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Scattered Sundays

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Monday morning I woke up bright and early (per usual) and did a 15-minute bodyweight strength class. It was pretty good and I was feeling fine after it. About 90 minutes later, I went off on a 4-mile run.

I felt awesome that afternoon and went to sleep feeling like I had really seized the day. And then, Tuesday came. And I woke up and realized that in the middle of the night I had somehow been hit by a truck. I forgot that I was 39.

I have a fantastic memory but somehow had forgotten that when you’re starting a new workout routine, day TWO is the day you feel like you’ve been in a fight. Silly, silly me.

When I finish a run, I’m always tired, but am never really sore anymore. So, I have to assume that my “did I accidentally insult a bear” muscle soreness came from the bodyweight class. All day Tuesday and half of Wednesday I walked around making the “dad” noise any time I had to bend over to get something. 

My plan had been to attempt my longest run ever on Wednesday, but considering I was still silently crying while lowering myself to pee, I went ahead and skipped that. 

The good news is I was able to get a 30 day free trial of Peloton to get access to their bodyweight classes. I’m not sure if it is worth the money after those 30 days are up because I can find similar workouts for free on Youtube. We’ll see.

For now, the plan is to do a class/video on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. I run on the days I can; there is no exact schedule for my life until the boys are in school full-time. We’re all just living in the margins right now and trying to stay sane.

The run I did on Monday was absolutely perfect. The temp was only 33F but it was sunny with blue skies. It was a beautiful time to be outside, and the cold temps meant I wasn’t a hot sweaty mess by the end of it. Pure perfection.

a boy in a red costume

This was what he decided was his Easter best.

There is a joke in our family that whenever the boys are scheduled to go to their grandparents for a sleepover, something bad happens. A few years ago they were supposed to spend the night, and then Troy’s grandma broke her hip. Another time, a different grandma got pneumonia.

The boys spent the night before Thanksgiving (2019) with their grandparents so we could clean, prep, and get the house ready for the next day. Thanksgiving morning, my mother-in-law woke up and felt so ill that Troy had to go over and get them. She missed Thanksgiving and Christmas and then spent the next few months recovering from pneumonia.

And when she was finally feeling well enough to have the boys over in early March 2020, well, we all know what happened in March 2020. I’m sorry world; our family planning a sleepover pretty much started the pandemic.

Now that both of my inlaws are vaccinated, a few weeks ago they asked if they could have the boys overnight. Naturally, Bennett woke up the morning before the sleepover with his first fever in 12 months. Because of course.

For the last year, Troy and I have been in the mindset of we never tell the boys anything good is about to happen until RIGHT BEFORE it is about to happen. Thankfully, we had never even told them about the March sleepover getting screwed up.

We rescheduled their sleepover for this last Tuesday. We were supposed to take the boys over around 9:30 am. At 7:55 am, we thought we were in the clear and told them about it. Five minutes later, Troy’s dad called saying he wasn’t feeling well. At this point, you have to laugh because of course.

The boys were understandably sad (as were my inlaws!). We tried to make the day as fun as possible. They both had gift cards to Barnes and Noble, so they got to pick out new books. We took them to a park but left after a few minutes. The place was packed and one of the kids clearly had a cold or allergies and was deliberately coughing in the face of all his siblings.

Since I had worked so hard to find a parking spot at that park, we left the car and walked to a local bakery to get cookies. The park disappointment turned into a little stimulus for a local small business and everyone was happy.

We also got takeout pizza from one of their favorite places. We took it home and had a “bonus” movie night and finished Gravity Falls (the BEST show for parents and kids to enjoy together) and just tried to make it feel special.

Even though my father-in-law had been fully vaccinated, he went and got tested. He was in the clear, as we expected. He only felt poorly for that day. So later in the week, the boys WERE able to finally spend the night at their grandparents. I secretly packed for them and we essentially told the boys it was happening as we were getting in the car.

I love my kids. But I also really love them not being in my face for a full 24 hours. It was glorious. I ran a quick kid-free errand at Costco, and then had a whole day to get some work done in peace. I was able to wake up and go for my longest ever run, without having to manage the schedule of three other people to make sure I could go work out. Heaven.

a workout report of a run

The weather this week was…mercurial. Hard frosts overnight but then blue skies and sunshine for the rest of the week. And so much wind! The 10-day forecast is stunning for this upcoming week and I am totally here for it. Laundry on the line, things growing in the garden, and so much playing outside.

The boys and I spent a few hours outside at my sister’s house earlier in the week. They rode bikes, played in the sandbox (well, Jack didn’t because he’s TWELVE and therefore doesn’t “play”), invented a game throwing Nerf darts with some sort of dog toy, and we ate takeout burgers outside from a local small business. Spring, I love you.

Years ago, Troy found a basketball hoop on the side of the road. We bought a new net for it and then he built a backboard out of a leftover piece of plywood. He painted it like a backboard, and then quickly we found out why you don’t use plywood for a backboard…it’s HEAVY! It took us an hour and some pulleys to get that beast into place.

The boys have been playing with it non-stop this week, even though it has basically been unused for three years. Whatever. They’re having a blast and it’s free. Jack’s basketball was pretty much shredded, so we did get him a new one for his birthday. I’m big on useful items and books for gifts. Let the grandparents and aunts/uncles get the toys.

a boy in a costume with a mask

Long-time readers might recognize the robe from Bennett’s nun costume.

For the last few months, I’ve been doing what I call “Sugar Sundays”. I have a wicked sweet tooth and I love desserts so hard. But, I have a hard time with constant moderation when it comes to sugar. I’ve tried the whole “have one little sweet a night” and it quickly leads down a very slippery slope of me freebasing pixie sticks.

I’ve found that I feel better if I just consume a pinch of sugar in my coffee and then only eat sweets on Sundays. Typically by noon on Sundays, I feel like crap. It’s a good reminder for me that excess sugar doesn’t do me any favors.

Well, all of that went out the window this week. We have had leftover cake in the house since Sunday. I need you to understand that I don’t even like cake. Cake is stupid. People who love cake confuse me.

Don’t get me wrong – I make REALLY good cake. Troy keeps saying I should sell cake. But…cake is lame and holds zero appeal for me. Until this week.

The birthday cake I made for Jack was the normal triple chocolate cake he has had since he was two. It’s his favorite and he requests it every year. I usually use coconut oil in the recipe, but for whatever reason, I switched to avocado oil for this batch. Dudes. Game-changer.

It was hands down the best batch of this particular cake I have ever made. It changed the whole texture (and the old texture was already great) and I’m a total avocado oil in the cake convert. And thus, I’ve had a slice every night this week. I still don’t “get” the appeal of cake, but I get the appeal of THIS cake.

And before you ask, no, this cake is not on the blog. I’ve learned over the years based on pure data, you, my audience, do not like dessert recipes from me. You can claim that you do, but the data doesn’t lie. My people may like desserts, but they must be getting those recipes from other sources.

Given that a blog post from recipe development, to photography, to writing, to promoting, can take 20-30 hours, I no longer create new dessert posts. It’s just not worth my time. BUT. If you’d like this cake recipe, feel free to email me and I can send it to you. 

At the end of last week, Bennett’s preschool sent us an email asking for our permission to move him up to the kindergarten class for the remainder of the year. We were a bit shocked by this but thought it was a great idea and approved it.

Since he started preschool, all of his teachers have always commented on how mature he is, and how he avoids classroom drama and just focuses on his work. It’s hilarious to us because at home, his main goal is to start drama. I guess if he’s going to be well-behaved, at least it is when he is at school.

He goes to a Montessori school where learning is mostly self-directed. According to his teachers, he has finished all the preschool content and is ready for more of a challenge for the next six weeks. I also think part of it is they had a few new students join the preschool class and needed to balance everything out for social distancing purposes.

We’re proud of him and we all celebrated with ice cream. But secretly, the best part of all of this is he’s now in class for 30 more minutes a day AND they’re not charging me more. Good job staying on task buddy and earning your Mom 90 more minutes of work time a week!

If you haven’t already gathered by reading previous Sunday posts, chickens are total assholes. One of our chickens keeps getting ganged up on by the others, and she no longer has any feathers on her head. I decided to change her name from Shadow to “Friar Cluck”.

We have four nesting boxes, and all of the chickens want to use the same one. Right now with the volume of eggs they are cranking out, there is usually a 3-5 chicken pile up waiting to use the box. While the other three boxes sit there. Unused. Chickens are basically toddlers that poop breakfast.

I think she is getting “pecked” on when she is in the nesting box. The other girls get mad at her and then gang up on her. Like I said before, chickens are assholes.

a hand holding 2 eggs

I’m not sure which chicken laid this egg on the left, but I wanted to find her and offer her a sitz bath and an Advil.

In the Garden This Week

I did absolutely nothing in the garden. Well, almost nothing. I did a little weeding but I barely made a dent in the work that truly needs to be done. I keep telling myself to just pull one (5-gallon) bucket worth of weeds a day.

But I don’t. So there’s that. Which honestly makes me a mean chicken mom, because they LOVE getting the weeds. And I love a tidy garden.

We had multiple hard frosts this week. I’m so thankful I still have the lettuce covered to keep it safe. My timing with it is terrible though because I keep forgetting to uncover those beds when it is raining. Garden fail.

Housekeeping

We’re partnering with Once a Month Meals to bring you exclusive meal plans that allow you to make one month’s worth of meals in one day. That’s right, knock out an entire month in just one day.

Having done it myself, my pro tip for you is to order take out on your prep day or plan to eat a simple dinner of frozen pizza and veggies! Sign up here to slay meal prep!

What I’m Listening To This Week

The Wondery podcast network is crushing it with another new fantastic podcast – Spy Affair. A little bit about this podcast from the website: A charismatic Russian woman arrives in the US on a mission to improve relations between the two countries, and she soon makes some powerful friends. (source) If you like the show The Americans, this podcast is for you!

What I’m Reading This Week

I started When You Find Out The World is Against You; a funny memoir about terrible things. I haven’t been reading much this week. Well, at least as not much as I normally do.

I’m not a woo-woo person, but I feel like this week I have been just called to crawl into bed early and not stay up late reading. So that’s what I’ve been doing and that’s ok!

Reader Spotlight of the Week

Clarissa left this five-star review on one of my favorite cooking hacks – Air Fryer Asparagus {Pin this recipe}:

Worked like magic! As yummy as roasted (maybe more) and way faster. Thanks!

air fried asparagus with lemon and salt on a wooden board

On Sustainable Cooks This Week

Crispy Teriyaki Cauliflower – These air fryer Teriyaki Cauliflower bites are so deliciously crispy. They use a baked tempura method and are not deep-fried. No air fryer? You’ll also find stovetop methods in the post. {Pin this post}

a white bowl of teriyaki cauliflower with black and white sesame seeds and sliced green onions

Creamy Healthy Coleslaw – This simple Healthy Coleslaw Recipe not only tastes delicious but it is easy to make too! This zesty no mayo coleslaw has creamy Greek yogurt and a touch of horseradish. {Pin this post}

a multi-colored coleslaw in a white bowl with a spoon on a white board

Canning Peas – Follow this step-by-step tutorial to learn how simple Canning Peas can be. Having canned peas on hand means your favorite soups, stews, and side dishes can be ready in a flash. {Pin this tutorial}

a hand holding a canning jar of peas

The Five Most Popular Posts This Week

  1. Air Fryer Potatoes – skip using the oven and make these crispy taters in the air fryer.  {Pin this recipe}
  2. Air Fryer Egg Rolls – vegan/vegetarian as written, but you can make your version to your tastes.  {Pin this recipe}
  3. How to Freeze Spinach – here comes gardening season!  {Pin this tutorial}
  4. Instant Pot Garlic Butter Rice – we always have some of this in our freezer. SO GOOD! {Pin this recipe}
  5. Air Fryer Pizza Rolls – the childhood favorite with none of the burns on the roof of your mouth.  {Pin this recipe}

Meal Plan

It is supposed to be SO nice this week, so I’m going to make Troy get out and do some grilling.

Monday:: This asparagus and stir fryer dish I ripped out of a magazine. It was supposed to happen last week, but the sleepover schedule shuffle meant it didn’t get made. I’ll serve it over Instant Pot Jasmine Rice.

Tuesday:: Takeout to support a local small business.

Wednesday:: (this also didn’t happen last week because of the scheduling snafu) Air Fryer Chicken Taquitos + testing a new Instant Pot dish + salad.

Thursday:: Troy’s amazing grilled chicken, with grilled veggies on the side. And probably some homemade garlic bread.

Friday:: Popcorn, leftovers, movie night.

Saturday:: Takeout to support a local small business.

Sunday:: Another new recipe I’m testing. I’m a testing fool these days!

 

What are you having this week?

 

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17 comments on “Scattered Sundays”

  1. Your writing style is so funny. Love it.
    Before you pay $$ for exercise, check out a FREE, excellent YouTube fitness instructor – Heather Robertson. She’s the bomb. And Canadian! Doesn’t talk much and has a great 12 week program, or you can choose from a variety of types of classes. PS. Not affiliated with her, although I sound like it after reading this.

    Also, your kitchen turned out great. It looks A LOT like our kitchen reno done in early Covid days. My husband was our IKEA tribute, so he made all of the numerous treks that you had to make. Somehow after reading your posts I decided I probably should have displayed a bit more sympathy for him at the time … but I’m certainly not telling him that now. 😉

  2. Great job on your runs! What commitment. I made the mistake of doing a 45-min strength workout the day before my second vaccine. Bad combo there. I couldn’t tell what hurt from the workout and what hurt from the vaccine! ????

    We have been doing the same thing with our kids + anything good happening. We are planning to go to Colorado in a couple of weeks. When will they find out? Day before we leave.

  3. I can say without arrogance that I am a great cook because I can also fully admit that I suck at desserts.  The only dessert recipes I generally use are ones I’ve made 1,000 times so I know I won’t screw them up!

    This week we have play practices and the National Junior Honor Society induction ceremony so it will be quick dinners like chicken tacos, spaghetti bolognese, chicken tikka (from a Costco box meal), and turkey burgers.  Saturday night my husband and I are going out to an actual restaurant because, aside from both being fully vaccinated, I won a bet!  I have been meaning to lose the weight I gained from emotional eating when my dad had terminal cancer and had only ever made it down to about 10 pounds above my goal weight for the past couple of years.  I finally decided to take drastic measures and made a bet with my husband—if I lost the weight in 11 weeks, he had to take me out for a fancy dinner.  If I didn’t, I’d have to eat a whole banana, aka the world’s most disgusting food.  Well last Saturday I reached my goal!  Kid-free night out, here we come!

    • Nothing wrong with sticking by the old standbys, especially when it comes with sweets.

      That is a busy week. Good luck! And hurray for both winning the bet and the fun dinner out. I hope the food is fantastic.

  4. We subscribed to Apple Fitness (since we already paid for cloud storage and News+ and something else, TV maybe?, it ended up being the same or less expensive to get the whole bundle of services including Fitness than to pay a la carte) and I’ve really been liking their workouts. They do have series for people with big equipment (treadmill, cycling, rowing), but they also have a bunch that require no or minimal equipment. And they have workouts of varying lengths from 5-30 minutes. I also really like that none of the instructors ever talks about appearance, diet/calories, etc. because f*** that fatphobic, disordered eating-enabling noise.

    Have you tried putting fake eggs or golf balls in the nesting boxes? It might encourage them to spread themselves amongst the others a bit more evenly.

    • Maybe apple music? They email me constantly about all the stuff they want me to use.

      I love it when the trainers have so many different lengths of workouts and are super positive.

      They will occasionally lay in the nesting box next to the one they all love. It seems to be hit or miss. You know chickens…

  5. I need a chocolate fix …. please o’ please share your / Jack’s chocolate cake recipe!!!!

  6. If you are interested in free YouTube workouts, I highly recommend BodyFit by Amy.

  7. I’m starting a new workout challenge tomorrow and expect to feel like you did on Tuesday.  LOL.  
    I have my vaccine appointment booked as well and I am bummed because I read the calendar wrong and thought it was a week sooner than it really is.  Now I have to wait an extra week.  🙁 
    I have said this before, but… I absolutely LOVE that you let Bennett dress up however he chooses.  Also, I hope he loves kindergarten!  Enjoy the extra bit of time.  🙂 

    • Good luck and I hope you’re not too sore today.

      Bummer on waiting the extra week but I’m so glad you have an appointment confirmed. It seems to be hit or miss finding openings in many places.

      Bennett is very much his own person, and his outfits make me smile. Everyone wins!

      • I’m not half as sore as I expected to be!  Which is awesome.    
        Waiting the extra week isn’t too bad,  I’ll manage.  Our booking process is very easy and clear.  I had many, many days/timeslots to choose from.  My only mistake was reading the calendar wrong after booking and thinking it was sooner than it is.  I booked on the very first day my age group was offered, so I think things were filling up quickly.
        Bennett’s outfits make me smile too. Especially the IG stories when he has a dino costume on!   A few years ago, I saw a little boy go to school every day to pick his older sibling up, and for WEEKS he showed up in a full-on Ghostbusters costume.  He was always the happiest kid and he made me smile too.  🙂 

  8. Great job on the long run! And yeah, it’s crazy how sore a 15 minute session of strength training can make a person. I’ve been using the Beginner Bodyweight Workout from Nerd Fitness (inconsistently) for about 3 months now and every time I start back up I am so super sore! https://www.nerdfitness.com/blog/beginner-body-weight-workout-burn-fat-build-muscle/
    Emma and I have been walking at least one mile every day for the past month and it’s been awesome. We also signed her up with a personal trainer. She’s mentioned wanted to get stronger and my hope is that finding more ways for her to move her body will help with her anxiety.
    Yay for grandparent time! That’s awesome that the boys were finally able to get some time with your in-laws. My in-laws are coming for a visit next week and we are so excited to see them! I am super hug deprived and my mother-in-law gives great hugs!!
    I did a 55 day challenge earlier this year and one of the things I gave up was added sugar. Since the 55 days I have had some honey and maple sugar, but I have successfully cut added sugar in other forms out of my diet. I can’t say I’ve noticed a huge change in how I feel, but I know less sugar is better for me. This week has been the first week that I have been craving “junk” but so far I’ve held strong!

    • Thanks for the link! Nice work on the walks. Do you think you’d both be open to adding length a little at a time? Like maybe .25 miles extra each week? Her endurance will grow and all that extra outdoor/sunshine time might be helpful. That’s so cool she is going to be working with a personal trainer. Getting stronger rules.

      Enjoy your hugs. 🙂

      By any chance were you extra tired this week? I know when I’m tired I crave sugar like a madwoman.

      • Being tired is very likely as I spent last week stalking shelter websites looking for a pup for Emma! We bring the pup home today, so it will be a few more weeks before I get good sleep again…

        We will stick with our “Morning Mile” but will be adding in smaller walks throughout the day to help the new pup learn to potty outside ????