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This week somehow managed to be completely crazy, yet totally uneventful. Sounds like an oxymoron, but somehow it happened…

I made it through my second week of childcare at the gym, and the boys don’t seem to mind it a ton. Lately at least one of them has napped a little while we’re there, which has made my life soooo much easier.

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Sundays are always a bit of a struggle for me (toting two toddlers to church by myself is a little slice of awful), but today Micah grabbed a seriously old pair of Daddy’s glasses and went as Harry Potter. Cutest thing ever, plus he was way less wild than normal!

Sidenote–it was his turn to say prayer in front of the junior primary class, and he did really well! I was a little worried because when it was his turn to read scriptures he totally froze, but he’s already getting comfortable in front of a crowd. Not sure when he got old enough for that to be true…

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I managed to get very lucky and acquire a huge bag of clothes for the boys, and I couldn’t be happier. I can’t even express how much money this just saved us! (Sorry, penny-pinching has become second nature to me :P)

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Everything was in amazing condition, and at least half was superhero paraphernalia. Micah found an Avengers swim suit and an Ironman rash guard, and he decided that was his outfit for the rest of the day! Pretty sure he’s just as happy as I am with the new acquisitions.

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I’m not sure what’s been going on the past two nights, but the boys have both passed out about an hour before bedtime, and then woken up between midnight and 3am….and refused to go back to sleep. I’m trying to be positive and productive, but truth be told I’m one tired mommy. Hopefully this isn’t the start of a trend, I feel like I just go them back to a halfway decent sleep schedule!

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Part of the new schedule has been earlier naps….sometimes in whatever position they were playing in seconds before. πŸ˜› Jonah got super quiet while he was driving, and I looked over and realized he was totally passed out.

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After seeing that, Micah insisted on trying to sleep on top of the car, which was (obviously) not successful. He tried for a while though, poor kid was really set on it.

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And of course, I’ve been trying to cruise through what feels like an entire library of textbooks. Want to be ready for my certification tests in 3-4 weeks if possible!

Five Habits to Become Highly Healthy

I was thinking about the changes I’ve made to my morning routine the last two weeks and how that’s changed how I feel and function throughout the day, and I decided to put together a list of things the most healthy (mentally and physically) people I know do regularly to stay that way.

  1. Stay active — This seems like a no-brainer, and yet it’s neglected by so many people. The caveat is that an hour in the gym isn’t enough if you’re going to spend the rest of the day on your hiney in a cubicle, in the car, in front of the tv….you get the idea. Find ways to move at least once an hour, whether that means pacing at your desk during phone calls, taking frequent bathroom breaks, walking to someone’s office instead of emailing or calling, or turning off the TV and going for a walk. It’s especially hard when you have a desk job, a long commute, or both, but finding ways to squeeze in just a little bit of movement every hour is extremely important. It’s also important to make sure that you include weight-bearing, muscle-building movement several times per week. This could be weight training, body weight exercises, or pretty much anything that makes your muscles work under an increased load.
  2. Sleep — I’m totally guilty when it comes to this. I know it’s difficult for plenty of parents whose kids don’t sleep, shift workers, and people in other tough circumstances, but there’s no replacement for sleep. You may not need a full 8 hours, but you shouldn’t wake up every day feeling like you’ll keel over without your (insert preferred caffeine here). Do your best to improve your sleep habits — try to get kids on a better sleep schedule, use blackout curtains and disable theΒ doorbell if you work nights, or talk to your doctor about insomnia or other issues. Even small improvements work wonders!
  3. Eat your veggies — Another no-brainer, and yet the french fry is the most frequently eaten “vegetable” for a significant number of people in the US. I always recommend aiming for 10-12 servings of non-starchy veggies every day, which is similar to the recommendations of the Bulletproof Diet or the Wild Diet (both of which are paleo-based diets that emphasize the importance of food quality and vegetable intake). You’ll flood your body with fiber and high quality nutrients with a minimal effect on insulin release and calorie intake.
  4. Decrease sugar intake — As diet advice this has come under controversy lately, but no amount of fighting can change the unfortunate truth. To put it simply, sugar spikes blood sugar, which causes an increase in insulin release, which causes your body to store fat. Yes, we do need insulin to be released for our bodies to function, but (again, to put it simply) sugar messes up the natural balance of how much insulin we need for optimal function. I’m not saying you can never touch a drop of sugar again, but significantly limiting sugar in your diet will help your hormone balance, weight, and even your mood!
    Artificial, “zero calorie” sweeteners fall into this category too. Most popular “diet” beverages use artificial sweeteners that will raise insulin as if you’d actually had sugar, and therefore has most of the same consequences as eating actual sugar.
  5. Practice gratitude — I realize this one sounds odd to some people, but getting in the practice of showing gratitude for every positive aspect of your life has a myriad of benefits. Some people keep a gratitude journal, others say prayers focused on gratitude, and I’m sure there are plenty of other fantastic methods for practicing gratitude. Continuing to feel gratitude throughout the day will help to drive away more negative emotions, because you can’t feel both at the same time. As a mom, no matter how angry I am or what I’m angry about, a well-timed hug or sweet “I love you Mommy” is enough to melt away all of that anger almost instantly. The love I feel for my children helps to keep away negative emotions, even on days when my toddlers are being extra challenging. This also helps you be more productive, because positive emotions are much more likely to be compatible with productivity. For many people, especially me, negative emotions take all the wind out of my sails and make it hard to get off my duff and do anything meaningful.
    On a side-note, this is one of the recommended practices in the book I’ve been telling you about. I already notice a difference on the days I remember to stay grateful, and it’s getting easier to keep that mindset all the time.

There are other helpful practices, but this is what I’ve noticed was most helpful in myself, my friends/family, and the professionals I trust.

What practices make you feel the most healthy and function at your best?

What are you proud of accomplishing this week?