Friday, January 29, 2016

Ah ... I Workout

All I keep singing is I'm Sexy and I Know It by LMFAO. It will be stuck in your head now too. It's not on my workout playlist or anything. I don't have one of those. I prefer to hear myself struggling to breath, panting, sucking back saliva, wheezing, you know? It gives the impression that I'm way more bad ass than I actually am. Hey, look at her. She must be cool. She doesn't need Beats by Dre to push her through a tough one. Which is actually true. Who told you it was cool to wear your Beats headphones while you lift? You look like a donkey.

Today is my last official day in the gym this week. Right now my plan is to get there and workout four days: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday. If I happen to do something on Saturday then bonus points (like tomorrow, I'm running doing the Cincinnati Cyclones Frozen 5k!). Here's my workout plan: Monday, legs; Tuesday, upper body; Wednesday, upper body again but different muscle groups; Friday, full body. It's working for me.

As part of my membership I got one free session with the personal trainers there. They suggest some functional training in your routine. That's what I'm working in on Fridays. Not only do I want to lift and get toned and strong, but I want my muscles to work. I pick up two kids daily. Most of the time, they want held at the same time. That's 26.5 pounds for one and 28.5 pounds for the other. My upper body needs to work.

I run around a lot. Two little kids mean that I'm not quite sedentary. Whoever said a stay-at-home-mom (#SAHM) did nothing, was an idiot. PREACH. Side story: I found myself chasing my son around one afternoon trying to put his coat on. I was crouched down, holding out his jacket, almost like I was doing a squat run. I went about three times around the house before I came to my senses and stopped chasing. He laughed. I foam rolled. Hence needing my muscles to work.

I killed myself today. Enter gym. Drop kids off. Spend 10 minutes doing 30 seconds on, 30 seconds off of stair climber sprint intervals. Heavy breath. Pant. Wheeze. Catch my drool before it hits the floor. Get dizzy. Continue with the pictured exercises below. Pant. Wheeze. Proceed to 15 minutes of iron yoga, which was intended to be a stretch. No. More weights, more weights! Heavy breath. Dizziness. Savasana. Death.



Curious what these exercises really look like? Ask!

Interested in my iron yoga flow?
It's all yours ... with strings, of course.
Hey, a girl has got to eat! #nomnomnom

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Mom Truth #1: Preschool sucks.

This is an ongoing series here at Sometimes Blonde.
I would love to read your truthful mom moments in the comments below!
Have a Mom Truth you'd like to share here? Let's collaborate!

My two and a half year old daughter started preschool this year. She loves it. I love it. She spends six hours each week out of the house. While I had grand ideas of spending that time with my son, going to breakfast, taking him to fun classes, or just hanging out around the house just the two of us, it hasn't really gone that way.

It started out that way. Sort of. I took him to this amazing little place called Ozo. Moms (and dads!) can sit on the couch, drink some coffee, or stare off into space while their kid plays. It's a small space but it gets the job done. One time I even took him to Starbucks so that we could get a snack together and just kind of talk. That didn't go so well because he wasn't even one when my daughter started school. So, I would bring him back home, I'd get into cleaning lady mode, writing mode, find a new job mode, and my poor little boy was just playing by himself. Which, let's be honest, I'm sure he actually loved not having someone stealing his toys or cracking him upside the head.

Next thing you knew, the three hour span of preschool was over and I was rushing back to the church to pick her up. A 9:00 a.m. start time really means that you're not to your next destination until 9:20 because two year olds move at the speed of a sick husband. A 12:00 p.m. pick up time means that you're in the lobby to sign out your kid by 11:50 so that your'e standing there waiting for them when they're released at noon. This means, if you're lucky enough to live so close like us, that you leave your home at 11:40. So, in reality, you only get two hours and 20 minutes - TOPS! - to do what you want. You know how fast two hours and 20 minutes goes? At the speed of nap time. Like, where-did-that-shit-go kind of fast.

I registered her for next year.

Next school year we had the option of a three-day week, or even a four-day week. We chose three, then I got the complaints. Three day weeks are Monday, Wednesday, Friday for three hours. My husband travels a lot and we take advantage of this by trying to go out of town ourselves. Sometimes we leave on Friday. Sometimes we leave on Thursday. If she's at preschool from 9-12 on Friday, how will we ever leave town?

Did I mention, we tried to get our kids close together. Part of that was that they would be only a year apart in school. My son isn't old enough to go next year. Like, at all. (insert extremely pissed off face)

Why didn't I register her for four days because those days are Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday. We'll always be able to leave to go out of town like we currently do. Well, four days jumped the price a pretty good amount. Not breaking the bank, but really, we went from two days to three and pay an extra $30. If we went from two days to four we would pay an extra $90. That doesn't make sense! That's why we chose three.

Plus, I can drink a lot of Starbucks with $60 extra. Which I'll need, since my son will be two and terrorizing me.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Happiness


If I could start my own book club, I would. I absolutely can start one, but I don't know that many people who enjoy reading as much as I do. Even with two small kids I find ways to read. Mostly as bed time. Sometimes only two pages at a time.

About a year ago I read a book called The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin. I highly recommend it. It isn't as monumentally life changing in its reading as it could be in its practice. Gretchen put a lot of research into her books. It's obvious that she spends months reading studies, browsing articles, interviewing experts, and finding historically significant examples to cite. She even takes the time to practice what she preaches by living out her happiness project and providing you with her real life experiences based on her findings. Did I start a Happiness Project after reading the book? Not really. I signed up for her newsletter. Got a few sent to my inbox. Browsed. Deleted. Browsed. Unsubscribed.

photo from The DC Ladies
Most recently I finished The Gratitude Diaries by Janice Kaplan and felt like this is a book that could really do some damage. By damage I mean that good kind. The kind that shakes up your life. The kind that gives you the swift kick in the ass to do the things you need to do. Those things: be grateful, be happy. So simple, yet somehow the hardest items on our to-do list. It really looks at switching the grip on this whole gratitude thing. If Googled, gratitude produces the following:


...this is wrong. It should be:

grat-i-tude
verb
the act of being thankful; showing appreciation for and returning kindness.

I'm being serious. If there's one thing The Gratitude Diaries taught me, it's how to live gratefully. It teaches you how to be grateful. Read it. (P.S. Thanks to YogaByCandace for sending this book along in my Mantra Box!)

The third chapter of my lonely book club has taken me to Gretchen Rubin's newest book, Better Than Before. I am currently only 100 pages or so into this one. We're back with loads of research and real life anecdotes. Stories of her friends, family, colleagues, and philosophers who have tried switching (or been told to switch) their habits in order to find a little release. A tactic in the fight to be happy. Gretchen writes that her husband jokes that The Happiness Project was "trying to answer the question 'How do I become happier?' And this habits books is 'No, seriously, how do I become happier?'" Again, she's moved this one even further into the realm of happiness as a verb. Though the focus seems to be on habits, the bigger take away can be how certain things help you to live out your happiness.


Habits are the invisible architecture of daily life.
We repeat about 40% of our behavior almost daily,
so our habits shape our existence,
and our future,
and our happiness.

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