Thursday, June 24, 2010

Summer Jobs

First, I have to thank a friend of a friend on facebook for sharing the original idea for this! Here is a list of jobs for my 8-year-old to do this summer. We are starting out having him earn video game time, but we will modify soon to include all "screen time." He really enjoys earning something for his efforts, and he NEEDS some structure in his day. He does have swim practice followed by swim lessons each morning, but there will be plenty of "down time" in the afternoon and some evenings.

Summer 2010
NCH’s Earning Video Game time
All rules are subject to change by Mom and Dad!
• Reading = minute for minute* (does not include one hour of reading time every day)
• Vacuum upstairs = 15 minutes
• Clean windows = 15 minutes... (Mom will explain further)
• Laundry (gather, sort, fold, put away) = 10 minutes per load
• Weed (see Dad) = 15 minutes per area
• Unload dishwasher (except glasses) = 10 minutes
• Dusting = 10 minutes per room (must move items)
• vacuum the kitchen=10 minutes
. vacuum basement = 10 minutes
. do dishes = 10 minutes
. book report = 10 minutes
. math practice = 10 minutes
The following chores are not included in earning video game time…
o Feeding fish
o Cleaning your bathroom
o Cleaning (tidying) your bed room
o Setting the table
o Clearing off the table
o tidying the backyard

Time can be lost for disrespect, fighting, not obeying and anything else deemed by Mom or Dad!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Follow up to Fitness Update

I promised I would get back to you upon completion of The 30 Day Shred, and here I am with a final comment or two:
I finished Day 30 last night and I am SO pleased with the results. Remember, I didn't lose weight and I didn't do a food log, nor did I eat according to a certain plan. I simply did the daily workout every day and found great improvement in my endurance and especially in my strength. I HIGHLY recommend this program, especially if you are confined to the home for fitness.
So what's next? I know I mentioned the Jillian Michaels "Making the Cut" book/plan, but I am putting that on hold for now. Why? Because there is a specific meal plan and our family schedule does not lend itself to cooking specific breakfasts, lunches and dinners. (Next Monday, for example, goes like this: 7:30am-9 swim team practice for older two, 9:15-10:15 swim lesson for oldest, 10:15-11 swim lesson for girls, 11 dash home for lunch, 1-5 craft camp for CAH, 3:30/4-8?? swim meet, 7:45-8:15 dance practice for Sweet C!!) Still not sure how it's all going to work, but I will drive myself crazy if I try to follow a very specific meal plan for the next 6 weeks!
Instead, I am going to:
1) repeat the 30 Day Shred, but this time I will do Level One one day, Level Two the next, and Level Three the next and keep rotating all month. I will also increase the weights I will use during Strength Training portions.
2) continue running a 5K through the neighborhood three times a week. It's not too bad in the summer, as I can run at 8:30pm and still see the road! I have two "races" later in the summer, so I want to be sure I can still complete the full course (my pace continues to hover between 9.5 min-10min/mile.)
3) keep a food log - writing down EVERYTHING that goes in my mouth! Usually when I start to keep a food journal, I start out ok, but if/when I eat unhealthy food, I stop logging. This time, I really want to stick with it, no matter what I eat.
4) do a yoga DVD a few times a week. I have noticed that although my strength has improved, my flexibility has actually decreased a bit. I am excited to do a yoga workout now that I am stronger (and hopefully can support myself better in some of the poses!)
So that's the plan. I am still very interested in "Making the Cut" but I will wait until Fall to go gung-ho on that plan.
I'll keep you posted...

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Fitness Update

Many friends have been asking me about my latest fitness "kick." If you read my blog, you know I'm into fads and kicks, but I also have a true desire to be fit, in shape, trim, and healthy. Almost a month ago, I borrowed from my local library a DVD called "Jillian Michaels 30 Day Shred." For those who may not know, Jillian Michaels is a trainer from the TV show "The Biggest Loser." Her Shred DVD includes three 20-minute workouts. Each workout has strength training, cardio and abs. I was drawn to this program for several reasons - Jillian gets results, the workouts are only 20 minutes long, and there are three levels (you spend the first 10 days on level one, next 10 on level two, and last 10 on level three.) This seemed reasonable to me. Also, I could do this in my own home, with the only required equipment being some hand weights. (I have 2, 3 and 5 pound weights.)
So here I am on Day 25. I won't lie to you - the first few days on each level have been extremely challenging!! Actually, half way into level three is STILL very difficult, but I am SEEING RESULTS. At the beginning, I could do 4 real push-ups. Now I can do over 20! Last night, I did 15 real sit-ups (no feet hooked under the couch.) The weight is not dropping off, but much of my flab is turning to muscle (hooray!!) (Also, I am not paying attention to what I am eating...the kids have swim team practice from 5-6:30pm for the month of June, which is not conducive to healthy family dinner hour!) But I WILL get back on track with eating - first by logging everything I eat, and then by making healthier choices and limiting portions.

Here are some things I never knew about fitness:
1) Your body gets used to exercise, so you have to change up your routine from time to time.
2) Strength training is essential! (I NEVER did any weight/strength training in my life - I figured "why bother building muscles you will have to maintain?") According to a brochure from Weight Watchers, "Building muscle tissue burns extra calories (even at rest!), tones your body, and helps to conserve and even increase bone mass."

So what next? I just discovered: Jillian Michaels' book "Making the Cut." I borrowed a copy from the library and then realized it would be worth the money to buy the includes meal plans, exercise plans as well as "how to" photos and descriptions, and some healthy, yummy recipes! I can't wait to get started, as soon as I finish the last few days of the Shred. I'll let you know how it works for me...

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

School Supply List

Yes, my older two children brought home their school supply lists for the fall, (already!) My immediate feeling was, "No! I'm not ready for 1st grade and 3rd grade!" My stomach started to churn and an anxious feeling overwhelmed me for a moment. My personality type LOVES lists and getting things organized, but a more tender (and rare) side felt so sad to know that my babies are doing something so normal (growing!) and I can't do a thing to stop it!!
Now that the initial panicky feeling has subsided, I do look forward to taking each of my children for some special one-on-one time to shop for school supplies (in August!) and I am so grateful that they are developing and growing healthily.
For the new moms out there, you probably get tired of hearing it, but these little ones grow so quickly! I admit, with my first child, I had no idea what was to come. Some phases seemed to last forever and I did not have the experience/perspective to know that it was just a season, and that it would end, and something new would begin. I'm sure I am spoiling my 2 1/2 year old, but I am just basking in his innocence...I LOVE to watch him play and explore. I am often brought to tears, not because I am tired of the mundane and longing for the next phase (as I sometimes did with my first), but because I know this will end so quickly!