My personal goals: health and fitness

I’ve read a lot of blog posts about health and fitness, so maybe that makes my post a bit cliché. However, I have put a lot of time and effort into myself this year. Primarily my health and fitness, but spending a little bit of time on the fun things like hair, nails, and clothes. 🙂

I used to think doing things for me was going out with friends or shopping. Then I realized there was a whole part I wasn’t focusing on and that was my health. It doesn’t always look like something for you, but it really is. Health and fitness help your confidence and self-esteem. What’s not to love about feeling good about you?! I wrote about my switch to clean eating here. Before the food changes, I had a semi-regular exercise regime. However, with the food changes, I really focused on an exercise routine. All of a sudden I was planning out my meals and workouts.

I’m in an accountability group that really helped me get a routine and new lifestyle in place. Seeing my friends continue to eat healthy gives me new food ideas but also keeps me accountable. Hence the purpose of the group! 🙂

After almost a year of a pretty strict schedule, I’ve learned to let go a little. Letting go means I don’t get up to workout every morning. Some days my workout is a softball game at the end of the night. Some days my workout is a bike ride at 5 am or a Body Pump routine in my living room. And other times it’s a Yoga workout during nap time. I’ve learned that it’s important to put variety into my routine and that rest days are just as important…as long as they don’t last more than one day! While the varied workout times isn’t working well with my morning routine, I’m adapting. And not feeling guilty that I start some days without a workout.

I’m not sure why it took me this long to realize that health and fitness are ways to take care of me. I suppose that the hectic lifestyle of little humans and a full-time job finally took its toll and opened my eyes to the more important things. After all, when your time is limited you are forced to pick your priorities. And I don’t think I have many friends who are willing to hang out at 5 am. Wait, I have a couple of friends who enjoy riding their bikes with me at 5 am! Guess, that’s a double win!

I started 2015 with what I felt like were attainable goals of healthy eating and a focus on strength training. Halfway through the year, I am more than pleased with my accomplishments so far. I’ve never felt more fit and healthy. And that makes me feel even better when I do my hair, nails, or get a new piece of clothing! Here’s to a continued focus the next six months so I can end the year with a checkmark next to Health Eating – less processed, more clean & more hydration and also Exercise and Strength Training.

Letter ‘A’

The school year is almost over and we’ve had a lot of fun with preschool. We love our preschool and Maximus is so excited to go every school day. 

The month of March we worked on a project to turn in book strips every time we read a book. The class was trying to create a chain around the entire classroom. Maximus took that project very seriously. And it’s about the cutest thing I’ve seen. They decided they were so close they extended it a bit longer. So we’ve been writing down our books again and Maximus has been more interested in books than cartoons. {hallelujah!}

This week he got to bring home a special project. Items in our house that start with the letter ‘A’. He started kind of slow just coming up with words that started with ‘a’. Apple made the first list. I convinced him we should look around the house and we came up with more items than I thought we’d find. {You try finding specifics toys.} He got excited and spent 45 minutes walking through the house sounding out everything he saw and telling me what letter it started with. It was my favorite proud parent moment of the week! 

What we found:

  • Alligator clips
  • Astronaut (X2)
  • Astronaut car
  • Ambulance
  • A puzzle piece
  • Apple puzzle piece
  • Ace playing card
  • Airplane

Maximus vetoed my food items saying that he couldn’t take real food. Guess I’ll keep my apple, applesauce, and almonds. 

I think I’ll hold on to this idea and use it on one of those rainy days. 

Liebster Award

I’ve been trying to find the time and energy to start writing again. I’m a bit {kind of lot} overwhelmed with life right now so it’s been a little difficult. I logged in today to work on something I started a couple of weeks ago. To my surprise, I had a comment from Kelsi @ babiesfirstyear. She nominated me for the Liebster Award. I didn’t have any idea what it was, so I did a little research {IE, Google looking}. Thanks so much Kelsi for thinking of me and nominating me for this award!

From what I see, this award is passed around the blogging community to people with fewer than 200 followers as a way to tell others about the blogs you enjoy reading. It’s a way to get to know one another. So thank you, Kelsi! The rules are to post 11 facts about you and answer 11 questions that have been given. Then, of course, nominate others.

11 Facts About Me:

  • I hate winter but live in the Midwest.
  • Not surprisingly, I love summer. I could sit out in the sun and sweat for hours.
  • Most of my life I was shy, but I ended up in a leadership position managing people.
  • I have two energetic boys – 4 1/2 and 2.
  • I’m not a morning person.
  • I drive a minivan and am still not a minivan “person.”
  • We follow the Dave Ramsey way of life. We pay in cash and save our money if we want something.
  • We have a Beagle who is cute, cuddly, and annoying because he barks so much.
  • I’ve been on the Board of Directors for my local hospice home – Iowa River Hospice – for four years.
  • I’m the VP of the Board this year.
  • I’m serving as co-chair for a local benefit for the hospice home and American Cancer Society.

My 11 Questions to Answer:

1) “Kids say the darnest things.”  What is something your child has said recently that made you laugh. Maximus, age 4. “Mommy, how old is grandpa? Oh! Mommy, you and grandpa are the same age!”

2) What is your favorite vacation spot? Vacation isn’t really a thing in our house. However, I really did love our honeymoon to Cancun. My idea of a vacation is the sun and a book.

3) What object is closest to you on your right?  Could you use it to defend yourself? A hightop chair. Yup, could definitely use it to defend myself. It’s gotten my toes a few times and I can confirm that it’s a useful weapon.

4) If you had an hour to do anything you wanted, what would you do? I would take a nap.

5) What is your favorite blog post you have written?  Leave a link! Out of my current year, I pick one about struggling mama’s. I see you over there with your tired eyes and noisy toddler.

6) If you could have someone else do one household chore what would it be? Pick up the house every night – the toys and papers and SOCKS.

7) Would you rather live on a beach or in a city? Retiring {next week} to a beach would be Am-a-zing!

8) Where do all the socks go? Every room in the house. Or, at daycare, the register.

9) Do you enjoy reading books or watching movies more? Reading.

10) Be honest, when reading to your children, do you skip words? 99.8% of the time I read every word. There is only one or two books in the house that I despise.

11) How do you find time to blog? Since Maximus stopped going into his room for quiet time, I don’t.

I nominate:

Amanda @ Delightfully Balanced
Sara @ Vanneste Family Blog
Kara @ The Kinser Life
Megan @ The Ratnam Residence


Your 11 Questions to Answer:

  1. Why did you start blogging?
  2. What’s your nighttime routine?
  3. If you just answered what you do with children at bedtime, what’s YOUR nighttime routine?
  4. What’s your favorite season? Why?
  5. If you had a week off and unlimited funds, where would you go?
  6. What’s the last thing you did for yourself?
  7. What’s your favorite book?
  8. What advice would you give 21-year-old you?
  9. What’s your favorite recipe?
  10. Where do you want to be in 10 years?
  11. How do you find time to blog?

Leave your link in my comments so we can all read your answers!

Giving me a run for my money

In true two-year-old, second-child fashion, Quinten proves to be a Handful. His personality fills a room. Literally. Either with physical movement or loudness. He talks all.the.time and runs everywhere. And don’t think he let’s anyone do something without him doing it too. We hear a lot of “Me too!” and “My dude {d0} it!”

Our first walk of the season! {March 2015}

Tonight, he threw himself on the floor in a fit of rage because Maximus let Wrigley inside. A minute later Bryan tried talking him into a bath, which is normally not a hard sell. “No Mikey Mouse!” Maximus in true four-year-old fashion doesn’t hear a word anyone says. When he asked if we were having a movie night, Quinten charged him and yelled in his face. “NO! MICKEY MOUSE!” Well then. He doesn’t fade into the background, that’s for sure. Some would even say he has great leadership qualities. Although at this point, he needs to control his anger or no one will want to work for him. 🙂

Double ear infections for everyone!

I can’t exactly pinpoint all the things we’re “working” on right now. Let’s just say we have a lot of opportunities of improvement in our house. For instance, maybe a certain four-year-old could go to sleep when told instead of coming into the living room every ten minutes. And we all wish our little two-year-old would stop crawling out of his crib. Especially when he’s there for timeout. Seems to defeat the purpose of timeout if he decides he’s done.

He’s a second dinner kind of kid.

Here’s a funny story about his crib escapes. He chucks his water over the crib wall, hauls one leg up, balances on the railing, and whips himself over the edge. {I think he only fell the first time or two and he’s been doing it for two weeks.} Then he pulls out his night-light, heads into Maximus’ room and steals a few night-lights, and then comes into our room. “Daddy I up! Get it. Get my lights. Put up. Me do!” Yah, he’s doing a really good job of showing us he can handle an open bed. My head hurts thinking of all the things he’s going to do when we take off his crib walls. Which we’ll do just as soon as we can find the toddler railing…

Popular Quinten phrases at our house:
“Watch this!”
“What? WHAT! What daddy what?” In response to saying his name. The attitude is thick in this one.
“No me like.” Usually in reference to bread crust.
“Want some.”
“Wrigs. NO!”
“Uh oh skettios”
“Hands up! Bad guy!”
“Want orange juice!” Every night before bed.

Quinten just started loving Mickey Mouse so we’re having some flashbacks to over a year’s worth of Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. Luckily we have a DVD so we can pop that in and give him his Mickey fix. He’s getting really into it and talking to the tv. 🙂 Thankfully his timing works perfectly for all the Mickey Mouse pjs that Maximus used to wear. Turns out this second-child is benefitting from the hand-me-downs! {There’s also a considerable amount of fighting about clothes. I never thought I’d say that about boys, but it’s real.}

Questioning the meaning of cartoons.

Quinten has some wicked faces. There’s no misunderstanding his feelings. He has a scowl that burns through the back of your head. He’s a feisty, fireball, blonde-haired, blue-eyed, snuggle boy. He loves like no other but fights with a passion that is sure to get him in trouble.

Our house is definitely loud and messy. At any given moment someone is yelling, crying, or fighting. Some would say we’re making a lot of memories in our house. 🙂


Moving forward

This weekend Quinten got to join the rest of us and face the front of the car! We had reached that point in car seat occupancy where the child does everything in his power not to sit down. If you’ve had an 18 month old, you know what I’m talking about. Boy do I remember Maximus throwing absolute tantrums at that age. At least Quinten skipped those. The struggle has been hit or miss for a while but we knew we wouldn’t switch him around until winter was over. No sense in taking a chance with winter weather and safety. He consistently stands up instead of sitting down when I put him in his seat. This is the boy who I’m not strong enough to change a diaper on. {No joke. Bryan has been on dirty diaper duty for almost two years.} 

So it was time to switch his seat around. When I opened the door he said, “I a big boy! I see Maxus. I see daddy. I see mommy.” 

Unfortunately, I took a picture when they were all singing. Oh well, they all still look cute! 

His mind will really be blown when he gets to watch a movie instead of just listening to it. 

Out with the Toddler Bed, In with the Big Bed

I can’t think of anything left to signify Maximus growing out of toddlerhood and into the big kid zone. His toddler bed was still adequate, but was itching to get him into a big bed. I had visions of laying next to him and reading him a story, or just snuggling. 🙂 One of those visions I’ve had since I was pregnant with him. For Christmas, we bought him a transportation sheet set from Pottery Barn Kids that isn’t online anymore and a red quilt. We told him we’d convert his bed to a big huge bed. “What’s a convertible?” Heh, I love the words he hears.

As with most projects, all hands were needed to assist in the disassembly. Although, only one extra set were actually doing anything. Before they could get to work, Maximus had to pick up his room. Read: throw everything into his closet. His brother quickly joined in and helped clear the space of all those legos that.are.always.on.the.floor.


I used the opportunity to vacuum under those furniture places. When asked why I was vacuuming again {I did it earlier this week}, I told him a little secret that I hope most households follow. “We don’t move the furniture when we vacuum… By the way, did you know you had so many plastic balls under your dresser?”


Maximus is pretty good at screwing or unscrewing things, so he got right to work on his “job.” Quinten helped by putting the screws into a bucket {after he got in trouble for taking them out and putting them in his mouth}.


When you have multiple helpers, things go a little slower. However, teaching and doing projects with little hands is a rewarding, yet frustrating process. Somehow it all equals out and the boys have a lot of fun. We took a few breaks for visitors, lunch, nap time, a trip to Menards, and supper. Luckily, I had enough time to remember that I needed to wash the sheets. Since it was laundry day, it worked out well in my brain. {No more laundry for a week! Er, maybe I better wash our sheets and another load of kid clothes. CRAP! It never ends!}

Maximus and Bryan helped me make the bed and I got ready to take a picture. Maximus wanted the picture to be perfect so he crawled under his covers. His smiled alone made me so happy we’d done it! I said, “Thank you daddy for putting together Maximus’ big boy bed.” Maximus quickly followed with, “Yes, thank you daddy and me for putting together my new bed!” Heh.

First time in his big bed!

First time in his big bed!

I gave him an extra pillow from our room and he told me it was for when he had a friend stay over. “He can use that one.” While Maximus and I were grabbing pillows and blankets, Quinten was also bringing in random pillows and blankets for Maximus. You can see that he put a Cyclone pillow on the edge of the bed as he watched Maximus test out the new setup. Maximus quickly invited his brother in and asked me to take another picture, but not until Quinten was under the covers. By the way, Quinten stayed there for at least ten minutes. I was pretty sure he was going to throw a fit when he went to bed. He did, but he never mentioned wanting to be in Maximus’ bed.


My first thought … tonight when Quinten wakes up 78 times, I’m putting him in Maximus’ bed. He’d probably sleep. Last night, after he’d been up five times, we tried putting him in our bed at midnight. Forty-five minutes later he was kicking me in the head and was still wide awake. Tonight he’s armed with cough medicine and we’re crossing all things that cross in hopes that he sleeps. If not, best of luck Maximus.

With his new bed came a new room arrangement. I thought it might bother him because he likes his door wide open, the bathroom light on, and a couple of night-lights in his room. Now, he’s across the room from the door so the night-lights are different and he asked me to shut his door. He has an extra puppy in his bed for “when a friend sleeps over” and he decided to sleep on the pillow closest to the wall. He came out of his room right away to tell me we forgot to put his new slippers on, but otherwise we haven’t heard a peep from him. I might have thought a little longer if I knew this new bed was going to bring another level of independence! And now we have to be sneaky about checking on him since his door is shut…

My preschooler

When you stop documenting your life on a blog you miss some big milestones. Like your oldest son starting school. It’s been a whirlwind of a summer and fall. Maximus started preschool with a little bit of anxiety and a lot of excitement. We got past the initial confusion of not going every day but that doesn’t stop him from asking if it’s a school day.


I’ve noticed a lot of changes since he started school, but the first was his maturity. He went from being a toddler to a preschooler really fast. He started brushing his teeth on his own and getting his shoes on without being asked. The tantrums and fits went down and he listened better. {The tantrums are back, unfortunately. I think weather tireds?} He was more willing to help and overall he acted older.


Now that we’re a couple months into school, he’s really learning things. He’s learned how to color with big strokes, is a master with scissors, and loves sounding out words and trying to spell things. And asks a million questions. Last week he asked me what dew was. He switched subjects quickly and I forgot he asked. He didn’t let me off the hook though. “Mommy, you didn’t tell me what dew is.”


We’ve had a number of “mommy-maximus days” after he gets done with preschool. It’s a pretty special time for both of us. He picks lunch and we play or watch movies while Quinten is at daycare. I can’t think of a better way to spend an afternoon off. 😄