Friday, August 29, 2014

Parenting School Aged Children

Parenting has plenty of stress in itself, but parenting school-aged children brings on a different kind of stress. Mainly speaking about children who attend school outside the home. 

Let me explain.

It's the end of the second week of school for our kids. Can you guess how many times we've been called by Kate's teachers aid? At least three. How about Daniels 6th grade teacher? Once but it requires immediate attention. I'll explain in a minute. 

We expected to hear from Kate's school since she's a first timer. What we didn't expect was to receive a phone call from Daniels teacher telling us he's in the office doing his work because she couldn't get him to stop messing around in class. We also found out he's behind on homework assignments and his grades are slipping. Wait, what? It's only the end of the 2nd week of school! 

So, as Daniel got off the bus we agreed to give him a chance to tell us about his day... 
"Hey Daniel. How was your day?"
A few minutes later: "So, anything unusual happen today?"
Eventually his dad asked, "so getting sent to the office happens all the time?"
"Oh...I was going to tell you guys.."

Dun dun dun!

To make this story short, we have a parent-teacher meeting today (Friday) to get things sorted out and to nip this behavior in the bud.

So how would you go about solving this issue?

1. Meet with the teacher. 

2. Make a plan to help the child to be successful in the future.

3. Children need to learn that our actions can bring consequences. Daniel understands that school comes first. He will be pulled from the soccer team if he continues to slack in school. If there is no consequence the child learns his actions will not result in anything, therefore he will continue to misbehave. 

Fast forward to after our meeting with Daniels teacher:
We talked for about half an hour. So far we are very impressed by his teacher. She wants him to succeed but he's making things difficult by playing around in class. He has plenty of time before the end of the day to make sure he has all of his homework ready to go. We explained to her that he has always been forgetful so we all need to help him a little by just simply reminding him. He has an agenda to write down all of that nights homework that he will show to me at home and I'll sign for his teacher to see. He understands that if he continues to have to work in the office he will lose his soccer privileges. We also gave his teacher permission to put him by himself while they are doing class work so he's not a distraction to others. 
It was a great meeting, now we all need to do our part to ensure he succeeds. That includes Daniel too. 

As parents with school aged children we need to be FOR our children, not AGAINST them. It won't help to be passive either. We need to set them up to succeed, not set them up for failure. We refuse to let them just "scrape" by with a "C" average. 

One day he may thank us..or he might not. At least we can say we tried. 

Here are some tips to help your child/ren to be successful in school and these things will trickle into their adult lives as well. 

1. Stay involved! Know what your child is learning, so you can be there to answer questions when they arise.

2. Stay connected with teachers! They are only an email or phone call away! Don't be afraid to just ask how your kid is doing! Teachers and school staff are being trusted with your kid! It keeps them on their toes when they know parents care!

3. Ask about any special services the school offers if your son/daughter has a learning disability. If you suspect they might, please don't hesitate to ask! There are qualified individuals who are more than willing to help your child get the education they deserve.

4. Find a tutor if you can't help with homework! In case you were wondering, no, parents don't know everything! Call in some reinforcements if needed!

5. Volunteer at school! Attend events to show your support. Go on field trips with your kids! Show them you want to be involved in their education.

6. Always keep a positive attitude towards learning! If it becomes something negative, a child won't want to take part in it. 

7. Monitor tv, video games and internet. One rule we have is: no games, tv or internet until all reading and homework is done! Also, on school days, all games are off by 7pm. 

8. Reward them for good behavior &/or good grades. Some may think this is bribery, we like to call it an incentive. ;-)
It doesn't have to be anything extravagant. Just something to show that hard work pays off.

Google images
9. Give them some space! Let your child figure things out on his/her own. If you go to their rescue every time a problem arises, you deprive them of the opportunity to problem solve on their own. Which plays a huge part in being successful in life. At the same time, it's ok to help them after they have made an honest effort to figure it out on their own. 

10. Don't go all summer long without making them read or study up on math! Yes, we are "those" parents who make our kids read during the summer and we even print out math sheets so there's not a lot of re-learning going on at the beginning of the school year. 

Remember, no parent knows it all or has it all together! Just as our children are learning every day, so are we! 

I hope everyone has a great weekend! 

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Wonder Mom Wednesdays: Why I Workout

Hey there! I'm linking up with Amanda @ MomWhoTris Susan @ MomSwimBikeRun and Sue @ ThisMamaRunsForCupcakes for Wonder Mom Wednesdays!

This week's topic: Reasons I Workout!

I remember doing a post similar to this a few months ago, possibly less. So if it seems like I'm repeating some things, I apologize in advance.

Some of you know that I battle depression. That is a huge reason why I exercise/workout. I have found that exercise when coupled with prayer, works wonders for me.
Today I'd like to talk about five other reasons I workout, run, exercise, get my sweat on and so forth...

1. Exercise makes me feel like a person. No, really. It makes me realize I am alive, I am healthy and I am strong. It makes me feel like I'm being "me" for an hour a day and not just mommy, wife, housekeeper, chauffeur and mediator.
Thanks Lorna Jane

2. I run to get my endorphin fix. Endorphins=happy and happy mom/wife=happy home. That sounds bad but it's somewhat true. We all know running is the best form of cardio. Cardio workouts create high levels of endorphins meaning your mood is going to be automatically boosted. So it's in everyone's best interest to let mommy run. :-D Being a mom is rewarding in so many ways, knew there was going to be a but didn't you? But, it's also very demanding and stressful at times. So if you can find an outlet (that's healthy) to help you de-stress, go for it.

3. Working out makes me feel good. Its that simple. It makes me feel better physically..maybe after I can walk a few days after leg day.. and it makes me feel better mentally. My confidence is soaring after a good, sweaty workout. I'm not a prideful person at all, but working out has boosted my self esteem. There is nothing wrong with someone feeling good about themselves.
This is a pretty good reason to feel good about myself. ;-)

4. I exercise to set a good example for our children. If they grow up with active parents, they are more likely to be active as well. My daughter keeps asking, "when do I get to race?!" That's music to my ears! Our son plays Soccer and has been on the track team the past two years. They also love going to the track to run around and play while we run. Our most recent activity we all enjoyed was swimming at the gym pool. They enjoy being active and I love seeing that we're paving a healthy path for them.

5. Being active has helped me "come out of my shell". I've met some amazing athletes, made so many awesome friends through social media and stepped out of my comfort zone many times. The running community is simply amazing and we all understand each other's love/addiction to the sport. Living an active lifestyle and sharing that passion with others is something I've never experienced before. Also knowing I inspire others to live healthier lives, gives me that constant motivation to keep moving forward.

(Have a WONDERful Wednesday everyone!! hardy har har..
And remember to check out all the other awesome moms linking up today! Click on any of the links at the top!

What's one reason YOU workout??

Sunday, August 24, 2014

#Activelivingchallenge Week 3 Recap

The last week of the Fit Approach & Lorna Jane Active Living Challenge has come to an end. The past three weeks flew by! I enjoyed each challenge and loved trying new things! Here's a recap of the last week.

Day 15 Move, nourish & believe. Share how you are practicing active living today! This was Kate's first day of Kindergarten so I took the morning off from working out. I did some yard work and planted flowers instead. :-)

Day 16 Active Living is for life! What part of the future are you most excited for?! Most of you know that my husband was laid off a few months ago. We are looking forward to getting some answers on upcoming employment opportunities, and whatever God has in store for us! He never closes a door without opening another!

Day 17 Let's move! Share a photo of you doing your favorite workout. We all know running is my first love, but recently I've learned to love yoga as well. Running and yoga go hand in hand.

Day 18 Share your short term goal! 1/2 marathon, here I come!

Day 19 Nourishing your body is a part of active living. Share your favorite healthy snack! Smoothies are a quick & delicious, healthy summer treat that my whole family enjoys!

Day 20 What's your favorite Lorna Jane Active piece? I'm lovin' these Lover 7/8 tights!!

Day 21 What's your favorite thing about active living? I love knowing I'm in a constant progression to a better "me". There's so much positivity in living an active life and I hope I can inspire others to strive to live healthier lives!

I've enjoyed this challenge and of course I'm looking forward to see who wins!!

Week 1 Recap

Week 2 Recap

My #loveyourself challenge is in the works! Hoping to start September 1st!

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Wonder Mom Wednesdays-Back To School


My first link-up! Today I'm linking up with Susan @ MomSwimBikeRun, Amanda @ MomWhoTris and Sue @ ThisMamaRunsForCupcakes for Wonder Mom Wednesdays! Head over to their blogs and check out what they have to say about Back To School! 

As some of you may know, my kids (as well as many others) started school on Monday, August 18th. This was more than the typical first day of school for "big kids" who have been going for a few years already. This was a huge day for our family. It was Kate's first day of Kindergarten! She has never been to a day care, preschool or even to a regular babysitter. I have been a stay at home mom for the past 5 1/2 years so this was a big deal for us! I had so many worries and concerns but she was ready. No, I didn't cry. And Kate didn't either. :-) 

Daniel's a big 6th grader now so he was too "cool" for first day photos. So I got him on the 2nd day. 
Here they are on the first day, a bit nervous, but excited. Well, one was nervous.. 

Kate's first day:

Their 2nd day:

So what does "back to school" mean for me? What is this mom going to do for 7 or so hours a day? The possibilities are endless! Wait, no that's laundry. Laundry is endless. 

I've been waiting for this "mommy" time for quite a while now. Not that my kids are unbearable, just because I really want to be able to focus on my desires. I feel I can do the things that I want to do while they are in school, and I can do them "guilt free". Like, go to the gym with out having to sneak out of the house, or hug a crying kid goodbye. Or, do yard work, clean the house or work in the garden without having to stop to be a mediator between two fighting kids. Most importantly, I'll be able to spend more time reading, meditating and praying without hearing knocking on my bedroom door and little voices saying, are you done yet?

I'll admit, I'm a bit apprehensive to send my kids to public school. I usually don't talk about my opinions/views on "politics" but I will say that there are some things that I do not like that will be taught in public schools here in California, BUT, I am not well equipped enough, (totally not the phrase I was looking for but it works) nor do I have the patience to home school my children. It sounds like a wonderful idea, and I tried it for the first few months of Daniel's 5th grade year. But it turned out to be a negative experience for all of us. As Christian parents, all we can do is build a strong foundation at home to ensure that our children will grow up to be mature, independent adults with good morals and values. 

One thing definitely is for sure...

It's only going on the third day of the school year but I realized after the first day I was ready for them to come home. I was so happy to go pick up Kate from school and play with her when we got home. I was eager to hear how Daniel's first day of 6th grade went.

Summer vacation was fun, but it was also tough. Our family thrives when we have structure and schedules. Maybe it's because we don't have time to fight. ;-)

Here's to a whole new school year of ups and downs and everything in between! 

Monday, August 18, 2014

#ActiveLivingchallenge Week 2 Recap

I started working on another post that will be up on Wednesday for my first link-up, then realized I haven't posted my 2nd week recap for the #Activelivingchallenge! (One requirement of the challenge)

Instead of just listing off what the challenges were and my responses, I'd like to share what I've gotten out of this challenge so far.

The first thing that comes to mind is I've realized how much I've changed over the past couple of years. My eating habits have changed, my daily activities have changed and my personal thoughts towards myself have changed tremendously!

Day 8 Challenge was to share your favorite super food. Well, I couldn't pick just one so I chose four. A few years ago I had no clue that super foods even existed!

I've also learned that I have become so open minded to trying new things. I've learned to step outside (no pun intended) of my comfort zone and try something I thought was "not for me".

Day 9 we had to do something new. So I went outside and did yoga. It was something I've always wanted to do, just never did because I was used to doing it in the privacy of my bedroom. I loved it! I prefer doing it in the early morning in the cool air.

Day 10 asked how we practice active living every day. I realized how much things change when you have kids, but there's still time and many different ways to be active every day. We have an older model treadmill, a bowflex, some weights, dvd's and a yoga mat. I can work out from home every day if I wanted to. An hour a day is all it takes.

Day 11 we shared what motivates us to move. I shared a before and after photo of myself. I've become much more confident in myself and what my body is capable of doing. I've learned that excuses get you no where and I'm pretty sure I used every excuse in the book! I'm a happier person and I never want to go back to who I used to be.

Day 12 Share your favorite quote about staying positive and true to yourself. I've learned that happiness and optimism can be created by positive thoughts. Surrounding yourself with positive people, words, thoughts and attitude is key to staying true to yourself.

Day 13 What do you do to get more out of every day? This year I've dealt with my share of grief from the loss of a loved one. Through that very difficult time I learned that life is so precious and I want to spend my time living in the moment. Doing what my heart desires. What makes me happy. I also want to leave an impact on other's lives just like my grandpa left on me.

Day 14 Share your ultimate dream/goal! Well, I shared my near future goal of running a half marathon. Definitely not my ultimate dream, but for sure a big goal that I'm working hard to reach!

This has been a great week and I'm looking forward to this last week of challenges!

Enjoy your week everyone! Move, nourish & believe!

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Weekly Review #5 plus some changes

Why hello there! Long time eh?
I've been one of those silent readers again. I've also been thinking of some changes I want to make to this blog so stay tuned because the best is yet to come!..At least, better things.

I'd like to try out a link-up or two each week to keep my blogging juices flowing and write more from the heart & mind instead of random babblings from my day. I'd also like to write more about the ups and downs of parenting.

Another idea floating around in this brain of mine is I'm thinking about hosting a 30 day self love challenge. Of course an awesome prize will be involved. ;-) More details on that soon!

Anyway, onto my weekly review! (With some random photos added in between so I don't bore you to death)

I haven't been eating as "clean" as I did during my thirty days (unless taco bell counts as clean eating..) but I'm still at the same weight so that's good!

Monday: Run-2 miles at the highschool track. 18:11 Not too shabby but I want to work on keeping my pace in the 8:30-8:45 range. My IT band has been tight lately so it a affecting my knee again. Time to increase my time with the foam roller!

Tuesday: 1 mile warm up, 55 calf raises w/20#, 25 squats w/20#, 70 resisted kickbacks w/65#, 40 prone leg raises w/65#, 30 sit-ups.

I didn't take many photos this week so I'll share this one of Michael trying to do a head stand. He did much better than I did!

Wednesday: 2 miles, 50 calf raises w/20#, 25 squats w/20#, planks, leg lifts

Thursday: Yoga on our deck. This was so relaxing! I was inspired to do yoga outside when Fit Approach challenged us to do something different. I did some yoga out in our yard but it was a bit hot. So the next morning I did yoga on our deck in the early morning. Loved it!

Two mammoth sunflowers! 

Friday: Run-just over 3 miles.

Saturday: Run-2 miles. I ran 10 miles this week! Really happy about that!

Sunday: Rest/stretch.

Love this! (My background, not my quote)

I hope everyone had a nice weekend!
By the way, school starts Monday! Its a bitter sweet time. My little girl will be starting kindergarten : -( and my son will be a sixth grader! How did that happen??

Monday, August 11, 2014

Week 1 #Activelivingchallenge

A week ago I decided to join Lorna Jane and Fit Approach in their Active Living Challenge. Each day Fit Approach posts a daily "task" and you have to post your response via Instagram and Twitter. This week seemed to fly by but I'm happy to be participating until the 25th.
Of course there's an amazing prize involved! The winner will receive a $500 shopping spree for Lorna Jane Active Wear! Pretty awesome huh?

So here's what you missed if you aren't participating or haven't seen my IG feed.

Day 1: Post a photo of your favorite move this summer. I love the core workout I get from planks! I can hold a high plank for just over 2:20!

Day 2: Post a photo of your favorite healthy meal. To go along with my favorite summer move, I posted one of my favorite summer salads. Romaine lettuce, strawberries, feta cheese, cucumbers and Brianna's blush wine vinaigrette.

Day 3: Share what active living means to you. Active Living means I'm a healthier, happier mom and wife.

Day 4: Share your favorite place to relax. I feel so much better after some time alone in my room, doing yoga, praying, meditating and reading the Bible.

Day 5: Post a selfie after a sweaty workout. This was me after Insanity, pure cardio.

Day 6: Share a photo of you "moving it" with your friends. Well, I always workout and run solo, so I posted a picture of my walking buddy and I walking on the canal.

Day 7: Post a photo of something you're grateful for. I shared a photo of my husband. He's been so strong through our struggle of unemployment. He's still a wonderful provider, Spiritual leader and my best friend. :)

I'm looking forward to another week of challenges. From Fit Approach, not life ;-)

I hope everyone is having a great Monday!

Friday, August 8, 2014

Dear Migraines, I really despise you

Let me count the ways...

1. I hate how you think you can control me by wiping me out for days.

2. How you decide to pop in and out of my life throughout the year. Giving me hopes that maybe you've gone away for good, only to return every summer.

 3. I hate how you can't be controlled. (This will change one day)

4. You sometimes surprise me in the morning but fyi, it's not what I like waking up to.

5. You've ruined too many of my good runs by throwing a party inside my head when I just wanted to enjoy my runners high.

So obviously I've been dealing with migraines again. Stress plays a huge role and boy have I had loads of that lately.

I'll be happy once school starts on the 18th but that's only a tiny part of the stress source. Other parts include Michael still being unemployed, running low on funds, missing my grandpa a ton, Michael's grandma not doing so well and dealing with other family issues. Life seems a bit out of control right now but we're still blessed.

There won't be much to report on my weekly recap on Sunday but I do have some randoms for ya. Oh by the way, I'm on Instagram (longhairedrunner87) and Twitter (Fawn Nole) now. If you care to follow me. I'm pretty addicted to Instagram and I'm also doing the #activelivingchallenge with Fit Approach and Lorna Jane.

Daniel started soccer last week. It was fun watching him practice. He's really good. :-) and I'm not just saying that because he's my son.

We harvested one of our mammoth sunflowers the other day. We baked some and realized most if the shells are empty! We read that sometimes that can happen if the soil isn't rich enough. We still have two more growing so we'll try to keep the soil fertilized and nutrient rich and see what happens. I'm curious to see what the roots look like!

We took the kids school clothes shopping where we used to live. There's a children's consignment shop there that always has plenty of gently used girl clothes. That's one plus to having a kid going into kindergarten-she doesn't care where we get her clothes from. Daniel, on the other hand, is all about name brands and what's "cool". Anyway, afterwards we went to a candy store for a little treat. I got my favorite: mint pastels.

I hope everyone had a great week! I'm looking forward to a good run tomorrow. I definitely need it!

Enjoy your weekend everyone!!

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Weekly Review #4 <-----whaaat?

Yep, you read that right. Week 4 is just a thing of the past. Technically I still have a few days left of this 30 day thing. BUT I wanted to share how I'm feeling standing on this side looking back.
I've lost four solid pounds and I know it's a fat loss because I ate super clean and added weights and resistance to my workouts. I feel stronger, leaner and more toned. Is my lower half where I'd like it to be? Not yet. Am I happy with the work I put in and the results I got? You bet.

This past week I toned my workouts down because my body told me to. I'm thinking all the swimming I did caused me to use muscles that haven't been used in a long time. I woke up almost every day with lower back pain, but it was muscle pain, not bone. I decided to do as little impact activities as possible just to be safe.
Monday: No impact. 1 mile walk, yoga, stretches and foam rolling.
Tuesday: 1 mile warm up walk, stretch, 10 real pushups! (I guess all the planks and swimming helped strengthen my lower back.) Bowflex: 50 each leg-resisted leg kickbacks-60#, 35 each leg-prone leg raises-60#, 50- calf raises with 10#, 1 mile walk.

Prone Leg Raises (

Wednesday: 15 minute walk/run, stretch, Bowflex exercises. (Same as previous day, plus 5 more of each move) 1 mile walk, stretch & foam roll.

Thursday: 40 minute walk, run, walk. Stretch, followed by an ice bath that felt wonderful! Although the ice melted too quickly, it still helped my aching legs. 

Friday: Gym pool-45 minutes.
I felt like supermom before leaving to go swim. I vacuumed, loaded the dish washer and made beef patties for my boys so they wouldn't starve while I was gone. (Kate was with her g ma)

Saturday: 1 mile walk, 60 calf raises w/10#, 20 bicep curls w/10#, 60 kickbacks w/65#, 40 prone leg raises w/65#. 

Sunday: (today) REST DAY! Foam roll, stretch, relax, be lazy. :-)

I made some kale chips this week and I really liked them! I put a tad bit too much garlic salt but other than that I enjoyed them!

I enjoyed every bite of my cheat meal too:

Burrito Supreme at Villa's Mexican Grill
I'm going to continue to eat healthy (maybe not as clean) and continue to workout as often as I can, but making sure to have at least 1 rest day a week.

I have some exciting news! (for me anyway)
I've decided to start training for a half marathon! I'm hoping to run the Merco Credit Union Half Marathon here in town but if it is held during warmer weather, I'll have to look for another one. I'm aiming for Spring 2015! I feel more ready now than I have in the past and I'm really excited about it. I'm planning on stretching out the training plan in Train Like a Mother since I have a pretty good amount of time. I want to continue to work on my strength because I realize now more than ever that it plays a huge part in your running performance. I'm not going to set a time goal, just to finish feeling great. I feel like I've learned to listen to my body and if any aches or pains come up, I will tone it down and make sure not to cause any injuries. 
I came into 2014 with lots of running goals, all of which pretty much went down the drain because of my IT band injury that sidelined me for about 6 months. I almost quit running altogether but I'm so glad I didn't! 
Once a runner, always a runner. ;-) Right?

So how was your week?
What's your favorite kind of food? Mexican, all the way!

I hope everyone has an awesome week!