Can I First Do No Harm? Five Minute Friday

Bachman Vitaro Rentler-073Photo courtesy of Twinkle Photo

I thought I’d left it behind. The daily anxiety that used to plague me. That kept me from doing the things I needed and wanted to do. Somehow, when I became am mom, I decided I wasn’t going to plan for the worst. Most of the time I don’t allow myself to fear what outside forces might to do my children. I don’t think about child abductions or playground accidents and I try not to obsess over my kid’s health. But what I didn’t see coming was the fear of what I could do to them. All of a sudden, with a third on the way and the other two at 3 and 6 I wonder what they’ll remember of these years and if any of it will be good.

Days spent trying not to yell and throw things, even if they are. Nights spent worrying that they don’t realize they are loved, or that they see love as a license to do whatever they please, thus leading to a life of selfish choices. (It’s at those moments that I try to remind myself that they are ONLY 3 and 6, ages which I’ve determined are the epitome of self-focus and egocentrism, at least for my kids).

I worry that I’ll resent them, and worse, that they’ll know it. That I will miss the good things among the bad.  I fear that in my flawed humanness that somehow I’ll fail at trying to turn their gazes to the perfect one who makes all things new (including me, painful as it is).

I don’t allow myself to fear what the world can do to them, though I’m sure there is much to be had there if I let it in. But it’s hard to keep away my own doubts about myself as a mom; to believe that I really can do this, that they really were meant for me. When this next one arrives, it will be so simple. He will need me and I will be there. But with these older ones it’s much more complicated. They need me, but they push me away. They cling to me and I want to run. My love for them consumes me even as my anger smolders and I question every life choice that has brought me to this point.

If only there was a way to return to those early days of simple needs, where love really was all the answer we needed.

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Categories: Five Minute Friday, Writing | Tags: , , , , | 2 Comments

Fit2B Beginning + Fit2B Mama: Week 5


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Week 5 Goal: Four 25-30 minute Fit2B workouts + 1 daily double
This is definitely the hardest week yet, but still doable, even in my pregnant state.
Thigh Workout II

Since I haven’t done this workout in so long, I decided that I would  do it without the weights. Which was an excellent idea because I really struggled with it. Most of the standing portion was OK, but the side leg series was very difficult. It’s probably related to the pregnancy but there is definitely a stiffness to my pelvic and hip joints that makes these kind of moves very difficult. I’m hoping that it’s just hormones and I’ll be able to get back to more normal mobility after the pregnancy. I also wasn’t sure about the extended amount of time spent on the floor at the end. I did occasionally find it difficult to catch my breath and I definitely modified the shoulder bridges and hip circles. Overall, great workout but it’s not a favorite of mine and I won’t be using it as a regular maternity routine.

Plain Ol’ Pilates

This is a good Pilates workout. However, it’s not a great maternity workout. Floor work on my belly was hard to do pregnant. I also found the leg work on my back to be difficult because of how stiff my sacrum has become this pregnancy. Remember that some pregnant women can’t lay flat on their backs for too long. If you feel dizzy or uncomfortable, make sure to change position. This is a good workout, and I look forward to coming back to it again when I’m not pregnant any more,e but I don’t think it’s one I’ll stick with this pregnancy.

Kelly’s Total Body Toning

This is the second time I’ve done this as a maternity workout. I love the core section. It helps me almost as much as one of the foundational five. The arm section kills me every time. I can never get through it without having to stop and let my muscles rest if only for a few seconds. (Which is probably good since I’ll be hauling a newborn around soon enough, I need to get my artm strength back).Even though it hurts a little (good hurt, not real pain), I will definitely try to keep this one on my schedule for as long as I can.

Tummy Safe™ Gentle Blend

For some reason I was dreading this workout. I was convinced that I remembered it felt really long. Slower workouts can be hard sometimes because of the stamina necessary for the more sustained movements. But I was pleasantly surprised. After the first ten minutes, we got to the gate poses and side leg series and I was sure I wasn’t going to make it. But then once I got past that, everything else was rejuvenating and gentle. I was able to stretch all the tight and stressed areas of my pregnant body virtually pain free. (With the exception of my lower back which hurt a bit during the final series done flat on my back). Yes, I modified things a lot. I did the easiest of the five demonstrated versions of the side bridges. I had to focus a lot on breathing and maintaining my core, but I managed to finish. This definitely has some good things going for it as a maternity workout.

Daily Double – Try to do both in one day
Basic Aerobics III

What more can I say about this that I haven’t already said? It’s a regular part of my routine, and it will continue to be. It’s nice to know I can get my heart rate up for a short period of time without needing enough stamina for a much longer workout. If you are pregnant, like me, keep this one handy when you want some cardio or just to get yourself moving.


I’ve always this workout but I haven’t been back to it for a while. I think this is a good workout while pregnant because it helps with balance, which is something I often struggle with during pregnancy, it is a challenge without being painful or leaving me breathless. I did opt to do some of the balancing movements without the weights, but that’s OK.

Only a week to go and I think I’m glad. This has been a good challenge but I’m ready to start scaling back soon. What I have been learning though is that consistency is good even if my stamina and strength aren’t. Even if I do something everyday, that still serves a purpose, even if I can’t do 30-60 minutes a day anymore. The last week is going to be a rough one, but I’m determined to get through it.

Just joining me? You can catch up here.

Fit2B Beginning + Fit2B Mama: Week 1

Fit2B Beginning + Fit2B Mama: Week 2

Fit2B Beginning + Fit2B Mama: Week 3

Fit2B Beginning + Fit2B Mama: Week 4

You can use the coupon code laundryblog to save 30% off a Fit2B Studio yearly membership. That’s less than $7 a month!

Or check out the Fit2B Store for other great healthy living products.

Shop the Fit2B Online Store

Categories: Exerccise, Fit2B Mama | Tags: , , , , , | 3 Comments

Fit2B Beginning + Fit2B Mama: Week 4


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Week 4 Goal: Three 20-25 minute Fit2B routines + 1 Daily Double

Basic Aerobics IV

This is the second time I’ve done this workout, but the first tiem I ncluded hand weights. It’s a really good workout. I may have to do it without the weights as I am furthera long in this pregnancy, because I have to really concentrate to keep my core engaged.

Wood Floor Workout

This is definitely an unusual workout. I was a little nervous at first that I might slip and fall, but I was actually able to do the majority of this with only a few modifications. Portions of it reminded me a lot of doing center barre in a ballet or modern dance class. I appreciated that it was a slow moving but steady workout. If your balance is still decent, I would recommend this as a good pregnancy workout, just be sure not to slip and fall.

Pilates in Pajamas

Because I was running a little behind on this week’s schedule (and took two days off in a row), I got the bright idea to do The Wood Floor Workout and Pilates in Pajamas back to back. Since I have done Pilates in Pajamas many times before I figured it would be no problem. While it was doable, I wouldn’t call it easy either. I love Pilates in Pajamas because it is such a laid back workout but it still really works your muscles. That being said, it feels totally different while pregnant. I made modifications as needed, but it was still quite challenging. The later part done on my back is usually very relaxing, but in this case it seemed to highlight the stiffness I’m having in my sacrum and tailbone area. It wasn’t painful per se, more like mildly uncomfortable. I’m hoping that it may have helped keep the area somewhat mobile so I won’t be as s stiff in general.

Daily Double
Vertical Core Workout

Basic Step Aerobics

This daily double is a great combination since I often like to do a basic core workout along with whatever my workout of the day is, so Vertical Core Workout. This was my first attempt at the Basic Step Aerobics. I really enjoyed it, though I found I had to make sure I was concentrating on maintaining my core rather than getting too into the choreography. It will be interesting to see how I do with the Basic Step Aerobics II. Yet another strong cardio workout that falls under the 20 minute mark. I’ll definitely be coming back to this one. (It would be great if it was added to the Roku).

Week Four Bonus: Try to accomplish some light cardiovascular training for 25-30 minutes on two additional days.

Kelly Dean Total Body Toning

This is the first time I’ve attempted this workout since I got pregnant. The upper body was harder than I remembered, probably because I haven’t been doing much upper body work lately. I did find most of the movements to be very pregnancy friendly though.  I like that this inciproates enough core work that I don’t feel the need to do an additional Foundational Five, plus it’s very well balanced. If I can maintain my stamina, I’ll definitely keep coming back to this one.

Basic Step Aerobics II

Since I’m assistant teaching dance right now and not performing until after the birth of this next little one, I didn’t realize how much coordination (and stamina) I’ve lost this pregnancy. Then I did Basic Step Aerobics II this morning. Wow! I look forward to coming back to this when I’m not carrying another person strapped to my abdomen. It’s a great workout, but it stole my breath and make me feel like a lumbering bear. I’ll definitely try it again. This definitely has more choreography than Basic Step Aerobics I, but it’s still worth a try, even if you have to muddle through a bit. Just keep moving. Even if your feet or wrong or you don’t catch every leg change, it still counts as exercise.

This week was definitely a greater challenge, but I felt like I also worked out more consistently. The only downside I could see was that I had more trouble fitting in the Foundational Five because I didn’t have much energy left after the longer workouts. This is something I need to try to do better with in the future. But overall, I’m pleased that I actually managed to complete all the workouts this week. It’s OK if you didn’t. As Bethany Learn always says “Something is better than nothing.” Join me for Week 5 next week, or repeat Week 4 if you think you aren’t quite ready yet.

Just joining me? You can catch up here.

Fit2B Beginning + Fit2B Mama: Week 1

Fit2B Beginning + Fit2B Mama: Week 2

Fit2B Beginning + Fit2B Mama: Week 3

You can use the coupon code laundryblog to save 30% off a Fit2B Studio yearly membership. That’s less than $7 a month!

Or check out the Fit2B Store for other great healthy living products.

Shop the Fit2B Online Store

Categories: Exercise, Fit2B Mama, Fit2B Studio | Tags: , , , , , | 1 Comment

The Challenge of These Gifts: Five Minute Friday

Bachman Vitaro Rentler-041

Photo courtesy of Twinkle Photo

So often a gift comes with a challenge. How I wish it didn’t. Pregnancy comes with its pains (and of course the inevitable labor at the end). But that is the least of the challenges before us as parents. For each one of these little souls entrusted to our care, is also a source of some of life’s greatest frustrations and biggest difficulties. (At least in my parenting experience) My daughter is articulate, and creative with a phenomenal memory. But she remembers EVERYTHING and her logic is still a bit lacking. She also has a will that would put most CEO’s to shame. (Her nickname as a toddler was the littlest despot).

My son can be charming and sweet, which he tries to use to manipulate out of trouble he is often in because he is three and chaos is his middle name. I look at these creatures, these little gifts and I try to be grateful. I prayed and cried for these ones. I bled for them, I still work and fear for them. Yet, it’s easy to miss the blessing within the challenge.  Sometimes I want to pray “God why did you give me ones like this?” especially when I see little children walking calmly though stores holding a parent’s hand or siblings playing contentedly together without destroying the house or maiming each other.

This third (and likely final) pregnancy has been an unexpected challenge this time around. From severe morning sickness that lasted all day to fatigue that I still can’t seem to shake midway through the second trimester. I try to remind myself of those moments in the first trimester when we thought we might lose this pregnancy and the feelings of desperation and fear.  On the days when I have barely enough energy to keep the two I have alive (something which for some reason, people feel the need to point out to me. As in “Wow, why would you want another one when you are having so much trouble with the ones you have?” Because I don’t have enough doubts of my own, thank you for your support) I feel the questions of how this one will be. But I know. He will be a challenge. He may have a different personality, but all children present challenges in one way or another. It’s just the nature of family and parenting.

There is nothing easy about guiding and shaping hearts and lives and I don’t think it was meant to be. I can lament the ones I’ve been given and wish for something different. Or I can embrace the beauty and wonder of who they are, amid the chaos and challenge.


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Categories: Family, Five Minute Friday, Parenting, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Fit2B Beginning + Fit2B Mama: Week 3


This post contains affiliate links. Thanks for your support! 

Week 3 Goal: Four 15-20 minute Fit2B routines

This week had a slow start and I found myself kind of cramming all the routines in at the end, but I also found a few ways to challenge myself. If you are feeling tired or discouraged don’t feel afraid to return to the Foundational Five for a while. When I’m feeling sore or exhausted doing one of those is definitely preferable to doing nothing.

Tummy Safe Transitions

I had planned to use this as a warmup to something else. But it ended up being about as much as I could manage in one sitting. In addition to being very tummy safe and a great transition (hence the name) from the Foundational Five to more comprehensive workouts, this is actually very well rounded as far as full body movement. Which is part of why I keep coming back to it time and again. The balance portion may get harder as I get bigger, but I will modify it if I need to. This will definitely remain on my pregnancy short list.

Basic Aerobics III

I’ve done this workout so many times, but I still don’t really get bored. It does exactly what it should do, give me around 15 minutes of solid movement that will let me break a light sweat, but maybe not need to shower afterwards.

Ultimate Upper Body

I do especially appreciate that this workout is done mostly sitting down. I don’t want to neglet my upper body during pregnancy, but it’s also easier to let my core go or slip out of good alignment when trying to lift weights in a standing position right now. So this makes it a great pregnancy choice if you still want to do a few light weights.

Hold It!

I haven’t done this workout in quite a while. It is usually a little bit slow moving for my taste. However, as a pregnancy workout, it is great. The twenty minute length can be challenge with my kids running around, but it also hits about the outside limit of what I can handle these days.

Week Three Bonus: Try to accomplish some light cardiovascular training for 20-25 minutes on just one additional day. This can be cumulative, meaning that you do 10 minutes now and 15 later.


It’s been a while since I did a longer cardio workout, but I really wanted to try it just to see if I even still have the stamina. It helps that Kickboxing is one of my favorites but I haven’t tried it yet this pregnancy. Wow! It felt good but at the same time it was very hard. (It didn’t help that I had to stop the workout at least five times to deal with my kids). Probably the hardest part was the floor work at the end. It was so much more painful than what I remember of the last time I did the Thigh Workout. (Of course when I do the Thigh Workout in Week 5, I may feel differently). My glutes were really burning. This workout definitely pushed my limits of pregnancy fitness, but since it was a favorites of mine pre-pregnancy, it felt good to get back to it again.

I just squeaked through Week 3, but Week 4 is waiting so I must push forward.

Just joining me? You can catch up here.

Fit2B Beginning + Fit2B Mama: Week 1

Fit2B Beginning + Fit2B Mama: Week 2

You can use the coupon code laundryblog to save 30% off a Fit2B Studio yearly membership. That’s less than $7 a month!

Or check out the Fit2B Store for other great healthy living products.

Shop the Fit2B Online Store

Categories: Exercise, Fit2B Beginning, Fit2B Mama, Fit2B Studio | Tags: , , , , , , | 2 Comments

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