15 July 2014

I Pick Things Up and Put Them Down

After over a year of just messing around with weights in the gym with no real focus, I have started a lifting program!

I had been wanting to do one for a while, after B said I had "eff-around-itis" when it comes to the weight room (although he used a much less-PC term). So I finally kicked my butt into gear. I wanted one designed for women, so I got the book New Rules of Lifting for Women by Lou Schuler, and read it cover-to-cover before doing anything.
Did I get this from the public library? Mayyyybeeee
I started day 1 and screwed myself over (started too heavy, crazy DOMS), so I decided to wait until after our vacation was over and start again. I did Day 1 last Wednesday, and I have been sticking with it.

So far, I'm really liking this program. It's a 6-month program with different stages and a Workout A and Workout B in each stage. I like variety! There's also a good variety in the workouts themselves--barbells, cable stations, dumbbells, and even the Swiss ball. You have to keep a workout log each time you go to the gym, and now I have them in a handy-dandy binder for reference.

Here was my starting point from each of the first 2 workouts:
Squat: 24-lb body bar
Deadlift: 40 lbs

Seated row: #5 (I think it's 25 lbs?)
Lat pulldown: #5 (25 again?)

Step-up: 10lb dumbbell (20 lbs total)
Shoulder press: 10lb dumbbell (20lbs total)
Lunge: 10lb dumbbell (20lbs total)

Yes, the weights are LOW (for me, I have actually done much higher just doing a few reps), but that's how it is designed. The first few workouts are high reps at lower weights, then you gradually move the opposite direction for higher weights and lower reps.

I'm excited about this. After 3 workouts, I already feel stronger and more confident. Sometimes just having a clear sense of direction can do that for me. Since you're wondering, yes, I am still running! I have a 5K this weekend, actually. Stage 2 of this weight program starts including cardio interval training, and I'm definitely hoping that will help my 5K times.

Any other lifters out there? I'd love to hear if you ever did a set program like this!

10 July 2014

2014 Resolutions Check-In

We're past the halfway point of the year. Hooray?! Again, I'm not one to think that time is passing too quickly/slowly, so insert your own comment here.

Here is an update on my resolution list 2014, and relevant comments:

1. Organize the basement. Make it functional. Make it awesome.
Not quite awesome yet, but it is functional now!

Here are some before pics. This place was a mess!

And now for some after:
Still need to do something or get rid of the blinds on the right

Decided to set up the table instead of letting it fall on someone.
I still have a few things to do down there, like get some pictures up on the wall. Buy a new shelf for games and books. So far, so good, though.

2. Start a toy rotation for Cora. Maybe once a month swap stuff out.
Being doing this on and off. We have 3 sets of toys, and a reminder in my phone goes off during her nap every other Monday. Sometimes I ignore it. The truth is that she mostly plays with the stuff we leave out all the time (toy kitchen and tea set, Lego duplos, books from the library). But when I change stuff out, she notices eventually. I should probably just sell/donate at least half of it at this point.
The other toys in a corner of the basement. She does like to play with them when she's down there!
Also, the fish painting will be going on the wall.
3. Re-start Weekly Family Meetings!
Ugh, we were doing so well until recently. B joined a sports league that has games on Mondays, which was our meeting night. We just moved them to Wednesdays, but sometimes I go to a running club that night. We do like to do it while we give Cora a bath. All of us in the bathroom together. And Cora loves us reading from her kids' bible.

I just started a weekly chore chart now that B is home with me, so maybe we should just move it to Sunday night so we revise our chart as part of the meeting?

4. Potty train Cora. Goal is to be daytime-trained around age 2, no later than 27 months. 
She's now in undies all day except for naps and night (started right around 27 months!). But this child is a holder and refuses to use a public toilet. It was really bad on vacation--once or twice she held it for more than 12 hours. She often goes only twice a day and then in a diaper at night. She is self-initiating, though (finally!), so I'm gonna go ahead and say she is day-time trained!

5. Use time outs for Cora. She still doesn't quite understand it and won't sit in the chair.
Still working on this. She knows what it is and talks about it and sometimes puts herself in time-out for no reason. But when we give an actual timeout? I have to hold her down sometimes. And then she laughs. And then she kicks the wall. Then she laughs some more. I don't think she gets it. Anyone have tips for this? Should I use the high chair and face it toward the wall? Or is she too old for that?

6. Conquer Cora's picky eating.
We've had a few small short-lived breakthroughs, but we definitely can see that only serving her what's on the table is our best shot at this. Now we just need to follow through with it. She eats oatmeal and drinks milk at breakfast, and I like that but not her other meals. I just don't even know with this. I have to bring food to restaurants because she literally will not eat anything on the menu, not even your typical 'toddler food' like mac & cheese or hot dogs.
We went to Waffle House on our vacation, and all she ate was ketchup. (And yes, she just scrapes it off of whatever you put it on. No trickery gets by her.) She drank her milk, though.
7. Get new passport. This has been on my long to-do list for a while.
Has not happened. I currently cannot leave the country. Time to get the wheels a-movin'.

8. Make a home management binder. 
I've started a file on my computer, and as of now it has less than 10 documents in it (including blank chore chart, blank menu plan, doctor info, etc.). It's a start!

9. Keep up with the budget on YNAB. And in effect, tithe more.
I don't reconcile accounts as much as I should, but I'm doing quite well with this. I wish I could get my husband on-board with using the app and inputting purchases right after he makes them, but he won't do it. I do about 80% of the shopping, and he knows to give me receipts, so we're making it work. As for the second part, we have been tithing about 20% more this year. We're still tithing even through this period of unemployment, thanks to YNAB's way of budgeting for a month ahead.

10. Read 7 books. And actually finish them. I was really bad in 2013 in regards to reading about 80% of a book and then not finishing it. It kinda drives me nuts when I think about it. (Most of the books are back on the library shelves, so it's not like I'll be finishing them tonight.)
  1. Unplanned by Abby Johnson
  2. Pope Awesome by Cari Donaldson
  3. Girl At the End of the World by Elizabeth Esther
  4. Strange Gods by Elizabeth Scalia
  5. Something Other Than God by Jennifer Fulwiler
  6. New Rules of Lifting for Women by Lou Schuler (my first textbook-style read this year, and it went pretty quickly)
  7. Saint John Paul the Great: His Five Loves by Jason Evert
Joining a book club has definitely helped with this one, so I'm upping my goal to 12 now.

11. Learn 5 new dinner recipes.
  1. Sweet & Sour Meatballs in the crockpot (we love these!)
  2. ATK Cooking School Hearty Vegetable Lasagna (this was a "labor of love" and was way too involved)
  3. Gouda/Cheddar Mac n' Cheese (from Betty Crocker)
Shredding the cheese for the best macaroni ever
B has been learning some recipes from our ATK Cooking School book, too. I hope he makes the pasta with the fried egg on it again. Yum!

12. Get pregnant. (!!) And pray I don't have another miscarriage, will ya? Because that sucked.
I gave blood back on June 3rd, and you cannot do that while pregnant. I also drank way too much at a wedding on July 5th. You do the math.

13. Make 2 friends in this town. Like, actual friends that give me their phone numbers and call me to hang out.
I haz a running buddy! And went to the zoo with a different friend and her kids. (She invited us!) I have also brought meals to 2 friends who had babies. Feels good, man.

14. Run 2 races. Setting the bar low because I'm not sure how much I'll be able do if #12 happens (see: bad knee).
Ditched the knee brace this spring, and I've already done 3!
  1. 5-Kilt
  2. Frontier Run n' Fun
  3. Nun Run

I just signed up for another one in July (and will hopefully be there with aforementioned running buddy!) and will be doing the one our church puts on in August.

Overall, I'd say it's good progress with my resolutions! Some of the Cora ones are slow-going, but when you think about it, I made goals for her, but I can't control everything about her so we can only expect so much here.

20 June 2014

7QT: Big-Girl Beds, Toddler Hugs, Wine Cake

Actually hosted at Team Whitaker today.

My husband B is on his annual 2-weeker with the Navy Reserves. It came up suddenly at his drill weekend, and within a week he was on a plane to Naples, Italy.
Airport hugs: Cora has never been away from her Daddy for this long.
She also has now hit the age where she understands he's gone. So that's new.

That means Cora and I will be driving to Georgia by ourselves next week, and B will be meeting us a few days into the trip. (He'll miss one baptism but make it in time for a wedding.) I've done a 2-day drive by myself with her before, so hopefully it will go as well as it did last time. She's a good car traveler, no fancy gadgetry required.

Cora got to spend a couple days without us last week. She and her Grandma were basically joined at the hip for 4 days, and then 2 days after she returned, her daddy left. All that means is I have a child on my hands that has regressed with potty-training, is pushing all my buttons and throwing fits about everything and nothing. Typical toddler? Probably.

She also had 2 nosebleeds Monday morning that I got the joy of cleaning up.

Speaking of nosebleeds, I took a picture of her aftermath on my phone. I had forgotten that we had put Dropbox on B's phone in addition to mine, and he set it so that any picture taken automatically backs up into the cloud. When we got to talk to each other Monday night, B mentioned that he'd already seen a picture on his phone of our kid covered in blood. At least she was smiling!

I refuse to put that picture up anywhere online, so here is a picture of a cake I made for B's grandma this past weekend:
Still working on my icing penmanship, but I was going for the French Script typeface

We had some Navy friends come stay with us on Wednesday! They're moving across the country (CT to WA, we knew each other way back in our VA days), and Cora and I provided a free place to stay and a hot meal. We hadn't seen each other since I was pregnant with Cora (during another one of their moves), and they have added a #3 since then. All of our girls had a blast together! It was crazy noisy in here. And two minutes after they left, it was strangely quiet.

They were towing their van stuffed to the brim with belongings. So smart!

We took the front rail off Cora's crib when she returned from Grandma & Grandpa's house. She did well with it until B left. We had a few rough nights, but now I think she gets the idea. I had started writing this earlier today and was going to comment how she has slept in the bed every time. I knew it was too soon.

After crying, screaming, getting Mommy to re-tuck her in for over an hour, and finally throwing her blankets over the gate, this was her nap today:
I have zero mommy guilt about gating her in there, since you were wondering.

B's Mt. Vesuvius selfie:

(Don't be too jealous, he's working 12-14 hour shifts every day, and this was taken while still on the base. The last time we Skyped, he was yawning after every sentence.)

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