Monday, October 29, 2012

Call me "Miss No-Follow Through"

Pitiful blog post title, huh?  But it's true.  I had big plans to do a giveaway/virtual race/challenge in September.  Septfreakingtember.  Then I put it off until October, and recently I've wanted to bring it back holiday-style and add/tweak my idea into something awesome.  The problem is this--I'm horrible at following through with things.  Like, seriously awful.  Do you see any headbands for sale on Etsy?  That's because I haven't even gotten there yet.  I plan on it someday, but things just take over and sometimes I just have no excuse other than adult ADHD or something.  So I'm just coming clean, telling you what I wanted to do, and telling you what I'll probably REALLY do now.

What I wanted to do:  A holiday family health/fitness challenge with things ranging from "park in the back of the lots all week" to "buy (or make) only handmade gifts this week".  Sounds like a blast, huh?  Problem is that it requires a ton of time that I really need to spend studying for my PT exam.  I don't have the gumption to continue training, to study harder than before, to blog regularly like that, and to do my motherly duties.  I'm not that person, no matter how much caffeine I feed my body.

What I'll actually do:  I've built up a small stock of giveaways from some great companies.  So I plan on just doing one per week until they're gone.  No challenges along with them to make it all more fun, just straight-up product review/giveaways.  It's just easier that way for me.  And after that, I'm not sure how much I plan on blogging.  I've had so many super awesome ideas for babywearing posts, educational posts, family workouts, etc, but I've not really followed through on any of them.  So maybe I just need to succumb to the fact that I'm probably not going to follow through, ever.  And that's okay, but I need to stop talking like I'm going to make them all happen.

There ARE a few things I'll do.  I'll be a good mom to my kids, I'll work much harder on my studying, and I'll make as many gifts as possible along as trying to make some fun home stuff for our future move.  I'll blog when I feel like it, which may not be often, and I'll do a random giveaway if the opportunity arises.  That should be good enough for now, it's still plenty!

Do any of you suffer from no-follow-through syndrome?  Do you handle it by cutting things out or are you able to figure out a magical formula (or medical mixture, haha) that makes you able to get it all done?  I'd love to hear!

Friday, October 19, 2012

Cheapest Halloween ever!

Disclaimer--This post doesn't have jack squat to do with health/fitness.  BUT part of my name is HIPfitfam, and I think saving money can be pretty dang hip!

On that note, we're not broke right now, BUT we're trying to save money towards the holidays and house-buying.  Which means that spending money is something we're not taking lightly.  Originally, we were going to just buy the kids their costumes and eat the money.  It's what has always been and it's something most people (including us) don't really think about.  But then my daughter asked to be "Lightning Girl", which is a made-by-her superhero that matches a cape that she got for her birthday.  The cape is bright pink with a purple felt diamond and yellow lightning bolt.  I figured "Easy enough, we'll just buy some stuff to go with it".....problem is, there's NOTHING out there to go with it.  Because Lightning Girl is too cool for stores.

So I was on a mission to create her costume myself.  And I actually didn't realize how EASY it would be.  Superhero chicks always have a few things--a cape (we had it), a leotard thingy with her symbol, tights, and a mask.  Everything else is optional and fun.  So I went to Michael's, bought some felt, and traced the symbol on the cape.  I cut the pieces out and sewed them on the leotard, but it could've been done without the sewing machine completely if one buys double-sided Heat-n-Bond.

Next I needed a mask, and I found these via Pinterest with downloadable templates and a simple tutorial:


Cut out the template and alter it however you feel, or leave as-is if you want one of those superheroes.  For us, none of them were girly enough so I made my own pattern completely based off of a butterfly mask she already had.  We'll add in some tights and maybe some felt armband thingies, and it'll be rockin'!  The total cost is about $2 of felt, with the rest coming from her closet.  Here's what we have so far:

For the boy, he wanted to go with something he knew and loved--Darth Maul.   Would be easy enough to buy, if the costumes weren't all for ages 4 and up.  Apparently little ones don't like Star Wars?  For shame!  The bigger costume would swallow him, and I didn't really love the quality of it either.  So again, I set out on a mission.  Hubby graciously donated two unused black tshirts, and I started chopping.  The cloak was one shirt cut down the front and taken in on the sides/arms.  The hood and tie were made out of the other shirt, basically by trial and error.  It was easier than it sounds, because Darth Maul has a slouchy, unfitted hood.  Since it's stretchy cotton, I don't need to finish any seams and I just cut it as I went!  The finished project was basically free since we had everything already (including face paint that we never ever run out of).  Here he is, without the black underclothes and kick-ass face paint:

As for their candy bags, I did buy them.  BUT I got some reusable, plain orange bags from Ikea for 79cents each and plan on using them every year, which makes future years free!  I am going to Sharpie some pumpkin faces on them, and they'll be perfect!

So there you have it--A basically free Halloween (just under $5) for both kids together!  Not all costumes are this easy to pull out of your arse at home, but the point I'm trying to make is that with a bit of imagination, you can save a lot of money and your kids won't look like every third child on the street!  And even if you're not making the costumes for Halloween, you can make something super cheap just for them to play in year-round.  And you'll never have to feel guilty about them destroying it at the playground.  Yes, my kids do wear shit like this to the playground.  And the grocery store in April.  And the greenway in July.  They're super awesome like that.

What are your kids dressing as this year, and do you have any fun Halloween crafts you're doing with them (or on your own)?

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Our first workout video!

Okay, here is my first attempt at making a workout video.  With the kids.  And without my husband or any sort of camera skills whatsoever.  That being said, I think it turned out okay.  It has a lot of focus issues when I'm doing some floor work, but that's because I didn't know how to turn off the automatic focus.  The lighting is also not great.  But I'm sharing it anyway, because I don't feel like reshooting it it shows that you can get a decent workout at home with kids and cats surrounding you and with very basic exercises.  As I get better at the process, I'll be using more fun, unique layouts.  But I thought that (for my sake mostly, but we'll pretend it's for the beginners) I'd start with some really basic moves and show you how to do them right.  Once form is understood and put into practice on all of them, more advanced moves can be done.  So here's the video, and below it is a breakdown of the workout for those who don't feel like watching the chaos.

20's Workout
20 jumping jacks
20 wide-legged squats (I have a hand weight to work arms a bit more, but this can be left out)
20 jumping jacks
20 bicycle crunches
20 jumping jacks
20 reverse lunges
20 jumping jacks
20 pushups (beginners on knees)
20 jumping jacks
20 second plank
20 jumping jacks
(Try for no breaks between each exercise, but if you need one, just cut out 10 jumping jacks and add 10 seconds of rest.)

Repeat 2x5 times. 
Approx. 15-25 minutes, depending on how much time your little childrens give you

I hope it's not too amateurish for you, I just want to work towards a real life workout for real life parents/caregivers.  Have a wonderful day!!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Three Things Thursday

1.  I'm laid out with a nasty migraine of the sinus sort.  I had horrible headaches when living in allergy-ridden TN and KY, but they went away completely in Germany.  I started getting them again in NJ and NY, but now that I'm back in the South they're back in full swing.  I do not like this.  I do not like it at all.  Thank goodness for a sweet little boy who's totally willing to play Kinect while Mommy lays curled up on the sofa.  And thank goodness for prescription headache medicine.  Maybe I can make something of this day and get him to the library as a way to say thanks!

2.  I went to a lunchtime cycle class with hubby on Tuesday.  It was awesome!  He has a YMCA right down the road from his office, and it falls within our local membership but I'd never been there before since it's a bit of a drive.  He's been talking about this class being nice, so we decided that it would be fun to actually work out "together" for once.  Though we didn't chat during the class of course (I will not be that guy!), seeing him before and after was cool.  Plus we competed a bit, which makes for a better workout, right?  And the boy liked their kid watch because it wasn't as crowded, so I'll call it a win.  I think this may be our weekly Tuesday workout from now on!

3.  I'm still not sure about the Spartan Beast on Saturday.  Now I'm leaning a bit more towards no.  The thought of pushing too hard and being out of regular workouts for another week (longer if I get injured) isn't too appealing.  I'll probably hate myself for it, but I'm strongly considering just making it a fun family hiking trip and putting in a trail run there somewhere.  If that's what I do, please don't consider me a cop-out.  Or do.  Whatever.  The only other race on my schedule this season is the TN Ragnar, and it's a bit of a bummer that I have no longer runs to aim for otherwise.  I wish there were marathons in December in this area, why don't people like running in the cold?  I love it!

Do you like working out in the cold?  Do you like working out on your lunch break?  Do you have a migraine today too?  (Let's hope the answer to at least the last one is no!)

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

To Beast, or not to Beast

Spartan Beast, that is.  It's coming up.  All 13ish trail miles and gazillion obstacles of it.  Like, as in, this friggin Saturday.  As in a week earlier than I thought it was for some insane reason.  Or maybe I just wished so much for an extra week that I started to believe it?  If so I didn't manifest it well enough, because the date never changed and now I have four days to figure out if I'm going to destroy myself this weekend or not.  I had planned on being extremely prepared and in excellent shape, but life and illnesses happened and we all know the rest.  So here I am, not even as strong as I was for the Super Spartan.  Here's my assessment of the situation, with pros and cons:

Pros to running the Beast:

--I'll be following through with my word.
--I'll feel super accomplished or something.
--The running part won't be so bad, probably it'll even be fun.
--I'll get one hell of a free race.
--Another tshirt to wear to bed and medal for the boy to play with.
--I'll know better for next year how to really lay the smack down.

Cons to running the Beast:

--The family will do all sorts of fun camping/hiking without me that day.
--I'll have to sleep on the ground that night, which I'm imagining won't be pretty.
--The obstacles will be embarrassing.
--I'm not as physically prepared as I'd like to be, so it may hurt my pride.
--It may also hurt my body.  A lot.
--I'll keep having nightmares about it for the rest of the week.  Yes, nightmares.  Pitiful, huh?

So, what do you think???  It's free and we're camping either way.  Do I follow through and risk being made a total (possibly injured) fool, or do I chicken out but get to hang out with the family? 

Fry and I need your help!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

A whirlwind two weeks

I'd like to say that my past few weeks have been filled with health, lots of good workouts, and some great family time.  I would actually love to say that!  But unfortunately, it's been a bit of the opposite.  After coming off of two weeks of basically being a single parent while hubby was traveling, we were excited to be getting back to normal.  Then I got *the* call, that my dad was in ICU and wasn't expected to last long.  At about that time, the boy got sick, some of my friends decided to bail, and I had a destination half marathon I had already paid for.  It was a blur of a week, but it ended well if you read my WHM Half Marathon recap.  We went into the next week hopeful for my father, but nothing seemed to be working for him.  He still wasn't breathing on his own and lots of things looked really grim, with only minor successes in his regulated blood pressure and kidney function.

So I did what I thought a good daughter should do and we bought me a ticket to fly to CA to see him.  I took the boy, because the cost of childcare would've been the cost of the plane ticket and at least he was with me all day there.  Hubby and the kiddo stayed home for school, and we hoped for the best.  I went into a whirlwind of seeing family I hadn't seen in 15 years and I father that I was just starting to rebuild a relationship with.  I was, to say it simply, scared shitless.  But it all worked.  His home was instantly comforting, and the boy was perfect.  He traveled better than most adults, and he loved the family right away! 

We also began seeing improvement in my father somewhat quickly.  He went from a full respirator with a breathing tube down the throat (doing all the work for him) to a tracheotomy tube and doing all his own breathing.  He went from being attached to every machine and drug I've ever seen, to being mostly on his own by the end.  And last night, after two full weeks, he made it out of ICU!!  He's not in a regular room, but the level between ICU and that.  It's all so amazing, and I'm glad that I got to witness a lot of it and get some time in with my father.  Being in ICU he couldn't see the boy, but I brought daily pictures from our explorations of the nearby beaches and harbors. 

So yeah, I did get a few moments to explore with the boy.  Not a lot, but as much as I was expecting and enough to clear my head when I needed it.  I ran twice, only about 3 miles each time.  But it was still nice, and I'm grateful that I even got that much.  I preferred to spend my free time showing the boy the west coast and letting him play on their awesome playgrounds.  He deserved it!!

So now we all go forward.  My father continues to improve and get physical therapy/rehabilitation and his body heals.  My family here tries to get back to normal.  I try to stop worrying and process the trip.  And I try to focus on my damn Spartan Beast.  The last one is actually up in the air right now.  Over the few weeks, I've managed to lose two pounds, probably all muscle considering my change in fitness.  And that was muscle that I really REALLY needed for the Beast in under three weeks.  But, it IS a free race for me since I got it from volunteering, so we may just go down to camp if I can't get my act together.  I'll be disappointed for sure, but it will give me a good goal to strive for next year.  And it'll have been worth it.  Because family is always more important than any training I could do. 

So here's to a new start for all of us.  Let's keep our heads up and hope that things just keep getting better!!!

(And on that note, I give you gratuitous pictures of my cute kids, because they make me smile.)

Snacking on my dad's porch
His first view ever of the Pacific Ocean
Silly dance at the local harbor
What the kiddo did while we were gone