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kcaleece

KCAleece Nurses Herself back to Health

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Man, I feel like I've been saying this a lot lately, but...sorry I disappeared at the end of that last challenge. Well, like, last entire half of the challenge. It's been a really difficult school year and it just wasn't ready to let up yet - I abandoned my stable home Internet for a few weeks to help care for my grandfather as he passed away in a tiny rural town (not COVID, just super old and had a lot of health problems finally catch up to him and my branch of the family was the only one within a 5 hour radius - he has a bunch of kids and grandkids but we're super spread out) and then came home and was treated to a short hospital stay of my own thanks to my Crohn's (chronic autoimmune illness that attacks your intestines and is especially fond of attacking when you're super stressed out).

 

With the death of my GPS watch and previously-mentioned lack of stable rural WiFi, I am really very uncertain how much I was running while I was at my grandparents' house, but I'm willing to bet that I fell short of my goal for last challenge by a decent chunk. I kept up with the running about 2-3 times a week, but it was super weird scheduling around my grandpa and all his nurses. I also gave up on  yoga entirely since I was doing that via YouTube...and again, no Internet out there. My nutrition was...okay? Could have been better, because we resorted to eating out more than usual, but my grandparents have never really kept many sweets in the house so that helped knock down my random stress/emotional eating habit. I really fell off on drinking enough water though; I had at least a week in there where I didn't hit my daily goal even once.

 

I came home from the hospital on Monday morning and have fairly clear directions for the hopefully-very-short-term future: gradual return to physical activity, avoid hard-to-digest foods (for me, this is mostly popcorn, raw veggies, and excessive amounts of dairy), eat more frequently than I tend to so my guts can work steadily all day long rather than starting and stopping, get lots of sleep and try to keep stress levels super low for a few days -  all this until I feel "normal" for at least 24 hours. He also suggested I up my daily water goal to at least 2 liters, though I have to be really careful about doing that right now because it could anger my guts if I drink too much at once, just like eating too big of a meal.

 

So...my quests!

 

Quest 1 will be simple - don't disappear before the end of the challenge. I think I've missed the end of the last...three? I'm going to try to post here at least every other day (though some might be quite short).

 

Quest 2 will be to up my water. Right now my goal is going to be 1.5 liters a day and I will slowly increase that to 2 liters by the end of the challenge (hopefully).

 

Quest 3 will be to get in some kind of workout twice a week, though they might be shorter or easier than normal. I'm starting with yoga only, no running, because if I need to sit down, I'm already in my own living room and it's no big deal.

 

Quest 4 will be to try at least 2 "hidden veggie" recipes and 2 overnight oats recipes. My toddler has started refusing to eat any food that isn't bread, cheese, or chocolate, and while I greatly understand this desire, it's not good for him. Not to mention gods know I need to eat more veggies too! The husband and I decided to start looking for some "hidden veggie" recipes as a way to get more veggies into us in a way that shouldn't be too scary for the little one. Since all these veggies will be cooked, my guts should be safe. I'm also particularly bad at eating breakfast and overnight oats sound fast/easy (in the morning, at least) and hopefully both filling and healthy without being too hard to digest. Also one of my favorite YouTube/Instagram celebrities loves overnight oats and I have to admit, she's sold me on the idea! 

 

Quest 5 is my "other random stuff" quest, per usual:
1. get total count of unused nail polishes and use at least 5 of them
2. make 5 blankets for Project Linus, 1 per week
3. 1 new Spanish word per day, preferably from an authentic reading or listening (need to find notebook to record these)

4. complete local library summer program for both me and the boy (1,000 minutes reading per person)

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Since I've been working with (most of) these goals in mind since yesterday, here's my "more or less starting point" update:

 

Quest 1 - well, it took me two days to get my post up, but at least it's up now?

 

Quest 2 - made it to 1.5L yesterday just barely, at 1.1L so far today so should be easy to make it

 

Quest 3 - I stumbled my way through a 20 minute yoga video yesterday with a lot of, "well, I'll do that but with a knee down" type of modifications. Still, I broke a sweat and got it done!

 

Quest 4 - looking up recipes to start with in my myriad of other tabs as I type

 

Quest 5 -
1. get total count of unused nail polishes and use at least 5 of them  - no start, but they are separated from "have used this at least once" polishes (which was done like a week ago, so doesn't count for challenge "credit")
2. make 5 blankets for Project Linus, 1 per week - 1 finished this morning!
3. 1 new Spanish word per day - didn't decide I was going to do this until today, will find notebook before I go to bed and probably catch up tomorrow

4. complete local library summer program for both me and the boy -  I am currently at 132/1,000 minutes and the boy is at 103, technically, but since he's so little, he's done other stuff with the library (like digital storytime videos) that have him all the way up 293 points/1,000

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On 6/25/2020 at 9:17 PM, Elastigirl said:

Sorry about your grandfather and your sickness. Glad you are back and doing better

 

Thanks! We had to laugh a little, honestly - when my father-in-law passed away back in September, my new HR department was really clear about how I "only get one death per school year" and if anyone else died, I wouldn't get any time off for it. Back then, I just rolled my eyes and said what are the odds of that happening? Well...guess they were better than I thought? My other grandmother was in the hospital in January and I remember saying, "oh man, what if this is my second death in a school year?" Then she made it out but grandpa started his final decline in April (didn't get really bad until May though). All 3 of them were born in 1929 too (really! My father-in-law had my husband and his sisters with his second wife only after his first kids were all grown and out of the house, so he basically fathered two different generations) so I guess it was just a bad year to be 90. I would have made grandpa's funeral anyway since it was a few days after school was supposed to end, but the pandemic is what let me be there for the weeks leading up to his death. If it weren't for COVID, I'm not sure how we would have managed those last few weeks when he needed tons of help and grandma was honestly avoiding it/in denial/physically incapable of some tasks.

 

Challenge Updates -

Quest 1 - did I type my Friday post and just fail to save it or something? I swear I at least started it...oops? You'd think I'd be better at this considering how much of my life happens on my computer these days.

 

Quest 2 - made it to 1.5L and often more every day except yesterday, when I only hit about 1L. Going to up this just a little teeny tiny bit to 1.6 this week. 

 

Quest 3 - Yoga happened twice last week (Tuesday and Thursday) and I kinda sorta started one on Friday but sat down like five minutes into it, so it doesn't really count

 

Quest 4 - So I found a "green rice" recipe that I'm going to try because the little one will go for rice and avocado, which is part of the "green", reasonably frequently. Those ingredients are bought and just need to be made. I also bought flaxseed meal because it seemed like a lot of overnight oats recipes called for it.

 

Quest 5 -
1. get total count of unused nail polishes and use at least 5 of them  - I counted exactly 100 unused polishes 😲 which is...a lot more than I realized (and over half my collection, if we don't count things like top coat!) I was so surprised I decided to do both my fingers and toes so I could use an extra polish and get that number down to something more reasonable. Then I really ended up disliking the first color I put on my toes, so I added that bottle to my "destash this eventually once there's enough to make posting it worth my time" pile (3 bottles currently) and redid it, leaving me with 3 new colors used! Only 97 left to go...


2. make 5 blankets for Project Linus, 1 per week - still at only 1 finished, though I tried to go to JoAnn because I need supplies and I'm still searching for a good local store to replace it. You'd think bias tape was somehow crucial for fighting the pandemic with how empty their supplies were! But I should get some sewing time this afternoon and I think I have a plan to work around the bias tape issue.


3. 1 new Spanish word per day - Still not up to the number I need to be at, and I'm really awful at writing it in my notebook. But a little bit of progress has happened?

 

4. complete local library summer program for both me and the boy -  I am currently at 244/1,000 minutes and the boy is at 497 points/1,000! So close to his "halfway there" prize!

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So I guess I overdid it on Monday somehow because I basically lost all of Tuesday to Crohn's symptoms. Not nearly as bad as they were before though, and I was back on my feet by the very end of the day, so I'm happy I apparently managed them well. Still, I didn't get much done yesterday and it was probably a good reminder that I really do need to take it easy and not push myself too hard too fast - I have a tendency to think, "oh well, I'm feeling better which means I can do anything I want!" even though it only causes this kind of rebound, sigh.

 

Challenge Updates:

Quest 1 - hi! 👋 I'm here!

 

Quest 2 - made it to 1.4 L yesterday but am at 1.7 for today, so...yay

 

Quest 3 - Yoga happened this morning since I wasn't able to handle it on Tuesday! Woohoo! The toddler is starting to follow along with us (my husband often does it with me) but he got bored super early into today's video since it had a slower start. Still, building healthy habits is why we're here!

 

Quest 4 - I tried the "green rice" recipe today and it was really tasty! ...a giant pain in the butt to make because my food processor apparently died without letting anyone know, so that'll be a pain and a half to work around. But the recipe also made WAY more than we were prepared for, so we basically have green rice for the entire rest of the week. The toddler refused to try any today but I figure putting it on his plate every day for the next few day should get a few bites into his mouth - and hey, my husband and I eat a ton of rice and normally hate cauliflower, so this feels like a win for us at least even if the boy is slow to accept it! The recipe is linked here for anyone interested.

 

Quest 5 -
1. get total count of unused nail polishes and use at least 5 of them  - Still 3 used, 97 left


2. make 5 blankets for Project Linus, 1 per week - I got the second blanket finished today! ...But I massively screwed up cutting the third blanket and probably quadrupled my work to fix it, so that's fun.


3. 1 new Spanish word per day - I have through "June 28th" (8 entries) finished in my notebook, should be able to catch up easily. Need to figure out how I'll study the old ones though.

 

4. complete local library summer program for both me and the boy -  I am currently at 380/1,000 minutes and the boy is at 635 points/1,000.

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On 7/1/2020 at 10:25 PM, Elastigirl said:

Sorry about Tuesday sickness. Glad today was better. What is in the green rice?

 

It's mostly cauliflower (or at least it was when we made it) mixed with white rice, very well shredded spinach, and mashed avocado. Plus some lime juice, garlic powder, and salt for seasoning and it's surprisingly tasty! Really only good warm though, as we have learned the last few days - cold from the fridge somehow brings out the cauliflower-ness of it (which we typically don't like).

 

Challenge Updates:

Quest 1 - I'm a day late, but I made it. I was setting aside time to post last night but the neighbor's fireworks show kept the toddler awake until almost 11pm (it's only legal here until 10pm, but we haven't had the guts to call on anyone - it's incredibly disruptive, but it's also clear that stopping it would automatically make us pariahs). Tonight should be a rough one...

 

Quest 2 - made 1.6 on Thursday but only 1.4 yesterday. And I'm way behind today so far, to be honest. Think I'll leave this goal at 1.6L for the next week since I'm not doing too great at it.

 

Quest 3 - Yoga happened again on Thursday, yay! Starting to debate adding in a third day, maybe taking a walk or a third yoga. Not sure which would help me more at this point, so might  just leave it open to "eh, whatever works that week".

 

Quest 4 - I bought a new food processor that should get here at the end of next week, does that count for anything? (no, not really)

 

Quest 5 -
1. get total count of unused nail polishes and use at least 5 of them  - 4th one tried for my fancy 4th of July manicure today (picture below with my favorite (I think handmade?) mug from Mexico!) Going to up my goal to using at least 7 new ones in total since I'm almost to 5 already!

 

725451825_ScreenShot2020-07-04at3_32_14PM.png.3d6661311540b2b6f9a834aa56abcdc9.png


2. make 5 blankets for Project Linus, 1 per week - still at 2


3. 1 new Spanish word per day - Still on "June 28th" (8 entries) due to grad school hitting hard, whoops

 

4. complete local library summer program for both me and the boy -  I am currently at 434/1,000 minutes and the boy is at 711 points/1,000.

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On 6/24/2020 at 7:02 PM, kcaleece said:

Quest 1 will be simple - don't disappear before the end of the challenge. I think I've missed the end of the last...three? I'm going to try to post here at least every other day (though some might be quite short).

I had a similar challenge for a long time that I failed over and over until I made it daily. Somehow, daily is just easier to remember. And even if you're too tired to actually do it, you at least think about it and it ends up happening more often. Leaving your own challenge open in a browser tab helps a lot, too.

 

On 6/24/2020 at 7:02 PM, kcaleece said:

Quest 4 will be to try at least 2 "hidden veggie" recipes and 2 overnight oats recipes. My toddler has started refusing to eat any food that isn't bread, cheese, or chocolate, and while I greatly understand this desire, it's not good for him.

Bread can be a good vehicle for hidden veggies if you bake your own.

 

On 6/24/2020 at 7:02 PM, kcaleece said:

2. make 5 blankets for Project Linus, 1 per week

I am glad I read ahead that you were sewing these! I have only ever heard of people knitting for PL, and at a pace of one per week I was fearful for your sanity.

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On 7/10/2020 at 6:06 PM, juliebarkley said:

I had a similar challenge for a long time that I failed over and over until I made it daily. Somehow, daily is just easier to remember. And even if you're too tired to actually do it, you at least think about it and it ends up happening more often. Leaving your own challenge open in a browser tab helps a lot, too.

 

Solid point, I should do that! I definitely did find myself thinking on certain days that I could get away with not posting because it'd only been one day and I didn't "have" to, or wondering when was the last time I'd posted and how long I had before I was "late"...switching to daily would probably be better!

 

On 7/10/2020 at 6:06 PM, juliebarkley said:

Bread can be a good vehicle for hidden veggies if you bake your own.

 

Another good call! The toddler does love himself some bread, which is admittedly a trait he comes by naturally - I'd survive on bread and dairy alone if it was halfway healthy to do so. We've been trying to cut him back, but I wouldn't feel quite so bad about it if there were more veggies in there. My husband made "protein Mickey waffles" last week (we have a Mickey shaped waffle iron because the toddler LOVES Mickey, and the husband found a protein waffle recipe in one of his triathlon magazines) and while they tasted pretty eggy to me, the toddler didn't even blink at the difference, so it's probably a good point for exploration!

 

On 7/10/2020 at 6:06 PM, juliebarkley said:

I am glad I read ahead that you were sewing these! I have only ever heard of people knitting for PL, and at a pace of one per week I was fearful for your sanity.

 

Hahaha, I can knit, barely, but it'd probably take me months to get even one blanket done!

 

Personal Update: Well, it's been a long time since I posted. I think I might have gotten COVID? I never had a fever, but I've developed a cough, sore throat, headaches, a runny nose, GI issues (more than usual!), and some days I'm just super drained of all energy to the point where it feels like a challenge to even sit up in the morning. I can manage around the house when I need to even on a bad day though, and on my good days like today it's mostly just annoying, so my doc says I'm still functioning too well to "need a test" considering I'm 95% quarantined anyway due to my weak immune system. So unless my condition takes a turn for the worse, I suppose I'll never actually know. I am trying to be extra careful the few times I have been around other people, just in case. And just for the fun of it, it was also my grad school midterms last week, so...yeah, that was fun :)

 

Challenge Updates:

Quest 1 - Not even close.

 

Quest 2 - made 1.6...a good bit of days. The sore throat killed off some of my drinking, honestly. Going to bump this to 1.7 for the end of the challenge - got 1.8 yesterday.

 

Quest 3 - Yoga happened twice in 2 weeks, but with my illness, I feel pretty decent about that.

 

Quest 4 - New food processor is here and I made "Carrot Oat Energy Bites" which I then flattened and told my toddler they were cookies. He was unconvinced at first, but has now eaten very nearly the entire batch! I think they're a tiny bit too dense and dry for me though, so I'm going to make a second batch and see if adding just a bit of fruit puree will help (my kid loves those puree pouches but there's usually at least one in the fridge that he opened and didn't like, so why not find a use for it, right?).

 

Quest 5 -
1. get total count of unused nail polishes and use at least 5 of them  - 5th and 6th polishes were tried not long after my last post (I tried this purple-on-blue pattern that I thought would be cool, but the stencil failed pretty badly and it was a blobby mess) and I'm wearing polish #7 right now! Actually hoping to put on #8 today and that'll almost certainly be it for the challenge.


2. make 5 blankets for Project Linus, 1 per week - think I'm at 3 now? Should probably get up and look - it's either 3 or 4.


3. 1 new Spanish word per day - I'm back on something like July 5th, I've done really badly at this  :(

 

4. complete local library summer program for both me and the boy -  I am currently at 589/1,000 minutes but a tech error sent me the "You won! Click here for your prize" e-mail already. I'm just ignoring it until I actually get there, but have to be careful because they won't send out that e-mail again. The boy is legitimately at 1,000 points though and won some free kids books!

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Oh, and I almost forgot for Quest 4 - I also made my first batch of overnight oats that I'm eating right now! I used this chocolate chip banana oats recipe and while the taste is perfectly fine, it came out way too runny still. I tried to add a little more oats and microwaved it to help it soak up the extra liquid, but that made my chocolate chips melt and if I add more chocolate chips it gets way too sweet. So I'm not fully convinced. Also now it's a huge portion! Next time I will definitely add a lot less milk and see how that goes.

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