Sunday, November 8, 2015

In the past year...

My birthday was this weekend (by the way, birthdays are not as exciting as a grown up as they were when I was little!).  As the number for my age increases, I took some time to reflect on the past year.
November 5, 2014- The first time we saw Little Sister on an ultrasound.  Now, anyone who has had a pregnancy loss, or maybe even anyone pregnant, can understand how I was feeling.  By the time of our appointment and we were walking to the ultrasound room, I was already in tears.  I was so worried that I had already lost this baby.  The ultrasound tech was great.  She found the baby quickly and we saw the most amazing thing- the beating heart!  My tears of fear and worry quickly changed to tears of joy that this baby was doing well and growing!

December 31, 2014- My dad and stepmom both retire!  This meant that they can travel to see us more often!

March 10, 2015- Little Guy began preschool.  This was sooner than we anticipated, but we decided it was a good time due to the upcoming changes to our family.

May 31, 2015- Two years since I became a stay at home mom!  Although I miss teaching, my heart is still at home with Little Guy and now Little Sister!  I feel so blessed that I am able to do this!

June 11, 2015- The day we met Little Sister!

June 25, 2015- Little Guy turned 4! and learned how to ride a pedal bike (with no training wheels)!

Life is so different now than it was a year ago.  Little Sister came into our lives and now everyday seems like an adventure with two little ones.  I have to remember to allow myself some grace as I have not figured out how do everything I used to do.

I love where my life has brought me.  A loving husband who works hard and two beautiful children that I am blessed to be at home with.  This past year had some wonderful moments.  I can't wait to see what this next year brings.

Monday, November 2, 2015

Healthy Mama Challenge Week 2

Last week, I wrote about the mama slump.  Those times when you just feel out of sorts with being a mom, even though you love your kids.  Those times when you need to spend a little bit of time focusing on yourself.  To help me get out of the slump I was in, I joined the Healthy Mama Challenge through the mom's group I belong to.  This continues to be a great choice!

One area of focus is Body.  During week two, I was able to keep up with working out.  I actually worked out six days last week!  Yay!  Most of these were again early morning workouts (I think one was at 5:00), but this time of day is great for me.  One morning the workout was a little later, and so Little Guy was up and joined me!  He is pretty cute when he works out.

My sweaty post workout selfie!
Another aspect of the Body challenge is to think about what I am eating.  I get points for eating two servings of fruit and three servings of vegetables each day.  While eating the fruit is pretty easy, I have had to focus on the veggies a little bit more.  But the encouragement to do this has been great, and I don't think I've missed a day of fruit or veggies.  We are also encouraged to keep a food journal.  This can be however we want; I have been using My Fitness Pal.  It helps me to think about what I am eating and how much.  However, I sometimes struggle with eating enough.  On days that I do cardio and weights, in addition to breastfeeding, I burn a lot of calories.  I am not trying to lose any weight right now, and so want to be eating close to the amount of calories MFP suggests.

This is what MFP looks like on my phone.
One area of the challenge I struggle with is Spirit.  This category includes time alone with spouse, time spent focusing on kids, time with friends with no kids, and doing things specifically for me including taking a bath, keeping a personal journal, and praying or meditating.  Although I love to take baths, I find it hard to do at the end of the day.  Same with keeping a journal or praying.  One of my goals, going into week 3, is to start doing at least one of these each day.

The last area is Mind.  This area has 3 options: reading a book, doing a hobby, or taking a college course.  This is one area that is easy for me!  I love to read, and read every night before I go to bed.  Currently I am reading The King's Curse by Philippa Gregory.  This is the sixth book in the Cousins' War series, with this book focusing on the reign of King Henry VIII of England.  I have also been working on my hobby- digital scrapbooking.  I used to do paper scrapbooking (you should see my wedding scrapbook!), but no longer have the time or space to do it.  So I have started digital scrapbooking and have really been enjoying it!  I am currently working on a scrapbook of Little Guy's first year.  (Side note- it is really fun to look at pictures of him when he was a baby!  And it is amazing to me how much my two kids look alike!)

 So, that's how I'm doing!  Some days are still hard, but I find that doing these things really does help.  What suggestions do you have?

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Some days...

Many days we get out of the house.  Swim lessons, zoo class, preschool, playgroup, playdates, so many reasons to leave the house.  But some days, we stay home.  We stay in our pajamas, read books, and don't worry about getting out.  I like these days.

Sugar cookies fresh from the oven, waiting for decorating.  Dinner already cooking in the crockpot.

A door decorated with pumpkin and leaf faces, the product of our morning.

 The books we read, waiting for another reading.

 The fireplace keeping us warm and cozy, matching the feeling in our hearts.

Monday, October 26, 2015

Getting past the "Mama slump"

Do you even get into that "mama slump?"  You know, when you love your kids immensely but are tired and grumpy and maybe not just yourself?  I get that way sometimes, and a little more often after having Little Sister.  I feel like I give so much of myself to my two little ones, that there is not always a lot left over for me.

So it was time for a change.  A positive change.  The mom's group that I am a part of started a "Healthy Mama Challenge."  This is a four week competition (although competition is used loosely here) that encourages us moms to take care of our body (through exercise and eating well), our mind (through reading and hobbies) and our spirit (by praying or meditating, spending time with our spouse, focused time with our kids, and time alone).

Yesterday wrapped up week one of the challenge.  Guess what?  I feel good!  For the first time since Little Sister was born, I worked out more than one time during a week.  I actually got in five workouts last week, and one yoga session!  Although I love group fitness classes (remember, I was a Stroller Strides instructor), that type of workout just does not fit with my life right now.  So I have been doing workout videos off of YouTube.  PopSugar Fitness has been great!  For me, working out is something that I do for me, a time to focus on my body and my needs.  For now, it means I am getting up early in the morning to have enough time, but I feel better about myself when I do this!

Daddy and I spent some quality time together this week.  In the busy-ness of life with little kids, sometimes it is easy to overlook our partners.  Even though our children go to bed pretty early (they are both in bed by 7:30), there always seems to be so much to do- dishes to be washed, laundry to be folded, dogs to take care of, plus many more.  So it was nice to be "encouraged" to spend time focused on Daddy.

The time focused on the kids may have been the easiest, but oh so needed.  I spend all day with Little Guy and Little Sister, but I know I am not always 100% focused on them.  Last week we were having some beautiful weather, so four afternoons we walked to the local elementary school so Little Guy could play on the playground or ride his bike on the blacktop.  It takes us about 10 minutes to walk there, but we had fun singing songs on the way, telling stories, or just talking.  Little Sister either rode in the stroller, which she seemed to enjoy, or I wore her in my Boba carrier.  I think it was great for all of us to get out into the fresh air, spend that time together, and great for Little Guy to run around and play outside!  I really hope the nice weather sticks around so we can do this more this week!

I am excited to begin week two of this challenge!  I hope that I can continue to be encouraged to do things to take care of me, while taking care of my family!

What do you do to get out of the "mama slump?"