5 for Friday

Hi there!  It’s finally here!  Last day of summer vacation!  I truly feel that summer has been satisfying.  Last summer was a lot about work with the moving process, but this summer the theme was FUN!  The Mr. told me the other day that he got zero projects done that he had planned for the house this summer.  I’m pretty sure I was a bad influence in this department.  🙂

We are thrilled to have the Mr. off with us today.  A dentist appointment is on the agenda for H today.  However, I’m sure we’re head on to more exciting things as the day progresses.  Here are five things on my mind this week…

{ONE}

New mattress – We are loving our new mattress!  I was a little concerned that the mattress was too firm, but I think we’ve both adjusted to it.  H loved having the old mattress in the den for about 3 days.  He used it to jump his heart out!

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Have you ever seen anything cuter?!?!?

{TWO}

Multitasking v. Monotasking – We all know about multitasking.  We say things like – Women are good at it.  Men aren’t.  I have to multitask all the time in my professional and personal life.  I’m a master at doing a million things at once.  I escaped to Barnes & Noble for a bit of tabloid magazine reading when H was at his summer camp time.  I did feel slightly bad about reading 3 of these priceless works of fiction, so I grabbed a couple yoga/healthy living magazines as well.  One magazine had lots of interesting articles like the one below…

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The article was basically saying that we are spreading ourselves so thin that we aren’t allowing for awareness of our current spot in life (even if that happens to be washing dishes or driving to work on the route you’ve taken for 25 years).  The article continued by saying that greater awareness can bring greater joy where we might least expect it (again think dirty dishes, boring old road).  I am admittedly a multitasker.  As a mom and teacher, I am probably doing several things at once like driving, talking on the phone and also having a broken conversation with my child.  Perhaps I’m grading a paper, watching the class work, and talking with a student.  It makes me a little dizzy thinking about it.  Since reading the article, I’ve been trying to reduce my level of multitasking.  Case in point:  turning the radio off while driving…just drive-no radio switching, checking phone (only at a light, people), talking on phone…gosh, maybe that phone is the real issue!  I did the dishes the other night like I actually liked doing them…isn’t that a weird concept?  I took my time – no rushing, no hurried hit-or-miss job with the kitchen clean-up.  It was actually kind of nice.  Who knows?  Maybe I’ll monotask a little at work too and get really crazy.  Here are 12 myths that Health magazine shared associated with multitasking.  

{THREE}

Calling/Seeing/Generally Stalking the Mr. – I’m bummed to give up my stalker day job for this teaching thing.  H and I really enjoyed all the extra time with the Mr.  We’ve met him for a couple picnic lunches.  He’s come home for lunch a few times.  We’ve visited him randomly.  We call him throughout the day.  Basically, we are groupies.  Yesterday’s Example:  Cooked pancakes so he would be forced to go to work later and have breakfast with us, Met him at the bank for some business matters (and hung out there for 40ish minutes due to bank computer issues), AND Called him to catch up at lunch time.  🙂  Unfortunately, I’m way busy during the school day.  I’ll have to restructure my call time to 3:30 and give up midday meetings until next summer.

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Waiting for Daddy at the fountain…

{FOUR}

Meal Planning – Although I didn’t totally throw in the towel with this, I did take a more relaxed approach this summer.  It’s no big deal if I don’t have things planned out!  I can stop by the store leisurely and pick up milk, fruits/veggies/etc.  I can worry about prep in the afternoon when I’m already at home for H’s rest time.  Well friends, those days have ended.  It’s time to make a more concrete plan about what’s cooking (M-F).  I did a little research about Americans’ eaten habits and was once again saddened.  These two facts were particularly sad to me.

20% of all American meals are eaten in the car.

Americans spend 10% of their disposable income on fast food every year.

Although I don’t think 20% of anyone’s meals should be consumed in a car.  I do really feel for the kids.  How can we expect them to make healthy choices and enjoy eating them if they’re gobbling up fast food on the go?  As with many things with parenting, you have to be the role model, set the example, practice what you preach.  You can read all the frightening facts here.  P.S.  I did check the sources, and they seem to be reputable.

Here’s my first-week-back’s plan:

Monday – Asian Lettuce Cups with sides of rice and steamed carrots

Tuesday – Southwestern Chopped Salad with Cilantro Lime Dressing (H will probably skip the greens, but that’s okay! – P.S.  DO NOT put two cloves of garlic in here.  Only a teeny tiny smidge.  MEAT FREE NIGHT!  The Mr. LOVES that.  🙂

Wednesday – Burgers with Grilled Summer Veggies (one ear of corn, zucchini, etc.)

Thursday – Spinach Lasagna Rolls with salad (MEAT FREE AGAIN!)

Friday – Homemade Chicken Nuggets with baked fries and broccoli

Okay, now I’m hungry!  Check out this delicious dessert I found on my magazine perusal…

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{FIVE}

H’s Teacher/New Preschool – I’m so looking forward to meeting H’s new teacher.  We have her name and his room assignment {Wow!  He has a room number!  So official!}.  Next week, I’m planning to go on the Parent Meet Night (the Mr. will be at home with H – no kiddos allowed).  Then, the Mr. will take H the following day to meet her and see his classroom.  I am confident that it is going to be a great year!  However, you better believe I’ve already started praying for this woman and whoever her assistant is.  It is so important to have great people with your little one each and every day!  No one is like a mommy exactly, but a loving, motivating teacher is a treasure.  That is what I hope for H, and that is what I’ll try to be this school year!  After all, my Spider-Man needs lots of opportunities to grow and learn.  I’m quite sure he’s got big things to tackle in the future.

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Reading away!

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Ready for action!

Any final summer plans that you are looking forward to?

What foods do you start to crave when September gets here?

Quitting Chocolate

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Oh you addictive thing, chocolate!  See its interesting history here!

I confess that I’m addicted to chocolate.  I like it after every meal.  Shoot, I even like it as a mid-afternoon snack.  It’s time to face facts.  I eat too much chocolate.  I’ve even been known to eat the not-so-desirable candy bar milk chocolate crap that doesn’t even taste like chocolate.  With that being said, it’s time to get a grip.  I had planned to give up chocolate for Lent this year, but Lent is another month away.  I am in a dire situation with serious steps needed.  I turned to my ever-ready friend, you know Google, right?  Googled on up some tips on how to break the chocolate addiction.  I absolutely love how hilarious and dry-humor this Wiki step by step how-to article is.  It is seriously worth a look for a chuckle or two.  According to this article, there are a few steps to follow…

  1. Identify the symptoms. – I feel I need it to “end” a meal.
  2. Why is my chocolate addiction a problem in my life? – Well, I really should just be eating more nutrient-dense food.  It is satisfying only in the immediate arena.  It isn’t feeling, and I usually feel guilty for over-indulging.  Bummer, I know.  Also, I do have headaches occasionally.  From previous experiences with migraines as a teen, I know that chocolate is a trigger.  You would think that would teach me not to eat it, right?  Wrong!  The brown stuff is powerful!  Another issue is that I buy it and then eat some a throw away the rest of it to keep from inhaling it.  Crazy!  Not to mention a waste of money.  The Mr. is like “Where did the chocolate go again???”
  3. Identify the cause. – My biggest cause is being tired or feeling as if I “deserve” a treat.  This is typically after lunch or after dinner.  My plan after dinner is to make a cup of tea to sip while I wash up the dishes. 
  4. Solve the root problem. – I’m NOT going to buy chocolate to keep at home.  Treats will only be out.  To fix my after lunch back to work transition, I’m going to pop some gum and take five minutes or so to scan news headlines.  I always feel like I don’t know what’s going on in the word, so this might be the perfect time to take a quick glance before my lunch time is over.  
  5. Know what to expect as you minimize your chocolate intake. – Just expect to feel icky!  
  6. Be careful not to substitute chocolate for something else unhealthy. – Lots of healthy foods!  Proteins and fruits!
  7. Sort myths from realities when it comes to health benefits of chocolate. – See article here.

So…Wish me luck!  Here’s to breaking the cycle! 

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Why I bother.

Why commit to a work-out program?  Why try to rustle up a nutritious snack?  Why get up early just to sweat buckets?  Why make dinner (AGAIN) with fresh foods?  Why pay that monthly gym membership?  Why leave your sweet baby for an hour and a half?

 

Here’s why…

1)  A good work-out has the power to dramatically change my mood and general outlook on life.  The Mayo Clinic stated that exercise is helpful for those who suffer from depression and/or anxiety.  

 

2)  Healthy food sits better on my stomach than unhealthy foods.  For years, I suffered from stomach cramps, nausea, plus a bunch of other not-so-pleasant stomach conditions.  I would sometimes end up doubled over in pain.  These episodes would last hours (time for the yuck food to digest).  I remember having to leave items in the check-out line at Wal-Mart, because I couldn’t stand upright anymore.  

 

3)  I feel strong after I eat healthy food and have a good work-out.  Example:  My roommate and I were moving a loveseat into our 3rd floor dorm room.  I had no problem whatsoever lifting and carrying it.  This was the first time that I realized what my exercising had done…created a stronger body to help me go through life’s everyday events.

 

4)  My weight doesn’t fluctuate too much, so I am able to wear all of my wardrobe whenever I want.  I don’t have skinny day pants or fat day pants.  I just have pants!  This is also good for the wallet since I do not have to purchase a new wardrobe for my weight going up and down.

 

5)  I love planning and going on adventure vacations.  Kayaking, Snorkeling, Climbing, Parasailing, Mountain Biking, plus all sorts of water sports ~ You can really enjoy these with a strong body!  

 

6)  I had a relatively “easy” pregnancy and labor/delivery.  Now, I know that some pregnancy and deliveries can be challenging no matter what physical shape you are in.  However, I strongly believe that nutrition and fitness played a role in my personal experience.  I trained for that pregnancy and delivery like I was competing for a medal.  No lie.  I would be running early on in the first trimester, and I would feel a little whinny and like stopping.  I would tell myself “Do you really think you’re going to be able to stop during delivery?”  Little crazy but it worked.  

 

7)  I work out my arms intensely to prove my gymnastics teacher wrong.  He told my mom (with me standing right there) that I should probably not attend any more classes since I had “spaghetti noodle arms” and really no hope of doing well in the sport.  Now, this is the kicker.  I was like 5 years old!  My arm muscles are the ones that I work extra hard each work-out just to rub it in his face (figuratively of course!).

 

8)  “Sweat is the fountain of youth.”  -A coworker

 

9) Healthy foods give me the energy I need to make better choices throughout my day including treating myself and my family in a loving manner.  Don’t tell me that after you eat 2 donuts you feel very at peace and pleased with your life and your choices.  Eat some fruit, yogurt, and drink a tall glass of water.  Feeling better already!

 

10)  I work-out and eat healthy to do my part to live a long, healthy, active life with the amazing family that I am blessed with.  Can I get an AMEN?!

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My loves and Me