Friday, June 20, 2008

I sometimes worry...

Now that the kids are out of school I find myself sometimes worrying about their whereabouts. I only have four kids and two of them are old enough to speak up if they feel they have been forgotten, one is under excellent supervision at her Fit Camp and the baby is usually with me.

The problem is that sometimes I have to stop and think about where they all are because I am afraid if I'm not careful I'll forget one of them somewhere, like the gym's nursery or at Volley Ball practice. I don't want to be looked at as a bad mom, just a little stress every now and then. I'm exercising more, need to sleep more, but I'm eating healthy and staying hydrated. This is all an effort to keep my wiring working well so that I don't ever forget a child.

I think the reason I get comfortable and only reason I would even "forget" my kid is because I trust where they are and the people they are with. (I am one of those moms who checks the car just in case a kid slipped in on a trip uninvited) When I go to the gym, the baby runs to the arms of his young care provider and spends about 2 ours playing and having a great time while I work. My 6 year old forgets I'm in the room when I drop her off at FitCamp, which happens to be in the same building where I work. The teens--well they would like it if I dropped them off a few blocks away and if I chose to forget where they are, that would just be a huge plus.

As moms with busy lives we do the best we can, we give them love, a safe environment, and still manage to bring everyone home at the end of the day, even if for a fleeting moment we snap our heads back to make sure our kids are all present and accounted for and buckled in their seats. Usually that snapping motion is welcomed by four bright and beautiful smiles-- one of which will smartly say "We're all here mom!"

They grow so fast!

Monday, June 16, 2008

My idea of heaven!

I forgot I created this little video on RockYou literally 2 days after the baby was born and 1 day before my husband was leaving for Iraq. It was so bitter sweet but I did what I had to do. Had the baby, baptized him, and with the help of my older kids, we had an awesome Thanksgiving Dinner on November 18th--the next day, at 6:00 am, he left. I felt so lonely even in the company of my kids. Soon that faded as I had to be strong for all the kids, but particularly for this little bundle of joy who needed me.

The husband is now back, the baby is 19 months, still I feel that same bitter-sweet feeling I felt the day we took these pictures and created this slide show.

I love that we're back together again. This is heaven!

Saturday, June 14, 2008

photo by BennyPix

WOW I made it outdoors today. All the kids are sleeping and I get to enjoy my morning with my coffee, laptop, and some books I need to study. I'm currently reading about Hinduism in my World Religion class. This is such interesting material and I wish I could speak to someone who practices this religion to get a better understanding. I love learning and understanding other cultures. Really understanding their rituals and beliefs and how those compare to my own. We are still discussing our understanding of this religion in class so if anyone out there practices Hinduism and wouldn't mind being interviewed by me, please leave me a message.

On the other hand, I have been enjoying watching my fruitful garden produce something I can eat this summer. I'm really excited. The squash plants have lots of flowers, the watermelon is moving a little slower but I see flowers there too. Lots of tomatoes and grapes. This is so cool! I love it! It has been so hot in this area, well I guess the weather has bee very crazy everywhere. The lack of rain in my region is killing off the grass and the flowers. We try to use water from the kiddy pool or the dehumidifier to water the garden and that's working so far.

As for my 30 day challenge--things are running smoothly and everyone is doing a great job at staying on top of things or at least recognizing when we fail and need to readjust. I am so sore today from working out this past week but it's a good kind of pain. The kind that tells me I worked hard so I'm OK with all that. I do hope others will join us in this challenge and bring some of their ideas to the table. Everyone benefits--what's that saying TEAM: Together Everyone Accomplishes More. I like that. So join us if you feel you need a little push, a little motivation or if you just want to challenge yourself to reach a specific goal.

Right now, this very moment, all I hear are the birds chirping--someone must have filled their bird feeders because they sound pretty happy; the wind chime at my ear and nothing else--even if it only last a few minutes I have to say that I really do enjoy the days when I can get out and enjoy nature--even if only for a little bit. This makes me happy!

"In all things of nature there is something of the marvelous.
" -- Aristotle

Sunday, June 8, 2008

My's growing!

Right now, this very moment , nothing is more satisfying than the fact that something I planted is growing in my garden. I'm so excited. You have to understand, I'm not a gardener, I love to do it but things don't always workout. This year I made a commitment to getting something out this little patch in my back yard and here are the results so far:


Tiger Lilies
I wont take credit for the tiger lilies, they grow every year on their own but I take credit for watering and caring for them...they are just so beautiful and bright.

(not really sure what type but soon I'll know)




I also have watermelon, spinach and carrots growing--if could eat just one of each at least, that would make me feel like I accomplished something in this garden. For now I have to care for my infant goodies as they grow and mature into a delicious meal. Very exciting!

(Photos taken with a Canon PowerShot S2IS 5.0 Mega Pixels by me)

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Trying something new...30 Day challenge

When early morning doesn't work, one must adapt and overcome, or work at night. It has been an exhausting week for me. The baby was sick, my summer semester started off with a lot of reading to be done, and I'm still trying to maintain some level of sanity through my physical activity.

This month I decided to join my friend Nancy from CR8 Health and Fitness in a 30 Day Challenge. It is always fun to join others in a new project, to be accountable to someone other than yourself. In my case it's not so much the motivation but the desire to not let my mental state dictate whether or not I will exercise. I already know that when I do exercise I feel better, sometimes it's a matter of getting out the door.

Thankfully for me, my job as a fitness trainer sort of forces me to exercises and be motivated a few days a week, however on days when I don't teach I must work a little harder to get myself to the gym and work just as hard as when I do teach.

This challenge is about starting something new or reaching new heights in physical fitness or reaching goals that have been lingering for too long. After all, I can only claim that I'm holding on to some baby weight for so long--he's 19 months old and one of my goals is to loose the extra "baby weight" and tone my core muscles, my powerhouse. I'm not trying to get a six pack, just trim enough so I don't look like I'm carrying a keg. :-) My other lingering goal is to run a 5K. I ran in high school and again when I was in the military and I enjoyed it but then we ran in formation. This will be a huge accomplishment in my book of goals.

If you're feeling down and out and needing the extra moral, personal, professional and emotional support, or if you want to be a part of those who give the support, join me and Nancy on the 30 Day Challenge-- starting Monday, June 9th!

See you there.

(photo by thefiminator)

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

College education...for mom!

Many, many, many years ago I decided to go back to school and get my college degree. This decision goes back to before I had kids (my oldest is now 17) so you do the math. Anyway, it seems like its taking a lifetime to get this degree but then what else have I got to do...have children, raise children, move around the country, pack and unpack the entire house, work, stay in shape..nothing to do, might as well go back to school.

I figured I could at least take classes since getting a good job was proving to be nearly impossible. It seems that moving every 18 to 24 months was not enough time to get that awesome job. Plus I really wanted to stay home with my kids for a little more than just six weeks after birth this time. Anyway, I went back to school taking one course here, one there, skipping semesters to have my kids and going back when I could. For a while my job paid for my education, when that ended because of another military move, I had to resort to my own cash, financial aid, etc. I, however, did not want to give up on my dream so I kept going and doing what I could to take classes.

Well now I am down to the last classes, most of which are electives. I have been a part time student at the University of Maryland University College for a while and I am really enjoying this online schooling thing, except for the mountains of reading I have to do, much more than live classes. I don't have a choice, I have to go online so I sacrifice some sleep time and take advantage of nap times to get my reading and my work done. So far I'm doing pretty good.

My major is in Social Studies with a minor in Humanities. Unlike most who get this degree and go to work as a social worker or counselor, I am not leaning in that direction. I'm still leaning towards the health and fitness industry. I love teaching people about fitness, nutrition, wellness which is why I am an AFAA certified trainer. I do love watching the faces of those who experience the benefit of a good workout.

The Spring semester is now over and I somehow I was able to get a B in both my Gerontology and Linguistic Anthropology classes. Now I'm in the second week of the summer semester taking another Humanities class called "The Religious Quest: Cross Cultural Explorations of Human Beliefs." So far it is a very interesting class but requires a lot of reading. I just hope I can keep up with the reading and the written reports they demand in a compressed class.

I can see what I'll be doing in my early mornings--reading, reading, reading!!!

Monday, June 2, 2008

Over packaging causes stress

You ever buy stuff that comes in that thick plastic packaging you could never get open without first hurting yourself? Grrr! That is so frustrating. I bought a 2-pack of sippy cups for the baby. His old ones were falling apart and he is growing so I thought, hey, while I'm out I'll just pick up some new cups. Well, it just happens that I was out longer than expected without a drink or snack for the child so I figured, hey why not use the new cups. We stopped at my least favorite place, McDonalds (or any fast food restaurant for that matter) to wash the cups with warm water and fill them up with either apple juice or milk.

But first I had to get through the plastic wrapper surrounding the cups. Initially I thought the cardboard across the top was holding the plastic together, so I removed that, it was a chore. Then I was met by the toughest darn plastic wrapper ever. I sat in the parking lot of this dreaded place for about 15 minutes trying to use my keys, the tiny kid scissors in my daughters to-go play box, a pen...nothing was working for me today. I was about ready to toss the whole thing in the nearest dumpster and call it a day. I'm sure to the innocent onlookers I must have appeared a bit wacky. They probably did an about face when the saw me coming and ran the other way.

I finally dug my teeth into a little corner and ripped a hole which I was able to expand with my hands. I ended up with a few minor scratches, more stress then I cared to deal with, whiny kids in the back and by now I needed more than just a clear drink, a stiff drink would have been more calming. Of course, it's just McDonalds and it was three in the afternoon and I was driving so I had to settle for a diet coke--it wasn't very good but the ice helped to cool me off. The kids each got their iced apple juice and all was well.

I have a problem with packaging that can not be manipulated because I'm sure this garbage will sit in our landfill for eons. I mean, we're talking about 2 hard sippy cups which will be thrown everywhere so they need to be and are hardy, why the over protection. On the other hand, you can buy a light bulb packaged in a thin, flimsy, cardboard cube...nothing to it. Makes no sense to me.

I think many of the companies out there that love to over protect the things we buy with excess packaging should consider helping to protect the environment by reducing the amount of hard plastic they use and/or using recycled and recyclable material. I guess in the mean time I'll have to keep a pair scissors in the car for future use or better yet, I'll just avoid buying over packaged things if at all possible. One can at last try, right?!