47/52 {baby/toddler/life updates}

 From the Forest to the Farm to the Beach. This was a busy week. We finished packing up our house and we are now safe and sound in Texas. We spent our last evening in Virginia driving to my family/friend’s hops farm in Maryland. Organarchy is the largest hops farm in the state, and they are now in the process of expanding. It’s amazing watching them do what they have done in the last few years, and I’m so proud of them. I was glad I finally got to drive over and check it out for myself before I left.
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Our plane ride to Virginia was less than spectacular. United Airlines put us in an EXPRESS JET plane from Richmond all the way to Houston. That was a THREE HOUR flight. There was turbulence the ENTIRE way, no doubt because we were in such a small aircraft. There was a lady puking right next to me. They didn’t have a food or beverage service because they couldn’t push the cart down the isle. I was starving. Eva was starving. We were absolutely miserable. I couldn’t believe it. It was all worth it when we finally got home to this…
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Processed with VSCOcam with t2 presetEva was ecstatic to be back at the beach, as you can imagine. “Look, Mommy! The Ocean! I love the ocean!” she exclaimed. She was running around, splashing in the water, finding shells and throwing sand. She was also happy to see her grandparents again, as was I. I’m so glad we are here to stay for a while.
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 week30This is the week that Damian finally figured out the whole crawling thing. He has also gotten better at picking himself up and standing on things. He seriously wants to do it all day long. He has been a little sick for the last few days, though, which worries me. Eva was never sick as an infant, and it seems Damian can’t catch a break. :( Still, he’s been less grumpy than last week so I don’t think it’s affecting him too much.

daybyday30Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetPicMonkey Collage3Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetPicMonkey Collage2Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset Here’s to the next chapter of our lives… in Texas!

Damian: Seven Months

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Dear Damian,

You are now officially mobile! You started out the month with scooting and rocking back and forth on your knees, and it took you a couple of weeks but you finally figured out how to crawl. Just as I suspected, you are so much happier “on your own” now that you can do it. It’s a little scarier than I thought it would be with your big sister around, though. She’s always leaving crayons and other small things on the floor I have to watch out for. I don’t understand how your little baby eyes are so much better than mine. It’s like you zero in on Eva’s little objects left on the floor and it becomes your mission to get the object in your mouth as quickly as possible. You also want to constantly be standing up. You’ve become a pro at pulling yourself up on things, but once you’re in the standing position it only takes a few minutes for your chunky little legs to become tired and wobbly. You’ve had a few spills onto your 96th percentile noggin of yours, but even then you want to get right back up and do it again. This whole childproofing thing is going to be extremely difficult in the next few weeks, because yesterday we moved to Texas and we’ll be staying with your grandparents until we find a place of our own. It bums me out to think about your Daddy being overseas for your first steps, first words, your first birthday, and all the other little milestones we have coming up. You love him so much. You always give him the biggest, goofiest smiles when he gets home from work and I’m going to miss those so much. Another person you love to death is your sister. In fact, you’ve been siding with her more than your own mama lately! Whenever I get mad at her for doing something she’s not supposed to do or whenever you see her upset you yell and grunt and make noises I never hear you make except in that circumstance. It’s so weird! But it’s also precious. Every month the two of you interact more and more and I can’t wait to watch your relationship grow. Sometimes she can be a little hard on you but you love her just the same.

Other things you love: You love food. You have yet to try something you won’t eat. It blows my mind. You also love being  in a new place. You love our kitty cat, Selena. You’re obsessed with ceiling fans.

Things you hate: After seven months of countless road trips, you still hate your car seat. You hate when your big sister or I take something away from you. You throw the biggest fit. You hate having your face wiped.

You’re the sweetest, most charming little boy. You steal smiles wherever you. I just love being your mama. Here’s to our next chapter in Texas.

Love,
Mama

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A Legit Home Gym and Workout Plan for Under $150

I see too many Pinterest articles about home workouts or home gyms that insist on those little pink 5lb dumbbells. It makes me cringe every single time. You can throw those around all day, ladies, but you’re not going to make any progress. Promise. I finally had enough of it and decided to share my own home workout that actually measures up to a workout you can do in a gym. You will need some equipment, but you can find it all for less than $150 (and probably even less if you scour Craigslist).

WHAT YOU’LL NEED:

1. Adjustable Barbell & Dumbbell Set ($72)- Honestly THIS right here is ALL you really need. You can work your whole body with just this piece of equipment. It’s infinitely better than buying a 10lb (or whatever) dumbbell set that doesn’t allow for change as your strength progresses. These barbell and dumbbell sets can be quickly and easily adjusted for different exercises. You can lift heavy at home. You can also buy these separately, but I found them online together for much cheaper!
2. Pull-Up Bar ($28)- You may not be able to do a single pull up yet, but I promise you, you CAN do them! All it takes is practice. Having a pull up bar at home makes it SO much easier because you can try it out without worrying about anyone watching you, haha. Not only that, but the pull up bar can also be used for pushups and triceps dips, two key exercises in the home workout! I posted a YouTube tutorial in the workout section below that teaches you how to do one if you’ve never done it before.

3. Stability Ball ($22)- Stability balls are great because you can use them as a bench, as a weight, for stretching, or just as a chair at home!

4. Yoga Mat ($16)- A little cushion from the floor. Plus it catches your sweat.

OPTIONAL EQUIPMENT:

Treadmill- This is optional because obviously you can run outdoors. I personally prefer to run on my treadmill inside, though, so that my kids can play in their playroom (also my exercise room) while I’m exercising. I found my treadmill for $100 on Craigslist about two years ago and I haven’t had a single issue with it. This is the newer version of the treadmill I have:

Jump Rope- The second option I’m giving you for the cardio portion of this workout is simply to jump rope for two minutes in between each exercise.

Exercise Bench- This is optional because you don’t need an exercise bench. You can use your stability ball as a bench for most exercises, or you can get creative and use a chair or simply perform your exercise on the floor. An exercise bench might be more convenient and more comfortable, though.
Ankle Weights- There are a few exercises below to which ankle weights can be added for a little extra burn.

THE WORKOUT:

If you click on the name of the exercise, you will be directed to a tutorial on how to complete it. Remember, each set should be completed to failure. That means you should feel a “burn” in your muscle to the point where you can’t complete another rep. If you aren’t feeling this burn, you need to increase the amount of weight you are using for the exercise.

WORKOUT A: Legs

1. Squat with Barbell (3 sets, 15-20 reps) The reason we are doing so many reps for this exercise is because we don’t have a squat rack, which makes it a little more difficult (and less safe) to go heavy. To make up for it, we will do more reps with what we can on the barbell.
2. Deadlifts with Barbell (3 sets, 10-12 reps) Really focus on squeezing that butt and the “inner thigh gap” on the way up.
3. Plie Squats with a Single Dumbbell (3 sets, 10-12 reps)
4. Lunges with Barbell (3 sets FOR EACH SIDE, 10-12 reps) To really feel the burn on the glutes and hamstrings, I want you do focus on ONE leg at a time. This means you are NOT doing alternating lunges. You will do 10-12 reps with your left leg forward, rest, then 10-12 reps with your right leg forward. You will repeat this twice for a total of three sets.
5. Stiff Leg Deadlifts with Barbell (3 sets, 10-12 reps) Again, when you’re pulling the barbell up, really focus on squeeeeeeezing those glutes together like you’re trying to hold a quarter between your butt cheeks.
6. Leg Extensions with a Single Dumbbell on a chair (3 sets, 10-12 reps) You can sit on a chair for these.
7. Donkey Kicks Time to burn out those glutes! Use ankle weights if you have them.
8. Standing Calf Raises with a Barbell (3 sets, 10-12 reps)

WORKOUT B: Back & Biceps

1. Pull-Ups with Pull-up Bar (3 sets to failure. If you can’t do a single one yet, try with all your might, or have someone help you. Eventually, you WILL be able to do these. I still remember the first time I was able to. It was amazing. KEEP TRYING!) Watch this video for tips!
2. Single-Arm Dumbell Rows with Dumbbells (3 sets, 10-12 reps) You can use a chair to balance yourself if you don’t have a bench. Squeeze your abs while doing these. You can probably lift heavier than you think.
3. Bent Over Dumbbell Rows, Underhand Grip with Barbell (3 sets, 10-12 reps)
4. Bent Over Dumbbell Rows, Overhand Grip with Barbell (3 sets, 10-12 reps)
5. Widegrip Barbell Curls with Barbell (3 sets, 10-12 reps)
6. Hammer Curls with Dumbbells (3 sets, 10-12 reps)
7. Concentration Curls with Dumbbells (3 sets, 10-12 reps)

WORKOUT C: Chest, Triceps, & Shoulders

1. Pushups with Pull-up Bar (3 sets, 10-15 reps)
2. Chest Flyes with Dumbbells (3 sets, 10-12 reps) You can use your exercise ball as a bench.
3. Triceps Kickback with Dumbbells (3 sets, 10-12 reps) You can use a chair to balance yourself if you don’t have a bench.
4. Overhead Triceps Extension with a single Dumbbell (3 sets, 10-12 reps)
5. Dips on PullUp Bar (You can also use a chair.) (3 sets, 10-12 reps)
6. Shoulder Press with Dumbells (3 sets, 10-12 reps)
7. Front Shoulder Raises with Barbell (3 sets, 10-12 reps)
8. Rear Delt Flyes with Dumbells (3 sets, 10-12 reps)

STABILITY BALL CIRCUIT

This ab/core workout will be done in a circuit form. That means you go from one exercise to the next without stopping. After you’ve completed all five exercises, you can rest before completing the circuit two more times. Try to complete this workout at least twice a week.

1. Exercise Ball Pull-In (10-15 reps)
2. Leg Lifts with Exercise Ball (10-15 reps)
3. Back Extensions on Exercise Ball (10-15reps)
4. Side Twist on Exercise Ball with a single Dumbell (10-15 reps on each side) Use ankle weights for an extra burn if you have them.
5. Side Crunch on Exercise Ball (10-15 reps on each side)

CARDIO

There are several options for cardio for this workout plan. My favorite, and the one I recommend the most, is a three-mile or 20-30 minute jog. Like I said before, this can be done outdoors or on a treadmill. For optimum results, it should either be completed first thing in the morning on an empty stomach, or if you must do it at the same time as your lifting routine then AFTER you complete your workout. If you choose not to run, the second option I would choose is to do 2 minutes of jump rope between every exercise. (Not between every set, between every exercise.) For example, you would complete three sets of squats, then do two minutes of jump rope before moving on to the deadlifts. At the end of each workout you will have jumped roped for at least fifteen minutes total. The third option I have for you is to complete an exercise cardio routine. You can find these on YouTube or on an exercise video.

THE SCHEDULE

All four workouts (Workout A, Workout B, Workout C, and the Stability Ball Circuit) must each be done at least once a week. Cardio must also be done at least three days a week. If you really want to challenge your body or if you want to step it up to the next level, I would recommend trying to complete each workout twice during the week. Here are a few examples you can use:

Three Days a Week
MONDAY- Workout A and Cardio
WEDNESDAY- Workout B, Cardio, and Stability Ball Circuit
FRIDAY- Workout C, Cardio, and Stability Ball Circuit

Four Days a Week
MONDAY- Workout A and Cardio
TUESDAY- Workout B and Cardio
THURSDAY- Workout C and Cardio
FRIDAY- Stability Ball Circuit and Cardio

Six Days a Week
MONDAY- Workout A and Cardio
TUESDAY- Workout B and Stability Ball Circuit
WEDNESDAY- Workout C and Cardio
THURSDAY-Workout A and Cardio
FRIDAY- Workout B and Stability Ball Circuit
SATURDAY- Workout C and Cardio

You can obviously choose which workouts you want to do on which day, just make sure you wait at least two days before completing the same workout.

Other Home Workouts:

FitnessBlender on YouTube is an AMAZING resource for home workouts. Whenever I’m bored with my routine I go there for inspiration.
BodyBuilding.com also has some pretty great home workouts!
Also, check out my fellow Texan Katie’s SheRocks Fitness blog for more home workouts!