Saturday, June 25, 2011

Oh! For Pete's Sake!

Seriously! What is the matter with me?! I can't seem to get this blog running to save my life... but then again, I have always had a problem with consistency in, well lets just say, a lot of areas. One week (or day) I've got everything under control and my "plan" is going perfectly. Then the next, I feel like I am barely treading water! I read so many blogs that have such gifted authors and think "I wish I could write like that or make people laugh like that". Maybe the problem really is that I want to be one of those amazing blogger moms that sews every day or at least close to it and then blogs about it but I just can't seem to get it together. So, that's my whine for the moment. And you know what? I feel a little better :)

I am currently almost through week 3 of the Insanity 60 day workout program, which I talked more about here. I am a tad frustrated though because even though I am DEFINITELY in much better shape than when I started, I have not had the weight just falling off. (As a disclaimer though, I should mention that I really am not following any sort of "diet" plan and do occassionally have some a pint of Ben and Jerry's or make a ginormous batch of cookie dough trying out a recipe of Dana's from Made...)

And now for some pictures...

"Big Baby" (and as a disclaimer she named it this before Toy Story 3 came out) riding a horse, and when she saw me taking the picture she placed the little grey horse in the foreground :)

Ky and Evie watching the tractor mow

she loves babies

she still will go in the baby swings so she can get underdogs

snuggling with Uncle Jake watching a movie

cousin Violet and Evie hanging out at Grandpa and Grandma's

D and my younger brother helping my parents with the wood splitting

Thursday, June 9, 2011


I meant to post about this yesterday Monday but I forgot until this morning Tuesday, and then I just didn't have time until (what is today? Wednesday?!) ok, yeah, Wednesday. Night. Late night. So, here you go...

After the reality of swimsuit season set in, seeing that we have been at the pool at least every other day since it opened, I decided that I needed to get busy and do something to feel better about my "baby fat". It has been an up and down battle since Evie was born over 3 years ago. Within a week of her birth, I got down to about 5 lbs more than my weight right when I got pregnant (that means I lost 25 lbs in about 4 days... but then...) But from there it went back up as I didn't find time to workout with a newborn. And now I am about 15 lbs up from that and kind of fluctuated a bit but not really getting much higher. The real problem is that my prepregnancy weight was about 10 lbs higher than I would have liked so now I find myself 30 lbs from my ideal weight and a closet with the clothes I am "going to fit back into" all shoved to the back. So, back to this post. I had looked into the extreme body shaping type programs that are offered in my area thinking that maybe having the accountability of going to a class and paying a significant amount of money for it might keep me in check, but alas they are 2 weeks into the current session and I don't want to wait another 6 to 8 weeks to start doing something. So, I pulled out my Insanity workout DVDs that I had ordered a while back and decided I was going to go for it! So, Monday, I got up did my before weight, measurements and even *yikes!* pictures and then did the day 1 workout - the Fit Test. The Fit Test is about 25 minutes long with warm up and cool down and it is hard! Most of the "test" part of it, I was pushing myself as hard as I could and was gasping for air!
Tuesday when I got out of bed, I was quites sore from pushing myself and using muscles that, let's just say it, don't get used very often! But I powered through my day 2 workout that was about 41 minutes long and felt great! Sweat pouring off every part of me by midway through the warm up!
Wednesday... well, that was another level of sore with some added stiffness in my calf area that made navigating the stairway a bit more treacherous than normal :) After walking around a bit, I started to loosen up (some) and so again headed down to my "insane" workout. And as I write the rest of this post, I am still really sore. Earlier today, I asked D if he remembered how long it took before the stiff type soreness went away. He didn't, so I don't know how long this will last.

You know, I should just take a minute to do a mini-disclaimer on myself and my ideal workout, etc... this workout is not for everyone - it says that before every workout begins. But, I really like a workout that seems hard to get through, I want to know that the time I have to put into working out is getting me the biggest bang for my buck. I like the challenge of being able to push myself harder every time I do a workout and still feel challenged by it and like it was a hard as the first time I did it. Insanity is that type of workout. Now, I have to say that I also love Billy Blanks and my trusty ol' Tae Bo Live Advanced VHS tapes (not available on DVD, I have looked) but with those workouts you kind of reach a plateau where you don't really get as much out of it once you achieve a certain level of fitness. But, I still love them <3

Ok, so where was I? Somewhere in the middle of pain and week 1 in my 60 day (really its 9 weeks of 6 workouts a week, so 62 days from start to end) Insanity challenge. I know I don't have a lot of readers but I thought it might help me to have my goal and some points along the way actually written down for me (and others) to see. So here's the plan. After this, I am going to update every time I do the Fit Test and at halfway and the end when I recheck my measurements and weight giving the amount lost. Now, somewhere up above I said that I was about 30 pounds from my "ideal" weight. My goal for this 60 day session is to lose around 18 pounds which would put me back at my prepregnancy weight. Along with that, I am hoping to go down 2 pants sizes and hopefully fit into some of the jeans I wore at the beginning of my pregnancy. I know "stuff" shifts around during pregnancy so I don't know what to expect my body shape to be when I get to that weight. Then, if all goes well, I am going to do another round and hopefully get close to my ideal weight (which I will continue to evaluate as I lose - who knows, it may be more or less). So, there you have it...

Ready? Set? GO!

Monday 6/5 Fit Test 1
1. Switch Kicks - 122*
2. Power Jacks - 59
3. Power Knees - 109
4. Power Jumps - 46 hello plyo*
5. Globe Jumps - 10 rotations consisting of 4 jumps each
6. Suicide Jumps - 12*
7. Push-up Jacks - 23 but I need to work on going deeper in my pushup
8. Low Plank Oblique - 64

the ones I have marked with an * I hate feel the most challenged by

Monday, June 6, 2011

Thank Goodness for Our Pool Pass!

So it has been wicked hot here in the midwest! Today it was 95 before the heat index which I thought I heard pushed it up over 100! But we didn't notice that much because Evie and I spent the afternoon at the pool :) We have been "swimming" 4 or 5 times already since the pool opened the Saturday of Memorial Day weekend. We have 2 aquatic centers here now. The older one has a beach entry for the little ones but then is only separated from the deeper waters by ropes. It has a toddler/kid friendly slide and fountains plus a splash park for when they are doing pool checks every hour. The newer one has a separate kid pool area with 3 different degrees of slides for the younger ones and more fountains and a huge bucket that dumps when it gets full. It also has a lazy river which I took Evie on yesterday when we went and she LOVES it! The rest is like a mini waterpark with quite a few different slides but who cares since I only get to do what Evie does ;)

So, I decided that I wanted to get a pool pass and get Evie to the water a lot this summer for a couple of reasons.
1. so that we would spend more time doing things outside (even when it is horribly hot like it gets here in Iowa) and,
2. so that she would get more acclimated to the water and maybe not be afraid to go under all the way by the end of the summer.
I didn't realize that I cared about this at all until towards the end of last summer when we went swimming with some friends and Evie's little buddy was diving under and trying to swim. Evie wasn't even wanting to jump off the edge of the pool to me. I didn't like that she was that afraid of getting her head wet and wanted to get her used to being around the water before she got old enough to really be afraid.

So back to this year... so far each time, she has not wanted to go down any of the slides and would not jump to either D or myself from the edge. She likes going in the deeper water and holding on to the edge or us and today while we were over there something happened... she watched as a boy a little bigger than her jumped to what appeared to be his older sister and she caught him! Evie looked at me and said "did you see that? she has her arms out and caught him!" I guess in that moment, something clicked and then she decided she wanted to give it a try after all. So, I was instructed to stand basically at the edge with my arms raised up to catch her. She jumped. I caught her. She thought it was great! So little by little she instructed me to back up a teensy bit until I was about 3-4 feet from the edge. She continued to jump and jump and jump, all the while having a fabulous time! Her face was even going in a little some of the times and she wasn't concerned in the least! BREAKTHROUGH! Then, not only was she jumping to me, she started getting creative! She did spinning jumps and dive-ish jumps, and cannonball jumps! We did that for 20-30 minutes before we had to get out! I was so proud of her and it reminded me of what my mom had said to me this weekend. She told me that by the end of the summer I was going to be wondering what I had been so worried about :) Hmmm, should I be surprised that she was right already? I had been so concerned because my daring daughter was not at all daring in the water, till today! So lesson learned, now I just have to remember that ha ha! I am so excited to see what the rest of the summer brings!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Memorial Weekend

I think this was the first Memorial Day weekend in quite a while that we didn't have some sort of travel plans. So we just took it a day at a time and spent some good time together a a family and even with our neighbors.

We had to stop while we were out running around to watch a goose family having an afternoon snack. If you haven't heard before, Evie is completely obsessed with families of all sorts. Animals, people, rocks, I cringe to say it, but also her poops... yes, even those get titled as "mommy", "baby", or "daddy" based on size. She wants EVERYTHING to have a mommy, daddy and at least one baby.
 Moving on... Saturday night, we (meaning D) lugged our firebowl to the grass circle in the middle of the cul de sac beside our house. We started at around 7 ish I think with us, and our neighbors with 4 boys 5, 4, 3, and 1 year old. Evie calls them "the kids". "Mom, the kids are outside. I want to go play with the kids." You get the picture :) Then as the night progresses most of the neighbors in that circle were sitting out with us. They roasted marshmallows and were offering some to Evie (who I had told that they had too much sugar for her) so she boldly replies, "No thanks, THEY HAVE TOO MUCH SUGAR." Hello, mortified mom. But, she didn't even whine a little bit about it, she just went on the same as she had. Sooooo, I remembered I had the fixin's for gluten free, no high fructose corn sugar or artificial stuff, smores. These are made with gf graham crackers, ricemallow, and vegan chocolate chips. She was in heaven! Great first smores experience for her (and me)!
 Here she is with "the biggest kid" aka Atticus :) He is her fave because he interacts with her the most and likes hugs, which she attempts to bestow on all her friends. After it became rediculously late for the kiddos, most had trickled in to bed, but Evie was of course still trying to be social. It was after midnight when she got to bed and we had just left the firebowl with the neighbors who were still up.
 The next day we all took naps after church... Evie was yawning on the way to church. Then we decided to have a fire in our driveway instead so it wouldn't go quite so late. This time, we got the grill out too and did some hotdogs (we love Applegate Farms all beef and Trader Joes mini all beef hotdogs are a favorite of Evie's) and had chips and "the kids'" mom Ruthie made some guacamole, yum! It was a much earlier night to bed, though still late. I was very glad that we had Monday to recuperate some before D had to go back to work.

What's going on around here?

The Friday before Mother's Day, I got to go spend some time with my mom while Evie and D went fishing (her first time!) Doesn't she make an adorable little fisher? Say yes :) She got her princess pink fishing pole from Uncle Drew for her birthday in February so we used it for Harley (our cat) fishing till now!

 Apparently there were A LOT of rocks tossed in the water while there... I have heard that is a good way to get fish to bite ;) D texted me at one time to tell me that Evie said "Daddy, I want to go where the fishies like us" when they weren't getting any bites!
 (this picture was from a later date, taken at a pond by our house. D got a fish on the line and let Evie reel it in. BIG 6 inch bass haha)

Anyhow, back to my day with my mom. We had been planning it for a little while but it happened that her Uncle Samuel passed away two days before so we did a little gardening in my mom's garden and then traveled to Amish/Mennonite country to go to the visitation and spend some time with that part of the family (Uncle Samuel was my grandpa's sister's husband...) I actually got to take Evie to see my Mennonite relatives last May. Samuel played the harmonica for us and Evie was a hit as usual :) In the pic below Samuel is the guy at the far end of the table opposite the gal in the bright blue shirt.
This is my mom's cousin Dan (Samuel's son - I think there are 9 kids all together!) Evie had been eying his pedal tractor when we toured the house so he got it out for her to ride around :) His wife is Edie... LOVE her!
Then of course before we left, Evie had to give the big Andy doll a hug and kiss :)
As soon as you get close, you start seeing lots of these. We met some awesome Amish folks and I had a lot of fun talking with extended family that I don't see often.
 I saw this sign as we were leaving the area... had to take a picture :)
 Then a couple weekends ago we had our friend Matt and his son Dawson over for supper. Dawson is 3 months older than Evie and so they have been buddies as long as they remember!
 This is Dawson and Evie 2 days after she was born... on Valentine's Day 2008! Neither was very happy about being put down so we could take a picture of how much bigger 3 month old Dawson was than peanut Evie :)
 And, I had to throw in a picture of our kookie cat Harley Davidson (named for his rumbling purr he had even as a fist sized kitten) He often sleeps on his back like this and when its too bright he covers his face with his paw... for dramatic effect I believe!
 This is Evie's new set of wheels. A craigslist find of mine since I refused to pay almost $300 for one... she has had it for about a week now and I have to say that her driving has improved exponetially. When we first got it she ran into one of our baby evergreen trees around the house, backed into my peony bush, and NEVER looked in the direction she was going... but ALWAYS had a huge smile on her face! She now is quite good at backing it out of the garage without hitting anything and pulls in back into the garage to her temporary parking spot while D can't get past our pile of landscaping rocks... at full speed!
 This was a really fun night. I was working on the yard and Evie and D got out the chalk. He started by tracing around her which she loves - she has always been a fan of "draw my hand" on paper, so lifesize was even better. She is the little upside down outline next to where she is standing in the pic, then she had D lay down and he is the blobby on the right side of the drive right next to her. When she drew his eyes she told him "Daddy, you have the biggest eyes in the west!" I think that was a compliment :) Then I was beckoned from my yardwork and became the even bigger blobby on the left (that will teach me to be in snow angel pose)! She was getting ready to add Stinky Baby to the blob family as the pic was taken.
 This is my favorite! Because I am a girl, I get eyelashes. Just check out those long lashes!
Hmmmm, just realizing that I don't have any of our Memorial Day pics on here yet... I will try to remedy that!