Monthly Archives: June 2014

Learn to Think Like Your Child: Mindset For Moms

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Photo Credit: Melanie Alvarez | Papergirl Press via Compfight cc

Today when your child misbehaves, look for ways to see beyond the behavior to the root. That one sentence was a serious challenge to me. To paraphrase Bill Cosby, more often than not, parents aren’t interested in justice, they are interested in quiet. Too often I don’t care why my kids are misbehaving, but I want it to stop. But as Jamie points out in this chapter, kids’ minds don’t work like adults. I find this to be especially hard with my 2 year old. I often don’t understand what he is saying, let alone why he’s throwing things on the floor. Sometimes he’s just being two, other times there is a reason.

I think the root of much of my children’s bad behavior comes from need for reassurance. They want to see if I notice and care enough to correct them. I’ve often wondered if letting them run wild would be easier. (I do know that it isn’t, but as any tired parent can attest, the temptation is always there). But I think they get security from knowing that I won’t let them do anything really dangerous or terrible.

But roots matter, motive matters. When my two year old bites his sister is it because he’s angry that she took his toy, frustrated that I won’t pay attention to him or does his mouth just hurt? When my five year old whines at me, is it because she just wants me to drop everything and give her my attention for a minute or is something really wrong?

I want to be more aware of what is going on in my kids’ heads, even if they can’t always understand it themselves. Sometimes I try to remember what it was like to be a kid, and I often do. I remember thinking that all I wanted was to be a grownup, so that I could do whatever I wanted. I had no idea how good I had it having hours to read and play and the whole summer to have fun. I remember feel the sense of injustice when both of us got punished for what one child did. I remember feeling angry at the lack of control I felt I had over my life. (In some ways that feeling has never entirely gone away). So in those moments when I’m tempted to disregard the way and just deal with the how, I’m going to try to bed better at slowing down and trying to see my kids’ perspective, even if the end result/punishment is the same. I hope knowing that I get them will make it easier.

Mindset for Moms From Mundane to Marvelous Thinking in Just 30 days

How Do You Want to Change? Mindset for Moms

Talk Less: Mindset for Moms

Remember the Promise of the Seasons: Mindset for Moms

Want What You Have: Mindset for Moms

Fake It: Mindset For Moms

What Are You Expecting?: Mindset For Moms

Don’t Expect Kindness From Your Kids: Mindset for Moms

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Categories: Mindset for Moms, Stay at Home Mothering | Tags: , , , , , | 22 Comments

Lost: Five Minute Friday

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Today’s prompt is Lost.

I’ve skipped FMF for the last few weeks, mostly because I felt like I didn’t have anything to say. I’ve felt a bit empty and lost the last few weeks. There have been good things, like family vacations to the beach, preparation for the visit of long time friends and looking forward to a weekend without kids to attend a family wedding. But mostly it’s been lots of laundry, a toddler who never listens, not enough sleep and trying desperately to get my eating and exercise habits under control. (With more success in the former than the latter). I’ve fallen admittedly into my usual trap of using food to relax. Sweet things at nap time and after the kids are in bed for the night. Are these things inherently bad? No, but I know that they shouldn’t be my coping mechanism.

We’re approaching some big decisions in our family. How to handle our first year homeschooling more formally (though still not required to register with the state yet), when/if we will grow our family, how we will augment our income to help us pay off our debt. It’s overwhelming at times. Most days I try not to think about it and just keep moving, as though if I stop too long I’ll realize how confusing things really are. But then when I finally do stop I’m not sure where I am. Are these goals I’m working towards still something I want? Do I need to let go of some long held responsibilities? Create more margin in my life? All I can see around me is the forest and the path seems so unclear.

These are the times when I should be standing still and wait for help to find me. Seeking the wisdom of my Father and Creator, knowing that he has a plan. I’ll admit that I haven’t really been doing that lately. So I’m going to try and start again. Forget what I haven’t done in past and just strive to do better until I am found again.

Want to join us? Read more about Five Minute Friday here.

Categories: Five Minute Friday, Writing | Tags: , , , , | 4 Comments

Fit2B on Vacation: A Week of Relaxation

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Photo Credit: Michael Foley Photography via Compfight cc

Since I was on vacation last week, I decided that I should try out the Week of Relaxation. I wanted to continue my exercise goal, but while cutting myself a little bit of slack since we would be away from home and busy with the kids and extended family. Sharing the house also meant that I couldn’t easily steal the main living area in order to work out. I didn’t workout every day. I did a few of the relaxation routines in the days leading up the trip, when my stress was highest, and after I came home, another time of increased tension. While we stayed at the beach house, I often got up early and enjoyed the peace of the living room filled with the early morning light before the rest of the house was awake. I went running twice with my sister and brother-in-law (with their two sons in the jogging stroller) as we tackled the first week of a Couch to 5K program. Below are my reviews of the Relaxation Pathway. If you need a break from regular workouts, or a slower start after some time off, this is a great way to ease in.

Face & Neck Yoga

This is a very focused workout. Bethany does it standing but I just sat on the floor in a cross legged position. This works all the little muscles of your face and neck and is great for releasing tension. It looks a little silly, but it definitely does what it’s designed to do.

Bedtime Meditation

So I didn’t do this at bedtime, but it was still a great way to relax, especially at the end of a hard day, or maybe just a time during the day when you need a moment. (For me this is when both my kids are having quiet time in their rooms in the afternoon). This really isn’t a workout per se so much as a guided meditation. You don’t need to look at the screen and it could be easily done using your smart phone in a park or on the beach.

Neck Routine

This workout was so good for neck tension. I’ve always had tight neck, shoulder and upper back muscles. Between the college years spent studying and sitting at a computer to my years working in an office and now looking down at little children all day, my neck is a regular source of pain. I used to get weekly headaches that would run up the back of my neck and around my forehead. I wish I had known this workout then. I did this in the early morning so everything was very tight. But like the other workouts in this series, it was a wonderful way to start the day.

Simply Stretching 

This is a great workout when all you want to do, or feel up to doing, is stretching. I did this as an early morning warm up while I was on vacation. I love that Fit2B is so portable. In the early morning light of the living room of our beach house, my laptop on the coffee table, I was able to greet the new day with gentle stretching. Later, when my sister and I tackled day one of a Couch to 5K program, it felt good to already have my muscles gently awakened. Normally, long stretching workouts aren’t something I usually have time for. What little time I have for exercise I want to focus on cardio or strength building. But since we were on vacation I wanted to focus on relaxation. This workout, both its length and the gentle stretching therein, was exactly what I needed.

Basic Transverse & Mula Bandha 

I’ve done this workout tons of times and it never really occurred to me before how relaxing it can be. It is in every way a gentle core workout. Bethany’s encouraging words of honor for your core is also a good focus, especially if you feel like you should be doing something more. As she says, sometimes we need simpler, easier workouts not harder more complicated ones. Simple can be the key to regaining our awareness of our bodies again and relaxation can make future workouts more effective.

Kelly’s Total Body Stretching

I’ve done this workout before, but I especially enjoyed it this time. I appreciate how Kelly covers several of the major stretches that she integrates into her program. I needed the reminder. I feel this could be done equally well at almost any time of day.  It was a great start to a busy day of playing on the beach and walking on the board walk. I’m really enjoying using this pathway to start each day. By the end of the day, I’m usually too tired to do much, but starting my day early with one of these has really helped to set the tone for this trip and helped me to feel like I haven’t entirely abandoned my exercise goals. (Even if my healthy eating habits have taken a hiatus).

The PMS Routine

So even if you don’t have PMS this is still a great workout to help release tense muscles, especially in the hips. I like that it is a little longer, a good choice if you want a longer stretching routine. Check out my more detailed review here.

Foam Rolling Routine

A pool noodle is not a foam roller, so I probably didn’t get the full benefit of this workout. But I can see why it would be a relaxing and rejuvenating experience. I’ve seen foam rollers, but I’ve been reluctant to invest in one (another thing I have to find a convenient place to store or otherwise I won’t use it). But even with the pool noddle I still got some of the benefit of the stretching, though anything involving rolling wasn’t really an option. If I ever get around to purchasing a foam roller I’ll definitely give it another try.

Bedtime Relaxation with Kelly Dean

So what makes this different from Bedtime Meditation with Bethany Learn? This focuses more on readying your body for bed, as much as your mind. While both workouts have their merits, this one is best at helping you to focus on each muscle group that needs to be released and relaxed. Kelly isolates various muscles groups, slowly working her way through the body until you feel like you are ready for bed.

Did I accomplish all the exercise goals for vacation? No, but I’m glad that I did something. I also managed to play on the beach with my children and read several books. I enjoyed a quiet dinner out with my husband and many nights we went to bed early to read. The whole family played board games on a night or two and overall it was a fun time. Was it relaxing? Not entirely, but these workouts helped. Coming back to real life wasn’t easy, but I’m trying to get back into my consistent routine and I’ll have more reviews for you next week.

So what are you Fit2B? I’m Fit2B Home and Fit2B Mom.

 

Bringing Back Fit2B: An Update

What Are the Foundational Five?

Kelly Dean on Fit2B: A Tummy Team Collaboration

Join Fit2b.us

Don’t forget you can use the coupon code laundryblog to save 30% off a Fit2B Studio yearly membership. That’s less than $7 a month.

Categories: Exercise, Fit2B Studio | Tags: , , , , | 6 Comments

Don’t Expect Kindness From Your Kids: Mindset for Moms

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I love that in her first line of this chapter Jamie acknowledges that on the face of it, this looks like a contradiction of last week’s discussion. However, I think a better clarification of this chapter is “Expect Your Kids to Be Kids.” Too often I only notice the bad things my kids do. But sometimes those are just normal kid things. I get angry at my daughter for spilling her milk at dinner or falling off her chair. But these or normal behaviors and usually not intentional.

Jamie points out how important it is to remind ourselves of the positive progress our children make as they grow their character. My kids usually get more of my attention when they disobey. Why? Because when they are getting along I take that as an opportunity to try and get work done. However, they need me to notice and acknowledge these times so that they can see it as preferred behavior (and hopefully desire to repeat it). I need to compliment my daughter for sharing with her brother rather than just reprimand her for ripping toys away from him.

I am very easily frustrated with my kids lately. This isn’t easy for me to admit. I always feel like they should be behaving better and doing more for themselves by now. I have to remember that they are only 5 and 2. My two year old has to be constantly reminded, supervised and assisted with putting away his toys. He often resists and throws tantrum. I get angry that he does this and blame myself for poor parenting. Except he is behaving like a two year old. He is still learning and eventually he will get it.

I know that I need to teach and discipline my children, but I also need to let them be kids, with all the messes and mistakes that entails. I am raising them, not training or managing them. Better to be pleased with the kindness they do show, then disappointed when I expect to see it and don’t. This is not however to say that we shouldn’t tell our children that we know they are capable of wonderful things. We should. If they know we expect positive things from them, they are more likely to believe it of themselves. But in our own minds and hearts it is better to focus on the process rather than lament the lack of finished product.

This is something I especially need to address when it comes to my own emotions and my kids. My kids are really mean to me sometimes. We don’t allow them to be rude or disrespectful on a regular basis but the often say hurtful things to me. (Yes, even my two year old). Sometimes I remind myself that they don’t mean them, but other times it really cuts me, and if I let it, I start to feel bitter towards them. Aren’t they supposed to love me? I gave them life, carried them for nine months each (with an extra 10 days tacked onto the end of my son’s gestation), suffered through delivery and breastfeeding difficulties. I make their meals (and myriad snacks), make sure they have clean clothes. I change and wash their diapers and help them in the bathroom. Aren’t they grateful?

Then I feel the conviction of the Holy Spirit. My Father God has supplied all of my needs, yet there have been plenty of times when I not only forgot to thank him, but complained about what he had given me. If I can’t always manage to behave lovingly toward my perfect Father, how can I expect my children to always behave kindly to me, the imperfect earthly parent? So I pray for heavenly wisdom and latch onto the loving moments, like when my daughter cuddles up next to me on the couch or asks me to read to her. When my son asks me to come and play or brings a book and insists that he sit in my lap. I can’t expect the kindness and love all the time, but I can hope for it, while I continue learning how to better love my Father, and ask him to help me be a better mother.

Mindset for Moms From Mundane to Marvelous Thinking in Just 30 days

How Do You Want to Change? Mindset for Moms

Talk Less: Mindset for Moms

Remember the Promise of the Seasons: Mindset for Moms

Want What You Have: Mindset for Moms

Fake It: Mindset For Moms

What Are You Expecting?: Mindset For Moms

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Categories: Mindset for Moms, Stay at Home Mothering | Tags: , , , , , , | 23 Comments

Kelly Dean on Fit2B: A Tummy Team Collaboration

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My first official week since finishing up The Tummy Team rehab. As I resume doing Fit2 and The Tummy Safe Path, it seemed like a fitting time to try the rest of the Kelly Dean workouts on Fit2B. (I reviewed the Wall Workout and Total Body Toning last week). Some of them are familiar but not all of them.

Kelly Dean’s Floor Core Workout

This is a great workout if you need or want to be on the floor. It is entirely on the floor. As Kelly mentions in the workout, this will give you ideas if you are ever in a group fitness class and everyone else is doing crunches, so you don’t feel left out. I took a ballet class once where we did a ton of planks. I found myself wishing I had known a better alternative. (I usually opted for incline planes) So it’s nice to see a workout that includes one for crunches at least. Is this a favorite? No, because I prefer to work my core in a standing position. As Kelly also mentions, the core is stronger in a standing position so that’s what I shoot for. (That and my kids take any opportunity that I’m on the floor as a chance to wrestle).

Kelly Dean’s Total Body Stretching

I did this workout early in my ab rehab and it was great for relieving some of my upper back pain. It basically takes you through many of the stretches that Kelly covers during the 8 week core rehab program. If for some reason you are unable to do abdominal rehab with The Tummy Team. This workout combined with the Foundational Five, will help. It won’t totally replace the benefits of rehab but it will help give you some of the benefits. The upper back stretches especially are helpful. I still have chronic upper back pain, even after having finished the program, so I’ll definitely be coming back to this stretch from time to time.

Kelly’s Core Cardio

I’d done this before, but I’d forgotten most of it except the hula hooping, or as I should call it phantom hula hooping. The backbone of this workout consists of hula hooping, without a physical hoop. That works just fine for me, given that I have never been able to keep a hula hoop up, not even when I was a kid. It will get your heart rate up but also keep your core engaged if you follow Kelly’s cues. If you are just starting to include cardio in your routine again, this is a good choice.

Bedtime Relaxation with Kelly

This is a great way to relax at the end of a hard day. If I could manage to remember, I would do this routine lying in bed each night before I fall asleep. I love the way Kelly takes you through each muscle group from bottom to top, all the while focusing on your breathing and releasing of the days troubles. This might also be good to do during kids naptime. I’m usually feeling the mid-day slump right around then and need something to keep me going. I might end up napping afterwards but at least this would definitely take the edge off of a rough day before plunging into the pre-dinner and dinner hours. (Which is also the crazy hour at our house.).

If you’ve completed abdominal rehab and are working through way through the Foundational Five at Fit2B Studio, these workouts are a great transition back into full body fitness with cuing that will remind you of your abdominal rehab exercises.

 

Repairing My Core: Reviewing the Core Foundations 8-week Online Training Program with the Tummy Team 

Tummy Team Week 1: Awareness

Tummy Team Week 2: Connection

Tummy Team Week 3: Neutral Pelvis and Core Strength

My Skype Session with Kelly Dean

Tummy Team Week 4: Pelvic Floor

Tummy Team Week 5: Neutral Rib Alignment and Core Endurance

Tummy Team Week 6: Consistency

Tummy Team Week 7: Challenge

Tummy Team Week 8: Independent Core Strong Lifestyle

 
The Tummy Team Online Core Training Programs

Join Fit2b.us

Don’t forget you can use the coupon code laundryblog to save 30% off a Fit2B Studio yearly membership. That’s less than $7 a month.

Categories: Exercise, The Tummy Team, Women's Health | Tags: , , , | 7 Comments

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