Ten Thought Tuesday: May 26th 2015

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  1. Last week was filled with crappy nights (understatement of the year) because Amélie was teething.  Of course, one tooth isn’t enough for her.  Nope, she decided that she was going to cut 5 teeth at once.
  2. Luckily, for the past two days, she has been in a really good mood (2nd understatement of the year).  Here, see for yourself.image
  3. I started a new crochet project today with some yarn my MIL gave me.  It’s going to be a sensory tummy time blanket.  I’m using the bobble stitch for the section I’m currently working on and I absolutely love the way it looks.image
  4. I ordered a GPS running watch to better track my distance, pace and progress.  I can’t wait to try it out tomorrow morning.image
  5. Did you kmow that May was pool safety month?  You can check out last week’s guest post for some tips on pool safety with young children.
  6. Our herb garden has started to grow.  I can’t wait to put some fresh homegrown herbs in our food!image
  7. Aaaaaaand, the roses my partner bought me for Mother’s day are still alive!  Which is a record for me as so far, the only thing that I’ve been able to not kill are cactuses.image
  8. I ordered a new sleep sack for Amélie for the summer.  It’s very light so it’s perfect for our hot stuffy nights.image
  9. What do you think of my new header?  I took advantage of the beautiful weather recently and had fun taking pictures of the kiddos.
  10. My new favourite app is Spotify.  There is soooo much music and genres and the ads have yet to bother me.

Write For Me Wednesday: Pool Safety Tips for Parents of Young Children

Today I have a super interesting and important post to share with you from Patricia Sarmiento who founded publichealthcorps.org.  Patricia is an avid swimmer and runner. She channels her love of fitness and wellness into blogging about health and health-related topics. She played sports in high school and college and continues to make living an active lifestyle a goal for her and her family. She lives with her husband, two children, and their shih tzu in Maryland.

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Via Flickr – by erkillian5

Pool Safety Tips for Parents of Young Children

Sometimes I feel like I grew up in the water. I started swimming at a very young age, and I wanted my children to love the water as much as I do. As a result, I introduced both my children to the pool when they were still babies. But that said, I was well aware of how dangerous the water can be for little ones.

Before I put my son in the pool for the first time, I wanted to be sure I was well-educated in water safety for babies and toddlers. If you’re the parent of a little one and you want to learn about about pool safety, try this all-inclusive guide to recreational swimming safety. Then, take a look at the tips below. These are a few of the essentials for not only keeping babies and toddlers safe around water but helping them develop confidence in the water.

Keep child within arm’s reach. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends using “touch supervision” for children under the age of 5. If little ones are in or around the water, always be within arms reach.

Start lessons early. When I started my son in swim lessons as a toddler, some of my friends and family thought I was nuts. Even my mom told me she thought I was wasting my money. But I insisted and here’s why: As this Brain World article points out, a National Institute of Health study found that swim lessons for kids ages 1 – 4 can reduce their chances of drowning by as much as 88 percent. That was enough to convince me!

Avoid using floaties. My daughter didn’t take to the water as well as my son. She hated toddler swim lessons and after two classes we had to abandon them completely. She was just too miserable. I tell you this to let you know that I, too, am guilty of letting my children use flotation devices. The one way we could get my daughter to enjoy the water was to let her float in her PFD. That said, as Water Safety Magazine explains flotation devices, such as floaties, can lead to bad habits that may make learning to swim later on more difficult.

Learn CPR. A few summers ago all the parents on our street made a pact—we would all become CPR certified. A couple of houses on my street have pools and several of us have young children. We knew our kids would be swimming a lot, and we wanted the peace of mind of knowing CPR-certified adults would always be present. So, we worked together, babysitting for each other while we attended classes until we were all certified. To this day, we all regularly renew our certification. It is something that is relatively easy to do and it can make such a big difference. Check out PoolSafely.gov to learn more about how to find a class in your area.

With the right supervision and knowledge, children of any age can be safe around the water. Keep these tips in mind, slather the kids in sunscreen, and have a great summer!

Impossible Mathematics

This evening, I wanted to make s’mores.  There were three of us so I figured two each would be reasonnable.  I made 8 s’mores.

Eight.

My calculations?

2 * 2 = 8

Just to set the record straight: we were three, and I calculate that two s’mores for two people means that I need to make 8 s’mores…

Let’s just say that everyone, myself included, got a nice laugh out of this.

I think I’m tired.

Today, I Taught My Toddler the “F” Word

imageMakes for a catchy title, doesn’t it?  And it’s true…well, partially at least.

In case you missed yesterday’s post, I mentionned that though Little Dude’s mother tongue is French, we have also taught him some English words which, until very recently, he never associated as having the same meaning as the French words he knows.  Encouraged by his breakthrough and interest in his language development, I decided to combine the color words he knows with other words he doesn’t know.

During the car ride from daycare to home, he pointed out all of the the busses, tractors, lights and fucks that he saw.

There were green fucks, red fucks, black fucks, dump fucks and pickup fucks.

No matter how clearly, or loudly I repeated the word “truck” he just kept saying it his way.  He probably just can’t pronounce the “tr” sound right now so he found a substitute sound.  I couldn’t help but stiffle a laugh every single time he said it and couldn’t help but wonder what others would think if they heard my little man use the word so confidently.

What words have your children mispronounced?

Ten Thought Tuesday – April 12th 2015

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  1. I’ve got plenty of ideas for blog posts, but I’m finding it easier to shoot out random thoughts than to write a whole post these days.
  2. After three pretty decent nights of sleep, Amélie decided to wake up waaaay too often last night and get up waaaaay too early this morning.  I have no patience right now.
  3. I’m thinking that the terrible twos should be called the bipolar twos.  I’ve noticed that the terrible part of the twos comes in waves.  After almost a month of having a sweet toddler around, the limit-testing-attention-seeking-fake-crying version of my son has come back.
  4. Amélie has become super proficient in a short time at drag-crawling her was around.
  5. The trunk of my partner’s car won’t latch closed since Sunday.  Since the car dealership (his car is still under warranty) can’t see his car until Thursday, we’ve “fixed” it à la Red Green: with a healthy quantity of duct tape.
  6. Did you know that we were in the middle of pool safety month right now?  Look out for a guest post on the subject either this week or next.
  7. After a full week of beautiful warm and sunny days, Mother Nature has reverted back to cold rainy days.  Oh well, it’ll just make me appreciate the sunny days even more when they come back.
  8. Though we raise our children in French, we do teach them a bit of English here and there (so far colors and numbers).  Last week, my son realized that the colors he knew were represented by two distinct words, one in French and one in English.  He now uses his English words in French sentences.
  9. Amélie is now the proud owner of five teeth.  She’s currently working on a sixth tooth: a canine…
  10. Since last weekend was super busy because of Mother’s day, we didn’t get to set up our veggie garden.  We’re planning on setting it up this coming weekend.

Ten Thought Tuesday…On A Wednesday

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  1. Haven’t posted in a while, too many things going on.  I decided I could muster 5 minutes of free time to get on a write a bit.
  2. Amélie is now officially mobile.  She’s doing this sort of drag-crawl thing which is interesting to watch, but it gets the job done.
  3. Spring is now definitely here.  We’ve been enjoying some awesome weather, BBQed food, eating on the balcony and going out without coats.  Woot!
  4. Charles is pretty much fully potty trained during the day now.  We don’t have to sit him on the toilet anymore, he either asks to go or just goes.  When we’re busy, he goes on his potty by himself now and when we’re not he asks for help to get on the big toilet with the ring.
  5. We got his balance bike a couple of weeks ago and he’s been enjoying.  We ended up buying a Kinderbike Laufrad and are very pleased with it.  I am planning on writing a more detailed post on it soonish.
  6. I’ve discovered a new love for quinoa recently.  I’ve come to enjoy how versatile it is.  I really like it for breakfast, served warm in coconut milk with some cinnamon and berries.  How do you like your quinoa?
  7. Charles is so very clumsy.  If he doesn’t fall at least 5 times during the day, it’s a miracle.
  8. Tonight, we’re eating black bean and quinoa (because, why not ;) ) burritos.  I’ve never had anything other than ground beef in tacos/burritos so I’m eager to see how everything will come together.
  9. We recently bought and Xbox One and I’ve been enjoying Dragon Age: Inquisition.  The only thing that annoys me is that we have to install the games onto the hard drive to play.
  10. I can’t wait to get our veggie garden up and running.  We bought carrots, cucumbers, tomatoes, hot peppers, bell peppers and snap peas as well as some herbs.

Finding Your Fitness, Part 1: Keys to (My) Success (And Maybe Yours).

As I mentioned about a week ago, I recently found the motivation to really get into gear and start exercising. Today, I want to share with you what I did after that “kick in the butt” moment to stay the course.

1.  Know yourself

What are your strengths?  What about your weaknesses?  Let me put it this way: which parts of your personality are stopping you from 1. getting into gear and 2. staying in gear?

You want to know the truth about me?  I am a procrastinator.  I honestly do not know many people who are worse than me.  I can also be quite compulsive and intense (*ahem* I don’t know who I get that from *ahem) which means that once I get excited about something, I’ll want to do it all. the. time.  Until I don’t (either because I’m sick of it or because I’ve found something else to do), then I’ll stop.  These two traits are what have been stopping me from being in better shape than I am.

On the flip side, I am also a perfectionist.  This can be both good and bad, but in my case, it is good because it means that it is important for me to focus on my form when I workout.  Finally, I am competitive.  I hate losing.  I hate failing.  This too is going to help me reach my goal of becoming fitter.

2.  Know you constraints

And I mean your actual ones, not the ones that come out of your I’ve-got-a-collection-of-excuses hat.  For me, I don’t currently have the money to pay for a gym membership (which is fine, by the way, because there are other ways to get in shape than going to the gym).  Time is also an issue.  I need something that I can do regardless of if I’m working or on maternity leave, regardless of if my brother’s home or not to watch my daughter, regardless of if it’s income tax season and I’m as good as a single mom.  Basically, I need something that is flexible and allows me to work out at home (see, I told you that not being able to go to the gym wasn’t really a problem).

3.  Be flexible…

Say you planned to work out today.  Say that during the night, your daughter was up every 1.5 h from 8:30 pm to 5:30 am when you just gave up and got her up for the day.  Say that between your precious daughter, your toddler who woke up with nightmares a couple of times during the night and your snoring husband, you got maybe 4 hours of sleep during the night during which your longest bout of uninterrupted sleep was about 45 minutes.  Say that you have trouble putting foot in front of the other in the morning and the idea of actually working out is enough to make you want to curl up into a ball in the corner of the room and cry.  It’s OK to shorten your workout.  Heck, it’s even OK to skip the day.  Really.  No guilt needed.

4.  …But not too flexible

Plan, plan, plan.  Take out a calendar and circle the days that you want to workout on.  That way, if you actually did have to skip a day, you can catch up on one of your “off” days.  If it’s written, you will want to do it.

5.  Find something that inspires you.

For me, the winner was crossfit.  What attracted me to it?

For starters, every single exercise is scalable.  Can’t do a burpee (let alone 4 x 25)?  Do a modified one.  Don’t have time to do 5 rounds?  Do only 2 or 3.  Don’t have any weights, use your body weight.  This has the insane advantage that a 18 year old at the top of his game and a badly out of shape 60 year old can do the same workout.  Either the number of reps, the number of rounds, the amount of weight…will be different for both of them.

I also like it because the program changes all the  time.  I’m not going to the gym to do the same routine each and every time.  Nope.  Each day is different…and I’m always finding myself looking forward to the next day.

Finally, the workout of the day is short.  It scarcely ever takes more time than 15 minutes.  And you know what the best part it?  In that 15 minutes you feel like you just spent 75 of them at the gym (or I do in any event).

6.  Set some smart goals

No seriously, make sure your goals are S.M.A.R.T.: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Timely.  Also, make sure you have some short and long-term goals.  For instance, my general goal is to become fitter.  My four SMART goals are:

  • By the end of the month (T), make sure to have trained (S) on average (A, R) three times a week (M).
  • Improve in at least one domain per training session when I restart the training cycle.  (More about this in my next post)
  • Be able to run 5km or 30 minutes without stopping by the end of July 2015.
  • Compete in a 5km race in September 2015 (I’ve already signed up for this so I can’t back out now ;) ).

Notice there is nothing in there about weight?  That is because I realized that setting a weight goal was too discouraging for me.  I’ve done it before and I hated getting up on the scale each week.  I’m concentrating on eating right (without weighing or measuring my portions) and being active at least three times per week.  If the weight changes, then good.  But I’m not tracking it at all.

7.  Go for it!

Go, go, go!  You can do it!

Care to share your fitness journey?  What do you like to do to stay active?  What is keeping you from being as active or as fit as you’d like?

Inspiration & Motivation

I’ve never been an overly active person.  I mean, when I was young, I did swimming lessons and loved them.  I learned how to bike and how to skate.  I did a year of ninjutsu (which I also loved), did some rock climbing, played a bit of squash.  But then, I stopped when we moved and concentrated more on music and reading.

You know what the worst part is?  I actually like to be active!  But I kept on finding excuses.

I mean, when I started going out with my boyfriend, we went to the gym together for a while.  But I ended up stopping because I found it too tedious to come home from work and get comfortable only to have to go out again just to go do my gym routine.  It became even more difficult when winter came ’round.

A year later, I did some Tae Bo with some co-worker.  It was great at first because it was close to home and I could warm up by walking to the building.  But after two sessions, I lost interest.  Or maybe I caught a cold and skipped a few classes and just didn’t go back.  Or maybe…whatever the reason, I just stopped.

Then life started happening and I got comfortable in my routine or working, gaming, eating and sleeping.  After that, I became pregnant.  And it always seemed like there was always an excuse to not take care of my fitness.

It’s kind of sad, because I had a lot of inspiration around me.

I mean, my mom has always been active.  She’s done/ she does biking, rollerblading, yoga, weight conditioning with a VHS tape.  She takes a walk every day.  I mean, she’s just unhappy if she doesn’t do something.  And she’s been telling me for years that I should find an activity that motivates me and do it because I would feel better and probably sleep better.  But, you know, who wants to listen to their mom once they’ve moved out (even though you know they’re right).

There’s also my dad.  He’s had his moments where something would interest him.  He’s golfed, biked, done Tae kwon do.  Then a couple of years ago, he decided to really work hard to become healthier and more active.  And he has done an amazingly inspiring job of it.

My sister started doing Aikido, my brother did some Kung Fu.  When my boyfriend and I started going out, he had just lost about a hundred pounds in the previous year…

So you see, I’ve got quite a bit of inspiration around me.  But not enough to actually do anything about it.  Until recently…

You see, few months ago, I caught myself saying that once I’d go back to work (at the end of August), I was going to start going to the gym.  My rationale for waiting until then?  We’re currently living on a reduced income because of the maternity leave so we have to keep a tighter budget (excuse #1).  Besides, I don’t really have the time to go right now because I have my daughter at home with me all day (excuse #2).

But then, about two months ago, I got my kick-in-the-ass moment (aka: what motivated me).  I was just sitting on the couch and started thinking about my grandfather and I realized that at nearly 80 years old…or is he 80 already, I can’t remember (désolée grand-papa ;) ) he was in better shape than I was at 30 (and this despite the fact that he is asthmatic).

And that was it.  That was all I needed.  Suddenly, there were no more excuses, only goals and solutions.  And I’ll tell you all about them…in tomorrow’s post ;)

Did you have a kick-in-the-rear moment that allowed you to make some positive life changes?  I’d love to hear about it!