Eat, Sleep, Work, & Play

I rarely get a chance to update this blog anymore. Which is disappointing, but not unexpected. There is a ton going on during regular daily life that keeps me occupied and between eating, sleeping, and working (the paid stuff, parenting, and volunteering), there is barely time to play around on blogging.

Eating

Sounds exciting, right? Well, it isn’t.
I am working hard to try to start being more mindful about food though. I am trying to limit my grocery shopping purchases because we waste a lot of food when it sits unused until it goes bad. Which means, I am finally taking the time to do something I should have done a long time ago: Meal Planning.

I have a love-hate relationship with meal planning because I like flexibility in cooking/eating what I feel like. As a result, I do weekly meal planning with the mindset that I will eat them all within the week but not necessarily on a specific day.

For lunches, I am also trying to eat more meatless meals (2-3 per week). I am not interested in being a vegetarian or vegan, but this allows me to consume more plant-based foods. Obviously, there are health benefits to increasing fruits and vegetables in my diet. Today, I ate a roasted bell pepper with a rice and red beans mix. Last week, I had a risotto with beets, pistachios & goat cheese. Delicious.

Sleeping

I’m sure I’ll do that sometime. Just not sure when.

Working

The hardest part of being a stay-at-home and part-time-work-from-home parent is balancing work with home. Unlike a job outside of the home where there are very distinct boundaries, working at home means the lines get blurry. I sometimes feel guilty for not providing any income. Other times I feel guilty for not doing enough around the house.

The nature of freelance is unstable, so I like to take as much work as I can when its plentiful so I don’t worry so much when it is not. I enjoy it, and it keeps my mind active, but I know I can only do the bare minimum during summer to stay active and handle the increased parenting workload.

I am grateful that I can be home to support everything on this end though, even though it means our family income isn’t what is once was. It also means I get to volunteer more, which I do.

Playing

I just took my biennial cruise with the girls to Mexico/Belize/Honduras. So, I shouldn’t complain about playing. I’m lucky to be able to do that. Here is a picture of the Bacalar Lagoon we visited in Mexico after touring Chacchoben (Mayan ruins) nearby. Now, I’m already planning more fun times for the future of places to visit and things to do with friends and family ūüôā

Bacalar Lagoon in Mexico
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My Year as a SAHM

It’s been about a year since I officially became a Stay-At-Home Parent.

I quit working at an office to stay home and manage the kids, especially my youngest. I still freelance to earn some extra money and to keep my skills active.

So far, it has been a pretty good experience. Not perfect, or without its challenges, but definitely good overall. Here’s a quick breakdown:

Continue reading “My Year as a SAHM”
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My Top 2018 Reads

Every year, I set a Reading Goal for how many books I plan to read that year.  In 2017, I got a little over ambitious with a goal of 75 books, but since I met that goal (see My Top 7 reads of 2017 here), I decided to set my 2018 goal to the same. Unfortunately, I missed the mark by a single book. Since 74 books is still a creditable amount though, I’m okay with that.

I usually use Goodreads to track my books, and like to go through them at the end of the year to select my favorites of the bunch.

My 8 Favorite Reads of 2018

Continue reading “My Top 2018 Reads”
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15 Healthy, but Yummy Snacks

I’ve been attempting to snack better.¬† So, each trip to the grocery store I try to pick up a couple new things to try.¬† I love salty and sweet things, so finding things to satisfy my cravings while keeping me happy is not always easy.

Most of what I was looking for was alternative options with less salt, sugar, and “fluff” than my typical snacks, but they still had to be things I would actually eat!

Continue reading “15 Healthy, but Yummy Snacks”

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Nighttime Cuddles

Most nights, if M wakes up at 1 AM, it is going to be a rough night. Some nights though, he jumps out of his room and creeps quietly into mine.  I open up the comforter to let him crawl in next to me and he falls quietly asleep snuggled up.

I wonder on those nights if he had a bad dream or was lonely and just needed his mommy to comfort him and make him feel safe.¬† It’s hard to know what he’s thinking since he is non-verbal and can’t really communicate those kinds of things to me.

I love his silent snuggles though.

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Start to Summer Break

I made it through my first week of summer vacation.¬† It wasn’t easy, but gave me a better idea of what to expect for the rest of the summer.

The biggest challenges are my limited ability to take on freelance work while managing both of the kids on a daily basis, keeping Q socially engaged with other children his age, a lack of freedom/personal time for my own personal activities (such as exercise), and finding the balance between chores, playtime, errands, and structured activities that works for us.

Next week, both the kids have day camps which I have carefully balanced the drop off and pick up schedules for to manage since they are an hour apart.¬† Q really needs the social interaction with more kids, so I’m looking forward to it for his sake.¬† Also, since M has his camp for three days of the week, I’ll be able to get some more work and errands done (and get some walking in) hopefully.

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Finally, Progress

I posted not long ago about my frustrations with changing lifestyle habits to no apparent avail.  It was incredibly disheartening to know I was eating healthy and exercising daily and seeing no results. Two weeks passed and nothing, but around 3-4 weeks I finally progressed.

Continue reading “Finally, Progress”

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Frustrations

I started walking 4-5 days a week. Approximately 2.5 miles each day.¬† I started watching my calorie intake and making healthier food choices.¬† By like so many women before me, I am finding almost no change in my body to reflect that.¬† It’s frustrating!

I am not expecting a huge change right away, but some indicator that all the hard work is paying off. Instead, I step  on my smart scale and see my body fat percentage has soared to the highest it has ever been! What!?!

I know I could be doing more to push that dial, but to have it not move at all the way I want it to is frustrating and disheartening.  It makes me feel like all the effort has been for nothing

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Small, Scary Worlds

“People don’t live in a big, scary world; they live in small scary worlds, one accident away from losing everything.”

— Henry Jackson, in “Raptor Ray” by B. Reilly

While I would not personally recommend this book, this particular quote in it really resonated with me.  So often, we look at life through our own fears and apprehensions.  In many ways our fears (and how we face them) define us.

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Olympic Facts for Your Friday

Here are some interesting Olympics facts for your final Friday of the 2018 Winter games.  Why? Because the Olympics are awesome!

Image Credit: The Olympic Rings in Sochi, 2014. PHOTO: Chris Wellhausen

The Music

The renowned American composer, John Williams, has been a composer for Olympic music since 1984.¬† His 1996 piece¬†“Bugler’s Dream and Olympic Fan” can be heard on NBC during coverage of the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, South Korea.¬† Williams¬† has composed music for four different Olympics (1984, 1988, 1996 and 2002).¬† He is also well-known for some of the most recognizable film scores, including¬†Star Wars, Harry Potter, and Jurassic Park.

The Sports

The games this year feature 102 events in 15 different sports.  New events added in 2018 include:

  • Big Air Snowboarding
  • Mass-Start Speed Skating
  • Mixed Doubles Curling
  • Mixed Team Alpine Skiing

The Host “City”

The IOC typically selects a host city about 7 years prior to the games.   PyeongChang, South Korea (pronounced Pee-Yung-Chong NOT Pee-Yong-Chang) won the bid over cities in Germany and France.  The 2018 games represents the first time that South Korea has hosted the Winter Olympics (they hosted the 1988 Summer games in Seoul).  PyeongChang actually refers to the county, rather than a city.  The majority of the games are actually being held in Daegwallyeong-myeon (mountain events) and Gangneung (ice events).

The Torch Relay

Although not a highlight of the games, one of the things I loved about the 2018 Winter Olympics is their very symbolic and unique torch relay.¬† According to wikipedia, “there were 7,500 torch bearers to represent the Korean population of 75¬†million people. There were also 2018 support runners to guard the torch and act as messengers.”¬† I love how they represented their nation in this unique way. I also loved the various different ways they used to transport the torch, including a zip wire, cable car, turtle ship, robots,¬† and steam train!

The Athletes

Pita Taufatofua –¬†While most people recognize him as the shirtless flag-bearer from Tonga, I was impressed by his appearance for another reason.¬† Despite living in a tropical nation with no snow, Taufatofua (who competed in taekwondo at the 2016 Summer games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) switched to cross-country skiing.¬† He managed to qualify for the 2018 Winter games on the final day of the qualification period.

Adam Rippon –¬†Not only does this figure skater have his own signature move, dubbed the “Rippon Lutz”, he is also the first openly gay U.S. male athlete to win a medal at the Winter Olympics (bronze in the 2018 team event).¬† He is also an outspoken advocate for LGBTQ rights and against quiet starvation in athletics.

Askel Lund Svindal – ¬†After a skiing accident in 2016, Svindal damaged his knee and underwent surgery on it in January 2017.¬† Despite these setbacks,¬†Svindal became his Norway’s first downhill gold medallist at the 2018 games, and at the age of 35 he is the oldest man to win an alpine skiing gold.¬†

Vincent Zhou –¬†At age 17, he’s the youngest American competing at the 2018 winter games.¬† During his short program, he landed a quad lutz. A quad lutz is the most difficult move currently recognized as achievable! Nobody before him has ever successfully landed one at the games before.

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