The year, 2013, is finally here. The year I turn the BIG, 3-0. I have made a New Year’s Resolution to get into the best shape of my life, and I knew that was going to take a lot of hard work and dedication.
A year ago, I went to a mother of twins conference in Temecula, and I will never forget one of the guest speakers, a plastic surgeon, who was there to talk to moms about having a tummy tuck. He said that our tummy’s have stretched so far, our abs have detached, and all the exercise in the world will never get us back in our bikini. My jaw dropped. I guess my fate was already written, and I started to accept the body I had.
After having twins, I knew my body would never be the same again. It was hard to find any me time, and I was brilliant at coming up with excuses to avoid my personal time, but I realized that was not healthy. Inside, I was depressed, that no matter how much work I did, I would never get my body back.
I battled the weight loss for a year and a half after having the girls. When I finally thought I was “acceptable,” I bought new clothes. After the holidays, and eating a lot of junk food, I came home only to find out that those same clothes were feeling snug.
Enough, was enough.
It was time to change. It was time to get healthy. It was time to prove that it can be done. I was not going to accept someone telling me, what I can and can not do. I decided that it was time to change.
This New Year’s rolled around, and I lost the excuses and I made the time. I started off doing Jillian Michaels Ripped in 30 DVD on January 5th. I remember week one, I thought I was going to keel over, but I pushed through the pain, and I remember the tears of joy rolling down my cheek when I powered through Day 7 of Week 4 like I was in the DVD. It was the most amazing feeling to complete.
In mid-January, I joined Stroller Strides of Irvine and Tustin, an hour-long stroller fitness program for moms. (see my blog post). This class literally changed my life. The support offered by the other moms gave me inspiration and motivation to continue working my butt off and I love that the class is offered 5 days a week. Since the girls come with me in the stroller, an excuse was not an option.
I have been doing Stroller Strides in the morning and when the girls go down for a nap, I have cycled in additional Jillian Michaels DVD’s, sometimes doing two a day. I finally turned on the treadmill and started using it for more then just a place to throw laundry. I optimize my time and when the girls go down for a nap, I workout.
Working out gives me the energy I was missing. It’s not just about being healthy, it’s about being happy, and right now, I have never felt better.
A couple of weeks ago, I found a Groupon for 10 Kickboxing classes at the 1-2 Punch Family Martial Arts & Fitness Center. I went to my first class last week, put on my boxing gloves, and began the most intense 60 minute workout I have ever experienced. it was amazing! Three months ago, I would’ve been face down on the floor, but now, it is the most exhilarating, fun workout, I have ever tried. I am hooked!
I have six months left until I turn the big 3-0, and in the past 3 months, I have lost 20 pounds and 2-3 dress sizes. Today, I bought a bikini. The bikini that the plastic surgeon said I would never be in again.
Although, I don’t have the “perfect” stomach, and still have some extra skin or beauty stretch marks, I am in better shape now than I ever was before.
It’s been an amazing journey, and a journey that I never want to end. Fit for 30 is just the beginning, it’s time to be fit for life.
Being a new mom, especially of twins, can be a very isolating experience. It’s hard getting out of the house with two active toddlers and going to the park is very overwhelming when the girls are running in opposite directions. I found that we were staying home more and more, just because it was easier.
Stroller Strides is the country’s largest stroller fitness program for moms, offering pre- and post-natal fitness classes, and the best part is, you take your baby or toddler to class with you!
Stroller Strides is an hour long fitness class that combines intervals of power walking (or jogging), and body toning exercises using an exercise tube, the environment and your stroller. The class is taught by certified instructors and the workouts are great!
It is a complete win-win for me because I am getting out of the house, doing something good for myself by exercising, and after class, the girls have their time to play at the park with the other kids. It is the perfect way to start my day.
Aside from the workout, a big part of the class is the support that is offered by the other moms! Every month, Stroller Strides of Irvine and Tustin offers a Mom’s Night Out, additional play dates, occasional crafts after class, holiday parties, and healthy snacks!
Here is what one mom is saying about Stroller Strides:
”Stroller strides has introduced my daughters and I to some of the most amazing people I know. It’s such a unique experience as a mom to be able to get to workout, socialize, have your kids make friends, learn from other moms and be a part of a wonderful community. I couldn’t imagine motherhood without Stroller Strides!” ~Tamar
I also wanted to let you know about one more class that is offered by Lynsey, Body Back!
Body Back is the newest program release from Stroller Strides!
Whether you had your baby six weeks ago or twenty years ago, Body Back is a results-based workout, designed specifically for moms and this class is also a mom’s getaway, because you leave your babies at home.
The workouts have been clinically proven in a University research study to help moms lose weight and get their pre-baby body back. Moms all over the country are achieving results that they never dreamed possible.
The program includes:
2 Workouts per week in a small group format
Mama Wants Her Body Back Meal Plan and Food Diary
Before and After fitness assessments and measurements
Online coaching and support
Mama Wants Her Body Back workout DVD
Here is what one mom is saying about Body Back:
“With my eldest son being six years old, and despite my personal efforts to exercise and stay healthy, I resigned myself to accepting my “post baby body.” Then I heard about Body Back from a friend and I thought I’d give it a try. After one session, I had not only gotten my pre-wedding body back, but I now have a clear and realistic outlook on purposeful fitness and healthy eating. Now three sessions in, I keep coming back for the fitness, support, and fun!” ~Jodie
For more information on Stroller Strides or Body Back, you can contact Lynsey directly! If you do sign up and mention that you heard about Stroller Strides on OC Family, you will receive $20 off registration!
“Over the river and through the woods, to grandmother’s house we go.”
A lot of planning went into the decision to travel with two toddlers to Central Oregon for Christmas, but what would elaborate plans be without bumps along the road? (pun intended, read on).
Let’s start at the beginning. We decided it was best to pay the extra money, and purchase four seats on the aircrafts. There was no way, our 1.5 year olds would sit on our lap for longer then 3 minutes, let alone, 3 hours in flight time. We found a great deal on United, flying from Orange County to Central Oregon, departing December 24 and returning on January 4.
A few months after booking our flight, I received an email that said our itinerary has changed. After logging in to United to view the changes, I realized we went from a 60 minute layover, to a 5-hour layover in San Francisco, on our way North. This was not going to work, so I immediately called the airlines, and had our flights changed to leave Christmas morning. Potential crisis averted!
Bump #2 (pun intended)
Our original plan was to drive the mini van to a friend’s house on Christmas morning, and they would drop us off at the airport and leave the van at their house while we were gone. Two days before Christmas, we were driving to Brea to show the girls some amazing Christmas light displays. A commercial tire was in the car pool lane, and there was no way around it. End result, my car is out of commission and was towed to a repair shop that night.
We talked to our insurance company about a rental car, which we obviously did not need until we would return home from our vacation. They agreed to pay for a shuttle service to pick us up and take us to the airport Christmas morning. About ten minutes before we were supposed to be picked up, we got a call from the shuttle company that our driver had been in a car accident and would be unable to pick us up, but told us they would try to locate another driver.
The shuttle company finally called back and said they would send a taxi to our house, and he would be there in 15 minutes. We asked if they could please make sure the cab was big enough to accommodate two large convertible car seats, two adults and all of our luggage. A few minutes later, our taxi pulled up, and just when we thought we could no longer be surprised anymore, we walk outside to see the Toyota Prius parked in front of our garage. I ended up in the backseat, sitting sideways, on the edge of the middle seat.
We finally made it to the airport and through security. (That will be another post) We got some lunch, which the girls refused to eat, and we took our seats on the airplane. I breathed a sigh of relief, we made it. Sitting on the runway, the captain’s voice came over the loud speaker. He announced that there was a mechanical problem with the aircraft. They will need to have their maintenance team come out to clear the plane for takeoff. It should be about 20 minutes.
Keeping in mind, that we only have an hour layover in San Francisco, I was keeping my fingers crossed that the plane would take off soon. Finally the captain announced that we have good news and bad news. The good news, the plane has been cleared for takeoff on a mechanical level. The bad news, the air traffic controller will not let us off the ground for another 20 minutes, due to traffic regulation.
Saving Grace: Our flight in San Francisco had a minor delay, allowing us enough time to run through the rain, hop on a bus to take us to another terminal, change the girl’s diapers, and jump on the next plane.
Alas, we made it to Central Oregon! We may have had some bumps in the road, but nothing was going to keep us from having our white Christmas.
So, we finally made it and we have had a great visit with our family! I’m not overly excited about the plane trip home, but what would our life be without a little adventure?
Looking forward and staying positive! Wishing you all a very Happy New Year!
I love Christmas and putting up the Christmas tree is one of my favorite things to do around the holidays! I was excited to put up the tree this year, but also a little nervous having twin toddlers see it for the first time and not knowing how they would re-act.
We decided to put the tree and decorations up at night, after the girls went to bed. My reasoning was if they saw us put individual ornaments on, they would know those same ornaments can come off. This reasoning paid off.
Much to my surprise, the tree has been up since Thanksgiving, and the girls are just in awe by it. They have not touched any of the decorations and enjoy looking at the lights! We did play it safe by keeping the bottom half of the tree, toddler friendly, with stuffed animal ornaments that they enjoy pointing out.
Since the girls were not able to participate in the tree decorating this year, I wanted them to have a tree of their own to decorate, so I decided to make them a felt Christmas tree, from an idea I found on Pinterest.
The tree was very easy to make and cost around $5 in materials. I bought a yard of green felt from JoAnn Fabric ($2.99) along with some small rectangle pieces of color felt, which cost .34 cents each.
I cut a big triangle out of the green felt for the tree. For ornaments, I decided to make different shapes since we are working on learning our shapes and colors, but you can make decorative ornaments out of felt too.
The girls are definitely enjoying decorating their own tree!
In addition to the Thankful Tree, we have started another fun, family tradition with the Felt Tree!
Saige Nicole’s is a family-owned, unique boutique, based out of Orange County, but sold across the globe. From upscale baby boutique clothing and gifts, to whimsical baby and toddler gifts, it is definitely a fun place to shop, when you are searching for something special!
This family is passionate about what they do and it truly shines through. It is great to find a business that cares as much about their customers as they do here!
Our baby shop caters to today’s savvy parent who is looking for high quality kids boutique clothing, and baby and toddler clothes with a unique flair and function. Our on-line baby boutique is known for our unmatched selection of baby boutique clothing and toddler clothes by some of today’s best indie designers.
Saige Nicole’s has also been featured in numerous magazines including Parenting OC, People, and Baby Talk!
Since the holidays are in full swing, now is the time to think about family pictures. There is a super cute Special Occasion / Christmas section on the Saige Nicole’s website, where you can shop 24/7, to find something fabulous for those portraits or holiday gatherings!
In the spirit of giving, Wendy Navarro, owner of Saige Nicole’s, has graciously offered to give one lucky reader, four personalized, holiday t-shirts, and there are several styles to choose from. Although they are mainly a baby/toddler boutique, the holiday shirts come in all sizes from newborn to toddler to adult!
The t-shirts are 100% cotton, available in short or long-sleeve and range in price from $28-$34 each.
My favorite personalized holiday shirt was the penguin, and I think the girls would agree!
These shirts are just adorable and will be a hit this holiday season with family and friends! So, I am very excited that one of my readers will win four customized holiday t-shirts too!
To enter, simply visit Saige Nicole’s Specialty Baby and Toddler Boutique, and let us know what your favorite item is (it can be anything), by leaving a comment below. One winner will be randomly selected on Sunday at 10 a.m. PST. Good Luck and have a Happy Thanksgiving!!
This is a great family-friendly event, but since my girls are so little, it would make for a great date night or girl’s night out too!
For those of you who have never seen The Nutcracker, here is a little preview from a previous year.
There are thirteen scheduled performances, beginning December 14:
Guest Artists and Schedule
Irina Dvorovenko & Maxim Beloserkovsky
American Ballet Theatre
Friday, December 14, 2012 @ 7:00 PM
Saturday, December 15, 2012 @ 2:00 PM
Saturday, December 15, 2012 @ 7:00 PM
Sunday, December 16, 2012 @ 1:00 PM
Sunday, December 16, 2012 @ 6:00 PM
Carla Korbes, Pacific Northwest Ballet & Fabrice Calmels, Joffrey Ballet
Wednesday, December 19, 2012 @ 7:00 PM
Thursday, December 20, 2012 @ 7:00 PM
Friday, December 21, 2012 @ 7:00 PM
Saturday, December 22, 2012 @ 2:00 PM
Stella Abrera & Sascha Radetsky
American Ballet Theatre
Saturday, December 22, 2012 @ 7:00 PM
Sunday, December 23, 2012 @ 1:00 PM
Sunday, December 23, 2012 @ 6:00 PM
Monday, December 24, 2012 @ 11:00 AM
Tickets are on sale now and are $40 for adults, $37 for seniors, and $35 for children. December 19 and 20 is Family Night, if you buy four or more adult tickets, they will be discounted to $30 each. Buy your tickets and choose your seats here: http://www.festivalballet.org/fbt/nutcracker2012.html
The Festival Ballet Theatre is known for attracting the best performers in professional dance. This performance of The Nutcracker is highly anticipated and expected to be phenomenal. I look forward to seeing it myself and now one lucky reader can too!
It is hard to believe that November is officially here and the holidays are upon us. We sure do have a lot to be thankful for again this year!
I love family traditions, and now that I have my own family, I want to make special traditions that my children will look forward to each year and remember forever.
My friend, Heather and her family create a thankful tree each year, and she is where I got this wonderful idea.
Beginning on November 1st, family members will write on one leaf what they are thankful for and then place the leaf on the tree each day. By the time Thanksgiving comes around, you will have a beautiful tree, full of leaves, sharing so many things you and your family are thankful for!
I made my tree out of construction paper and hung it on the wall near the entry way.
Next, I made the leaves.
And finally, an envelope that holds the leaves, marker, and double-sided tape, to make it easy for family members to stop by and share what they are thankful for!
I am so excited to start this family tradition and look forward to future years when the girls can help create the tree too! I will post a picture of my tree full of thanks at the end of the month!
I think it is safe to say that Fall is finally in the air, and I love this time of year! Before having children, I used to love having the daylights scared out of me at spooky Halloween events, and my husband and I had a blast attending the Haunt each year at Knott’s Scary Farm. Now that I am a mom, and have small babies, I am always on the lookout for events that are family-friendly.
Today, we had the opportunity to visit Camp Spooky and attend Snoopy’s Costume Party at Knott’s Berry Farm. Camp Spooky is a “knott-so-scary” Halloween event that takes place during the day, between 10am – 5:30pm, every weekend in October, through the 28th.
The event is geared for children ages 3-11, but my babies still had a blast meeting the Peanut characters and trick-or-treating for the first time!
Admission for Snoopy’s Costume Party is included in the regular admission price, such a good deal! Here are just a few of the fun activities for the kiddos:
Spooky Ookie Scavenger Hunt: Answer each riddle correctly, and find a treat at each of the five trick-or-treat locations.
The Great Pumpkin Hay Bale Maze: I would have to say this was our girls’ favorite part of the event and I think they could’ve played in there for hours!
Kooky Cookie Painting – Show your creativity and decorate your own cookie or smear frosting around with your fingers and get messy like Chelsea does!
Scary Stories at the Lodge – When you arrive at the park, make sure you find out the story times so you can gather around the artificial fireplace to listen to some silly ghost stories.
These are just a few of the events going on at Snoopy’s Costume Party in Camp Spooky. Kids can also take part in Snoopy’s Costume Contest and Parade, explore the creepy crawler critter cave, jump in the bounce house and more!
We had a blast at this fun family-friendly Halloween event, and the girls were exhausted after just a couple hours of fun! I think they were asleep in their car seats before we even got out of the parking lot!
If you have joined the Pinterest craze, you probably have pinned (with great intentions to follow through) many recipes to try, exercises to do, or crafts to create.
Pinterest has been my go to website for family dinners, but I have also created a board called, “Ideas for the Girls.” When I stumbled across a pin for a do-it-yourself playhouse, I immediately got excited!
Now before, I take any credit for what you are about to see, let me just put this out there. I did my part by “pinning” the link to my board and sharing with my husband. My husband purchased the PVC pipe, and constructed the house (materials cost $37). My mother-in-law sewed the fabric and my husband assembled the house. My job was to keep the girls entertained and out of trouble for this process, so we all worked very hard on this family project!
The girls LOVE their house, although, they still may be a little rough for it, so we will see! The best part is, if we do need to take it down temporarily, it comes down easily and can be stored in a small space!
I want to say a BIG THANK YOU to my husband, Trent and mother-in-law, Patty, for putting this house together! Without you guys, this would just be another pin on one of my boards. Thank you!
For the past couple of months, I have really wanted to take the babies to the beach for their first visit. I went online and ordered the Ozark Trail Sun Shelter (tent), and two cute little rash guard swim suits for the girls. So with necessities in hand, we were ready, right?
There were definitely some thoughts that passed, which said this may not be as fun as it was in my mind, but I was adamant that the beach was going to be a wonderful idea. My husband, probably a little more hesitant, agreed, so off we went!
First, let me tell you about my “vision” of going to the beach. We arrive at the beach early in the morning, so it is not too hot. We park next to the beach and walk down the sand to the water. The kids hang out in the sun tent, stick their toes in the sand and play with their beach toys. Mom and Dad even get to sit in their beach chairs and enjoy some sun! We walk down to the water to feel the ocean for the first time. It’s a little chilly, but the girls sit in the sand at the edge of the water as the water ripples up against their toes. We all enjoy a little lunch and after a couple hours of fun, we pack up camp and head back to the car as a family.
Now, let me tell you about our actual trip to the beach. We did not get as early of a start as we intended and honestly, we really had no idea which beach was the best beach to visit with babies, so we drove around aimlessly and finally ended up at Huntington Beach.
After paying $15 to park, then parking at the opposite end of the lot, I walked what seemed like a mile to pick up an umbrella rental for another $15. Upon parking, the girls started screaming because they were ready for a nap and hungry, so, we gave them a bottle in the car and crossed our fingers.
The girls were starting to get very antsy and my husband asked me if I wanted to be near the water, naturally I said, “Yes,” not realizing that the water was a half mile walk across the scorching hot sand. Seriously, why don’t I remember the water being so freakishly far away?
Daddy carried the first load down to the water including the beach tent, blanket, beach chairs and our humongous umbrella rental!
I started getting the kids all lubed up with sunscreen and changed them into their swim suits. They did enjoy reading a copy of OC Family while we waited, which kept them entertained for a few minutes, but then they decided it would be more fun to try to run around and climb in the van. I guess that would be pretty fun.
Finally, Daddy gets back to the car after a jog back and burned feet. We are ready for our final trip to the water. We each carried a baby and some gear and started walking down the beach. The sand was about 200 degrees and the walk to the water felt like an eternity, especially carrying more gear and a toddler. I had to put my flip flops back on, so my feet would not melt, and every step I took kicked sand up into my beach bag.
We get to our camp that Daddy has set up, and decide to take the girls down to the water. The waves were monstrous and Katelyn was not so sure she liked them. If we were not holding onto them and picking them up each time the waves came, they would’ve been knocked over. There goes my vision of sitting in the sand on the water’s edge.
After about 15 minutes of hanging out by the water, we decided to let the girls play in the sand. They played for a few minutes, but decided it was more fun to climb on the beach chairs, or run inside the tent and knock it over. I can definitely say Mommy and Daddy did not sit down and enjoy the sun. I never even got my sun dress off, Daddy never got his t-shirt off, and neither of us ever found the time or extra hand to put sunscreen on ourselves. Yes, we got burned.
After a couple hours (one hour of which may have been getting to/from the car), we packed as much as we could carry and took a load and the girls back to the car. I got the girls changed and dressed in the van while Daddy worked on packing up the rest of our stuff and made his way back to the rental place to return the awesome umbrella.
Dying of dehydration, because we were so concerned about making sure the girls stayed hydrated, we forgot to drink anything ourselves. Once in the car, we found our warm Gatorades in the beach bag and started to chug! Warm gatorade never tasted so good! We did not even get to the parking lot exit, and the girls were sound asleep.
Overall, the experience was, well, an experience! I think the girls enjoyed the beach, and it was fun watching them play in the sand. They did not eat as much sand as we expected which is a definite plus! It was definitely a memorable first beach experience!
Will be return to the beach again? Absolutely! I just think we picked the wrong beach for Camp Crazy, and will have to be more strategic in our next beach adventure…so stay tuned!