We Are Here… but far from settled

We haven’t even gotten to this phase yet…

Howdy! Apologies for the long absence… this move has been a lengthy one.  Here’s how it’s gone down so far:

June 12 – movers arrived for our pack up.
June 13 – the boys and I got in the car (which I literally packed up like a huge suitcase) and drove 5 hours to my parents’ house.  We stayed with them until July 6th.  Yup, that’s almost a month with my parents.  Yes, I spent 18 years with them one time, but that was a long time ago.  This was both wonderful and difficult.  Any time you put adults together in tight quarters, there will be personality conflicts and differences.  Add in a dose of the usual family tension over all the same issues you’ve disagreed about since you were 10.  Now add two rambunctious toddlers.  Yeah.  It was a long month, but it was really great to get to spend so much time with my parents, especially since we are now on the opposite coast.
July 6-12 – Lunchbox, Turbo and I bid my parents farewell and drove another 4 hours to visit the Major’s mom.  We had a great visit there and since she has a slightly bigger house than my folks, I got my own room and en suite bathroom!  It felt like a hotel…
July 12 – In the car again, this time for 8 hours in the opposite direction to visit with the Major’s aunt and uncle, who are VERY kid friendly.  (They have a playhouse built into their backyard and more toys than I have at my house!)  The boys always have a great time there, and they are always wonderfully generous with us (as are the Major’s mom and my parents, too.)  Another great visit.
July 15 – We dropped our car off to be shipped and took up residence in a hotel near the airport.
July 16 – We flew across the country and met the Major on the other side.  A nice 13 hour day… fun stuff. We drove “home” to… the Navy Lodge, where we lived until this past Monday, when we moved into our new, empty house.

Now we are sleeping on the floor, cooking on camping pots and pans and generally squatting in our new house (which I LOVE — the house, I mean, not the camping part).  And maybe, one day soon, we might get our stuff.  And maybe our other car (though it is quite fun driving the Major to work and picking him up every day).  The boys start school next week and boy am I — I mean boy are THEY — ready.  I start work the week after that.  Maybe some of my work clothes will come first.

Regardless, I have a computer again and a place to call “home,” so I should be around a bit more often.  Thanks for waiting and hanging in there with me.  I can’t wait for life to feel “normal” once again!

Still here…

My mind remains partially intact, and both children are still alive. We’ve left my parents… I think they might even let us come visit again someday! We are now staying with The Major’s mom (where I get my own room AND bathroom – heaven!) and will then be off to the LAX area to fly out next weekend! the Major has found us a house, though we’ll have to stay a week in the Navy Lodge… Between a cross country flight on my own with 2 kids and a week in a hotel, I think we will be SO ready for a home! Wish me luck… Any tips on air travel with kids are welcome!!

Harder than it looks

I may have misjudged the difficulty involved with taking two kids on the road for a month… It isn’t like taking my “at home” kids along. When away from home, all their stuff, and in many cases on schedules that look nothing like their usual routines, these kids are almost unrecognizable. And making me crazy. Right now, Turbo is watching Barney, who has been outlaws in our house up to now. This is a demonstration of my desperation. also, maintaining a blog from an iPad has been something of a challenge… Apologies for the lack of posts. We will be done with this insane transition in mid-July… But I hope to keep things moving here at Call Sign Mommy in the meantime. Thanks for hanging in there with me!

The Five Pronged Approach — Step Three: Taking it up a Notch

Onward in the battle to banish the blubber!

Step 3: Taking it up a notch. What the huh?? Yeah, exactly.

Whatever you are already doing in terms of exercise — give it the Emeril treatment. BAM! If you’re walking, add one minute intervals of fast (and I mean, hip-swinging, arm-pumping, gasping for breath FAST) walking. If you’re already jogging, add one minute sprints. If you’re already doing squats, add some squat jumps. Pushups? (Good for you, by the way – for some reason, most women seem to believe that they cannot do pushups…) Try a decline pushup (feet up on a box or curb). See where I’m headed with this?

When you don’t have much time to exercise, you need to make the most of the time you DO devote to it. That means BIG movements that use LOTS of muscles because that will burn LOTS more calories. Don’t do a single arm bicep curl. Do a reverse lunge with a double bicep curl as you lower to the bottom of your lunge. Add an overhead press as you come up and switch legs, and you’re pretty much incorporating every muscle in your body. If you do it right, you’ll be out of breath and sweating for the duration of any 20 minute workout you do. If you’re out for a walk, add curb jumps, walking lunges, tricep dips… strength training is critical because it builds muscle, and muscle burns calories much more efficiently than fat. Ready? GO!

The Five Pronged Approach, Step Two: Move it Around

Continuing on our journey towards fitness, lack of flab and increased mental fortitude (I’ll take one out of three, actually) — here’s number two: Move it Around!

Lots of new moms are hampered by our previous pre-mom notions of what a workout consisted of. We recall the days where we put on our workout clothes, drove to the gym, put in 45 minutes on the elliptical or treadmill and then spent another half hour in the weight room. The total evolution often took at least ninety minutes. And guess what. We don’t have ninety minutes anymore. I’m lucky if I can eek out a half hour to myself in the course of a normal day between work, the kids, the hubby, dinner, groceries, Dragon Tales and everything else!! I know I’m not alone on this. And it’s easy to look at all that and let the idea of exercise slip away to live in the land of “wouldn’t it be nice” right next door to long quiet baths and backrubs with no expectation of sex. However, there is a way to fit exercise into a schedule with no room for anything, but your mindset about what constitutes exercise must change a bit.

It doesn’t take ninety minutes — not all at once, at least. If you can find thirty minutes throughout the day, you’re doing pretty well. And I don’t mean that you have to change your clothes and get all sweaty for ten minutes and then change back, and do this three times a day. Just move more. Ideas:

1. When you walk to the the bathroom at the office/school/house, make the walk longer on purpose. Get up and move as often as possible, even if you’re just taking a longer route from your car to the drug store.
2. Stand up while doing common tasks — laundry, talking on the phone, watching TV. You burn more standing than you do sitting.
3. Fit strength training into empty minutes — a set up pushups can happen using the kitchen counter while you wait for the hot chocolate to heat up in the microwave. Standing squats don’t have to happen in a gym — you’ve got 30 seconds while you wait for your kid to put his shoes on to get out the door.
4. Commit to using the blocks of free time you have to getting healthier — if you do have a free half hour, go for a walk — it clears your mind, boosts your energy and your metabolism.
5. Enlist the kids. Instead of sitting in front of the TV right after school, make a habit of a family walk. So dinner is a half hour later, who cares?

Are you smelling what I’m selling? You’ve got to get creative. And you don’t have to get all Jane Fonda’d* up to make it happen.

* I use this reference only as a widely-recognized aerobicizing symbol. I recognize that she is also a filthy traitor.