I’ve Never Been a Fan of Yoga…Until Tonight

I’ve always been one of those people that has found yoga a bit underwhelming.  The standing still…the heavy breathing…the sweaty air…and sometimes the passing of unpleasing gas from fellow yogis has always left me feeling, well a little less than thrilled.  Well, tonight all that changed.

After feeling incredibly sore after teaching my Butts & Guts Class last night, I knew that tonight’s workout would need to be a recovery workout.  But, I didn’t feel like doing your run of the mill foam roll and stretch session, so I decided to take a gander at some yoga apps in the iTunes Store.  I clicked on a few here and there, not really finding any of them appealing.  Then I clicked on FitStar Yoga. The reviews were ok, and I had just gotten both of my youngest babies asleep, so I decided to give it a try.  (It was also a free download)

FitStar YogaFitStar Yoga – Increase Flexibility, Lose Weight, & Reduce Stress with Personalized Video Fitness Workouts Led By Tara Stiles – FitStar, Inc.

To start, it took me through a fitness test that was 18 minutes long and 46 poses in total.  I was able to rate the difficulty of each pose as I went through the fitness test much to my surprise, I was finding myself relaxing AND getting a great stretch.  So, I kept going and before I knew it, found myself looking for the next workout.

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Scrolling through, I found more workouts, but the ones I wanted to try were locked so I thought maybe I’d check out the membership option…you know…just incase I might want to TRY this yoga thing.  WELL…I’m hooked.

I bougbetter-tara-2ht it for the entire year for $29.99 that included unlimited workouts, full support, and CUSTOMIZATION ($7.99/month option too). After my second CUSTOMIZED yoga workout for the night, (with membership you can request how difficult the workout is) I’m looking forward to many more days of trying out this app.  Who knew the anti-yogi would go for the yoga app?  Well, at this point, I’m feeling relaxed, stretched out and recovered which is what ANY mother of 3 wants after a long day home with the kids!! Yay for yoga!

Happy Fitstar Yoga Workouts to come!

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There are Two Very Important Things I Did Differently This Morning That Made Me More Productive.

Well it’s Monday morning again, and it’s time to get the house ready for the entire week. As always, there is laundry to be washed, carpets to be cleaned, furniture to be dusted and produce to be chopped and organized for the week. Oh yeah… I’m also home with two children under the age of two. Let’s not forget that.

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Usually I wake up with the dreaded hours ahead feeling quite overwhelmed from the items on my to do list that I never write down. The morning usually seems rushed, uncomfortable, and full of chaos. So this morning, I decided to do something different. I decided that I wasn’t going to leave my bedroom until the bed was made, and I was fully dressed from head to toe; socks, shoes, everything. The night before, I had spent some time reading a blog by another mother who swore by this method of starting her day. Her reasoning was that if you have your bed made and your shoes on before you start your day, you approach your day with my professional outlook.

So I thought I’d give it a shot. This morning, I took my time, made the bed, got dressed head to toe, & put my socks and shoes on before even leaving my bedroom. From there, I started my day. And to my surprise, everything went more smoothly. Not only was able to move quicker with more control in chasing the kids, I had a more confident stride my step…Along with a better attitude. I was able to empty the dishwasher, start a load of laundry, make breakfast for the entire family, pack my sons lunch and snack, & get everyone dressed and ready and out the door within 1 hour’s time.

As someone who thrives on being productive, I find some of these days where I am home with two children under the age of two very frustrating. And what frustrates me the most, are those moments when I think that I’m being clever with one child in a highchair eating breakfast, another sitting at the table eating breakfast, and I think I can leave the room for a moment while the baby of the group is sleeping to unload the dryer. And when I return, I find blueberries strewn across the floor, strawberries squished and splattered against the wall, my oldest boy taunting my toddler in her highchair and the baby of the group screaming for a feed. Pair that with me being in my pajamas with only 30 minutes left to get everything together before my son needs to be at school. Seems about right that I should be putting myself first and getting dressed top to bottom with shoes on before any of this chaos inevitably happens.

So what’s the point of my story? The point is I’ll be putting myself first every morning from here on out so that I can take myself seriously as a stay at home mother. I can’t imagine that my children take me any more seriously than I do with my hair disheveled, my clothing askew and running around in slippers all morning so why should I? Being a stay-at-home mother is not only a privilege, it’s a profession. It is my job to raise these little rascals to be decent human beings but above all to know how to take care of themselves and be able to do so in the midst of chaos. Because that’s exactly what the professional world is, at least where I live – one big world of chaos.

NEW! OPAL Mom™ Products Help You: ORGANIZE, PRIORITIZE, ACT & LET GO

OPAL Mom™ Product Line

OPAL Mom™ is excited to introduce a new product line via CafePress that will help you Organize, Prioritize, Act and Let Go during your busy day.  As moms, we have the world on our shoulders when it comes to maintaining a sense of balance while caring for our children, homes and even careers outside the home.  We now offer four different products to match the four focuses of OPAL Mom™.

Opal Mom Mugs

OPAL Mom Mug BOLD 3

Organize your thoughts in the morning with your favorite coffee or tea in the OPAL Mom™ Mug.  OPAL Mom is For Moms Who: Organize, Prioritize, Act, & Let Go. Start your day with this reminder!

 Price: $14.99  ADD TO CART
Product Information

  • Small measures 3.75″ tall, 3″ diameter; Mega measures 4.5″ tall, 3.75″ diameter
  • Small holds 11 oz.; Mega holds 20 oz.
  • Black color-changing mugs available in small only and are heat sensitive. Simply add any hot liquid to the mug and see the mug turn from black to white with your unique design.
  • Dishwasher and microwave safe

Opal Mom Journal

journal

Prioritize: Need a place to jot down your thoughts? Or perhaps write down your to-do list?  Prioritize your day using the OPAL Mom Journal!

Price:  $19.99  ADD TO CART
Product Information
Stay organized with our custom journal, available with your choice of 4 different paper options so you can manage all your note-taking needs.

  • Size: 5″x8″
  • 160 blank, dot grid, college ruled, or task pages
  • 60lb book-weight (24 lb bond)
  • Front cover made of 12pt glossy paper
  • Back cover made of thin flexible textured plastic

Opal Mom Sigg Water Bottle 1.0l

OPAL Mom SIGG water bottle

Act: Take action and take OPAL with you everywhere you go! Remind yourself to Organize, Prioritize, Act and Let Go with every sip!

$29.99  ADD TO CART
Product Information
Help save the planet while you rehydrate in style with an eye-catching water bottle from SIGG. Made from a single piece of aluminum, it’s ultra-lightweight yet rugged and crack-resistant. To minimize unwanted tastes and scents, the inside is lined with a water-based, non-toxic epoxy resin that is compliant with FDA anti-leaching requirements.

  • Holds 1.0L
  • Recyclable & reusable
  • Lifetime warranty
  • Do not freeze

Opal Mom “Let Go” Yoga Mat

OPAL Mom yoga mat

Let Go: Find a moment to “let go” in your busy day with the OPAL Mom “Let Go” Yoga Mat.  Workout, practice your daily yoga routine, or just sit and meditate for 10 minutes.

$54.00  ADD TO CART
Product Information
Our premium yoga mats feature edge-to-edge printing, a textured, non-slip backing, and 1/4″ thick cushioning so you can strike any pose in style.

  • Measures 72″ x 24″ x 1/4″

Finding Balance When Pregnant and Caring for Multiple Children

This past week, I’ve been caring for my two children with the help of my in-laws while my kitchen is renovated in the city.  Being in my third trimester, I’ve had to strategize the day accordingly in order to reserve my energy and still be able to parent effectively while my husband remains in the city to oversee the project and continue to work.  So, how do I do it and continue to work as well?  I always refer back to OPAL. Organize, Prioritize, Act and Let Go.

There are always going to be days where I seem to have way to much on my plate despite my best intentions to plan ahead.  These are the days that include endless demands from my children, seemingly endless work emails and deadlines, and of course, making sure to take time to address my own needs as a mother and this time around, a pregnant woman.

So, this week, this is how I’ve utilized O.P.A.L. to set myself up for success:

ORGANIZE:

WORK

  • I reserve time in my schedule for my work obligations and other appointments.

KIDS

  • FOOD: Snacks and quick breakfast foods are placed in a bin where they know to go if they happen to wake up early or get hungry before meal times.  At the beginning of each week, we talk about what these foods will include. Usually, it comes down to 3 choices of Lara Bars, dried berries, and roasted plantain chips.
  • ACTIVITIES: In the morning, the kids have the choice of either drawing or reading while I blog, email and make work phone calls.
  • NAP TIME: Scheduled for the same time each day
  • QUALITY TIME: Every afternoon, I’ve set aside time to bond with my son with a quiet activity, and the morning, with my daughter.

adelie park logan park

PRIORITIZE:

This varies between WORK and KIDS.

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However, the kids always come first so what I do to prepare them for my workday is I fill them in on how the day is planned.  My son and daughter both are familiar with how my workday unfolds with regard to blogging and training clientele, so what we do, is we plan activities for them during that time.  Perhaps one day it will be reading quietly, another working on an art project or spending time with their grandparents.  This planning together helps them understand that their well-being is my first priority.  Of course, if things come up, work takes a back seat, but at the same time, my children know that in order to live, I need to work.  So, we work together always.

 

ACT:

In order to make some of my most well thought-out plans work at least 50% of the time, I need to act upon them.  This not only includes following through with work, but following through with my children.  This means honoring promises made and also holding them accountable for their activities so that I can honor my work appointments.  I find it important for my children to know that while they are my first priority, they need to learn patience as well.  As a mother, it is always on my mind to jump to their every request, but taking these moments to pause are important for me as well to be able to follow through in teaching them to wait when the time calls for it.

 

LET GO:

*Sigh* This is my biggest challenge.  I’m one of those people who sets out to conquer the world on a daily basis and expects just that.  Letting go for me doesn’t mean letting go of my goals and aspirations for the day.  It means trying my best and letting go of the result.  Sometimes this means letting go of the fact that all of the items on my list my not be finished, but that the ones I do finish are done to the best of my ability.  It may mean that I need to let go of my best intention to stay patient with my children and not carry the guilt of borderline losing it during a very packed day.  Sometimes, it means that I just say, “My best today may be my worst tomorrow and that is ok.”

 

 

How to Get in a Workout When You Have Children Around

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                                   photo courtesy of Rx Muscle

 

I first realized that my at-home workout ritual changed for good when my first child became mobile.  I was in my workout space that I had created and was about to begin my workout on a stability ball when I heard him crawl toward the ball, gurgles and all.  After a few attempts at trying to rush through my workout, I decided to get creative.

 Including Your Children In Your Workout

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                        photo courtesy of Baby Fit Sparkpeople

 

While my son was too young to hop on a kiddie treadmill, I decided to make it fun by making him my weights that I lifted.  I would put him in the Ergo Baby Carrier, and do squats, lunges and monster walks with the band.  I would lie on my back and “bench press” him.  For cardio, I would strap him on my back and I would climb stairs at the local park.  I really REALLY got a good workout in then.

Let Them Play!

During in-home personal training sessions, I meet with other mothers who either work from home, are stay-at-home mothers, or like one particular client, is able to work from home 1 day a week.  During this time, her two sons and my daughter are present, but that doesn’t keep us from working out.  Instead, it allows us to connect!

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The children of course play with their own toys, but if one or more expresses an interest in what we are doing, then we include them in the workout.

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My daughter plays (supervised) with safer workout equipment with my client’s son while his mother and I train during a personal training session.

 

Buy Them Their Own Toy Equipment              

 



 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Is your child too young for school but old enough to climb the walls while you workout?  Include them by buying them equipment so that they too can workout.  There is a great line of exercise equipment by Redmon available on Amazon that allows kids to walk on a foam treadmill, lift on a foam bench press, and even ride a stationary bike.   Melissa & Doug also has colorful activity cones on Amazon for fun drills that you can do with your child as well!  These creative toys can get them in the habit of exercising while finding it fun.

For more fun posts from my mommy blog, please visit http://www.opalmom.com!