Thursday, October 27, 2011

Exercising With Little Kids Around

There's no doubt that we all need exercise.  There's also no doubt that traditional workouts on a treadmill or at a gym are kind of impossible to really achieve with several little kids around.  I know that I personally am not AS fit as before I had children, but I don't think that has as much to do with giving birth as it does with no longer being in the military, and even if I were single I likely wouldn't be doing 86 sit ups in 2 minutes like I did after firefighter school.  But I'm straying from the topic at hand.

Here are some ways I found to get exercise in when little ones are running around:

When my third was a tiny baby, he had colic, and as with many colicky babies, movement helped him.  One thing was walking up and down the kitchen, holding him close, making a shush-ing sound and doing a sort of bouncy lunge walk.   Great leg workout and it calmed him down.  Another thing was holding my back up straight, holding him in my arms so his bum was against my tummy and his feet sticking up, my hands were under his bum and head and shoulders, so he was supported and could see me.  Then I would do deep squats.  The squatting stopped him from crying, but if I counted out loud it made him laugh for some reason.  Which was really cute and I ended up doing about 100 squats to entertain my baby!

Another thing is walking.  Strollers are my friend.  We've walked to the library, grocery store, park, and doctor's office.  Tip:  if you go on really long walks with kids ALWAYS bring water for them and you and bring snacks for them at least, even if it's just a banana for each or them, and eat right before you leave and right after you get home, this prevents a great deal of whining.

When you have a small baby who can support their own head, you can lay on the floor with the baby sitting on your chest (hold onto them!) bend your legs and do full sit ups.  Making faces at the baby makes them a lot more enjoyable during this, and what better motivation to exercise than making your baby laugh?

This may seem obvious, but taking kids to the park is of course a great way for them to get exercise, but if you run around with them, you will really get a workout.  Play tag with two or three kids, let them all be "it" and carry a 20 pound baby around while trying to escape the giggling big kids.  You'll definitely get your cardio in, let me tell you!  This will build your endurance too, as the kids will want to keep going and going!

One thing all kids I've ever met love is getting piggy back rides and having the rider runnign aorund the house"singing"  (does "da-dum-da-dum" count as singing?) William Tell Overture (Lone Ranger theme song), This is even more fun for them if you gallop instead of run, also gets your heart rate up there!

Dance!  Even if you feel like a dork.  As my sister says: "Embrace the dork within yourself, life's too short to be 'cool'!"  Put on music, dance with your kids, dance by yourself, pick up your kids and spin them around, shake your booty without regarding it's size, have fun!

Take a break from writing a blog post to play ball with your one year old.

Do standing crunches and walk in place while you're making dinner or washing dishes.  I had to walk in place while doing the dishes or anything else when I was pregnant with my third because I had varicose veins and I had to keep the circulation going, plus it was July in Texas and our air conditioner didn't work very well so the compression stockings weren't recommended by my doctor.

After little kids go to bed, do a short exercise video.  If you're like me, buy the end of the day you're too wiped out to do a long video, plus there's that coveted sleep thing, so I try to just do 10-20 minutes, like one of the 10 minute solution dvd's, and just pick one or two workouts from that.  When I was working to lose the baby weight I did this every night except Sunday, but now I only do it a few times a week to just be healthy and somewhat strong.  Sometimes I'll do it during the kids nap time instead. 

Anyway, I hope these tips help you to get some exercise with your little blessing running all over the place!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011


This post is part of a Chocolate on my Cranium blog hop of word full Wednesdays, the topic is tell about a time when you were brave.
Some people say that having a baby over 10 pounds with no pain killer is bravery, which I've done, but that is not the kind of bravery that came to my mind first when I read about this topic.
One time that stands out in my mind that I guess I was brave was in Basic Training for the Army.  In case you're wondering what basic training is like, most movie depictions are fairly accurate.  I think Forest Gump said it best: "Make your bed look real nice, stand up real tall, and answer every question with 'Yes, Drill Sergeant!'"  It's also true that they swear at you, call you names, give you petty nicknames ( I was "school teacher"  because they said I had school teacher hair, whatever that means.)
Anyway, it's also true that you get in trouble for the tiniest little thing (rolling your eyes to a drill sergeant could result in a demotion and no pay for a month or two) and they play mind games with you: one drill sergeant will tell you to do something and when you go to do it another drill sergeant will yell at you not to do it, then the first drill sergeant will yell at you for not doing it.  Plus you don't get nearly enough sleep, and what sleep you do get is interrupted by an hour of fire guard in the middle of the night.  So they do a pretty good job of breaking you down emotionally.  Church could not come fast enough each week.  I would read my scriptures and pray in a bathroom stall after lights out every night, which helped me greatly, but church was a sweet release.  The base where I was didn't allow single missionaries on base, so there were just a few senior missionary couples.  One of the sisters would stand at the door and hug every woman that came because she knew that we were going through some emotional stress and that touching in Basic Training is taboo.  We were only allowed 2 hours for church, but it was the best, most uplifting two hours for the whole week!
A few weeks into Basic Training, we did a field training exercise (camping, except no smoores, flashlights, nature walks, or fun) and a man and woman got in trouble together.  Oy.  The mind games then ensued of how we need to watch out for one another and keep each other in line.  We got back from the feild about 7:00 Sunday morning, and because we didn't prevent the indecression of others (two people I have never even met, and they weren't in our platoon (smaller group) but we were C.A.P.E.d, which stands for Corrective Action through Physical Exertion.  And not just push ups either, it was wearing 30 pounds of equipment and crawling on the ground dragging another soldier kind of thing. This went on probably until around 2 in the afternoon, so everyone missed church.  You don't get a lot of rights in Basic Training but one thing you do have a right to do is go to church.  But what could we do?  We were at their mercy day in and day out.
About two weeks later, we all went to a meeting with the company commander.  To give you an idea, the drill sergeants are in charge of the company (a company is around 100-150 people, and there are about 10-15 drill sergeants) then there's a first sergeant over them.  Then there's a company commander above the first sergeant.  So we got a meeting with him and he sent the drill sergeants away and gave us time to stand up and report anything that had been going on that shouldn't.  Tons of people raised their hands and most of their complaints were dismissed or downplayed (the drill sergeant didn't cause brain damage when she slammed you into the wall, did she?), so fewer and fewer people raised their hands, I had been raising my hand every time he said "What else?" but no one had talked about missing church! So I persisted and finally I got a chance to speak, I told him my name and what had happened, he looked concerned and said something to the effect of "Yea, they can't keep you from going to church."  Wow, he actually listened!  I heard it through the grape vine later on that the drill sergeants got in big trouble for that.  After the meeting at least five people came up to me and thanked me for saying something about not going to church.  And every one of them said something like this: "I really wanted to say something about that but I was too afraid."  Of over a hundred people I was the only one to stand up and say hey, we need that whole freedom of religion first amendment thing!  Yes, I had been worried that the commander would dismiss my point, but I knew that I had to try and do the very few things I could to prevent it from happening again.  It was something small, but one thing I think shows bravery is standing up for your religion, even when it is unpopular and possible no one will listen.

25 Random Things About Me

1.  I was in a firefighter unit in the Idaho Army National Guard
2.  I speak German almost fluently
3.  I really like fresh spinach
4. I was the one who asked my senior prom date to go with me, I have fun with him, but I thought prom itself was a waste of money.
5. After failing one physical objective at the end of firefighter school, I was sent to clerk school for the Army for 5 weeks.  I still did fire fighting in my unit until I got pregnant.

6.  I was an exchange student in Germany for 6 months during my junior year of high school
7. I find great entertainment from listening to my kids (especially my three year old) talk about their bodily functions.
8.  I pretty much never have salad dressing my my salad, I just don't like it.
9. In Basic Training for the Army, the only time I could often find time to read scriptures was after lights out, but you can't turn on lights and you're tired, so I would go in the bathroom and read my scriptures in the stall to be sure I was reading scriptures every day.
10. I never want a house with a home owners association

11. In clerk school I received the Army Achievement Metal for outstanding performance in Physical training and academics.  I did well on the tests and was in really god shape from fire fighter school (imagine that).
12. I don't like cleaning, but I do it anyway.
13. I hate sauerkraut.
14. My little sister is a lot taller than me
15. I played trumpet in elementary, middle, and part of high school.  I did all right until I got braces, you can imagine how that affects trumpet playing!
16. I am allergic to minocycline, a prescription acne medication I was prescribed in high school. After several days of blistering hives, I decided acne wasn't THAT bad, so I didn't take any more powerful medications, even though I STILL have acne (10 years after that incident) I've tried skin cleanser and natural supplements to make it not too painful, and just try to set my vanity aside.  The next stronger medication could cause serious birth defects, and I found out about it shortly before I got married, so I figured having healthy babies was more important than clear skin.
17. I don't like green beans either.
18. I was on the dance team in high school, even though I'm not very graceful
19. I am 5'8" and am the shortest person in my family (tied with my mom)
20. I knew my husband was a keeper on our first date because he passed gas and was really embarrassed.  I was in firefighter school for the Army at the time so it was very nice to have someone who was embarrassed to pass gas rather than trying to get me to gag from it.
21. I took piano lessons in high school but haven't played in a while.  I want a piano, but I know that it would be too noisy to practice very much, so I have told my husband that some day I would like a nice electronic keyboard so I can have headphones and practice without waking up kids or a husband.
22. One reason I have been motivated to make food healthier is because I'm a picky eater and I don't like very many vegetables, but I want to be healthy
23. One highlight of my college application was that I was in the Cultural Interaction Awareness club for three years in high school.  This club organized the Martin Luther King Jr. assembly and did activities with exchange students to get students to know them and their home countries better. I am very proud to have been part of that, but the truth is, I only went to an information meeting because one of my friends went and wanted moral support.  Since not many people showed up, we were automatically enlisted in the committee.  It was a lot of work and life got busier the next year, so I decided that I wouldn't have time to do that and everything else (the assembly was two weeks before I left for Germany!) but there were only two other people and the teacher in charge caught me in the hall so I did it again, same story the next year.  It was a good thing, and I'm glad I did, but my dirty little secret is that I was trying to avoid it.  Shame on me.
24. I hate paper clutter but have a hard time organizing and purging papers (working on that one).
25. I have only recently come around to beans and other legumes.