Core Exercise Routine

Last week I tweaked a hip flexor/adductor.  I’m not really sure which one, but it was pretty tight on me last week.  Luckily I could stretch it out a bit and all was fine.  Until Friday – oh Friday.  Athletic Conditioning day really made that tendon angry.  So now I’m a bit hobbled and oh so missing my workouts.

While I can go to 2 workouts this week that are upper body – the rest involve too much hip action so I’m at home trying to figure out my own hip-friendly routine.  Luckily a lot of core work is fairly hip friendly and I’m able to do a good bit of it at home.  And since I love working abs – that makes some of the frustration of not being able to go to the gym every day less.

Here’s an at home Ab Workout I did this week.  There are a few links below for some of the exercises in case you are not familiar with my vernacular.

ab exercises

Hope you have fun!

I’m off to the chiropractor to figure out what is causing my hip pain.  Fingers crossed for me!!

Side Plank Dips:
Side Crunches:
Forearm plank toe taps:



Social Comfort Zones

I’m an introvert.  Totally.  I can talk to anyone about subjects I’m comfortable with, and I can talk to those I’m comfortable with about any subject.  But new people and new subjects, I’m a little lost.

Being an introvert brings about lots of loneliness.  For several reasons.  The most obvious, it’s hard to make friends when you are quiet and don’t like to put yourself out there.  Some of the less obvious.  It’s hard to keep friends you make because social situations drain you.  Literally – I have to recover from social situations, even with my favorite people – because the amount of energy I have to put into being social is high.  It’s not that I don’t want to be social – it’s just that it’s like running a marathon for me.  So it’s not something I do as often as most outgoing people do.  Therefore, maintaining friendships is really difficult when you don’t want to be social too much.  Third, learning about new subjects or talking to people who are different from what you are used to is like doing an ironman – so it’s really, really hard to meet new people.  Talking about things I’m not used to talking about is crazy hard.  So if you put yourself out there, and you have nothing in common, but still like the person, it’s really hard for me to get to know them just out of the shear overwhelmingness I feel when I have to come up with unfamiliar conversation.

Most people think if you are an introvert, you don’t want to be around people and you never feel loneliness.  And this is simply not true.  It’s like we are fighting an internal battle over our own nature of being an introvert versus the human nature of needing to be around other people.  It’s a rough ride – but we do need people in our lives.

So this past weekend I tried out a Moms Book Club.  I was greeted by some very bold personalities while I was there.  I guess my internal picture of the book club was of less boisterous people, but boy was I wrong.  And being an introvert surrounded by extroverts – well, can you say awkward?  While they were all very pleasant and friendly, I maybe said 2 sentences the 1 hour and 15 minutes I was there.  It got so awkward I had to leave early.  I just felt like I was sitting in on other people’s conversations.

But you know what, even if I didn’t find my soul sister there, at least I tried.  I have to say I’m a little disappointed it didn’t go as I hoped, but I’m more proud of myself for going.  And I am even more proud of myself that I haven’t ruled out going again.  So yay for stepping out of your comfort zones – sometimes it doesn’t go as planned or thought, but you still can learn so much from just taking the step.

A Week of Croup

Well, just when I thought that Hand-Foot-Mouth Disease was the worst it could get in toddler illness, my son developed croup.

Croup, which is inflammation of the trachea, is caused by a group of viruses that mascarade as the common cold, but in young children can turn into much more.

You know your child has croup when his or her cough starts sounding like a weird bark.  You may also hear a gasping noise when they cry, talk, exert themselves and in really bad cases at rest.  My son had a fever of around 101 and was fatigued, clingy and had a poor appetite.

My son’s croup started on a Wednesday.  His cough had the trademark bark noise and I knew right away he had croup.  What I didn’t know was what to do.  Do I need to get him to a doctor right away?  Is this something to care for at home?  I just had no idea – and when it comes to your kid breathing, you don’t want to be guessing.

So I called the doctor’s office and talked to a nurse.  She assured me unless he was clearly having difficulty breathing, he was ok and set up an appointment for the next morning.

That night was rough.  He couldn’t sleep – he was wheezing, barking and generally miserable.  Myself or my husband was in the room with him at all times – one because he needed us there for comfort – and two because we needed to hear him breathing in case he started struggling.

The next morning his doctor took one listen to him and immediately said he needed steroids.  He got the one dose steroid treatment and by that afternoon was feeling much better.

But this croup virus was not nice.  It came back over the weekend, sending us to urgent care and getting him on a dose of 3 days of steroids.

Now he’s on day 2 of being off of medicine and feeling just fine.  I’m finally convinced he can go back to school.  I’m terrified of what illness he will bring home next, but its clear that he needs that outlet and needs to have fun.

Oh, and if you thought croup was just a childhood disease, think again.  I’m on day 4 and just now starting to get my voice back.  While I never developed a barking noise, my throat definitely has been very swollen and I’ve felt worse than I have in a long time.  Whenever I get these illnesses several days after my son does, I always am shocked that he did so freakin’ well considering how crappy I feel.  If I was 1, I would not handle feeling that bad as well as he does.  My little man is a trooper!

The google spiral

I have to say, anxiety and google do not mix.

I’ve always had a bit of anxiety.  When I was a kid, it was more of a social anxiety.  As I’ve aged, I’ve learned techniques to deal with social anxiety.  But as I learn to deal with one type of anxiety, another one rears it’s ugly head.  After social anxiety came choosing a career path anxiety, after that came living on my own anxiety, etc. etc. so and so on.

Lately, as I’m settled in my job and my personal life, a new anxiety has popped up.  Anxiety of strange medical conditions.

Let me preface this by saying I am the person who has weird things happen to them – whether personally or medically.

Just as an example, I have a rare food allergy – it’s a dietary nickel allergy.  Yes, I am very allergic to the metal nickel and can not wear jewelry, watches, etc with nickel in it.  And that has turned into a food allergy.  Nickel is a natural compound found in the soil, and so it is absorbed by food that grows in the soil.  Those foods with a naturally high nickel content cause me to have an allergic reaction.  It’s crazy – it’s rare – and I have it.

So when you have a kid, your anxiety naturally raises for the health and wellbeing of your child.  Add that on to an already anxiety-prone personality, and things can get a little out of control.

I’ve been spending a ton of time googling things that I’m worried about with my son.  I won’t go into specifics, because it’s just a worry of mine.  No medical professional has said anything about it – and when I talk to others they don’t agree with me.  So most likely (and hopefully) it’s just my anxious mind.

The other day, I was “multi-tasking” as many people do.  I was cooking some food for my son for the week – which is a lot of boiling frozen veggies – while googling away on the topic of my concern.  While in the throws of my vicious google circle – a plastic slotted spoon had fallen into the flame on my gas stove.  And I was so caught up in my obsession that I didn’t notice until most of the spoon had melted away on the stove, the pot, the pot lid, etc.

I had a mini-breakdown as I was taking all the melted plastic covered kitchen supplies outside to get the fumes/smell out of my home.  I called my husband and lost it.  Not my finest moment at all.

So since then I’ve sworn off google for this topic.  Because really – is google going to help me solve this problem (if it is one)?  Is google going to prevent this from being a problem (if it is?)  No.  Is google going to make me miss out on some precious moments with my son?  Is google going to make my life more chaotic than it needs to be?  Yes.

So from now on, Google is off limits for topics that can send me into a worry-spiral.  It is to be used for research for work, shopping, email and fun items only!


A good start

Right now the little boy is lying in his crib playing with his feet.  I love that view on the monitor!  He’s so happy and content – and flexible!!

After not working out a bit last week, I was determined to start the week of on a better foot.  Well, Monday didn’t happen but it rarely does.  I have a ton of work tasks to do on Monday so really I think of Tuesday as the start of my week.

Tuesday did happen.  Boy did it happen.  I went to my normal group exercise class even though I had a ton on my mind and didn’t really want to go.  But lying in bed Tuesday morning, asking God to give me strength and guidance for the day ahead, for some reason a vision of me doing the speed skater exercise popped into my head.  I don’t know why – but I took that as a sign from at least my subconscious that I need to go exercise that day.  (And no, we did not do any speed skaters)

My mind wandered the whole class – my body was going, but my mind was elsewhere.  And I think that made me work out harder than I normally would have.  Because boy oh boy are my muscles sore today!

So with my mind a little bit clearer today after a 2 hour phone call to my Mom, I decided to do some yoga stretching.  And my muscles did not want to move!  But it was good for them – even as I sit here envying my son’s flexibility I’m happy I went.  While I’m no where near as flexible as I was pre-pregnancy, my muscles are much happier now than they were before.

So all in all a good start to the week.  (Besides the mind clutter that I can’t stop from freaking me out!)

A mother’s instincts

I always, always have thought my mother was overprotective.  I remember as an adult, her wanting to talk to my employer about some difficulties I was having with the company.  I actually had to work pretty hard to stop her from doing it too.

I was in my mid-20’s, and she wanted to talk to my boss.  Yep, that’s my Mom.  Wanting to make sure everything was perfect for her daughter.  Of course, I saw it as being controlling and over-protective.

And then I became a mother.  Really, from the day I found out I was pregnant, all I wanted to do was protect this little baby.  I wanted to make sure he had the best of the best.  I would scour google to see if certain foods were ok to eat during pregnancy.  My gut was wrenching for weeks after I found out that my beloved Chic-fila  lemonade was not pasteurized and posed a small, yet possible risk of listeria to harm my unborn son.  Everything I did was to protect him.

And then he was born and those protection instincts became even stronger.  All I want is for him to be happy and healthy.  I follow him around the house, just a step behind, ready to grab him if he falls while walking.  I cook homemade organic food for him to eat while grabbing processed food for myself.  His needs come before mine.  His safety is my number one priority – and his happiness is my second.

Now I understand my mother’s instincts.  I’m pretty sure I would want to make things better for my son when he’s in his mid-20s – and I would offer to do anything I could to make him happy.



via Daily Prompt: Instinct

Mindful Me

I write blog posts for my job.  Sometimes I write one’s that I really want to post on my personal blog.  Today I wrote one on mindfulness, and it really hit home with me.  More than I thought it would.

Usually in the afternoon, after work, I feed my little one, try to get him to take a nap (which is harder than you’d think) and then either finish up some chores or collapse on the couch and watch a little TV.  Today it was relatively easy to get him down for his nap – yay – and after I finished a couple of chores, I collapsed on the couch to watch some TV.  Fifteen minutes later, 35 minutes into his nap, the cries came.  And it’s never a good thing when your little one wakes up crying!

Usually when the little one wakes up crying from a nap, dread hits me as I picture the rest of the day filled with overtired crankiness.  But today, I took a deep breath, went in his room, picked him up and held him in my arms on the rocker, as I normally do to calm him down.  He immediately fell asleep.  And usually I put him down in the crib pretty quickly after he falls asleep.  9 times out of 10 the second “put down” doesn’t work and he immediately wakes up.  So I decided to just hold him and let him sleep in my arms.

I held him and let him sleep in my arms.  I wasn’t thinking about all the things I could be doing.  I wasn’t thinking about anything but holding my baby.  I looked at his sweet little face as he slept, and felt so blessed to have him.  It was such a special moment.  He’s weeks away from turning 1 – and the time has passed by so fast.  I feel like soon he’ll be a teenager and I’ll long for these moments.  I need to treasure them now, even though at times I don’t.

But today I did.  I held him.



Letting guilt go

guilt free zone

I have a list of to-do’s.  Many of them are things I need to get done in order to make my life less chaotic.  And let’s face it – life can be chaotic.  Things like clean the high chair before the next meal, prepare snacks for the babysitter to feed the child before she gets there, make sure the laundry is done.

Some of them are things that would be nice to get done to make life more pleasant.  Those unfortunately usually fall to the bottom of the list and the chaos-inducing ones.  Things like fold and put away the laundry, prepare snacks for the week ahead of time, and prepare healthy snacks for myself ahead of time.

And then there’s the wish to-do list.  This one is never really written down, but remains in my head as dreams of things I want to-do.  This includes things like go to an extra exercise class (besides the 2 a week I normally go to), bake just to bake, write a blog post, read a book, etc.

These I can say really never get done.  (The exception is today’s blog post writing).  But I want to do these things, so I need to make them happen.

Sometimes life is funny.  We spend our days doing things we really don’t want to do, but need to do, while dreaming about what we want to do.  Wouldn’t it be wonderful if it was the other way around?  Unless you are fortunate enough to have a full time housekeeper, chef, nanny, dog sitter, etc. – this probably isn’t possible.  And even then, I’m sure you are stuck doing things you don’t want to because you have to.  And yes, it’s part of life – doing things you don’t want to.  And that’s fine.  No big deal.

But then there’s finding the time for things you want to do.  That’s where the difficult part comes in.

So, here I am, finding time.  Instead of zoning out in front of the tv after a busy day of work and life, I’m writing.  Because I want to and this is the time I have to do it.

It shouldn’t be so hard to find motivation to do things you want to do.  But sometimes, it is.  And that’s a reality.  There’s all these slogans that say if you really want it, you’ll find a way; and if you don’t, then you’ll find an excuse.  While I do believe there is some truth to this – there is also the truth of being run down, exhausted and used up by the end of the day.

So, no more feeling guilty for not working after the little one goes to sleep and taking time to do something for me.

No more feeling guilty that I haven’t yet cleaned the high chair in preparation for tomorrows breakfast.  Breakfast is 12 hours away.  I can take some time to write.

No more feeling guilty – the guilt can kill the motivation.  So here I am, guiltless, spending a little me time before diving back into life.

Hopefully I can keep up the no guilt train!


Changes and Dreams

I used to pride myself on being able to handle change well – even craving change.  But these past several months have challenged that thought.

I have had a lot of change.  Like, if you ever take one of those life stressor polls, I’d rate pretty darn high.  I actually just took a quiz (the Holmes-Rahe Stress Inventory) and scored well above the high rating and they predict I have an 80% chance of having a major health incidence in the next 2 years.  So…um…

Every little change is now effecting me in a negative way.  For instance, our neighbors moved.  We weren’t close.  I knew their names and would wave if we saw each other – but that’s about it.  But now at night, when I’m washing the baby bottles, I look out our kitchen window and don’t see the familiar view of our neighbor sitting on her couch working on her laptop.  And it makes me sad.  I feel out of control.  And I hate that.


In order to make myself feel more in control over all these out of my hands changes, I tend to dream about my life in the future.  I don’t dream too far in advance, maybe 6 months to 2 years.  And I’m not unrealistic.  I don’t envision myself winning the lottery or moving to France.  I envision real-life possibilities.  And it helps.  It gives me a sense of calm and control, even if the control is just an illusion.

But I don’t tell anyone my future life visions.  I think it’s because I’ve had goals I’ve shared in the past, and didn’t make them, and felt horrible about myself.  It was embarrassing.  So I stopped voicing my dreams.  Which is sad.  I kind of need to voice these, right?  I mean, how can I make my life more of what I want, and make sure my husband and I are both seeing the same, or close to same, things – unless I share these.

It’s hard to find time to talk seriously with him now.  In depth conversations are a thing of the past.  We now talk about poopy diapers, what we can scrounge out of the fridge for dinner, and our deep desire for more sleep.  Nothing serious.  But that’s my goal for the weekend.  To voice my dreams.  I may have to give a dream disclaimer.  Something along the lines of “is this doesn’t happen, it’s OK.”  Give myself a little out in case I change my mind, lose my way, etc.  Maybe that will make the conversation a little easier.

Once I share them with him, I’ll share them with you.  So stay tuned…