Monday, January 28, 2013

She's Hired a Lifeguard

This is the image I walked into while cooking supper the other night!

If you haven't read the post from the other day, this blog post won't make any sense.  So go back and read it first. Just wanted to capture this phase of Autum's life and her obsession with 'wimming!  You can tell Blake is really wondering what the heck is wrong with his sister's...!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Partners in Crime!

(this video only gets a green line when I post it on the blog, sorry!)

Last night Jerad and I had the realization that Autum may actually be the instigator in she and Blake's relationship.  When all along, we thought Blake might be the culprit for trouble.  I constantly hear, ", 'mon!" (2-year version of come on) "Bobby! Nooooow! Go!"

She is starting to realize she can make him do whatever she wants, then plays it off like it was his fault...luckily, for Blake, Mommy and Daddy are catching on to this as well.
Cartoons and snacks! (they always have to sit this close)

What? I didn't do anything...

"Neigh, neigh!"
She is always the first to help him get his coat off after preschool.

Swimsuits and snack time, you can see who the bowl is closer too.
Autum's new daily activity is "wim!"  (swim)  She takes off her pajamas and diaper, usually before I even get her out of her crib in the morning in preparation for a day of 'wimming.  She immediately gets her swimsuit out of the drawer, her goggles and diving sticks.  Then she toddles her way into the living room (aka swimming pool) and begins doing her laps.  She will stand on the couch, throw her diving sticks into the middle of the floor, then jump in after them.  She lies on her tummy and pretends to swim, then she will get up and run around swinging her arms yelling 'wim! 'wim! Whee!

Then I tell her its time to go somewhere...and this is how she reappears from her room.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013


Every year about this time, it seems the FLU freaks every one out.  It's the bird flu.  It's H1N1.  And on and seems everyone has the flu.  Or has had the flu.  Or thinks they are getting the flu.

So every year everyone freaks out.  And gets the flu.  And survives.

My opinion on how to avoid the flu and treat the flu has changed over the past 4 years.  In fact, my whole view of treating illness has changed.  I have learned there are several factors that influence a person's chance of getting sick.

 Sleep.  Nutrition.  Exercise.

I like to explain it to people through CrossFit's definition of wellness.  (yes, sorry, you are going to hear about it some more)  Picture an arc.  On one end of the spectrum of the arc you have 'sickness.'  On the other end you have 'wellness.'  The goal each day is to create as big of a hedge as you can between yourself and the sickness end of the arc.  You do this by sleeping well at night.  By trying to get 7-8 hours of sleep as often as you can.  By getting continuous sleep, uninterrupted REM cycle.  By creating the best environment to sleep in.  NO light, cover up your alarm clock or turn it away from you.  No computer, TV, or Kindle or iPad, etc. right before bed.  It creates an adrenaline rush.  If you are hungry before bed, eat a small bite of a higher carbohydrate food.  It helps trigger the release of tryptophan.  Sleep keeps your cortisol levels down.  High levels of cortisol weaken the adrenal glands, weaken the liver, weaken the immune system....and on and on.

You also do this by eating clean.  This is much bigger of an issue in relation to your immune system than most people realize or give credit too.  Your gut dictates your overall health.  Seriously.  If your gut is not digesting food well, you aren't getting the nutrients you need from food.  You aren't digesting your supplements, medicine, etc.  You are leaking food into your bloodstream via your 'leaky' gut and the body treats these food globules like a foreign substance and triggers the immune system into action by producing antihistamine which causes inflammation--inflammation is NO good....when this cycle is  constantly happening every time you eat, you can expect your body to wear down.  So when a 'truly' foreign virus or bacteria is exposed in the system, the body has very little left to 'fight' it with and will result in getting sick.  There are many other factors that go into this physiological happening, but I'll spare you the nerdy details.  Main thing to consider is that you need to be eating lots of vegetables, some fruits, good sources of protein and fat (more than you think).  Drinking lots of water.  Make sure and get some good sea salt doses in.  Salt helps kill off the bad stuff.  So do onions.  Elderberry juice has said to help prevent the flu as well as help you recover faster if you do have it.  Zinc.  Vitamin C.  Warm lemon water mixed with honey and a pinch of sea salt helps soothe a sore throat and cough.  Eat brothy foods.

Finally, exercise.  You knew it was coming.  It is important.  You need to be strong enough to lift things off of the floor.  You need the lung capacity to go up and down stairs.  You need to exercise to continue to be efficient at functional movements.  You need to exercise to be prepared to react to whatever situation your life may call you too, on any given day.  The heavier weight you can lift off of the floor the most times (wellness) the bigger wedge you are putting between yourself and not being able to pick a napkin off of the floor (sickness).  Another concept that applies to the wellness spectrum.  So get moving.  Lift something heavy every now and again.  Push something.  Pull something.  Do some labor work.  Other than what you normally do in a day.  Your body is already adjusted to that.

Anyway, just my 2 cents on the FLU season.  Make yourself well by being smart with your everyday life.  Even if you do get sick, which my family has all experienced over Christmas, you have not failed.  BUT, if you are sleeping well.  Eating well, and being active.  You will recover faster.  And may avoid more illness than you contract.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Inner Thoughts of an Athletic Woman

I swear if I hear it one more time...come from a woman's mouth...the remark to most often a weight-lifting, more specifically CrossFit question...of "I DON'T WANT TO GET BULKY."---I hope I'm near an oly bar loaded with 300 lbs. because I'm pretty darn sure I'll be able to PR on my deadlift out of frustration and anger!!!

I have heard that question or comment probably 10 times in the past month alone.  It really bothers me that women would rather uphold the 'skinny-fat' look that is as unhealthy as a chain-smoker that only drinks Diet Coke---than to be STRONG!  I'm guessing the whole supermodel skinny image that is splashed in our faces every second has something to do with it.  In addition, I think most men prefer the 'softer' look--not sure if it's out of insecurity or what so they are always the first to comment on a strong, fit woman's 'manly' appearance.  And of course there will always be haters of a fit woman's build, usually the haters are criticizing from behind their computer screens where they have been sitting for the past 10 years--that have no athletic background or appreciation for what it takes to be strong.  But I also believe it has something to do with our poorly educated understanding of what fitness is and how we should get fit.  Most gyms and popular magazines, and textbooks (as much as I hate to say it) have it all wrong.  The focus of getting fit is solely on our looks.  Most of us gauge our fitness levels on this as well.  If we are skinny, we are fit.  At least that is the assumption we all make. 

This is where we are wrong.

I think this is why I love CrossFit so much as well.  It is the sport of fitness.  And one of its key components is that everything is measurable.  So our fitness can be measured by time, reps, sets, and progress over time---as opposed to the .2 lbs we lost on a scale.  It removes the focus from 'what I look like' 'what I do.'

Let me tell you, there is nothing more powerful than lifting a heavy weight off of the ground and pushing it over your head.  Especially when it's a heavier weight than you've ever lifted before.  IT IS EMPOWERING. There is something amazingly exciting about doing your first pull-up, especially as a woman who has NEVER been able too in her entire life.  There is something humbling about squatting 5 reps of a weight that you could not even squat once when you tried a few months back.  No, there is not.

It is okay to be a strong woman.  It is okay to have defined arms.  Sculpted rear.  A V-shape, tight back that makes your waist look small.  Curvy, formed calves.  And the infamous 6-pack defined abs.  (take it from a man's perspective if you don't believe me)

Strong women are beautiful.  Something about CrossFit and lifting heavy things does that for most girls and women.  And I think its because it changes them from the inside--out.  And it all surrounds confidence.  Any woman with confidence will shine in a room full of people.  And confidence is attractive. 

And while you are getting stronger, faster, and will most likely reshape your body entirely--to the way you were first trying to get too.  You see, getting strong, will get you leaner and tighter.  But it becomes an added benefit that you may not even notice happening while you are working your tail off to get a personal record on your 1 rep max squat.  Or improve your 400 meter run/walk time.

But it happens. 

You will NEVER get a tight rear end by wearing SHAPE shoes or by running and walking everyday.  NOPE.  You will, however, get a swimsuit ready bikini by deadlifting, squatting, lunging, and box jumping.  But outside of a nice rear will be getting stronger, healthier.  You will be putting a larger hedge between you and illness, as you push yourself further toward 'fit' level on the arc of wellness. 

You will NEVER get 6-pack abs by doing 100 sit ups.  But you will get them by walking or squatting with heavy things overhead.  Or by catching weight in a front-rack position.  Or by doing push-ups, pull-ups, or any other body weight gymnastic movement.  As well as eating good food.

So be okay with being strong.  Be okay with 'bulking up' as some non-athletic, people would like to call it.  Those who choose to overlook being fit and healthy with looking skinny. 

My own personal example...probably 4 years ago, I weighed nearly 130 lbs.  ran A LOT.  Swam A LOT.  Rode my bike A LOT.  Pretty much cardio'ed myself to death.  I ran marathons, half-marathons, competed in triathlons and lifted light weights 2 days a week--mainly because I was supposed too--but didn't want to put on any weight.  Heaven-forbid!  But what I also didn't have was a regular cycle.  I had acne bad.  I could not get pregnant again.  I was constantly tired.  Stressed out.  Short-fused.  And weak...

This was me at a triathlon in Lawrence, probably summer of 2008 or 2009...not sure

After countless doctors telling me I needed to workout less and eat more, I finally had to give in.  Mainly because we wanted more children, and this seemed to be the only way it was going to happen.  I had to find a way to escape this hole I was falling further into, but I also had to find a way to meet my needs for competition, stress relief, and exercise!  Thus entered CrossFit into my life.

But honestly, it took nearly 2 1/2 more years before I bought into the whole 'strong' woman identity.  I finally sold out to CrossFit in late 2011.  And I rarely weigh myself now and really don't care, but I can tell you all of my 1 RM's I can lift in squat, press, bench, deadlift, power clean, many pull-ups I can do.  I can tell you my time in Fran.  Annie.  Grace.  Helen...and on and on. 

This I know..
I am strong. 
Probably 'bulky' by most people's standards.  But I truly DO.NOT.CARE.
I will say this, I weigh nearly 15 lbs. more than I did in that last picture.  Which is what I weighed at 9 months pregnant with Leah...but I still wear the same clothes.  Although they fit more snug in different places, they fit. 

You can be strong and be beautiful too.  You don't have to give into the image of being skinny fat to be beautiful.

I'll tell you one thing...being 15 pounds heavier hasn't ever felt SO good!

Monday, January 7, 2013

1st Day of Preschool

So the morning started out like any other.  Running behind. I lost track of time this morning, so woke Leah up late...and if this girl has to be rushed in the morning its NO good.  She has to do her things, her way, in her time...NO changing it up!  So, dealing with her diva attitude this morning made it really hard for me focus on the thought that we were entering a new stage in life today....we would now have 2 kids in school.  That means the majority of our children are now school age'...and the pendulum no longer swings toward the baby stage.  AHHHHH!! 

Poor Blake.  Poor bud. He had NO idea how his world was about to change this morning.  He came toddling up the stairs after Leah got him out of his crib for me, smiling with snot stretched from ear to ear, signing "juice, please" and pointing toward his high chair.  This boy wakes up starved, I guess.  So I got him his breakfast and began to tell him about his school day which he replied by waving his hand at me to get away...figures!  He did not want to have this conversation now.  Autum on the other hand took it all in..she hurried through her breakfast, picked out her clothes, and came in carrying her shoes to have me help her put on.  Then she ran back into her room and came out dragging Blake's book bag, her duffle bag, and their mini-Elmo bag.  Then she ran back and got her hat and her coat.  Well, I eventually got Blake full enough to be content with getting out of his high chair and getting dressed.  He got dressed and in normal fashion, ran into the living room to play with his toys.  I had to scoop him up and get his shoes and coat on, to which he grunted and wiggled in disgust.  We walked to school today, and it was pretty chilly thanks to the wind.  So Blake was NOT a happy camper by the time we arrived at the school front.  I snapped a few pics and in the door we went...
He stole Autum's bags, I'm guessing to get one rise and squeal out of her before he was off to school.

Oh the drama!

Best buddies!

Autum and I walked home, and she kept turning around asking "where, Bobby?"  I told her he was at school and we moved on.  Then she'd ask again....and again.....and again....and again.  Until 11 am rolled around and we ran some errands before going to pick him up from his first day.  He was pretty whiny and clingy when we got home.  He wrapped his arms around my legs and squeezed his head between my knees, and remained there while I prepared lunch.  I think he missed his "mama!"  I am guessing he was having a little anxiety too from so much change, so many new faces, such a new place.  Very understandable.  I didn't really get to help him ease into the classroom, the teacher grabbed his arm, took him in the room, and shut the my frustration, so I walked away praying he wasn't too scared.  Realizing this was the first step in is life, that I have to begin to let go...already.  I was really emotional walking out of there, felt like I was leaving my baby behind.  But I'm sure it will get better with each day he goes.  We reached an agreement for him to go 2 days a week, for 2 hours to start out with.  My Mommy instinct tells me he's not ready to go full-time yet.  So this is a happy medium.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

The Wood's Christmas

This picture is the result of Christmas Part II: Jerad's mom LOVES Christmas time and always goes all out for gifts for everyone.  We each take turns opening one gift at a time, starting with the youngest and moving to the oldest.  As you can see the kids have more than enough toys/clothes to keep them busy for a long time.  Or so I thought, just 2 days after this Leah came to me and said the "forbidden, get yourself a list of chores to do now," words....I'M BORED!

Setting all the presents up.

Chatting with Uncle Chad!

Autum trying out her new chair.

Bumper 4-Wheelers.

Showing his new doll how to ride the Barbie 4-Wheeler!

New basement toy! Teeter Totter...Autum isn't quite sure about it yet!
YUMMM, gluten-free almond ice cream bar!

Air hockey!
Bowling. The trick is to get the pins knocked over before Blake swipes them with his arms and then laughs hysterically! (told you he was ornery)
The kids were starting to feel better by this Christmas get together so it was a little more fun and exciting for them.  School started again Thursday, Jan 3, so the break was short and quick, even more so when everyone was sick the entire week and a half they were off.  Blake starts preschool Monday.  He'll go two days a week for his therapies and social time.  I feel 2 days a week is best for him now, as we are still working on bonding, trust, and attachment issues at home.  Where I feel he'll learn the most.  Plus we have a built-in peer, with Autum being around, so he is getting plenty of socialization with her too.  There is one other boy Blake's age with Down Syndrome in his class, so I'm SO excited for them to become fast friends, and most likely, partners in crime!

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Goodbye 2012

As I think back about this past year, I laugh, because this is what I posted last year...about how I wanted this year (2012) to be...
My New Years Resolution to Nothing

I feel the summary of 2012 could not be more aptly titled.  We did just that.  Nothing.  Nilch. Nada.

It was a very low-key year.  I honestly and fully believe it was God's desire for us.  To lay low.  Relax.  And the minute we began to think of doing something, even the thought of it.  Someone got sick.  And we would HAVE to stay home. :)

We never decided whether we now have the "3 Kids Syndrome" and so its harder to go anywhere or to hand out with other people.  Or if we have the "3 Young Children Syndrome" where the kids are too young to miss naps, stay up late, require to much crap to making it worth packing, or make any getaway easy-for that matter.

We spent a lot of time at home.  Together.  In fact, Jerad and I were in bed by 9 pm on more than a handful of evenings.  And I wasn't complaining. In fact, it became one of my favorite times of the day.  Resting, in bed, while Jerad and I caught up on the day's events, just talking.  With no screaming. Crying. Fits. Demands. Just quiet.
    My Motto is: when there is no guarantee you are going to get to sleep all night, you go to bed early. :)
What a life, huh?  If you have kids, you will not judge!

So in true fashion, we were in bed at 10 pm last night...which seems like midnight to those of us with little kids..discussing what this next year will be like.  I am just not a "New Year's Resolution" person.  If I'm convicted of something, motivated by something, changed or effected by something, I resolve to change it right then.  Not to wait.  That's just me.  I cannot hardly remember a time that I made a New Year's Resolution.

I've made lists of things I'd like to do throughout the year, and my list grows, as the year progresses. But that's about it.
I made my mind up last year to train for the Crossfit Open to qualify for the Regional games starting in February.   I'd like to compete in an olympic lifting meet this year.  I'd like to do an adventure race with Jerad.  We'd both like to get back into mountain biking--we used too before kids.  Go on vacation.  More dates..I think I've said this every year. 

Leah made a are her top things: 1. Go to a Museum 2. Go to a bigger zoo. 3. Dive off the diving board. 4. Go skiing in Colorado (we talk about this a lot)  5. My family can play together more. 6. Go to a bigger water park. (notice a theme?)  7. Camp out in a tent. 8. Go to Disney World again....ha.ha.ha...

I think most of all this year I am going to try to enjoy life with young kids more.  It is such a struggle for me.  I always seem to look at what we are not able to do.  We seem to have no close friends now to hang out with.  We rarely get invited out.  We can't do this....or that....and on and on.  But I am overlooking the life we are in, living, and doing, right now. 

So my main focus will be to loosen up.

As for what this year holds, I have no idea.  Nothing seems to be on my radar, as far as the bigger picture goes.  So for now, I'll just sit back and see.  Don't worry I'll keep you posted to any change.