Thursday, November 26, 2009

So much to be thankful for....

I have way too many friends who struggle with being in their mid 30's and not being able to have children. For some there are fertility issues and for others it's just because they are not in a relationship with someone who wants children. I am so very thankful for my FIVE boys, especially the one who gave me the other four. Thank you, Chris! You have made my life complete. Happy Thanksgiving to all!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

"The Pow"

William loves his "pow." That's what he calls the powder we use to freshen up his backside during diaper changes - especially diaper changes involving #2! He BEGS for the "pow" and if we don't use it, he seems very sad as he says "No pow, sorry. No pow."

I snapped this picture of him yesterday when I went in to get him up from his nap. As you can see, he searched through his top drawer for his beloved "pow" to cuddle with. I'm just thankful he hasn't figured out how to open it....yet....

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Michigan Trip - Part 1

First, a picture of the cutest little boy in the whole world:

At long last, here are some of the pictures from our trip to Michigan last week. It's been hectic trying to get back in the swing of things with the 4 kids and Chris has been working a lot of hours, so that's my excuse.
Anyway, we started out last Saturday around 5pm and the trip itself went really smooth. All 4 boys were very good travelers and loved the snacks we packed. William was SO excited to have his two friends, Coco (the koala) and Foof Foof (the dog) with him in the car. He talked to them non-stop for about the first hour of the trip.
Although the car ride went well, the rest of the night was awful! We got in at around 1am and the kids were wide awake, especially William. It was very difficult getting him back to sleep so Sunday was a rough day. Chris and I were like zombies! Thankfully, we didn't have much to do that day, as my mom made us dinner. While there, I discovered that as long as my family was around I had at least two GREAT babysitters. Here's my sister with Luke. This is pretty much how she spent the whole week:

My other babysitter is my sweet niece, Megan. She will be 5 in December and is OBSESSED with babies. All she wanted to do was help me with Baby Luke. Here's a picture of her watching intently as my sister changed him:
My brother and his wife were kind enough to lend her to us when we went to the Toledo Zoo last Tuesday. What a fantastic day we had! I would guess there were less than 100 people in the zoo at any given time. That day was reasonably mild and overcast and we had the place practically to ourselves. In addition to my family, my sister and her husband came with their two daughters and my mom, of course. Here's a picture of all the kids:

I asked Megan if she would be my little girl for the day because I don't have any little girls. She took this role VERY seriously and held my hand the entire day. Before we left Michigan, I begged my brother to let me borrow her but he was unwilling. I guess next time I'll have to offer cold hard cash or something. She's such a doll! I might also be willing to offer cash to borrow my sister's oldest daughter, Elizabeth, who's almost 16 and was a HUGE help with the boys!

It's bath night tonight, so I'll have to split the recap of our trip into two posts. Back with pictures from Halloween a bit later! Hope you're all having a great weekend and enjoying the kind of Indian Summer weather we're having up here in Wisconsin. It's so beautiful!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

7 Fitness Tips for Stay At Home Moms

We got back from our trip to Michigan on Sunday evening and I realized I have just TWO WEEKS until I have to squeeze back into my work clothes. YIKES! Thankfully, I didn't do too much damage to myself during the vacation (despite MUCH pressure from my mom to EAT, EAT, EAT!) but I still have 10 lbs to lose and a very limited amount of time to do it.

So while I am enjoying my brief stint as a stay at home mom, there are a few things I've come up with to help other moms lose weight and be more active:

1. Wear your running shoes. We don't normally wear shoes in our house, but I've been making an exception for myself lately. I find that if I'm wearing my running shoes I'm more likely to run...well, not run exactly but at least keep moving! Also, if I have shoes on I don't put them up on the couch or bed so why not stand up or at least sit without reclining? Running shoes also tie, so are harder to slip off and on so I just keep them on all day.

2. RUN! Again, I'm not being literal here but I have been running around like crazy. There is always SOMETHING to be done around here, especially picking up after the kids. Just going back and forth from the living room to their bedrooms to put things away is an all day event! Then once I get into their bedrooms, there is always something to pick up, hang, put in a drawer, throw in the toybox, etc.

3. Don't eat what the kids eat. I am dieting so that makes me naturally more focused on food. I think about it all the time and end up planning my own meal LONG before it's actually time to eat. I can then really think about what I want and what is going to be good for me, rather than just scarfing down whatever I've made the kids out of convenience. Besides, they eat things like PB&J, grilled cheese, frozen pizza, mac and cheese: kid food. These things are not going to really satisfy me OR make me feel good about myself. So it's worth it to spend a few extra minutes and fix myself something different, even if it means I have to hold off until after they are down for their naps. Come to think of it, the meal experience is actually much more soothing when they are napping! BONUS!

4. Share. This one was difficult for me until I changed my mindset. It's very annoying to finally sit down with a snack and have a 2 year old come up to you saying, "A bite? A bite?" It's especially upsetting when you're REALLY hungry and know this is all you're going to allow yourself to eat until dinner which is 3 hours away! But I have discovered the joy of sharing because for every bite I share, that's less calories for me. I figure for every 100 calorie yogurt, I share a good 20 calories of that with William. Every little bit helps! And I'm, of course, also teaching him to share as well.

5. Weigh yourself every day. I've heard this doesn't work for some people, but it sure works for me! That number stays with me ALL DAY and I think about it when I consider mindless munching. It also motivates me at night when I'm so tempted to pig out in front of the TV. If I know I have just 10 hours before I have to step on that scale, I'm much less likely to grab anything that's going to ruin my morning!

6. Walk whenever you can. I'm not at the point where I'm back to running yet (with the cold weather setting in, I'm going to wait until spring) but I do walk every chance I get. That means I park farther away from stores and I almost always walk to the bus stop to pick up my oldest in the afternoons. I would like to walk in the AM, too, but it's been too cold to put the baby in the stroller. Any walking you can fit in is great - think about opportunities you have to walk every day!

7. Measure yourself. Eeegads, this was SCARY! I have never really known my measurements, but have been watching that show "Bulging Brides" on FLN and they always measure the brides around the bust, waist and hips at the beginning and end of each episode. I decided I should take my own measurements the other day and what an eye opener that was! I know I definitely need to lose SEVERAL inches in all three categories and knowing my starting point (and writing it down so I don't forget!) is very motivating for me. I plan on taking my measurements every week to track my progress.

I think that's it. Once I go back to work and get that schedule under control, I will probably post tips for working moms, too. Although I only have 10 lbs to lose to get back into my work clothes, I would like to (and WILL!) lose another 25 after that and will continue to update everyone on my progress.

Pictures from our trip in the next couple of days....we sure had fun!