Sunday, January 26, 2014

Adventures in TTG as Parents

Today my husband and I really wanted to play some tabletop games. We just haven't been able to play much lately. Even my own gaming has been limited to what I've gotten in with my kids in the gaming club. The last thing I played was Tsuro of the Seas.

We were getting ready to play Smash Up, while our daughter took her nap, and we just weren't quick enough. She was coming down the stairs as we were starting to move towards the table to start playing. Even more shocking was that she was onto our decision to play. She started rambling off the game titles on the table, none of which were going to work well with her.

Then I said, "How about 'Ticket to Ride'?" I forgot that she watches me play that online all the time and she jumped at the mere mention. She started to run around the island counter saying it over and over again. My husband groaned and didn't want to do it. I pushed the issue, asking my daughter to help me clear off the table and we started to take the items off the table and prepare the game.

I explained that her and I could play on a team together. Once everything was setup, I ran through a refresher on the directions and we started in. I was the blue pieces, my husband was black, and my daughter played with the green trains. In Toddler-Speak we played with Thomas, Diesel, and Percy.

It was a success, except when it came to scoring. Our daughter kept slightly moving the counter or might have moved a train or two, but we weren't playing for money or our lives or anything, so it wasn't a super big deal. I won the game, scoring 127 and my husband scoring 117. He had the longest railroad. I had the most routes completed. It was quite a bit of fun.

When that was over, our daughter kept begging to play the panda game. My husband took to trying to convince her that we were done with games for the evening and I, once again, found a way around that. I said she'd be fine and could do something. He let her roll the weather die! She became our Resident Panada Weather Girl!

It was really wonderful to be able to play a few games and involve our daughter. We constantly feel like we can't play, because she's so hands-on and she can't really play-play the games with us next. Heck, she's still learning the fine minutiae Candy Land! Granted, she's created her own game play for Candy Land and Chutes and Ladders, which is AWESOME!

Takenoko went really well, though. I even let her move the panda for me and she told me what the weather was for that day. It went wonderfully. Ray won Takenoko, but it was a close game. We each had 9 cards out at the end of it.

So we've reached a new point in our parenting as adults who love TTG with a toddler always present. We can play most games as long as she has a role to complete and the game doesn't go on too long. Like, we couldn't play a long campaign game with her around, because she just would not be very patient.  Most importantly, have a fresh, homemade popcorn snack available. So during those long daddy turns where he's busy strategizing and rolling his dice or spinning his dice ring for every little movement, we don't starve to death.

Hopefully we'll have another family gaming session soon. It was a really fun time and our daughter wasn't too difficult or impatient. I'm wondering what other games we have that she would do well with playing.

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Star Trek Counter Jars

Today's quote was fitting for the activity I completed:

"We're going to stumble, make mistakes. . . . I'm sure more than a few before we find our footing. But we're going to learn from those mistakes. That's what being human is all about."
- Archer, Star Trek: Enterprise - Shockwave, Part 2

One of the aspects of my geek fitness regime is to have a counter jar. I mentioned previously that I had seen these kinds of jars on Etsy and around the web on some of the crafty pages. What bothered me was that so many of them were so foofy and had Bible passages on them. Or they had some mindless girl junk that I could seriously care less about. 

Since I had made the decision to geek out my fitness goals and my weight loss badge was the Star Trek Medics symbol, I created Star Trek Counter Jars. They're my weight loss goals in jar form. I made the counters red, yellow, and blue. I used two quotes that I thought would be fun for each jar. I even used one of my vinyl car stickers of the little Uhura. I think they look pretty nifty. Whenever I lose pounds, I move counters to the other jar, so I can see my progress.

My only disappointment with the jars was that the stickers I made were not printed on the clear sticker paper the packaging promised it would be. So I might remake and fix those stickers if the new pack of sticker paper I ordered is actually clear. The other disappointment was the black Star Trek emblem stickers. I ordered two of the large, but the guy sent me one little and one big. I'll just take it as a need to go from larger to smaller. 

My weekly weigh in is going to be a good one this week, so I'll be excited to move some beads and earn some badges. Also, this was my first geeky Star Trek craft project. I don't typically do a great deal of crafting. No time, but this was cool. Who knows. . . maybe I'll start making more crafts over the summer with my daughter.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

My Geek Fitness Plan and Goals (Shortened Version)

My Fitness Goals broken down into easy to digest tablets that align with my badges.

10,000 steps a day = about 5 miles a day. Use the Runtastic Pedometer App to help track your steps every day. The goal is to Walk like a Hobbit to Mordor and Back! 3871 miles.


It's hard to get to the gym, so any physical activity at the gym or outside counts as gym work. At least 3 days of week at the gym or some sort of outdoor exercise.


Gaming Fitness
I'm going to use my Wii at least 5 hours a week to help fill in the need for physical activity. For every 5 hours I'll earn a badge.

The Nom-Nom-Noming and Hydration
I'll be monitoring calorie intake using MyFitnessPal. The goal is to try to eat the recommended calories, but burn at least 300 calories that are not used for intake calories. I'll also be drinking the recommended 8+ glasses of water a day, depending on how much additional hydration I'll require due to physical activity. These are weekly goals to earn.


Weight Loss Goals
My goal is to lose 50lbs by August of this year. For every 5lbs I lose, I'll receive a Star Trek Medic Badge. 


My Geek Fitness Plan and Goals

Great motivation! Being a Geek taught me this!
Well, here it is. The geek fitness plan I'm going to start with and add to as I progress through it. There's no hard and fast about; just basic common sense and some fun little additives. I'll post once or twice a week about the progress, depending on the length. I think the post every day is too excessive, but once a week feels okay. So let's see what I'm up to!

Inspiration to Keep the Motivation
I'll be compiling quotes to keep me motivated every day. At least one a day. I have a few things to help me with this. I already have a quote compilation going on my GoodReads account. I also got a Star Trek Tear-Away Daily Calendar, which is sure to offer up some interesting and fun quotes. I'm even working to get my husband in on the quote thing, so he can occasionally send me a quote in the morning so I see it before I leave for work.

In addition to the quotes, I am working on creating these "weight loss" jars. You fill the one jar with how many pounds you want to lose. . . um. . . not literally. You use those adorable little counter stones or marbles or something. One counter represents one pound lost. Every time you lose a pound, you move it to the other jar. It's a visual inspiration. Instead of ordering these from someone on Etsy or something, I'm making my own two jars and I'm going to theme them out with Star Trek. Each jar will have a Federation symbol. Then the "want-to-lose" jar I'm going to put Picard's quote "Make it so!" and on the "weight lost" jar I'm going to put Scotty's quote "I'm givin' her all she's got, capt'n." I think I'm going to use a combination of yellow, red, and blue counter stones, as well. Once they're finished, I'll post pictures.

The Physical Fitness Portion
This is where things get a bit more fun. There are two parts to this particular plan. The first involves walking and the second involves gaming. The walking part is rather proud and incorporates a few aspects, while the gaming aspect has a few different pieces as well. Let me lay them out.

Everywhere you go and everyone you talk to about fitness will tell you that people should walk 10,000 or more steps a day. Due to our sedentary lives, most people walk around 4,000-5,000 steps a day or less. Depending on your stride, these steps can add up to different mileages. I've been step-counting for a few years now and I can tell you it does keep you active, because you have a number goal that you're striving for. My 10,000 steps equals about 5 miles, give or take.

And did you know it's 3871 miles from Hobbiton to Mount Doom and back, plus the trip over to Grey Havens?  Yeah. Seriously. So my little steps and miles covered everyday will be converted into Hobbit Steps for the Lord of the Rings journey!

I found a helpful guide through when I was looking for different geeky things to use in my workout and, of course, I needed to have a walking goal. They created A Hobbit's Guide to Walking. On this page they have the breakdowns for each step of the journey and even a link to a spreadsheet to help track those miles. On my end, I'll be receiving a badge for each leg of the journey.

Here is an example of the blank badge that I'll edit for each leg of the trip, when I earn it.

Here is the first badge I'll earn along the trip, marking the beginning of the trip. The next badge will mark travel from Hobbiton to Rivendell. I've got to walk 458 miles. Granted that's. . . like. . . 14 weeks of walking, 13 at best. . . but hey. . . Gondor wasn't built in a day!

Sadly, this walking quest only really follows Frodo and Sam and doesn't seem to really take into consideration any side-adventures with the other hobbits or Aragorn or anything. Part of me wants to think about traveling to some of the places that they went, but I'm already on this epic Frodo journey, so what am I complaining about? I recommend checking out the walking guide. It is fun and makes that 10,000 steps a day goal even more epic! Every step you take with your trendy Runtastic Pedometer App outside your front door. . . every length of the front of your classroom you walk. . . you are getting closer to saving Middle-Earth from the evil Sauron!

The second part of the walking involves actually getting myself to the gym. I live in the incredibly frigid Midwest with all our negative temperatures and frozen tundra. Going outside for a leisurely walk typically involves bundling up heavier than Ralphie's brother in A Christmas Story. Try walking around in that suit and feel good about it. This means a trip to the gym for any kind of extra walking I might need to do.

We have a treadmill, but it's still down at my mom's house from when we were living there briefly. It seems to be an ongoing struggle to find the manpower to help get it out of the basement and also to procure transportation to get it up here. All I picture is The Big Bang Theory and the original Time Machine. ::shivers:: That means I need to somehow get myself to the gym. I have all sorts of reservations. Not as many as you'd think, but the long and short of it is that. . .well. . . it's loud and hard to find a not-extra-busy time to pop in for a treadmill.

Don't underestimate my desire for adorable little graphic badges, because that is so how I'm going to motivate going to the gym. I have to earn my little badges! I even have one for the gym. Right now I have myself going to the gym at least three times a week. That could be Friday, Saturday, Sunday or Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday, or whatever combination of three days I want. Every time I achieve this goal, I'll get my adorable Whovian TARDIS badge. I mean, it's like I traveled through time to get to the gym anyways.

Here is an example of a blanket one and if I earn the badge for attending the gym that week. I think it's pretty cute and I will collect them all!!! When it gets warmer out, it will count for my long walks outside and not just the gym. This will also count if I do finally get my treadmill up here to my house.

Gamer Fitness
"WHAT?!" you might say. Yes. I have worked in some gaming fitness. I am an original Wii addict. I have my Wii Fitness Boards, Wii Fit and Wii Fit Plus, Wii Sport, and I just got a copy of Just Dance 2014. My daughter and I  have so much fun playing the Wii Fit Plus games together. We do the 2-Person Running activity and we'll switch out playing stuff, where I mimic her on our other Wii Fitness Board (yes, we have 2). She also starts dance when we play the Just Dance games. I don't do those as frequently, but it's cool.

See, the bonus is that I don't just sit there and do yoga stuff. I'm not looking to cheat the games. I'm looking to actually use them to my benefit. Plus I hate more workout videos. I can even get my husband to play a few rounds of tennis. We really get into it. Don't. . .um. . .don't go trying to peak in our windows for a laugh. You can really get your heart pumping and the sweat going on these games. Which is great when you're not in the toning phase of your fitness.

This particular gym is also conveniently located in my home. I also get a little badge for completing at least five hours a week of my own workout minutes. Here's the little badge I made. . . reminded me of Skywalker's training with ObiWan. It was like alittle video game and so cute!

Nom Nom Noming
I still have to do the whole eating well thing. I have had great results when being active using MyFitnessPal. It's not an exact science all the time, because I just don't have time to laboriously enter in all the food I cook, but I think things that are comparable, or I just make sure I have a calorie buffer at the end of the day. My scale is synced with my account on MFP and every week it sends in my weight and adjusts my calorie in-take. I can also put in the calories burned exercising. They recognize all my Wii games and are also synced into my pedometer to count my steps and amount of time being active.

Whenever I keep to my daily plan  (for the whole week), I'll get an adorable Takenoko badge. Ya' know, the poor panda is always nom-nom-noming all over the game. So I thought it was an adorable connection. Here are my example badge.

Hydration, Hydration, Hydration
I also am big into keeping hydrated. I used to be an avid soda drinker. In 2001 I switched from drinking Pepsis and Colas to drinking Diet Rite White Grape, Lemon, and Raspberry. It became a hard drink to find, especially when I moved to North Carolina. I was buying out 2Ls at the local grocer. Then I switched to Propels. Then I moved to Lemon Green Tea Crystal Light. I had those shipped to me overseas and I drank a lot of water when I was over there. When I came home I was pretty much completely water and occasionally drank Crystal Like PURE Lemon. They stopped selling those around me and I've gone almost strictly water. I drink Earl Grey Tea, Green Tea, occasionally milk, water, fountain soda, but 95% of what I drink is water.

To go along with the food, there is the Drink Like a Fish badge, inspired by Game of Thrones and the Tully Family.

Losing the Weight
I know I have high expectations for this year. I want to lose 50lbs by August, but I think if I can keep motivated and keep active, I'll be fine. I also have a badge to commenorate my weight loss.

The Original Star Trek Medic insignia. The number of pounds lost will be in the little plus. I also got a Star Trek TOS gym bag to keep all my cute equipment in. . . err. . . my gym shoes and gym clothes. This also matches up to the jars that I'm going with the Star Trek theme.

Rewards for Results
What kind of process would this be if I didn't get rewards along the way? I've gone to some of my favorite sites and made wishlists of items I might want to buy as part of my new and growing interests. I also have a list of things that I want to do and at what point during my journey it's something that I can go out of my way to do. Usually something I have to pay for or plan or make special.

Here are some of the rewards I'm looking forward to:
  • Hobbit Slippers
  • Star Trek: The Next Generation DVDs
  • Binge Watching Day
  • Funko POP Collectables (there are a few I adore)
  • Tabletop Games
  • Adult Weekend (no kids)
  • Movie Date of My Choice
  • Shirts from SnorgTees or Woot.Shirts
  • Ebooks
  • Supernatural Minion Keychains from Etsy

What are you waiting for?
I started and it's going well. I actually started two days ago to get my body motivated. Today I was back on track and going strong. So here is where my journey begins. I'll try to post details and if you're interested in participating and earning your own badges, I'm more than happy to share.