Sunday, October 30, 2011

Stay Fit and Lean During the Holidays Part 1

I know I don't post much about my new career adventure in personal training - oh wait! I don't post about much of anything these days! Ha! I am writing a 4 part blog post and at the end of the 4th one will be a giveaway!!

Anyway, with Halloween just leading us into the season where most people are too busy to exercise and don't worry about their eating. I mean, why not just eat what you want and lose it after the new year? This is a great article that talks about how much most people gain during the holiday season (which is, surprisingly, only about 1-2 pounds!) AND it talks about what happens to that weight after the holidays! You may not actually be gaining a lot of extra weight, but, as the article suggests, your body composition may change!! Which could be why some of your clothes just don't fit as well by the new year!!

Now I am going to give you a couple of tips for this holiday season:
1. Set a goal for yourself - be specific (could be about your weight, how a pair of pants fit, etc), make it attainable, track your progress, and set an end date to see how well you did!!

2. Find someone to keep you accountable! I have several friends/family members who I am helping to keep accountable - you will do better if you have someone to talk to about your frustrations, habits, and to encourage you!!

3. Keep track of what you eat. My favorite website is My Fitness Pal because it is so easy to use, it has an app so you can scan the barcode on the food that you eat for nutritional information, and you will find ANY food imaginable in their database!! Research shows that people who keep track of their food intake are more successful in meeting their weight-loss goals (which, in the long run, helps you maintain, too, because over time you will become VERY familiar with the food you eat).

4. My last tip for today - drink more water!!! You should be drinking 1/2 your body weight in ounces. That may seem like a lot of water but it is so important - it helps eliminate waste, increases your metabolism, and helps you retain less water! It will also help you feel more satisfied between meals!!

As I said before, I will be offering a giveaway at the end of my series of blogs. Stay tuned and invite your friends to read!! Feel free to ask questions along the way - I would love to help you out!!

If you live in the St. Charles/O'fallon MO area, check out this website for more information about Boot Camp Challenge. It is a great program that combines personal training, group exercise and nutrition!!

Also, for more nutrition information about some of the vitamins and supplements and I love, go here!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Camping Trip - sort of

We planned a camping trip with Kevin's parents this fall. We didn't want to go too far from home because the last time we took Daphne camping, she woke up in the middle of the night and screamed hysterically and would not go back to sleep so I eventually took her home. Kevin's parents stay at KOA campsites all the time so that is what we went with this year. Our lives have been so crazy this fall that we didn't do a lot of research before we decided on a place to stay so we made reservations at the Granite City KOA. Once we got there - we realized that it wasn't quite what we were expecting. It was in the middle of an industrial park - so no hiking and not many trees in general and no fire pit. That was probably the more disappointing aspect because the girls were looking forward to roasting marshmallows and it just isn't the same over a charcoal grill.

The cabin was clean and nice but in the end we decided to just stay one night and head home for Saturday night. We spent a little time at Eckert's on our way home and then the girls just played and played with Grandma and Grandpa! The weather was beautiful so we still spent a lot of time outside - it was just at home in our own backyard!!

Here are a few of the pics from the weekend:

Yep, we are letting our kids watch a movie on the I-pad while we are camping. We figured if we can watch the Cardinal game (game 5 of the NLDS against the Phillies - so worth it!) while camping that they could watch a kid show on Saturday morning.
The girls all wanted to ride the ponies at Eckerts. They have a fascination with horses right now so this was their highlight!!

Silver Dollar City

We had so much fun last year at Silver Dollar City for the homeschool weekend that we decided to go again. Only this year, I didn't fill Norah's whole day with classes (last year we were racing to get to each class that we didn't get to do much of the normal theme park stuff until Sunday).

My parents were already in Branson - visiting with a cousin of my mom's. They joined us on Saturday at Silver Dollar City.

Here are some highlights:
(pay close attention to Lucy's face in the first 2 pics)
This ride looks like it is going to be fun!!
Maybe not as much fun as I thought!! This was typical for almost every ride!! She is not very daring - not that I mind it most of the time. She was very picky about what rides she thought were acceptable! If it went a little too high or just a little too fast - she didn't want to have anything to do with it!!

Daphne thought she was big stuff this year since she could actually ride several rides!! She loved it and she has NO FEAR!
I had to post this picture for 2 reasons: 1 - my mom's face is hilarious! 2 - it looks like she and I are the only ones on the teacup ride!

hanging out with Grandpa Steve

The little school house is probably Norah's favorite place to go at Silver Dollar City. We basically had to drag her out of there!!

We had a great weekend! We love Silver Dollar City - it is such a family-friendly, clean amusement park!!


(trying to catch up on blog posts while watching game 7 of the World Series - Go Cards!!)

Once again we went to Morton for the annual Pumpkin Festival. Thankfully, this year it didn't rain so we saw the whole parade. The kids walked away with more candy than is necessary for 3 kids but they were thrilled, of course.
Collecting candy. Looks like Alex is already digging in!!


Daphne and Alex is standing as the American flag goes by.

My favorite part about P-fest is hanging out with family and catching up with friends!! My cousin's little guy was hanging out at our usual spot while his parents were busy at Eli's, so of course, I grabbed him as soon as I could!!

I have no idea what Daphne is doing - probably praying for peace. She was a little overwhelmed with all the excitement!! My parents eventually walked her home a little earlier than the rest of us. She enjoyed a little extra attention from them!!

After the parade, we headed back to my parents for lunch then we took the kids to the festival. They all rode some rides and then picked a "treat" to enjoy before heading back to my parents. All the kids - including my niece and nephews - chose cotton candy, except Lucy. She chose ice cream - a girl after my own heart!

This year we we only stayed until Saturday evening. We headed home shortly after dinner so we could enjoy some time with the Morrisons - who were in STL for the weekend.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Where To Begin

Well, as usual, life has been crazy. From talking to everyone else around me, this seems to be the norm. Some days, I wish life would slow down, but I don't think that is possible with 3 kids!

We have had a lot of fun over the last several weeks/weekends - but we are looking forward to several weekends at home!!

Some brief updates -
Norah continues to LOVE reading. This girl spends HOURS a day reading! She usually reads about 30 minutes during our school day, then at least an hour during their independent quiet time and then about an hour before bed. She totally zones everyone and everything out while she reads (gets that from me!!). The tricky part is finding books that are challenging enough, but has age appropriate content for a 7 year old. She loves the Boxcar Children! She insists on reading them in order so she often has to wait for one to be returned from the library! She also has read several books from the Classic Starts set and Illustrated Classics.

She also continues to question the need for spelling in her school day. I am constantly telling her that spelling is one of those things that you just have to do to be a better writer. My question - would anyone really say that spelling was their favorite subject? However, it is still important!!
Norah is really into sewing right now. My mom bought her this book for her birthday and Norah read through it cover to cover. She made a pin cushion and has
her eye on several other projects to make for gifts for people. She is surprisingly patient and doesn't get too frustrated when she makes a mistake. I
hope this continues!!
Norah is really into making tents or forts. She often has blankets draped over pieces of furniture! Kevin made the girls a teepee this year so they play in that often too!

Lucy is slowly adjusting to her school schedule. 5 days a week has been a major adjustment for her - by Friday she has lost a lot of focus and really doesn't want to do much school!! She loves math - totally the opposite of Norah! She is really doing great with her reading. She has read all of the Fun Tales and is working her way through the Bob Books.

Lucy's most recent fascination has been with making paper dolls. She literally makes them from scratch on cardstock and they are so cute! She has about 40. Yes, 40. She worked so hard!!

Lucy is 3 nights in to breaking her finger sucking habit. . . again. This time seems better already! She seems to get it this time and is really trying - even during the day. She is wearing gloves - just like Norah did. I know it seems cruel, but the dentist confirmed that this is the best way to go about it and knowing Lucy is probably not far from losing teeth, we knew we needed to start working on it.
Lucy LOVES to dress-up and dance. She usually has a princess dress on and is twirling to the music. Her favorite cds right now are this one and this one. Let me tell you how funny it is to watch her twirling to God Bless America in her princess dress or leotard. She belts it out as she sings too!!

I don't even know where to begin with Daphne. Wow - she is a spit-fire. She has tons of personality and she is constantly cracking everyone up!!
Some recent quotes:
"Mom, you go to p**pcamp today?" She says this everyday and cracks herself up every time!
"You not feat me. I mustateer!" (quote from Barbie "you cannot defeat me for I am a muskateer").
"On guard. Huh-uh" while pointing anything resembling a sword
"I not weawy hungwy!!" - She tells me this at every. single. meal. not kidding. However, when you are almost 3 and still only weigh 21 pounds - we do not negotiate at meal time!
"I not have to go p** p**" - She tells me this whenever I tell her to sit on the potty. every. single. time! Oh, and she screams it!
"You want bwaid or pigtails?" Brushing my hair is one of her favorite things to do right now - and she is surprisingly gentle.
"I don't like it. I LOVE it, LOVE it, LOVE it."
Daphne LOVES to pretend and by herself. If I try to play with her or talk to her while she is pretending, she usually tells me, "I not talk you. I talk to my peoples. I play myself."

Funny story - this morning our church had its annual serve day. We were at a local park painting picnic tables. The kids helped part of the time and played part of the time. When we finished painting the kids were all playing and I was trying to round them up. Daphne didn't want to leave so I told her, "Let's go see what daddy is doing." Kevin was down a little hill under the pavilion. I picked her up and started walking toward him. She started yelling, "Not that way, this way" while pointing the opposite direction. I said, "Daddy is down here." She replied, "I not see that daddy. I see my other daddy" and she points at some random man playing with his kids.
This picture was totally not posed!! I walked into the living room and saw Daphne like this. No one else was even watching yet!!

I have tons of pictures to post from the last couple of months so I will hopefully get to those soon!!