Friday, August 27, 2010

Fit Friday: Boot Camp

When I was in high school and my first few years in college I had a gym membership through my dad's work.  I wasn't consistent, but there were periods of time I went very faithfully.  When Bean and I were first married, our condo complex had a small workout room that again--I used off and on.  But I must not have used it too much, because I gained some weight after we got married and then once I was pregnant all bets were off and I was fat and happy.  Even after she was born I could't really get in the habit of going frequently and nursing was my "workout" because I lost a ton of weight on Weight Watchers without much exercise.

Now, I'm a bit of an exercise fiend.  Oh, I do love my running--but part of that is because it's a pretty convenient activity that doesn't have a lot of cost attached to it.  Some day, I would love to be able to afford to belong to a gym again.  I would take advantage of the various classes and weights and machines.

A few weeks back there was an awesome deal on The Daily Save that I couldn't pass up--4 Boot Camp classes for just $19.  And even better, the locations are near the ocean and once a week it's on the beach. 

I went to my first class tonight.  There were a lot of "regulars" missing, so it was 2 guys, me and my sister-in-law and the trainer.  We started out with some warm up moves in the gym and then headed outside.  The trainer said that wasn't his normal routine, but he wanted to mix it up and enjoy the fading daylight.  We'd run a bit, then stop and do various moves like jumps and squats (only jumps and sqats cranked up a few notches with variations).  My favorite were "smurf jacks."  Jumping jacks done in a low squatting position using your elbows, not your whole arms.  We ran some stairs (as in up and down 10x) and ended up on the grass overlooking the ocean.

And then we sweated buckets into that grass and added salt to the already salty air.  I had a small taste of what it must be like to have Jillian Michaels train you on the Biggest Loser.  I still would choose her, but there is a strong possibility I'd cry at some point.  And after tonight I understand why.  Our trainer was super nice and encouraging.  He was a little harder on the couple of guys he knew though.

Then...we ran up another set of stairs and weaved our way back towards the gym with more stops for various strength moves.  And at the gym?  3 circuits of 4 ab stations.  About an hour in all.  Boot Camp kicked my booty! 

I loved it though.  It was a good challenge.  Knowing I was going to something like that each week would keep me motivated to exercise and eat right throughout the week.  I'm going to enjoy the next 3 sessions I have.  And maybe I'll ask for more for Christmas :)

If you are a Shredhead, or familiar with circuit training--this is totally something you could mimic and do on your own.  Maybe make a list of exercises (squats, jumping jacks, smurf jacks, burpees, vertical jumps etc) and do some cardio then a few exercises and then more cardio.  You could do it in your house, your backyard, or an outdoor location.  Gather some friends and do it together.  Sure, it was great having someone tell me what to do and counting it out and timing.  But its totally doable.

Or, you could just do Shred 1,2 & 3 in a row.  Because that's pretty much how I feel right now (minus the arms b/c we do didn't do much arms).  My legs are going to be dead tomorrow--especially since I ran 3 fairly fast miles on Wednesday night.

But I love it.  Bring it on baby!!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

splish splash


Lily has been very cautious and trepedacious when it comes to water. All my kids have been a bit leary when it comes to swimming in a large pool. However, when they were with me, they were usually ok. Not Lily though. Earlier this summer when I tried taking her in a pool a few times, she clung to me for dear life, as far up my side as to keep her feet out of the water and wimpered the whole time.
I was thrilled when she finally enjoyed the water on our desert getaway a few weeks ago. I think it was the combination of the warmth of the water and the air, and the kiddie pool where she could walk and crawl. She even enjoyed the big pool with me. But don't put her in a baby floatation device. She did NOT like being unsupported by another person.

Last week we ventured to a local Sprinkler Park. I hear them called "Splash Pads" around cyberspace, but I guess that term hasn't made it to Southern California yet. As always, I expected Lily to want nothing to do with the water, even though she was on speaking terms with the pool now. I didn't even put her in a swimsuit, or bring one for that matter.
But Lily is closing in on 19 months, and apparently gaining courage with each passing day. She quickly decided playing in the water was fun and she was even confident enough to walk around without much concern for staying near me. I figured it was better to let her roam "topless" than dragging a wet dress around. [don't worry, I put sunscreen on her]

She had a blast!!

Sister love!! Miss Rose was somewhere, but she was kind of doing her own thing and not around the little girls.


Lily even ventured to touch the water and let it spray her face a bit.


Gracie and a potential husband. T-Bear is right between Gracie and Lily. We figure he could easily end up with either girl. Gracie is clearly trying to get his attention with some cleavage here. Dang girl!!


Summer has finally arrived in Southern California. And although my electric bill is going to be a bit more painful, we are enjoying the heat. School starts in just over a week, so we have to live it up now!
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Monday, August 23, 2010

she just wanted me

I read this post of MckMama's tonight.  I remember reading it the first time she posted it.  Such truth to those words.

In fact, I had my own similar experience tonight which I had thought about blogging.  Reading her post has prompted me to do so.

Gracie-girl, my sweet Gracie, is becoming quite the handful.  Part of it is the influence of her older sister.  Part of it is her age.  Part of it is perhaps feeling like she misses out on attention she wants because she has an 18-month old baby sister.

When she doesn't get her way, she often says "I never get to _____."  When asked to do something, often her initial response is no.  How she talks to us and responds is often disrespectful.  This weekend in the car she requested a particular CD.  Miss Rose was already in tears over something else, so I felt that we needed some worship music.  Gracie did not like that I was changing it from the kids music and she chucked a toy towards me and the front of the van in disgust.  I hadn't pulled away from the house yet.  I quickly got out of the car, pulled her out the carseat and spanked her.  I had two crying children in my car.  It was such a treat.

Gracie has also learned how to turn on the tears.  She doesn't do it too frequently, but it's happened enough for me to observe that she can control her tears.  After all the usual stalls and requests and bedtime routines, Bean told me Gracie was crying in her bed and wanted me to come lay with her.

This was at least 15 minutes after we had left the room.  Maybe more.  I thought--no, I'm not going to lay with her.  She's just trying to postpone bedtime and manipulate me.  Sure enough when I entered the room she was sitting up, expectant.  When I asked her what she needed, the tears began, with her request that I lay with her.

I figured, I'll compromise.  If I refuse, it will prolong her bedtime.  But, since I realize she's dragging bedtime out, I will put a limit on it.  So I told Gracie I would lay with her for two minutes.

I laid down and she curled up into me, like she did as an infant when we co-slept.  She nestled her head in the crook of my neck and shoulder, just like she did for so many nights as an infant and toddler when I sang to her before a nap or bedtime.

My girl just wanted me.  Sure she was postponing bedtime and using her tears to do it.  But she really did want me and need me. 

And she deserved those few minutes I spent with her.   Because often her requests are put to the side as I deal with a demanding 18 month old.  Spending those few minutes with her, meant a lot more to her, than using them for something else would have meant to me.

This is why I am a mom.  And why I love it so much.

Not Me Monday!

Mckmama- Not Me Monday


It's been a long time since I participated but like a million others in cyberspace, I will join in today for the opportunity to win some Lisa Leonard love!  Not for myself though, I would love to gift a necklace to a woman who recently lost her newborn son.

I have NOT been neglegent in bathing my childrent this summer.  Playing in the pool and at the Sprinkler park are definitely NOT substitutes for bathing and I would NOT let them go days without bathing because "well, we are going to the pool tomorrow."

The baby did not reach into the toilet to touch her sister's poop the other day.  NOT on my watch.

My 6-year-old did not begin to question me on how baby's are made, NOT my daughter.  She's much too young for that.  I did NOT finally avoid the discussion by saying, "you are 6, you don't need to know all of that."

And, to not leave out the 3-year-old, I did NOT have to get out of the van the other day to spank said child, because she did NOT chuck a toy at me, simply because I refused her the CD she wanted to listen to.  My children have control of their tempers.

And this folks, has been another installment in NOT ME Mondays.

You're welcome.

This blog carnival was created by MckMama. You can head over to her blog to read what she and everyone else have not been doing this week.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Fit Friday

It's important that fitness is a part of life.  But it can't be your life.  Unless you are a professional athlete, you know.

I love to run and be active.  Many think I'm crazy for all the running I do (which isn't really that much compared to some).  But, actually running is what keeps me sane.  I read this on Twitter recently:

@bookieboo "Thank God I worked out today. If I hadn't, I would be in tears from all the stress. Sweat is my sanity." 

I agree wholeheartedly with this statement!! It feels a bit insane to wake up early on what will be a full long day, to get a run in.  But when I'm driving home from work, to 3 small children and my husband, it feels SO good to know I already logged my miles for the day.

I also love this status I read on Facebook"Running long and hard is an ideal antidepressant, since it's hard to run and feel sorry for yourself at the same time. Also, there are those hours of clearheadedness that follow a long run." 

When I'm feeling down, anxious or overwhelmed--a few miles goes a long way in helping me not hit the bottom.  There have been many times I've told Bean, "I'm starting to spiral downward; I think I need to run."

At the same time, life is life.  And sometimes getting activity in isn't so easy.  Or you're just really tired.  

As much as I love running, sometimes I have to cut myself some slack.  This is one of those weeks.  Sleeping in (as much as the kids let me) and not trying to wedge a run in is more important.  I don't really like giving myself slack.  But sometimes I need to.

But I know that running is now in my blood and barring any huge injury, I don't ever think it's leaving.  This week may be a low mileage one, but I'll be back to hitting the treadmill and the streets in a few days I'm sure.

So, where are you at on your fitness journey?  Has activity become a necessity in your life?  Do you notice a positive effect on your mental and emotional state?  Are you good at giving yourself slack when you need it?



Saturday, August 14, 2010

fun in the sun

We had a little family getaway this weekend.
Weekends always end early for us, because Sunday is a workday for me.
But our getaway started Wednesday night, so it felt like a whole weekend.

A good friend invited us to join her at a timeshare in the desert.
The execution of the trip was great.
We had a few speed bumps that threatened to derail us, but we prevailed.
(more on that another time, cause it's too good not to share.)

Then, it turned out, our friend wasn't even able to come due to unexpected issues with the purchase of home.
(She got everything worked out, so it was a good think she didn't come.)

So, we went on our friend's vacation without her. Kinda funny. But a blessing for us, since we have no means of our own to getway.
A few days in the heat of desert is fun, especially when you have air conditioning to come back into.
The girls loved the pools and the lazy river.
Even Lily got in on the action--she liked the 1-foot kiddie pool--a true answer to prayer since she has detested every body of water besides the bath I've had her in.
In her defense, the kiddie pool pretty much felt like a bath, so why not enjoy it.
We ended our trip with another trip to lunch with good friends and a stop off to visit my sister on our way home.
Here's a few of their offspring. Guess who that sweet baby on my lap is?


Bean has a few more days off to hang out with the kids while his mom is out of town.
I work this week, and then I have an entire week off with the kids.
I'm dubbing it Kidsweek 2010. All about mama and the kiddos having fun, enjoying summer and soaking each other up.
As crazy as they drive me somtimes, I can never get enough of them.


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Sunday, August 8, 2010

in his presence

**warning: sad & heavy stuff ahead**

I am a bottler.  Meaning, I bottle my emotions.  I push them as far down as possible hopefully to never be seen again.  Only, when I finally have one of my bi-annual cries, usually all that junk comes up again and I cry for hours. 

I wish I wasn't this way.  There are days I wish I could make the tears that overflow my heart and well up into my eyes actually pour down my face.  It would make things easier sometimes.  To just get that emotion out.

Instead I end up dealing with my emotion in other ways.  I feel depressed.  I get headaches.  I have massive tension in my neck and shoulders.  I clench my teeth at night {and subsequently have worn a nightguard for many years to minimize the damage.}  Also, I run.  As the sweat pours out, so does some of the sadness and strife.

But if there was one place or time that I can actually let my emotion flow, it's at church.  As songs are lifted to heaven, and my voice rings out the truth of His love and His goodness and faithfulness, I can let my guard down.

This morning, was one such morning.  Bean was on the platform playing guitar.  I had all three girls with me because they enjoy seeing Daddy play worship, and they were doing some VBS songs later in the service.  I also love having the girls worship with us.  Sure they get antsy sometimes, but I want them to learn to experience God too.

As we sang, I held Lily in my arms.  Gracie was standing on the pew leaning against me, her sweet voice singing along as she grasped the words.  Miss Rose was next to us, standing with my mom.

On the platform was my good friend and co-worker, who's resignation would be announced at the end of the service.  I am excited for what God is going to do in his life, but I will miss him and his family as partners in ministry (and sometimes shenanigans).   There is a deep sadness.

You part the seas
You move the mountains with the words that you say
My song remains
God you reign

In the pew in front of me, worshiped a family who has suffered a great loss.  A baby boy, who lived just two days and was buried on Friday.  His funeral was one of the most heart-wrenching things I've ever experienced.  Watching his mom praise and worship was humbling and moving.  And then I think of Sara Joy, who experienced a tragic loss as well, but Saturday morning welcomed twins.  After the grief I witnessed and experienced on Friday, it was a welcome reminder of the goodness of God.  The Lord gives, and the Lord takes away.

You hold my life
You know my heart and you call me by name
I live to say, God you reign

I reach over, and bring my oldest daughter's head close to my side.  This daughter of mine, who is so intense and thinks far too deeply for her age.  Who is an enigma to me, on so many fronts.  Yet I long to find the key to her heart, to her mind.  I pray for Christ's presence to invade her in ways she doesn't understand.

God you reign
God you reign
Forever and ever, God you reign

And I fall apart.  Again and again.  In His presence. 

I remind myself, I can enter his presence anytime.  I can fall apart with him whenever I need to.

Because he reigns.  Forever.  He holds my life.  Their lives.  He knows my heart.  Their hearts.

I don't know what I would do without His presence.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Fit Friday: inspiration and motivation

I'm a little spent this week and am not feeling very creative in the writing department and I can't even think of a particular topic to share on for Fit Friday.  The past week has actually been really good in the eating and exercising department.  My higher protein, yet balanced eating plan is really making a difference~to the tune of 3 pounds on the scale. 

Today though, I've been a bit off plan.  Which is ok.  Sometimes you need a day.  I haven't binged, I just have eaten more carbs and less protein than other days.  And I skipped my workout.  But I plan to hit the treadmill hard in the morning.

Recently, I've started following several running and fitness blogs that I find inspiring.  Check them out!

Run Like A Mother I really want to read their new book, but I'm too cheap to buy it right now.  Waiting until my library gets it.  Get your Kleenex box ready and read about The Power Of a 20-Minute Run.

Fitness Cheerleader Her most recent post is about Interval Running Workouts for Beginners.

Trainer Momma I love her healthy recipes--which are pretty kid friendly too.  I recently printed several out to give them a try.  Now to find a breadmaker at a garage sale or something.  I also like her Eat With Me feature.

I can't leave out my beloved Shredheads.  Those of us who love to hate Jillian Michaels.  The archives on this blog are rich with first-hand stories, tips and inspiration to keep it up and take at least 20 minutes for yourself each day.

Honorable mentions

Workout Mommy

Running with Cake

Racing Dawn

Racing With Babes

The (Mis)Adventures of a Jogging Stroller Mom

Happy reading and may you find some inspiration!

Monday, August 2, 2010

this & that

One day I would like to having a blogging schedule.  Maybe even to get away to a coffee shop a few times a month to write more blogs in advance, or at least begin them.  Because I really do enjoy blogging.  I enjoy the creativity in writing (although I don't have too much time to be creative these days).  I love documenting these days and years in our family's life.  I still haven't started Lily's baby book.  When I finally do, I'll have to refer to this blog for many of her milestones. 

But for now, for today, it's a little bit of this and a little bit of that.

We're continuing to enjoy our summer and plan to make the most of the weeks we have left.  A friend invited us to join her at a timeshare in the desert for a few days next week.  Bean is going to take a few days off and we'll enjoy the hot, hot sun, the pools and lazy river.  So far, Lily hates the pool.  I'm hoping she'll start to change her mind, enjoying the warm weather and pool water, and maybe a kiddie pool won't be so intimidating.

I'm taking an actual week off later in August and we'll hang out, hit the pool and beach as much as possible and a few other activities.

Speaking of pools, which require bathing suits, I bought a new one that was on sale.  It's very cute.  Me in the bathing suit, not as cute as I'd like.  I'm attempting a personal boot camp for the next several days before we go!  I always like a goal to work towards, so perhaps this is the ticket.  Today, I ran 3 miles in the morning and 2.5 miles this evening.  It's difficult to have a large chunk of time to run, but splitting it up like that really helped.  In fact, I probably could have kept going this evening, but I didn't.  Tomorrow will be arms and abs. 

We are working on a lot of discipline issues with Miss Rose.  In talking with various friends with daughters of a similar age, I'm not alone.  Apparently many 6yr olds have attitudes, are disrespectful and not very compliant.  These books are on my to-read list: Have A New Kid By Friday, The Strong-Willed Child, Bringing Up Girls and Positive Discipline.  Now if someone would like to offer to come manage my household for a week, I might be able to actually read them.

Gracie, she is turning much more into a little girl this summer.  I already miss "toddler Gracie."  She's recently exhibited an ability to get herself worked up over small things and "make herself" cry.  And once she gets started, she has difficulty stopping.  Just tonight I suddenly noticed these alligator tears rolling down her face with no warning.  When I inquired as to why she was crying, she cited a disciplinary incident 20 minutes prior. 

I have so many fun photos from our summer so far.  Again, back to that dedicated blogging time, that doesn't exist.  But as I've said before, I don't live to blog, I simply blog life when I can.  And instead of posting photos, I'm going to go hang out with my husband.  He's pretty cool.