Super Blizzard- January 27, 2015

This is my current theory about Blizzard 2015. Only the mother of a 4-year-old girl would think this. Happy Super Bowl week! Stay warm!

 

elsa seahawks

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Body Back #5, Weekend Workouts- January 26, 2015

bb weekend workouts

Body Back is incredible during the week. Early morning workouts give me momentum for five days of working out. Yes, I only go to Body Back class twice a week, but we do other supplement workouts during the week. For me, it’s Stroller Strides. Others in my group do different workouts. We communicate with our instructor Christie through our private Facebook group to stay focused and accountable.

Then the weekends come. Ah weekends! Date nights! Birthday parties! Football watching! Sleeping in for people with children older than mine! So many opportunities to be lazy and eat junk.

I got a great question on from a reader on Instagram today, “What about weekend workouts?”

Christie had a great remedy for combating weekend laziness. This challenge:

  • 100 crunches
  • 90 jumping jacks
  • 80 lunges (front lunge, alternate sides, 40 each leg)
  • 70 squats
  • 60 secs running in place
  • 50 second plank
  • 40 jumping jacks
  • 30 squats
  • 20 high knees (Drive knees to chest, 10 each leg.)
  • 10 push ups (Try on toes first. If not, get to your knees and get as low as you can. Be sure form is spot on!)

Seems easy enough, right? Well, we had to do it 4x’s during the weekend. One girl in my group did it 4x’s in one day! I divided it up to keep momentum through the weekend. I did this short, but intense workout Friday night, Saturday morning, Sunday morning and Sunday afternoon. We were traveling for a fun family weekend. We stayed at my sister’s house. I chose times to quickly slip away and get my workout in. Well, not really. I was really in the middle of my sister’s kitchen, or in the living room.

lunge

One of my favorite parts of a fun weekend with family and friends was Saturday morning. It was raining and cold and I wasn’t in the mood to workout until my husband said, “I want to do it with you. Come on.” That’s when the love of my life stood in the drizzle with me and did what felt like a million lunges.

I was wearing all black and I said, “Ah! We’re like Frank and Claire Underwood out here!”

HOC jogging better

How many days until Season 3 of “House of Cards?” Anyway, I’m losing focus. My husband said he was impressed with me and with the workout. It kicked his butt a little and he said he was feeling motivated by Body Back. Who says daddies don’t want their bodies back too?

If you try this, tell me! Anyone done short, intense workouts like this? Are they effective? 

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Cut Off- January 25, 2015

Tonight my daughter ran like a flash to the dinner table. Not because she was excited for chicken sausages with onions and peppers, but because she was Queen Elsa and The Flash.

flash elsa 1

We ate and her baby brother wailed and thrashed in his highchair. He wanted my water. To my one-year-old, there is no nectar more divine than whatever I am drinking. I pulled him in my lap and let him take a sip. When I set the cup down, he wailed again. My husband said, “Geez! He’s so crazy about drinks. We should cut him off.”

That’s when my little Elsa Flash looked up with sad eyes. Her lip quivered. “No! Don’t cut him! Don’t cut my baby brother!”

We sighed and looked at each other before quickly explaining that we would never hurt her or her brother. My husband went on to explain that “cutting him off” was an expression and that to “cut someone off” means to take something away abruptly, like the water. She said, “So, you’re not going to cut him?” No baby, never.

I immediately thought of a nightmare I had when I was little. I dreamed that my little sister fell into the storm drain outside our old house. In the dream my mother and I were standing right near her. Mom’s  jacket zipper was stuck and for some reason that meant we couldn’t save her from falling. You know how dreams are. Reason does not apply. This dream bothered me for years. The idea of my sister getting hurt was excruciating. The idea of not being able to save or help her was unbearable. I used to not want to fall asleep for fear of having that dream again. I remember my mom telling me that if I talked about the dream and my feelings about it, that I might feel better. I did. She was right. I never had the dream about my sister falling again.

I looked at my daughter and knew exactly how she felt. Sometimes she wants to be a superhero for her younger sibling and she knows she can’t always be that. I looked at her little masked face and hoped I can always help her talk through her fears, because even Elsa Flash gets scared for those she loves most.

flash elsa 2

 

 

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Body Back #4, Eating- January 23, 2015

I’ve been asked what you eat during Body Back. “So, are you on a diet?” “Are you doing like a Whole 30?” The short answer? Eh, sort of, but not really.

Body Back doesn’t focus on weight and calories as much as whole, healthy foods. Yes, you are weighed each week as a measure of progress, but the scale is not the focus like it is for other programs. There are other measures of progress like actual measurements of your waist, thighs and hips. Fitness assessments at the beginning and end of the 8 weeks also show your progress.

I say the focus is not on calories, but you do track your calories daily in food journals. Our class does it through the My Fitness Pal app. It’s easier for our instructor Christie to check it daily that way. I can update it from my phone. It’s not that hard. Christie emphasizes eating whole, unprocessed foods, but it’s not the end of the world if you have a slice of pizza.

In fact, I’m out-of-town at my sister’s house this weekend and we had Friday night pizza Dude! My sister ordered Mellow Mushroom! Good God, Mellow Mushroom! (She did ask me if it was okay since I’m doing Body Back. I gave her the go-ahead to order.) I had half a slice and salad. The rest of the week I have made dinners of foods like baked fish, steamed vegetables and salads. My Fitness Pal helps you customize your calories based on your weight, calorie burn etc.

One thing that I have issues with is my coffee and how I like it doctored up. Christie pointed out how coffee creamers are very processed sugars. Yep. They are. I joke with a friend that I like “chemical water” in my coffee. Seriously, it’s embarrassing how much of the stuff I drink. I haven’t given it up completely, but I’m cutting back. Here are some texts between Christie and me this week:

photo

So I got Coconut Creamer. It’s not that great tasting. I may or may not have added a dollop of chemical creamer to my coffee with it. I’ve been doing half-and-half with sugar too. Not great, but not bad. Artificial sweeteners are out. I don’t like them anyway. I’m going to snag some non-fat half-and-half if it doesn’t have too many chemical ingredients. I’ve been looking for foods with a small list of easy to pronounce ingredients. Real food. Real ingredients. I can do it.

I must warn you to be careful as you are doing your research at the grocery store, especially if you have your child with you. I was perusing the creamers and texting Christie with my back turned to the cart for one second. This is what Henry did:

trader joes 1

It cracked me up that it was called Henry Hotspur’s Hard Pressed for Cider.

photo 2

Yeah, I was hard pressed for a drink after that, but I didn’t buy (another) one. I worried it wasn’t “whole” enough. Henry agreed.

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Getting Schooled- January 22, 2015

Getting Schooled: Kindergarten Choices

Last week I watched my Facebook feed fill with posts from friends with kids a year older than mine. Many bemoaned that their babies are aren’t babies anymore. There were Instagram photos of  kindergarten registration forms with a caption like, “I can’t believe this is happening!”

It’s kindergarten registration season! My daughter just turned 4 in November, so I have another year before this madness begins. I got into a conversation with another mother about this process the other day. She is interested in a traditional calendar magnet program for her daughter this year. “Oh! That’s cool. Good luck with the whole process! We don’t have to worry about it until next year. We really want a year-round schedule. Our base school is year-round.”

That’s when her nose scrunched up. You know, how people do when they disagree with you and are sort of disgusted with what you just said? She said, “Year-round? Why would you want that?” I went on to explain how I went to the first year-round school in our state as a third grader way back in 1988 or 1989 when the concept was first introduced here. I told her how as a young elementary school student, I was very restless in the summer and had a hard time, so my parents tried it. It was great. We loved the breaks through the year and still had some summer vacation. Plus, our base school is year-round and is rated a 10 out of 10 so, why not?

She said, and I kid you not, “Right. A year-round schedule for a Disney vacation in January or whatever.”

::pause::

::blink::

Yeah lady, I base decisions on my children’s education solely on making sure they’ll have shorter lines at the Magic Kingdom in three years. What?! I looked around. Surely I was being punked or something. I wasn’t. I can’t even remember what I said. It got awkward. I smiled and walked away.

Here’s the thing. Why are you worried about my kids’ education? I’m not worried about yours. I’m sure you’ll make the best decision for your family. That’s what’s so great. You can choose whatever type of kindergarten you want for your kid. Any kind! I could cite studies for or against every kindergarten choice. I won’t do that. Who has the time? Here are just some of the options parents I know are looking at for kindergarten:

  • Public traditional calendar
  • Public year-round
  • Another year of private Pre-K before kindergarten
  • Spanish immersion
  • Montessori
  • Private religious school
  • Public Charter school
  • Public Magnet
  • Home school

I don’t need to go on. The point is, do what you want for education. Has anyone else run into this? Catching attitude from other parents about kindergarten choices? Have other parents disparaged your school choice? I mean, I know it’s a big life decision full of emotions. It can often be competitive to get a spot in certain schools. I get it, but I remember learning “do unto others” in kindergarten, so let’s all remember that during kindergarten registration.

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