Full-Body Prenatal Workout

Monday, April 21, 2014

The second trimester of pregnancy has left me much more functional and energized. Now that I'm back into the habit of a "regular" workout routine, I thought I'd start sharing some of my prenatal workouts with you in case you'd like to follow along or get some ideas for your own prenatal workout routine. And really, this workout would even be great for someone who isn't expecting. If I weren't pregnant, I'd probably do each circuit three times, moving faster between moves and increasing the weight.

This is the routine I did on my lunch break today, scribbled on a simple post-it. I had a good stretch afterward (ohhhhhh yeah) which brought total workout time to about 25 minutes. Choose a weight that you don't struggle with. I chose 5# for most of these. It's better to decrease weight and increase reps from your normal routine than to use a heavier weight for fewer reps during pregnancy. You should also not be working past the point of being able to speak in full sentences. If something doesn't feel comfortable, don't do it. Take it easy momma!

Always check with your doctor concerning your exercise regimen, especially during pregnancy. These moves are based upon my own limitations and abilities, but you'll want to make sure to get your own all-clear.

  photo d86c4e79-b915-44c6-a502-72df0985a749_zps4598ab6b.jpg

Some of the stretches I did: shoulder stretch, wall chest stretch, pigeon, standing quad stretch, standing calf stretch and a triceps stretch. Try to stretch the entire body since you just worked most of it, holding 30 seconds per stretch. After the first trimester, it's not usually recommended to lie flat on your back, so that's why most of my stretches were standing or sitting variations.

How do you stay fit during pregnancy?

A Weekend of Non-Race Results

Monday, April 14, 2014

I swear I read on the pamphlet that the kids' race started at 9am. I've had it written in ink in my calendar for months, since I reserved Peanut's spot right when registration opened.

I get a call from my mom. Where are you? The five-year-olds are already lining up. Peanut is 5. Oh noooo! It's 8:30 and the races have already begun. I race down the street and will the lights to turn green with my razor-sharp glare. We pull up and the 6-year-olds are already starting to run. Peanut is crying real sincere tears in the backseat as I share the news with him that we missed his race.

Peanut and I rush out of the car and run toward the crowds, my pregnant belly not holding me back yet. We race up just in time to see the 7-year-olds lining up. His cousin is in this group, so we'll see about sneaking him in. I get Peanut in line to run and I race over to the registration booth to grab Peanut's race bib. Without enough time to pin it on, I tell him to just hold it in his hands.

The whistle blows and the 7-year-olds and one 5-year-old bolt across the pavement. The route for 7-year-olds is quite a bit longer than the route for 5-year-olds, but Peanut holds his own. He even manages to pass a few little runners. With his height, he doesn't even look the least bit out of place.

I meet him at the finish line, and the huge smile on his face as he shows me his medal helps me to feel a little less guilty. I high-five him and give him all the accolades about keeping up with the big kids. His daddy calls and gives him a virtual fist bump from work. He's happy and proud and smiling. And that's what truly matters.

Sunday morning, Hubster and I are signed up to run the corresponding 5k. I also signed us up way back when registration opened. I pick up our race packets after Peanut's run and set out all our gear for the next morning. Being pregnant and tired, I plan on walking for most of the race, which suits my unconditioned Hubster just fine.

But Saturday night turned out to be the very epitome of "April showers." April showers that didn't relent for one second. April showers that filled our backyard like a built-in pool. The rains went well into the night and we prepared ourselves for what happens nearly every spring.

Hubster set up camp on the couch, checking and adjusting the pumps every half hour. I pulled a pump-watching shift from about 1-3am since I couldn't sleep anyway and Hubster needed a break. The encroaching waters and the perceived threat on our garage and eventually our basement left me feeling wide awake in the middle of the night.

Toward 6am, the rains finally let up and the backyard drainage was actually getting somewhere. We were finally starting to feel that exhaustion seep in as the water finally seeped out. Sleep was much more needed than the gratification of finishing the race. Yes, the race is one of our family traditions, but so is pumping out our spring-fed backyard I guess, so we're even. Ha. We'll run again next year.

This morning we woke up to snow on top of our spring floods. It was like a cruel, yet beautiful-looking joke. With our natural northern instinct, we brush off our vehicle windows, pull out the snow pants again, and pretend like the snow will just vanish by the end of the day, hoping against hope that 70-degree weather will be in the forecast for next week again, yet knowing in the back of our minds that snow is possible well into May.

How was your weekend?

Florida Trip Highlights Part Two

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Check out Part One of our Florida trip here.

I have never been to Disney. Our family did quite a bit of travelling when we were younger, but generally the trips didn't reach past the state lines. Peanut had obviously never been there either. So this time, we planned a trip into the Magical Kingdom. Although I couldn't ride any of the rides in my condition and I'm not big on big touristy amusement parks, I had so much fun being there for the first time.

What struck me most was the overwhelming awe I have for Walt Disney himself. The dreams, visions and ambitions of one man have manifested in this larger-than-life empire right down to the tiniest detail. I remember reading about a woman who worked on a Disney cruise ship and the type of training and guidance every single Disney employee receives. It's just beyond impressive how this entire place, not to mention the movies and merchandise and everything else Disney, originated in the mind of one ambitious man.

And ok, I already know these Disney people are brilliant, but putting activities for kids to follow all along the lines for the rides is just pure genius!

I've been hearing about the Small World ride for my entire life. I know what it is and everything about it, but I was finally able to experience it for the first time myself. I loved watching how Peanut took it all in and truly enjoyed it. We even used a handful of pennies to send our own wishes out into the world. Peanut wished for us to be able to stay in Florida. I did a little too:)

The only ride Peanut hated was the haunted house ride. He cried and closed his eyes the entire way through. I love how they make the ride very kid-friendly. No ghosts pop out to scare you or anything. However, the music and voices are a bit macabre, just creepy enough to make a Peanut uncomfortable.

Peanut recognized Rapunzel's castle right away. Rapunzel, Rapunzel let down your hair!

Checking out the fort on the island. We found a little girl who was inconsolable after losing her family. I sat with her until her brothers ran back to find her. I'm not sure if she even spoke English. Later, we spotted another boy who had gotten misplaced. The workers tell us they have family reuniting down to a science.

Peanut was overjoyed that he finally got to drive a go-kart. This kind stayed on a track, so there wasn't much room for error. 


We caught Disney shows at the castle, watched a 3D movie, rode some rides, explored some islands, met some Disney characters and ate all kinds of overpriced food. Peanut even rode a little roller coaster, which I was so proud of him for attempting. Grandma pointed out all the Disney movies that Peanut hasn't seen yet. When we got home, we immediately rented Planes so at least Peanut knows who is who in the little airplane pack he bought at the souvenir shop.

We stayed until after the nightly parade and fireworks, of course. Tinkerbell stuck her tongue out at Peanut when he got shy and wouldn't wave back to her. We got a good laugh out of that. I captured most of the castle entertainment on my camcorder, but we weren't in a great position to see the full effect of the fireworks.

After the shows, we headed to the car, which is quite the process. We took the ferry across the water and Peanut immediately fell asleep on the floor of the vessel. Then, we had to wait for a trolley to make the hike to the car. We had another 2-hour ride after that in which Peanut slept the entire way. We were completely spent, but happy. Thank goodness Thursday was a sleep-in casual day.

What about you? Is there some major place that you haven't been to yet? What are some of your favorite Disney memories?

Florida Trip Highlights Part One

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

There's something magical about the air in Florida that makes a girl forget about her morning sickness. I'm not sure if it was the warm air on dried out Wisconsin bones, the factor of distraction, or something else, but never in the past few weeks have I felt as good as I did in the Sunshine State.

We began our trip with travels late on a Monday afternoon that got us into Orlando at the bewitching hour. We spotted a wild raccoon in some brush under a bush at the airport. Couldn't get my camera out fast enough though. The warm humid air and light rain that greeted us excited me from the moment we walked out of the airport. We picked out our rental and drove a few hours to our host's house in Bradenton.

We were immediately greeted by two crazy beautiful German shepherds that invited us in like they'd always known us.

Our hosts were the best hosts ever, fixing a room for all three of us and tending to our needs like family. We hadn't met them in person, but Hubster had known them for quite a long time. The fact that they invited us into their home so graciously and enthusiastically still makes me smile. 

Tuesday was a day spent playing with those sprightly pups (Peanut's favorite part of the whole trip) and visiting family in Sun City Center. I found this amazing Goodwill bookstore that I easily could've gotten lost in. I had to make it quick though, and all I really wanted a frothy chick novel that was made for tropical vacations. I can't be expected to always read heavy, academic novels can I? 

Wednesday was dedicated entirely to Disney, but I'll save that post for "Part Two" since it requires its own story. Thursday was probably my favorite day of the trip. We did a bit of sightseeing that was a bit more wild and natural and a little less tourist-driven.

We started out at Myakka State Park in Sarasota. Originally we planned a trip into Clearwater to do some miniature golf/feeding of alligators. But our hosts pointed us in the direction of a more natural gator habitat less than 30 minutes from their house. Yes! We pulled up to the first little river and spotted two gators right off the bat. Peanut was afraid to approach, but once he saw the gators were pretty distant, he got really into it. He's a huge Gator Boys fan, so gators are his thing right now.

The park was just beautiful. As we passed the campground, we thought about how much Florida camping is different than Wisconsin camping. In Wisconsin, your biggest fears might be about bears in the northern part of the state and ticks. In Florida, you are likely to come across snakes and potentially gators. Geckos are everywhere in Florida. Mosquitoes are everywhere up here. In Wisconsin, state parks are filled with pines, oaks, and maples. And in FL, the forest looks a bit different peppered with palm trees. In Wisconsin, you can freely swim in most waterways without fear of any kind of big creature biting off a limb. In Florida, not so much.

Taking the same highway we got to Myakka on, we passed to the opposite side of the freeway to visit Siesta Key Beaches, the #1 rated beaches in the US. White sand stretched as far as we could see. This was the part of the trip I couldn't wait for! Although between getting there and leaving, it felt like we were only there for about 15 minutes. I certainly could've used more time there. It was therapeutic. 

Peanut was karate-chopping all the waves.
We had him taste the saltwater on his hand
too, because we so rarely experience saltwater.

Last time we came to Florida, Peanut was only a year old and he was terrified of the sand. It took awhile for Hubster and I to get him away from the comfort of his towel. After some crying and apprehension, he finally took his first few steps in the sand and eventually ventured out. It just brought back so many memories seeing Peanut playing in the sand four years and many inches later.

Notice "Snapper," Peanut's new gator friend
from the Myakka souvenir shop.

For us northern birds, no Florida trip is complete without a gecko hunting excursion or five. We never get to see any kind of lizards outside of commercial pet stores up here. The fact that they're as common as cats in WI is completely novel to us.

Our trip was way to short, as trips to the southern region often are for those who suffer through relentless winters. I seriously considered checking our itinerary to see how much it would cost to transfer our tickets from Friday to Monday, but I relented. I know we won't get around to those parts for another few years, but I'm taking my sunburn and memories back to Wisconsin to try and pretend like summer isn't that far away.

Check back for Part Two of our Florida expedition, the Disney files, later this week. I'm finally starting to actually feel better as I move deeper into the second trimester. I am hoping for the stamina and wherewithal to continue with a regular posting schedule.