Rainy Days and Mondays

DISCLAIMER: This is NOT a fitness blog.

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It rained all day here in Dallas, Texas. I remember the days before I had Edmund, when Travis and I would take long naps on rainy days. Those days are over…

Before anyone gets all crazy, don’t worry! I am not joining a Crossfit Cult Gym. I am just working on my fitness, as my girl Fergie would say. And hopefully I will look like her one day!

We have all seen these videos:

Can you even believe how we have been deceived by the beauty and fashion industries!? I hope you watched the whole video…

But in all seriousness–there is nothing I can say here that has not been said before, and much more eloquently, about body image in today’s society. We use and abuse our bodies, forgetting that we are temples of the Holy Spirit. We forget that when we dress immodestly, over eat, starve ourselves, push ourselves too far in the gym, become slaves to our vanity. Life is all about balance and moderation. That is what I am focusing my fitness goals on–moderation. I don’t want to get burned out from working out to the max for a week. I don’t want to give up every single sweet and delicious glazed donut with bacon sprinkles. (I have never had that but now I really want one!)

As a mother I have had to come to terms with a new body. A body that has been stretched (and stretch marked) after being shared with another human being. My hips are wider, my breasts are larger, and my belly is out. of. control. I am not saying these things so you will look at me and tell me how pretty I am, or how good I look. I am saying these things because I am admitting that I have abused my body. I have overeaten, used my pregnancy as an excuse to have a McFlurry on the way home from work every day for like, a month. The most exercising I have been doing is running my mouth- constantly complaining about my weight gain.

But, while many will read this and think “Just go walking with your baby in the stroller” or “Just leave him with your husband and go work out,” I sympathize with those who know it is not so simple. It wasn’t until a month ago that Edmund would sit in the stroller for more than 10 minutes before getting cranky…and kudos to you if you can continue a workout while your kid cries…loudly. And if I tried to leave him with Travis? He would scream the whole time I was gone. I follow a lady on Instagram who has been working on her fitness too, and she hired a nanny to watch her kids while she runs–must be nice. Most of us literally cannot afford such a luxury. So if you have one of those babies that can’t be left and is not content in the stroller, think outside the box. I have 5 lb. hand weights and I found some simple arm exercises online and have pinned them here.  I can do these while Edmund eats a snack or plays in the pool. I even do them while nursing sometimes. You can find a Youtube workout that is only 20 minutes long and workout hard while the baby naps. Lindsay Brin has a free app with a 30 day fitness challenge–a bunch of workout videos specifically for burning fat postpartum– for FREE! And they are AWESOME!

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I am down 4 lbs. It isn’t much, but it is a start. My routine is simple, I do a workout DVD every other day and on the off days I walk with Edmund or jog at the park after he goes down for the night. I am taking advantage of these long days!

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Speaking of Edmund, my sweet baby is 11 months old today! Where has the time gone? I have some big plans for his birthday- can’t wait to share my money saving/ party planning tips here with you!

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Oh, and PS: whoever said that breastfeeding helps you lose weight/burn calories is a dirty, rotten, liar.

A new look

Today I decided to give my blog a little bit of a makeover. I want it to reflect me…and I am giving myself a makeover.  I am trying to be a better mom and a better wife. I am trying to practice what I preach and trust in God’s plan for my life and for my family.

I changed my blog title to: Ain’t Too Proud. I want to be humble. I want to be charitable. I want to ditch my vain and jealous ways and be content with who I am, how I look, the things I have.

I recently had a discussion with a good friend about why social media breeds narcissism. I will be the first to admit that I love me some Instagram. I love Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr. But I also find that too much social media makes me a jealous person. When you see friends going on vacation and posting awesome pics you start to feel competitive…you feel like you need to start posting pics of how awesome your life is. I do that all the time. I type a status or upload a picture and then ask myself: Why? Why are you posting this? Most of the time I just end up deleting whatever it was because I know I just want validation. I want to know that people know how great I am, how much fun I am having, how cute my kid is. How often does the use of social media help us to grow in virtue? Depending on who your friends are, maybe a little…maybe a lot…maybe not so much.

I did a clean up of my social media hubs recently. I unfollowed Miley Cyrus and Katy Perry on Instagram. I unfriended people on Facebook so that I wasn’t tempted to put my nosey nose in other people’s business. I will tell you that I still follow the Kardashians on Instagram…baby steps, ok? I want my news feed filled with smiling babies and happy friends. I want to see the people I love, not the random girls from high school/college that I love to hate. This clean sweep was the first small step in my journey towards humility.

I want to grow in virtue, to be more like the women and saints I admire. I want to stop gossiping, be less self-involved, and grow in temperance.

I have a few goals I want to focus on, and hopefully by listing them here I will be more accountable, and maybe even encourage other people.

1. Spend more time actively playing with my kid. I love to watch him play, but I also find myself distracted by Candy Crush, Facebook, cleaning, and a million other things. I have been researching DIY baby games and I can’t wait to try some and share them here.

2. Be less self involved. When I was working I loved to do things for other people. I would bring them something I baked, pay for their lunch, help them with a project, write them a note. Since becoming a stay at home mom I have lost touch with the needs of others. I have become less selfish than I ever have been (because I focus on my kid 24/7) but I have left little room for the needs of my friends. I want to make time to see others and show them that I care. I follow a few really inspiring ladies on Instagram, you should check them out:

http://instagram.com/carolinegshop

http://instagram.com/reveriemade

http://instagram.com/naptimediaries

The photos and messages they post remind me to look outside of myself, to be aware of those around me and their feelings. People don’t always need you to give them things, sometimes they just need to know you see them. I want to humble myself so I have more room to love others.

3. Quit being a glutton. I want to stop whining that I am fat while sneaking Almond Joys and do something about it. I usually hate when people post pictures of themselves working out, because I am jealous. I am jealous they are thin and fit. I am jealous of those who can leave their kids so they can workout. Jealous of those who have a gym membership. But I need to just shut up, put my sneaks on, and go. More to follow on this…so just stop hating and lace up with me, ok? We can stop being chubsters together!

4. Most of all I need to let go of my pride and stubbornness and follow God’s will, more than that…I need to embrace it.  Josemaria Escriva talks a lot about pride, here is one passage from The Way that really stood out to me:

“Get rid of those proud thoughts: you are but the brush in the hand of the artist. And nothing more. Tell me: of what use is a brush, if it won’t let the painter do his work?”
-The Way, 612

My little family is in the middle of a huge transition. We don’t know what the next few months will bring. When my husband first announced his plans to switch careers I was terrified, anxious, emotional. I was trying to control everything and I have only recently been able to begin trusting that God will provide, just maybe not exactly how/when I think he should. I still have my moments, and in those moments of doubt and fear I pray and I remember this:

“Accepting the will of God wholeheartedly is a sure way of finding joy and peace: happiness in the Cross. Then we realize that Christ’s yoke is sweet and that his burden is not heavy.”
-The Way, 758

So here I am. I am working on growing in virtue, living my vocation as a wife and mother with joy and patience, praying for a humble heart.

“The gaudium cum pace -joy and peace,- is the sweet and unfailing fruit of abandonment.”
-The Way, 768

Easter Bunny Craft

Bunny Jars

Bunny Jars

Mom’s are so funny. We spend our days trying to do housework and cook meals and not scream and pull our hair out when our kids are always underfoot. We know that our normal, daily tasks are difficult to complete, so what do we do? We plan to make crafts! Smart moms. My mom’s group has planned a craft day several times and it has never panned out–and now I am kind of thankful for that.  Making crafts can be a huge pain in the rear…add to that 8 or more babies and toddlers…yeah…no thanks. I applaud all of you elementary school teachers out there…you are so patient and brave. I made this craft with one baby pulling on my pant legs and stuffing pom poms in his mouth and I almost lost it.

I am making a big Easter dinner on Sunday and we are having friends over for dessert. I wanted to give each baby a little Easter gift so I did a spin off of our mom’s group craft that never happened. I have been hoarding baby food jars for months…I keep thinking to myself that they are just so handy! Other than using them for salad dressing in Trav’s lunch I have not touched them…until now!

I totally thought I invented this craft…because obviously I am that creative. But I thought I should probably search Pinterest before making such a claim. I swear to you all had never seen this done before…and I also think mine are much cuter. So just look at mine and pin mine and call it a day ok? No need to search Pinterest…

SUPPLIES

supplies

supplies

White paint

Pink paint

Black Paint

Baby food Jar with lid (preferably organic…because obviously I wouldn’t feed my baby anything else…would you?) ((just kidding, my kid literally eats every.single.thing.)) (((but you do need a baby food jar)))

Ribbon

Pom Pom

Hot glue gun

These funky pipe cleaners (or felt, or craft paper)

Paint Pouncer (yeah…that name is stupid…but that is what Martha Stewart named them and you don’t question the Craft Queen)

Scissors

Bobby Pin  (just get one ok?)

Now, before we begin, let’s take a moment and be honest. I tried really hard to block the mess out of my photos. But, don’t be fooled. This is what my work space really looked like:

yep...I know...shit show

yep…I know…shit show

I could not find the rubbing alcohol, even though I know we have 2 bottles, so I tried to rub off the sticky part from the label with Hydrogen Peroxide…nope…doesn’t work. Plus it burns your bitten off cuticles. I also had to keep distracting Edmund…with food…so please note that you do not need a steak knife, block of cheddar, strawberries, or baby cheese poofs…unless you also have a baby, in which case get all of those things. You will not need to iron anything, or use your vacuum hose…unless your baby likes to play with the vacuum hose…int hat case keep it handy and use it to distract him! I also had a Vanilla Dr. Pepper from Sonic and chicken tacos for dinner…i would recommend not eating in your craft space…

STEPS

1. Remove the label from the jar. You don’t have to worry about the sticky part, the paint will cover it.

in case you need a visual

in case you need a visual

2. Paint your baby food jar and the lid white.***

This was the best way to hold it and get minimal paint on your hands

This was the best way to hold it and get minimal paint on your hands

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I used 2 layers of paint on the lid.

I used 2 layers of paint on the lid.

3. Allow the paint to dry. Use this time to play with your baby so he doesn’t feel abandoned.

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4. Add a face to your jar. I kept mine simple because I have limited artsy skills.

Pink Cheeks

Pink Cheeks

I used an extra pom pom for the cheeks, but you can also use one of your Pouncers

I used an extra pom pom for the cheeks, but you can also use one of your Pouncers

heart shaped nose...so sweet

heart shaped nose…so sweet

 

Baby Pin #ftw

Baby Pin #ftw

whiskers

whiskers

***SIDEBAR***

I read an article on HelloGiggles the other day about all the great ways to use a bobby pin. This girl always has a bobby pin handy. I have millions of them and I feel like I can never find one when I need it! I dug around in my makeup bag for this one and when I couldn’t find an extra one there I just pulled it out my hair. But, the article is good…everyone loves a bobby pin…except my husband.

5. Glue on the tail. I used a hot glue gun, but I am sure other types of glue would work. The perk of using a hot glue gun is that it dries so quickly, the down side is that you are often reminded why they call it a hot glue gun.

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I can't stand the cuteness!

I can’t stand the cuteness!

6. Glue ears to the cap. I used these funky pipe cleaners…but I have never seen them in a craft store… so you could use a regular pipe cleaner bent into an oval, or craft paper cut into the shape of ears, or even felt. Secure the ears to the cap with your glue. Allow to dry.

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7. Accessorize. I made some tiny bows out of ribbon.

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8. Fill with a treat. Mine will probably be filled with poofy baby snacks, but you could fill them with jelly beans, m&ms, gumballs, etc.

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So cute right? And pretty simple, perfect if you have to multi-task and don’t have a ton of time. I used things already in my craft bin slash glass jar collection. So you can improvise.

***I painted the top rim of my jar, the part that the lid screws on to. DO NOT PAINT THIS! Or else your lid will get stuck and you will try to take it off and take the ears off your bunny and then say a bad word in front of your baby.

Before I leave you I want to give a shout out to my girl Katie Meckley and thank her again for the AMAZING Easter pictures she took of our family! Edmund only gave her 2 smiles and she captured them and the the photos are just beautiful! Seriously, if you are in the DFW area and you need photos you should call her! GonzalesEaster-0520

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I hope that all of you have a wonderful Easter! I will be posting all about our dinner and amazing desserts…but probably not until Monday or Tuesday.