Saturday, September 25, 2010

Yoga Day 4

          Since it's Saturday, I got the privilege of trying to do a Yoga workout with 5 kids in the house... fun stuff that. Luck for me, 2 of the 5 take a nap at 10:30, so after ensuring they were truly asleep, I told Tortoise, Elephant, and Zebra they could try to do Yoga with me if they wanted to stay in the back of the living room and away from the rug and my Yoga Mat - that way there's no chance of me accidentally hurting one of them. They were super enthusiastic at first! As I went to get changed into workout clothes, Elephant kept asking "Are we gonna go Hoga now?" LOL "yes, Elephant, we will do Yoga when I get changed." 
           They were singing a different tune about 10 minutes into the 70 min Vinyasa Yoga Workout! *evil grin* For starters not a single one of them could hold the Downward Dog Pose for more than a few seconds, and kept falling over with each Lunge... so they were constantly readjusting themselves behind me while I moved from Downward Dog  to Vinyasa to Lunge To Warrior Poses . It was hilarious! I wish I had pictures! Alas I was interested in my workout, so no pics today... maybe I'll take a video of it tomorrow, if they *laugh* still want to try.

          15 mins into the workout, only Tortoise and Elephant were still even partly making an attempt, while Zebra sat back and stared at all of us with a look in her eye like "You guys are stupid, why did I even want to try that anyway?!" Tortoise quit after another 5 min, and Elephant hung in doing nothing but 
Upward Facing Dog and Child's Pose for another 10, then he fell out too. They were great supporters though when the workout moved to Triangle Tree  and the various Squatting poses such as these   Tortoise particularly thought the Happy Baby Pose: was hilarious :) SO All-in-all it was a great (full!!) workout today and the kids had fun too!!

Chores

             I'm a little ashamed to admit I skipped Yoga for day 3... I did think about it... a lot... but every time I got up to actually DO it, my Sciatic Nerve in my right hip screamed SIT DOWN YOU IDIOT, so I gave in and skipped the day. :/ 
              Instead I spent the morning finishing Harry Potter and The Goblet Of Fire on my Kindle then we went to town after picking up Zebra from school and got groceries and new shoes for Tortoise and Elephant (THANKS Mom and Dad!!). Tortoise's shoes turned out to be too small, so I will exchange them for a size Youth 4 (!!) Monday. Elephant's Youth Size 1s were prefect... when did they get so BIG? *sigh* Zebra will be 5 on Friday... wow. anyway!! 
              After Kindle, Grocery and shoe shopping, and picking up Tortoise and Elephant from school on the way home (they were elated not to ride the bus); we cleaned up and Tortoise got to make Mac and Cheese for Dinner (mostly by herself!!). She boiled the water and cooked the shells, drained the shells and stirred the cheese in! All *I* had to do was to remind her to keep checking the pasta (she tends to forget what she's doing) and cut the Velveeta to put in the pot with the cooked pasta to melt. T ever stirred it in and served it!! I'm ever so proud! She's growing up too fast (sometimes it seems not fast enough, but mostly I'm amazed at the amount of help she is in the home, and she complains very little considering most of her friends at school don't even have chores! -- really, not kidding!!). All of my kids - beginning at age 5 - have chores (I define Chore as something done over and above picking up toys in the common rooms of the house). Can't imagine this household running anywhere resembling smoothly without them picking up after themselves - crazy that T's friends (at 9 and 10 years old) aren't required to so much as pick up their own toys.
            Just in case you think I've enslaved my kids LOL, here's a list of their current chores - all children - regardless of age - are required to help to pick up toys in the common areas of the house:
             Tortoise - Fold Kids' Clothing, Put away hers and Vixen's folded clothes, Load and start dishwasher, sweep, Keep Girl's Room clean, & help with keeping Playroom clean
            Elephant - Put away folded clothes - and help little brother as well, Vacuum Living room rug 1x/week, unload clean dishes from dishwasher - with help for large or fragile things, keep Boy's Room clean & help with keeping Playroom clean
            Zebra - Put away folded clothes, help to keep Girl's and Play Room clean 
            Monkey - put away folded clothes, help keep Boy's and Play Room clean 
            Vixen - try to stay out of the way and NOT undo the chores of others - trust me this is a BIG chore for Little Vixen
           So that's it on the subject of chores... we won't get into what *I* do, as that seems silly, and redundant cause anyone who's a Mom can figure that out pretty easily: meaning if it ain't listed above it's all me. :) 

Friday, September 24, 2010

PreNatal Yoga Day 2

Well, the second PreNatal Yoga DVD was very disappointing. It consisted entirely of still poses with no flow from one pose to the next, and left me feeling stretched but NOT exercised... SO, after an hour of that boring lunacy (The one shining part of the "workout" was an extended Kegel Exercise section) I moved on and did ANOTHER 30 min of Vinyasa Yoga.
         Maybe I ought not to have done that. :) I discovered halfway through the 30 min program that I was tired, and could not complete some of the poses properly. So, maybe that other DVD wasn't a complete waste of time after all. I had intended that it be used as a "light" exercise day with 1-2 miles of walking after. Instead of following through on my plan, I jumped right in to overdoing it. That is so ME. *sigh* I did not get to the walk yesterday, due to being overworked with the Regular Yoga followed up with 30 min of Vinyasa.
           90 minuted of exercise yesterday, and my back is still quite sore today. Of course, when Lion got home, I also did a small amount of his P90X Yoga Program with him too.. very small mind you, but still. Half of his "YOGA X" (P90X Yoga) is Vinyasa Yoga (with constant movement - flowing from one pose to the next with little to no break between) and the other half was the more traditional "still" Yoga poses. He did NOT seem to enjoy the Vinyasa, while I have decided I do NOT enjoy the traditional "still" Yoga. To each their own I guess. So today, I plan on doing a 45 min Vinyasa Yoga Program to even out the work from yesterday, and get back to my regularly scheduled Plan tomorrow with the Traditional Yoga and a nice long walk with my Boxer Puppy. We'll see if I can stop myself from overdoing it again.
           On a side note: YAY ME! I've been drinking the proper amount of water for a whole week now!! -- funny thing that the dizziness has receded quite a bit, I was a tad worried trying to complete Yoga with the low blood pressure and dizziness issues I had had prior. But Stork informed my on my last PreNatal Visit that dehydration might have been my major problem and while low blood pressure is quite normal for this stage of pregnancy, the dizziness might be somewhat alleviated by drinking LOTS more water. Of course, she was right!!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

PreNatal Vinyasa Yoga Day 1

WOW I had no idea how intense yoga could be!! And *silly me* I thought I would be all relaxed and calm when the "workout" (I put that in quotes because while I was intending to use it as a form of exercise I never once thought it would getting me sweating) was over. Man was I wrong! While I wasn't pushing myself to the limit - like dear hubby Lion on P90X - I did work up a good sweat and pushed my pregger body into positions I didn't even know it was capable of. And never once did I feel like baby Koala was in danger, as all the positions were shown with modifications for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Trimester. I ended up doing a lot of them in 1st trimester (at the beginning of the workout), a few in 2nd (around the middle of the workout), and (at the end) ALL in 3rd Trimester modification. Which is great, cause I AM 3rd trimester!! 27 weeks- another 11 to go (as 5 out of 5 full-term pregnancies were delivered right at 38 weeks). So In the next 11 weeks it will be my goal to alternate this Vinyasa Yoga workout with a more relaxed Pre-Natal Yoga workout (on the days I do the less intense of the 2, I will walk 1-2 miles). That way every day my body is used to physical activity. :) 
          After 1 hour of Vinyasa (a form of Yoga where you "Flow" from one pose to the next with no breaks in between- the Amazon.com user reviews showed that it was a more extreme type of Yoga that "beginners" like me should probably avoid-- but, of course, I wasn't gonna listen to THEM, and bought it anyway -- good thing too cause it was great!)  where was I? OH! After 1 hour of this: I KNOW these are tiny, so If you're really interested, click on the link


I feel that every muscle in my body has been stretched and PUSHED to it's limit without actually pushing ME to MY limit - leaving me feeling limber and slightly sore all over... my back, shoulders, legs, and arms especially (like that leaves much else!). Not so sore that I wanted to take a nap mind you, but with the relaxation thing at the end, I think that was the objective (some campy breathing exercise where you lay down with your eyes closed, listening to the narrator telling you to breath deeply while imagining your whole body relaxing... yuck). I just skipped that part and took a shower instead. :) I KNOW how to breath for Labor, so that was completely wasted on lil-ol-me. I am excited to try the partner exercises with Lion maybe this weekend, and will give the other (according to the reviews - less strenuous) PreNatal Yoga tomorrow with a nice long walk after. Again, my goal is NOT losing weight, but having a more toned, physically fit, me would be awesome! 

Monday, September 20, 2010

I Guess I'm Just Not That kind of Girl

           3 days ago, I spent some time prettying up my fingernails. I had purchased white and clear nail polish for the proposed French Mani that was supposed to make me feel so pretty and girly. *sigh* It did! for less than 24 hours anyway!! Then I cleaned out my very messy van, and had to take apart a large portion of my dashboard in order to clean out the AC unit, and lo-and-behold I chipped 2 nails and messed up the polish on 3 others. Geez. I guess I'm not the French Mani kind of girl. 
            Oh well. I AM the kind of girl that will take apart her dashboard in order to fix a problem! Didn't know I was that kind of girl until the moment that it became necessary. I am the kind of girl that will unclog a toilet, fix electrical wiring, install a ceiling fan, paint walls, sew a dress, bake a cake, cook breakfast lunch and dinner from scratch, design a floor plan for a home or addition, plant a tree, pick up puppy poop in the yard, pull weeds, push the kids on the swings, "forget" to do the dishes, actually DO the dishes, and a million other things... SO I guess I'm OK not being the French Mani Kind of Girl. :) 

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Exercise!!

       Starting Monday Lion  is starting P90X, a 90 day workout and nutrition program, with the express intention of loosing weight and getting fit. I will be completing the nutrition portion of the program with/for him while I begin a PreNatal Yoga Program (seeing as how I'm 26 weeks preggers and there's no way on God's Green Earth I'm gonna try P90X!!). 
       The nutritional plan side of the P90X Program is intense! and requires that I make all his (our since I've decided to do it with him) meals and snacks in advance so that he can take them to school/work with him and stay within the diet guidelines. This will be a pain, but is well worth it if he can get to a healthy weight (and me too after little Koala makes her appearance). I AM a bit worried that it will be too much for him, what with Full Time School, Full Time Work, a wife and 5 kids!! But I'm willing to do my part to help - I'll cook the meals and make sure he takes them with him, I'll keep track of his nutritional info on the spreadsheet he has provided me, I'll even get up super early with him and watch the workouts if it'll help. And while he's off at school/work, I'LL start my Pre-Natal yoga program with Complete Prenatal Vinyasa Yoga & Short Forms - 
and on alternate days PreNatal Yoga with Shiva Rea

MY intention is not to lose weight, but to get my body more prepared for the delivery - not that I'm worried as the last 5 deliveries were not complicated and I have never received medication. However, I'd like to be in better physical condition, pregnant or not! It's downright crazy that grocery shopping exhausts me. Even if I have a cranky nearly 2 year old and a hyper 3 year old with me, I still shouldn't get home and only want to go to sleep.
             Just in case Stork is reading this: I am currently keeping a pitcher of water in the fridge so that I know how much water I have drank during the day - I refill my cup every time I get up, so I'm FINALLY drinking enough water. AND the P90X Diet should help with the weight loss. -- for those of you out of the loop, I have yet to gain weight this pregnancy. 26 weeks in and I'm DOWN 5 pounds, and throwing ketones. Stork told me (lectured a bit really - but obviously I needed the lecture) that I wasn't drinking NEAR enough water. She said that losing weight during the pregnancy when I'm already so overweight isn't really a problem, but not drinking enough water could be the major cause of the high ketone levels and maybe my low blood pressure - thus the reason I'm so dizzy. If I were a healthy weight going in, or underweight, then not gaining could be a bad sign. And she and I have discussed MANY times in previous pregnancies the importance of exercise, so I doubt that she'll object to my current plan. Especially since I've spent the last few days researching the best program and ensuring that it's safe for my overweight pregger self. :) Both Yoga programs are specifically designed by Yoga experts and pregnant women, and the more intense of the two was designed and is instructed by a practicing doula. 
            So here's to losing weight and getting healthy!!!  HOO-RAH

Monday, September 13, 2010

Giggle's Zoo Concert

I apologize that it took 4 different videos, but I was using my cell phone, 
and it would only allow 60 seconds per recording... 
I have NO idea what happened to the sound... :-(
video
video
video
video

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Rest in Peace - Our Fallen Citizens and Our Fallen Military Men and Women

       Today we remember the horrors of the Terrorist Attacks on September 11, 2001. Nine years ago today 2,922 civilian men and women (excluding the 19 hijackers) and 55 military men and women in the Pentagon were killed in dastardly attacks on our way of life. Since then 4,749 US service men and women have been killed in the line of duty (in Iraq and Afghanistan) protecting us from further attacks. God Bless our Fighting Men and Women, and their families on this day, as on all days... and may we always remember that:

It's the Military, 
not the reporter who has given us the freedom of the press.
It's the Military, 
not the poet, who has given us the freedom of speech.
It's the Military, 
not the politicians that ensures our right to life, 
liberty, 
and the pursuit of happiness.
It's the Military 
who salutes the flag, 
who serves beneath the flag, 
and whose coffin is draped by the flag.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Be who you are and say wat you feel, for those who mind don't matter and those that matter don't mind. - Dr Seuss

I received an email for the umpteenth time yesterday, but the poem therein always makes me think about the people I have left behind, and the ones I have yet to meet:
There comes a point in life when you realize 
Who matters, 
Who never did, 
Who won't anymore, 
and Who always will. 
So, don't worry about people from your past. 
There's a reason why they didn't make it to your future.

     I have spent a considerable amount of time the last month thinking about friendships: why they work, why they don't, why some friendships don't last, and some do. Why, for the the most part, most of my friends are family. Why I allowed so many friends from my home state to drift into my past. 
      Some of these questions are easy to answer. My family (via Lion) are my friends because there is little we don't share with the group, little they don't know about what is going on at Giggle's Zoo and me personally. Maybe we miss things, but the family in general is very close-knit, with everyone in everyone else "business". This concept may bother many people, but it works for the various enclosures of Giggle's Zoo. Since everyone is usually kept abreast of family events via the Giggle Clan Grape Vine, it's not awkward when we get together (and the get-togethers are frequent and always a blast!)-- granted secrets are HARD to keep in such a family, but that only makes it that much more lovely. And I *know* that I can go to any member of the family for advice or help, a shoulder to cry on, or a helping hand. I never have to worry about leaving my children in the hands of strangers, when there is an emergency (or I just need or want a day - or a few hours - to myself or out with my hubby) there's almost ALWAYS someone willing and able to take one or two - or all 5! -  kids off my hands (usually this someone is Aunt Penguin, but several other family members have stepped in during emergent situations to care for the little ones). I only wish MY side of the family were the same way. My mother is the only exception, as she and I talk about everything several times a week :) Unfortunately, the rest of my family is spread out all over the country and only keeps in touch through Facebook. I miss my family, and wish we could be closer, but it is what it is :)
              As for why so many "friendships" have drifted into the past, well... some are easily explained as one or two have done or said something in the past that made it impossible to maintain a friendships with them. One once told me to abort my oldest son because that person didn't think Lion and I should be having any more kids and refused to back off. I refused to tow the line, so that "friendship" was forced into the past-tense. Most aren't that easy to explain away. I joined the Army, I got married & became a Mom instead of maintaining my "freedom". I grew up. Some never did. The ones that I have kept in touch with that I knew in High School are mostly friends of my dead brother and sister. One of these even named his first son after my brother... very touching. And some are people with whom I wasn't friends in HS, but got to know better in the years after. Back in the day, we ran with different crowds, but for whatever reason have found common ground in adulthood. I'm sure if I ever moved back to my home state, these would be very good friends, but it's difficult being so far away.
           To be completely honest, I am a very internal person, not very outgoing. So I find it hard to get to know people without other factors playing in... my best friends now are people I have met through Lion. His best friend, Hedgehog... Hedgehog's wife Wombat... Lion's buddy from childhood's wife Seahorse... and Lion's friends from work Dolphin and her hubby Manatee... that's about it... except for family :) family are the best friends! 
         As I get older I find that I have less tolerance for trying to mold myself into what other wish me to be. I did this a lot in my younger years, allowing others to influence me in countless ways, and changing me in ways I would not have without their influence -- this is the nature of friendships though, each and every one changes you in ways you can't foresee. So the title of this post finally comes into play:
"Be who you are and say what you feel, 
for those who mind don't matter 
and those who matter don't mind." 
-Dr Seuss-
          Over the last 10 years, I have found that I can be ME, not who "they" want me to be, and whomever sticks with me because - or in spite - of it are the people I REALLY want in my life. Everyone else can fade away into, or stay in, the past. I am okay with this, as I know that the ones that really matter will always be with me. I love you guys!! Thanks you for tolerating me so well!!! 
         Okay, now I'm wondering if it's even possible for me to post anything SHORT! 

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Phases 2 and 3: All Girls Together



       :) it took a solid week, but I finally got the flooring laid in the Girl's New New Room, their beds moved, the playroom flooring laid in the "new" playroom (Vixen and Zebra's Old new room), and all the toys moved into the Playroom... here are pictures of the Playroom:


       The toddler bed is only in there temporarily as I thought it would be a good reading couch for the kids until Baby Koala needs her Toddler Bed (but that'll be over a year from now, since she hasn't even been born yet!!). The castle on the wall in the last picture will be moved to the new mural wall in the Girl's Room, as well as the other girly decorations in there (that I deliberately did not photograph). I plan placing decorations in this room over the next month or two and I'll post pictures when and if I get around to it. :)

     Next: Pictures of the current configuration of the Girl's Room:

The Top Bunk is Zebra's and the bottom is Vixen's
She moved from a toddler bed to a FULL SIZE!
Tortoise's bed -- the set was a gift from Grama Eclectus and Grampa Tiger

Handprints of everyone but Lion, as he wasn't home. :( 
The new Mural Wall.. the Castle from the new playroom will go on top of the hill, then I'm painting clouds and placing fairies on the clouds - this will incorporate Tortoise's previous Fairy Decor, and Z&V's Princess Decor all in one! – I still need to paint the sky blue and add clouds, but you get the gist
     
             Here are the Fairies I plan on putting among the clouds that have yet to be painted:

                One of the first questions Tortoise asked once her bed was moved in was "Where is Baby Koala's Bed going?" at which point I had to explain to her that the 2 Full size beds currently in the room don't leave enough room for another bed for Koala, so unfortunately, Tortoise will have to give up her pretty bed set – put in storage until either there are too many girls for one room or she moves out –at which point she can take her furniture. Tortoise pouted for a moment, then I showed her the bunk beds below and explained that she would get a top bunk, and probably share with Koala. SO, When Koala moves out of the Nursery into the Girl's Room, we will need to get 2 twin size bunk bed sets – I LOVE these:

And matching chests of drawers for their clothes – maybe something like these, but –obviously- matching the colors in the beds
Of course, if the Girls are all getting new bedroom furniture, *I* think it's only fair that the boys get it too, lucky for me the bunk beds I LOVE are gender neutral!! So we would ned 3 sets al together plus 6 (!!) chests of Drawers… better start saving now (cause THAT is gonna be EXPENSIVE)!

Phase 4 Begins maybe next week, during that Phase I will clean out Tortoise's "old" room, repaint it, lay new flooring & move all my scrapbooking and crafting things in from the current "craft room". Phase 5 should complete the project. In the final Phase, the "old" craft room will be transformed into a permanent Nursery for little Koala (and any other babies God chooses to give us). I plan on doing a Zoo theme such as Fisher Price Rainforest… I am VERY excited about finishing Phases 4 and 5!!