Echoing my Mother

Now that I’m a parent I find that I’m using some of the same phrases & terms my parents used with me. When one of my kids always says “Well B did it, so I did it too” my comeback is always “Well, if B jumped off a cliff would you jump off a cliff too?” But there are others that I find myself using too.

When I was in elementary school, my mom had a job as playground duty. She was the adult that walked around the playground monitoring so that everyone had their turn on the swings, nobody got beat up, if there was an injury, she was the one that took care of it.

If people weren’t being nice on the playground, or even if I was at home and my mom and dad were watching the news and a story came on about how someone stole something, blah, blah, blah, my parents always instilled in me that the things these people do, it doesn’t make them a bad person, it just means they made bad choices.

Now, fast forward to my life now. I sent the kids over to a friend’s house the other night while I went and signed some paperwork for my new second job. When I got home, I walked over there & picked them up and actually met the kid’s mom. I had met all the kids before, just not their mom.

When I got home, I started just making conversation and asking questions. What does Suzie’s (name has been changed) mom do for a living? How many brothers & sister’s does Suzie have? What did you guys do while I was gone?

Both T & B brought up that they didn’t know her name, but they knew she had breast cancer…but she had surgery, so she’s all better now. :) They followed that up with “And she smokes…I told Suzie that it’s bad for her mom to smoke…”

I immediately followed it up with “You know, just because she smokes doesn’t make her a bad person…” and both kids answered “yes”. That left me with a huge sigh of relief. I was concerned about that because their stepdad, who was not a nice person, smoked. I’m glad they can differentiate between that and they don’t affiliate anyone that smokes with their stepdad.

What do you find yourself saying to your kids that your parents said to you?

1-2-3 Magic

So, part of my blog is learning about parenting. If you follow me on Facebook or read my blog, you’ll know that I was thrown in to parenting to a 12 and 10 year old last year when my 12 year old stepdaughter (I just call her my daughter) told me of inappropriate things that were going on at her mom’s house.

So, we’ve had the kids in counseling, but then we had to switch counselors and the new counselor recommended we read the book 1-2-3 Magic. I just got done reading this book, so I thought I’d share with you all what I’ve learned.

I think the main point of this book is to teach the parents to not give a reaction to the kids that the kids want. The kids are there to try & get you to scream and yell at them (especially my kids). Because of my kids background, they think negative attention is better than no attention. (Sad, I know.) But, this book emphasizes on when the kid wants to argue with you, you don’t let it get to you and you show no emotion & you don’t talk. Instead, you count. You give me them 3 chances and then you send them to their room. It doesn’t matter if they’re playing in their room or not. You’ve taken them away from they were doing. Once they’ve spent their timeout in their room, you can tell them they can come out, but you don’t readdress what put them in their room. Once again, you still show NO emotion & you don’t talk to them.

I think that’s going to be the hardest for me. When the kids are not obeying or they’re doing something completely obnoxious, it’s hard for me not to show emotion & get all worked up.

The book also emphasizes on “start” behaviors. Getting the kids to “start” doing things (i.e. cleaning room, getting ready in the a.m., etc). This is one area that my kids have A LOT of trouble. Especially with cleaning up after themselves. At their mom’s house, they didn’t have rules. They lived in squalor. Plus, the kids have ADHD. So, when we tell them to clean their room, they throw a fit and it’s an all day task, that could easily take one hour to do. Plus, because they have ADHD, they get distracted easily. Unless you sit in the room with them. Well, like every other parent, I don’t have the time to sit in the room with them, and I don’t WANT to sit in the room with them.

The kids have NO concept of time either. We get them up in the morning in plenty of time to get ready for school and out the door, but they dilly dally around. What they talked about with the “start” behaviors in the book are supposed to help.

One of the ways with start behavior is to set a timer. I think this will work with homework, but with other chores or whatnot, I have a hard time seeing it work. My son has told me before that the timer can sometimes be overwhelming to him.

Another thing that I think is going to be tough, is with cleaning their room, if they don’t clean it, it’s their own fault. We will just close their bedroom door. My husband has a hard time with that. However, I think as long as the door is closed and the kids aren’t in there, then he’ll be ok with it.

Last thing that will help, that we REALLY need to implement, is having “special time” with mom and dad. We need to focus on the 1 on 1 time with each kid. It’s easy for us as parents to get caught up in everything going on in our lives. I know that I’m SUPER busy. I’m going to be starting a second job here in the next week and my husband works graves and sleeps during the day, but we need to carve out 15-20 min a week with each kid by ourselves. It doesn’t have to cost money, even if it’s going to the park. It will help with the family dynamic.

So…with all this being said…have you read the book 1-2-3 Magic? Do you use any of these tips/tricks with your kids? How does it work for you?

Look on the Positive Side

My husband told me a week or so ago that I’m too negative. I will admit, when I get in my bout of depression and anxiety, it’s hard to see the positive side of life. When it feels like EVERYTHING is going wrong, it’s hard to find the positive light in life.

Well, to make an effort to look more at the positive instead of the negative I bought a book to help me with that. The book I bought is Chicken Soup for the Soul: Think Positive. 101 Inspirational Stories about Counting Your Blessing and Having a Positive Attitude.

As I’m reading the foreword, written by  Deborah Norville, right before she ends, she poses six questions for you to contemplate while you’re reading the 101 stories in this book. The questions are:

-Are you living the way you feel you are meant to?

-What are the benefits that come from your own adversities?

-What blessings have happened this day/week?

-Who serves as a role model for you? Have you told them?

-How can you celebrate the mundane and the ordinary?

-What is it your life lacks that would give it greater meaning?

Before even reading any of the stories, I can tell you I’ve got a lot to work on. I don’t know if I’ve ever told my role models that they are role models for me. I hope to do a blog post at least once a week of the blessings I’ve had that week.

Do you look more on the positive side of life? How do you do it? Please feel free to share your answers to any of the above questions.

Just Keep Swimming

I started swimming again this week for the first time in months! I’m surprised my swim suit still fits & my goggles still work and my swim cap didn’t break when I put it on.

I’m super proud of myself because I got up at 5:00 a.m. Monday morning and went swimming. I am SO not a morning person. Plus, I didn’t get to bed until almost 12 a.m., so I was running on like 5 hrs of sleep. I actually woke up around 4:30 a.m. because the dog was whining, and from 4:30 – 5:00 a.m, the entire time I was trying to come up with excuses to not go. Lol.

Somehow I got my butt out of bed and over to the gym by 5:15 a.m. to swim. I was told to swim for 45 min. I wasn’t given specifics, so I made up my own. I did:

200 swim, 200 kick, 200 pull (warm up)
5 x 200 with 30 sec rest
200 cool down

I was a lot faster than I expected. The very first 200 I did in the warm up I did in about 4:09. The longest a 200 took me was 4:30. Last year when I was training for Boise 70.3, I got my 200 time down to about 3:50. So after how long of a hiatus in the pool and I come back and I can swim a 200 that fast? I was very pleasantly surprised. I’m excited to see my times get faster the more I’m in the water and the more I do weights too.

My arms hurt for a couple of days, just in time for me to get in to the pool again on Friday. Friday I had to swim for 60 minutes. Because this week was the first time in MONTHS that I’ve got in the pool, I wasn’t given strict instructions for the swimming workouts. I was just told to get “reacquainted with the pool and keep track of your distance”. Well, because of my anxiety I can’t just go to the pool and swim. I need to have structure and know what I need to be doing. I looked up some swim workouts online, and didn’t like anything. I even called my brother, who used to be on the high school swim team, and wasn’t really “excited” about what he was telling me. But, I was going to do his workout…until I got to the pool. I was pulling out my goggles, paddles and swim cap & saw an old swim workout in a baggie in my bag and that one looked fun. It didn’t seem overwhelming and I knew it would take me about 60 minutes to do, so that’s what I did.

200 swim, 200 kick, 200 pull (warm up)
4 x 100
200 steady
8 x 25
200 steady
8 x 25
4 x 100
200 cool down

By the end of this workout, my arms were T.I.R.E.D. I wanted to get this workout done earlier in the day, but due to other obligations, I wasn’t able to. I had to wait until I dropped the kids off at their mom’s house that night and then I went swimming. So, I did my swimming at 8 p.m. and didn’t get done until 9 p.m. It was weird swimming that late at night, but it was nice to have the pool all to myself too.

I looked at my workout schedule for this next week, and my swims, by the time I’m done, will be about 2800 yds total! I’m already trying not to get overwhelmed by them. Swimming is kind of tough because it gives my mind time to think. You can’t listen to music while you’re swimming like you can when you’re running or riding your bike, so my mind tends to wander, which causes anxiety. Lol.

This means, I’ve got to force myself to get up early on Monday and Friday so I can get my swim in too. It’s tough getting up early when those are the 2 nights that your husband is off and you actually get to sleep in the same bed together. Oh well. I’ll get it done.

Do you do any swimming?

Freddie & the Bike Trainer

Yesterday was the first time in God knows how long that I got on the bike trainer.

My bike is named Freddie, after Freddie Mercury. Now that I’m officially in triathlon training again (I’ve got a 70.3 in Sept), it was time to dust off the bike and trainer and get back in the saddle.

I had a couple of hurdles I had to figure out first. My friendly little 4-legged friend, Dobie, doesn’t like the bike trainer. He doesn’t like the noise it makes or anything. Usually I set my bike up in the living room so I have plenty of space and I can watch TV and get some fresh air from the patio door,  but since Dobie doesn’t like the bike trainer, I can’t do that.

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Some might say “Just ride the bike in the front room any ways, the dog will get used to it”, but he doesn’t. Lol. He comes and bites your feet so you can’t pedal. It’s funny, but it’s not. I like to think of it as him cheering me on, but it clearly upsets him.

So, I decided that I would clear a teeny, tiny little space in the bedroom and set the bike up in there. It’s facing the television, so I can still watch television to make the time go by faster.

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Don't mind the clean laundry on the bed

I got a little frightened because at one point, Dobie made his way back to the bedroom. I didn’t shut the bedroom door otherwise I would have started to feel a little claustrophobic, and I guess the dog woke up from a nap (it’s exhausting being a dog at our house) and heard the bike trainer and came back to investigate. The husband ended up putting up a baby gate at the end of the hall so I could still keep the bedroom door open and the dogs couldn’t get back there to attack my feet while I rode.

I was originally going to get my workout in as soon as I got home, but then the husband got called in to work for some overtime from 1400 hrs to 2000 hrs (2 pm – 8 pm) {Sorry, husband works law enforcement, they go off of military time, which is ingrained in my head now. Lol.}, so I had to cook dinner. Once I finally got kids fed and bathed and dinner cooked and cleaned up, I was finally able to put Freddie on the bike trainer.

I was worried cause the tires were flat as a pancake, and I was REALLY hoping I didn’t have to change the tubes (I suck at that), and thankfully I didn’t have to. I just had to put air in the tires and I was ready to go.

I forgot how monotonous riding the bike trainer can be. Because this was the first time on the bike in quite a while, it was just supposed to be an easy spin. I find that it’s easier on the mind if I have intervals I have to do, etc., you know? But thank goodness, I had Pinterest, television, Facebook, Candy Crush and other things to keep me going.

I forgot how bum numbing riding the bike trainer can be. Yes, I have my tri shorts on that provide a little bit of padding, but it can still get uncomfortable.

I’m excited to be back on the bike though and riding again.

Do you ride the bike trainer? If so, what do you do to pass the time?

VASA Fitness

I’m so excited. I finally got a gym membership again yesterday! Yay! Starting this week, I need to start swimming again, so I HAD to get a gym membership. I can’t do lap swimming in the bath tub. Lol.

I went over to VASA Fitness and got a membership. They were previously Gold’s Gym. I used to have a membership there and I LOVED it. I had to get rid of the membership though because my work was paying for it and I didn’t work at that job any more.

It’s a nice gym. They’ve got a 3-lane lap pool and every weight machine known to man. They’ve got cardio cinema too. I love the cardio cinema because if I have to run on a treadmill, it makes it more entertaining. Yesterday I ran for an hour on the treadmill at cardio cinema and watched 50 First Dates. It definitely made the hour go by faster.

One thing I like better about VASA Fitness than my local rec center is with the pool, I don’t have to fight for a lane with water aerobics, high school swim teams, etc. However, because of my work schedule, in order to get my swim in, I’m going to have to be an early riser and be over at the gym by 5:00 a.m. to get my swim in, so I can be home before I need to get the kids up for school, etc. I SO don’t do mornings. Lol.

I was pleasantly surprised when I went to the gym yesterday. When it was Gold’s Gym, they didn’t really take care of their equipment. Now that it’s VASA Fitness, they’ve reupholstered all of their weight machines, and the machines are cleaner too. The guy told me that they have someone come in and clean everything twice a day. Once during the middle of the day and then after they close.

I’m excited to start going back to the gym. My husband even said he might be willing to get a membership too. It’d be nice to have a workout buddy.

Do you belong to a gym? What gym do you go to?

My Wedding Day

So I’m finally getting around to posting about my wedding day.

To catch you up, my husband & i won a contest on the radio & we were one of 13 couples to get married on 2/13/15 (aka Friday the 13th).

I ended up having to call in sick to work that day because i didn’t have any vacation time yet & unless you have vacation time, they usually don’t let you take time off work, unless you can give them 3 weeks notice.

We took the kids to school for most of the day & went about going some last minute stuff.

R went & got a hair cut & face shave. I went out for a short run. We went & bought some white Keds tennis shoes for me to wear with my dress & then went to get a bite to eat before we walked down the aisle.

We went & picked the kids up & came home to load everything up to head to the venue & we realized that B didn’t have any black socks to go with his tux. There is NO WAY I’m going to let a 10 yr old walk down the aisle in a black tux with white socks. No no no no no!! So we stopped by the Dollar Store & picked him up some black socks.

We got to Trolley Square (a mall in downtown SLC), the venue, and found the area we were going to be in really easy. The DJ’s were already there doing their radio show, so we went upstairs & checked in.

My awesome sister-in-law met us there & did my hair & makeup & T’s hair & makeup. We had an old abandoned restaurant to do that in & then went in to the ladies restroom to get dressed.

We still had time before the ceremony, so we had our photographer take some really cool photos. I’ve yet to see the photos, but that’s because we are waiting for the weather to get better & we are going to have some family pictures taken & more bridal pictures taken too.

But there was a hallway at Trolley Square that kind of had a Tuscan feel to it. I saw the rough draft of a couple of those photos, & the lighting & everything is just so cool. I can’t wait!!

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Me & T upstairs at Trolley Square waiting for the ceremony

The wedding had to start EXACTLY on time because it was live, on the radio. So at exactly 6 pm, all the groom’s walked down the aisle. We made sure the kids were involved in the ceremony, so B walked down the aisle with Rob since he was the Best Man & the carrier of the rings.

T walked down the aisle with me. We walked down the elevator & then we had to walk under a ladder (Friday the 13th theme) & then we met up with the groom at our designated spot.

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The one thing that i absolutely LOVED was as Mick was marrying us, the first thing he did was he had us all do a minute of silence for any relatives that were unable to be with us. I totally wasn’t expecting it, but i felt my grandma & grandpa’s (on my mom’s side) present with me there. They’ve been passed away for 6 & 10+ yrs now.

Then we proceeded with the vows (i don’t remember them) & then he pronounced us husband & wife & we kissed.

Then to follow the Friday the 13th theme we had to break a mirror & a lady carried a black cat in front of us. But then we ended it all by throwing salt over our shoulders.

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The guy over my left shoulder is Mick & he’s the one that married us.

They did have a cake for us. It was to be a small, 2 tiered cake, but the bakery messed up and just made a 2 layer cake. I kept telling Rob that i was going to be nice feeding him the cake if he would be nice himself. I was nice. He wasn’t. It was fun though. All i have to say is payback is a bitch. Lol.

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We had a family wedding picture taken too. It was pretty cool.

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We were supposed to hang around for our first dance, but they were taking too long, so we hammed around. It was fun.

We had to hurry & leave because we had to get the kids to their mom’s & had to get home go feed our diabetic dog. Lol.

We eventually made it to Keys on Main that night to celebrate with friends, whom most didn’t show up. Sadly we only lasted there about 90 min & then we were so exhausted we went home.

Was this my dream wedding? Not by any means. We are hoping to have a family bbq this summer for my extended family & close friends, but right now we just don’t have the money.