Family Friday (vol. 114): 2 Months of Catch-Up!

 My last Family Friday post was July 17th. How does the time fly? So much has happened! I’ll try to go topic by topic.

Work: I’ve been working a lot. I feel very fortunate to be working in an area of healthcare that is busy. The number of healthcare layoffs around the nation have been devastating and very counter-intuitive to what one would predict amid a pandemic. We are starting a pre-surgery glycemic optimization program and I’m hiring at least 1 new diabetes educator, hopefully 2! Our team has been working incredibly hard to recover from the impact of March/April/May and we’re looking to finish the year on-budget. I’m super proud of all of the above and very grateful to work with an incredible team. I also feel fortunate to have the opportunity to speak to professionals in the field about our program’s success and strategy on October 16th. Eek!

Health: With work being bananas, my lunchtime walks and breaks from work have been nonexistent some days. In fact, I was in the ER last week with a blood clot scare. Last Tuesday, I had pain in my left leg, radiating between my ankle and knee. It was sometimes shooting, sometimes throbbing, sometimes dull. It started in the morning and slowly intensified through the day. By 4:30pm, I was texting Mark letting him know I was planning to go to Urgent Care. I went and the last question on the triage form: Are you having pain, swelling, or redness on one leg? Answer: yes. The patient access rep sent me straight to ER. After a REALLY hot resident rubbed all over my shaved-3-days-ago legs and the attending checked me out, an ultrasound was ordered. The radiology report was back within the hour and all was clear. I was told it could be an early blood clot not yet showing up on imaging, the start to shingles, or a muscle strain. The pain continued for a few days and then went away. So, despite having no injury to the leg, I’m guessing it was a muscle strain. All this to say: don’t neglect your health! No job is worth it. I’m back to walking mid-day and getting up every hour or so. Sedentary jobs are the worst.

Workouts: I’ve been spinning on our Peloton a lot and playing hockey once a week. I’m incorporating in a few workouts Gina and I have chosen to first try and then to discuss on a future podcast episode. Then this week, Mark reported that our treadmill died. I didn’t look at the mileage count on it recently, but we both used that treadmill ALL.THE.TIME for YEARS. We’ve had it 6-7 years and I’d estimate a solid 20-30 miles were run on that treadmill every week for the duration – let’s say 8,500 miles or so! It was a beast and we’re sad to see it go. Howeverrrrr, it was the perfect timing to remind Mark that Peloton makes a treadmill, called the “Tread”. The next day, he texted me saying he’d ordered it!! (!!). It’s hard to swallow the cost (BIG TIME), however I have dropped my gym membership (I only use it for tennis and I can simply pay a higher amount to play) and we’ve obviously shown commitment to at-home workouts and the use of our Peloton bike. I’m very excited about our new toy 🙂

Guests: After a spring and early summer with zero to few guests, the last few weeks have been BUSY. A college friend has come for 2 day trips with her husband and 4 kiddos. Her 3 oldest kids and my girls play SO well together, getting 6 kids together is actually a joy. Plus, I got loads of cuddles from their 2-month-old. He’s so, so cute! We did the beach and enjoyed summer! My sister-in-law and her wife made a trip from Seattle, my friend Kelly from St. Louis came up for a long weekend, my bestie came with her hubby and almost 1-year-old for a long weekend, and my in-laws have made a trip or 2! Summer and guests is always a challenging time with eating out, squeezing in workouts, and not showing up for the work week totally whipped!

But, we love visitors and it has been a blessing to see everyone after a very long and lonely spring. The most laughs certainly came from “Family Olympics” — a 10-round game played in pairs. Think…Oreo stacking on the forehead, rolling a cucumber through grass using only your nose, timed stacking and unstacking of red solo cups, using only your mouth to extract a strawberry from Jello, 1 teammate timed wrapping the other teammate in a roll of streamers, knocking over solo cups using nylons on your head with a tennis ball in the toes, and the round with the most laughs: getting ping pong balls out of a Kleenex box that is strapped to your waist using only body movement (died laughing). My sister-in-laws are incredibly creative! Piper and I came in 3rd, I believe 😉

School: SIGH. Parents, this s*izzz is bananas. So, my girls were previously in the same Montessori class that was 2 minutes from my work. One drop off and very convenient. The school year there wrapped up on August 21st and so the last week of August neither of the girls had childcare or school. This week, the first week of September, Piper resumed at the Montessori. Shea, however, does not have her first HALF day of school until September 10th, a second HALF day on September 15th and her first FULL day September 17th. She starts full-time, in-person kindergarten (tears!) on September 21st. If you’re following along, that’s more or less a month without childcare for Shea. Our after school nanny has picked up quite a few hours, Mark has pinch hit a lot being that he’s working from home, a mom friend and friend of the girls’ has gracious accepted Shea the morning hours this week, and my father-in-law is coming the following week. It’s a mess. I’m hanging on by a thread. No 2 days are the same and it’s just CHAOS! Shea is VERY excited about kindergarten, though! Best I can tell from orientation is that she will have 12-14 kiddos in her class. She will also take the bus which will pick-up at the end of our road at 8:24am and drop off at 4:21pm. How this is going to work with Piper’s drop off of 7:50-8:10am that is 10 minutes in the opposite direction means that my drop-off routine for Piper, Shea, and I will probably start at 7:50/7:55am and go until 8:45am, assuming the bus is on time, and quadruple the miles I drive. What a mess. Can’t wait for the snow to fly! We’ll figure it out. Shea will be required to mask all day – we’ll see how it goes!

Vacation: I was hoping for an Indian summer in northern Michigan during our first family vacation…however, it looks like highs will be in the mid-60’s. Oh well. We have no firm plans, but I’m hoping for some hiking, kayaking, s’mores, breweries, and memories. I think we’ll accomplish all of the above!

Gardening: We’ll harvest our 3rd massive haul of basil this weekend and make pesto. Our cucumber count is also north of 140. I think we’ve officially lost count. If you’re looking for cucumber recipes, you’ll find PLENTY on the blog. Just start scrolling! The girls seem to still be enjoying them, thankfully. It is not uncommon for them to grab one, break it in half to share, and just start munching away. Generally speaking, they eat the whole thing!

Cooking: I’ve been in a bit of a cooking lull. I am planning to make Jalapeno Popper Mac and Cheese for date night-in this weekend. Mark sent me the recipe many months ago and I’ve been waiting for the right weather to make it. Seems as though that time is now!

Hockey: As of yesterday, Michigan’s governor announced the reopening of gyms and resumption of organized sports. We’ve got the rink booked for the next 3 Sundays, however league play should be starting back on Sundays around the time we’re wrapping up our series of drop-in play. It has been a lot of fun playing casual games with all my best hockey buds! We never get to play together because of the snake draft design of the league, so it has been fun!

The Girls: We visited a local George Floyd mural last week. We had a really great discussion about race. I tried to make it age-appropriate, but I did share exactly what happened with George Floyd. They handled it great. They had questions. They certainly processed afterwards. I think all families are broaching this topic a bit differently, but when it comes to the girls and the tougher topics, I have taken the stance of being factual and honest, leaning into the discomfort and unknown versus steering clear. My girls are almost 4 and almost 6 and they did great. I just thought other parents may appreciate that as a reference point. 

Piper had her first dance recital. She “practiced” a time or 2 based on the YouTube video instructions that the instructor emailed to parents. So the morning of, we showed up for practice at 9:15am, recital started at 9:30am, and we were back in the car by 9:35am. It was outdoors, very condensed, and it was perfect! May some 2020 traditions remain!

Shea had her kindergarten screening and orientation. She’s getting very excited! We even picked up her Chrome book and have all of her supplies ready to go. It’s starting to get real!

Podcast: Gina and I are still rebuilding after COVID-19 and the loss of lots of commuters! We’ve got some fun episodes coming up, and we’re even going to be interviewing the famous Biz of My Bizzy Kitchen! More on that soon!

Chili Contest: Have a great recipe or recipe you love (doesn’t have to be original, but please include a source to cite)? It could be worth $200 and bragging rights. My 11th annual chili contest is starting soon! More info and how to enter is here. I’ve only got 1 entry spot remaining!

We do not have a whole lot going on this weekend. We’re going to sneak in the pool and/or beach, head to Chicago for a visit with my parents, brother, and niece, and attend a 1st birthday party. Should be a nice, relaxing weekend! Happy Labor Day weekend!

Be well,

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