Physically fit

Before I had kids, I used to work out all the time. I was active and physically fit. I would do an hour and a half of cardio every day. On top of that, I was swimming 3 times a week and running around with my friends. I had so much muscle and felt good—the best shape of my life. Then I gained the happy 15. That’s right; being in a fantastic relationship that I was pure bliss and judgment-free was the best feeling.

I traded the Norditrac and weights for snuggle time on the couch and binge-watching a show on Netflix ALL weekend. A few year’s roles by, and along comes our first child—a true blessing. When I was pregnant with her, I gained 42 pounds, but I didn’t care!

Once I got cleared to resume physical activity, I decided to get back into working out. I wanted to lose the “baby weight.” I did try yoga with my sister and discovered that I didn’t feel that either. So then I tried Pilates, and it was good, but I missed doing intense cardio. Well, I decided that I was just going to dive into cardio. I thought it would be just as awesome now as it was then. I was very wrong in my assumption! As a first time mom, I didn’t have the time to do cardio for 90 minutes. There was laundry, pumping (that, by the way, was one of my biggest struggles. I was literally pumping every 45 minutes on top of latching to build up my milk supply, and I still never had enough to feed my baby with only breast milk), cooking, shopping, and playtime. I would say sleep, but as many of you know, sleep is never a factor

Some weight loss

I did lose some of the weight, probably close to 20 pounds before I got pregnant again. Another blessing, we couldn’t have been happier. Now defiantly at this time, trying to get into working out was so far from my mind. I was running on fumes. I honestly think that my son hated sleep. He would only sleep for a few hours at a time and never sleep more than 45 minutes for his naps, but that’s another story. I just went through the motions of life. I even started to think that all the running around I did in the house would be enough. You know, the cleaning, mess pickups, playtime with the kids, cooking, cleaning (yes, I said that twice on purpose). That was my work out and that was going to be enough to get the “baby weight” off. At least that’s how I felt. I never sat down. It felt like there was always something to do. Let me tell you that’s not entirely true. I did lose some weight. Enough to get back to my “before” baby weight…..absolutely not.

Challenge for me

Staying motivated has been a big challenge for me. I have been trying to find the time to get back into shape, and I keep seeing commercials for the Bowflex Tread climber. That seems like something that I would be able to do in 30 minutes. Now that the kids are a bit older and can do more things for themselves, it seems more doable to get physically fit.

I loved the days I could find the time to work out. I was in the necessary headspace and felt adequately motivated. Every time I started to stretch and warm up my muscles and clear my head, it wouldn’t take long before all I could think about is all the things I have to do around the house. All the things I have to do for my children before bed, all the things I have to do for my business, all the things I have to get to make sure that my house functions correctly and we have all that we need in it… just to name a few things. So before I can get 10 minutes into stretching, I am already anxious about getting all that done and need to call it quits to get as much as I can accomplish before 11 p.m. hits.

Setting goals

Since the kids are older, they have wanted to work out and try different exercise styles. It has been so much fun. They don’t work out for an extended period. For now, that’s okay. Some of their favorite things are kid yoga (they usually do that one independently).

they love to stretch, they are not big runners like I was. They do like it when we work out as a family. It has helped with staying motivated to workout. They don’t always want to work out when I do, and there are times I don’t want to work out when they do. It’s rather comical when I think about it.

man and woman in red tank top and black shorts doing yoga

One thing that we have done off and on as a family is a pushup contest. That has been something that we all enjoy. The kids and I are determined to beat Josh at our pushup contest. I think we stand a chance to combine our total pushups and use that total against his total. Seriously, the 3 of us against him wouldn’t beat his count. Perhaps once we make this a more day-to-day contest, and get more physically fit, we will get him, but until then, the push is real.

Becoming physically active and fit this coming year is our family’s big goal. Not in the sense that we want to watch what we eat to lose weight. We want to make it our goal to get out and be more active. Having a sedentary life right now is almost unavoidable, with unique situations that have raised. Still, if we make changes to get more active by going to the park in the morning with the dogs or walking the property several times to get maybe a half-mile to a mile of walk time in, that would be a great start.

I would like to share some information with you from the CDC for a good source of recommendations: https://www.cdc.gov/healthyweight/physical_activity/

#physicallyfit #family #motivation #love

Homeschool

Navigating new water.

I want to applaud all the parents out there who had to take on a new challenge this year. 2020 came with so many factors that changed a lot for all of us. The biggest pat on the back that I would like to offer would be to those who dove into helping their children navigate through their school work. I have been homeschooling my children for almost six years now. I know that it comes with many ups and downs and challenges that made me stop and reevaluate how my children learn.

The navigating that parents, grandparents, teachers, and children all went through is quite remarkable! Schools are do not operate with an online curriculum. I am not talking about homeschool curriculums. The schools that children attend to learn by a teacher in a school district paid for by the State. Public, Charter, Private, or other.  I saw many of my friends and family jump in and work extraordinarily hard to add this onto their already overloaded plates. You gave them an invaluable lesson that will hopefully give them perspective when dealing with a challenge that seems impossible.  

What are they learning?

I am willing to bet that you learned so much about how your child learns—the subjects they thrive in and those they have very little to no interest in at this time. As a homeschooler, I know I am always surprised at the interests they have one week and how that changes based on the information they want to know. If I really stop and think about it, though, I should not be all that surprised. We as adults do that very same thing.

If you’re like me, there are many things you learn, and pretty quickly too. Taking on the responsibility to ensure that your child has a proper education can be a rollercoaster ride of emotions. There are times is seems overwhelming and scary; perhaps you are not sure what to do. Then there are those days where you get up and rise to the challenge! You feel like superman or superwoman for the fantastic day you had teaching your little one because they breezed through it. Not only did they get the lesson, but they had fun doing it.  I will let you in on a little secrete, whether you are new to teaching because you are now distance learning, new to homeschooling, or have been homeschooling for some time, we All have those range of days.  

We all have questioned wheater or not we are giving our kids enough time to learn their material, how much time do they spend learning a day one on one, what to include in their subjects, do I have to come up with the material for the to learn and if so where do I start? There are quite a few resources out there that can help you get started. Just be mindful. You can easily get overwhelmed. There is so much to know, and it can be a big deal taking on the responsibility of teaching your kids.

We all know or have come to know that there are different learning styles, hearing, seeing, and visual. I used to think my kids learned one way, so I do all the school supplies that I thought would work for them. They loved it…at first. Then about halfway into the curriculum, they decided (by they, I really mean me) that this was not the style in which they learned.  So, I had to get a different curriculum so that they wanted to learn the material.

Once I did that, I got to see how well they navigated and absorbed the knowledge they were learning once I got them the proper set up to thrive in their learning style. This was a big game changer! They went from frustrated and board to, “Hey mom, check this out!” One of my favorite questions they ask me is, “Did you know?” Then they provide me with all the information they have learned and want to share. I absolutely love it.

Just remember to start slow and even though you may not feel like it, you really are doing an amazing job!

I am going to give you two links that you may find helpful when starting:

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Navigating Family Life Blog

Parent perspective.

As a parent, I can appreciate the challenges my parents went through. As a child, I had no idea that they had no idea what they were doing. One of the most significant disadvantages that they had was a lack of shared experiences.

Today we can go online, type into a search engine, or query somewhere, or even on social media, and ask, “Has anyone has this happen?” or “has anyone tried?” And the list goes on. You will get so many replies from family, friends, and even people you do not personally know. Some of those unknown people may have great advice or insight and live halfway around the world. It is remarkable where and how we get our information today.

Our parents had close friends and family to asks if they tried a product or tips on parenting, health, and books they read. The staggering limitations they had on product information blows my mind. I could not imagine choosing something that no one in my circle (or social media circle) couldn’t give me some insight into because they never heard of it or never tried it.

Our parents had to. To this day, my mom states, “We did the best with what we had.” That statement often makes me realize how fortunate I am and my children are because of the resources we have available to us today. At any time, day or night 7 days a week, I can go online and find out the best natural laundry detergent. I can go online and see which children’s book has the best reviews for readers who are just starting to learn how to read.

I can even find information on the weather 10 days ahead of time without watching the news. I can even get the weather in another part of the world to plan for a trip. It will not just be warm or cold this time of the year. It will tell me, cloudy, possible rain, temp range, air quality, pollen rating, humidity, and so on. Our parents did not have that simple convenience that we use every day today. Crazy, right?!

Different winging method: It’s interesting to see what they “winged,” and I realize what I am “winging” isn’t that different. The only real big difference is how we acquired that information. Perhaps this is why my parent’s generation is much closer within their circle. They formed a bond on a different level than I have with many of my circles. Not to say that I don’t have close friends or bonds, but it’s defiantly is different than what my parents have.

I know for myself, I want to try to make sure that I have all the information I possibly can before I get something or try something new, especially for my family. I am big into researching things. Yes, sometimes that can be a problem, but it does bring me a kind of comfort that I am sure my parents didn’t have until after seeing how well something worked.

Perhaps the big take-a-way here is making do with what you have. I am pretty confident that my kids are going to have this very same “Ah-ha” moment. Although, they will have much better technology (such as the way evolution).

#learning #information #azfamilylife #reading #family #juniorzoovet #watchthemgrow #books #cute #nature #followme