Monday, March 31, 2014

Manic Monday

So, my day is shaping up to be pretty mundane.  And, not at all manic.  With one exception.  I have to take the smalls (Three and Four) with me to do a grocery trip.  If you've read anything here about me before now, you know I LOATHE this.  But, it's life.  ;)  The Punk returned to the workforce today, and truly I am grateful he has a job again, but also that he is out of the house.  I love him, and I like having him here...the problem is that I have almost zero motivation if he's here too.  I want to sit around with him.  It sounds silly, I suppose, but it's the truth.  However, if he weren't at work, I could leave the smalls here and go to the store without them.  My bigs (One and Two) are with Bio-Dad until Wednesday so I can't even bring them home and leave them with Sisters to do the trip alone.

Ok, I'm done whining about this.

I get to teach my class (that will be a blast, always is.  Sometimes I need to pinch myself that they pay me to do this!) Hit the store.  Then come home and do housework and school with the little ones.

Provided we all survive the grocery shopping trip.  ;)  I am going to try to let them help me, and my list is pretty short.  Keep your fingers crossed for us all.


As I left to teach my class, I realized that my purse was in The Punk's truck.  I couldn't make the trip to the store today, darn.  I will still have to go tomorrow.  I called The Bestie on the way to my class this morning, and mentioned this, and added that it wasn't horrific since I only really needed a head of cauliflower for tonight's dinner.  She told me that had an organic head of cauliflower that came in their weekly produce box, that they would not be using and her Husband could drop it off while I was in class.  He was going out to get doughnuts for the kids.  He left me a doughnut, too.  I have amazing friends.

Instead of the trip to the store, I completed a toy swap.  I had told the boys I would do it over the weekend, but I didn't get around to it.  They are happily playing with the "new" toys, and playing outside, and no school is getting done.  I'm ok with this.  If they start to fight, I'll do some lessons, if they continue to play nicely...there is always another day!  Most likely one filled with clouds and rain and cooler temps (current temp:  71, and sunny.)

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Skinny Housewife

I'm looking in to teaching a class directed towards senior fitness (older active adults, if we want to be all "PC") and this got me thinking about things that I need to include there.  For instance, stability and strength are key for that age group.  It helps prevent falls if the muscles are stronger, and if you've built core stability.  That's a really important factor when teaching the older community.  It is hard to come back from a fall!

So for today, I share:

Lumbar/Core strength and stability exercise

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Wordy Wednesday: You, Part 3

Today's post about you is going to focus on relationships.

In my personal life right now, I am watching the life of someone I love rapidly unravel.  It makes me sad, but it's their choices that brought them to this place, and so I feel like "you made this bed for yourself..."  I am angry, incredibly so, because there were some lies told.  Yes, I was lied to.  But honestly, I'm more upset about the perpetuation of this lie onto people I care about.  However, if we're being totally open here, this friend was warned.  I tell new people to my life this statement:  I am incredibly forgiving, there is nothing we can't work through as long as you are HONEST.  Lie to me, you've slit your own throat, and I'm going to be done here.  Fair warning.  I'm done here.  Constructing a web of lies, hurting people I deeply love, refusing to come clean about things that I've encouraged you to address in your personal life, involving people who you know you can take advantage of because of their own personal issues, and breaking my trust.  None of these are things we can come back from.  And, I've tried.

Now that you have an understanding of where this post is coming from, lets focus more on relationships in general and less on MY broken one, shall we?

Everyone should do an evaluation of the relationships in your life.  Look at the people you spend time with.  I'm not talking about acquaintances, some times you are forced to spend time with people who aren't your first choice because of extenuating circumstances.  Don't let them suck time/energy from you, but don't beat yourself up over those relationships.  Look more at the relationships you CHOOSE.  Are these positive relationships?  Good relationships will have give and take.  Balance.  If you step back, and take an honest look and can't find anything that you are GETTING from the relationship, you might need to also take a step back from that relationship.  On a secondary note, relationships sometimes have an ebb and flow...meaning that for a while it might be perfectly realistic for you to be the GIVER.  Maybe they've had an unexpected family situation arise (an older relative needing a lot of time and attention, a hospitalization, a sick kid, their own illness--something bigger than a cold) and they just really CAN'T create that balance for you.  But, you've been friends a few years, and this isn't a pattern for them.  Then, yes, you should settle into the role of GIVER for awhile, and know that it will once again resume it's balance when the crisis is over.

This is true for friendships, as well as more intimate relationships.  All relationships should have an overall balance.  One person shouldn't be the only one doing all the work.  When people want you in their life, they will make an effort to keep you there.

Forgive others.  There is a saying:  Forgive others, not because they deserve forgiveness, but because you deserve peace.  This is amazingly true.  Hanging on to your anger, resentment, and hurt has no effect on the OTHER person. It just ruins you.  Let it go.  (Bursts into Disney song.....)  On a personal note, I wish nothing bad for the person mentioned in the first paragraph of this blog.  I hope they see (really SEE) how much hurt they have others and their self, make some changes to their life, and continue on a better path that leads to good things and happiness.  I still love this person.  I still want good things for them.  You can CHOOSE that, and still not CHOOSE to have them in your life.

Lastly, believe Maya Angelou.

You, part 1
You, part 2

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Wordy Wednesday: You, Part 2

Last week, I wrote a post about YOU.

Today, I'm going to continue that thread of thinking.  Maybe it will develop into a series.  Who knows.  But it is what is on my heart and brain right now.  This post is going to be about the ways you can take care of YOU.  We are going to start the ideas with your physical person.

As a fitness instructor, I have heard a ton of excuses about WHY people don't do more to take care of their physical health.  Number one is always "no time."  C'mon now.  This is a LAME excuse.  I know some of you are CRAZY insanely busy and don't have a job that requires you to exercise.  But, truly, there is always time for things that you make a priority.  Get out of bed 15 minutes earlier.  Take 15 minutes at lunch.  If you put dinner in the oven, do something active for that time.  At the sink washing dishes, add in some exercises (calf raises, or squats would be easy to do right there at the counter.)  Sweeping or mopping?  Make sure you keep your abs pulled in.  Vacuuming?  Do some lunges.  What I'm really saying here is LOOK for ways to add in some exercise.  You will feel better.  Go for a walk (or jog,) even if it's 10 minutes, it's 10 minutes!  Don't minimize it and tell yourself things like:  I only have 10 minutes.  It's not going to make a difference.  Etc.  Anything you do is better than nothing!

I've never been a make-up wearing kind of gal.  (Until the last month or so but that's a whole other post!)  But, I did find that washing my face and applying a moisturizer (with SPF) made me feel more awake, and put together somehow!  I am a firm believer in taking care of your skin, who wants to look older than they are??  It takes about 60 seconds to make this step happen.  You will feel better, you'll look's all win-win.  If you are a make-up wearing kind of gal, take the 5 minutes to do your make-up.  I admit, I still don't wear make-up, if I am staying home all day.  If I am going out though, I can do make-up in a matter of minutes, so it's really not a big deal!  Just do it.

Get out of your PJ's!  For the love of all things holy, get out of your PJ's!  I understand there are pj days, and that is not what I'm talking about here.  Everyone needs a pj day here and there:  when you're sick, when the family is sick, when the weather is nasty, when you've had an exceptionally busy time lately....all of these (and plenty of others I did not list, I'm sure) are perfectly acceptable pj days.  A good friend of mine tries to have one pj day for her and her kiddos every week.  And that is awesome.  I should also point out that THIS friend gets more done than anyone else I know.  She's super-woman-mom!  She earns that pj day.  You really will get more done and feel better about yourself if you get dressed.  I promise.

Looking and feeling better about yourself will go a long way towards your personal health.  It will also run over into other parts of your life:  your relationships, your job, your motivation.  It's an avalanche effect.

Take care of YOU (the physical side.)   Seem overwhelming?  Start with ONE thing.  Every day for the next 7, make yourself get dressed.  Every day for the next 7, put on make-up.  Every day for the next 7, do 10 (or 5 or 15...) minutes of exercise.  You can do this, for YOU.

I continued this line of thinking about YOU, in a third week.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Manic Monday

First, we have to check the leprechaun trap.  ;)    Here's HOPING we caught him this time around and he'll lead us to his gold.

Second, I have my class to teach and we have a lot of new faces this time and it's making it super fun for me.  Hoorah!

Lastly, The Punk and a friend are putting in new floors!  I'm so excited to be rid of our dirty disgusting carpet.  We will still have carpet in our bedroom, and in the girls bedroom BUT the living areas as well as the boys bedroom will be bamboo.  I'm going to try to keep the kids out of the house after my class tomorrow so they can continue working without the littles wanting to watch.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Sunday Snapshots

This week we celebrated 100 days of school by doing a "100 Poster" project.  They drew pictures of themselves at 100 (after viewing pictures of other people at 100 yrs old...thank you Google Images.)  They answered some questions:  What would you buy if you had $100, What could you eat 100 of, what would you NOT want to eat 100 of, I could do 100...  etc.

On Wednesday, my family (not the people that live in my house) made the trip to FL to have a funeral service for my Aunt Sue(y) since Fort Lauderdale was her home for many years, and was where her son was buried. 

Here are some pictures from the trip.  This is my mom, and my aunts, as well as my step-dad and uncles.  

I couldn't go to Ft. Lauderdale and NOT visit the ocean.  It is a place of healing and peace for me, and it only made sense to spend a little time there.  And I got to drive on the A1A (Beachfront Avenue!)  If you don't know why that's a big deal, we can't be friends.

A beach selfie.

And we made a trip by the only house I have any memory of my grandparents living in.  My last memories of my grandmother, my Uncles Ken and Larry, and my cousin Jimmy (who passed at 17) were all at this house.  It was good to drive by and see it.  My last memory of my cousin Jimmy occured in this driveway, so that was extra special.

I also had my first opportunity to visit my cousin Jimmy's grave, as well as my grandmother's grave.  Bittersweet, for certain.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Skinny Housewife

If you read here much, you know I do a lot of cardio.  I'm a dancer for a living, I also go out a few times a month and dance my A$$ off--just for fun.  I also am a runner.  I'm at a good weight for my frame, and I feel FIT.  But, I need some toning in upper body areas.  My upper body strength is nil.  I'm working HARD on this right now since I'm doing two obstacle races in May (one of them is Warrior Dash, I'm SO EXCITED!!!)  I posted a good arm workout link a few days ago, and this is another area I'm working on:

Core Exercises

I had 4 babies, y'all.  All but one of them weighed over 9lbs.  My stomach is not my favorite body part (it's not my LEAST favorite though, but that area can ONLY be fixed through plastic surgery....another post!)  It has seen pretty vast improvement over the last year or so though.  Slimming down, the skin regaining some of it's elasticity (lotion, and water...lotion and water...hit it inside AND out.)  I still have a load of stretch marks, but those aren't going anywhere and I've learned to just sort of live with it.

I believe in setting goals.  I posted in a FB group yesterday that my goal is to be comfortable enough with my stomach to teach my class in just my sports bra this summer.  That's almost 3 months of core work.  I think I can do it!  I'd also like to be comfortable enough to wear a bikini.  Yikes.  

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Wordy Wednesday: You

Occasionally, I like to write posts about ME.  It seems self-centered and possibly self serving, but I think it helps others too.  Recently, I had an opportunity to discuss with my eldest (15 yr old, One) how women often "lose themselves" to motherhood.  I explained that I did, long ago when her and her sister-18 months apart-were small and taking care of them consumed ALL of my energy.

I realize some of my fatal mistakes, and hope that by sharing them I can save (or at least minimize) her this experience.  Maybe some of you are new(er) moms,  maybe some of you aren't newere moms but are ONLY moms (having lost yourself to motherhood, and been unable to find yourself again,) maybe YOU can benefit from my learning, too.  Mistakes I made:

1.  I didn't take care of myself.  Like, at all.  I ate poorly.  I didn't exercise.  I didn't read.  I didn't dance.  I didn't DO any of the things that I LOVED and ENJOYED prior to becoming a mother.  It was like giving birth ripped who *I* was, right out of me.

2.  I didn't have a partner.  I had a man who lived in my house.  He played with our children.  But he was NOT my partner.  I don't say that with any contempt or blame for him, truly.  I knew what he was like going in.  I chose to think it would change, or somehow would be different.  That's MY fault, not his.

3.  I cut myself off from the outside world, and therefore, any possible support system I could have developed.  I'm an idiot.

I see mothers every day who are clearly lost in motherhood.  I can remember a time when if someone had asked me "What I like to do?" or "How do you spend your 'free' time?" I'd have had no response...I'd have had to think of ANYTHING that had ANYTHING to do with ANYTHING other than my children.  Maybe that's what some people want from life.  It wasn't for me.  And, I have a hard time believing that those people are fulfilled or happy in their core.  I think we have an innate being in us, and that being doesn't cease to exist because we procreated, or adopted a child.  That being will suffer from being ignored just as much as a child would.

I encourage you, yes YOU, to find YOU.  You are still in their somewhere.  That being, the girl who existed BEFORE anyone called you Mom, she's waiting for you to return to her.  Nurture her.  Love her.  The rewards will be JUST as great as those you are already receiving from being "Mom."

Lastly, I promise you the TWO of you can co-exist.  "Mom" and "You" can live in harmony.  Strike a balance.  You will benefit.  Your relationships with others will benefit.  Your child will benefit.

Love you.  It allows you to more effectively love others.

I continued this in a part 2, and 3.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Body Systems

I'll be leading our First Grade Co-op lessons...starting mid-month, or for April (I was supposed to lead March, but following the death of my aunt I had to ask my fellow members to step in for a couple weeks,) we'll be doing a study of body systems.

 I'll be starting with respiratory system, and found this:
Respiratory System: TeachersPayTeachers

Also:  Nervous SystemSkeletal SystemComponents of bloodDigestive System

And:  Smart Art Body Systems this one is $3.00 but when you are using in a small group like this, it's not a big cost.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Manic Monday

Phew!  Monday...Monday....

I taught my Zumba class (which was amazing!) then showered off at the center.  Had lunch and starbucks with the kids, followed by a few minutes at the park.  Bowling for One and Two, and school in the bowling alley for Three and Four.  Now we're home, and the weather is beautiful (over 70 degrees, and sunny, WOOT WOOT) so the kids are outside.  One *might* be wearing her swimsuit and "tanning."   I just did that arm workout video I posted on Saturday and my arms are SHAKY again, YAY!!!  I'm going to have great arms for summer.  Yes, I am.

I have to go chop potatoes/sweet potatoes for breakfast for dinner--we are having breakfast bowls.  Eggs, cheese, potatoes/sweet potatoes, bacon/sausage...YUM.  All I really want to do is sit on my bed and read my book.  I'm currently reading the last book in the Black Dagger Brotherhood series by J.D. Ward.  The next book comes out April 1, and I'm trying to stay ahead.  I also want to read "The Fault in Their Stars" because it has captured the attention of One--who doesn't read anything for pleasure, except One Direction FanFic (yeah, that's a REAL thing.)  I don't complain because reading is reading...and I figure if she can hang on to enjoying it...she'll grow up enough to WANT to consume other literature at some point.  It is also coming out in movie form on my birthday, and One wants to see it pretty desperately.

Tomorrow we have NOTHING to do.  I love Tuesday.   Wednesday morning I will leave for Florida to attend the funeral service for my Aunt Sue(y,) with my mom, sister, aunts, cousins, and The Boy.   I'll be home on Saturday.  I hope to get a few posts typed up and scheduled (I have one already for tomorrow, that I put together on Saturday....look at me, being all ahead of the game!!)  Have a great week!

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Sideways Saturday

A little bit of this and that for you on what looks to be a fantastic Saturday here in my neck of the woods.  The sun is out, and after this GLOOMY week, I need it!  I'll be sitting outside in a little bit, soaking in the sun (and some tunes.)

First, I didn't get around to posting the Two for Tuesday links, so here you go:

Printable Geography Passports these are free to print from Montessori Print Shop (I've purchased stuff from them in the past, but this handy little item is a free printable.  Check out their entire page of freebies!)  We'll be studying different countries, and geography for the rest of our school year (with a tie-in of a great book entitled Easter Around the World) and I plan to use this fun little tool to help us along.

St. Patrick's Day printables

Second, I also didn't post on Thursday, and it's been a LONG time since I've posted a Skinny Housewife post.  Here you go:

10 minute arm workout

I did this yesterday, and my arms were shaky for a good half hour!  I plan to do this 3 times a week at least through the beginning of summer (I want great arms for tank-top/bathing suit season!)  Not to mention that I need to build up my arm strength for an upcoming obstacle race.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Wordy Wednesday: Loss

In early October, my aunt Sue(y) was diagnosed with a very aggressive, in-treatable form of lung cancer.  Yesterday, March 4, 2014, she passed away.

My family spent Thanksgiving Day together in 2013 for the first time in close to 10 years.  My Aunt Sue(y) hosted thanksgiving at her house when my girls were small every year (and also Christmas.)  As my cousins got older and became teens, she stopped hosting because there was often drama and no one wanted to deal with it.  This year, however, we realized it was probably the last one we were all going to have with her.  Even sick, she opened her house to all of us.  12 people descended on her house.

I'm so thankful that she was open to having us there, as those memories are a bright spot in the last few months.  Here she is with my girls:

Sue(y) was called Suey because when The Boy (my 25 yr old nephew) was small he was trying to say SuZy and it came out SuEy and stuck.  For 25 yrs, everyone in my family has said Suey every time we spoke about her, or to her.  She was her spunky, bossy, control freak, super woman self right up until the very end.  Just like her mama (my fireball of a grandmother!)

We love you always, and will miss you, our Suey.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Manic Monday

Today isn't a loaded Monday (meaning we only have ONE activity to get to) but I'm fully expecting it to be manic. I have to get myself and FOUR kids under the age of 7, plus one teenager out the door by 9am so that I'm not late for work. 

Pray for me, y'all. 

It's 8am.  No one is dressed. No one has eaten. I should probably get moving huh! Except the youngest of the small folks here (2yr old) is still sleeping, as is The Punk. The teenagers aren't home yet, but they typically don't get home until 8:45-9am on Mondays since they spend every Sunday night with their Bio Dad. 

Ok. Breakfast. Must go prepare breakfast. Since I can't get in the boys room to get clothes...I'll start with food for those that are up.