Wednesday, July 6, 2011

SAHM vs Working Moms

This is a great article about the comparisons between being a stay-at-home mom vs a working one. Enjoy! (Trust me, you will!)

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Get Out and RUN!

My sister-in-law shared these helpful tips for any of you moms out there who just need a little something in their lives. And not one of those, "one more thing on my to-do list" things. A little something for yourself. Here are her tips to get started and becoming a runner:

1. Get a good pair of running shoes. Go to a running store and ask them to analyze your run. They will watch you run (maybe even video tape it), and then they will let you know what kind of shoes you need neutral, stability, or control. I had 3 months of severe foot pain last summer because I was running in neutral shoes and I need stability or control. I even ended up in the doctor's office. All I needed was the right kind of shoes. Now I run pain free. Be prepared to fork out some money for a decent pair of running shoes, but it is worth every penny.

2. It will hurt at first. Don't give up! Your body is not used to the pressure and impact of running so be prepared for a sore back, knees, ankles. Everyone is different but I promise it will go away after about 2 weeks of running.

3. Start out slow. Run maybe 2 or 3 days a week at first and add a day as you get stronger and feel better. I actually only run 4 days a week. I'm running about 20 to 25 miles a week total. I like to do other activities on the days that I don't run like walk, ride bike, swim, water aerobics, pilates, yoga, etc.

4. Cross train! Don't just run because you will probably hurt yourself. Find some other activities (see list above) to do that will keep your body loose and feeling good. Cross training is the best thing you can do for your body to avoid injuries and improve your running. I like to do water aerobics with my friends. I have a couple of workout videos that I like to do. I go on walks with the girls, and I try and swim once a week. I feel the need to exercise everyday, but my body doesn't like to run that much. I need the recovery time so that I can avoid injuries.

5. FIND A FRIEND! The best way to keep going on a new fitness goal is to find a training buddy. I usually can only get out with my friends 1 or 2 times a week. I look forward to those workouts. We talk the entire time. It is therapy. I'm exercising my body and mind. :) It is easier to get moving when you know you have someone waiting on you. There are so many benefits to having a friend to exercise with. If you are lucky, you might find several friends. I have a couple of friends I run with and different friends I do water aerobics with. Different people have different interests.

6. I got back into running on a treadmill. I like the treadmill for several reasons. 1. It is easy to adjust your pace, so you can challenge yourself to go faster over time. 2. It is a softer impact and the belt pulls your legs back so it helps you along. 3. I like to watch movies on the computer or portable DVD player while I run or walk. It makes the time go so fast. I never ever watch TV anymore, so the treadmill is my reward time to watch a show (shorter runs) or a movie (longer runs). I watched an episode of Psych this morning on Netflix while I did 5 miles. It goes by so fast. If you have to some running on a treadmill, watching a show while you run on a treadmill helps the time go by so much faster.

7. Many people suggest doing a running/walking combination when you get started. I like to just run and slowly build up my mileage. Be patient. It takes time. You could start out thinking "I'm going to run/walk 30 minutes today." Don't worry about distance. Just pay attention to time. So you run for 2 minutes walk for 1 minute and repeat. As you get stronger you increase the running time until you can run without the walking time. Other idea - I like to set a mileage goal. For example 3 miles. I would run at a slow steady pace until I reached my goal. You should be able to talk while you are running. If you are breathing so hard you can't talk, slow down and/or walk for a bit. When I started running again when Eve was 2 months old, I think it took me almost 40 minutes to run 3 miles. I'm down to 24 to 25 minutes for 3 miles. I'm getting faster. BE PATIENT! If you try to get fast before your body is ready, you will hurt yourself. Remember slow and steady wins the race. :)

8. Make sure you eat and drink. Make sure you drink enough water to replace fluids lost while exercising. Also, make sure you get enough calories to keep you moving forward. If you start to get real sluggish or cranky during the day, you probably need to eat more before and after exercising. But remember, just because you are exercising doesn't mean you can "pig out" and eat whatever you want. You don't want to gain weight as you begin exercising. Make healthy food choices and add a few extra healthy calories to your diet to help you stay strong while exercising.

9. Get a cute running outfit! You will feel better about yourself. Also, the running specific clothes are better for running. Cotton t-shirts and sweat pants are bulky, hot, and heavy when wet and/or sweaty. I have bought a couple of things new, but most of my stuff I have found on the clearance racks at Walmart and Khol's or the DI. You don't have to pay a lot, but it does feel good to have some cute, comfortable stuff to wear while you run and exercise.

10. Sign up for a race. Find a good 5K or 10K in your area for the fall or next spring. Sign up for the race. Now you are committed. If you have a goal to work toward, you are more likely to complete it.

11. Try not to exercise with your kids. This a personal preference of course. I love my exercise "me" time so I try to schedule it it on my own time before kids get up or after they have gone to bed (This is when my treadmill becomes my best friend since my husband leaves so early for work in the mornings.) I find that I like running more when I'm not pushing the jogging stroller. It can be tricky to run with a jogging stroller. It throws off your gait a bit. I don't mind running with my kids, but I prefer to run on my own time.

12. Find a good training guide online. There is so much advice out there on how to train for a race of any length. So, when you decide what length you would like to train for, you can google "training guide for 5K". You will find tons of plans. The guides will last anywhere from 4 to 18 weeks. I'm on week 4 of marathon training and week 14 of training for the Ragnar Relay. My training plans overlap a bit. I've actually combined the ideas of a couple different plans. These plans help you keep on track for your goal. I write it on a calendar and keep track of what I accomplish. It feels good to watch those miles and exercising minutes adding up over time.

Here are a couple of links that might be helpful.

This is the magazine that Aaron helps edit. There is a training link. Also, click on the media link, and there are tons of videos talking about getting started in running.

We subscribe to this magazine. I like reading the articles. There is a lot of great information around here for all levels of runners.

Best of luck!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Fathers Day

For some really cute Fathers Day gift ideas, check out "King for a Day".

Monday, June 6, 2011

Movin' on Up!

Our house has been crazy the last few months. We have gone through some monumental transitions. Of course, they are probably bigger to me than to anyone else. I feel like these changes are just showing me how fast time has gone by and what a little girl Sara is becoming. Like any major change, I stress and worry about them for weeks ahead of time. And then usually the stress and the worry occupies more of my time than the actual transition itself. I just need to keep reminding myself that kids are resilient and do survive.

So here are the major transitions we faced and how we conquered each one:

1) Getting rid of the pacifier (or "pacit" as Sara calls it). I wanted to make sure Sara (and myself) were good and ready to get rid of it, so we talked about it for a few weeks. I was really strict with where/when she could have it - only in her crib at naps and bedtime and occasionally in the car on a long trip. I told her that new babies needed her 'pacits' to make them feel better and big girls don't need 'pacits'. I have a friend who recently had a baby named Brazia. I told Sara that Brazia needed them and when she was ready, we would give them to her. One morning she woke up and said, "Brazia need my pacits today?" And I said, "Yes, she does. Are you ready to give them to her?" Sara replied, "Uh, huh. I'm a big girl. I don't need pacits anymore." Phew!
Okay, so we started by cutting the tips so she could hang on to them for a day. It took a little longer than usual for her to take her nap, but she was so proud of herself. The next day, we put all her 'pacits' in a baggie and took them to Brazia's house where Brazia had a treat for her (that I had arranged previously). Sara was so excited and happy to give them to Brazia. She still talks about what a big girl she is and how nice it was for her to share her 'pacits' with Brazia. She has only asked for her pacifier once since we got rid of them and it was when she was sick. I'd say that transition was a major success and not something I needed to worry about as much as I did.

2) Potty Training. This girl is a potty training champ. Again, we started talking about potty training long before we actually did it. I wanted it to be something that was on her mind and thinking about. I tried potty training her a few weeks before we actually did, but she just wasn't ready. She kept asking to put a diaper on and was getting really upset. I decided I probably wasn't ready either, so we waited another couple of weeks. On a Monday morning when she woke up, I showed her baby doll how to go on the potty. Her doll got a sticker and a treat for doing it and Sara was so excited for her. Then I asked Sara if she wanted to go and she did. It was a huge success for Day 1. We watched Elmo's potty video and I put panties on her. I could tell she was trying to hold it and didn't to go for a while, but she eventually did.

I still put a diaper on her for nap and bedtime, but otherwise she did great. The next day was a little more difficult. She was holding it for hours and refused to go until I'd put her diaper on for her nap. The afternoon was better and she got the hang of it. By day 3 we headed to Target where she went on the potty and she's been going ever since. I felt like once we were able to leave the house and she could tell me she needed to go, we were good. She got a sticker for every time she went pee and 2 stickers for when she went poop. After 5 stickers, she got to pick a toy out of her bag (toys from the dollar spot at Target). She was so excited to count her stickers. From what I've heard, potty training can be a major disaster, so I feel really lucky that Sara adapted so well. And in 3 weeks, she's only had 1 accident and it was at the gym.

3) Big Girl Bed! Sara's big girl bed is arriving today and just like all the other transitions, I have worried and stressed about this one too. I get really anxious about anything that could potentially interfere with her sleep. Sara has never (knock on wood) tried to climb out of her crib before, so I'm hoping it won't be too big of a deal. We went this morning and picked out a new comforter, sheets, and pillow. She is excited to sleep in her big girl bed tonight. If you have any advice... I'd love to hear it! I'll let you know how this transition goes.

(This isn't Sara, but it reminds me of what it feels like putting my baby girl in such a BIG bed)

After this, I think we're done with transitions for a while. The next major thing will be going to see my parents when they come home from their mission. We will be staying with them for a few weeks and sleeping somewhere new is always a challenge. Then.... preschool!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Nutrition to Grow On

I know one of the things we, as mothers, think about all day long is food. Making and cleaning up at least 3 meals a day is a lot of work. Not to mention if you're still in the bottle or baby food stage, you have to fix a few extra meals for yourself. Here are some tips to keeping your kids healthy:

Friday, May 13, 2011


This was an interesting article I found on LDS Women.

My in-laws hate me and the feeling is mutual. How do I handle the situation without alienating my husband or making him feel torn? We’ve been dealing with it for a couple years & it’s HARD. Any advice?

A: In-law relationships are particularly tricky because you’re competing for the same man’s attention — your husband/their son. I wish I had a bit more information about your relationship history with them like: When did the relationship become so negative? Did you have a time where you did get along? How do you handle your emotions about this? Are they intentionally mean to you? If you’d like to write back with more details I’d be happy to respond again.

If the 3 most important people in his life don’t like each other he will feel torn about it.

So here’s what you can do:

1) Go to counseling to work through your own emotions about your in-laws, explore why you are so stuck in the negative emotions, find ways to become more emotionally neutral about this relationship, and work on what you can do to improve the relationship.

2) Limit the complaints that you share with your husband about his parents. This will help him have some relief from feeling “in the middle”. Chronic complaining about his parents will likely wear on your hubby and end up negatively impact your marriage.

3) Come up with a cue word with your husband so you can gently signal him when you really need him to step in and take a stand for you to his parents.

4) Decide what kind of daughter-in-law you want to be and then become her no matter how they are behaving. Taking charge of your own behavior feels better than reacting based on their behavior.

Remember that you chose your husband and by doing so you chose his family. Do your best to let the little annoyances slide, pick your battles, and do your best.

Take good care of you and yours!

Julie Hanks, LCSW

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

The Selfless Service of Women

This is a great talk about the amazing women in the world. It's worth the read.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Nightmares and Night Terrors

Sara had her first nightmare last night. She woke up screaming. I ran in to see what was the matter and she said, "The monkeys scare me." We went to the zoo earlier that day, so I guess her dream was related to that. It was easy to console her, but she had a really hard time falling back asleep. I didn't want to just leave her in her bed to cry after having a nightmare, but I also couldn't hold her back to sleep. She finally calmed down enough for me to put her back in bed about a half hour later.

I was reading online about what a nightmare is and what causes them. The article also talks about night terrors. I have a few friends whose kids get night terrors. They sound really scary and awful. My sister-in-law's little girl has night terrors triggered by a full bladder and while discussing it with another friend, her daughter is the same way.

This is the article I found about nightmares and night terrors. It was really interesting and helpful to read. Anyone else have experience with either of these and how to deal?

Thursday, April 21, 2011

A Parent or A Friend

Part of being a parent is the battle of being your child's parent or friend. To me, you are a parent - always. It's great to have a good relationship with your kids and for them to be able to talk to you about personal issues, but that type of relationship comes from mutual respect and unconditional love for one another. In this article, the writer exposes what can happen when parents stop being parents and start being friends. It's extremely enlightening.

Parents, Don't Dress Your Girls Like Tramps

Monday, April 11, 2011

Making Friends

Cameron and I have moved 3 times in the last 4 years, so we've had lots of opportunities to make friends. We have made some really great friends all over the country, but making friends when you become a mom is a little different. I think you start to make friends who have kids around the same age as yours or you have similar parenting styles.

I found an article in Parents magazine called "A Mom's Guide to Making Friends."

Here are some ways for busy moms to boost their social network:

1) Start with Friends of Friends. If you move to a new place, making a few friends and then befriending their friends is a quick way to enlarge your circle.

2) Opt for face time over Facebook. Organize play dates or invite new friends to the zoo or park. It's a great way for your kids to play and still have a chance to visit and get to know each other.

3) Introduce yourself to a calendar of local events. Look into local parks and recreation activities, events at the library, and city events. Many cities have web-sites or blogs about things to do. I love for details of events here in Mesa.

4) Seek out those who are similar, but different. Put yourself out there and introduce yourself to someone who you may be intimidated by or may not see immediately what you have in common. You may be suprised at the great relationship you're able to develop.

5) Make maintaining friendships easy. Have you ever had a friend that you felt like you had to work so hard to be their friend? Send a text just to say hi or an e-mail to see when would be a good time for you to get together. Arrange to carpool to the park for a little extra chat time.

6) The article didn't have a #6, but I decided to add my one. Put yourself out there. If you want to make friends, be a friend. Chances are, whoever you want to be friends with wants to be friends with you. We all have have a little insecurity when it comes to feeling accepted so be the kind of friend you need.

Any comments or personal experiences would be great so feel free to share!