Tuesday, June 9, 2015

How to Have Empty Laundry Baskets Every Day

Laundry is the bane of my existence. It is a meaningless, frustrating, multiplying, never-ending chore. I still haven’t learned not to get excited when I see the bottom of the dirty clothes hamper, even though EVERY TIME IT’S HAPPENED (all two of them), IT’S BEEN FULL THE VERY NEXT DAY! My mom tells me it will not always be this way, but she also tells me it will be a lot worse before it gets better. Right now their clothes are little and they have yet to develop B.O. Just wait a few years…

But I have recently employed a new trick that at least keeps two of our three clean clothes baskets empty. Here’s the step-by-step tutorial:

Step 1: Have kids (actually, if you skip this  step, you’re already better off, as far as laundry is concerned, so we’ll assume you’ve already surpassed step 1)

Step 2: Survive the infant and toddler years (may the force be with you)

Step 3: When your kids hit age three or so, start having them “help” you put away their laundry. This will not be helpful in any way and will undoubtedly decrease your laundering effectiveness, but it will be worth it in the long run. Don’t skip this step! Eventually, they’ll figure out how to wrestle that hanger into a shirt collar and how to fold a pair of pants wad up a pair of pants and get it in the right drawer.

Step 4: When your kids are all four and above, periodically ask them to put away “20 articles of clothing” before they get to do something they care about, like reading a story or eating. Challenge them to race each other. Encourage siblings to take misplaced articles and throw them in their competition’s laundry basket while saying, “In your face!” Simultaneously, get your kids to become deprived tech addicts by having lots of technology available, but only permitting limited screen time.

Step 5: One summer, decide to give your kids a 10-minute “bonus technology turn” IF they empty their laundry basket for the day.

Step 6: Sit back and relax, but try to pretend that this isn’t happening:

Friday, June 5, 2015

Mommy Workouts

It is well-documented that my work-out efforts have been sporadic since becoming a mother. Being fit? A definite dream of mine. Working out? Ain’t nobody got time fo’ that!  Even with a return to coaching (track - with the hubs!), I’ve been less active most of these last 12 months than I have been--ever! But a few recent incidents/revelations have me back on an uphill swing. First, at Ryan's Dash of Color fundraiser, this stud of a mom: 

photo taken by Karen Belcher of Crooked Creek Ranch Images

pushed her two sons in a double jog stroller for the whole, hilly 5K race and beat half of the Cross Country team! A week later, my friend Laura, the triathlete/Boston marathon runner started a blog with this post. I know I’m never gonna be of the 4 a.m. variety, but she still inspires me to up my game at least a little bit. Finally, I went to summer weight training for my school’s athletes and was super impressed with one of the other female coaches, who has been training hard since having babies and not only looks great, but also beat me in 40 meter sprints even though I’m a track coach and she was being trailed by her 18 month old.

I may not be as hardcore as these women, but they have inspired me, and I thought that maybe I could offer moms of youngins, a few workout ideas from my stunted past to get started. When it seems like all you do is care for children all the time, all the days of your life, some exercise is better than no exercise.

  • Zumba, Just Dance Kids, or any other active video game, especially if it’s competitive and you have little pros for your competition. You wouldn’t think you could work up a sweat blocking leaks in a janky aquarium under the sea, but I’m here to tell you, you can!
  • Kiss attack - chase your “way too cool for a kiss” boys around the house and wrestle them to the ground so you can plant a wet one on their cheeks. Realize you may be faster than them, but they can corner a lot better than you!
  • Take your kids on walks, but race them up (or down) every hill. Circuit training with built in trash talkers!
  • Dump your kids in a muddy ditch at the bottom of a steep hill and tell them to play to their little heart’s content. Hike up and down the hill as many times as you can make it--or until someone has to go poop.
  • Help your little monsters wrestle Daddy. Get really ticked off about how much stronger he is than you as you struggle to get out of submission holds. In vain. With three helpers.
  • Run laps around your house, stopping every 3 minutes to do push ups, sit ups, crunches, lunges, etc. for 2 minutes before running again.  
  • Trampoline circuits - 1) Put kids down for a nap, 2) Jump on the trampoline for 10 minutes, followed by jogging near your house for 5 minutes, 3) When your big kids come out to see what’s going on, let them join in the trampoline time, but only one at a time so you can keep your jumping more vigorous. Try to “knock me down and keep me down” or “rocket launch me.” Also, try not to cuss out loud until you’re out of earshot on a jogging portion of the workout. 4) Die a thousand deaths.

One day, your kids will be old enough to drag with you to the weight room for summer conditioning. You will do box jumps beside your kids and high school kids and feel like you are REALLY working out again. And then you will thank the good Lord in heaven above when your little one has to go poop. A “final wipe” will never feel so rewarding!