Sunday, July 28, 2013

My week of workouts (for the week of July 21st)

OK, so this barely even qualifies. I only went to the gym once all week. My parents were in town, which usually gives me extra gym time (since they will gladly watch their granddaughter while I workout), but this time it didn't happen because I was sick. Again. My second summer cold. Ugh.

Sunday through Wednesday: Nothing

Thursday: Ring dips! I love ring dips and I am thrilled every time I see them in the workout. We did five sets of five, and I used the red (lightest) band. The rest of the workout was soooo hard. Seven pull-ups. 30-second wall sit and a lateral walk with a kettlebell between cones. Five rounds, and we had 20 minute. I barely finished.

Friday and Saturday: Nothing.

I'm finally feeling better, and I'd like to say I'll get back on track starting tomorrow. But the truth is I don't see it happening. We are moving in less than two weeks so there is a lot to do. I know I'll be able to make it Tuesday and Thursday, but it looks like every other day is booked with moving activities. Oh, well. Packing is somewhat of a workout, don't you think??

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

My week of workouts (for the week of July 14th)

I'm a few days late on my weekly workout post, but I still want to do my recap. I hope I can remember the details!

Sunday, July 14th: Rest.

Monday, July 15th: Yoga.

Tuesday, July 16th. Hmmm, I am having a hard time remembering. After the warm-up we did several sets of get-ups. I started with a 12kg kettlebell and switched to a 15-pound dumbbell. As for the rest of the workout, I am drawing a total blank. I have no idea. Maybe I'll ask and post an update later.

Wednesday, July 17th: The best part of this workout is that we had a babysitter so Carl and I were able to work out together. Yep, that is my idea of a date night. Ha! Anyway, our gym is running a new class for the summer that is kindof a hybrid of several other classes, designed to work on agility, mobility, strength and all sorts of other important things. It is a long workout and super challenging. We did some drills that involved improving knee strength, we did some TRX, we did running, we did medicine ball stuff. I felt it the next day.

Thursday, July 18th: This was the sixth week of rope climbing and I'm so surprised by my progress. I was able to climb halfway up the rope three times, thanks to the help of my partner. I still have work to do in terms of my figuring out how to grip the rope with my feet, but I'll get there. Not that I actually want to climb higher; being up that high is scary!

Friday, July 19th: Rest.

Saturday, July 20th: Another rest day. I would have gone to yoga, but I had a really bad cold again. My second this summer. What is up?

Saturday, July 13, 2013

My week of workouts (for the week of July 7th)

Time for my weekly workout recap! In case you are new here, I'm documenting my workouts on my blog once a week so I can look back and see how I improve/change over time. This is just for my own information ... I find that this is an easy way to record everything (I know most readers come here to find out what paleo babies eat).

Sunday: As usual, a rest day. 

Monday: I usually try to find a way to get to the gym on Mondays for yoga or TRX/kettlebells, but this week it did not happen. I know there was a reason, but I cannot remember exactly what it was. Oh, now I remember. We had a crazy busy day with dental appointments and a home inspection at our new house, so Carl wound up staying at work really late (since he was out for a good chunk of the day).

Tuesday: Finally, back at the gym. Between the Fourth of July (the gym was closed for two days), illness and house-buying busyness, I felt like I had not worked out in weeks. First, we worked on front squats. Five sets of three, with 70 pounds. This is a new PR for me. Yay! For the workout, we did three rounds of 10 pullups (I used one red band for the first three sets, then added a second red band .... it was very challenging) and 10 hand-release push-ups. We finished off with 200 double unders (I am still not able to do even two consequetive double-unders, so this took an eternity).

Wednesday: Just like Monday, I couldn't get to the gym (even though I wanted to).

Thursday: This was another epic day for me. I climbed halfway up the rope, twice! I've realized that the reason rope climbing felt so unattainable to me is that I don't know exactly how to grip the rope with my feet in order to avoid slack. So, the rope is lose which prevents me from climbing. My rope-climb partner helped me by holding onto the bottom of the rope while I climbed. I could not have done it without her. I intend to do at least this much next week, if not more. After rope climbing, we moved onto to three rounds of 25 American kettlebell swings and 50 body weight squats. The finisher was an 800m run. I was really happy with how I did in this particular workout. I wanted to use the yellow kettlebell, and probably would have if we had been doing Russian kettlebells swings, but I did not feel comfortable swinging the yellow one overhead. So, I stuck with blue. That is OK; it was plenty challenging.

Friday: Rest

Saturday: Instead of yoga (too early for me these days), I went to the 9am workout. Except I was late, by 15 minutes! Why did I think the class started at 9:15am? Oh, well. I was able to sneak in right as everyone was starting laps around the building. I'm not sure many people noticed that I missed half of the warmup. The workout, like a typical Saturday class, was three stations, five rounds, 30 seconds on/30 seconds off, with a partner. We did lateral jumps, lizard crawls and dumbbell snatches. After the workout, we walked one lap around the building on our toes followed by two sprint maps.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Parties, pizza and cupcakes

Later today, we're heading to a three-year-old's birthday party at a local park! I'm so looking forward to it ... my daughter's first party invitation!

We've actually had it pretty easy so far in terms of social situations and food choices. Most people we know are pretty cool about the fact that we adhere to a certain diet and avoid certain ingredients, and since we haven't actually attended a child's birthday party until now the whole party food dilemma (if you can even call it a dilemma -- it does not have to be one, really) hasn't come up. However, since I know there will be pizza and cupcakes at the party (as specified on the invitation) this is about to change.

My concern is not about my daughter and whether she eats the treats. She will not be eating pizza, and this is not up for debate. Instead, my concern is about how our avoidance of the party food is perceived by the hosts and other people in attendance. Even though I am very strict about the food we bring into our home and I have very strong opinions about what people should and should not eat, I do not expect everyone to share my views and/or follow the same path that I follow. I don't want the fact that I make certain choices to be perceived as judgement or criticism toward others who make different choices and I don't want it to seem like a big deal. Because it is not judgement or criticism and it is not really a big deal. It is just ... us. Nonetheless, I am nervous about it. I want to handle it correctly, with no hurt feelings and without people feeling like having us a party is too much of a hassle. I am confident in the choices I make for our family, but if I am to be honest with myself and everyone reading this I need to admit that it is causing a bit of social anxiety. And not just regarding this specific situation ... I am nervous about how this particular situation carries over into other situations. What I mean is this: I'm OK with treats now and then, as long as said treats pass my personal litmus test (i.e. a homemade cookie might be OK, whereas an Oreo would not be OK). Suppose we turn down treats at a party because we are "paleo," only to be spotted the following day giving our daughter a small dish of ice cream at Salt & Straw? If someone does not know me well and does not know where I stand on the subjects of treats, how will this be perceived?

Anyway, I suspect that my feelings about and approach to the party situation will change over time. As with everything to do with parenting, opinions and perceptions change as we gain experience and get to know our kids better. Who knows, it might even be different by the time this particular party wraps up. For now, though, we've decided to handle it like this: First of all, I will feed her before we leave (if she's hungry). Also, my husband (who is not always paleo; he eats mostly paleo at home but is not always paleo away from home) has agreed to pass on the pizza and cupcakes for her sake. She's more likely to want something if she sees us with it. Finally, we're not going to say anything about it. If/when we're offered food, we'll just politely decline and we won't mention anything about it to our daughter. Unless someone asks, I won't bring the subject up. I am tossing around the idea of making some paleo cupcakes or cookies to take along, but I'm not sure whether this would be appropriate either because of the whole ice cream scenario described above. For us, paleo is a choice that we make because I believe it is the healthiest path. I cannot honestly say "oh, we're gluten intolerant" because even though I personally believe everyone is gluten intolerant to some extent, we have not been diagnosed as such and every now and then we do eat something that has gluten in it. Of course, I am probably overthinking the whole thing. My daughter will probably be too busy playing and enjoying the party to even acknowledge the food!

I'll post an update in a couple of days! Hopefully I'll leave the party with some new ideas on how to approach these scenarios that I can share with everyone. Meanwhile, some parents have shared their views on the topic on my facebook page already ... lots of varied opinions for sure! Please feel free to share your own. Thanks and have a great weekend!!

Tuesday, July 9, 2013


When I was in fourth grade, I signed up for an after school track and field program. I don't know if I had any real interest in the sport, but for whatever reason I decided to give it a try. Did I like it? No! I hated it! After the season ended (I may have even quit early) I never did track and field again, except when I was forced to in P.E.

Fast forward to a few years ago. I discover that not only do I like sprinting, I'm actually kind of decent at it. How is it that I hated it when I was 10? How is it that it took me so long to figure out that I am capable of running fast? How?

Oh, I know. Because I listened to naysayers. In this case, it was a classmate who had also signed up for track and field.

"You should not have joined track," she said one day on the school bus.

"Why not? I replied.

"Because you are not going to win any races!" she answered. And I believed her.

I recorded this story in my fourth grade journal, which is how I know that this is not just a figment of my imagination. It was a journal that we had to turn in to our teacher each week. After reading this particular entry, my teacher commented "how would she know?"

I wish I would have listened to my teacher and not the mean classmate, because looking back on my life I can see that this was just one of many instances in which I let naysayers control me. You can't do X because of Y. Really? Oh, OK. I guess I won't do that then. And it probably goes without saying, but one of the biggest naysayers in my life has been ... me. I've talked myself out of many, many things for some pretty ridiculous reasons. All because I thought I didn't have the skills, the time, the money, the brains, whatever.

I'm so over the naysayers. I know I am still going to encounter them, and I know there will be times that I revert back to my old naysaying ways. I'm glad, though, that I am now aware of this tendency in myself and aware of the way in which naysayers try to drag others down because it is helping me stay true to my beliefs about what to feed my daughter, about how to properly exercise and about the choices Carl and I are making in regards to our lifestyle (yep, we're going to raise some chickens and grow some vegetables in our new backyard -- which, oddly, seems strange to some people). The old me probably would have let the critics have too much control over my decisions and choices. Maybe it is weird to give my child cod liver oil or to let her snack on roasted seaweed? Maybe I am depriving her by not serving mac-and-cheese every day for lunch. Maybe raising our own chickens is a silly idea. Um, no. Now, when I have an idea, I weigh the pros and cons and make the decision that is best for me and my family. I am confident in my choices. Honest feedback and good advice from trusted sources are welcome. But the naysayers? They have no bearing on what I choose to do or what I can achieve in my life.

As for the fourth grade bully, I would love to challenge her now to a 400m sprint.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

My week of workouts (for the week of June 30)

I'm documenting my workouts here once a week (on Saturdays now instead of Sundays) so I can look back and see how I improve/change over time. This is just for my own information. I find that this is an easy way to record everything (I know most readers come here to find out what paleo babies eat).

Sunday, June 30th: Rest.

Monday, July 1st: Blast. This is a one-hour class, where we do several segments of strength and cardio intervals using a bench, medicine balls and dumbbells. The class is really tough, especially since I rarely attend. I was super sore the following day.

Tuesday, July 2nd: We started off with pull-up practice (my current favorite!). Five max sets with a one-minute rest in between. I used the red band, the one with the least resistance, for the first time, and managed to do three for the first three sets and two for the last two. The workout was short, and I'm glad because it was super hot. We did three rounds of one 400m run, 25 doubles unders and 10 burpees.

Wednesday, July 3rd: Rest.

Thursday, July 4th: Rest, and lots of it because I was (am) still not feeling well.

Friday, July 5th: More rest.

Saturday, July 6th: I finally felt well enough to workout, but could not wake up in time for yoga. So, I went to the 9:15am workout instead. It was a partner workout with stations. Six rounds, 30 seconds each (per person). We did sit-ups with a medicine ball toss, seated rope climbs and dumbbell thrusters. I used a 10-pound medicine ball and 20-pound dumbbells.

Friday, July 5, 2013

High chairs, plus some big news

How long do kids usually use high chairs? For some reason, I was under the impression that the high chair phase lasted well into toddlerhood. Well, not for my daughter (who will be two in October). I still have our Keekaroo high chair out, but it won't be long before it hits Craigslist. She just does not sit in it anymore.

It all started a few weeks ago when she learned to unbuckle the strap. Total safety hazard, because that led to standing up in her chair. No amount of coaxing or reasoning could convince her to sit down. She wasn't even done eating ... she simply wanted to stand and/or get out of the chair. After trying to reason with her (ha!) for a few days, I finally said "enough" and allowed her to sit in a regular chair. It quickly became regular thing, and it makes meal time much more pleasant for all of us. She needs a booster seat (I'll need to get one asap), but for now we're going without. I do have to put a towel down because our seats are fabric and she does spill and drop food. However, overall this is working well. Besides, it is super adorable to see her sitting there at the table eating her breakfast. Less work for me, too. She often protested the high chair, so getting her into it was a battle. Now, when it is time to eat, all I have to do is tell her to go sit down at the table. And she does!

In other news ... remember a few weeks ago when I mentioned how our search for a new home was going nowhere? Well, we finally found something! In a month or so, we'll be vacating our current home (it will become a rental) and moving into our new place. I'm excited because it is in the area of town I was hoping for, and we'll have a huge lot with space for a garden, chickens and a dog. And the best part is it will allow us to provide the type of lifestyle we want for our daughter. I can't wait! Of course, we have lots of work ahead. Packing, cleaning, etc. Summer suddenly got busy!

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Fourth of July

Happy Fourth of July! Our plans for the day involved a 5K run/walk that I do every year, taking our daughter to the local parade and cooking up some holiday-themed paleo eats. However, we're spending the day hanging around the house instead. I'm still recovering from the cold I had two weeks ago and I feel quite terrible. Not fun at all! Fortunately my little one is content to eat broccoli, blueberries and leftovers burgers all day, so I can get away with staying out of the kitchen. Despite it all we're hoping to make it to the fireworks later on. It will be a late night for our 21-month-old, and who knows if she'll even enjoy it. But we're going to try, if only so she can wear her new tee shirt. Hope you all have a great day celebrating with family and friends!

Every toddler needs a red, white and blue shirt to wear on the Fourth of July!

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Stuff I'm loving: LunchBots, HydroFlask and my new backpack

Lately I've been working on making our day-to-day activities more streamlined. Doing everything with a 24-pound toddler in tow is a lot of work, so if I come across something that makes life easier I'm all over it. Here are three recent purchases that are helping me and my daughter keep our paleo lifestyle as simple as possible ...

The backpack purse. Backpack-style purses must either be a total fashion faux pas or a super popular must-have item because they are hard to find. Finally, after two months of searching, I found a simple black Tommy Hilfiger one at Marshall's. Between the diaper bag and my handbag I always felt like I was carrying too much stuff. It became unmanageable, and I realized that I needed a hands-free handbag solution. Tossing my belongings directly into the diaper bag? Not an option for me. I realize a lot of moms do that and find it very convenient, but I tried it and it isn't my thing. I considered a crossbody bag (which are easy to find), but I felt like that was too much strain on my neck and shoulders. This $30 backpack purse is making our play dates, park visits and shopping trips so much easier.

LunchBots: I hesitated to buy this stainless steel lunch container. At $17, it seemed expensive. But I couldn't find anything I liked better that was any more affordable, so I decided to just give it a try anyway. I love it! It is the perfect size for a toddler lunch and easy to slip inside the diaper bag. It also makes a great toy when empty. Last night, we brought our daughter along to a late-evening meeting with our real estate agent and the empty LunchBot kept her entertained for 20 minutes.

The HydroFlask water bottle. We are in the middle of a heat wave here in Portland, and I am so glad that we discovered the HydroFlask before the 90+-degree temps rolled in. I had been in the habit of filling plastic cups with ice and water and trying to carry them around along with all my other gear, and it was such a juggling act. The HydroFlask eliminated this problem. It is absolutely hands down my favorite water bottle of all time. Hot stays hot and cold stays cold, just like the company claims. It doesn't sweat when you fill it with ice like my old Camelback one does, and it is easy to grip and carry around. The only downside is it doesn't fit into my car's cupholder, but that is my car's fault. Fortunately, I can set it on the seat beside me because it does not leak. At risk of sounding like an infomercial, the HydroFlask makes staying properly hydrated a breeze. I also love that the company is based in Bend, Oregon because I'm all about supporting local(ish) companies whenever possible. We got ours at Kitchen Kaboodle for $20 (they must have been on promo at the time, because they seem to be more expensive everywhere else). 

Monday, July 1, 2013


Last week, a friend asked me the following question. 

What motivates and inspires you?

Not long ago, I would have had a hard time giving her an answer. Motivation? Inspiration? What is that? I had no idea how to set and accomplish goals, and obstacles always seemed to take center stage in my mind. Now, my outlook is completely different. I see inspiration everywhere, and I know exactly what motivates me.

I'll save the inspiration part for another day. Today, I'm going to talk about motivation (well, at least one piece of the motivation puzzle) because it ties into the 2013 WordCount Blogathon, which officially wrapped up yesterday.

I've learned that I am very motivated by participating in challenges that have set times frames, specific guidelines and other people to whom I am accountable. I am very much a by-the-book type of person so it seems natural that I would be into this sort of thing. Why did it take me so long to figure this out? I probably knew it on some level, but learning to identify this trait was (obviously) a completely different thing.

I think I started to clue into this the first time I participated in the paleo meltdown at my gym, which was in the fall of 2010. I've participated twice since then (and last fall I was even the overall winner!), and it never fails to have some sort of significant impact on me. I like living within the strict parameters outlined in the program. I like knowing that there is a time frame, rules and prizes. I like knowing that if I stray from said rules, I will be disappointed in myself when it is over. Sure, I have to give up coffee and stay away from wine and dark chocolate and other treats for six weeks, but it is so worth it in end and leaves me with a major sense of accomplishment.

Same goes for the blogathon. I actually hesitated to register, because I knew that if I signed up I would be accountable. That scared me! I finally stopped mulling it over and filled out the form. I knew that if I failed to do what I said I would do I would not be eligible for prizes and I would not be able to display the "I did it" badge on my blog. That, to me, would be failure. I did not want to fail. I refused to fail. So I did it. The thing is, I know that had I made the commitment to just myself rather than the entire blogathon group it would not have happened. I need the structure these group challenges provide, and I like doing them because I learn and grow and am able to do this within the confines of a format that is productive for me.

Now, I'm on the lookout for other challenges that I can sign on for in the coming months. Challenges that will help me grow as an individual, help me become a better wife and mother and/or help me hone my writing skills. Maybe Sledgehammer? Or possibly Nanowrimo?

Where do you find your motivation?