Posted in Expectations, goals, Humor, I hate exercising, Mom Confessions, Self Care, Uncategorized

How to {Accidentally} Exercise Every Day

I hate exercising.

I know some women love it. It’s like an escape to them…from their kids, house, stress, life. I admire these women; they inspire and baffle me.

Personally if I want to escape, it’s in a good book or netflix series curled under a squishy afghan with a glass of milk and a slice of chocolate cake.

That, my friends, is my definition of “escape.”

I am a really busy person. I have four kids. I have a house to take care of. I have meals to prepare. I have a mountain range of laundry to cross every week. Oh, and I also work 30+ hours a week from home as an online professor and freelance editor.

I have 6-8 exercise DVDs that I attempt to do every 9.5 months. Usually by the time I get half way through, one of my children is crying or pooping somewhere inappropriate.

So, what’s a busy mom to do? I decided that instead of trying to squeeze exercise in, I should take a backwards approach. I decided to look back at my day or week and see where I have accidentally exercised.

The Accidental Exercise Plan is simple. All you need is some creativity and a good memory (though once you add more than two children to your life, the later is hard to come by).

The only equipment required for the Accidental Exercise Plan is a house and children.

And the exercises are simple–you are probably doing them all every day! You just need to recognize them so you can give yourself a pat on the back at the end the day.

Tell me more, you say? Well, let’s begin! I’ve broken the Accidental Exercise Program down into Legs, Arms, Abs, and Cardio.

Legs:

The Basement Laundry Room
Do you have a basement laundry room? Lucky you! Don’t curse the cold concrete floors, the swinging lightbulb, and the spiders that freak the living daylights out of you! Thank your lucky stars that you get to “do stairs” every day!

Yes, every time you run up, run down, lug up, lug down, you are exercising, my dear. So do your laundry with PRIDE! Your thighs are thanking you.

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Work out gear

The Two Year Old
Do you have a two year old? Then you also have a personal trainer! The two year old will help you run every day. To take advantage of your two year old’s expertise, take him to a grocery store, Target, or any department store. Turn around for 1.2 seconds then turn back around. Your child will be 100 yards away and will be urging you to begin your Accidental Exercising for the day. Run, mama, run!
Mengs_51-1716401590-OArms:

Dinnertime Bicep Burn
It’s 6:00 at your house. That means dinner time prep. It also means Accidental Exercising! Don’t distract your clinging, crying baby with toys, wooden spoons, pot lids, goldfish, and a kitten! Hold that baby on your hip while you stir that pot!

Do you feel that burn? Ahh…your biceps are thanking you.

BONUS Workout: Have twins. Then you can do this:

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Why, yes! These ARE my work-out clothes!

Abs:

Midnight Maneuver
This Accidental Exercise technique takes some skill but most moms are already completing this move with dexterity.
First, pass out from exhaustion in your bed while your baby is curled up beside you.
Next, wake up. Realize that it is only 8:45pm and you are an adult who promised herself that she would have an grown-up conversation with her husband that night.
Next, hoist your baby over your stomach, cradling her body with your arms. Do not wake your baby!
Carefully sit up without using your arms or elbows to help you. Flail your legs if necessary–no one is watching.
Place your baby carefully in bed.
Pat yourself on the back for getting your baby to sleep AND doing a crazy-hard sit-up.
Repeat as necessary throughout the night.

The Squishy Belly Laugh
Did you know that laughing burns 1.3 calories per minute? To take advantage of the Squishy Belly Laugh Accidental Exercise, pull up your shirt so your belly is exposed. Let your baby squish all that postpartum goodness while you blow raspberries. Your baby will laugh. You will too…WHILE YOU BURN CALORIES!! WIN WIN!

Cardio:
They say the point of cardio is to elevate the heart rate to strengthen the heart muscles. Here are a few ways to integrate an elevated heart rate into your Accidental Exercise regimen.

The Crash
Go about your day as normal. Hum. Sing. Be happy and joyful and unassuming. CRASH!!! In the moments after The Crash (usually from your child’s bedroom), your heartbeat will elevate. If you hear the “bad cry,” RUN (bonus exercise!!!) to your child’s room. Your heart rate will continue to elevate until the crash and the “bad cry” are resolved.

“Cardio” accomplished.

The Daredevil
Is your child a daredevil? Lucky you! You get to experience Accidental Exercise cardio more than most!  To take advantage of your daredevil, look for ways to be scared out of your pants: jungle gyms, parking lots, bunk beds, knives in your dishwasher, etc.

Caution: a side effect of The Daredevil is gray hair.

Of course, you could always accidentally exercise by doing this too…

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Lift and Kiss. Repeat as many times as desired.

So fellow mamas, if you are like me, let go of your guilt. Let the dust collect on those Jillian Michael’s DVDs. Plan some quality “escape” time in your day, because you know what?
IMG_2405
You already (accidentally) exercised today.

Do you Accidentally Exercise??? Share your tips below!!!

TheBamBlog is trying to grow! Did this post encourage you, make you laugh, or would it inspire someone you know?
If so, please share! Thank you! 🙂 

 

 

Posted in Autism, Autism and Church, Humor, kids, Mom Confessions, Uncategorized

House Church, Cussing, and ASD

Kids say the darnedest things, don’t they?
While most kids can be pretty literal thinkers and lack some social awareness, these qualities are often turned up a notch in ASD kids.

…much to the mortification of their mothers.

Take Sunday morning, for instance.

Church was cancelled on Sunday due to #snowstormjonas but we had a fun alternative.  Friends who live up the street from us invited our family over for House Church.

Before the kids ran off to bury themselves in legos, my friend Jen had a short lesson for them from the book of James. The text was about taming the tongue, and how such a small part of your body can have a big impact.

Prophetic words, right there.

She asked the kids, “Can you think of an example of something you could say that would be bad?”

All the kids thought for a moment. Micah acted out a scenario where he buried his face in the carpet.
“That’s how I feel when someone says something mean,” he illustrated.

“Any more examples?”

Benji piped up. “I have an example of something bad.”

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Oh, you dear, dear, literal boy

He grinned in a way that made the alarm bells in my head jangle.

“What is it, Benji?” Jen asked.

“Holy Shit!”

Whoop! There I went. The “good parenting” rug was pulled out from underneath me and I landed straight on my butt.
I was absolutely mortified.
Everyone exploded in laughter and all the blood in my entire body rushed to my face.
I gave a “what in the world is happening right now” look at my husband.
All he could do was shake his head and wipe tears from his eyes.

Well, Benji was correct. He had the perfect example of something “bad you should not say.”

Context is king, right?

Our 3 year old decided that he wanted to be in on the joke too.

IMG_4975
Don’t be fooled by this sweet face. This little parrot has a potty mouth.

“Holy shit!” Silas said with glee.

I don’t think I stopped blushing for the next 12 hours.

Posted in Baby, Humor, My Motherhood, twins

The BIGGEST surprise of my life!

I meet so many people who tell me, “Oh, I always wanted twins!”

Growing up, I never had this thought. Don’t get me wrong: having twins is great (crazy…but great!) but I never wanted twins, basically because I never thought I could  have twins.

“Twins don’t run in our family.” I remember my  mom saying.

And that was it. The end. There had never been…so there never would be twins in our family. Right? (see “Scientific Note” at the end if you are curious about the types of twins that run in families).

WRONG!!

The day I found out I was having twins was the biggest surprise of my life. Want to hear the story? It’s a good one. 🙂

Aaron and I were newlyweds and had just had the “when do we want to have kids” talk. We happily decided that waiting 3 years would be just right.

And God shook his head and laughed.

BOOM! I was pregnant the next month.

We were not happy. There were tears, terse conversations, hurt feelings, overwhelming worry.
We were only 22 and had been married eight months. I was still in college.

Aaron had an especially hard time adjusting to this life-altering news. The “plan” was that I would finish school and then he would be able to finish his degree. Now, that wouldn’t happen.

But, like it or not, we were going to have a baby. My first ultrasound was scheduled at 11 weeks.

“I don’t want to go.” Aaron told me. “The baby will just look like a peanut right now. I’ll go to the next one.”

I was pretty miffed that he didn’t want to go but I wanted to avoid another fight.  So, I sighed and went to the appointment by myself.

For anyone who hasn’t had a baby, first ultrasounds are awkward. I expected it to be like all the pretty ultrasounds on “A Baby Story:” a subtle hand-held monitor gliding gently over the mother’s belly. I certainly didn’t expect a curling iron shaped condom-covered stick invading my private sanctuary.

But the real shocker came when I looked at the screen.

The doctor was so calm. “I thought your uterus felt kind of big. You’re having twins.”

And then my brain exploded. 

April 20 2007: The biggest surprise of my life.

Not really. 

But I went into shock. I broke out in hot flashes and hives laying there on that cold table, covered only in a paper gown.

“I’m having twins?!” I choked.

“Yep. You’re having twins.” Serene doctor said serenely.

(How could she be so serene?!?!?!? How was everyone not FREAKING OUT? I felt like someone should be shaking me by the shoulders and screaming, “HOLY CRAP, GIRLFRIEND!! YOU ARE ABOUT TO BE A MOM OF TWOOOOO BABIES!!!! BECAUSE YOU’RE HAVING TWINS!!!)

And I was. There they were: two little gummy bears floating and waving and punching at each other through the hair-line membrane that separated them. Twins.

Twins!

After the ultrasound, I slowly got dressed, my heart racing and my hands shaking.

“Well, you just got the surprise of your life, didn’t you?” A nurse said when I came out of the dressing room.

I nodded vaguely. I was in a  haze.

Then I started smiling. I was having twins.

Then the smile turned a little twisted. Because Aaron wasn’t with me.
 Heh heh heh. Payback, baby.

I called him, inwardly cackling.

Aaron: Hey! How’d it go?
Me: Great! Guess what?
Aaron: What?
Me: We’re having TWINS!
Aaron: oh, haha! Good one. No we’re not.
Me: Yes. We are.
Aaron: (laughing) You’re kidding me!
Me: I’m not kidding you.
Aaron: (pause. not laughing now) You’re freakin’ kidding me….!
Me: Nope. We’re having twins, babe. I’ve got pictures.
Aaron: (laughing hysterically) [I heard a co-worker in the background asking him what he is laughing about] We’re havin’ TWINS!

I spent the rest of the day in a happy twin-haze. I smiled so much my face hurt. My ears also hurt from the number of people who screamed in the phone after I told them the good news.

It was one of the happiest, most surprising days of my life. 

This picture never ceases to amaze me.

And that, dear friends, is how I found out I was going to be a mother…times two.

So yes, even if twins don’t run in your family, they could still HAPPEN TO YOU. 

Scientific Note (for those who are curious): Fraternal twins run in families, which occurs when the mother releases two eggs.
Identical twins –where the fertilized egg splits–are spontaneous and can happen to ANYONE, although it is rare (4/1000 births are spontaneous identical twins).

And wouldn’t you know? We were lucky enough to get identical twins.

Posted in Humor, kids, Motherhood

"May your ice water be free of goldfish floaters:" A blessing for Mother’s Day

This Mother’s Day:
Photo by S. Carter Studios

May you always pee in peace
May your coffee be hot and your wine cold
May you enter and exit the shower without an audience
May your hair be free of grease and your under-eyes void of dark circles
May your skinny jeans zip
May the only muffins tops in your life be blueberry
May your baskets be free of laundry and your sink clear of dishes
May your ice water be free of goldfish floaters
May your freshly mopped floors magically repel spilled milk and kool-aid
May naptime be long
May your feet avoid all legos and Barbie shoes
May dinner time be filled with “Seconds, please!”
May you sleep as deeply as the father of your children
May your children tell you that you are the best mama in the world and may you believe it.
Because, mama, you are beautiful. You are loved. You are the best mom in the world. 
Photo by S. Carter Studios
Today and everyday. 

Posted in Humor, kids, My Motherhood

The trials of being a twin: A Five year old’s perspective

Micah and Benji are five years old and frequently (and loudly) announce to others (like random people at the park):

WE ARE TWINS!!

Being twins is unique!
Being twins is fun!

But sometimes, being twins is annoying. Or even, confusing.

This is a snippet of the conversation we had at dinner tonight.

Micah: Sometimes my friends call me ‘Benji.’
Me: Ahh…I see. Does that bother you?
Micah: Yeah, because I’m NOT Benji.
Me: Why do you think they call you Benji?
Micah: I don’t know!
Me: Are you and Benji twins?
Micah: Yes.
Me: Do you and Benji look alike?
Micah: (emphatically) No! We don’t look alike…
Me: Well, some people think you look like Benji.
Micah: But I don’t look like Benji! I look like Micah!

(Yes, indeed, little man. You do look like Micah.)

We decided to query Benji to get his take on this problem.

Me: Benji, do your friends ever call you ‘Micah’?
Benji: (very matter of fact) No, my friends call me ‘Benji’.
Micah: I don’t like being a twin!

Aaron: Well, son, you’ll need to take that up with God.

Do you know who is who???
Posted in Humor, kids

"Daddy said YES!" A story of miscommunication

You should always double-check your children’s work when you give them a task to do. You never know how they are going to translate your directions. Take this morning, for example.

Setting: I am making breakfast. Aaron is in the shower. Boys are HUNGRY!

Me: Micah, go ask Daddy if he wants eggs.
Micah: ok! (runs to bathroom. Runs back). He said YES!
Me: Really?

A note of translation here: Aaron doesn’t usually want eggs. I was asking to be polite.  I thought I should double-check by sending the other twin in.

Me: Benji, go ask Daddy if he wants eggs.
Benji: But I  want eggs!
Me: Yes, I know. Go ask Daddy if he wants eggs.
Benji: Ok! (runs. Runs back) He wants eggs!

I check the fridge. We only have 4 eggs and I need one to make dinner. Darn. I decide to tell Aaron that he can’t have eggs. I go to the bathroom.

Me: Sorry, you can’t have eggs. We don’t have enough.
Aaron (from in the shower): I don’t want eggs.
Me: What? Micah said you said “Yes” you wanted eggs.
Aaron: No, Micah knocked and said, “Can I come in?” and I said “Yes!”
Me: (laughing) And what about Benji? He said you wanted eggs too.
Aaron: Nope. Benji came in and asked if he could have eggs and I said, “Yes, of course!”
Me: Wow. (leaves bathroom)

And the moral of the story is If you have children, miscommunication is inevitable. Always double-check. Or in my case, triple-check.

Posted in Baby, Humor, My Motherhood

Thoughts on (STUPID) Self-Inducement ideas

Pregnant women are crazy. Especially in the last month of pregnancy. Once you pass that magical date that puts you at  37 weeks, just about every pregnant women thinks, “Is today going to be the day?”

Every twinge is obsessed about. Every “symptom” is googled: is this a sign of impending labor?

The answer is YES! Everything is a sign of impending labor!

AF-type Cramps? Yes!
Loose BMs? Yes!
Braxton Hicks contractions? Yes! (Times 1000 in my case. Every day. For weeks. And weeks)
Baby dropping? Yes!
Peeing more? Yes!
Sharp, stabbing pains in your cervix? Yes!
Nausea? Yes!
Hunger? Yes!
Exhaustion? Yes!
Increased energy? Yes!
Feeling serene? Yes!
Feeling anxious and crazy? Yes!

In fact, if you feel it, obsess about it, google it, post on pregnancy boards, and talk to your mommy friends, SOMEONE will tell you that “yes, I had that too! and I went into labor SOON!”

Well, if all of these symptoms are signs of early labor then I have been in early labor for about 4 weeks.

Everyone tells you when you are 37, 38, 39, 40 (and beyond?) weeks pregnant that you are ALMOST there! The baby will be here SOON!

Yes. In theory, this is true.

Except for the only “SOON” that means anything to the extremely pregnant woman is “today.” Anything that is not “today” is NOT SOON!

Because pregnant women are crazy. Having the baby is all we can think about.

So because we are thinking about it so manically, we start to think, “How can I just get this baby out???”

Then the googling starts: How to Induce labor at home/naturally/myself

The internet will bring you SO many ideas! Ideas upon ideas! And testimonials from women who went into labor SOON (see above for definition of “SOON”)!

However, if you spend enough hours with these self-inducement testimonials, you will see those Negative Nancy nay-sayers who say (insert snotty, high pitched voice here): “I tried that and it DIDN’T WORK FOR ME!”

“Pshaw, Negative Nancy!” You, the heavily pregnant woman, think. “Whatever! This will work for ME!”

So you try things. Things that I have tried with great hope!

And things that didn’t work.

Let’s start, shall we?

Fresh Pineapple: Along with pregnancy board mamas who SWEAR by this, I have personal friends who have eaten fresh pineapple and gone into labor SOON! In fact, one friend put a piece of pineapple in her mouth and her water broke (That was SO not a coincidence!)!

I thought, “Holy crap! I am trying this! Plus, I like pineapple a lot!

I didn’t realize how much “a lot” a whole pineapple is. A whole pineapple is like 7 cups of fruit. In my wisdom, I divided it up into morning and evening doses. I ate and ate and ate those 7 cups of pineapple.  It was yummy!

It was really acidic.
In fact, my gums itched.
My tongue starting hurting.
My mouth felt kind of numb. 
By the end of my evening dose, I had a gigantic acid burn on my tongue.

But by golly, I was going to go into labor SOON! In fact, my water was going to break that night (since it didn’t break the moment I put the pineapple in my mouth).

In fact, I think this is the night that I brought a bunch of towels into the bed with me because I was convinced that my water had broken.
Except when I woke up in the morning, there were no towels.
At all.
Stupid pregnancy dreams!

Well, along with the acid burn, the only thing the pineapple did was clear out my bowels the next day. Twice.

Ok. So much for that. I decided to move on. As in literally “move on.”

Walking: Preggies swear by this. “WALK THAT BABY OUT! I walked and went into labor SOON!”

The only thing is, walking miles right before you go into labor contradicts with the other thing people tell you to do right before you have a baby: Rest.

So are you supposed to rest or walk?

I decided to walk. And walk.
And then I was exhausted. And then I thought, “If I am wearing myself out, how am I going to have energy to labor for hours and push that baby out?”

So I stopped walking. In fact, walking made my braxton hicks stop. Whatever. Stupid uterus doesn’t know a good self-induction when it sees one.

Sex: You will see this idea all over the internet (that sounds dirty….not what I meant).

Well-meaning friends and relatives will give you a wink-wink-nudge-nudge and talk about doing “the big ‘S'”

While there is actually scientific studies that show that DTD (doing the deed) will help kick-start your labor, I think people forget how unsexy 40 weeks pregnant is.

If you would like to be reminded, duct tape a 35 pound medicine ball to your stomach and then get your sexy on! Yep! Sizzlin’ hot, right? Easy to do, right?

Riiiiight.

Caster Oil: I am not this desperate. I heard it basically tears you a new one. With hemorrhoids.

I could go on:
Evening Primrose oil? Been taking that for 3 weeks. Nada
Eggplant? not a fan.
Eating spicy food? I regularly eat spicy food so…that would be nothing new.
Spreading my legs wide, pushing on my belly, and screaming “GET OUT!”? Yeah, my sister-in-law tried that. She said it didn’t work.

Basically what those pregnancy boards, friends, family, and my doula actually revealed is this: If the baby isn’t ready to come, he won’t come.

If the at home labor inducement techniques “worked,” it probably meant that you were going to go into labor SOON anyways. Early labor is all hormonal, not instigated by anything a woman tortures herself with.

So, here I wait. At that lovely number: 40.

Who knows? Maybe writing seriously bitter blog posts about stupid self-inducement ideas will put me into labor.

Posted in boys, Humor, kids

"Ants are delicious!" Or what Micah did at school today

This is an actual conversation we had with Micah (4 years old) tonight at dinner:

Micah: I ate ants at school today!
Me: (horrified) You ate ANTS???
Micah: Yeah! I ate them outside! They were delicious!
Aaron: (laughing) They were?! 
Micah: Yeah…some were yucky though. But some were good! 
Me: (horrified silence)
Aaron: (grinning) Some were yucky? Why were they yucky?
Micah: The red ones were yucky. They were so crunchy!
Aaron: Crunchy, huh?
Me: (in shock, mouth gaping open)
Micah: Yeah, but the black ones were soft! They were yummy!
Me: PLEASE DON’T EAT ANTS AT SCHOOL!!!!!!
Micah: But I ate them outside. But I didn’t eat worms. 
Aaron: No worms, huh?
Micah: No, they were so squishy….
I didn’t find out if he actually ate worms. I don’t think he did. 
But I really, really don’t want to know. 
Posted in Humor, kids, My Motherhood

Police Officer and PJs OR Why you should get dressed before 9:30am

This is the story of intense embarrassment and children who tell lies.

It was a typical morning.

And by typical I mean, I was lounging in my tiny nightie at 9:30 am.

I had just made a nice cup of French Vanilla coffee and was taking a sweet sip when I happened to look out the window.

I saw a police car.

I saw a police officer…

…walking up to my front door.

“Oh crap!!!”

I ran my 8 month pregnant self to my bedroom and grabbed the only robe that currently covers my body.

“DON’T ANSWER THE DOOR YET, BOYS!” I yell from the bedroom.

The next thing I hear is the door opening and two perky 4 year old voices saying, “HI!”

Oh crap. Why won’t this robe go on????

Is your mommy or daddy here?” I hear the police officer ask.

“No!” Both boys say in unison. “Daddy’s at work.”

No mention of mommy who is struggling to put the wrong arm in the wrong sleeve of the robe.

“Hmm….Your mommy and Daddy aren’t home?” (Probably thinking: I may need to call Social Services.)

Me: (mentally screaming!) Go to your home, stupid robe sleeve! 

Finally the arms get in the right holes. QUICK! wrap robe over ginormous belly and make sure décolletage is covered. Realize that robe no longer comes to my knees….

“YES! YES! I am here!” I run to the door.

I realize that my children are grinning at the police officer in all their whitey-tighty glory.

I also remember that I haven’t showered in two days.

Thankfully the officer seems unfazed and hands me a subpoena for my husband, Aaron (who witnessed a domestic violence episode a few months ago and gave a police report about it).

Four minutes later the police officer leaves.

However, it takes several hours for my intense mortification to go away.

The moral of this story is:

Teach your children to NOT ANSWER THE DOOR without a parent.

And….get dressed before 9:30am.

Posted in Humor, life

There once was a guinea pig and a bird….

There once was a guinea pig and a lovebird….
 The bird loved the guinea pig.
The guinea pig tolerated the bird.
One day, he was kind enough to share his food with her.

The bird was ecstatic!
Her love for the guinea pig grew.
Now she likes to feed the guinea pig hay through the bars of his cage.
The guinea pig likes this.
He also likes to bite the bird’s feet.
Then the bird screams at the guinea pig.
But she still loves him.
The end.