Habits for 2015

Last year, for the first time in my life, I chose and created habits. It all started when we were hanging out with some friends and the topic of flossing came up. It was stated that the longest any of us had flossed every day was a week and that it’s like psychologically impossible to go longer. In my head, being the rebel I am, I thought ‘okay, well that’s as good a challenge as any, I’m gonna floss every day.’ For the first week I was surprised that every single day there was something gross in between my teeth. But it took a solid SIX weeks for flossing to feel like an important, necessary part of my routine. Basically, it took six weeks for it to be a habit and not feel like I was making a great deal of effort to do it.

Once that habit was established I realized I could probably make other habits and help my well being. If you recall I wrote on the habits I took on in 2014. They included:

  1. Flossing daily.
  2. Drinking 16oz of water in the morning before eating or drinking coffee.
  3. Eating breakfast daily.
  4. Dry brushing before every shower.
  5. Washing my face every night.

So, how have those held up? Very well! The only one that gets a little muddy right now with an infant is drinking water. I basically drink water all night long so sometimes I don’t drink a dedicated 16oz in the morning. However, the less Ida feeds at night the more I’m bringing that back into play. Also, there have been a few times when I knew my chances of getting a shower on a given day were slim, and involved a five minute window, and in those times I’ve skipped over the dry brushing. I know that it’s temporary that I’ll have to rush showers like that because it’s all due to having an infant. In general though, these are a big part of my routine and I have successfully established them. I never miss a night washing my face, I never miss breakfast, I NEVER miss flossing. Seriously, once you start that, you can’t go to bed without flossing. Morning breath is so much worse without it. So so much worse.

Anyway, for 2015 I decided to skip the goals and resolutions and decide what new habits I want to establish. After looking carefully at areas I need improvement the obvious two that came up were diet and exercise.

My diet is extremely clean, filled with whole foods, lots of fruits and veggies and water. So what’s the problem? I eat chocolate. Like every day. Christmas didn’t help that at all. As soon as I give birth to a baby and start breastfeeding I get STRONG cravings for chocolate. Now that Ida is over two months old I think I can more easily avoid chocolate and would like to confine it to a certain day of the week….Sundays. Every Sunday Shane and I set aside the evening for a movie night. I make up a tray of random veggies, fruits, cheese, olives and what not for us to munch on in place of dinner while we watch our movie or show.

IMG_20141228_192144

I think it’d be a perfect time to include chocolate as a treat. So my first habit of 2015 will be to avoid chocolate except for Sundays.

Next up, exercise. How can I make that a habit? I don’t know. I think if I said something like ‘three days a week’ things would come up and suddenly I’d realize a week was gone without exercising because I put it off. To avoid the avoidance I have to make it more unavoidable. How? Well I figure I should try to be intentional and do some exercise every day. That doesn’t mean going to the gym every day, which would be financially impossible since paying for child care for three kids daily would definitely not be doable. I might go to the gym two or three times a week and then do squats after the boys go to bed another day or take a walk if it’s nice outside, etc. Intentional movement, daily. My most successful exercise stints involved daily movement (30 Day Shred, Insanity, etc) and I think that will very likely keep it in my mind. If evening comes along and I realize I haven’t exercised, I can simply hit a hundred squats or do a few sun salutations real quick. It doesn’t have to be an hour of weight lifting. Missing a day here and there due to circumstance or sickness won’t be a big deal if I’m doing daily movement.

So, those are the two habits I’d like to focus on for 2015.

  1. Avoid chocolate except on Sundays (more of breaking a habit which is arguably harder than creating one).
  2. Move intentionally every day.

Including these habits to my existing ones will hopefully lead to a healthier and more energetic mama. I need all the energy I can get! I can only imagine how insane things will be once Ida is out of the newborn stage and starting to move.  Fortunately, the older she gets, the older and more independent/helpful my little super heroes get.

2014-12-23

It’s always nice to have Batman do my little errands and chores. And Spiderman to help with Ida.

2014-12-29 (1)

 

Being Mom and the Four Pillars of Health

We all know the four pillars of health….

  • Hydration
  • Nutrition
  • Sleep
  • Exercise

But sometimes, as a mother of littles (especially more than one little) it can be super hard and sometimes impossible to give them all enough attention. My biggest struggle with the pillars is definitely sleep.  This one is my ‘impossible’ category. I can easily achieve the nutrition and hydration, exercise is harder and requires some logistical wrangling when it comes to my three very young children but isn’t impossible…but sleep, oh elusive sleep, I miss you!

I’m blessed with a sleeping infant. I fully recognize the amazingness of this. However, even very good sleepers still get up to eat at this age and occasionally have a blow out or something. Then I have my terrible sleeping toddler. I have written about him many times and even though things have improved I still get up to deal with him more than my infant. Then there’s my oldest. He’s four and potty trained but doesn’t get up well at night by himself to go to the bathroom and therefore requires assistance. So last night was a perfect example of my ‘usual’ lack of sleep.

11pm- Ida finally falls into a deep sleep. She had a rough day without naps (due to church, and family over after that) and got very over tired which kept her up and restless from 8-11.  Naturally, after I put her to bed I am wired because I got a second wind while trying to calm her down. So after thirty minutes of laying wide eyed in bed I get up and take a melatonin which I use occasionally for insomnia.

11:45-I JUST drift off and am woken up by Eli crying. I go check on him and he’s slid off his bed via his blanket. I right him but can’t find his paci…he’s asleep so I don’t worry about it.

12:30-Eli is crying again. He’s looking around for his paci. I find it on the floor and give it to him.

1:30- Eli is crying. I can’t figure out a problem so I just lay him down and put his blanket on, he falls asleep.

2:00-Ida feeds.

3:30-Avery didn’t make it to the bathroom. I change his clothes.

5:00-Eli cries…his blanket it on the floor and he seems cold. His diaper is full but I ignore it because I don’t want to wake him up more this early in the morning because he won’t go back to sleep. I get his blanket back on him and he’s asleep.

6:00-Ida feeds. I bring her to bed with me because I’m so tired I don’t want to sit in the chair in her room to nurse. I feel like crying from tired at this point.

6:45-Shane’s alarm goes off and I can hear Eli playing with toys in the livingroom. I didn’t hear him get up.

7:08-Eli comes in my room and asks for food. No, you don’t get it, he said FOOD! First time using that word. I’m so excited about it I jump up and get started on breakfast even though Avery isn’t awake yet.

So, how much sleep did I get? Like nothing. My brain hurts. Coffee helps. Here is another issue with not sleeping, I don’t feel the brain power or physical energy to want to exercise very much. I’m basically a blob. Occasionally I send my husband texts with my best ‘trying-to-survive’ face….

2014-12-17 (1)

Nutrition, done. Since I gave birth to Ida I have dropped all the aversions and have been able to eat very well, quite easily. I was raised on veggies and so I like them a lot. Breastfeeding makes me crave sugar so I eat chocolate in some form almost daily. That is my biggest food issue so after the holidays are over I’ll be stopping that and having it only for an occasional treat.

Hydration, kinda hard to keep up with all the nursing. I am trying very hard to keep up though and most days I do very well. Some days I forget to drink at all and then feel horrible.

So being a mom can definitely make health more challenging. It CAN be done…to some extent but it’s hard to feel really good without getting enough sleep. I am keeping things in perspective and remembering that this is a very short season in the scope of things and  if I keep up on the other aspects, I’ll be on the right track once sleep actually happens. Also, when nutrition is right and hydration is happening I am feeling the best I can feel on no sleep. No need to destroy my body like I did when Eli was a baby by neglecting EVERYTHING and also not sleeping. That was awful. You live and you learn.

Motherhood is beautiful and messy. I’m just gonna go with the flow, and enjoy it. Being a mom is the most wonderful thing I’ve ever experienced even if it is hard a lot.

2014-12-08

The Disappearing Christmas Season

Oh crap, it’s Christmas Eve eve and I only just realized it was the holiday season. Having a baby (especially after having two other kiddos) really makes time go by quick. Actually, speed isn’t the issue really. It’s the tunnel vision.

Just kinda keeping my head above water with the normal stuff like making breakfast.

So I think it was somewhere in the region of December 10th when I realized how genius Amazon Prime is.

But with a lady like myself who thinks a gift is barely a gift if there isn’t some handmade portion involved can’t get all the Christmas season finished up on the internets. Since only family reads this blog I can’t tell you guys what I’m making but let’s just say I remain behind still despite the fact that Christmas is in hours, not weeks or months. I pretty much decided I’ll be doing all my Christmas shopping before October next year so I have time to wrap presents. That reminds me, I need to wrap all the presents.

IMG_20141202_164650

We had Christmas with Shane’s family on Saturday and I kid you not, I wrapped the presents in the car on our way out. It was the only time I had without kids climbing all over me. Wait a second, I just had an inspired idea about regular house chairs having seat belts.

So tomorrow I’ll probably go to the grocery store like an idiot to get eggnog and pretend that there’s a possibility of finding some. Then I’ll try to be santa hardcore because I haven’t wrapped anything yet. Because…these guys are so cute and distracting.

2014-12-12

I’m already looking forward to next year’s Christmas season where I learn from this year’s lessons. Now, I just gotta get out of bed.

IMG_20141121_155826 (3)

 

 

 

 

Excuse my horrific phone camera.

 

 

Slow and Steady

I have three kids. A four year old, a two year old and a zero year old. Guess what? Turns out, it’s busy. Like a constant string of preparing food, serving food, cleaning up food, nursing, napping, answering questions, dressing, undressing, diaper changes, activities, more feeding, feeding, feeding. Mostly it’s alright because the little kiddos that I’m ever caring for are really precious and cute, but sometimes it’s really hard. Not the physical kind of hard, though I am always physically present, but the emotional and mental stamina you have to have to keep going and going. The sacrifice of anything you. The lack of self care. The setting aside of personal feelings, goals and identity.

This stage of life for a young mother is difficult. It’s filled with beautiful moments that make it worth it, you know, dealing with all the poop, spit up and squished food 24/7. There’s a distinct sense of nostalgia already in play just knowing your little innocent cuties will be grown before you know it. All those hilarious phrases that come out of no where, the questions asked with no inhibition (‘mommy, girls don’t have wieners?!’), and the snuggles. Oh the cuddly, sweet little bodies looking for comfort after a fall, bonk or slip. The press of a sad little face buried in your neck when they’re tired, missed you or didn’t get something they wanted.

It’s a paradox. You’re lonely, but never alone. Exhausted, but an insomniac. Clearly defined yet lacking identity.

I once watched a Ted Talk about parenthood. They showed on a graph how the over all happiness of a parent is slightly lower than a non parent but the highs of happiness are far higher and the lows are lower. You never experience the sheer joy, extreme entertainment, or beaming pride that your own child brings before having a kid. But there are little things more frustrating in the world than having your two year old gift you a poopsplosions every night at 3am.

It’s very fulfilling, to be needed, wanted and busy. However, the catch is that you’re ALWAYS needed, wanted and busy. I’m an extrovert, I love being surrounded by noise, activity and people but motherhood has definitely given me a healthy appreciation for quiet moments, alone time and any sort of independent activity (showers included).

The thing is, I know this stage is short so I alternately freak out about how fast my kids are growing and wishing that they were old enough for me to not have to deal with so much poop all the time….and also, I’d love to get some sleep some day.

I’ll never in my life stop appreciating these times. The good moments fill me with inexplicable ecstasy.

SAMSUNG CSCWhen my heart feels it will burst if any more love tries to fit in.

SAMSUNG CSC

When I realize the range of emotion a human is capable of can’t be fathomed.

SAMSUNG CSC

The hard (some times very very hard) times challenge my strengths and weaknesses both. I now know that I’m able to do far and away more than I’ve ever imagined. By ‘do’ I don’t mean ‘productive’. I mean I can handle things that I hadn’t thought even existed. Both emotionally, mentally AND physically. I’m stretched thin now but I know that because I was brought to this place, I’ll be thicker and stronger than ever when I get a chance to regroup.  When I come out of the phase where I have three very young children, my marriage will be stronger, my faith will be stronger, my identity…won’t be lost. If I have the endurance to tackle piles of dishes sixteen times a day, endless diapers, sleepless nights..night after night, trouble shooting sicknesses, wiping snot, washing laundry, and so so much more, then I can pretty much do anything. If my body can grow a human being, nurture them through infant hood and then repeat over and over again, then it can do anything. It may look a bit mushy and soft at the moment but it’s not weak. It’s the source of life for my infant, it functions without sleep or proper fuel sometimes. It is healing after doing things worthy of blocking out of my memory forever. It has endured and will endure.

There are many other things I could talk about when it comes to this particular place of life but that could fill, and has filled, many books. All I know is that I’m grateful for my life and have a profound appreciation for all the good that makes all the hard worth it.

SAMSUNG CSC

(that’s right, I’m spiderman’s mom and I think that it means we’re super parents)

 

Family of Five

 

SAMSUNG CSCMaybe not the best weather for a family picture. Bright, windy and chilly. I think any picture with all five of us is a good thing though. I’m going to try and have a lot more of these than we’ve done in the past (aka, never). I don’t need them posed, perfect or polished. Just there. Recording the stages of our family even if someone is crying, has closed eyes or won’t sit still.

SAMSUNG CSC

I just had my mom snap these while we were over there for a family gathering. It looked beautiful outside but it was quite deceiving. Next time we’ll be more prepared!

 

« Older Entries