Sunday, January 22, 2017

Completing Bikini Body Mommy 90 Day Challenge & My Non-Bikini Body Bod

Today, January 22nd, 2017- I completed The Bikini Body Mommy 90 Challenge 5.0. 

If you are unfamiliar with Bikini Body Mommy, she is a mom of four, who posts workout videos on YouTube.  She is a real mom, who is working out, trying to stay healthy and fit in real time.  I love her because she isn't the body builder, muscle women who is clearly not even phased by the workouts on my DVD player as I keel over in pain doing them in my living room.  

She's real.  

She falls over, she has to stop every once in a while, she struggles, even lets out a swear word or two and I love it.  

I've been following her for several years, ever since I caught wind of her challenge as she was trying to lose weight after having a miscarriage.  She has whipped me into shape once before (in early 2014 getting ready for a spring break trip to St. Augustine) and I knew she could do it again as I prepared to stand up at my sister's wedding in Cancun Mexico in February.

I began the challenge in July and am have just finished day 90 today. You can do that math there to know that was MUCH longer than 90 days.  I like being in shape and all, but working out is not my highest priority and I'm at peace with that.  I sprinkle these workouts in between some other ones I do and running.  I also sprinkle them in between my job, grading, lesson planning, housework, blogging, reading, spending time with my husband and, oh I don't know, RAISING THREE BOYS.

So here I be... in January... done.  

Will I be packing a bikini as I plan for Cancun you ask?  Um no.  My body has never really been a bikini body... ever.  One set of twins and one ten pound baby later, it still isn't.... what a shock ;)

I have always struggled a bit with my weight and my extreme love for emotional eating.  The kind of emotional eating where any emotion makes me want to eat.  Feeling happy after getting a raise?! Let's eat! Had a terrible day?! Let's eat!  Celebrating a birthday?! Let's eat!  Feeling anxious about an upcoming presentation?! Well you get the picture.  

As I get older, I am already seeing how much harder it is to bounce back from a time of gaining a bit of weight.  Even the difference between losing my pregnancy weight with the twins compared to losing it after Carter has been different and longer and harder.  

I am not where I want to be... yet.

What I can say after this 90 day challenge...

I am more toned, weigh a little less, and am stronger than I think I've ever been.

I have set a good example to all the boys in my life that being healthy, active, and fit are important.  My boys heard me yell at the TV when I didn't think I could give it any more.  I've sweat and limped around the house countless times on countless days.  My guys witnessed the tears I've cried like on day 1 as I felt so incredibly disappointed at how out of shape I was and how little I could do.  They've also seen victories as I've beaten previous fit test scores or being able to use 12.5lb weights during recent workouts (when I started, I used 3lb ones).  Nolan, Judah, Carter, and Josh have also worked out beside me- doing jumping jacks and push ups, downward facing dog and child's pose, burpies and Irish Gigs and clapping when I finished.  

I persevered and finished something from beginning to end. 

Most importantly, during this 90 day challenge that took more than 90 days, I took the time. I often put myself last- I know so many of you do too.  Taking time for myself makes me happier, more patient, kinder, and more well-rounded with higher self-esteem.  I AM A PRIORITY.  I know this, I do, but my actions don't always match this truth.

I AM A PRIORITY- That's my take-a-way.  Not if the scale tells me what I wish it would.  Not if I can walk around in clothes that used to fit me before I had kids.  Not if I have the will-power to say no to food I shouldn't it.  And not if I can walk around with my sisters in cute bikinis on the beach in Cancun in 10 days.  I matter.  Taking care of myself matters.      

  Post Workout Selfies

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Nolan and Judah: 3.5 Years

When I first titled this blog, I put 2.5 years instead of 3.5 years- seriously! Where does the time go?!?!

These two, wow.  It's been such an incredible few months for them!

Nolan has worked hard to get into the groove of preschool.  Change is hard for him and he loves nothing more than to be home with his family, every single member.  Once he arrives in the classroom, he truly does find joy there and is learning a lot!  Starting and after breaks are challenging- he is totally that kid that grabs onto your legs, cries, and doesn't want to let go.  It's heartbreaking and heartfilling all at the same time. You want your kids to WANT to be with you and spend time with you and he does.  That's beautiful. You also want them to love school.  Thankfully, he does that too.  

Josh and I decided the other day that Nolan is a lot like a parent of a teenager- he wants to know where you're going, who you're going with, and when you're going to be home.  He calls after you to drive safely.  He also doesn't fully go to sleep unless everyone in his house is home and safe.  On two occasions recently, he got up late into the night being sad that we weren't home yet (on New Year's Eve) or trying to remember if we had each checked in with him to say goodnight.  There is a literal sigh of relief from him when everyone has been accounted for. 

His memory is impeccable and he still loves books more than most things.  When he's not reading, he loves to play with cars, trucks, and anything that contains small and millions of pieces ;)  He's still way into building stuff too- with big Duplos, with Magnatiles, or building forts. His recent obsession lately is to put things into reusable grocery bags and have picnics or play "bank" where you would buy stuff from his store.  He's been organizing things and putting items into piles, particularly books.  Nolan likes to put on "presentations" and concerts (so does Judah). He also wants to spell everything... like everything.     

We've been working with him on identifying feelings and calming him self down when he gets too worried or too wound up.  We do yoga at night sometimes and have been practicing deep breathing.  

He is insightful and reflective.  Before Halloween he said, "I'm not sure I want to be an astronaut for Halloween.  I just want to be myself." Listening to him pray for others is... I have no words... it's everything. 

Judah has really come into his own over the last few months.  He's been going to a speech therapist since the middle of the summer to work on his articulation- his confidence, willingness to try, and vocabulary have skyrocketed.  Speech has also given him something to do that's just for him and taught him to play all kinds of games that he then goes home and teaches Nolan.  Several of our Christmas presents were games he plays at speech. Watching him teach others is awesome!   

We know Judah is such a leader and his preschool teachers acknowledged it too.  He has been brave about school since day one and truly loves to go there.  He is always excited, which I love.  

Judah, too, continues to love reading and love cars, and trucks and things that go.  He also is really into cooking and baking and continues to be my #1 sous chef.  He loves to organize things, and play pretend with Little People toys, phones, or stuffed animals.  He also is obsessed with spelling everything.  The kid is a freaking ninja also.  One minute he'll be right next to you, the next he'll be off exploring. He has to see the world, touch the world, experience the world. That is really awesome and also a little challenging (like when we're out in public and he wants to flee).  He loves to dance and sing and put on concerts just like Nolan.

Sports has been something Judah has been into lately.  He likes to watch, play, and talk about all kinds.  Using tools to fix things has been something new he's been experimenting with.  He will walk around with his tool box and look for things to screw in or hammer or measure.   

Judah is a great goal setter and goal achiever. If you challenge him with something, he wants to meet expectations and often exceed them. This has been great when we've done things like potty training... he absolutely wants to kick butt at whatever he does.  This has fostered a great sense of independence for him.  HE wants to do whatever is being asked without help or support at first.  HE wants to try it on his own.    

Sometimes, when I'm in watching them play together, I hold my breath not wanting to alter or disturb a single thing.  They love, respect, and support each other SO much right now. I know that may not always be. I will and hope and pray these moments last as long as possible.

They truly do NEED each other- they need to see each other the second they wake up, they need to know where the other one is at all times, they need to sit near each other, check in with each other, and help each other if someone is sad or having a hard day.  Tears are shed, by both parties, if they are separated for any length of time.  

Their bond is very special- not just the brother bond, but certainly a twin one.  It's magnificent to witness or be in the presence of...truly. 

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Carter: 18 Months

Okay so in full disclosure Carter turned 18 months in November and it is January. #needtowritemore

Parenting a second, third, fourth, etc child is so very different than your first child (or in my case, children)...

On one hand, I am able to slow down and enjoy with Carter differently because I know what to expect or what to anticipate so I can soak in moments better.  On the other hand, it is so freaking busy with three kids, it really felt like I blinked and he was already eighteen months old (which is probably why I am just writing this blog now).

On one hand, Carter has had many experiences before his brothers did- I'm not as scared and I have a better idea of what he CAN do so we try learning activities earlier and take trips to places sooner.  It's incredible the toys he plays with that we would've never had in our house when Nolan and Judah were eighteen months old because they weren't "age appropriate."  It's wild how much quicker he can pretend play because he watches his brothers.  And it's truly insane the amount of things he wants to do and wants to try even though he's.not.ready.  On the other hand, I can sometimes forget what I should be working on with him.  At his eighteen month appointment with the pediatrician, the nurse asked me if he could point to any of his body parts.  Ooops.  We went immediately home to practice those.

On one hand, I am more confident mother- I've been through this before, I know what I'm talking about! On the other hand, I forget that he's little and younger than his brothers sometimes. I find myself having to take a step back because I can expect more from Carter than he should be ready to give me.  I shouldn't get frustrated on Christmas Day when he just can't seem to deal- I've just expected him to participate fully in three Christmases before lunchtime. That's a lot for an eighteen month old!

Anyway, Carter Bing Bong is incredible; he just amazes me on the daily. This stage he's in is one of my favorites!  It's the full explosion of vocabulary.  I mean this with all truth when I say that Carter seems to say a new word every day!

He loves animals- all kinds and LOVES to talk about the sounds they make.
He loves cars, boats, and all things that go
He loves to go... go go go go go
He loves tools especially if they make noise.
He loves books (ooook) and he loves being able to pick out which ones we read.
He loves drinking water.  Like really, this kid is obsessed.
He loves to move chairs around the house and climb on things.  He incessantly takes our breakfast nook chairs to push them towards our command center to grab iPads or cell phones or towards the sink to "help" with dishes or towards the fridge to open it and ask for water or towards the light switch to let them go "on" and "off."
He loves climbing up and down stairs. 
He loves light switches... a lot. Usually they are up too high, which allows him to be risky, which is also something he loves (and I don't).
He loves baths (as long as there is at least a tiny bit of water coming out of the facet the whole time.  If not, watch out. Peaceful bath time OVER. 
He loves, most of all, to do whatever his brothers are doing.