Thursday, May 29, 2014

Pregnancy workouts

A friend recently reached out to me to ask my advice on pregnancy workouts.  First, it all depends on the pregnancy and what your body is used to doing before you got pregnant.  In my first pregnancy, I just walked when I could, but in my second, I was able to run, lift weights and kickbox until 6 months.  With #3, I was teaching at the gym but definitely could not run.  I walked when I could or did the elliptical.  My advice is to just keep moving, in whatever degree you can.  Whether it's a stroll through the neighborhood, a Pilates DVD in your living room or a light swim, just keep moving.  And most importantly, give yourself lots of grace.  There will be days when you just need to rest and that's okay.  There will be days that the only you can hold down is ice cream and that's okay.  You have you're whole life to be in shape, but only 9 months to grow a baby.

I read the most refreshing article last night about pregnancy workouts.  I was looking at Jamie Eason's workouts and found an interview with her during her pregnancy.  She is a fitness icon and I was expecting the article to be full of "I only ate carrots and lifted 50 lb weights every day", but was pleasantly surprised by her.  She said that when she had energy to workout, she would do a short and light workout.  And when she was tired, she would take a nap.  Cravings?  She gave into cravings and didn't stress about it.  She knew she had the tools to get back in shape after the baby, but for now her focus was on growing a human.  I can only imagine how hard it was for her to see her body change and be taken over by a baby, but it was refreshing for me to see her embrace the season of life she was in.  I think women often try to convince themselves that their body/pregnancy will be a certain way and think they can control it.  But you could eat celery all day long and if that baby needs more room in your bum, you will grow some more room.

Congratulations to all my baby-carrying friends!  Eat something yummy for me!

Monday, May 26, 2014

Compression Sleeves

Happy late Mother's Day to me!  Hubs was gone for Mother's Day so I asked if I could order myself a little present.  Sure, normal people would have gotten a pedicure or new earrings...but I splurged on some Pro Compression calf sleeves (I actually got a really great deal, but they're still more than any person should spend on socks).  After struggling with constant soreness, I read that these help in workout recovery and give great support on long runs.  Ironically, I have not been sore this last week, dispite the 13+ miles I ran on top of weight training.  I just said to Hubs last night, "I need to find a new challenge"...hello new challenge!  I went out for a quick 5K run this morning and quickly found that the compression sleeves made my legs work in a whole new way.  After a few minutes they were screaming "Why are you doing this to us!", followed by "We'll treat you to a big diet coke if you stop now!".   I was so very tempted by them to mosey over to Sonic instead of finishing, but I am not a quitter.  By the time I got back home, I was pretty sure I was dead.  I collapsed on the floor and Hubs said, "So good run, huh?" and assured the kids that I really was not dying.

Charlie mesmerized by the pink
Moral of the story?  Never tell your hubs you are looking for a new challenge...God is listening!  And if you see me running in these things, have pity on me and bring me a drink :)

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Love the crazies

Hubs took the 2 older kids on a trip this weekend.  They went to his sister's wedding and we decided that it was not going to be a "Charlie-friendly" event, so me and the babe stayed home.  The walls of the rehearsal dinner venue were lined with wine bottles, so I'm pretty positive we made the right decision...Charlie is an angelic looking Tasmanian devil. 
Princess P and Hubs dancing at the wedding

I was looking forward to some one-on-one time with my littlest because it seems like that never happens.  We went for a bike ride, played at the park and watched some 'Daniel Tiger'. 

at the park

The couple of days with just one baby made me remember all those days with just my Princess P.  It gave me insight why I was who I was then and so thankful for who 3 kids has refined me to be.  Having one child is a unique place though.  Things in theory should be easier, but they're not because you still have a child who has needs and perhaps those needs are more magnified because they're not entertained by other kids and look to you for everything.  For example, I was cooking dinner tonight and Charlie was losing it.  He was under my feet asking me to hold him and crying for a cheese stick and emptying kitchen cabinets to show his frustration that I was not taking him outside like he would like.  However, the second Hubs and the kids walked in the door, he was immediately different.  He ran to play and didn't cry and waited for dinner like the rest of us.  See, it's not necessarily easier to have just 1 as it is presumed to be.

when Princess P was Charlie's age...and she was an only child

It was funny though, after the first day of just the 2 of us, I didn't know what to do with myself.  I thought about going shopping or stocking my freezer or some big project that would be easier with just one kid.  But I felt frozen and just plain out of sorts.  I realized that day that I've come to the point where I function better when I'm juggling my three kids.  Is that sad?  Shouldn't it be easier to spend the day cooking when I'm not answering questions, filling sippy cups and watching gymnastics/angry bird jumps in the living room?  Well, Hubs told me not to worry about getting anything done and my only job for the weekend was to enjoy Charlie.  Check.  I soaked up his snuggles, slobbery kisses, mashed up words, love for the outdoors and his sweet toothy smile.  And today, when Hubs called to say they were on their way home, I felt this completely joyful, beautiful energy build up.  I love the craziness our three bring to our life.  I love how complete I feel when we're all together.  I never thought I would feel more refreshed with 3 kids running around the house than being by myself, but I apparently I do.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Hubby Free Meals

Cooking for me and the kids while Hubs is away is always a little bit of a challenge for me.  So I decided to start documenting "hubby free meals" that are healthy, easy, kid friendly and winners.

Meal #1:  BBQ meatballs, brown rice and green beans

If you want to go really easy-peasy, buy a bag of frozen meatballs.  For the sauce use equal parts of you favorite bbq sauce (ours is Sweet Baby Ray's) and grape jelly (Welch's all natural).  Throw every thing in the crock pot and steam the rice and beans.  Viola.  Dinner.

I remember my mom making this as a kid when my dad was traveling and my kids also love it.  If I was really ambitious I might make my own meatballs and sneak some veggies in there.

Right about the time we're finishing dinner, I think this:

Thursday, May 22, 2014

best. birthday. ever

A year ago at this time, I traveling solo with my littles, saying good-bye to my grandma.  2 years ago, I was 9 months pregnant and my Hubs was at ODS.  The past 2 years have been full of some hard stuff, but I've heard God whisper to me a lot lately "This is not hard". 

This year, we were together.  We are healthy.  And life is sweet.

But you know you're a mom when you buy your kids bikes for your birthday.

It really was a gift I have been wanting.  I have been wanting to see this for a long time.  And it made my heart overflow with thankfulness; thankful for a smooth driveway (our old house had a long gravel driveway) to play on, for a quiet neighborhood with sidewalks to ride on, for a Hubs who sacrifices and for health to be able to jump on and learn new things.

I always dreaded the 30's, but now I wouldn't go back to my 20's if you paid me.  After 32 years, I've learned a few things about successful birthdays.

1. Do something for yourself.  We all have expectations that maybe we're not even able to communicate to our family, so pick one thing that is important to you and make it happen.

2. Specifically tell you spouse and family a few things you want.  They want to know what would make you feel loved and special on that day and making them guess will only lead to disappointment.

3. Be gracious when there are surprises or things don't go as you want.  Trust that your family loves you even if they don't show it the way you want.

P.S. I've heard the 50's are the best.  Too bad I have 20 more years to wait!

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Learning to love

I have a fitness theory; you have to learn to love the pain.  Learn to love the uncomfortable feeling while working out and the sore muscles the next day.  It means things are changing and your workouts are working. 

This morning I decided it was time I take my own theory and apply to other areas of my life.
Like meal planning.  And grocery lists.

Yuck!  Big fat yuck.  It's a never ending chore that is horrible.  I think I spend more time staring at my planner and thinking about food, than I do actually purchasing and cooking the food.  I've tried meal spreadsheets and different plans, but nothing sticks.  I like routine and then I get sick of routine and want all new food.  AND it always bites me in the behind when I plan meals that need beans to be soaked the night before or a chicken that needs to roast for 6 hours and I forget to do those steps until the last minute...oh the downfalls of "real" cooking.

But I'm going to learn to love it.  I have no idea how, but I'm determined to figure out a way to love meal planning.  I think chocolate will somehow have to be involved.

And then there are moments like this, that make me realize it's a miracle any food is cooked at all in this house.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Just a little push

I ran with a friend today...this is the second time in the last week that I've spontaneously met someone for a run.  I do believe spontaneity is the key to friendship when you have small children.  I realized today how much I miss working out with other people.  It's been so long since I've run with someone other than Hubs and it was refreshing to my soul.  Honestly, it's been a hurdle I've had to overcome since having Charlie.  I struggled with great insecurity after he was born and even today I heard Satan whisper "you're too slow to run with her".  I refused to listen and chose to enjoy our conversation and the slight push in my normal run.  By the way, talking while running is hard.  Worth it, but hard.

We were talking about our kids and all of the end of year activities coming and how our husbands are traveling a lot for work in the next couple of months.  I said I felt like I was hiring a babysitter left and right these days and I'm starting to feel bad.  Her answer was just what I needed to hear..."I stopped feeling bad and accepted that I need help.  I just can't do everything."  Not many moms are willing to give themselves the grace to ask for help or make getting help a priority.  Is it a possibility that we are better moms when we don't try to do it all ourselves? 

Anyway, to my friends who let me crash their runs...thank you.  Thank you for your encouragement, your conversation and bottom line, your friendship.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Sandals Resort

Several friends have asked how the resort here's my review.
We went to Ocho Rios, Jamaica and stayed at the Sandals Resort.

So maybe some of my observations are "duh" to everyone else.  I was surprised in general of the Jamaican culture.  People live in shacks, all "business" have bars across the windows and there are goats roaming the sides of roads.  When we walked into the resort, I was surprised how everything is no doors or windows open.  Restaurants were on open patios and the only places with conditioning were the bedrooms.  Thankfully it wasn't too hot, or I think the weather might have put a damper on how I felt about the trip.

Our "honeymoon suite"
Our room was in the main hotel and it was the perfect choice for us.  If we were going to be by the ocean, I wanted to see it and hear it as much as possible.  The room came with a stocked mini bar/refrigerator and coffee maker.  By the way, Jamaican coffee and sugar is amazing.  If you go, bring me home some :)

view from our room

There was another section of the resort, that was up on a hill, behind our hotel.  I heard from some honeymooners staying up there that they were not thrilled with it.  Apparently they had to wait for someone to come pick them up and take them in a golf cart to any place they wanted to go besides their room.  Essentially they said they spent a lot of time waiting for other people.  I loved being able to step out of my room and eat or drink or sit by the ocean and didn't have to talk to anyone.

hubs had the beach all to himself

I loved that there were plenty of places to lounge.  We never had to fight for a spot on the beach or restaurant or water sport.

Apparently there are 100 pools on the resort, but I only saw 3.  Most were complete with fire pits, swim up bars and couches.

The resort was clean, the staff was friendly and always helpful.  My criteria for a trip was to not worry about anything; what I would wear or do or eat.  Check.  This trip met everyone one of my expectations.

We got approached by staff a lot, asking to take our pictures.  Right after we played tennis this guy was trying to get us into all these romantic poses and I just wanted to shower!  By the last day I got really tired of people trying to take my picture and just wanted to be left alone.

Since our room was right about everything, it was pretty loud a couple of nights.  Granted we were trying to sleep at 9:00 when most things are just getting started, but I went to rest and was irritated that I couldn't.  House keeping even walked into our room one night while we were sleeping to turn down our room!  So apparently if you go, don't go to bed before 11.

The food was okay, but not stellar.  I was starting to worry that we are just too snobby (we heard other raving about the food) but I just wasn't overly impressed.  Thankfully we had a lot of options and could restaurant hop.  Hubs labeled us "coodies"...foodies that cook.

I would give the resort an 8 out of 10.

I think our dream vacation would be a remote tropical place with our own private chef.  Sounds fabulous right?

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Alive and well

I'm alive and well and we had an absolutely fabulous vacation.

Hubs is back on a ship and child behavior "detox" week is in full swing.
Coming home from vacation is brutal and I could really use a cosmopolitan!

Resort reviews coming soon...