Thursday, September 08, 2011

Time flies...

I can't believe that I haven't blogged since, so much has gone on. Here are some highlights...

*Mother-in-law got remarried on a yacht on Lake Michigan. It was super-duper hot but lovely and I didn't throw up off the side of the boat (score one for Sea Bands! they are great and they help with morning sickness (not that I have than anymore)).

*Huge family reunion at Starved Rock. Gorgeous location and so much fun with 73 of my closest relatives. Not long enough.

*School started for all. Hubby is taking a couple classes to prepare for his next big career move into nursing. The daughter started high school...really. The boys are in first and second grade. And the baby is with me at preschool.

*Made a fun Lego Indiana Jones birthday cake for the newly-turned 6yo.

*Did my first training session for the local child care resource service on gross motor development and integrating physical activity into the classroom. I think it was successful and realized that I am really a good teacher and it is really what I should be doing in carry on.

*Baby got some teeth and has begun to crawl and stand up. He also loves food a lot...we can't really give him enough. He eats everything (so he might be related to my big brother after all!).

*My dad and gram visited and I just love grocery shopping with them! My grandma should probably have her own reality show...Shopping with a Polish Woman. I also got to eat at two of my favorite restaurants in the same day!

*Read The Help and saw the movie...recommend them both.

*I started watching Mad me some Don Draper.

*Finally lost some baby weight! Only about 6 pounds to go...but not ready to try on my pre-baby jeans (just bought some new ones instead).

*In case you were wondering, the boys still maintain farting as a major point of conversation and activity.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Baby Weight Be Gone Already....Really, now is the time

So, little baby boy is 5 1/2 months old...growing well and is a truly delightful child. And here I am sitting with almost 15 extra pounds on my little frame of a body. I haven't really lost anything since my six week check up.

To say this is frustrating would be an understatement. I exercised up until I delivered and I am extremely active now. I exercise 5hrs a week plus about three days with some fabulous kids in addition to the normal mother-running. I eat fairly well and drink plenty of water. And I am nursing a baby who eats a lot...a lot. So why?!!

I'm trying to stay patient but its annoying. I really didn't want to buy new pants for the fall (I hate clothes shopping, hate it). I don't like how my body looks and jiggles. I really want my muscular, athletic body back, and now would be great.

I have seen my arms and legs toning up again and my cardiovascular endurance has improved. But as much as that number shouldn't mean anything, it does.

I asked my dr when I was there last and she was sympathetic but said that if I hadn't lost any by now nothing will probably happen until I stop nursing, or at least until he is sleeping at night a bit more. Well, I plan on nursing for another two years....

So, I know that this is a short-term issue and eventually I can sculpt my body to however I like but it doesn't stop my frustration and longing to fit into my pre-baby jeans.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Healthy Kids

Here is a fun and surprisingly active game to play with your kids (or even other adults!).

Pick 3-4 positions (e.g. standing up, sitting down, laying down) or activities (e.g. run, jump, hop, push ups).
One person is the leader and calls out different positions/activities (quickly, if possible).
The rest of the group gets into the position or does the activity.
Repeat, repeat, repeat.
*change leaders when you like

Position ideas
Laying down
Superman (lay on tummy with arms out like flying)
Banana (lay on back with arms extended above your head)
Ball (tuck body into ball (on back or feet)
Tiger (on hands and knees)
Snake (cobra yoga pose)
Letters (T, Y, R, E....)
Sideways (lay on side)
One leg up
Side plank
Front plank

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Happy Healthy Kids

So I have finally found the time, kind of, and convinced my employer to let me teach some kids' this summer the Fitness Center in Champaign began Healthy Kids. Its 30mins a day, Monday thru Friday for kids ages 3-12.

So many of the things I do in class, you can do at home with your kids. Simple, short, fun things.

Over the next couple weeks, I will share some ideas with you.

*Red, Yellow, Green Light
Take 3 pieces of construction paper (red, yellow, and green). One person stands on one side of the room/yard and holds up a paper...the others move towards to the person according to the color (red=stop, yellow=slow motion, green=run). Take turns being 'the light'.

*Building and Knocking Things Over
Make towers out of things (at the gym we use yoga blocks, at home empty boxes). Then take turns running, punching, and kicking the tower over. Rebuild and repeat.

*Paper Planes
Make lots of paper airplanes together. Then toss them around the room/yard. Run to get them and throw them again.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Speeding through Summer

The month of June is speeding by us so fast, I really can't believe it. The summer has proved to be far more busy than the school year...and we had a busy school year!

I spend a lot of time driving children and myself to various places for an hour or two...then driving home or somewhere else. I have been teaching 4-5 days per week...which I love! but I think my car automatically drives itself down Prospect Ave. I am overjoyed to be able to teach kids over the summer, which I normally don't do. I don't feel like we overscheduled the kids but with added playdates, pool time, park play, walks, and a big increase in grocery store visits--some swim lessons, softball, and marching band thrown in....we are always moving!

We have been fortunate to be spending lots of time together and with friends. I spent a particularly lovely time with some girlfriends at our local cupcake cafe last night...watching the rain, people, and chatting. The kids have spent time with friends. And the 14yo is babysitting up a storm...and not for us. I have also spent a lot of time enjoying the baby develop....he's exploring the world around him with such pleasure...its hard not to enjoy it with him.

We also get to dogsit this weekend, which gives us all another pet to play with...but not keep! (although he is a delightful doggie....we'll watch him anytime!). Our own pets (that of which I brought all three to vet the same day) are on a new reduced-food plan which they are not happy about so its nice to have a pet around that appreciates us a bit.

I think my husband still lives here....I see signs (like a lot of empty Mike's Hard Lemonades!) but we haven't exactly found time to sit and look at each other too long. Soon, I hope...we have plans to see a movie--they still make those, right?

July brings lots of weddings and celebrations. So, here we go...

Sunday, June 05, 2011

Baby Weight Be Gone Already

I haven't forgotten my decision to publicly share my weight loss journey but honestly I haven't had much to report. I was sitting at the same weight for several weeks. But I finally broke through a bit.

It probably had something to do with the craziness of May...I think I was in constant motion since we had a lot of special events and meals filled with lots of yummy but not so healthy foods. But I also felt more like my former self physically. Something happened that I felt stronger and thinner, for a lack of a better word. This allowed me to be more active in my house, classroom, and at the gym.

Week 8 Weight: 143
Week 16: 136

The plan this month is to find healthy sweet options and exercise a bit more, which will be easy since I am teaching more fitness classes again. And water, water, water!!

Monday, May 30, 2011


Something has happened to my sweet little boys....they have turned into dirty little rugrats. Apparently something happens around age 7, younger if they have an older brother....suddenly bodily functions and body parts are extremely important!

I know they have not learned it from me and my husband doesn't like to talk about it either...but I have never heard the word fart so many times! (and I grew up with two brothers!). or wiener. or butt.

My favorite moment has to be when my 7yo was sitting next to me on the couch just letting them fly and giggling.

Then there is the time before bath time when they dance around naked, trying to circle their penises around in circles.

Or the comic book being created called Iron Fart (inspired by the baby).

Fart jokes and poop songs...not exactly what I thought parenting would entail.

Monday, May 16, 2011

the Joyful Mom

With all the stress and chaos of my life, I have tried hard to find joy in all that I do. Especially since we only have a few days left of school, I am trying hard to truly enjoy my students before they move on...they are challenging me on this goal. My daughter has had many end-of-the-year activities that have allowed us to really enjoy her talent, leadership, and overall amazing kidness. And although I don't play video games, I am trying to find activities with the boys to hang out with...I am partial to Uno.

And finally, the baby. I just love to watch this little guy. It is such a joy to see him explore the world and discover things. He is fascinated with water and is trying to figure out why he can't grab a hold of it like everything else. It is so amazing....and this is coming from a early childhood person who has interacted with lots and lots of babies.

And really, what is more full of joy than seeing a child smile, I mean, really?!

So go out and enjoy.

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

Diary of a tired mom

Whenever anyone asks how I am, I feel bad, but I almost always respond with 'tired'. Of course, I am tired. I have four kids, two jobs, three cats, a toad, I volunteer myself to both my kids' schools, plus I like to keep up with family and friends, I like to cook and eat which requires some shopping, and I don't think the laundry will ever be done. There is always something I could be doing.

Like now, I am blogging...when I should probably be making a healthy dinner for my family or even taking a nap before my husband heads to work. I have a list of lots of things I need to do by Friday that runs through my head.

But what could I eliminate? I really enjoy almost every activity I feel necessary. I love my students at work...even when they are feeling summer approaching through their bones. I love my members at the gym who keep my smiling. I love being a part of my kids' school communities. I want to give back as much as I can for their amazing free educations. I wish I could see my family more so its really important to arrange special times. Eating and bathing seems a little required. And the baby must eat about every 2hrs. And sleep is least the minimum I seem to manage.

But I don't always do 'something'. Sometimes, I do nothing. I try to watch as least one mindless television show each day and read something not related to work. Today I read OK Magazine while waiting through my son's therapy session as the 5yo played on the floor (I was waiting for our epic Uno game to commence). My magazine reading led me to some funny youtube videos later in the day. I've been so consumed in family life, reading a magazine from March was all news to me.

Doing nothing is just as important as doing something.

I think I have found some balance in my life. I am able to say no to projects and volunteer requests. I am fine with dishes in the sink. I can stop myself and take a nap. We can always have scrambled eggs for dinner. I always find time for exercise. I can always find a piece of dark chocolate in the house.

So I am tired but happily so.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Books Recommendations

I read a lot. Lately I have read some parenting/education/child development/interesting books.

Nurture Shock by Po Bronson and Ashley Merryman
This book examines a variety of topics such as self-control, gifted-education, early childhood curriculum, sleep, language development, praise, and lying through careful evaluation of current practices and research. For example, it talks about if saying things like 'good job' or 'you're really smart' is actually helping your child or not. I think every parent and educator should read this book. Well-written and easy to read.

Cinderella Ate My Daughter by Peggy Orenstein
This book discusses the intense girly-girl culture in the US including the evolution of it (e.g. Disney Princesses, American Girls, Bratz) and a mother's struggle to find the line in the sand for her daughter. It reads like a dialogue with yourself as you stand in the pink section of the toy store as you debate picking up that barbie doll for that young girl in your life. It is very interesting for both women and men to read and helps start evaluating your own thoughts and policies of parenting.

Wild Things: The Art of Nurturing Boys
by James Stephen and David Thomas
I think I have mentioned this book before but I have to recommend it again. Anyone who interacts with male humans should read this book, especially those who are raising little men. This book helps expose the secrets of how boys work and what we can do to help them develop. It also helps you gain some perspective as a parent or teacher and prevent boys' actions from driving you crazy. Read This Book!