I signed up for the Crossfit Open this year. I can’t do much of anything, but I wanted to challenge myself. I couldn’t do it last year because I was about 6 months pregnant. Okay I’m sure SOME woman out there, who was also 6 months pregnant, did it. But she was probably a weightlifter and major Crossfitter to begin with, and she’s better than me.
Anyway, this year, I decided to sign up.
Hold up hold up hold up …. you might not have a CLUE how all this works. So here’s a super fast explanation:
1. Right now, it’s the Crossfit Open, which is like the playoffs to get into the Crossfit Games. You have to be in the top 5% or something, in your region, to make it to the next level. If you’re one of those people, you have to record each workout so that your reps can be verified.
2. Anyone can sign up, though, to participate in the Crossfit Open. That’s me!
3. There are 5 workouts in the Open. This year, since it’s 2014, the workouts are 14.1, 14.2, 14.3, 14.4, and 14.5. The catch? You don’t find out what a workout is until Thursday night at 8PM EST.
4. At that time, you can watch some super strong folks go head to head, live. I’ll talk more about 14.1 in a second.
5. You have until Monday night at 8PM EST to submit your scores online, and your Crossfit affiliate has to verify that number. If you don’t do it in time, your score for that workout doesn’t count at all.
At our gym here in DC, we have heats on Saturdays, starting at 11:30AM. Depending on how long the workout is, the heats are spaced out, and folks can sign up for whichever heat they want. If you can’t make it on Saturday, you can sign up to do the workout Friday, Sunday, or Monday. You MUST have a judge (or videotape yourself) so that your score can be verified.
The workout for 14.1 is 10 minutes of double unders and snatches. (It’s funny… a few days before they announced the workout, I posted online that I was off to the gym to work on snatches and DUs because they’re 2 of the few things I CAN’T do!)
Double unders: You jump rope but instead of the rope going under your feet once per jump, the rope has to go under your feet twice per jump.
Snatches: It’s a weightlifting movement that moves the bar from the ground to overhead. Your grip is very wide, and the bar stays close to your body until it is overhead. It’s obviously more complicated than that, but that’s the basic explanation.
I signed up to go on Sunday after church. No way I was going in a heat, with all those people watching at the gym. Turns out, a lot of people were watching Sunday anyway. I think it actually helped me, all the energy in the room, you know?
My judge was Coach Chris, thank goodness. He always pushes me and pushes me, and I hate/love him for it.
The workout was 30 DUs + 15 snatches, as many times as you can in 10 minutes. My goal? I wanted to do ONE double under. Just one. And I would’ve been happy.
Until then, I hadn’t done any DUs and had only done a 55-pound snatch once. So I wasn’t totally confident, but I was going to try my best.
Within the first minute, I did my first double under! NICE! Since my form was not great, I was mostly only able to do one at a time, but the rope kept popping my butt, legs, and forearms. How does it hit your forearm?? I have no idea.
When we were 9:50 into the 10:00, I finished the 30 double unders! I jumped on the bar. I couldn’t get the bar up. Chris said to try a clean&jerk (another floor-to-overhead movement that would still count). I forgot to switch my hand position to a more narrow one, so when I got it up to my shoulders, I couldn’t get it to overhead. I quickly moved my hands in and was able to get the bar overhead. BUUUUT since I hadn’t started from the floor that time, it didn’t count. Oh well!
What’s the difference between 30 and 31 reps when you aren’t going to qualify for anything anyway?
Either way, it was fun. I was super proud of myself.
Thursday, we’ll find out what 14.2 is, and next week, I’ll post my scores for that one.
Sorry I’ve been MIA for about a week! I don’t know exactly when I posted last, but it’s been longer than usual.
Alexander got sick, last Wednesday. He started off with a runny nose. Then it morphed into a fever of about 102. Thursday he kept a fever off and on all day*. He was super fussy and couldn’t breathe through his nose. Friday was more of the same. Saturday, things started to turn around a little bit, and as of yesterday, his fever is long gone, and he just has a little runny nose that will linger for a while.
Unfortunately, Friday I started feeling a little sick myself. Saturday and Sunday, I was stuffy and had a sore throat. And today is more of that mess. It’s not awful. It’s just inconvenient.
Yes I know he’s too close to the TV….
And finally, since big Al has started standing, immediately, on everything, I can’t step away for a second. Add the sickness to that, and I’m just spent. So I haven’t been near the computer much, definitely not long enough to sit and write a post.
Why am I able to write today (Tuesday)? Cameron is home until about 12:30PM. He’s doing a video shoot for our church tonight, so he won’t be home until Alexander is off to bed. Because I won’t have his help for bedtime, he awesomely took a half day off work to (a) hang out with the baby and (b) help me out a smidge.
What did I do with my free time this morning? Swept and mopped the floors, cleaned the bathroom, disinfected all of Alexander’s toys, and am in the middle of laundry. SO FUN.
More interesting posts to come later this week!
*I’ve mentioned in the past that I follow several Facebook groups related to parenting. One of them is for Natural Parenting, and they’ll post fan questions. I sent them a question because of Alexander’s fever and runny nose: “What’s a natural way to treat it? I don’t want to go to the doctor unless it’s really necessary.” Typically, they post the question within a few hours. I waited and waited. TWO DAYS LATER (!), they posted my question. At that point, Alexander’s fever was gone, and he just had a little runny nose.
Almost all of the responses I got were like this: “If he’s had a fever for more than a day or two, I’d definitely take him to the doctor.” WOOPS. My instinct said that he would be fine. Fever is there to help fight off infection. Fever is NOT a bad thing. And it wasn’t out of control. It was fairly low grade for a baby. And it went away after about 2 days.
The other reason I didn’t go was because last time we went to the doctor for a high fever (it was 104 that time), they wanted a urine sample (via a catheter) and a blood sample (via THREE pricks to his hands). So I’m traumatized. And unless it’s completely necessary, I don’t ever want to go through that again.
We stuck to fluids, rest, and some Little Remedies pain/fever reducer.
Moral of the story? Trust your instincts. I felt okay keeping him home with me and treating him with a humidifier, warm baths, and as much rest as I could give him. If I felt like something were horribly wrong, or he was getting worse, I would’ve taken him in. (I think that’s some form of child abuse if you neglect medical care, and something awful ends up happening to your kid.)
To date, I’ve played the first 517 levels of Candy Crush.
I played them all and created a list of the fun ones. Then I went back and replayed the list and weeded out any that weren’t THAT fun. Then I showed the list to a friend who has played all 530 levels, and he weeded out a few more.
Below, I’ve listed the ones that are still on the list. Some of them are tough, so I put a * next to them. If you want a few pointers on how I beat a particular tough level, just click on it.
NOTE: I despise the timed levels, chocolate-making machines, and those color-changing candies. If I saw a level had one of those things, I basically skipped it entirely! If you come across a level you think is super fun that I didn’t mention, let me know, and I’ll check it out!
LEVEL 74: Don’t break the icing unless you can get rid of some chocolate right afterward! Try to create vertical stripes to break the chocolate and bring down the ingredients. Combos are the best bet because you don’t have that many moves for 10 ingredients!
LEVEL 129: Nothing falls from the top! All the pieces you’ll have are already on the board. Create any special candies you can to break some of the cages! Work from the top down.
LEVEL 135: Don’t worry about the chocolate. You’ll get rid of it soon enough. When you get one color bomb, use it because 9 times out of 10, another color bomb will be ready to set up! (The logic: with a 6-color board, your chance of getting 5 in a row is fairly small. When you use a color bomb, you’re essentially creating a 5-color board, so your chance of setting up another color bomb is basically doubled!)
LEVEL 140: Don’t worry too much about getting just the colors you need. Here’s what I look for, nearly every move, in order:
1. Color bombs of any color
2. Stripes or wraps of any color
3. If neither 1 or 2 is possible, get rid of anything red/orange/yellow
The only times I deviate from those steps are if (1) I already have a color bomb next to a red/orange/yellow, (2) I have a combo ready to go, or (3) it’s near the end and I need just a handful of a particular color.
LEVEL 200: This is really tough! I have one big tip. When you reveal the stripes that are trapped, do not combine them! Use them, top to bottom, one at a time if you can. The hardest part is breaking the blocks at the top of the column. So break them as soon as you can. Once your free stripes are used, your best bet is to make a color bomb + stripe combo. If you can’t, at the very least, make some stripes or stripe + wrap combos. If you didn’t get the top part broken early on, it’s really hard to do it later!
LEVEL 357: You gotta get pretty lucky here! Lots of stripes and combos. Don’t focus TOO much attention on the actual area where the ingredients fall. If, however, there’s an opportunity to get rid of a licorice swirl without wasting a stripe, do it. Those things are the worst. Color bombs don’t get rid of licorice so use them carefully!
LEVEL 360: Don’t waste any moves breaking the walls. Just make any stripes or wraps that you can. And don’t use stripes or wraps! Almost always, they’ll explode on their own. Use every move to set up stripes and wraps. It’s unlikely you’ll release any bombs, and if you do, it’ll be near the end. You do NOT need extra board space to make the special candies!
LEVEL 366: Two things: break the blocks at the bottom and get rid of the pies (one at a time). You don’t have a lot of moves, so if possible, each move should either break a piece of pie or break a block at the bottom!
LEVEL 370: You’ve got to make sure to break at least one cage at the top! Otherwise you’ll run out of pieces on the board. If you have other opportunities to break the TOP cages, do it! Otherwise start breaking the pie! When you clear the pie, it’ll get rid of all the bombs that aren’t caged. Whichever ones are left, you can pretty easily clear. Now you still have to get a lot of stripes! Your only hope is creating a color bomb + stripe combo. If you get other stripes, just leave them. They’ll go off on their own, most likely.
LEVEL 435: Use as many specials and combos to clear the bottom. Once you’ve opened it up, you can make a bunch of color bombs! Really fun!
LEVEL 436: I don’t have a lot of tips for this one except break the cages ASAP and make all the specials you see! It takes time and luck, but it’s fun!
LEVEL 463: To be honest, this one is mostly about luck since you don’t know what a lot of the pieces are. Just have fun. Eventually you’ll beat it.
LEVEL 487: Takes patience. But just focus on the left column of the far right section. The pieces only move down the left side. Also, the pieces drop one by one, unlike some other ingredient levels! That means you MUST clear an ingredient before another one shows up. Look for opportunities for color bombs. The only thing that may get you are bombs. If you can get rid of one, do it. May take you a few tries, but you can do it.
One of the goals was to cancel cable. Well, I called Comcast today to do just that.
Instead I kept cable, got free HD for 2 years, free HBO for 1 year, free DVR for 2 years, and saved about $20 a month. So I didn’t quite CANCEL it, per se, but I …. saved us money. And that was basically the point of it. The point was NOT to watch less TV. No way.
This is going to count for the 8.5-month update, I suppose. That makes it part of the…drumroll….. JUST FOR US series.
So, basically, Alexander has started to stand up on any and everything.
Here are the pictures to prove it…
1. On the air conditioner…
2. On the TV stand…
3. On the coffee table…
4. On his jumper chair…
5. On my purse (this one’s kneeling because the purse is low to the ground)…
6. On his bouncer chair…
7. On the brown couch….
8. On the red couch…
9. On the big case of paper towels…
IT IS EXHAUSTING.
Another cool thing: He started “cruising”, says my friend Jen. Basically, he will stand up on the couch (okay not ON it, but you know), then he’ll shift his body, move his hands one by one, and stand over at the coffee table. Like… he can MOVE while standing. But it isn’t walking. It’s shuffling. Cruising.
I have an iPhone. So you may not have these apps to choose from.
I really wanted to try Flappy Bird (Birds?), but the day I went to download it, the creator of it totally took it down! He said it was getting overwhelming, all the feedback was getting to him, blah blah blah. Dude was MAKING BANK. Oh well.
I have mine organized by these categories:
I’ll just tell you what my favorites are by category!
1. Evernote (go outside): I use this specifically for Crossfit workouts. I copy and paste day’s workout as a new note. I make the TITLE the date of the workout. Then, I add my weights and reps into the note. The nice thing about Evernote, though, is that you can easily search for a specific movement. Let’s say we are doing back squats one day. I want to know how much weight I did last time. So I go to Evernote and search for “back squat”, and it pulls up all the workouts where we did back squats. It’s really easy to keep track of your numbers!
2. YouVersion (reading): I’ve talked about this before. I have the YouVersion Bible app. It’s an easy way to keep up with my daily Bible readings because I don’t HAVE to sit down and hold a Bible. It is easy for me because I’m holding a baby for half of my day! It also includes some great reading plans and Bible studies.
3. Bloglovin’ (reading): This is basically where I follow all my blogs. I hardly ever read them on the computer.
4. Instagram (social): Pretty obvious! It’s one of the two social media platforms I follow regularly. I like searching for hashtags in Instagram. For example, “#foodphotography” brings up some really gorgeous pictures! (Here’s my IG!)
5. Facebook (social): If you don’t know what Facebook is, you probably don’t know what the internet is. Which means you wouldn’t be reading this.
6. Starbucks ($$$$$): If you have a Starbucks card — and you should because it’s free and just a rewards system — you can register it on your phone. Then you can pay with your phone. You can also keep track of your past purchases. I love it!
7. Square Wallet ($$$$$): This is a limited app because you have to go to places that use it. But it’s another way to pay for things using your phone. There are a handful of businesses around here that let me pay with Square Wallet. You simply connect the app to your bank account (or credit card), and you can pay without even taking your phone out of your pocket. You say “I’m paying with Square Wallet!” And your picture shows up on their screen. They see your face, verify that it’s you, and that’s it. So easy.
8. Rhonna Designs (photography): Super fun photo editing app! It costs money, but I love it. It’s one of VERY few apps I’ve paid for. I did a quick tutorial once.
9. Groovebook (photography): I love Groovebook! You upload 100 pictures each month. They’ll print them and ship them to you for $2.99. For 100 prints AND shipping. Whaaat? If you want to get your first book for free, use my code: KING146.
BONUS: My blog (reading): Did you know you can make an icon for anything? If you go to a particular web page (in this case, my blog’s home page), there’s an option at the bottom to make an “app” on the home screen! Easy!
You have probably seen some of my other gifts on here because I generally share them. Thing is, I’m a really good gifter. I love putting together awesome gifts that take a lot of time and energy and THOUGHT. I mean, giving someone a new shirt and taking them to dinner is… lovely. There’s nothing wrong with that. But that ain’t my style. I like to really do some cool stuff, MAKE stuff, plan it out.
Well, I did something awful.
I FORGOT about Valentine’s Day. I remembered a week or two before, but I forgot about it until 10:00 pm on February 13. I hadn’t done anything!
I forgot, but it wasn’t too late. I was hope all day with the baby, so I knew I could put something together.
I made that image on my phone while Cameron was in the shower. :-/
I also wanted to do some of the cliché things: chocolate and flowers. But I did more than that.
The catch? I didn’t leave the house. I didn’t buy anything. I just used what we had.
HERE ARE THE THINGS I DID:
1. I painted a picture. Look, I’m not really an artist. But we have a bunch of blank canvases and a box full of paints and brushes. So I painted a picture. It turned out REAL cheesy. But it’s the thought that counts!
2. I made a half dozen roses out of paper. They weren’t as pretty as I’d hoped because I didn’t have a ton of time! They got the job done!
3. I made a chocolate heart with almonds. We had a chocolate bar that I melted down. I made a heart-shaped cookie cutter (using a Christmas cookie cutter). I placed it onto parchment paper and poured the chocolate into the heart. Then I pressed some almonds into it. I got the almonds out of a trail mix we had…
4. This was a little less than homemade. We had a picture frame we got for Christmas, so I finally put pictures in it!
5. Finally, I wrote a slam poem. I’m as good a poet as I am a painter. It was SERIOUSLY embarrassing when Cameron listened to it… I’m sure my face was beet red. We were both cracking up. He said, “It was actually really good! It’s just that it was YOU.” I get it. I sounded silly because I used phrases like “fo sho” and “yea boi”. Anyway I was happy with what I came up with!
Oh you thought I was going to SHARE the actual audio file? Heeeeck no! That mess is embarrassing. Only Cameron and I will ever hear it. Seriously.
We eat pretty clean, for meals. But when I’m home all day and get hungry, I snack. It might be a handful of sweet potato chips from Trader Joe’s or a piece of bread with Nutella (ack!), OR it might be some grapes or just a bottle of water to tide me over.
My point is that I’m not always a good snacker. It’s where I fall. And it’s keeping me from my weight loss/fitness goals.
I can tell myself a hundred times what snacks I need to grab if I’m feeling hungry. But I don’t always remember in the moment!
I needed a SIGN. I mean an actual sign. To put on the fridge.
So I made one!
There are obviously things that you could add and things you might not like. But here’s the sign:
2. I would hard boil a bunch of eggs once or twice a week and just keep them in a container in your fridge. If you’ve got a baby, you can give the baby the yolk! Not that the yolk is bad for you… it’s just something that a baby can have, if you’re doing baby-led weaning.
3. Cottage cheese is great alone, OR put it on toast, a pear, an avocado, whatever.
4. I prefer Lara bars as a sweet snack. Peanut Butter Cookie is my favorite flavor. There are only two ingredients: “dates, peanuts”.
5. If you want to eat an apple with peanut butter, get an organic, all-natural peanut butter! You want the ingredients to be “peanuts and salt” OR just “peanuts”. I really like the Trader Joe’s brand and also the Smuckers all natural.
6. Use whole wheat crackers if you eat tuna with crackers. And you can just put the tuna from a can on there. Don’t make tuna salad! That’s got mayonnaise, which is not that good for you.
7. I don’t really eat oatmeal, but it’s a fairly healthy and easy snack. If you’ve got a few minutes, put some in a pot on the stove, add some cinnamon, honey, and whole milk, and you’re good to go.