Foundational 5+ ecourse: Week III

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After the first two weeks, my separation was still 2-3 fingers and deep, so I decided to go back to splinting. Now this may not be of benefit to everyone, but I felt that I wanted to wear my splint regularly again. Basically I don’t wear it during the mornings, except during exercise. If I’m out of the house I usually don’t wear it unless I know I’ll be doing some extended baby wearing. When I don’t wear it at all during the day, I will wear it at night, otherwise I usually take the night off. For more information on splinting check this out.

Lesson 11

Stretching + 1

I love the Kelly Dean Total Body Stretching workout and I chose Totally Transverse II as my plus 1. Even if I’m sick or exhausted, both these workouts are manageable.  (If you’ve done the stretching workout before, you can fast forward through some of the instruction portion).

Lesson 12

Basic Aerobics III

Oh how I have missed this workout! It’s been several months, probably five or six if I really counted. It felt so good to move again and get my heart rate up. Plus I was able to engage my core almost the whole time, which was a great feeling.

Lesson 13

Basic Aerobics +1

I think I made it pretty clear how much I love Basic Aerobics III. It’s short, but gets the heart pumping and if I could only have a few workouts to choose from, this would be one of them.

I chose Mula Bandha as my plus 1 because I like to try and highlight one of the transverse workouts and one of the pelvic floor work outs at least once a week. Even as I move on to bigger things, this is still my goal because I feel that it helps me remember the basics.

Lesson 14

Totally Transverse

Transitions

Kelly’s Total Body Stretching

This is a great workout. I feel great. This is probably what I wish I could do everyday: core work, light cardio or strength (Transitions is a bit of both) and stretching.

If you are already a Fit2B member, I highly recommend incorporating these into your regular rotation. I try to do TTII and Mula Bandha at least once a week. I try to work the stretches from Kelly’s Total Body Stretching into my day at different points, similar to how Kelly recommends in the video. This way, even if I have a rough week exercise wise and I can’t seem to fit any in, I know my core will remain strong.

Doing this course has helped me get back on the exercise wagon. I know it is something I need for my mental and physical health. I also want to be strong again, for my kids and for my life.

After this I’ll actually be restarting Fit2B Beginning again. If you are ready for the next step, feel free to join me.

If you aren’t a Fit2B member yet, don’t wait any longer.

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I Give You Permission NOT to Enjoy Yourself

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As moms, we are constantly bombarded with the message, “Enjoy every minute it goes so fast.” As a mom of three, I think I am now officially qualified to say this.

You won’t enjoy every minute, so stop pressuring yourself.

As my girl friend Katrina put it, “Enjoy the good things and forget the rest.” (Or on a bad day, “for everything else, there is wine.”) Because yes, babies are beautiful and wonderful and changing every day. But they are also messy, mundane and yet unpredictable. Toddlers are winsome but irrational. Preschoolers are precious but bossy and on it goes. You can’t possibly enjoy every moment. (I mean, maybe if you are on some serious drugs or have taken to drinking in the mornings.)

Because there are lots of things about kids that aren’t fun. I used to believe that when my kids were unpleasant it was my fault. Wasn’t childhood supposed to be magical? What was I doing wrong? Then I realized, there is nothing wrong with me. My kids are human. Humans are flawed and messy. Yes, I have a responsibility to guide them, but I cannot control them. How hard that has been to accept.

Because I want to believe that if I could just check all the little boxes off, in the right order of the proper list, everything will go according to plan. But all things tend toward disorder and dysfunction. It is the nature of life.

What’s more, I give you permission (not that you need it) not to like your kids. Because while we would lay down our lives for these little creatures sometimes it’s awfully hard to deal with the day to day drama. My kids have said and done so pretty awful things to me. It doesn’t go by without consequence, but that doesn’t stop the hurt. All I can do is kind of grit my teeth, pray for strength and lean in instead of away. (Though there is nothing wrong with walking away sometimes).

So next time someone tells you to enjoy every minute, you have my permission to smile, nod and ignore them. Or if you are feeling gutsy, tell them “Thanks, but no. I’ll chose sanity instead.”

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Foundational 5+ ecourse: Week II

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This post contains affiliate links. Thanks for your support.

This is the time when it is most tempting to do too much. If the first week went well, the tendency is to ramp it up too fast. But this program will slowly build in difficulty, so follow along and you will find yourself strong enough when the time comes. Also, if for some reason, things still feel too difficult, don’t hesitate to repeat earlier, easier workouts. Every body is different, and yours may take longer to heal than you expect.

Lesson 6: Kelly’s Total Body Stretching

If I could do this everyday, I would. In fact, I try as many of these stretches as possible into my everyday routine. Once you know the routine well, you can do the stretches without the video or fast forward through some of the talking to back it a little faster.

 

Lesson 7: Totally Transverse II

This is faster moving than Totally Transverse, but short enough that it’s easy to fit in anywhere. I try to fit this one in at least once a week or so. I especially like the rib shifting in all four directions.

 

Lesson 8: Double Down – Totally Transverse & Align it Flat

Doing this two workouts in the same day can be quite difficult when you are rebuilding your core. I’m enjoying the recently refilmed Totally Transverse and Align it Flat is a continued necessity. It is a little slow moving for me. But it never fails to help me improve my posture and alignment as I go through my day.

 

Lesson 9 Daily Double – Mula Bandha & Totally Transverse II

This two workouts feel  like a complete core rehab powerhouse, focusing on both the transverse and the pelvic floor. Filmed at the same time and in similar styles, the two naturally go together. I try to do them back to back if possible, to work on my stamina. But there are also benefits to doing one in the morning and one in the evening.

 

Lesson 10

Transitions + 1

Transitions is the first thing I’ve done since my son was born that actually feels like real exercise. I didn’t go all out, I chose the easier levels Beth suggested, but I finished the whole workout. It make me feel good to really use my whole body.

I choose Kelly’s Total Body Stretching as my +1, because let’s face it, it’s hard to remember to stretch and I always seem to need it.

 

I continue to struggle with time. I just can’t seem to find it. There are so many things I need to finish on a daily basis that I have to make choices between good things, all of which should theoretically happen. I need to exercise. I need to feed the baby. I need to pump. I need to do school with the kids. I need to shower. I need to do the laundry and so on and so forth. Sometimes exercise doesn’t happen. I hate that because I really miss it. It makes me feel better to do it. But sometimes my needs have to fall behind those of the rest of the family. Needs like food to eat and clean clothes to wear. Though in the case of the baby and I, our needs do overlap. If I’m not healthy, I can’t take care of him. If I don’t eat and sleep, I can’t make enough milk. If I don’t pump, my supply goes down. The constant balancing act has me feeling wobbly all over.

But this course has been a great way to get myself back on the path to a regular, healthy exercise habit.

Continue to Week 3

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Blog Like a Pro: 7-Day Challenge with Jeff Goins

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Three days ago I read about the Blog Like a Pro: 7-Day Challenge with Jeff Goins. I recently started reading one of his books, and this seemed a great way to breath some new life into my blogging habit. That being said, this is a crazy week with school for the kids, my son’s fourth birthday party and final rehearsals for a Palm Sunday dance at our church. But I decided to attempt it anyway.

Because I feel passionate about sharing the truth in this space, whether it be about parenting, faith, writing, exercise or the best reusable products. (Who knew my foray into more frugal, greener living would produce some of my most popular posts?) I want to be an encouraging voice and safe place, even when I don’t have all the answers.

If you’d like to join, jump on board today , grab today’s prompt and get writing.

Know What You’re About: Blog Like a Pro 7-Day Challenge Day 1

 

Know What You’re About: Blog Like a Pro 7-Day Challenge Day 1

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What am I about? What is my manifesto? In some ways, the post I published this morning (and incidentally wrote weeks ago) says it best. I want to be honest. About my faith, about my parenting, about the joys and difficulties I’ve encountered in my life. Because being a mom, wonderful as it is, isn’t the glory it appears from the outside, at least not for me. The laundry, both clean and dirty are often piling up, there as are many arguments as there are hugs. But I’m not just a mom, I’m also a writer. So somehow in the daily crazy that steals my brain cells and makes me wonder how I ever managed to string more than three words together, let alone write a book.

When I first became a mom I discovered that the internet was a wonderful and terrible place for parents. Because you can sometimes find the answers to your questions, and other times just more of the same question with some or a dozen different solutions. I decided I didn’t have to have all the answers. Yes, I still give tips, advice but I wanted to focus on encouragement. I love providing solutions when I can. (Thus my great love for review and comparison posts on topics I feel passionate about. If you see a review post, it’s probably because I couldn’t find one I liked when I was doing my own research).

I’ve fought hard since my daughter was nine months old to make sure I didn’t give over my entire identity to motherhood. While I believe it to be a holy calling, it isn’t all that I am. Two kids later, for a total of three, I’ve gone through varying periods of success on that front.

I’ve read the accusations that the internet leads to dangerous levels of oversharing. I concede to this. But I also know that I want to build community where we can be ourselves and talk about the hard things. Because I’ve had those things in my life: depression, miscarriage, hard to handle kids. Faith testing kinds of events. There has been enough silence and shame on those topics and I won’t be part of it anymore.

I called my blog the Laundry List because that’s how I felt about the life; a list of things to do, but also what I am. I cannot be defined by a single title: Mother or Writer. Neither can any of us. We need room to explore who we are and who we might be.

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Honest is My Favorite

Leichtlin mariposa lily, Calochortus leichtlinii, Sierra Nevada, Peavine Mountain, Humboldt Toiyabe National Forest, elevation 1950 m (6395 ft)
Leichtlin mariposa lily, Calochortus leichtlinii, Sierra Nevada, Peavine Mountain, Humboldt Toiyabe National Forest, elevation 1950 m (6395 ft)

Photo Credit: Jim Morefield via Compfight cc

Why do I do this? I’ve been reading Jeff Goins lately, and he has painful things to say that I’d rather not read. You are a Writer, So Start Acting Like One. It’s right there in the title. Because I don’t write much anymore. Phrases and ideas come to me in the shower, or while I’m feeding the baby but get knocked right back out again by my almost-four year old’s whining. Because I don’t act like a writer. I dream about writing but when I finally have a brief moment in the front of the empty page, I freeze up and words don’t come. Those windows are short and often at sub-optimal times. But it’s all I have.

I write because of the way the words sound or even look on the page. The rhythm of the sentences and how they flow together. But also because of the community. When I became a blogger it was because I thought I had something to say. Shortly after that I realized that I began blogging the same year as thousands of others. I was only one voice amongst the chorus of the blogosphere. Whatever I tried to write on there was always someone who did it better.

So I stopped trying to be the best and just decided to be honest. I discovered Five Minute Friday and found that some of my favorite and best work came from those prompts. Sometimes the words came easily, other times it was like pulling teeth and there were times when the words didn’t come at all. But I tried to remain true to one thing: I would be honest. I would talk about the hard things. I wouldn’t airbrush or tidy up my life or feelings. Because the world has enough Pinterest perfect moms. I know I wasn’t one o those and I couldn’t be even if I wanted to.

So why do I write? Because sometimes I want to be the one that says “you aren’t crazy, you aren’t alone.” I reach out, through the screen and share the happy and pain. Yes, I still do helpful, pithy and fun. But honest is my favorite. I’ve spent too much of my life trying to be what I thought was expected and appear to have it all together. I’d rather just be real.

Sometimes I Don’t Want To: Five Minute Friday

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Sometimes I don’t want to share. From the time they are conceived they share my body.  Even now, they want to cuddle, hug and hang on me at the most inconvenient and uncomfortable of times. I deal with way too many bodily fluids that are not my own. Sometimes I would just like some time and space to myself.

My time isn’t my own either. When I’m not nursing or pumping I’m reading, assisting with writing or cajoling our way through math. When my husband comes home, I want his attention, his affection but I also want my children to feel bonded to him, to feel loved. Spring has arrived and my daughter reminds me that we didn’t have a garden last year, which made her very sad. Sometimes I feel at the constant mercy of the tiny, quick changing feelings.

Because the truth is, I want to share life with them. That’s why I made the choices I have, to be home, to homeschool them. But sometimes it’s hard not to feel like I’m crawling out of my skin. Because the moment I realize my almost-four-year-old can read and my six year old is starting to do math without having to count on her fingers (though she continues to claim she can’t), I live for those. But I could do without the bickering, hurtful words and constant complains. I feel as though I will never be good enough.

It’s a wonder that the Son of God was willing to come and do life with us; with all our frustrations, impatience and ingratitude. Because we are children too, who make messes we want him to clean up for us, filled with whining and complaining when we don’t get our own way. He gave his life for me, and them and you.

So what choice do I have, but to pray for strength and soldier on; knowing that because of his sacrifice I’m not alone.

 

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