Archives for January 2014

Make It Work

As a mom of two young kids and a full time job getting to the gym is hard to do consistently.  Some weeks I get there more than others.  There are some weeks I just can’t find the time.  I have tried everything from scheduling it in my calendar to going there after Cate goes to bed to getting up at 5am to get a workout in.  And it usually week over week it ends up working out okay.  Then there are  weeks like this last one, where because of sickness and work schedules and evening commitments I just couldn’t get to the gym.  But I wanted to.

So, I decided to give some things on Pinterest a try.

Insert this FitSugar video.

Here’s the thing. I think the girls are kind of annoying but their honesty about what hurts as a result of certain things makes me laugh.  40 minutes in my kitchen and you know what. I was sweating. My heart rate was up and I felt like I got some type of workout in with a sick kid on the couch.  And the next day, I still felt it in my calves of all places.

This is not a sponsored post. This is just me telling one working mom to another that there are solutions. Maybe not the best workout you ever have but good enough to feel like you at least got moving when you thought you wouldn’t be able to.

And no, I didn’t wear my Fitbit Force until this week.  I am still confused and haven’t callibrated it yet.  So, more to come on this one.


The Break Up

Dear Starbucks,

I can’t believe this is happening to us.  I never saw this coming.  And it happens to so many other people but I swore it wouldn’t happen to us.  I thought we were past this.  Accepting one another and settling in.  It’s so hard thinking because we have invested so much time and energy and money in to our relationship.  Breaking up is just so hard to do.  It’s not you. It’s me. Well, actually it is you and me.  But the truth is well; I’m just not that in to you anymore.  Here’s the thing. I have been a faithful drinker of your Venti Chai Tea lattes for most of my teaching career. That’s ten years if you’re counting.   Some days, on my worst days, two a day.  And passion tea lemonades in the summer are my first choice late in the afternoon.  But your ridiculous daily drive-thru debacles pushed me over the edge and is what I just can’t do anymore.  It makes every morning stressful.  And the drink is just not worth it anymore.  Not to mention the price.

Here’s the thing. I really want you.  I like stopping and getting that cup every morning.  It gets me moving and out of bed.  I love your holiday cups.  I like nursing that drink in the morning to start my day.  But over break I stopped because the Polar Vortex hit and it was just too cold to go out even for coffee.  Couple that with the fact that the drive thru is never fast, the line always long,  the people rarely nice and it always being understaffed I just stopped going.

I quit you pretty much cold turkey.  And it’s been hard.  Emotionally and caffeine speakign.  So, I started using this coffee maker at home that I bought my husband for Christmas and realized how easy it was, cheap it was and free of morning headaches because there was no parking spot that required me to walk past a drive thru where people never look or a line out the lot for the actual drive-thru that added 20 minutes to my morning routine.  And, I also realized in my quest to get healthier just how bad that chai tea was for me.  And if I am honest, I gave you another chance. One morning, I stopped.  I just wanted you back.  In that moment.  And my drink was wrong and tasted terrible.   I got frustrated.

So here we are.  Me wondering what is happening to me.  Going to coffee.  At home. In a carrier cup. And being okay with it.  I worry about those gold stars expiring and the huge balance on my card.  I wonder if I change my drink if I will come back.  Some days. Randomly when it sounds good. But for now, it’s over and I’m sorry. Can we still be acquaintances?


Your Once Faithful Drinker

In all seriousness, I was drinking Starbucks once a day 7 days a week and quit. And it feels kind of liberating.  And it is helping my waistline. And my morning stress. But I also miss it. But the hassle of the one by my house is just not worth it.  So, talk me to me about coffee and flavors. I need suggestions but I love Caribou’s Morning Blend with Vanilla or Hazelnut creamer.  What about you?


High Five for Friday January 23rd

High Five for Friday

No blogging all week except for this post so I am apologizing and moving on.  No excuses just keeping it real that we are in the stomach flu trenches still so I am busy bleaching.  I don’t even have any pictures.  I am not sure there is much to High Five about but I will give you a recap of our week because I at least owe you that as I get some posts ready for next week.

1.  I finally took some time for myself and went to the orthopedic surgeon. Turns out I am not crazy and I have a pretty high pain tolerance.  I have a tear of the tendon that connects my big toe to my leg and that is why my foot hurts so much after working out.  How do you get that you ask? The answer, severe arthritis is my big toes.  Weird and annoying.

2.  My mom, the master shopper, found a Black FitBit Force for me size small. Just what I need since the news above made me a little bit sad.  I am hoping to have it up and running by Saturday and really start working on myself.  No excuses but all the illness in our house has left little time for exercise and self-care.

3.  Pre-kids one thing we really enjoyed doing with my in-laws were nice dinners.  And tonight we get to do just that with them to as a joint Merry Christmas and Happy Birthday to my father-in-law.  We are going Schwa and doing the 9 course tasting menu.  I might just be a little bit excited for a night of adult only conversation and of course wine.  Hopefully my stomach cooperates.

4.  Delta.  I have a whole other post coming on this one but man do I love Delta Airlines after my experience this week.

5.  Brady’s ability to starting sounding out letters. There is something about him making those noises and association words with those noises that makes the teacher in me so proud. I love to read and I hope he does to.

How was your week? Anything good happen? The Polar Vortex can kiss my tush. I have had enough of the freezing temps and ridiculous snow.  Spring break is officially 9 weeks away. Who’s counting?


High Five for Friday January 17th

Let’s review this week shall we?

1. The stomach flu is plaguing our daycare.  I am terrified and just waiting for the call but it seems (KNOCKS ON EVERY PIECE OF WOOD ON THE PLANET) we may have evaded it this time.  Can I get a halleluiah? For the record, I don’t do puke.  It is the one bodily fluid I just can’t handle so I am so grateful we aren’t dealing with this yucky bug. {EDIT: We have it and we have it bad! Poor Cate is the first to fall}

2. These leggings are the best. I mean the absolute best. If you are like me and you love to wear leggings as either pants or leggings go get these. Run to the store. They are thick and the gray is the perfect color and I wear the black ones weekly. (Update: I can’t find them on the LOFT website but I assure you they rock).

loft leggings

3. I love my iPhone and use the same apps but sometimes I get a new one that I just become obsessed with and lately it has been Quiz Up. Do you play? It is good even though I usually lose to my husband unless we choose Fashion or Food as the topic.

4. I am going on a date with my husband tonight. We made a reservation at a sushi place Chicago Magazine raved about. It’s BYOB and I am just so excited to eat and drink with him.  It’s good to date him and do things we did pre-kids ya know? {Edit: NOT HAPPENING. So bummed.}

5. This week has been a lot of stress during the day, little sleep at night since Brady has suddenly decided sleeping is not for 4 year olds and lots of meetings and night stuff. So, my diet has sucked, I can feel the change in how I feel and I am motivated to get back at it next week. Just keeping it real here folks!

Hope you have a great weekend. I know I am looking forward to three days (MLK Day included) of being with my family, staying in pajamas and getting some things done around our house.


The Word about Weight

As I previously stated in my 14 things for 2014, getting healthy is a big resolution for me.  It’s not that I am unhealthy or ridiculously overweight; it’s just that I need a little motivation to really change my eating habits for good and lose those last few pounds that I have carried since having two kids.  Some weight.  Not a lot. I am not fat and that’s not even a word I want to talk about ever with my kids.  It’s about being healthy, feeling good when I wake up and taking care of myself.  When I was thinking about my starting weight and how much I wanted to lose, I knew I needed an incentive because the number on the scale isn’t going to move a whole lot.  So, it kept hitting me that if I hit certain goals I needed to reward myself.  And I like to spend money.  So, I decided to set realistic goals,  put some thought in to some of the rewards, and get to it.  I came up with a list of things I wanted- didn’t necessarily need but would like to have even though I failed to ask for most of them for Christmas.

My first goal is 5 lbs.  Totally doable just means I have to lose what I probably gained this holiday season.  I am close, like less than a pound away which is close and  I am rewarding myself with a Fitbit Force.

I want to be able to track everything since details mean a lot to me.  There’s an app for my iPhone, it syncs with My Fitness Pal and rumor is that pretty soon caller id from your iPhone will work on it. While it might make me obsessive if I see I haven’t walked enough or been active enough, I also think it will motivate me to move. {Update: As of Sunday, no store on the entire planet has a Fit Bit Force. Is this a sign to eat crappy food again? What the heck? Of course there is no more of these.}

My second goal is to get to my pre-pregnancy weight with Cate.  I think to get here would be huge for me.  So, if I get to this point, I have a big reward for myself.  First, I want this new gym bag.

I love the look of the bag and I think my outdated Nike bag could use a replacement.  The practical perk of this bag is that my yoga mat could attach to it when that is what I am doing and it’s big enough to take my shower stuff with me.  But that’s not all, I also allowing myself to get these shorts from Lululemon.

and I am buying this top.

Yep, you read it right. I believe in extrinsic rewards and these are two big ones for me.  If you can’t tell, this is the biggest one for me.

My third and final goal is to get to my pre-pregnancy weight with Brady. When, I get there it is time I buy myself a new swimsuit.  A nice one. Not one from Target that covers more than it shows.  A one-piece that makes me feel good and is updated. Maybe one like this? Or this?

After I reach these three goals, yes I am confident I can do it, I will re-evaluate.  Like I said, I don’t want to be pencil thin- I never have been.  And no, I don’t want to keep losing to lose. I just want to feel good in my clothes, be toned and proud in my body. I want my kids to have a great role model and be the active, healthy mom they deserve.

So, what would you reward yourself with? Am I forgetting something?



Newborns, Memories and Contentment

Since having kids, my memory tends to be pretty sharp but there are those small moments that tend to stick out that you remember no matter how much time passes.  The ones that are vivid and you can instantly go back there regardless of the time that has passed.  Snuggling them when they are a newborn has to be something that you just never forget. It’s a rite of passage in parenthood to have your child sleep on you at least once and it is those moments that forge the bond between parent and child so early.  And there are others.



I remember Brady sleeping on our chest, his breathing changing rhythms as quickly as the minutes passed but the slumber was heavy and his belly was always so warm against mine.  And I remember the chill the minute he left my chest, his warmth and my warmth keeping us both so comfortable.  I will never forget the way he would lay on Glenn’s lap facing us, staring at the three flowered pictures on the wall and content to be there with us.

I remember Cate being so much smaller, fitting so much easier in the crook of my elbow as I slept next her for those first few weeks.  She didn’t want to sleep on our chests; she really wanted to be nuzzled up on our shoulder or next to us.  I remember sniffing her head and inhaling her scent because I could.  I remember the screaming, the continuous change in sleep and her general unhappiness.   I can remember the days that I would bring her in the bathroom with me because I just needed to shower to feel like I was human. She would cry in that brown bouncy chair and fuss and the shower usually drowned the sound out but I knew she was there crying for me.

As new babies have emerged in our family and our friends, I can’t help but crave the newborns again. Wanting something so small and so dependent on you again.  Wanting to smell that aroma one more time.  Snuggling with someone that doesn’t know better again.    Newborns are addicting, consuming, comforting and damn tempting.

But I have these two, who I am going to give every ounce of my energy to and hopefully raise them to be good humans.  And that is enough for me.  Forever.

{I wrote this post this fall and just never hit published.  And now here I am finally getting to it.  And, yes I still feel the same way.}


Monday Memo 1/5/14

It’s the first Monday in January which tells me you need an update on life here in our parts.  I think I have a lot to share so let’s get started shall we?

~ The kids have started sleeping later and we are all better for it. There is something so therapeutic about getting out of bed when there is a 7 on the clock.  The mornings have become lazy and lovely.  Am I right? Just in time to go back to the school routine I know.

~ We went sledding at Flick Park in Glenview on Saturday. First of all, there are actual steps up to the top of the hill which was amazing.  It was a bit icy and got crowded but boy did we have fun! Brady had this look of pure joy on his face every single time he came down the hill and even went down by himself.


~ Our kitchen renovation is becoming real. We bought all new appliances are looking at lighting and seem to be waiting for March when the demo begins.  This reminds me I need to show you some other spaces in our home.  I wish I could show you the drawings but I think the before and after will be pretty exciting.

~I have seen more snow fall over Winter Break than I ever want to see again.  It was pretty for a few hours but after the constant need to keep up with the removal and the bitter cold temps I am over it.  I know we live in the Midwest but the extremes lately have been a lot to handle.  Glenn has carried the majority of this burden, but I am tired of cold mud room floors, slushy gross feet and constant monitoring of  No school Monday might just send me over the edge.  I am all for a snow day but not after a two week break.

~ We played Cards Against Humanity on NYE with good friends. Have you played? Holy cow is it funny. And so not appropriate.  But dang did we laugh a lot.

~ This week is nuts. During and after school.   I have to work late Tuesday but get to hear an awesome speaker named Adam Grant.  His book is so interesting and I am really excited to hear him talk.  Wednesday and Thursday nights we have Academic Life which is hard on me and my kids and my husband.  Luckily, the rest of the month is pretty quiet and thank goodness I live so close!

Hope you have a great week! I will be back with a heavier post later this week. Happy Monday! Did you survive the snow? Have you dug out? Thawed out? Enjoy your week!


2014 {14 Things}

Well, hello there 2104! Glad to see you are here. I am ready for you.  I am list maker. Always have been and always will be. I make list of lists.  I like being able to cross things off these lists.  Glenn hates my lists. He hates the anxiety and stress they bring me.  But as my kids get older there is just so much I want to do.  For them. For me. For my husband.  So, here it is.  The new year.  An opportunity to set goals, refocus and reframe this little thing I call my life.  Here is my list of 14 things I want to do in 2104.

  1. Participate in either a sprint triathlon or a race that is 10K or longer.brooksI just got these new pretties so I am thinking that is a good motivator to hit the treadmill.
  2. Research, try and make a new recipe once a month.  So frequently we end up in a food rut in our house and I think with a little bit of effort we could try some new things.  And maybe, I could even share them here on this little blog.
  3. Teach Brady (with Glenn’s help) to ride a bike. Our strider bike attempt was a bust so with some new Big Wheels for Christmas we are hoping that a bike is in his future.
  4. Begin a scrapbook project for our family that forces me to pick up my camera weekly.
  5. Read at least one classic. I am a voracious reader but I have never read a classic.
  6. Find a spiritual place that works for our family. My faith has been on the back burner since we had kids and it is time to explore and nurture that part of me.
  7. Learn Adobe Photoshop once and for all.
  8. Set a goal when it comes to weight loss and hit it.  No, I will not be sharing this one.  This has been a recent struggle for me privately and now you know so maybe it will hold me accountable.
  9. For the rest of the school year, pack my lunch at least three times a week. No excuses.
  10. Watch the entire Breaking Bad series. Glenn and I keep talking about it and we need to start watching now. (This will require me not to go to bed at 8:30 every night).
  11. Get Cate involved or signed up for something. Poor second child has been neglected and it’s her turn to do something… anything.
  12. Call or send snail mail to my grandma once a month.
  13. Finish decorating our main floor with the little things and big things. Shelves need to be filled and there are some walls that need love and at least one TV that needs to be mounted.
  14. Have a quarterly meeting with my two best friends. I miss them. Too often I find excuses about why I can’t so this year, I will organize and I say I can.