Doin’ the Saturday Stuff

We had such a jam packed day! Bill was out of town so me and the kids just hung out and played and did fun things all day. Now, I would be lying if I didn’t say there were a couple times that I thought I was going to lose my mind. I would also be lying if I didn’t admit that I looked forward to the kids’ bedtime. And, I would also be lying if I didn’t tell you that I’m having a glass or two of wine right now. But, regardless, we had lots of fun!

This morning before Bill left he made breakfast for all of us, then we lounged around and played until Will’s baseball practice. My dad popped in right before we left the house and came with us – that made it even more fun!

After baseball we came back, freshened up, and went to Frederick with my family to walk around and eat lunch at my favorite Mexican restaurant – La Paz. Of course, it took a while to get to the restaurant. The kids finally fell asleep (after crying, stopping once to take off Erin’s coat, and another time to buy her a binky), so we made a pit-stop on the way so they could get their sleep on and so I could buy Will a LEGO set, like I’ve been promising.

Lunch was so delicious I forgot to take any pictures. Afterwards, we got some ice cream. Now I did get a picture of ice cream because Will was so sweet and decided to share with Erin. I was so tickled by them.

All in all we had a really great Saturday. The evening was pretty low-key; Will and I built part of his LEGO set and the kids went to bed really well for me. (But not before Erin pooped in the tub).

Grass Stains, Careless Days, and Lazy Posts

I made a deal with myself last night that I would do nothing on Sunday besides exercise and play with my kids. So, that’s what I did! Part of the afternoon was spent at the community college outside on this beautiful, warm, sunny day in an open field! We threw baseballs, ran in circles, and most importantly (and most fun) rolled down hills. I haven’t done it in years…and it was a blast! Will loved it, and I got to enjoy listening to him belly laugh hysterically. Erin tried it but couldn’t quite get it. She still managed to entertain herself in other ways – like tripping down the hill and following Will around. :) (Bill rolled down the hill, too, but unfortunately I didn’t get a picture of that!)

Do-Able Health Tips

Before I start writing, I just want to say that this isn’t meant to be a “pat on the back, look at me, I’m great” kind of post. I simply want it to be a source of motivation for my readers and a place to get some good tips for healthy living!

Last March when I went to see my doctor, he said, “Julie, when you come back next year I want you to have lost 30 lbs.” I pretty much laughed and made a joke about buying a new wardrobe. My exact thoughts were “Yeah, right, that will never happen. I’ve never lost any weight all the other times I’ve tried.” I had even begun to make excuses for myself, thinking that it was okay for me to be overweight because I have kids. About 2 months went by and what my doctor said had stuck in the back of my mind.

My husband came home from work one day and told me about this running program that a coworker recommended to him. It is designed for people who never run, called Couch (Potato) to 5k (C25K). The app for your phone guides you step by step in order to be able to run for 30 minutes, or 5k. I’m not sure why I quickly decided to try it, but I did. I stuck with it, loved it, and in turn starting loving running! I had never run in my life before and always claimed that I hated it. What helped me keep going was that I had a goal of running a 5k, no matter how slow, and I wasn’t going to “quit” until I reached that goal. Luckily, I didn’t even afterwards ;) Now I work out about 3-4 times a week, and run at least 3 miles when I do. I also lost the 30 lbs my doctor told me to!

On top of this, I follow these basic guidelines for food on the weekdays:

  • Oatmeal with a bit of brown sugar or strawberries/blueberries
  • Apples and peanut butter
  • Spinach with balsamic vinegar
  • Carrots
  • Yogurt
  • Almonds
  • Lots of water (or seltzer water)
  • Healthy dinner – but since this is my main meal of the day, I need a bit of good fat, calories, and protein
  • No alcohol during the week

Now for those who don’t know me…I love food. Actually, I don’t just love it. I’m obsessed with it. I crave it, and usually give into my cravings. So all of my food “guidelines” are within reason. I’m a huge believer that if you want to lose weight, you have to make a lifestyle change. So for me, cutting out beer, burgers, cake, etc. was just not reasonable. So occasionally during the week I do give in, especially if the demands of family life give in to quick – sometimes unhealthy – meals, but I really try to wait until the weekend.

Another useful tip I can leave you with is this: If you don’t want to be tempted to snack or eat late at night, don’t buy unhealthy food for your house!!! If it’s not there, you won’t eat it. And if you are tempted to go out and buy it, you’ll probably decide it’s not worth it in the end.

And one more tip for a sweet tooth: Make a smoothie! I just mix ice, frozen mixed berries, and soy milk. It’s delicious, filling, and healthy! Or, find a frozen yogurt place nearby. It’s much better for you than ice cream and tastes delicious!

Alter things so they work for you! Be creative, stick with it, and find someone to make the changes with so you can have a support team and be held accountable. Or, I’ll be your support team :)


The Key To Good Parenting

I figured out the key to good parenting. I can’t believe it’s taken me this long. I need to parent when the times are hardest. Meaning, instead of putting my children off because I’m feeling angry, stressed, irritable, or impatient – I need to grow up and be the parent.

I thought of this tonight when I came home from work/running errands and was completely and utterly exhausted. Is there a better word to portray tiredness besides exhausted? If there is, that was me tonight. And usually when I am feeling like that, I tend to do my own thing and let Will play on his own so that I’m less likely to be irritated with him wanting to just talk and be a kid (parents, you know exactly what I mean)! Tonight I challenged myself to do something different – I decided to put ALL of my “issues” aside, and focus solely on him. It took quite a bit of self-discipline, but I pushed through it. After the kids went to bed, I felt so much better knowing I had given my all and had no regrets. It was such a relief to me! Besides, is it really fair for me to burden my kids with my emotions?

So this is my goal from now on – to put myself aside in order to be the parent I want to be when it gets the hardest.

Make a List

I have been feeling so full of joy these past few weeks. I really love my life. (And this is probably not the last post you will see on this subject ;) ). I really love all the people in our lives and all the people who help and support us. I love living close to my family and my in-laws and how close everyone is to our kids. I love the mundane routine of our mornings and evenings even though sometimes they are so stressful and, I’ll admit, sometimes they make me cranky. I even love the tough times that Bill and I go through because almost always they bring us closer together rather than pulling us apart. I struggle with wanting the house to be immaculate, but I secretly love seeing the playroom (and other rooms) messy knowing that the kids had fun tearing them apart.

Oh, and Buddy (our dog) just coughed up a hairball. Yep, I love that too.

Take a moment today (or, tonight?) and make a “thankful list.” And when you’re feeling down, look at it! It sounds so simple, but I think it works.