10 things from the weekend + last week’s workout

My weekend started off on a rough note after I fell down the stairs on Friday. I was busy telling my kids to go slow and watch what they were doing and I ended up tripping and falling down about 10 stairs. I scraped my ankle and bruised my arm, but luckily I’m okay. Geez! What a way to start the weekend. Fortunately, things got better and I thought I’d share a bit about our weekend.

10 things from the weekend

 

1.  A brisk stroll to the playground. Friday was a teacher workday so I was home solo with the girls. We took our babies to the playground for a little fun.

2.  Coffee-work date Friday afternoon. After playing with the girls for most of the morning, Matt came home and I dashed away to Starbucks to work for a few hours. Even though we have a home office I sometimes work better when I am out of the house.

3.  Teacher work day = early Wine Time. Just FYI, it starts at 4:00 pm on those days.

4.  Waking up on my own Saturday and Sunday morning. Lately Ashlyn has been getting up at 5 am and asking me to make her a smoothie. I think she must hear Matt in the morning as he leaves for work. The last two days I got up on my own and enjoyed some alone time.

5.  Orangetheory class. I just lovvvveee it.

6.  The great outdoors. Even though it was slightly chilly out, the sun was shining and it was beautiful weather. We rode bikes and walked to the playground.

7.  Sunday morning massage. Much needed after my week.

A Fit Mess

8. Lots of downtime, coffee, and slippers. We had zero plans this weekend and it was all I wanted.

A Fit Mess

9. Exploring another playground (that makes three trips this weekend). #parentlife

10. Planning and preparing for next month’s trip to Mexico. This spring trip can’t come soon enough!

Last week’s workouts

Orangetheory, CrossFit, and a home workout. I am really glad I was able to make time for a workout just about every day.

Monday

CrossFit

1) 3 back squats EMOM (every minute on the minute) for 10 minutes (I used 75#)

2) 5 minutes AMRAP:

30 double unders (I did 60 single unders)

10 push presses (I used 35#)

Rest 2 minutes

5 minutes AMRAP:

60 single unders

10 hang power cleans (I used 35#)

Tuesday

@ home workout

3 rounds:

  • DB plank row to push up (12 reps, I used two 15# DBs)
  • DB curl to overhead press (12 reps)
  • low ab pull ins (12)
  • low stair jumps (50 total)

 

3 rounds:

  • DB reverse lunge (12 each side, I used 15# DBs)
  • S/A tricep extension (12 each side)
  • high rows (12 total)
  • high knees (50)

 

9 rounds – 1 min each exercise:

  • squats to low bench
  • decline mountain climbers
  • bicycle crunches

 

Wednesday

Orangetheory

Strength floor:

  • 8 S/A reverse lunge to thruster, each side (I used a 25# DB)
  • 8 S/A bent over low row, each side (I used 25#)
  • 8 S/A dumbbell chest press (I used a 30# DB)
  • 8 dumbbell pullover (25#)
  • 200 meter row
  • 20 bicycle crunches
  • 20 atomic mountain climbers
  • 20 dumbbell torso twists

 

Repeat entire sequence 3-4 times

Thursday

CrossFit

1) 2 full snatches EMOM for 10 minutes (I used 45#)

2) 3 rounds:

2 minutes burpees over the bar

1 minute toes to bar

1 minute thrusters (I used 45#)

2 minutes rest

Friday

Orangetheory

Saturday 

Orangetheory – 3G class

Sunday

REST – massage

 

How was your weekend? What’s something you enjoyed?

 

4 things I wish I knew when I was a new mom

afitmess
February 7, 2017

A close friend and I were chatting the other day about what happens when you become a parent. Specifically, how much your life changes and how easy it is to lose yourself amidst such an overwhelming, stressful, yet oh-so-amazing time. She mentioned that I seem to be great at managing my schedule and taking time for myself. Hearing this made me pause. Despite feeling like I’m constantly treading water and have no less than one hundred things to do every day, I do carve out time for myself. I make it a priority on most days to workout, blog, and squeeze in the little things here and there that give me joy or help me feel a bit more centered.

 

Looking back, it wasn’t easy to find time for myself. In fact, it was darn right impossible. I hated leaving my babies, even for a little while. I also felt guilty about taking time away. But slowly I got back into a routine, rearranged some things in my life, and found ways to make it work. Now that my kids are older, my perspective on a lot of things has changed. But that’s the benefit of hindsight, right?

 

Today’s post is inspired by the conversation with my girlfriend. Out talk got me thinking about how it felt being a first time parent to twins. How uncertain everything felt. I want to share some of these uncertainties with you in case you are expecting a baby, a new mom, or a seasoned parent who can relate.

My experience will not be the same as anyone else’s experience.

Despite all the books you read, babysitting you do, and classes you take, nothing prepares you for having a child. As a new mom to twins, I was overwhelmed, anxious, and very emotional. I wanted my babies to grow and develop in the same, healthy way as others. When it came to their height and weight, the girls were always in the single-digit percentile (typically around 7 % or 5%). They were small, but they were healthy and my doctor was not concerned. Yet, I worried about these numbers. I worried that they weren’t getting enough milk from me or that I wasn’t doing things the “right” way. And I compared myself to others…because, well, it’s so easy to do. I spent too much time worrying about all of this and feeling like I wasn’t doing enough as a mother.

 

Here’s what I’d say to that today: Connect – don’t compare yourself to others. Our children, our experiences – they are all different, yet we share a similar bond as new parents. We’re all doing the best that we can and that is enough.

Don’t let others influence your decisions as a parent.

As any new mom will testify, there is A LOT of advice given to you when you become a parent. Some useful. Some constructive. And a whole lot is BS. You hear it from everyone. Not only those close to you, but strangers on the street. (It was crazy how many times I had an elderly woman come up to me to say I shouldn’t be doing this or that!) It’s hard to know who to listen, especially when you are an emotional, sleep-deprived crazy person. How do you weed through all the unsolicited nonsense to figure out what’s best?

 

Here’s my advice: Brush aside the meaningless advice, take some of the helpful suggestions from those you trust and make a decision based on what YOU think is right. Trust your intuition every single time. No, you are not a bad parent for doing CIO method. No, your baby is not going to become spoiled if you carry her around too much. And, no, the world will not fall apart if you use formula. 

 

Get over yourself.

I’d love to go back in time and say those words to myself. As a new mom I was in my head way too much. I worried about random things, including the opinions of others. Nursing in public was a big one for me. I nursed Madison and Ashlyn in public places only if it was absolutely necessary. And I mean like I HAD to do it. Typically I went into the bathroom or my car away from others. I was worried if I did it openly (like in a restaurant or at the playground) that it would appear inappropriate. In hindsight, I feel embarrassed by my behavior. There should be no shame or discomfort about feeding your child in public! Rather, you should feel proud and thankful that you can provide nourishment for your baby.

Other times, I worried I would get somewhere and then one of the girls would have an accident or would start crying. Wouldn’t it bother those around me? I have no idea why this worried me because it’s not something anyone can anticipate or control.

 

My new outlook: A baby is a baby is a baby. They poop, they pee, they cry, and they eat. Seriously, Get Over It. Know how many times I remember feeling annoyed (or even noticing) another baby crying in public? Zero.

Becoming a mom doesn’t mean a new identity.

I struggled with this one a lot. For awhile I felt lost. After the girls were born I didn’t feel like myself at all. It was as if I had become someone else. I kept asking myself: Where am I in this picture? I felt guilty asking this. I should be focused on my babies, right. Looking back, I can understand why I felt like I lost my identity. And I believe everyone feels like this at some point after having children. You are responsible for meeting every single one of your child’s needs. It’s all-consuming. But these feelings are temporary. You eventually get into a rhythm. Things change and you move through it. It gets easier. Slowly you feel like you have finally come up for air. And you realize that the person who you thought was lost has been there all along. She’s just a little bit more awesome now. 🙂

 

I would love to know if you connect with any of these words. What did you struggle with as a new parent? How did you move past it?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The conversations that connect us

afitmess
October 20, 2016

It seems odd that in the last two weeks I’ve had three separate conversations that have made me feel connected to complete strangers. It’s funny how situations can present themselves at the very time you need them most.

 

Raising toddlers can be challenging. Really, really challenging. Some days are easier than others. But lately my days have been tough. And I’ve been getting a bit down on myself about it. As a parent, it’s hard not to compare yourself to others at times. I’ll think, What am I doing wrong here? And oftentimes social media gives the impression that everyone is always happy. No one shares the pictures of their kids throwing a huge fit in the store or having a meltdown because their shoe came off. We know that happens all the time, but sometimes it’s easy to forget that when you start to measure yourself against others.

 

My girls are now three years old. They are emotional, irrational toddlers at times. They fight, they hit, they yell. And while I try to remind myself that this is typical toddler behavior I can’t help but wonder if this is just typical for MY kids. Being a parent can sometimes be rather isolating. I rely on my mother-in-law, sister, and the girls’ nanny for their thoughts and opinions on things, but there’s rarely someone there in those moments when you feel like you need some reassurance or even someone to exchange a side eye with when your kids are out of control.

 

I recently had three separate exchanges with other mothers of twins and I wanted to share these with you. Although these women were strangers to me our conversations felt so familiar that I couldn’t help but feel connected to them.

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Mom with younger twins

I was coming out of Michael’s with the girls and we were waiting to cross the street when another mom with a stroller approached us and asked if my girls were twins. She shared that her twin boy and girl were just over a year old and that she also had a five year old son. She looked tired (<– I know…I hate when people say that) and asked me if it ever gets easier with twins. I laughed a bit and said, yes, but it’s a different kind of “easy.”

 

It’s definitely hard when you have two infants who can’t talk or walk. I’m not sure I could go back to that stage. Carrying two car seats around, loading and unloading the double stroller everywhere, and just leaving the house was a battle. Oh, the panic of thinking whether I could fit the stroller through the doorway of a new building! Compared to that time it IS much easier now. But I’ve traded that in for the bickering, whining, and temper tantrums.

 

My heart really went out to this woman when she admitted that she cries just about every day. I’ve been there! I told her that it really does get easier and that there are so many wonderful things about having twins. I wouldn’t trade that for anything. We talked for a bit longer until she had to go. Our conversation was a good reminder of how far I have come as a parent, that being a mother never gets easier – it just changes, and that it’s okay to admit how incredibly hard it is at times.

 

Mom with older twins

On our way to school one morning the girls started fighting about something (i.e., nothing) and then one of them pushed the other and fighting ensued. Even though school is just 5 minutes away it was the longest ride ever. I had HAD IT.

 

I got to school and must have looked wild-eyed because one of the other parents (who has four kids, including a set of six year old twins) asked me if I was OK. She sat down with me for a bit and just talked with me. She shared some stories about her kids with the intention of showing me that it’s normal for siblings to fight – especially twins. Toddlers are impulsive and ridiculous at times. And while she didn’t tell me anything I didn’t already know, on that day – in that moment – it just felt so good to talk with someone who has been in my place and to remind me that I need to give myself a break. It was nice to have another woman say, “No, you’re kids are normal. They fight. They’re toddlers. They’re nuts.” Amen.

 

Mom with twins the same age as mine

The girls and I were waiting in line at Starbucks and there was another woman in front of us. The woman commented on how well the girls were behaving and said she has boy/girl twins about the same age (at home). I told her to follow me around because their behavior changes in seconds. She laughed and said that her kids are the same way. We started talking about the life stages we’re currently in – keeping up with potty training, keeping them busy, naps and no naps, independence issues, and all the defiance! It was quite funny that we were experiencing the same things. Honestly, we only spoke for a few minutes, but I loved having the opportunity to gab with another mom who has twins the same age and just laugh about it all. We spoke comfortably in a way that I probably wouldn’t with other friends.

 

So on the days when I feel completely swallowed up I am going to try and remind myself of these conversations.

That I show up everyday as a parent and do the best that I can. And while parenting doesn’t get any “easier” it is the most gratifying thing in the world. I have two amazing, thoughtful, independent little girls who have blossomed before my eyes. My heart is so full!

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4 reasons why I had successful trip with toddlers + workouts while on vacation

afitmess
August 29, 2016

Good morning! It’s Monday and I have one more day on “vacation.” Even though I’m back home, I appreciate having an extra day to just catch up on stuff. I have tons of emails to sort through and little errands to run. It’s back to reality for me now!

 

If you tuned into my blog last week then you know my trip to Surfside, SC went better than expected. In fact, my family and I agreed it was one of our best trips yet. I traveled with my twin three-year-old girls and the car ride down (3.5 hours each way) and the entire week went really well. Prior to leaving town, I was super nervous about travelling with the girls. Our past experiences with them have not gone that well and given that Matt was not coming along I was even more worried that I would be out of my element as the only parent present.

 

But things worked out and we had a great time! Looking back on the trip I have a few thoughts as to why it went smoothly this time around.

 

4 reasons why I had a successful trip with my toddlers

 

1. I had help. Tons. Of. Help. My dad, sister, and brother-in-law were right there and stepped in often to help me with the girls. It was so nice to have extra hands around so that if I needed time to shower, workout, or just take time to clean up, someone was always willing to watch the girls. It really made me appreciate having family around.

 

2.  The kid factor. Oh my gosh! How did I not think about this before? My sister has four kids and it definitely helped to have some little ones around for the girls to play with. The girls had a lot of fun playing with their cousins and it was great to see everyone getting along. One night I just sat on the deck and watched the kids play with beach balls and bubbles on the lawn. I don’t know why this made me so happy, but it was the best feeling to watch the kids playing and laughing.

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3.  We kept the kids active. Like really active. We made sure to get them out of the house every day. Whether it was the water park, beach, zoo, pool, or children’s museum, we kept them moving, moving, moving. Other than meals and nap time (and one fun trip to the movies!), we really didn’t do any sitting around. This meant we had tired kiddos at the end of the day. And there really is nothing better than that.

A Fit Mess

4.  I broke the rules. I was much more lenient with the girls on the trip than normal. I let them snack on chips, popsicles, and other goodies. Of course, I made sure everything was gluten and dairy free, but I let them enjoy themselves. I said “yes” a lot. I let them stay up past their bedtimes, too. Most nights they went to bed around 8:30/9:00 pm, but we got solid two hour naps every day and they slept through the night for the entire week. I’m sure they loved staying up late with the big kids and getting to watch movies in bed with mom. 🙂

 

Yes, there were meltdowns and crying. Occasionally the girls fought with each other. And we had more than one accident in our clothing. But overall the trip was a win! The girls keep saying they miss their cousins and want to go back to Papa’s beach house. Sweet. 🙂

 

Last week’s workouts (on vacation)

Monday

Burpee / v-up challenge (this workout was sent to me by a friend): complete descending set of burpees and v-ups starting from 10 and working your way down to 1. So, complete 10 burpees and 10 v-ups, then 9 burpees and 9 v-ups and so on.

Later that day I did my TRX workout (see my previous post for the full workout).

Then, I completed a 20 minute Tabata with my sister!

 

Tuesday

  • Run 1 mile then complete 1 round of a 25/50 bodyweight workout (I honestly can’t remember what I did!)
  • Run 0.5 mile then round 2 of the same workout
  • Later on: walked 1.5 miles at the zoo

 

Wednesday

REST

 

Thursday 

 

Friday

REST (drive home from the beach)

 

Saturday 

Orangetheory Fitness —> good to be back, but I definitely felt like I was paying for my vacation

 

Sunday

  • Run 1.0 mile
  • Round 1 of my arm + ab burner workout
  • Run 0.75 mile
  • Round 2 of arm + ab burner
  • Run 0.50 mile
  • Round 3 of arm + ab burner
  • Run 0.25 mile…done!

 

Love or hate travel with toddlers? Any tips for having a successful trip?

Do you like to workout on vacation or take the time off from training?