Thursday, March 31, 2011

Back to real life.

So my days of watching bad movies and napping are put on hold while I started back to work this week.

I was more than ready to get out of the house regularly and see all my friends, students, parents, and gym peeps again. And my easy-going 7-week-old was ready for some action too--ok, he slept through most of anything. I am fortunate to work in two extremely family-oriented places--on-site childcare and lots of eager hands to snuggle him.

Everyone has asked me all are you? did it go ok? how is he? Everything is fine. I get to see the little bundle whenever I need to and he gets to see me whenever he needs me. And really, I only work 4 hrs a day and teach fitness for 55 mins per week. I absolutely love my jobs, so I was so happy to be back.

Unfortunately, the rest of my life continued as well...driving kids around, newsletters to write, tutoring to do, lots of laundry and dishes to wash, books to read, report cards to enjoy, grocery shopping, big kids to chat with.... That, combined with the fact the little one found the need to eat continually from midnight to 6am each night...was exhausting. Seeing my husband nap or hearing him snore was a bit irritating, to say the least.

So we're hanging in least until summer.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Spring Break Run Down

Spring is always a practice for what is to come in the summer. Our kids were busy. This is what they did.

*Rollerskating and Laser Tag at Skateland
*Forts with cushions and blankets
*Magic show (best $10 spent at Barnes and Noble ever)
*A special date with a parent (shoe shopping, ice cream, bookstore)
*Bike riding and neighborhood walks
*Lots of outside play...until it snowed
*Xbox and DS
*Family movie times and lots of popcorn
*Half-Birthday celebrations
*Dress up---there was a Fairy Revolution, Ninja fight, and Star Wars recreation
*Playdates with friends
*Lots of reading

Friday, March 25, 2011

Fitness Friday!!! the Comeback!

Obviously, my body has undergone lots of changes in the past year. I gained about 35lbs during my pregnancy, reaching my all-time high weight.

Every woman feels pressure to lose that baby weight. If you watch the tabloids, Hollywood moms make it look way to easy to drop all that weight in a ridiculous about of time. They make us, normal people, think it should all melt away. But ladies, it doesn't. When I was 18, yes, the weight disappeared. But when I was in my twenties, I decided just to have another baby instead of trying to get rid of the rest of the pounds. And with #3, it wasn't until I was done nursing (after 2 1/2 years) that I finally finished up that last 5lbs. And honestly, my pre-pregnancy-regular weight is 10lbs higher than my wedding weight.

So we'll see what happens this time. I was in the best shape of my life before I got pregnant (which really helped my surgical recovery!) and I am nursing all the time and taking care of 3 other kids, not to mention teaching the best 24 preschoolers in town....let's just say I'm very active. But I love junk food and sitting around watching a lot of tv while I rock and nap isn't good for anything.

My goal is to have my body back to being strong (lifting those big weights again), active, and fit (e.g. running up the stairs and breathing at the same time) in 9 months. I want to be able to keep up with my students, young and old, and my own kids.

It took me 9mons to get up there, it will take about 9mons to get back down.

I'll track my progress here and we'll see what happens!

Height: 4ft 11in
End of pregnancy weight: 162
Today's weight:138.5

Monday, March 21, 2011

The Children are the Future

I am a strong believer in play-based learning for children (and hands-on learning for adults!). Kids should be encouraged to think for themselves, explore, experiment, ask questions, and take risks. This will allow them to think critically about what they are doing, find ways to solve the world's problems, think outside the box to create new and better things for us.

Here is an article about some research that encourages this type of learning.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011


I love playdough...who doesn't?! We make our own at home and school (I've also been known to make batches for the kids' classes). Playdough-making takes practice.

Here is my favorite recipe.

2 cups flour
1 cup salt
1 tablespoon cream of tartar
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 envelop gelatin (plain or flavored (but sugar-free))
2 cups water

In medium pot, combine ingredients and whisk well. Put over medium heat. Stir often with spoon or rubber spatula. Once mixture is thick and forms soft ball (about 5-10min), remove from heat and turn out onto lightly floored surface. Allow to cool 10min then knead a few times until smooth. Allow to cool completely. Store in air-tight container.

Add food coloring
Jello OR Kool Aid packets
Extracts or scented oils
Replace 1/4 cup of flour with cocoa
Tea or coffee grounds
Herbs or spices (pie spice is nice around the holidays)

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Life as we know it

Just to recap...

We have a 14yo who is trying to get us to teach her to drive (yes, drive....reminding us she is only 18mon away from 16!), registered for high school, and we are having to teach her to responsibility of a cell phone and the evil interweb. She is also nutty busy with school and church activities, not to mention her social life.

A 7yo who is reading everything, eliminating the once-effective mute/closed captioning button (hey, what does mean? should I google it? look they said it again!). He is also become an expert chess player way above my ability and tries to out logic us to get out of chores. He is inquisitive about everything and is insistent on looking up lots of facts.

A 5yo who has quickly figured out how to take advantage of a tired and always nursing mother. He has decided he is a real big kid now and wants to watch big kid shows, make up very mean comebacks, avoid homework at all costs. At least he still needs some cuddle time each day.

A 4week old who nurses, poops, and sleeps continually. He is trying hard to control his neck and head.

A little bit of everything...just the way we like it.

Sunday, March 06, 2011

Netflix Newbie

As I am on maternity leave and ordered to do as little as possible...the first three weeks I was told to do hubby decided to get the free trial of Netflix. And we love did we function before?!

We do get DVD's in the mail but the part that we love is the instant streaming onto our laptop and xbox. Anytime we can watch tons of movies and tv shows. So I've watched a lot. I especially like documentaries, so I have watched a lot (and learned a lot about the movie rating system, french pastry competitions, vaccinations, natural gas, Joan Rivers). The kids love that they can watch Spongebob at any moment (for the hour it is not on tv). My only wish would be that Netflix monitors when I fall asleep while watching and starts the movie again when I wake up.

So, now my hubby wants to get rid of the satellite. I'm not ready for that move...I like to watch current tv shows and the local news. But lots of people are doing this...any of you?

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Expect the Unexpected while Expecting

While pregnant with our fourth baby, I knew that each pregnancy is different and each delivery is different. But I am a planner and like to be in control. We scheduled a c-section for Thursday, Feb 10th and after a couple weeks of worrying that I was going to go into labor (especially during the big snow storm), I decided that he's waited this long, he is going to wait until our scheduled date.

Of course, that didn't happen. On Monday, I was napping when pop! (literally) my water broke. This has never happened to me before. After panicking for a moment, I went into full mom-mode. Woke the hubby, called the mom, called the kids' schools, had contraction, called neighbors, packed a bag, calmed hubby down, had contraction, called doctor, cleaned up the house, facebooked our new status, emailed important family members, washed up. Sure I had thought about packing a bag ahead of time, but didn't. I did think about what to do with out existing children beforehand but with the snow, we changed it a bit.

So, we finally get to the hospital (yes, hello hubby's co-workers, would love to chat but have to have a baby now) and just hang out for awhile. Since I ate lunch, not expecting to have major surgery, I had to wait 6hrs for my c-section. Well, my water broke, setting my body into labor...meaning contractions....and contractions are painful at times. This was not part of the plan. But I was surprisingly calm and I breathe very well. I felt a little bad that I didn't do anything exciting for the nursing students (it was their first day, they were hoping for a baby right away).

So there I am, watching Seinfeld and the clock, knowing that although it kind of sucked that I had to labor, it would all end at 7pm. Tick, tock, tick, tock.

Magic time....spinal in, contractions stop. In about 15mins...BABY!!! I got to see him right away...and then it went downhill. Short story...vomiting while having abdominal surgery...horrible. So, I didn't get to really see or pay any attention to the baby while in surgery. Finally, after about an hour in recovery, I stopped throwing up and got to nurse and nuzzle the little one.

After was blissful.

So, he just wanted to make sure his arrival was eventful and would be remembered. All in all, although not what we expected, it was the result we planned on...a healthy, happy baby boy.