The Workout (80's Style:)

Ok I am NO expert, do this at your own risk, that is my disclosure. I also SO SO SO DO NOT have a Pinterest bikini body so I won't guarantee results either.  BUT this is hard, and it has helped me lose a lot of poundage and get stronger than I have since a long enough time ago that I can't even remember.

Also, when I started this on January 2nd, I could hardly do a thing.  By that I mean not ONE boy push-up, maybe 3 girl ones. EVERYTHING was hard, really difficult. I started with lighter weights (maybe 10 pounds?) and worked up to 15 pounds.  I was in the worst shape I've ever been in when I started this, and never thought I'd be where I am now. I am glad I persevered and didn't give up. Sometimes for lunges I didn't use weights at all. The good thing was I never was too sore, and I swear it was Whole30, and the water I was drinking and the healthy food.  I have been really amazed at how my body has become stronger.

I have never liked gyms (too much time, feel awkward working out in public, having to leave kids). I am a firm believer in doing whatever exercise you love. If it's running, taking exercise classes, etc...it won't work if you hate it or it makes you stressed or it doesn't work with whatever season of life you are in. The sunmer before I was married, I was living with my parents and did a Cindy Crawford VHS tape every day when I came home from work-that is such a fond memory of mine, I don't know why, but it just was so nice to be home one last time and I was determined to feel good on my honeymoon.  After that I would sometimes do The Firm (the one with the yellow leotard and leg warmers). I don't really like watching exercise tapes-especially after I had kids, because it was constant pausing, or not going fast enough for me, or a few parts I wanted to skip (the jogging in place in The Firm.)  So I would memorize my favorite exercises and just do my own routine. After I had four kids, I stopped almost all exercise all together because I just couldn't work it in. In fact probably in the 21 years I've been a mom I've been consistent with exercise in super short bursts that could amount to maybe a couple years.  If that isn't proof that I have no business posting exercise routines on my blog I don't know what is.

That is what I do now. I listen to music and sometimes "Abbey Downtown" (Janey-speak).  Janey plays with toys in the basement but most often just jumps on the sofa the entire time. For me afternoon workouts always work best. Mornings I like to get all my duties finished. I get ready for the day in the morning, and then I keep my workout clothes in my workout area, change, and then change back when I am finished. I don't sweat much so I'm ok with that, and it's a major time saver.

I try to get through leg days in about an hour, and arm days in a little less (I do not rush, I'm sure others can go faster!)

Right now I alternate legs and arms, abs everyday.  So M W F legs. TR(S if I can) arms. I might change as I need to switch something out for a yoga day.

I use 15 pound weights, and I worked up slowly, sometimes even switching back to lighter weights on days when I feel like it.  When I change weights, I start with 8 reps and then work up to 12, and the change to a heavier weight.  In my mind I divide this routine into little sections, which helps me get through it.


First Section-Squats and Lunges-get the torture over first.

- One set of regular lunges 8-12 reps.


-This squat routine...all of them in a row-8-12 reps EACH.
 Repeat both lunges and all squats three times.

After that is finished I do:
-Side lunges without weights 10 reps.
-Squats with exercise ball in between my lower back and wall-these are really low squats 10 reps.
Repeat three times.

Floor work with ankle weights:

Now I put three ankle weights on each leg(started with one, worked up):

Using a 20 pound weight, I rest on my knee in addition to ankle weights, I do these:
Image result for floor work legs laying on side knees bent

I do 20, then do 10 touching my knee to front and kick back to a straight leg, and then 10 more holding my leg straight behind me.
I alternate that with laying on my back, legs straight up, opening and closing, 30.

Repeat three times.

Then these (with ankle weights), 20 each leg, then alternate with-
Image result for leg work floor fire hydrant

-glute kick backs, 20.
Image result for glute kickbacks
Repeat three times.

I then stand up and do 60 each kickbacks, just tiny ones, standing up right.

Take off ankle weights.

Floor work with resistance band:

This is the kind of band I use, it's medium resistance. Bought it at Meijer for about ten dollars. These are small movements, I put the band about around my ankle.

Leg's straight:
Laying on back, V's with band, 50.
Image result for leg exercises on back opening and closing
Leg lifts (alternating legs) semi-reclined, on back, legs straight, lift one leg up and down, the other leg stays still, 50.

Lay on side, leg lifts like above, 50 each side.
Repeat 3 times.

Stand up, legs straight, band on, pulse leg 50 to front, 50 to side, 50 to back.
Repeat 3 times.

This can be as hard or easy as you want it to be depending on how much your stretch band. (Sometimes I can only do 30 reps if I am pushing hard.)

Image result for butt exercises
With 20 pound weight resting on top of thighs.
100 reps.

And these:
Image result for inner thigh floor work with weights
Weight resting on inner thigh, 50 each leg.

And these:

3 sets of 10.

Arms is almost this exactly, again 3 sets, working up poundage. In place of bench I use the ball.
I also do 3 sets of 10 push-ups.
Gym Arm Workout:

Stomach, I do everyday.  I do 100 reps of these three things, but I usually take a quick breather in between each 20 just to stop the burning.

100 sit ups on exercise ball.
Image result for abs lower exercisesImage result for abs leg raises

100 leg lifts squeezing a ball (just one of those play balls in the toy dept) right above my ankles. I do 20 normal leg lifts, then alternate the next 20 with leg lifts, but also bring ball down to floor and back with straight legs.

100 twisting bicycles.

Planks-I either try to do one for as long as possible, or hold one for 60 seconds, take a break, do again about 5 times.   I printed out a plank challenge from Pinterest at first to push myself when I first started out.


Ordinary Days

I have taken to writing an "agenda" every week to make sense of the busy spring season.

Andrew was "Ed" (a wart hog) in The Lion King Jr. He was hilarious!  The funny thing with Andrew is that he is SO self-sufficient he just goes about his business. So I had no idea what to expect. He had no lines but a funny laugh throughout and cracked everyone up.  It was such a great play-a lot of work for all involved.  The kids really really worked hard also-he had play practice every night before soccer practice and then would come home and do homework.  But he thrives on this, he really does. He's one of the kids who "busier is better" rings true.

Janey didn't quite like him so much with that make up on.

In the thick of soccer season!

Matt turned SEVENTEEN.  Oh wow.  He is having a party tomorrow, but on his real birthday we celebrated by going to his favorite restaurant and I made him an angel food cake with whipped cream and strawberry topping (it's that easy-blend some cut up strawberries with whipped cream and "frosting" the cake.)  He asked for a nice camera and I found a great deal on Ebay. He is a budding photographer so I know he will use it-and I get my camera to myself once again.

Finally I replaced the beautiful pink crab tree in our front yard that the kids were so mad at me for cutting down-it was so dead, only one branch had leaves, and I just had to with the promise I would find the exact same kind and replace it. Two years later I finally did!

Here's the old one-so pretty.  I hate thinking of how old I will be and the kid too when the new one is grown. Barf, hopefully time will just stand still. 

Our front door mat. A geranium picked for me by Janey and a nerf gun bullet. I love it.

I know, she looks HUGE

My sister sent me this photo of me after I sent her the one of Janey. I LOVED that uniform. Janey pointed to the knee socks and said, "What are those?"

The electric company comes by once every few years and just does a terrible number on any of the trees by their lines-they destroy them. This one ended up with only 2 little branches left so basically for a couple years I stared at a telephone pole-like tree out my back window.  I asked Jeff if he could take care of it, or we could pay someone. He said he could do it and started sharpening his ax with my kitchen knife sharpener. That's when I texted my lovely neighbor and asked if her husband was home and could he please help Jeff before someone died.  That's Jeff holding the ladder, the only job he should have. It was done safely (with a chain saw) before the hour was up.

Isaac visited my parents and took this pic on the way home. This is not my parent's home, just on the way, but I love this land-I have driven my it thousands and thousands of times. It only had that fence and house built recently and it's for sale, isn't it beautiful?  The house needs to be painted, I don't like the color but the setting is gorgeous.

Blackened veggies (just coated with olive oil and baked on high till blackened), sweet potato fries and chicken/apple sausage (so good, will be using these for cook-outs this summer-at Costco!)

I started running. And I fell one morning. And scraped both knees and put a hole in my nice running leggings BUT no one saw me, I'm pretty sure. And that's the important part. I took this picture to show Abbey who has fallen twice at the track at school, once in front of a cute team of guys. Humiliation! There is nothing to be done, but just to get up and keep going. But now she knows who she gets it from. Jeff said this is the solution, but it doesn't really work outside.

This kid would fish all day, every day. 

At the park one sunny afternoon, these two who love each other.

Are you sick of my pics of food yet? I know some asked for Whole30 ideas. Grilled chicken lettuce wraps with some sauteed onions, zucchini, peppers and tomatoes topped with guacamole.

Cracking up one dinner, she gets laughing so hard.

A nice friend gave us some hand me downs and Janey just loved this jean jacket. 

Abbey comes home next week yay!
This next photo is for her, since she told me I needed to post on this blog more often.
I didn't know she even read it, and I ruined my banana bread surprise last week because actually she does.

Found this pretty big guy in the laundry room,almost stepped on him. I put him in your room, he's waiting for you-I know how you love centipedes!  :)
Really, can't wait to pick you up and cook you some good food. Janey is so excited she woke up in the middle of the night asking "Where's Abbey? Where's Idee?"


Ordinary Days

My Dad celebrated his 78th birthday.  (We missed it but love this picture my niece sent.)  I think during this time (March) he was busy working on hauling in maple syrup for a friend's farm. Yes, at 78!  The other day I went to lunch with Jeff and Janey and we had a big group of ladies next to us in their 60's I would guess. It made me think of my parents, only because I couldn't help but listen to their conversations about certain things-mostly health related complaining and the weather (and trust me I get it!) and lots of other trivial things and it was sort of depressing. And then I thought of my parents that week-my dad working every day on this farm, my mom has been in the past month in Australia, Vienna, Spain, LA, Chicago (and I'm sure I missed some other things) working as a Montessori consultant and teacher trainer.  She thinks nothing of doing all that at 77, navigating these travel plans, working so hard, helping others with her expertise.  I visited her for a day after Vienna and she wasn't even tired!  I hope and pray that I follow their example to never stop serving and to live life to the fullest because they are able to.  It is quite an inspiration. 

Still swaddling all sorts of "babies".  My toddlers all loved being wrapped up like a baby even if it only is for 2 minutes.

I was happy to pull out my brother Andy's serving platters and use them for...

a favorite Whole30 salad. (Omit sugar in dressing.)  
I finished about 102 'whole30' days and then ate a bowl of popcorn which I might do once a week. If I eat out I'm not going to be crazy about salad dressing but just choose the vinaigrette that the restaurant provides.. Other than that I stick with the plan-those are my new whole30 rules for myself. I feel too good to stop eating this way. 

Andrew had a soccer game by Isaac's college so we were able to go visit for dinner quickly one night. Isaac had just driven back from visiting Abbey and was starving. I can always tell when Isaac is staving because he turns white and looks like he is going to destroy something. Do all guys get like this? I think maybe. He had enough for leftovers the next day.  

Abbey's roommate posing next to a project Abbey did for a photo class.  I can't believe her freshman year is almost over and so glad she loves where she goes and loves her major. Always a big sigh of relief for the parent.

This is what she does the entire time I work out-treats the sofa as a trampoline and jumps and jumps and jumps. 

We went for a llooonnnngggg walk on the most beautiful day-posing down by the river.

And then ended at the park. 

This was the 9th of April and I was quite ticked off. Yes, it's pretty, but not in April. 

I feel embarrassed for not knowing how delicious plain old olive oil and vegetables roasted up could be.  This heaping bunch made 3 pans and we finished them all up. SO SO good.

Pre-exam week care package for someone. (A big chunk of banana bread will now be missing because Janey just showed me that she helped herself and I'm sure her sister won't mind? :)


March Madness, Catchup

In no order, our March:

Jeff took the boys to Slade, Kentucky to rock climb and hike and Janey and I stayed behind. They had fun and so did we.  Jeff always says, "Are you sure you don't want to come?" And I always say, "So positive."   They Face "Fimed" (Janey's term) us, in a cave with a fire going.  They didn't camp out but by the way they made their hotel sound, it probably would have been a better idea. (Gross!)

Took Isaac to get an interview suit and new shoes as graduation is a month away!  

Still doing Whole30, so now it's Whole120?  Or maybe just real life till I feel like it. I LOVE it. It has improved my health enormously.  I send Abbey pics of my meals, and she is tortured by them at college. My newest favorites are zucchini chips, balsamic roasted brussel sprouts and chicken salad with guacamole instead of mayo.  I love that I am forced to try new things and although I don't force the family, they all are willing to try "my" food.

When Abbey was home I helped her paint her room. (I told her she had to do it all herself, but could feel her pain when she had to do a second coat so I pitched in at the very end).  Gone is turquoise, now it's a light lavender.  And now she knows how to paint, which is a great skill to know.

Jeff went to camp for a week with Andrew's class. I received so many funny photos from other parents also on the trip of my husband who LOVES 6th grade camp.  This must have been a fire starting contest?

Flat Stanley.
 I owe my brother Joe big time, because he has pulled off Flat Stanley for every kid, as he has always lived in such interesting places. 

Easter break and a plank contest. I won. I really did!  Because Andrew wasn't there. And maybe some people laughed and fell. But I won, losing because you laugh is just your tough luck. 

We went to Mass early because Andrew was assigned to serve at 9 a.m.  There were some protests by the older ones but we pulled it off. We came home and found the Easter baskets and I made a huge breakfast.  It was so fun.  The night before we had a great dinner of steak, potatoes, asparagus, etc. We laughed so hard-it was one of those nights where it was just all of us, and that is rare. We discussed where we are going on vacation this summer (it was Seaside by vote, but thank you Rachel, it's now Kiawah, and I'm so excited as we have never been), and then we talked about all of our other vacation drives, and who threw up (what and where), and flat tires, and a couple times how we thought Dad might kill someone (that someone seemed to be Isaac quite a few times-think "Daddy is going to kill Ralphie" not really kill but it might sort of feel like it), and it's funny how all those moments become funny right?  Because they aren't really when they are happening, you feel like the ONLY family, and it's so nice to laugh about it one day.  It puts it all in perspective. 

SO sweet. She loves this bunny.

Easter bunny brought a new bathing suit or shorts and shirt for everyone (and a little toy for younger ones) and enough candy to eat in a day so the sugar high wasn't dragged out to far. 




I made these girls eat jelly beans in front of me, so I could feel like I was eating them too. I won't lie, I stayed strong but jelly beans and chocolate-that was a little bit of torture.  I know I don't want a few-I want an entire bag and seven chocolate bunnies and a whole tray or two of Peeps, so I just can't start. It's not worth it for a few.


She got into the baby bin and found her old carrier which she now uses for her babies.

I had to laugh at this, as it was snowing a couple days ago.  Janey looked out the window and said, "Snow go away, Mommy hates you!" I didn't realize I had been so vocal about it, or dramatic, but apparently I have.

But snow skies are beautiful.

Making apple chips. I've made sweet potato, apple, zucchini, and carrot. Sweet potatoes win, zucchini next. 

And suddenly it's April and my calendar is filled up to the max with soccer, and the play, and all the spring stuff that makes spring exciting and busy and sometimes overwhelming.  My life seems SO manageable now, with Janey being three and two at college. I remember the days well of feeling so stressed out, timing feedings with driving this one here and that one there, and narrowing errands down to one or two a week with fussy car seat babies and so much to do here. It's funny how parenting changes so much in just a matter of time, but seems endless when in the thick of the harder stages. I feel so much more peaceful now-maybe it's the calm after the storm of some tough years of baby/teenager/pre-teen etc all at once. It will all be okay. And when it's not, mothers rally. And pray. Prayer is the answer. I love my rosary, as corny as that sounds. There is nothing like Hail Mary's for me anymore, proven after the last year for sure. I swear, it's miraculous and even the littlest problem has been presented with a stellar solution after I pray to Mary.  One day I went on a walk, and my Iphone ran out of battery, so no music. and I decided to say a few decades and when I got home the very same worry I prayed about was opened up to me beautifully with guidance and direction that I could give to a child in need.  In a matter of minutes, peace and rightness.  It's awesome.