Thursday, May 29, 2014

Life from this View

Life at this point,

...looks something like this... (and I'm writing this for future reference)
There are at least 5 pairs of muddy shoes sitting on my back deck...consisting of flip flops, tennis shoes, rain boots, water shoes, and sandals (to be worn to church, only...ya right!)...

I have at least 3 red solo cups full of water containing dandelion flowers, roses from the front flower bed, and some type of grass project Blake made at school I'm supposed to keep alive.  And only recently has Leah added a cup full of flower petals from the neighbors flower garden floating in water...a gift for me actually.  And I've almost regifted it 3 times today picking it up to take a drink of my tea before realizing it was not my tea.

My front porch contains a worn to threads welcome mat, a mailbox with 2 towels hanging off of it from the pool trip today, along with 3-4 stinch filled bags of poopy diapers I'm too lazy to walk out to the trash dumpster.  I've only sling shotted one bag at just the right distance to land in front of the dumpster...other attempts I failed miserably, hitting the van, the side of the house and even knocked over a now I leave them attract flies and give the mailman a gag.

My vacuum filter contains hundreds of stick on earrings and fake fingernails...a dozen hair rubber bands....a few hundred cheerios and raisins...and grass clippings and mud...from every bit of our yard.

More than likely the front door, back door, or garage door is swung wide open as a mindless child hurriedly busted through it on a mission for Jerad puts it, "cooling the outdoors."

There is half-naked family of baby dolls strewn across my living room floor...some hanging halfway out of a shopping cart or half smashed under the rocking chair, and one staring creepily from the high chair it was abandoned in earlier in the day.

None of our paperback books have covers on Blake has taken it upon himself to tear them all off.

The kitchen floor has two distinct sticky circles around both booster chairs at the dining room table.  Paired with crumbs from chips, crackers, pretzels, popcorn, discarded peas, sticky rice, and chicken pieces.

You can follow a trail of clothes to Autum's room, as she has made her way through half of her closet in her multiple outfit changes during the day.  Tangled panties, 2-3 swim suits, pink sparkly shoes, gymnastic leotard, sundresses, a random snow boot, another pair of Dora panties, leopard print socks, and a stocking hat.

All the lights will be on all the bedrooms, both lights in the bathrooms, all the closet lights, the laundry room light and possibly even the garage light--wherever Leah has been looking for something she has to have.

Most likely Despicable Me 2 or Frozen will be in the DVD player, ready to be played at the push of a remote button and pending a quick moment I need to take a shower.

There are 2 full laundry baskets needing to be folded, containing 75% of Leah's clothes that were never dirty but that she didn't want to put away from the last laundry day and just tossed in her dirty clothes hamper.

Bug spray and sunscreen are the 2 mainstays in my purse this time of year...

The whole entire house smells of whatever body spray Leah decided to douse herself with at any given moment at any point of day...for whatever reason, our insisting that 1 spray is plenty does not sink in for her...

Our pantry contains boxes and boxes of fruit snacks, packages of gum, 1/2 unwrapped, opened boxes of raisins, nibbled on apples, half peeled bananas, spilled cereal...

...and don't even think about opening our tupperware cabinet...

Hair dressing school opens for business at random times of the day, and I always have to be the 'dummy.'...last night it took me 20 minutes to untangle and untie all the clips and rubberbands Leah put in my hair before bed...

We go through tubes and tubes of toothpaste because I"m most certain Blake and Autum eat more of it than they actually brush with...and all the toothbrush bristles are blue and hard as rocks because they never get cleaned...

There is a pink stepping stool in front of the toilet for easy access...and also a toddler toilet seat on top...

The oven buzzer goes off every 25 minutes during the days I'm home because I am determined to potty train Blake this summer.

My thumbs automatically punch in channel 169 for Disney and cartoons every time I pick it up...even if the kids are in bed.

All living room equipment can be converted to gymnastics tumbling mats in a matter of minutes.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

What A Day

Yesterday was exhausting. 
Mainly because it was one of those crazy days.

It started with the idea to buy a stupid baby pool.
It's hot. 
The kids are bored.
And the sprinkler lost its excitement by 1 pm.  So why not?  Make a quick run out to Wal-mart. 
Fill up a pool. Endless hours of fun.  And I could possibly get the baskets full of clothes folded, that had been sitting in the living room for 3 days...

I should have known.
We get to Wal-Mart.  Pick up a few things.  Which required us to walk back and forth across the place 2 times.  By the time we get to the front, there are 400 people in line and 2 checkers.  So we just get in line and wait...hoping they can ring up the pool at the cash register.  While I work to keep the 2 little's from pulling every possible gadget and gift card off the display cases conveniently placed at their eye level...Blake proceeds to let off some gas.  And it is stinky enough to cause some heads to turn...and Autum to ask, "Mommy, you poopy?" 

Well, what seemed like 45 minutes later...and some waving of our hands and dramatic nose plugging by Autum...we survive Blake's stink, while trapped between carts and impatient people.  Somehow, someway, Autum discovers she has a blister on her foot from her flip flops...and it reaches a level outside of her standable pain threshold apparently...because she begins to whine...then moan, then yell and finally scream, "My foot is on fire! My foot is on fire! I need a band-aid...Mommmmmmyyyyyy!  OUCHYYYYYY!!!"

Me, a little slow, not sure what is happening, picks her up and calms her enough for her to tell me what her problem is...
Well, crap.  Now what. I don't have a cart.  We are stuck in stink-ville...and Autum has concluded she can't walk.  And I'm not even sure if I'll be able to buy a pool at this register.

We finally get up to the front and thank God...we can ring up the pool at the register.  The cashier informs me there is only one left.  So I say we will take it.  I am to pull up to the lawn and garden center and load it myself.  Just be sure to show my receipt.

Easy enough.

I get everyone in the van. Blake needs a diaper change.  Autum's foot needs doctored. Both are crying.  So I hurriedly pull into the pool area. I see the pool we bought.  I lower the seats in the back of the van. Confidently walk over to load up the pool and come to the stinkin' realization that the pool is TOO...BIG...for the van.  It is 6'...and my van is not.

Well, crap.  Now what?
I drive around the parking lot twice.  Analyzing my options.
Jerad is gone.  Out of the state. With the big truck.
I have 2 screaming, tired kids, who will hit a whole new level of angry when I tell them we can't swim in the new pool.
I don't know anyone to help.

So I'll just call Jerad. And I headed home. Maybe the little's won't notice. 

So I tried to play up the idea of the sprinkler again when we got home.  Hoping it would distract them enough for me to figure out how to get that stupid pool home.  I put the kids in their suits and I put on mine...we head out back to do something, not sure what, but something with water, by God!

It then dawns on me, Blake has a home visit from his Head Start teachers in 5 minutes....
I run inside, change my clothes...and decide to just leave things a this point, I did not care.

We walk around the side of the house just as his teachers are knocking on the door.  About that time, I smell Blake...again.  STINK!

I rush him upstairs to his bathroom, determined he will finally poop on the toilet.  I leave him up there, crying.  I return to floor level to talk to his teachers.  Autum goes up to check on him.  I hear some shuffling around upstairs but just ignore it...trying to rush through paperwork so his teachers' don't have to stick around too long.  About that time, the doorbell rings, Jerad's friend showed up with a truck to get our pool (YAY!)...I get him the receipt.  Turn around and see Blake run down the stairs, butt naked...with just his swim shoes on...while Autum is chasing after him...trying to pinch his "boy parts."  They are both laughing hysterically.

I grab his arm just as he is about to streak through our meeting...yank him up the stairs and put him back on the toilet.  Quickly run back downstairs...and try to proceed with meeting like all is well.

Oh my gosh!!  

...we finally got our pool. After confusion about bar codes not matching.  The kids swam all night.  Mommy had a few glasses of wine. Blake never went #2 on the toilet.  And we all went to bed early with final prayers for supernatural favor for Thursday.

Thursday, May 15, 2014


I was discussing working out, coaching, and personal training with a fellow class participant the other night.  We discussed how people coach differently, and have different expectations of their clients.  How the cultures of gyms are different and therefore attract different types of exercisers.  She was explaining to me how somedays she walks into the gym and just doesn't feel like pushing herself.  Especially after working all day, taking care of her kids, and everything else life may bring...she just mentally checks out and may loaf through her workout.  Being competitive and training with a purpose or goal in mind, just is NOT on her radar.  She works out to relieve stress, maintain her health, and feel good about herself.  And somedays only because she HAS too, she pays a membership, she better use it. 

Then she looks at me and says, "something you would NEVER understand."  And laughs.

I was caught off guard.  I have already been facing my inner demon of worrying what others think about me.  My realization of how much I let what people think or might think of me, affect how I think, act, speak, or believe. Again. 

So where a comment like this may not have jarred me so much before, it did this particular day. I couldn't shake what she said from my thoughts.  "What does she mean by that?"  "Am I not relatable?"  "Does she think I don't experience those same thoughts/feelings from time to time?"  "Who does she think I really am?"  "What am I portraying about myself, as an athlete and coach?"

This last question is one I pondered the most. 
I asked my husband about it.  And my mom, of course.
Prayed about it. Of course.

And what I've realized is that it is one thing to worry about what people think of me and let it change who I truly am.  And another to be sensitive to how I portray myself, day to day.  How I come across.  Who or what am I representing in the bigger picture?

I have really never given thought to what the sum of what I put out there about myself following?  I am more of a here and now thinker/doer. 

Most people know I am a personal trainer and coach.  It's my job.  My life.  Therefore, I talk about it a lot.  I share videos and articles about it a lot on social media.  I post videos of myself working out a lot.  Other post pictures of me working out.  I post videos of my clients working out.  And their individual progress.  

Here is why:  To me, my goal is to inspire.  To motivate.  To encourage.  To educate. 
I am passionate about it.  It excites me, energizes me.  Challenges me.   I also have real goals.  Big ones.  I work hard, really hard.  It is the only way I know how to approach anything.

Here is what it may appear as to others (I'm just now realizing):  I like to look at myself and want others to as well.  To show off.  To brag about how much weight I can lift.   I am another one of those annoying people drinking the CrossFit Kool-Aid.  I am not relatable to the everyday exerciser.  I don't understand struggles other women face.  I am advertising.  That I don't realize there are more important things in life than exercising/CrossFit.

Why these thoughts seem so completely far away from who I am and what I know about myself as an individual...they may not appear so, to others.  

In fact, I do struggle. In real ways.  Just like everyone else. 
And where I may share that in my life as a mom, wife, and in my spiritual walk--I may not in my work, my exercising and my personal training.  Possibly because I have more confidence in this area than I do the others, perhaps?  Not sure.  But it is there.  The fear. Doubt. Lack of motivation someday's. 

I am thankful for this being brought to my attention.  
Transparency is my goal. 
... In EVERY aspect of my life. Time to make some changes.

Monday, May 12, 2014

All School's Day

This past weekend marked our first All School's Day Experience as a residents.  We started the event off with Leah's school barbecue and half day of school Thursday.  That evening we visited the carnival.  We could NOT get Blake on any ride but the bouncy house and the motorcycles--and that was after MUCH convincing.  Autum started out brave, but ended with getting off the Alligator roller coaster mid-ride. We slept in Friday morning and made our way uptown for the highly-attended parade with Mimi.  The weather was perfect.  We had good seats and good company, and bags full of candy, which made for a great experience for the kids.  Leah left with every politician's sticker stuck to the front of her shirt.  Blake had blue sucker running down his face and arms.  Autum had cheeks full of candy, begging for more. We came home, reapplied sunscreen, ate a quick lunch, and headed to Midway Motors for more inflatables and a petting zoo.  The kids shed their shoes and sprinted from one inflatable to the next.  After awhile, Blake couldn't contain himself and we had to cool down and step away from all the excitement.  So we visited the bison, goats, llamas, monkeys, kangaroos, and other animals.  He kept wanting and signing for "more" handfuls of food to feed the animals and I would put it in the palm of his hand to give the animals and he would turn and throw it at them.  Ugh. Ha! Still working on proper interaction with animals/people. :)  But he was cracking himself up which was quite contagiously hysterical. 

 After the festivities there, we headed to the Matathon at the park. I had no idea what that was. Just heard it described as crazy fun for 8th graders, 5th graders and Seniors.  So off we went to observe.  Plus, Leah had been begging for a face painting which was at this park.  She stood in line 1 1/2 hours with a friend for that, while Autum and Blake and I played on the playground.  Then, Autum decided to run away because the "park wasn't fun anymore" while I was tending to mom and I looked and looked...all over the place. Panic began to set in.  I was looking for a police officer by this point in time...fearing she was gone.  There were 100's of people roaming around, in crazy colored clothes and outfits, screaming, yelling and competing.  Completely distracted from a wandering little toddler.  I swear in all of this I heard the announcer say "Anna Woods" but dismissed it as my hearing things and kept on looking.  After forever-- my mom comes walking from the crowd with Autum in her arms.  Relief!! Whoa, did we make our All School's Day debut!!  Evidently they were saying my name over the speaker, luckily Autum had the awareness to find someone and tell them she was lost and gave them my name. (with a little help from someone who recognized her) While briefly debating whether to cry and hug her or go crazy on her...I gained composure and counted my blessings.  Both kids were not allowed to let go of my hands the rest of the day.  We decided to go to get snow cones and depart from the Matathon madness for a while, or at least until Leah and her friend got their face painting fix. Cause they were stillllllll waiting in line after all this.  Somehow cold, crunchy, sticky, grape snow cones seemed to erase my previous panic and return my heart rate to normal levels again.
This was right before she cried and bailed. :)

 After snow cones, we headed home, sunburned and tired.  But smiling.  What a great first experience, minus a slight hiccup in losing Autum...we are excited to continue in this tradition for years to come.  Seems to be a big deal!  And now I see why.



Sunday, May 4, 2014

Mom Go-Pro Cam..

After competing in the Warrior Dash and observing several participants with the GoPro camera's strapped to their heads, I begin to wonder what a camera strapped to my head would reveal.

Well, instead of splurging on a camera for my little experiment, I just tried to keep my phone camera close and capture a view from my life the the past few days.

I did not get Leah's anger at me on film tonight, though, but am still laughing at my new challenge she imposed on me...she lost her $ she gets for chores and I told her to look under the fridge (don't ask-another day, another story)...and sure enough, one of her dollars was under there.  Just out of her reach. I was pattying up raw hamburger and could not help her at the time, and my reassurance that I would not be able to reach it either, was not working.  She kept saying, "just move the fridge, mom! Pick it up so I can get my dollar!"  After telling her, "no, we'll have to wait til daddy gets home tomorrow to help me get it..." at least 10 times.  She stomps over in front of me and says, "you lift weights all the time, and you aren't strong enough to pick up this fridge so I can get my dollar!!!"  (as serious as can be, with her hands on her hips)....and proceeds to stomp out of the kitchen.  Guess I have a new motivation for my strength goals... :)  

Keep in mind I spared you from the boredom of piles of laundry I folded, sorted, washed, and picked up off the floor.  Also, I avoided the soapy mess of dishes I did after each meal, the mopping, sweeping, wiping down of counters, floors and tables after meals.  The scrubbing of toilets, changing of sheets, changing of poopy diapers... failed mommy moments with lapses of impatience, and workouts in the garage at dawn and dusk...but here are the highlights at least, the stuff you want to see. 

He loves wearing my hat from the Warrior Dash.

My tag-along while brushing my teeth..

And Waiting at the shower door for me to get out...rather impatiently.
FISH! He loves the fish park.

Over the bridge at the fish park.

In and out of the carseat's...multiple times a day.  Luckily Autum can buckle herself in now.

Spaghetti for supper. His Favorite!!
And her not so she volunteered Elmo to eat her food...

Naptime. He has to be snuggled tight in his Cars sleeping bag to fall asleep.  While being rocked...hope to never give this up. :)

And this little gal, battling some major season allergies, refusing to lie down for her nap, vying for my attention, while everyone else is gone to school.

And using my camera.

Blakes loves to pretend its "bedtime" and he's Autum's baby...and lays down like this...all quiet and peaceful..

Then jumps up and yells like a monster just to make Autum mad...and so she will yell "bad baby!"  And then he laughs and laughs...

His morning workout...getting dressed...
...still working at it. With coaching from his sister.

Girls' soak up some daddy time before he goes back to work that night.

Sitting at Leah's gymnastics practice..the first 5 minutes.

...and then 30 minutes in...needing some entertainment.

...oh baby! He can say baby really well now.
...and this would be the last 1/4 of the hour...running...

...and running.  Sitting and watching is WAY overrated.

Leah mastering her back tuck on the trampoline.  She is getting so much more confident in these.

Sprinkler fun! Brrr....
Soaking up the warm water on the drivway between sprints in the freezing water from the hose.

Feels like summer!

Walk to the park...

Feed the ducks and feed ourselves.


Stopped for a curbside break on walk home. Temperatures rose to 100 degrees and these 2's little legs were wobbly.