Monday, January 30, 2012

Olivia's 3 month birthday

Bigger than the monkey now!
Yesterday was Olivia's three month birthday. The time has gone so fast, it's unbelievable! She has grown a lot and can do so much now. For the last week or so, Olivia has been working on lifting her head and trying to sit up. She's been very persistent in practicing her crunches...she's going to have baby abs of steel! Tummy time isn't a favorite activity, but Olivia is getting good at her mini pushups and gets one side off the ground. I don't think it will be long before she rolls from tummy to back. The other big news from Olivia's three month birthday is that she laughed while we were playing yesterday morning. It was so unexpected that I laughed myself in response! I hope that she starts laughing a lot so I can get it on video.

Other highlights from the day:
Action shot!
*I caught Olivia talking to her baby doll when she woke up from a nap. I'm sure it was an excellent conversation!
*I dropped a piece of red pepper from my salad on her head while eating dinner resulting in salad dressing hair. Luckily we did her photoshoot earlier in the day.
*Olivia covered me in spit up while I "airplaned" her overhead after dinner.  I'm sure this was payback for the red pepper and I needed a shower anyway.

3 Month Stats:
12 pounds 8 ounces
23.75 inches

Such a smiley girl :)

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Too cute

As we were leaving Andrew's preschool today, one of his classmates pointed to Olivia and said "That's baby Olivia." Andrew replied, "You can't have that Olivia. She's MY baby sister." What a sweet big brother :)

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Workin' out

Last week I finally tested out the waters for working out at home. I was actually able to complete 2 short (30 min) workouts with both children at home and awake. Olivia did great both times watching from her rocking chair and me narrating to her what I was doing and I also took advantage of Andrew being strapped to his booster seat for breakfast. He was a really good motivator saying things like, "good job, Mommy!" and "squeeze your butt!" (I think he heard that one on the DVD!). So this morning I decided it was time to get started with day 1 of the Chalean Extreme program (lifting 3x per week for 90 days). My hope is to complete the 3 lifting workouts each week in addition to the classes I teach. I'm sure it will be harder to fit in some days, but I'm feeling good after day 1! So here we go! I'll post progress reports along the way :)
She got worn out just watching!

Friday, January 20, 2012


I wouldn't call myself one of those "do it all" moms and I don't necessarily strive to be. You know the ones I'm talking about...not only do they lovingly, patiently care for their children, but their house is in perfect order, they prepare a healthy and tasty dinner each night, their hair and makeup is done each day, etc... Who can live up to such standards? But I have to admit, I would love to feel like the house is taken care of and that I was put together each day. And this is where the stress comes in. Every day, I see the tasks mounting. Empty the dishwasher, fill the dishwasher, start a load of laundry, fold the laundry, pick up the Legos AGAIN so no one gets hurt on them, plan what we'll eat for the week, grocery shop for said meal plan, clean the bathroom, vacuum up the dog fur, and the list goes on. I'm pretty sure most moms (those without a staff at their disposal anyway) have a similar task list. Some are stressed about it and some more easy going. Well, I've decided it's time to be one of the easy going ones. I'm not totally neurotic now, but I definitely get stressed out when the clutter starts mounting and the list of things I "should" have done piles up. (Who decided what we should get done each day anyway? I guess we come up with our own ideas of what a well-run household should be and try too hold ourselves up to that standard.) So it's time to be a little easier on myself and to start prioritizing. My value as a human being is not tied to how clean my floors are or how many dishes are in the sink, right? It's more about relationships and experiences. It may take a little while to be able to relax and enjoy playing trains with Andrew while I know there's laundry to be folded, but I'll get there. The clothes will wait, but those moments together can be fleeting and the chance to enjoy them will be gone all too soon.

Thursday, January 12, 2012


I have a confession to make. Despite my efforts and what some people might think, I'm not a perfect eater. Yes, I'm sure I have a healthier diet than the average American, but let's face it, that's not too hard to do. With all the resolutions and such to be healthier, more fit, and to lose weight this year, I wanted to share some steps I take to ensure I take in the nutrition I need.

Firstly, I don't eat out very often. This is not necessarily a decision based solely on eating well (eating out is expensive!) but it definitely keeps me from eating things I wouldn't prepare at home and feeling sick from over eating due to the large portions served. The one thing I do enjoy on a somewhat regular basis is a delicious peppermint or salted caramel mocha from Starbucks. Thankfully, it is easy to control how much of an indulgence this is since you're able to choose the size of your drink, the type of milk (skim, please) and eliminate the whipped cream.

I also am not much of a soda or alcohol drinker. Sure, I'll have some on occasion, but probably less than one of either each week. During the day, I mainly drink water, and that's the way I like it. I enjoy a glass of wine now and then, or maybe a cocktail if I'm out with friends, but this is a pretty rare occurrence these days.

Since I do the bulk of the grocery shopping and meal planning for the house, I am able to control what we have on hand. If you know me, you'll know that I am a fan of sweets - I could eat ice cream every night! So, I usually have ice cream in the freezer, but I try to keep the rest of the food pretty healthy. Whole grain bread, fruits and veggies, lean protein etc... One of my motivations for keeping healthy food on hand is my children. I'm sure that I eat better now than I did before Andrew came along. I want to do my best to model healthy behavior so that my children will (usually) choose nutritious foods when given a choice. It seems to be working so far. Andrew will often eat the fruit or veggies off his plate before touching the rest if his food and routinely asks for more of those items.

Anyway, the reason I'm sharing this is to point out some ways to keep the nutritious to not-so-nutritious food ratio in check. What I do might not work for everyone, but it's important to find ways to feed yourself the kind of food your body needs to function properly. This has become even more apparent to me since the birth of Olivia. Due to the blood loss, and subsequent blood transfusion, I experienced, as well as the demands of raising a newborn and toddler, my immune system has not been what it once was. I know that eating well is one way that I can help build it back up so that I won't continue feeling mildly ill all the time. Of course I use Shakeology to help bridge the gap between the foods I eat and the nutrition I need, but taking in healthy, minimally processed, whole foods is the best defense. Also, I want to remind people not to beat yourself up. Yes, be consistent in your efforts to be the healthiest and fittest you can be, but nobody is perfect. Have realistic expectations while challenging yourself to do more.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Return to Group Fitness

This week marked my first week back to teaching fitness classes and the beginning of my post baby fitness journey. I had a great time in both my Turbo Kick and PiYo classes (one of each in the schedule for now) and loved the energy from all the participants! It feels awesome to get back to doing something I enjoy so much and also to get moving again. Having been 3+ months since I've done a real workout, I expected to be sore and was not let down. Today I'm recovering from PiYo, but although I'm pretty sore, I still feel good because I know it's the first step toward improving my fitness to where it used to be and maybe even better!

Pre pregnancy - 38.5 weeks pregnant - 10 weeks post pregnancy
This is the first time I'm actually going to attempt to document my fitness progress by taking pictures and measurements along the way, so I'll start by posting a picture from pre-pregnancy, the end of my pregnancy (total of 35 pounds gained) and one from now (7 pounds above pre-pregnancy weight). I consider weight to be just part of the picture of progress made. Other important markers include body measurements (waist, hips, thighs, biceps, etc), body composition, how clothes fit, and how I feel in general.

As a fitness professional with education in exercise programming, I know that a well rounded program should include aerobic training and strength training as well as balance, flexibility, and recovery. Ideally, aerobic and strength training should occur multiple times per week with the other elements weaved within. Realistically, I think it is most reasonable for me to start with the two classes I'm teaching each week and to add more in at home as I regain more strength, endurance, and (hopefully) sleep. The logistics of exercising at home with two children is probably my biggest challenge. I'll be using ChaLEAN Extreme, Turbo Jam, and Hip Hop Abs for home workouts and plan to add Turbo Fire as well (love the HIIT workouts!).  In addition, I will continue my efforts toward healthy eating, including Shakeology.  Ultimately, my goal is to be able to exercise at home 3 times per week in addition to the classes I teach. I don't know when I'll get there, and there will probably be weeks where none of the home workouts happen, but it's good to have goals ;).

Wednesday, January 4, 2012