Monday, February 25, 2013

The Grand Bargain

Brighteyes, my 13 3/4-year old is as tall as I am.  We tease her about how long she's been waiting for that to happen.

She and her 11-year old sister Sunshine have been drooling over bright, colorful, expensive workout clothes, so after church yesterday we drove to the JCPenney outlet store in Starkville where I found them two pair of capri pants each, an identical set of two-toned pants and a similar-but-not-identical set of solid-colored pants.

The girls wear the same sizes, so everything we bought them could fit each girl.  Such is the discrepancy in sizing that one set was a "small" and the other set a "large" but they all fit the same.

I found a solid pair of hot pink capri pants that both girls loved and that fit them both, but the only other pants in their size (and my price range) were black.  I bought both.

We had the following conversation in the car.

Me:  We've got a pair of pink pants and a pair of black pants.  Who wants the pink ones?

Chorus:  Me!

Brighteyes washes the dishes and Sunshine dries them and puts them up.

Me:  Okay, who's willing to both wash and put up the dishes for a week for the pink pants?

Chorus:  Me!

Me:  How about two weeks?

Sunshine:  Me!

Dad:  A bidding war.

Me:  Brighteyes?

Brighteyes:  She'll flood the kitchen like she did last time.

Me:  If she does, she'll forfeit the pants and they'll go to you.

Dad:  After you wash and put up the dishes for a week.

Me:  Is that fair?  Everyone agree to that?

Chorus:  ...yeah....

We'll see how it goes.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Fitness Update February, 2013

My weak knee is the hard limit on my exercising right now; I can only add on as much as it will put up with.  I'm trying to keep it at the level where it grumbles in the afternoon but not when I go to bed.  I'm doing strength training three days a week, cardio four days a week, and yoga daily for the cool-down.

After seven weeks with Wii Fit Plus I've almost maxed out parts of it while barely scratching other parts.  WFP is divided into four parts:  yoga, strength, cardio ("aerobics") and balance.  The aerobics weren't getting my heart rate up enough, so I started using Gold's Gym Dance Workout instead.  I'm doing 10 - 15 minutes of that for a warmup when I do strength training and 45 minutes when I do cardio.  All it does is cardio and some rhythm, though.  But it does have a 2-player mode, so when the girls get up in time to exercise with me I can do about 15 minutes worth with each of them.

The rest of WFP has given me a conundrum.  I've maxed out all the yoga and strength workouts that don't involve balance while showing little improvement on the balance games.  The game is obviously calibrated for someone a lot smaller than I am.  I need more strength training than I'm getting there.

The best strength training program for the Wii is EA Sports Active 2.  The just-as-good-but-only-a-quarter-of-the-p
rice program is NFL Training Camp.  Guess which one I got?  Right, the cheap one.  The testosterone gets a bit whiffy, but I can put up with that for the price.  It includes special monitors, although those present a problem when doing floor work.  The darn machine can't read though the wood table it's sitting on.

The program ("game" isn't really appropriate) is set up to use with the included resistance band, which is the flimsiest I've ever seen.  I've never owned a resistance band you can see daylight through before.  It's hilarious to watch these (literally) hulking NFL avatars supposedly straining to use something I could snap with my fingers.  But I can use my own bands and weights instead.  Yes, I know I can use my own bands and weights any time I want to, but it's nice to have someone notice what I'm doing, even if it's a virtual "someone".  The next problem is figuring out how to hold a hand weight and a Wii remote at the same time.  15 pounds of steel vs. 2 ounces of expensive plastic and electronics -- yeah, I know which one I'd bet on surviving.  Maybe I can rig up a sling with the wrist strap and hair bands....

The computer-generated 10-15 minute (which always turns out to be 17 1/2 minutes) "easy" program is enough for my knee, but I'm thinking about creating my own upper-body and core workout to do afterwards.

To my surprise, I did notice that I had lost some weight the other day -- in my shoulder and upper arms, about as far as can be from the hips and thighs where I need to lose weight.   I've read that endomorphs lose weight from the top down, but this is ridiculous.  At this rate my pants size will go down in time for the next presidential election....

Tuesday, February 05, 2013

Owl's First Journal

Owl (4) has finished the letters section of his preschool workbook.  The next morning he got out a sheet of typing paper and started writing letters on it.  He was thrilled when I pulled out a preschool writing tablet and immediately copied out the alphabet.  His parents are thrilled, period.

Sunday, February 03, 2013

The Science of Football

Here's a fun way to teach basic physics:  Science of  NFL Football videos.  Let's hear it for Sir Isaac Newton.