Gardening and/or Workout Advice, Anyone?

Ah, Jamisen loves his little sister. He wants to hold her, make her laugh and mimic what his Mommy and Daddy do. He even tried to play peek a boo with her tonight! (video above of him trying to hold her; must click through to blog to see it as it does not embed in email).

Notice the sweet car carpet? I can’t wait to start bribing … er, I mean, rewarding (!) him with Hot Wheel cars for potty training to drive around that carpet. He still shows absolutely no sign of wanting to potty train. But really, could you blame him? He would have to quit playing to go to the bathroom in the toilet. This week, funny story, I was feeding Lily (so, completely occupied) and I hear a little voice from Lily’s crib. It’s Jamisen and he says, “Mommy, I am washing my hands with nail polish.” And, yes, yes he was ‘washing’ his hands with nail polish. What a funny little guy. =)

Baby Lily continues to delight and amaze at all times. She is growing extremely slowly (and because of that, eats 3X per night, every night). She is in the bottom 5th percentile for height and weight. She is only 9 pounds, 14 ounces – and is over 3 months old. She is 22″ long and is perfectly proportionate for all of her measurements. Her Grandpa assures me that there’s a reason my name was ‘Shrimpette’ growing up so she must take after her Mama. At this point, I realize I should have moved to California and camped out at all the movie studios, offering Lily for day rates to be the token ‘newborn’ in all the hospital drama shows given that she is STILL smaller than a percentage of babies born every year in the United States. Hindsight. 20/20.

Lily is coming to work less and less – only 8 hours this week – and I miss her dreadfully during the day. Thankfully, I get to see her most days since instead of working out at lunch, I’m usually found at home reading a toddler book to Jamisen to help get him to nap and feeding Lily. This is a short time period in our family life. I’m trying to take advantage of it and get my work outs in other ways (dance parties at work, impromptu work outs with Jamisen and quick runs around the neighborhood). I’m staying so non-working-out-y active that I’ve hit 365 days (a year!) of goals yesterday on NikeFuel (photo proof here). My goal is 3000 ‘fuel points’ per day (though I did decrease that goal for baby delivery and the foggy haze of weeks after that). If you have any other genius ideas for getting real-deal workouts in and juggling newborns, family, work and everything else, I’m open to mostly anything (just don’t make me strap on a night light and go running in the dark like my CEO buddy Patrice from Net Solutions).

Jamisen gets more and more energy with each passing day. He literally radiates energy from his every pore and sometimes, he gets so excited that his entire body shakes – almost like those teensy dogs that can’t keep it together when someone throws the ball to them multiple times. Here he is (above), pushing me to get back into shape after Lily and helping me fit in my workout.

Jamisen loves this geodesic dome that his Grandpa Faiola spent hours (FIVE!) putting together for him. He has conquered it (!) and happily climbs to the top all the time now – a full 2 years before he’s supposedly ready for it. If he falls, he just tries again. I love that persistence!

If there was one thing that Grandpa Faiola (AKA: my Dad) taught me …. well, one of ten gazillion great lessons … it was that it’s fine to introduce kids (within reason) to things that are supposedly above their age group according to the ‘experts’ or in this case, the toy designers. We let him explore and when he’s ready, he goes for it and we’re right there to catch him if it doesn’t work. Granted, that may jump back to bite us at some point in the future, but right now? We’re going with that theory and Jamisen is thriving with it.

I just got done dealing with our strawberries for Fall/Winter (cutting them down, getting rid of old plants, fertilizer, new soil) and planting for Fall harvest. I put in some new kale plants, cauliflower, beets, lemon cucumbers and broccoli. I want to get in some Fall carrots but might be too late. Our tomatoes are going crazy and I need to go harvest them this weekend so they don’t all go to the birds or languish on the ground. Upcoming projects are cutting back the blackberries and raspberries and building a trellis system that will withstand their weight. This year’s failed miserably. If you have any favorite blackberry/raspberry hanging systems that you use/build, please let me know. This is my very first year with a garden and I’ve learned a lot so far thanks to a friendly local Bellingham gardening store and the help of Dr. Google but would love your advice too.

My life in a nutshell is a joyful blur of kids, cooking, gardening, husband, soaping, working (but not so much working out!) and reading. I remain tired but happy and am buoyed by all of your successes. I read your blogs, Facebook posts, Teach Soap Forum posts and now, Soapcrafting Club posts with awe and amazement. Your soapy creations inspire and delight me every day.

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  1. says

    Hello! I’m at work surfing around your blog from my new apple iphone!
    Just wanted to say I love reading your blog and look forward to all your posts!
    Keep up the excellent work!

  2. says

    Beautiful kids! OK, here is my take – there will be shocked and horrified looks and possibly a scream, but… Family is most important. If family is taking all your time right now, it’s OK to exercise sporadically until you and your family adjust to a busier schedule. Your body just took 9 months to make a baby and it takes 9 months to normalize again (and some of us are on a 9 year plan…well for me 13). If what you need is more rest, take it. Fit in exercise when you can but know this is temporary and as long as you are eating well and resting well, there is nothing wrong with taking it easier than you are used to for a little while. Your schedule will change a little each month as the kids grow.

    As for the garden, I’m a newbie at this, too. Being from S. FL there isn’t much you can grow other than oranges. It’s too hot. Now I live in NC. My first year here, I planted a garden that didn’t get quite enough sun. And critters from the woods were stealing my pumpkins and stuff. The potatoes had some bug attack the leaves, and my dogs dug up and ate the carrots.

    This year, I tried again. I added blueberries and a big strawberry patch. I moved my garden to the front yard and had a lettuce tree (I call it a tree because it gets tall before I harvest), tomatoes, carrots, herbs, etc. Everything is doing great, but I am at the point where I, also, need to deal with my strawberries and plant for fall.

    I will be adding blackberries and raspberries this fall. I plan to trellis them as I need to make something that has some curb appeal since the sun is in the front yard, uses less space, and allows me to pick berries easily because I am a busy person, too. Here are some instructions On my personal Pinterest, I have a gardening board. I recommend when you are surfing the internet in lieu of exercise 😉 that you gather some ideas and pin them there. I have gotten a lot of really good info for gardening from Pinterest.

    Good luck!

    • laurie says

      marvelous lovely babies…
      dvd workouts are fun if u DO them…my saving grace was a friend that walked with me and kids in a double stroller …no excuses.
      the hour away (if it comes to that), is worth the endorphins and feeling great the rest of the day…so…an hour at the gym 3X /wk is ? …
      skip the shower until u come home… You are right, the joy that greets you as u walk in the door is so worth it. What a marvelous time in your life. I see Chris’ eyes in your sweet flower child…

      trellis the raspberries w heavy gage wire ( 45 degree angle) to the garage side I\ or a strong support ( like a maypole /I\ ) . Tall enough so that you can walk under …makes it easier to see and pick , more air flow and if you have to temporarily put up netting against the birds ITI …you can still get under it…
      berries need lotsa sun./ compost.. love that link your friend sent…
      sleep will be the most beneficial thing you and Chris can schedule right now… ( chuckling softly)
      Thanking God for your wonderful staff and continuous communication with us, your merry public !
      Potty training ? life with new sister is too exciting right now …the best luck I had was ( around 3 w boys) a few days with lots of drinks and ONLY cloth underpants…I know, I know…but wet pants and legs are noticeable …while the weather is warm…lots of outside time…we live in an old house, so a potty chair in the kitchen or back porch was a great help…still very official looking…

  3. says

    Your kids are so stinkin’ cute!! Lily totally would have gotten all the Hollywood infant roles! 😉
    As for exercise, I have the same struggles with finding workout time, but lately I have been LOVING They have a free 1hr yoga class online every week that you can stream whenever, and if you want more diversity, for $10/mo you get unlimited access to all of their yoga classes that range from 30 mins to just over an hour. I can do it in the living room, and my 2 year old often thinks its fun to do yoga with me (well, a 2 year old’s version ha)

    Thanks for sharing! Again, those kids are precious!! =)

  4. says

    My son didn’t potty train until 3-1/2 (he was the biggest supporter of other kids in his preschool going potty, but had no interest himself until one day he did it – and in 2 days we ditched the daytime pullups, and a month later he was dry all night long).

    My daughter is potty training now and is 2-1/2. Of course she decided to do it the weekend we went camping (thank goodness I book campsites near the bathroom). She’s still having accidents 3 weeks later, but doing well during the day.

    In both cases I waited until they were ready – it has meant less fighting with them and they are excited about it.

    Good luck with your attempts!

    • says

      It’s funny; I just asked Jamisen when he thought he might want to sit on a potty =) He has no inclination and my girlfriend, who has potty trained three boys, says she didn’t even bother trying until they were 3. So, it looks like a lot more diaper fun for us =)

  5. Sarah says

    I took my kids for a walk in the jogger stroller. Once they were big enough for the exersaucer, the baby would sit in that while the older one colored or had a snack or whatever and I did a DVD. Mostly, they just wanted to be close to me. :) Love The FIRM!

    • says

      I don’t have those ones (the FIRM) yet. I mostly have pre-pregnancy/pre-kid work out DVDS, like yoga and other light ones. Obviously, need to get some more hard core ones.

      I’ve been walking with Lily in her baby Bjorn but I’m finding my back still needs some strengthening after six months of no hard core work outs. I’ll get there … =)

  6. says

    I was a personal trainer for about 10 years and have 4 boys that I gave birth to (and gained about 60 lbs each with!!). I was always back to pre pregnancy weight within 6 months by scheduling in exercise every day like it was a meeting. There were days that I had to split exercise into 3 10 minute sessions to get it in, but that is effective too as long as you make those short sessions intense.
    If you have a set of steps in you home our outside you can do this short circuit:
    1)Walk or run up the stairs
    2)Lunge up the stairs-skipping steps makes it more intense
    3)Do a 30 second set of “Mountainclimbers” Get in a plank posistion and bring your knees in as close to your navel as possible in a running motion.
    Do this circuit as many times as you can for 10 minutes, or until the baby calls for you:)

    • says

      I love your idea of short sessions. That is MUCH more doable for me right now.

      Oh, I know Mountainclimbers. Man, they are painful and tough but effective.

      The baby is sleeping right now, toddler is occupied and really, I should be doing that right now but instead, the siren call of the computer compels. Perhaps a good dose of discipline would help! =) Ha =)

      Four boys. You are a saint. Our little Jamisen has so much energy. I can’t imagine multiplying him by four! =)

  7. says

    Oh the kiddies are looking so cute .
    I had to re-think my exercising after back and neck operations. I used to go to the gym and do a hectic session of weights but am unable to do that now so I bought some cardio DVD’s which I can do at my own pace and on my own time. Fitting exercise in is always difficult but so necessary. As they get older ans more independent you will have more time. Good luck.

    • says

      We have a traditional cold and drafty basement that I put some free weights in and went down and followed a Shape magazine free weights workout the other day. I just need to figure out when to fit that in regularly (!). I agree though; home workouts are going to be big in our future. It’s hard to believe Lily is already 3 months old; it goes so fast. =)

  8. says

    Oh my! Little Miss Lily is tiny! So, so cute, watching Jamisen trying to hold her!

    I’ve been fitting in any form of exercise by doing it with Ivy. Here’s some links to ones we do:

    One of our local yoga studios has a Mommy & Baby class a couple times of week that we might start doing soon (but maybe after the holidays! LOL)

    • says

      I’ve seen a bunch of Moms doing stroller work outs in the neighborhood but … I always see them when I’m on the way to work (!). It’s especially fun trying to even leave the house now that Lily naps from 9-11 and from 1-3 =) But, I just keep reminding myself: short time period in their lives. Live it up! And if my booty jiggles more than usual, I only have four years til they’re both in school all day and I can do lunges for 6 hours on end. Ha! =) Thanks for the great links.

  9. Ana says

    Beautiful kids. I did “push-up and kiss” when mine were babies, where you kiss the baby on the way down and lift back up to push up position. When they were toddlers I would put them on my back and do planks. I also tried to squeeze in some calisthenics at the playground. Now I dance with my 5-year old in the living room while he sings along to the music.

    • says

      I am ridiculously blessed. I’m writing this with the baby just starting to doze beside me in her little bouncy chair (really, I’m sort of Bad Mommying it. I should go swaddle her and put her in her crib right now.) Kids make everything better =)

  10. Kristine Adam says

    Just wanted to reassure you about baby weights… Two of my three daughters were *below* zero percentile at 1 year, which annoyed my math-minded husband. They just stayed steady when other kids were shedding baby fat. Baby Lily is beautiful!

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