentary together. Then the eldest goes home and we do our nighttime routine.

And that’s our week.

Posted in Around the House, Everywhere But Home, Exercise

Coronavirus, Day Sixteen

Today’s adventures included a trip to the post office and a walk around the neighborhood.

Because I’m a writer at home, I normally have very few co-workers. I joined a few groups of writers, editors and publishers just to have some socialization, as you do. One of them is a group that also enjoys planners, stickers, and all the stuff that goes with them. We have a few miscellaneous boxes that have been sent around a bajillion times, full of those kinds of supplies. When you get the box, you take whatever you want out of it and then put in whatever you think an appropriate amount of other stuff into it. It’s supposed to be at your house for like three days, max. I got mine on Friday morning, the same day we got a shelter in place mandate from our city. With that and the local postal service having recently stated that we had postal employees with Coronavirus, I really wasn’t sure that it would be open for mailing. I chose my stuff, nonetheless, and put more stuff into the box.

Yesterday I was going to go to the post office, but all thoughts of that flew out the window when I found out that my sister was hospitalized. Then I managed to tear the top off the box when moving it to the front hallway. But today I got out of the house and went to the post office. I prepared myself with hand sanitizer and clorox wipes, waited until a few cars drove off from the parking lot, and then went in. There were two workers and one other customer. The customer had a mask on. The workers were wearing gloves. I wiped down the counter where I was doing the reboxing, just to ensure that if anything touched the counter, it would be safe-ish. Nearly everything fit into the new, smaller box. During my packing, one of the postal employees explained to a lady that they weren’t wearing masks because no one could understand them with them on. A few people walked by while I was packing. Another one wearing a mask. One that laughed at him and also at my clorox wipes. I waited off to the side until they were done. Got my box mailed, almost made it out before encountering another human up close, but didn’t quite make it out. At least she had a mask and gloves and hand sanitizer as well. Went back to the car, did some more sanitizer and wiped down the stuff I was returning to the car. Drove home, changed clothes, washed up again, re-wiped my phone with sanitizer, since I’d used it during my time in the post office to look up the address. Managed to get this far without touching my face. Washed it, just in case.

Later this afternoon, went on a walk with my midkid. If you lived on one of the few blocks we walked, you sure got a treat! Ree danced the entire way, practicallly. He’s so funny! We did have one not-so-great moment, though. A car drove up exactly like David’s, so we walked up closer to it than we would have a strangers. We realized too late that we didn’t know the driver. He yelled at us out the window. It was not pleasant. Went inside, cleaned up again. Some days it feels like all we do is wipe ourselves and our stuff down.

Posted in Exercise, health

8 week health check-in

124 health check inI have been going to the gym for 8 weeks now, although with all the missed days due to illness or Thanksgiving break, it’s really more like 7 total weeks. Overall I have lost 27.25 inches off the 12 points I measure (neck, chest, chest+breasts, natural waist line, belly button, hips, upper arms, mid arms, lower arms, upper thighs, lower thighs, calves) and 4 total pounds. I haven’t changed my diet any, and I didn’t really hold back at all on Thanksgiving foods that week either.

I tried on those pants from the before photos over the weekend and they are so loose, y’all. I am down to regular size clothes in the next size down (from last month) and some of the super big ones from the size below that (which is funny because some of the super small in my current size are still too small. Oh the joys of size variety across brands). I emptied a new box out on the bed today and everything in it fit fairly well. This was a small box because I took the top half out just before Thanksgiving, trying to find a cute Thanksgiving outfit. Things in the next size down box are those that currently can fit onto my body, but I can’t move around much in them. So I started this effort with five boxes of clothes going from the biggest I ever was (back in September) going all the way to the size I was when I had David (17 years ago). I am two boxes down, with three left to go.

So I’m going to continue on in the gym, but I’m going to focus a lot more on my waist area, if that’s even possibly a thing (it must be). In January after the crazy eating month is over and hopefully we can start getting salads again (I haven’t been able to find one in the last two and a half weeks except at Dairy Queen, who gave me a chopped ice berg lettuce salad), I plan on tweaking my eating and maybe come up with a plan I can stick with. 🙂

Okay, that’s enough rambling about that. Y’all have a happy day!

Posted in Exercise

4 weeks of gym time= this

Collage 2018-11-07 10_06_08I am a whole clothing size smaller now. Yesterday I dragged in all my one-sized-down boxes when I couldn’t keep my pants up. All but one dress and one skirt fit now -the dress was one that has a higher size on the tag, but shrunk terribly the first time I washed it. I have no idea what size it is now. The skirt is actually one of those split sized items, where the higher number is what I’ve come down to and the lower number is the next size down. Hoping to be wearing that size in time for Christmas, as it would be a really pretty Christmas outfit. 🙂

 

Posted in Exercise, health

Another gym time update

Another two weeks have gone by. I have missed the gym twice because I was sick, coughing too hard to walk to the bathroom, much less on a treadmill.

I made some friends at the gym, a retired paramedic and her daughter. They come every weekday like I do, but they do their schedule differently than I do. I’ve been following theirs as much as I can do for the last 6 times I’ve been to the gym. They do an extended cardio every day (which I don’t because I get tired too fast) and also several ab/thigh machines every day (I have followed their lead here and it has paid off!). They are larger ladies than I am, but they are also so very much stronger than I am. The paramedic lady makes sure we are on-point with our posture and form, and is a good cheerleader for me and her daughter.

I am up three pounds, which is…what it is. I have been eating some Halloween candy, a habit I need to break. Other measurements are going better: I have lost an inch and a quarter off my chest, an inch and 3/4 off my upper waist, two and a 3/4 off my waist, 1/4 inch off my lower arm, 1/8 inch off my wrist, an inch off my upper thigh, and 1/4 inch off my ankle. Everything else remained the same. I plan on doing this update every second week until I hit my health goals, in case you are wondering.

Today I am not making it to the gym because I have two PTA/school events, a health coach phone call with my insurance company, a sick kid at home to care for, and more writing to do. I will try to get my cardio in this evening while I watch TV instead and will be back at the gym first thing tomorrow morning. 🙂

Posted in Exercise, health

Gym Time Update

I have been to the gym every day except one in the last two weeks. That one day I had PTA stuff in the morning and then the computer died. I ended up cycling on my little floor-pedaling-machine thing for awhile in the evening instead (the kids thought that was hilarious).

So today is measurement day. I weigh about 9 pounds less than I did before, have lost 3 inches in my waist and a quarter of an inch just about everywhere else worth measuring.

I have been slowly ooching up on my weights on the machines and upping my time on the treadmill and have added some recumbent biking on my cardio days.

It is going well. 🙂

Posted in Exercise, health

Getting my health back on track

Last month when I saw the neurologist one of the things he told me was that I should be exercising more in my daily regular life, that exercise would help my brain get more blood and more blood is better, and so I should do it. (Did I ever finish blogging about that? If not, maybe I will next week. Life has been so weird lately) So last week I saw the rheumatologist and mentioned it to him and he said he was only limiting my exercise because I had so much pain and my hip was not good, but if I was feeling physically better in my hip, I could start exercising again.

So this morning I got up and re-joined the gym. I’m back at Planet Fitness because a) it is close by and b) it is a known substance. I made my way around the gym, discovered that I am the weakest person on earth, did the treadmill, and came on home. Whew, am I tired! But good tired, right? Yes. I will stick with that.

My plan is to go daily on weekdays and just skip the weekends altogether. Monday is Arm Day, Tuesday is Cardio, Wednesday is Core Body (abs, back, chest), Thursday is another Cardio, and Friday is Leg Day.

Posted in Exercise

First Time Trying Zumba

From my other blog…in case you are not reading it…

The Thousand Teeth

“To dance is to be out of yourself. Larger, more beautiful, more powerful.”

~Agnes De Mille

I am one of those people that can trip on my own feet, or even nothing, so trying a Zumba class sounded really intimidating. However, I made some friends yesterday at the gym and they were really encouraging about the class, so I decided to jump in there and try it.

Guys, it’s really fun! 🙂 I had no idea! It’s like a cross between bellydancing and hip hop, both of which I’ve done a little bit before with videos or kiddos teaching me. The instructor wears bells and is very perky and she didn’t mind me staring at her butt trying to figure out how she was moving.

I only lasted about 20 minutes into a thirty minute class, but some people stayed on for a second class, which seemed to be more…

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Posted in Exercise, health, Lifelong learning, My Own Personal Weirdness

I joined a gym

To enjoy the glow of good health, you must exercise.
-Gene Tunney

After a month of pros & cons lists, visiting local gyms either via online tours or in person, and asking lots of people lots of questions about their exercising and health efforts, I have finally joined a gym. (I see you out there looking shocked. You may close your mouths now. 😉 )

I know it’s taken me some time, but I’m finally ready to get back on the health bandwagon. Some may be amused that I’m starting so near to the Feast of Tabernacles, but I am all about starting now that I’m ready, rather than waiting until some nebulous “perfect time” that never will come.

Fitness plans (this week and next)

  1. I’m already taking a daily walk with the dog. Started that just this week. It calms us both down and makes us happy. Win!
  2. I joined the gym. I learned the machines this morning, but there will be someone there every day, every hour they are open to answer my silly questions. This was a big deal to me. I forget how to do a lot of things (like brushing my teeth. how can you forget that? My mind is a seriously weird place.).
  3. Tomorrow I will be resting from this week’s craziness. Resting is a goodness.
  4. Sunday, I will find my FLEX, charge it, and then I might go to the gym. I forgot to ask their hours. Oh wait, they may be in the stack of papers the trainer handed me. I dumped them in my inbox and forgot about them. Hmm.
  5. Monday, I will go back to the gym and try out the circuit. It will be good because I tried the machines today and only one made me want to cry. The trainer said that was the machine everyone hates the most. Well, yay for that machine. That night I will look at my stats on the computer because they should be available by then.
  6. Tuesday I am trying out Zumba for the first time. They promised not to laugh at me. I am glad about that. I am not terribly coordinated when it comes to watching someone do something and then doing it myself. I hope I don’t hurt anyone.
  7. Wednesday, I am taking a break. My trainer said I should have a couple in there during the week to let my muscles rest.  Woo hoo! (Also, I have Bible Study Fellowship on Wednesday mornings.)
  8. Thursday, I am either doing more Zumba or the circuit again. It depends on whether I broke myself and/or others doing Zumba on Tuesday.
  9. Friday, I will go do the circuit again. I will check my stats again and I will be happy that I finished out the week. 🙂

 

Cross-posted at The Thousand Teeth