Mar 31, 2012

Pregnancy Fitness: What Works For Me

I'm not sure what my motivation is this time around...the fact that: -I'll likely be in a swimsuit at 40 weeks preggers whereas last time I was in stretchy cotton pants and sweaters up to my neck.
-I have a three year old to keep up with.
-I'm petrified of how hard it will be to lose the weight with one infant, one toddler, and one large house to keep up with.
But I've been MUCH better about exercising this time 'round.  I was pretty good for a while with the last one too.  But I think it's because I've found two SUPER AWESOME workouts!  MWF are this:

Here's why I LOVE it.  The Lindsay Brin workout is PERFECT.  If you were like SUPER workout freak before you got pregnant, this might not be enough for you.  But if you're anything like me...average momma who's fitness and nutrition routine include, chasing after a toddler, hauling laundry up and down the stairs, and fitting in walks, runs or workouts when you can, and trying to eat healthy and not totally pig out just to relieve your stress, then this is for you!  There's a different workout for each trimester.  It's kind of circuit like in that it rotates through cardio, upper body toning & lower body toning.  Ten it has abs at the end and some sweet stretches.  It goes slow enough so you never feel off balance, rushed, or totally exhausted.  But it really works you out and has great moves that are pregnancy safe that I never would have thought of!  And I'm super pumped about the Post Preggers Boot Camp to kick me back into shape.  Lindsay tells me that if you work out during pregnancy, your body is so used to all the extra work (increased weight, bloodvolume, metabolism etc) that you can actually get in BETTER shape after baby than if you'd never been pregnant at all!  Wahoo! 

And then I do this prenatal yoga work out T,R.  It still works you out and keeps you toned, but stretching is SO important when pregnant!  Your muscles really tighten up with extra weight in wierd places.  You're totally prone to charlie horses.  AND ligaments and tendons are doing all sorts of funky things loosening up with all the crazy hormones.  PLUS this is prenatal yoga which really focuses on moves that get you ready for labor.  The yoga moves I practiced all pregnancy were a HUGE help to me during labor and I dare say (along with prayer, hypnobirthing and my amazing doula) helped me have a short, easy, natural labor that most people are shocked at when I talk about...especially with my first.
So I highly recommend these!  I also highly recommend Lindsay Brin's blog.  She's a mom of 3 and she chronicles, in full color picture detail, her road back to fit...starting with pictures that are just days after she gave birth.  She talks about ways she tries to eat healthy...even when she's hitting the drive through at mcdonalds with three kids strapped into her minivan.  She's normal, real, honest and inspiring.  She also has a really rockin' website called MomsIntoFitness with TONS of great info and all her products as well (although you can totally get them cheaper on amazon or at Target).

So that's what I'm doing.  What works for you to stay fit and healthy when preggers? 

Mar 30, 2012

24 Weeks!

Okay, okay I'm a little behind in posting this picture.  I'll actually be 26 weeks in a few days.  But in the spirit of taking a monthly picture and documenting this baby belly for friends and family that don't get to see the whole process, here's my 24 weeks picture from a few weeks ago.

I'm still feeling great...just a few normal aches and pains.  Bloodpressure/sugar/heartbeat/weight all continue to be super healthy!  Praise the Lord.

This seems quite minor in light of things I've been praying for for many friends and family in my life, but nothing is too small to lift up.  And I know, I know...people are always saying I carry so small...but anyway....So if you think about it, just pray for me.  I'm right on track, but I've gained a few more pounds at this point than I had my last pregnancy...and I'm actually exercising MORE and eating better!  Im a little freaked out that I'm going to get ginormous...and losing the weight won't be nearly as easy as round 1.  Just pray that I would not compare!  Pray that my focus would not be on me, but solely on a healthy happy baby!  Thanks!

Mar 29, 2012

DIY Cleaning on a dime!

I recently had a fabulous girls weekend with three friends from college that remain some of my besties.  Good food, laughs, and convos were much needed!  But I also got inspired.  Inspired to make my own cleaning products!  I've had recipes "pinned" for forever, but the the thought of getting all the supplies overwhelmed me.  I just wasn't sure how they'd work.  And I didn't know if the laundry detergent could be used in my front loader.  Well, after being able to see my friends supplies, try them, smell them and know that one used them in a front loader.  I was sold!  So here I go, using homemade products that:

1) Really work, disinfect, and smell amazing!
2) Are safe, safe, safe for kids and septic!
Laundry Detergent:
One Box Borax
One Box Washing Soda
2 Bars Fels Naptha Soap (grated)
(I got these all in the laundry aisle at my local grocery store.  It cost me $8.50.  I only use 1 TBS per load and my friends guarantee me it will last forever!  It smells AMAZING, cleans SO well, and is better for my septic system than regular Laundry detergent. I also scored the awesome glass container with blackboard square on it at Christmas tree shop on my girls weekend!)
Counter Spray:
4c Water
6 TBS Castile Soap
60 drops tea tree oil
(You can get a giant container of all natural Castile Soap at Christmas Tree shop for $10.  It will last you more than a year my friends say.  And mine is peppermint scented.  I had the tea tree oil from cloth diaper days.  The 60 drops of it may sound like a lot but it's not at all.  It's a natural and safe anti-bacterial.  I don't remember how much it costs, but it too lasts forever!)

Glass Cleaner:
2c water
1/4c vinegar
1TBS cornstarch
(It might sound wierd, but holy hannah does it work!  And it's SO safe.  When I started researching all the chemicles in Windex, out it went!  You can also add 1/4c. rubbing alcohol which I hear makes it work even better.  I opted out of this because of the kid safe factor.)

I also purchased me self some microfiber cleaning cloths so that I can reuse!  Helping save the environment, my wallet, and my kiddos all at the same time!  So if you're like I was...considering it but having a hard time making the leap.  Just Do It!  Totally worth it! 

Mar 28, 2012


I am feeling pretty blessed these days.  I'll share with you some of the highlights...not for our glory but for God's.  I believe as we seek to honor Him with our lives and choices he blessed those actions.  Not with a broad stroke.  Not promising rainbows and butterflies and easy sailing all the way.  Not always as we'd expect or hope.  But blesses us none the less.

Jason's Raise Came In!
Jason was up for a pay raise that we knew was coming, but didn't know quite when.  I was getting anxious to find out what it was so we could redo our budget and look at preschools and it just wasn't happening.  Then one day a lightbulb went on..."Worrying won't help.  I can't do a thing about it."  So imagine this...we quieted ourselves before the Lord one night, prayed about it and stopped fretting.  Days later, it came in.

We Paid Off The Car!
Our tax return was FAR bigger than I had expected.  We  felt super strongly led to give our tithe portion to some friends that are adopting and that was REALLY fun!  I would love to tell you that the rest of it went to other fun things like a swingset for Ella or a bigger TV, but nope.  This is where we continue to try to honor God with all of our decisions and make the good (and not always fun) financial choices NOW that we didn't make in the past!  WE PAID OFF THE CAR!!!  Last year, after much hard work, we paid off the credit card and cut it up.  This year we paid off the car!  And we're just going to keep on trucking toward that debt free goal!  It feels SO great!

We're At Peace About Pre-school!
Deciding on a preschool for Ella has been really hard.  So hard, in fact, that I turned to God rather quickly (not my norm I'm sad to say) and have been bathing it in paryer for months and months and months.  Jason and I both felt strongly led toward Montessori, but the price was flat out out of the question, the money just simply wasn't there.  But...with the money freed up by paying off the car, and added money from the raise we could afford the skin of our teeth.  It would, however, leave little left for all of the other things we want to do (save, pay off debt, house renovations, things for new baby).  We prayed, crunched numbers, looked at other schools, crunched numbers and prayed some more.  We finally decided it was important enough to bite the bullet...Montessori was it...only to find out that the Montessori school was full.

After looking at numerous other schools and having my heart broken by a little girl who kept repeating that she didn't want to go to any of them, she wanted to go where her friend goes (Montessori).  We found one that is delightful and signed her up for the fall.  Although we remain on the waitlist for Montessori and I am praying for an opening...God may be saying "no" to that option.  He may be doing it to look out for our better good financially or in some other way.  He knows better than we do, so I'm going to trust Him with that and we feel at peace with it in His hands.

Blessings in Daddy's Travel for Work!
It is no secret.  I am not a fan of Jason traveling for work.  It's hard...even harder when I'm pregnant.  I don't sleep well.  I'm not at ease.  I miss him like crazy.  I get exhauseted and impatient.  Our connection in our relationship suffers etc. etc.  Right now there are trips coming up everywhere.  And with where he was on the list, we were certain he would have to go to San Diego for TWO MONTHS at end of April.  (Just to put the in perspective, that's two months without him when I'm 28-35 weeks pregnant.)  Oh, I was dreading it!  And, if I'm honest, had not brought it to God very much...just resigned myself to the fact and fretted.  Well...A TWO WEEK trip opened up in Conn. (3 hour drive away) a few weeks ago.  Two of Jason's co-workerd were ahead of him on the list and qualified for this trip.  They could have taken it.  But they knew that Jason has a toddler and a pregnant wife.  AND THEY LET HIM HAVE IT!  Oh, bless their hearts!  And thank-you God for your mercy, even when we don't ask!  Added blessings... Ella and I went and visited him over the long weekend, went to the Mystic Aquarium AND they finished the job ahead of schedule so he's coming home early!  Again, I say, Blessings!

Just really wanted to give a shout out to God right now, and something for me to look back on and remember his faithfulness when roads are not quite so smooth.   

Mar 15, 2012

Maple Syruping!

We're trying our hand at maple syruping.  And by "we" I mean Jason.  He got interested in it, researched it, bought the stuff and is building the cooker thingymado.  Jason had been toying with the idea, then thought he'd table it until next year.  But then Ella saw curious george (perhaps her all-time favorite hero) tap trees and make maple syrup and got really excited about doing it too!  So even though it's kind of late, her fabulous daddy jumped right in.  We've gotten way more sap than we ever thought.  We might end up with 1/2 gallon of syrup or so.  But this year it's all about the experience!  Maybe in years to come family and friends can look forward to York Maple Syrup as Christmas gifts :)

Mar 7, 2012

Getting Back on Track

As a parent do you ever feel like things are just flying at you way too fast?  ...figuratively of course...not literally!  Well, I do.  At times it's just overwhelming to me to keep up with Ella's development and make sure she's being nurtured, challenged, disciplined etc. in all the ways she needs. There are so many things to think about!  It is times like these that I am thankful for prayer, God's Word, Pinterest, and friends that have either gone before me or are right in the same stages and have rockin' ideas!

Since the days of blasted first trimester sickness where I became the kind of mom I dispise, we have improved.  Life is back to normal in play, learning, evenings, outings etc...but  but it's hard to break bad habits...even newly formed ones!  Our mornings are still not the way I'd like.  Breakfast is usually in the living room in our PJ's and although we've cut way back, there are still way too many shows.   This makes it super hard to get going, get Ella motivated to do other things and get ready for the day and we usually end up running late and both frustrated.  Not how I want life to be.  Not what I want for my Bella. 

SOOO, I divised a plan to whip things back into shape during nap time yesterday...layed it out for Ella last night...and implimented it today!  It is as follows:

In the morning before she can watch cartoons, she needs to:
get dressed (we pick out and lay out the clothes the night before) and
make her bed (pull her comforter up) before she leaves her rooom.
feed Hunter
eat breakfast at the table
brush her teeth.

She gets to put a smiley face on her chart for each of these tasks.  She also has the task of picking up toys throughout the day.
So, TV can go on after those things are completed, if we're home for the day. However, she now has a mason jar with popcicle sticks in it.  When she wants to watch a show, she has to go to the jar and get a popcicle stick and give it to me.  (Popcicle sticks can be taken out of the jar by mom or dad as a consequence for behavior.)
I'm not sure she can grasp it now, so this will wait until later.  But later we'll move up to adding up the smiley faces she has on her chart at the end of the week and she'll get that many popcicle sticks for shows for the following week.  Later we'll also add more everyday chores that are just her part of keeping up the house and next year we'll add extra chores that she can earn money for each week.

Today has gone swimmingly!  She's super excited about it, loves putting the smiley faces on, loves getting the popcicle sticks and handing them to me, and keeps coming up with other chores she wants to do.  I pray this great attitude continues!  It makes me get ready for the day and do the same things and OH how much smoother and happier our day has been!  Praise the Lord!

It's just so important that our children learn responsibility for themselves and the household.  Self discipline is so crucial in life!  It's so vital to have order and routine and predictabilities to our days!  It takes a tad more work and thought on the front end, but it saves SO much time and energry that it's a no brainer.  And believe me folks, 2 and 3 year olds are NOT too young to start learning this stuff.  The sooner the better!  So glad to be back on track!

What helpful tips/routines etc. do you do with your toddlers/preschoolers?  Wisdom always welcome!