Monday, December 31, 2012

Six week running streak

I’ve had a hard time trying to figure out how to fit regular, consistent running back into my life since Jake came in the picture. I miss it.

I think it’s because I’m really out of shape: in the get-up-and-just-do-it department. I’ve needed to exercise my do something now muscle. And my make-it-a-priority-or-else area is a little weak and jiggly, it needs some firming up.

So when my favorite running magazine posted a holiday running streak challenge – run at least a mile every day starting on Thanksgiving and ending on New Year’s Day – I thought it was just what I needed to get me back in the habit. I didn’t want to wait for the New Year to make a change.

Friday, December 28, 2012

Fit in fifteen: a healthy holiday done the Mom’s way

Like many of you, coordinating gifts with Santa, planning for school parties and family gatherings has left me with little time for getting in regular workouts. In fact, schedules have become so hectic; I’ve taken a “holiday hiatus” from my boot camp fitness training. Not wanting to revert back to my old habits of hand-to-mouth exercising, I reached out to my bootcamp instructor Derek Mendoza, athletic supervisor for Sports Performance at Texas Health HEB for a little help. To accommodate this busy working mom’s schedule, he suggested a great 15-minute workout routine (see below) that uses only my body weight!

With it, I’ve successfully been able to incorporate a good workout in with Christmas musical practices, holiday parties and family gatherings, etc... even with a small amount of time. It has also helped me keep my fitness goals heading in the right direction until I have the time to devote to my regular training again.
Although this joyous season will come and go, I’m determined to making health and wellness a permanent part of my life.

How do you balance being a busy mom with your health and wellness goals? For all you busy working moms out there, try my 15-minute workout and let me know if it works for you too!

Each station should be 20 seconds before taking a 10-second break/transition into the next station. Repeat until all eight stations are complete. Take a one-minute break and repeat the circuit two more times for a total three rounds.

Station#1 - Forward lunge (left leg only)
Station#2 - Forward lunge (right leg only)

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Sibling Give and Take

I didn’t realize that arguments between siblings started so early.  Preston, 5, and Emory, 2, obviously love each other, so why is it that they have already begun fighting?  I thought that I had a couple of years left before the sibling fights began.

What sets them off?

Toys - Preston has a toy that Emory wants or Emory has a toy that Preston wants.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Graceful parenting

Most moms I know are harried. Some dads are, too, but, mostly it’s the moms who show signs of unraveling – one short yank on the guilt string from a child or one pull on a perceived criticism of their parenting skills, and they come undone faster than a snagged thread on a just-purchased sweater.

And who can blame them. Motherhood is a low-paying gig with a tough audience; a precarious juggling act with flaming light sabers and exploding Lego pieces; a barefoot walk on glowing coals while balancing a stack of Barbies on your head.

Graceful parenting often seems unattainable. I try, like the rest of my comrades, but most times I stumble through it, feeling guilty that I’m not measuring up or feeling frustrated or unappreciated.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

The Holiday Race

Though I talk about how I am a planner, I do have some areas where I tend to procrastinate as well.  I must admit, Christmas tends to be one of those areas.  However, this is our first Christmas with Shelby and I think she might have cured me of this particular procrastination practice.

I was moseying along with our usual routine of getting out all of the decorations, starting to make my Christmas list and deciding who would be where for what Christmas meal and celebration.  Kudos to my hubby because he got his part of Christmas done quickly.  All in one weekend, he put lights on the house, the trees, the bushes and even went out and got us a real Christmas tree.  What did I have done?  Not. A. Thing.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Less Commercialized Christmas

It’s Christmas Time which leads to reflection on what is Christmas really about. It had become so commercialized within our family. I wanted my children to understand the real meaning of the season so what should a Mother do?

A couple of years ago after watching the children open all the presents and hear them talking about what they didn’t get, I realized we needed a reality check. So, plans for the upcoming Christmas were looking a little different.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Breaking the "rules"

So I’m pretty sure my seven-month-old, Lucy, thinks she is too “big” for baby food. The last month has been a lot of trial and error. At the rate she’s been going I’m pretty sure she could keep nursing till she’s 26! She has been a great eater and breast milk has more than agreed with her, look at those cheeks! When I learned that I would be staying at home, just after she was born, I was in no rush to introduce a bottle. Now you should know that my first born spent the first eight weeks of his life in the NICU which meant I spent eight weeks pumping every two hours, not even kidding. So I was more than excited NOT to pump this time around.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

A New Pediatrician's Perspective

Miss A had a fitful night of sleep on Friday night and woke up Saturday morning complaining she didn't feel well.

We reluctantly scrapped our plans of going to the zoo and canceled a playdate with a dear friend.

I called the pedi from bed at 8:01 and they made us an appointment for 8:45. Thank goodness for Saturday office hours, but we had only 30 minutes to not only pack a bag for the pedi, but to pack a bag for Granna and Bapa's. We decided we would go there for the day for some QT.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

When the truth hurts

My little princess is nearing age 5 and with her growth and maturity has also come a mouth and vocabulary to go with it.

Now I’m not naive enough to think that Lily would always stay my sweet little girl that worshiped her mother and never spoke anything out of character fit for a Disney princess.  I am a little surprised, however, at how quickly her brain processes and some of the things she says. One thing about four (almost five) year olds: they are brutally honest!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Cookie Cutter Christmas

Christmas time brings the smells of cinnamon, spice and all things nice…especially warm baking cookies! The average person gains a few pounds over the holidays as indulgent goodies are everywhere in sight! However, you can enjoy your favorite goodies by cutting out or replacing the higher fat and sugar items for their slimmer baking counterparts.

Now, don’t substitute every single ingredient because you might alter the taste and integrity of the end result.  However, making a few substitutions will help lower the fat and calories of your product!

Monday, December 17, 2012

The Santa Photo

I don’t know what to say about this picture … except that I am so glad it turned out exactly like it did.

When my wife, Lauren, and I got married 7 years ago, her first job was at Neiman Marcus’s corporate office. As a part of her job she often found herself in the flagship store downtown and thought it would be fun, if we had kids someday, to take them there for the classic Christmas picture with Santa. This year was our second of this “tradition”—as I lovingly point out to Lauren—where we drive by literally hundreds of Santas to patronize a store that abruptly laid her off during the 2008 financial crisis …but that is what’s great about sentimental things: you often block out the negative details.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Going overboard

OK. I admit it. I’m going over the top with the Elf on the Shelf thing this year. I think my son is starting to suspect that it’s me. But that’s not stopping me from having fun.

On the off chance that you haven’t heard of Elf on the Shelf, the elf shows up sometime after Thanksgiving with a story book. He’s named by the kids and then spends the rest of the holiday season hiding (translation: parents wake up in the middle of the night realizing that they forgot to move the elf and promptly panic.) I kept forgetting to move the elf the first couple of years, so last year I started to be more elaborate with the elf and decided that he’d be doing little pranks. The problem is that once you start that, the kids have expectations.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Holidays with a little one

Although my immediate family is spread across the country, we make an effort each Thanksgiving to come together for the holidays. This year was no different than any other, but my baby girl did provide some entertaining and memorable moments I won’t soon forget.

This year, my parents and my sister’s family all came to see me – a request I made known months in advance. Being more than 30 weeks pregnant, I lacked the desire to travel by ground or air. So, my sister drove from Alabama and my parents flew in from Colorado.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

A really bad joke

with WOWO2 at 5 months old
A WOWO and a Blanket walk into a school.

A WOWO and a Blanket get left in the cubby all night long, all by themselves.

Mom freaks out. One of her worst nightmares is realized.

Two-year-old freaks out. She compulsively looks for hours for Blanket and WOWO before bedtime.

If you're waiting for the funny punchline, you're not going to get it. This was our very real and very scary night the other night.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Sometimes you need another Mom

Seven months in and I am FINALLY starting to feel comfortable with my new job.

I have dreamed about this job since I was a little girl and I used to play and pretend this role over and over again with friends and family. And now that I am really doing it, every single day it is a lot different than I could have ever imagined. What’s my new job? I am now a full time SAHM, stay-at-home-Mom!

Monday, December 10, 2012

Sleeping beauty in her sleeping bag

After 12 long months, we finally got my daughter out of the lair she’d cobbled together out of an old Dora kiddie couch, some tattered pink blankets and a fur-covered doggie bed. It’d been her sleeping spot. It was a compromise, really. The middle ground between her bed and Mommy and Daddy’s.

It was surprisingly easy to get her out of there. I promised her we’d makeover her room from the Tinkerbelle-green nursery she’d known for the entire four years she’s been alive to something so unbelievably cool she wouldn’t be able to resist sleeping in it. Something mermaid-y. Fairy-y. Cupcake-y. Teenager-y. She went for it.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Curing the Gimmies?

Just like any parent, all FOUR of my big boys' parents worry about the kind of young men we're raising. We work hard to teach them responsibility, kindness, decency, compassion, etc. Most days, I feel we're on the right track. The boys are often praised by teachers, friends' parents, even complete strangers for their behavior. However, they are still kids. They have their "imperfect" moments. Right now, it's a case of the “gimmies" (pronounced GIM-meees).

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Silence Renews

At work I am surrounded by busy people typing, meeting, talking on the phone, laughing and moving around. In the car I have the radio going most of the time. At home there is rarely any silence between the kids, cats, dogs and the bustle of day-to-day life. (And I don’t know about you, but if the kids are silent, it’s time to investigate.)

How often do we have a truly silent moment?

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Reminded by a Child

Preston and Emory, ages five and two, are so excited about Christmas this year!  How fun it is to see their eyes twinkle and their smiles widen each time they see Christmas lights in the neighborhood or hear a Christmas song on the radio.

They were both overjoyed as we put up the Christmas tree and decorated the house with Santa and Snowmen this week. 

Emory:  That’s Santa Claus! (Talking about a Santa that stands on the fireplace.)
Mommy:  Yes, it is.  What does Santa say?
Emory:  Ho, Ho, Ho.
Mommy:  Merry….
Emory (singing): ….had a little lamb, little lamb, little lamb…

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Top 5 things I have learned since becoming a Mom

You know that old expression about making all your mistakes with your first child, and learning as you go?

That’s exactly the path my husband and I set out on nearly five years ago with the birth of our first son. We heard all the general advice and tucked it away in case of emergency, but for the most part raising Max has been nothing but trial and error. Neither of us really knew what we were doing when we started and we really don’t know how we’re going to face the coming years with him, but we know everything will turn out fine. You only make some mistakes once.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Who’s on First?

My toddler’s vocabulary and conversational skills are growing by leaps and bounds lately. I’m honestly amazed by the new things he comes up with on what seems like a daily basis. It’s been fun to have the beginnings of "real" conversations with him. Of course, some are more amusing than others. Last night, we had this conversation after leaving our favorite local taco truck.