I always wanted my house to be the "hang out" when my kids got older. I like my children to be around me, and I want to know their friends. I remember favorite houses that I loved to hang out at, with interested parents, a happy atmosphere, and fun things to do and eat (of course, it's all about the snacks!) I loved the feeling of those homes and even as a teenager, I was taking notes of what I hoped to create someday for my own family.
I am so relieved that my children like to gather their friends and hang out here. I love knowing what they're doing and who they're with, and I love that our house is the favorite spot among their peers. I'm usually up for a crowd (possibly because I grew up in one?) and the kids are all so well-behaved that being around them is a joy. I love teenagers! Weird, but I do. I love that they want me to play with them, whether it's ping-pong or Guesstures (because, seriously? If I'm on your Guesstures team, you're winning for sure), or the game of the week, Scattergories. The snack was homemade ice cream sandwiches with chocolate cookies and vanilla ice cream.
Switching gears . . .
My favorite birthday present last week was a pedometer. I've wanted one ever since Dr. Oz told the world on Oprah that we should be taking at least 10,000 steps a day, and a pedometer was the way to keep track. Lyndsay bought it for me and left it on my pillow that night with the sweetest homemade card and letter as a last birthday surprise for the day. It brought me to tears. And now, I'm addicted to counting my steps.
This is a great one. It tracks steps, calories burned, and distance walked throughout the day, and it has a clock. I wear it clipped to my waistband every day with a goal of reaching 10,000 steps or more by 9pm. It ain't easy! It makes exercise pretty much mandatory, even chasing kids around all day. Without going on an actual walk, I can log about 6000 steps in a day, walking for an hour puts it at between 10,000 and 11,000. I'll admit that a few times I've cheated and just to get my step count up I've clipped it onto Conor's pants and let him throw an extra 1000 steps on there in about 15 minutes.
On Mother's Day I took Conor for a walk in the stroller and Lyns and Aiden came with me. Aiden lagged behind and I wasn't sure why until we got home and he pulled a small bouquet of flowers out from behind his back that he had been collecting along the way.
The kids all love the pedometer and I think sometime I'd like to get each of them one so they can log their steps each day. We talked about how interesting it would be to see how many steps it takes to walk to school as opposed to walking home from school, or how many steps would they take just walking to and from their classes each day? They've each borrowed my pedometer for a day (Aiden did 12,208 steps in half a day. . . I guess I'm getting older and slower) and they're hooked. They love to check how I'm doing throughout the day, and I love anything that keeps me accountable. I fill in my little log each night, and determine to take a few more steps the next day.
In other news, Lyndsay got her bottom braces on last week and is now, officially, a metal mouth. The orthodontist showed us the side-by-side pictures of her top teeth from before braces and ten weeks into it now, and the improvement was mind-blowing already. I was so impressed, as was she. And it made the new wave of pain that much more worth it.
Oh, and I sold another article to The Ensign! That was great news on Saturday when I received their acceptance letter. When it's published, I'll be sure to let you know, faithful readers. Now, I must get moving! I've only logged 1341 steps so far!