Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Even stay-at-home moms can get in shape!

Following up my last entry about my and hubby’s (abandoned) fitness quest, I decided it was time to get serious. After all, there is no reason a stay-at-home mom with two sets of twins can’t achieve a rocking body. Just look at Cher or Britney.

How hard could it be?

Pretty hard....if you start thinking about how to start and what areas of improvement (read: body parts) to start with.

So why not start with those most visible and ogle-worthy of body parts – breasts. And after having two sets of twins or so (your mileage may vary), these headlights could definitely go for a tune-up.

I may just have found a cheap alternative to a tune up, er, breast lift. Manual breast lifts!

I watched a YouTube video the other day of a big beefy guy wiggling his pectorals. Is that what gives them that shape? Maybe I could try that. Wiggle to the left, wiggle to the right. Rinse and repeat. Do this a few times a day for a month and voila: no more sag problem.

As far as the bumper goes, squats are a cheap alternative to the Brazilian butt lift. Squat over a chair and squeeze a few times daily, and you have a bumper worthy of Brazil.

For overall fitness, it’s not hard to work some cardio into even a stay-at-home mom’s busy routine. Turn on some high energy beats and dance around with the mop. Kill two birds with the proverbial stone: cleaning and cardio.

Old wives’ style wisdom about finding something you enjoy that also produces sweat holds true.

Exercise as a chore never lasts long. Make it something you enjoy and don’t set rules or schedules for it. Making it something you have to do takes the energy out of it. Instead, make it enticing.

If you love to jog, treat yourself to some colorful workout gear, and browse ITunes for some inspiring iPod beats. Do the same for cardio. Put your shoes and other gear out ready to go. These items can’t call for you if they're in the closet.

Getting the kids involved makes finding the time easier. Take them jogging or to the park. Skating or sight-seeing is always fun as well as calorie-busting.

It’s tough getting back into shape as a stay-at-home mom. So, ditch the rules and make it fun. We deserve it! Our headlights and bumpers may just thank us by shining bright once again!


This post was written in collaboration with Megan Quinley.


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Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Never underestimate the power of....jumping cats??



Recently, my father-in-law sent me a cute e-mail in which a teacher gave her 1st grade students the first half of a well-known proverb and asked them to come up with the remainder of the proverb, in their own words.

Of course, my first thought was, "This would make for an awesome blog post!" and I asked my kids to complete the same proverbs...just knowing it would be absolutely entertaining!

Here's what they come up with....

Don't change horses....until they want to be changed.

Strike while the...umpire isn't looking.

It's always darkest before....8:41 pm

Never underestimate the power of....jumping cats.

You can lead a horse to water but...make sure it doesn't kick the water bucket.

Don't bite the hand...that your cat licked.

No news is...that you didn't pay for the newspaper so that's why you have no news.

A miss is as good as a....Mrs.

You can't teach an old dog....to not pee on the carpet.

If you lie down with dogs...you'll get sick.

Love all, trust....your mother.

The pen is mightier than the...permanent marker.

An idle mind is....so boring.

Where there's smoke there's....some stupid kid who played with matches.

Happy the bride who...gets to eat cake and open presents.

A penny saved is...not a whole lot.

Two's company, three's....triplets.

Don't put off till tomorrow what...your mother tells you to do now.

Laugh and the whole world laughs with you, cry and...you'll just make everyone sad.

There are none so blind as...the 3 Blind Mice.

Children should be seen and not...put on time out or forced to eat peas.

If at first you don't succeed....just get really mad.

You get out of something only what you....think should be in it.

When the blind lead the blind....get the heck out of the way.

A bird in the hand...is really gross.

Better late than....being early.



If you enjoyed this, feel free to ask your own children to finish the same proverbs (or any others you can come up with)!  And let me know so I can stop by and read their answers!!


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Friday, May 25, 2012

Maintaining the Peace in Your Home Life

Guest post written by Evan Smith.   For more information on this kind of post, please read my disclosure statement.


Maintaining the peace in your home life is undoubtedly very stressful, challenging and demanding. In a perfect world, our home is a peaceful environment that is completely detached from the chaotic world outside. Unfortunately, there is no perfect world. Our home life can often be just as stressful, if not more stressful than the hectic world outside. Luckily, there are some key steps you and your family can take to ensure that peace is maintained in your household. Certain rules should be established and each family member must be responsible for adhering to these rules. Let's take a look at some of the ways to maintain the peace in your home.

Don't Bring Your Work Home

One of the major toxic elements that can create stress in a household is that tension from the workplace is brought into the home. Did you get into an argument with your boss? Are your co-workers irritating you each and every day? If you bring anger and frustration from work back home, you are really being unfair to your family members. There are some potential ways to ensure that you have a positive attitude the moment you step into your home. You can create some relaxing soundtracks that you can listen to on your commute home. You can also say a few things you are grateful for before entering your home in order to get into a positive mindset.

Maintain a Clean Home

A cluttered home leads to a cluttered mind, and a cluttered mind is a chaotic one. It is important for each family member to chip in and participate in the cleaning of the house. This will enable each member to understand just how much effort is required to maintain a household. Also, as a result, each member will be less likely to create a mess. A clean home will absolutely help maintain the peace level.

Avoid Nitpicking

Nitpicking is a surefire way to stir arguments and diminish the peace in your home. Is it really necessary to criticize a family member for not putting the cap back on the toothpaste? If you let the small insignificant things go, you will definitely help maintain the peace in your home. Also, you will simply feel better within yourself by just letting some things go.

Use Positive Reinforcement

No matter how big or small of an accomplishment one of your family members makes, you should be sure to praise them. If a family member feels that he or she is never receiving recognition for personal accomplishments, there is ultimately bound to be stress and tension within the household. An excellent way to maintain the peace in a household is to place positive quotes throughout the home that all family members can appreciate and adopt.

While the outside world can be cruel and chaotic, a positive home life can be maintained if each family member follows these important rules.

Evan Smith is a husband and proud father of four children. He is a regular contributor for KeyInsuranceQuotes.com.  Evan and his wife have maintained a very positive home life by adopting these rules.



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Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Supermom Fell in the Toilet

This guest post comes to you courtesy of Courtenay from Soup: Midwestern Mama Cooking Up Life in the Heartland.  You might recall I did a guest post a couple weeks ago for her series "The Moment a Mother is Born".

Courtenay describes herself as a happily married, working mama of two young kids, infant twins, two cats, a flock of chickens and one large dog.  Her blog, Soup: Midwestern Mama Cooking Up Life in the Heartland won the Best Humor Blog in the 2010 Scholastic Parent and Child Blog Awards.  

If you want to get in good with her, bring her some sushi, red wine and chocolate.  Or a really good book to read.

Now you can see why I absolutely adore Courtenay....sushi, red wine, chocolate and a really good book.  What's not to love?!

I hope you enjoy her post, Supermom Fell in the Toilet!!


Have you ever noticed that the universe has a way of putting you in your place at the very moment you least expect it (and, likely, most need it)?  That one minute you’re flying high and the next, you’ve flown right into a plate glass window, sliding down, down, down until you land in a crumpled heap in the landscaping, your feathers ruffled and your beak smarting?

I had one of those moments the other day.

You see, I take great pride in my ability to negotiate the tricky world of working part-time and parenting four young children (6, 4, and the twins are 1).  I know that I’m not always graceful, but that I haven’t yet managed to kill a child or flood the house and the one fire we had, I put out single-handedly.  I would never in a million years say that I am an expert (I’m not and I don’t play one on TV), but I generally feel competent.

It was the day after the twins’ one-year well-child checks – an appointment that I did solo because my hubby was working.  There were other extenuating circumstances that made the day one for the blog (so strange that writing a blog post is akin to putting a day in the record books, but it is nonetheless).

I had gotten up, showered, dressed and out of the house with my two older kids – yay for a good morning!  My routine is to walk them into the school, drop them at their respective classrooms, chat with their teachers for a minute and with anyone else who looks friendly in the elementary school hallway, and get on into work.  I secretly love this time of day because it is a tremendously ridiculous boost to my mom-ego.  Why?  My kids are happy to go to school, bright, and their teachers love them – thus, they love me.  I smile, offer to help, and thank them profusely for what they do for my kids.  What’s not to love?

Both teachers knew that the babies had just turned one and both of my kids had shared that they had shots the day before, so the teachers asked how my wee ones were doing.  I told a fabulous and humorous story about the doctor’s visit with a witty and urbane tagline, clearly testing out my stand-up chops on any poor soul who cared to listen about immunizations, screaming infants, and a blood test that sprung a leak, leaving one of my twins looking like a vampire baby after a good nosh.

Both teachers laughed knowingly, clearly enjoying my tale of woe.  My son’s teacher then uttered the words that most stoke my mom-ego (a perfect way to head into the office), “You are Supermom!  I just don’t know how you do it!”

This phrase must have started tickling the universe like a feather under the nose of a sleeping giant.

Now, upon waking I generally drink a large mug of coffee.  I use the bathroom before leaving home, but almost always have to use the restroom upon arriving at my office, too.  This particular morning was no exception.  As I headed from the parking lot on campus to my office, I ran into a co-worker who also asked how the babies’ appointments went.

I told an abbreviated and slightly less colorful version and tried not to do a squirming potty dance, silently wishing that doing Kegels was helpful after delivering four children vaginally (it isn’t).  I smiled cheerily and blathered a made-up excuse about needing to get to a meeting (with the bathroom) and scooted on into my building.

I didn’t even stop to put my things in my office, but glided into the bathroom quickly, closing the stall door and dropping trou in one swift movement, my purse still dangling from my elbow.

And that is the moment the sleeping giant of the universe succumbed to the tickling by issuing a very large sneeze my direction, because…

I felt my bum come into contact with cold, cold, COLD water.

My first thought, “I fit into the toilet, yay!”

My second thought, “I’m sitting in the toilet… in the TOILET!  ICK!”

I sprung out of the bowl, dropped the seat and completed my mission.  Then I dried my whole bum, remembering that the cleaning crew does the bathrooms every Sunday-Tuesday-Thursday, so the seat is left up on Monday-Wednesday-Friday and it was, in fact, Friday.

Oh, how the mighty Supermom has fallen… right into the toilet.  Yep… The universe clearly needed to remind me that, no matter how queenly I’m feeling, I must still check the throne before I sit down.


You can subscribe to Courtenay's blog HERE, like her blog on Facebook and follow her on Twitter.

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Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Tooth Fairy Fail


Landon lost his very first tooth a few days ago.

He was super excited about his impending visit from the Tooth Fairy.

"When will she come get my tooth?" he asked, grinning from ear to ear.

I responded, "Tonight!  Make sure to leave it under your pillow, okay?"

Nodding his head, he clutched the ziploc bag, in which his tiny baby tooth was enclosed tightly, to his body.

"Hmmm, I wonder how much money she'll leave me?" he wondered.

I answered, "Well, I'm pretty sure the going rate is $5.00 for your first tooth!"

"$5.00!!!" he exclaimed, his brown eyes twinkling with obvious glee.  "Oh wow!  That's a lot of money!"

That night, before falling asleep, Landon made sure his baby tooth was safely nestled under his pillow.

After the kids were asleep, I said to Tim, "Hey, Tooth Fairy....you're the one who always has some cash so don't forget to leave some money for Landon, okay?"

He nodded his head and assured me that he would leave our child the money.

However, in the morning, I was greeted by a very upset 5-year old.

"Mommy!" Landon shouted from his room.  "The Tooth Fairy didn't come!!!"

WTF?!

Tim muttered under his breath, "Shit, I totally forgot."

I rolled my eyes and went back upstairs to console our child....feeding him some crap about how the Tooth Fairy's wings were broken and she couldn't get to our house in time before he woke up...blah, blah, blah.

"Okay," he sniffled.  "But she'll come tonight for sure?  You promise?"

Nodding my head, I replied, "Of course.  She wouldn't let you down two nights in a row!"

After the kids were tucked in bed that night, I reminded Tim to be sure to leave Landon some money for his tooth.

"You get one pass...that's it!  Please do not forget tonight, okay??" I begged.

"Okay, okay...I won't forget!" he assured me....again.

The next morning, I heard Landon crying.

"What's wrong?" I asked him, bending down to hug him.

"The Tooth Fairy didn't leave me any money.  She forgot again," he cried.

Really?  WTF?  I need to add Tooth Fairy to my already endless list of responsibilities around here like I need another hole in my head....or a 3rd set of twins.

I ran downstairs and lit into Tim.  "Did you seriously forget AGAIN?" I whispered between gritted teeth while the kids were still upstairs getting dressed.

Rubbing the sleep from his eyes, he looked confused.

"I thought I left some money for him.  I don't know...maybe I forgot again," he mumbled.

"For the love of God, it's his FIRST tooth.  And now we've completely traumatized him.  He thinks the Tooth Fairy hates him.  We're such crappy parents," I complained.

Then came the sound of laughter from upstairs....

"I found it, I found it," Landon yelled.  "She left me $5.00!!  It was under my bed sheet, not my pillow!  Silly Tooth Fairy!!"

Crisis averted...but I still wanted to slap Tim upside the head with a frying pan.

When the kids were all downstairs and eating their breakfast, Bella said to me, "I think the Tooth Fairy is a man."

I asked, "Why would you think that?"

She responded, "Because the Tooth Fairy is pretty forgetful."

My eyes darted over to Tim, who was still laying on the sofa and shaking his head...probably wondering why he ever thought marriage and kids were a good idea.

Major Tooth Fairy fail.

But you know what?  It wasn't the first time and it probably won't be the last time.

Just keeping it real, as always.

And I'm willing to bet that I'm not the only one who's had a Tooth Fairy fail, right?

RIGHT??


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Monday, May 7, 2012

The Moment a Mother is Born



If someone were to ask you to describe that exact moment when motherhood felt real for you, would you be able to recall it vividly?

Maybe it was the minute you saw your baby on ultrasound....perhaps it was the first time you held your precious newborn in your arms.

Or, quite possibly, it might have taken longer than you expected for it to finally sink in.

I am a mother.   I created life.  I am responsible for another human being, other than myself.

When did motherhood truly feel real for you?

That very question was posed to me recently by one of my favorite bloggers (and fellow twin mama), Courtenay of Soup: Midwestern Mama Cooking Up Life in the Heartland.

Courtenay is currently hosting "The Moment a Mother is Born" and I was honored when she asked me to write a guest post for her series.

And, oddly enough....even through all the sleep deprivation, post-partum depression, living in survival mode for 38 straight months (but who's counting, right?), I knew EXACTLY when motherhood felt real for me.

I'd be thrilled if you'd join me at Soup and read my guest post.

And Courtenay and I would love it if you'd leave a comment there telling us when motherhood felt real for you!!



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I figure that if the children are alive when my husband gets home at the end of the day, I've done my job.

----Roseanne Barr



 
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