Now that the girls are starting to find their coordination and utilize their listening skills (sometimes), we decided to give soccer another go. I found a living social deal that included three introductory children’s soccer classes, for $20, at Lil’ Kickers!
Lil’ Kickers offers 50-minute classes, in both Garden Grove and Irvine, for children, 1.5 to 9 years old. Today, we were in the Cottontails Class (age 2.5 – 3.5) at the Irvine location. The Bunnies (18-24 months), Thumpers (2-3 years), and Cottontails (2.5-3.5), are parent and child classes, so parent involvement is required.
The class is designed to build some fundamentals like coordination, ball kicking, balance, dribbling the ball with your feet, and the biggest lesson of all, not to run around the field, carrying the ball in your arms.
This was the second week the girls were in class, and it was great to see the progression they had made already. There were several moments where my husband and I were able to step back and watch the girls participate, versus the week prior, where we had to help guide them a lot throughout the class. I love watching them grow and become independent.
Class started out with introductions.
Followed by some serious stretching.
Then we worked on sharpening our skills.
We played a lot of fun games, like Red Light, Green Light, (Yellow Light, Blue Light).
And one of my favorites, the Birdie game. The soccer field was the sky, and the players were the birds. They flew (ran) around the field until they were told they had to go protect the eggs (soccer ball) in their nest. When the eggs were in danger, the “birds” flew back to the nest and put one foot on the “egg” to keep them safe.
Lil’ Kickers was a lot of fun and the girls are excited to go back again next week!
For more information on Lil’ Kickers, you can visit their website at http://www.lilkickers.com! Registration is always open so you can sign up at any time. If you are new to Lil’ Kickers, you can try your first class for free! I’m sure your kids will have a ball!
Yesterday, my girls were scheduled for their first dental cleaning. Naturally, I was nervous.
The first dental visit, which was a quick visual inspection of their teeth, resulted in a long wait, lots of tears, and a frustrated mommy. I knew that was not going to be the dental office for us, so I was already dreading future dental visits with toddlers.
After a year slipped away from that unpleasant experience, I realized it was time to schedule their first cleaning. I decided to go to my twin mommy’s and ask them for help in selecting the right dentist. I immediately had referrals coming in, and reassuringly, they were all for the same person, Dr. Tina Azin, in Rancho Santa Margarita.
These moms could not have been more right! Everything about this dental office was perfect! From the moment you walk in, you feel like you’re at a tropical beach. The staff greeted us right away, and the girls headed straight into the Tiki Hut, where they found toys, and video games.
We signed in and were happy to find out they were a paper-free office, so a few digital signatures and we were ready to go! The girls were called back right away and were seen at the same time, which is fabulous you have multiple children!
The girls climbed in their chairs and were excited about the “ride,” as the chair reclined backwards. What was even more exciting, was the fact that there were TV’s on the ceilings that were playing our all time favorite movie, Frozen! Katarina and Danny were the Registered Dental Assistants that did the cleanings and they were fabulous!
I was in shock. The girls laid back in their chairs, listened to Katarina and Danny, and had their teeth cleaned, flossed, followed by an application of fluoride, and they were 100% cooperative the entire time! It was like watching a movie. Were these my kids?
After their cleaning, the girls received a goody bag, which to a toddler, was like receiving a pot of gold.
Next, Dr. Tina (Azin) came over for one final look. She counted Katelyn’s teeth and Kate was surprised to find out there were 20 in there! When it was time to count Chelsea’s teeth, Katelyn helped Dr. Tina count. She wanted to make sure sissy had 20 in her mouth too! (She did.)
Overall, the dental visit was amazing. The girls did great, the staff was wonderful, and they can’t wait to go back for their next check-up! Finding the right pediatric dentist is so important. Our girls felt so comfortable here, from the moment they walked in the door. We hope to continue visiting Dr. Azin’s office as long as possible!
This race meant more to me than words can say. About a year ago, I met the sweetest little boy, Brody, and his amazing mother, Elizabeth, at a local Fit4Mom class. He immediately stole our hearts with his loveable smile. After talking to his mom, I found out Brody, was actually a cancer survivor.
Brody was born on February 20, 2011. He was always a happy baby. Around 8 months old, he began to have trouble keeping his food down, was vomiting daily, and coincidentally, tilting his head to one side. The pediatrician and specialists suggested that physical therapy and reflux medications should help. After numerous sessions and trying different medications, Brody’s vomiting only increased and his weight dropped substantially. His parents rushed him to the emergency room to demand answers.
On January 13, 2012, a CT scan revealed that Brody had a 2 inch by 2 inch tumor on his brain stem. He was admitted to Children’s Hospital of Orange County (CHOC) and scheduled for surgery three days later. The neurosurgeons removed 99% of the tumor. The risky surgery was successful, at least they thought.
A week later, Brody’s parents received the devastating news the Brody had atypical teratoid rhabdoidtumor (AT/RT), an extremely rare and aggressive form of brain cancer. According to statistics, only 30 children in the US are diagnosed with AT/RT each year. The neurosurgeon explained that even after surgery and chemotherapy treatment, Brody would have a very low chance of survival, roughly 10%.
His parents learned about a doctor at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles who specialized in brain tumors, as the basis of 20 years of research. Under his guidance, Brody began the fight of his life. His treatment lasted 7 months and included 2 rounds of intense chemotherapy, 3 rounds of high-dose chemotherapy, followed with stem cell rescue, and 28 sessions of intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) photon radiation.
Brody completed treatment in August 2012, and has been cancer free ever since.
Each year, cancer kills more children and adolescents than any other disease. I was completely shocked to learn that pediatric cancer research only receives 3.8% of the total funding raised for cancer research each year! During the PCRF Reaching for the Cure Ride/Run race, 80% of all funds raised, go directly to research! Pediatric Cancer Research, saved Brody’s life.
This weekend, I ran for Team Brody.
Over 100 members signed up to be a part of Team Brody, to raise awareness for Pediatric Cancer Research. Team Brody, alone, raised over $8,000!
I’ve heard many people say, they are running for their lives. This weekend, over 7,000 people gathered in Orange County, to not only run or walk for their own life and health, but to take strides, to bring hope, and fund the crucial research we desperately need, to cure childhood cancer.
Now that I have started to run, it’s safe to say we have a love-hate relationship. I love it because it’s challenging and I am doing something I never thought I could do. I hate it because it’s hard and being competitive, I know I’ll never win a long distance race. But that being said, I have finally learned, that I am in competition with no one, but myself.
Running has taught me that, I am capable of so much more then I have ever imagined, and I am walking away from 8 weeks of run club and 3 completed races, learning to believe in myself and to focus on the journey, not the destination.
“If you run, you are a runner. It doesn’t matter how fast or how far. It doesn’t matter if today is your first day or you’ve been running for twenty years. There is no test to pass, no license to earn, no membership card to get. You just run.” -John Bingham
Ten weeks ago, I was not a runner. Since then, I have completed one 5K and two 10K’s, and it feels incredible.
Overall, I felt so much better during this race then I did at the Turkey Trot (which I was totally unprepared for). The first half to 3/4 mile was completely overwhelming because there were so many people running on the path, that it was extremely difficult to weave in and out of the crowds, making my pace for the first mile, the worst. After, the crowds finally started to break up, the race was a lot smoother and I actually felt pretty good during the 6.2 miles.
Wow, when I write that, “6.2 miles,” it still boggles my brain. I never pictured myself to be one to run any kind of distance. This running thing is going to be hard but completely amazing at the same time!
The official results are in…
Plymouth Rock N Run Thanksgiving Turkey Trot 10K – 54:49 (8:50 pace)
Troutman Sanders Renegade Santa Run 10K – 53:54 (8:42 pace)
They say racing is addictive and it’s true. No matter how hard it is during the run, and I go through just about every emotion while I am running, the feeling of accomplishment at the end is like no other. In 2014, I am going to continue to focus on improving myself and continuing my new journey!
My next race is already on my calendar, 10K, at Knotts Berry Farm on Sunday, March 2!
I joined the running club with my Fit4Mom Irvine/Tustin moms in mid-October, with the goal of completing a 10K on December 14th. I have always hated running any distance, because I stunk at it, but I love sprinting short distances.
On November 13, I came home from run club, feeling good after a 4 mile run, and sat down at my computer, for what was supposed to be a minute, to log my run onto my daily workout sheet.
Before I know it, one thing led to another and somehow I clicked a button and signed myself up for the Plymouth Rock N’ Run Thanksgiving Turkey Trot 10K. I sat there smiling, starring at my computer and then it hit me, I’m going to be running a 10K in two weeks. What was I thinking? As my girls would say, “Ooops.”
Up until this point in time, the furthest I had ever run was 5 miles, once. My compulsiveness hit me once again and all of a sudden, I was supposed to run 6.2 miles in two weeks! Three minutes after clicking the submit button, the anxiety started to sit in.
My run training was less then par after that night. I was sore from the 4 mile run at run club, so I took a few days off. Then we purchased a treadmill, so I decided to break it in with a 5-mile run. Apparently, there is a lot more to this running stuff then I originally thought. My body was not used to the new surface, so I felt some unusual pain in my knees which forced me to take another break for a couple of days.
Now, one week before the big race, I decided to get back on the treadmill and run a 10K. I had to make sure I could do it, for my peace of mind, I guess. I got it done, but was in a lot of pain after, for days. So, please don’t follow my “balls to the wall” approach when run training. I was only able to run those two times before my race and went through a lot of unnecessary pain. Lesson learned. Follow your 10K run schedule or your run coach! (Note to Carmen: I will listen from now on!!)
I don’t think I slept much at all the night before Thanksgiving. My alarm went off at 5 a.m. and I woke up to get ready for my 7:15 a.m. race.
My friend told me,
“If you can run a 5K, you can run a 10K, but it’s going to be painful if you don’t train right for it.”
-Chris Brown (the CPA, not the rapper).
Well, he hit the nail on the head with that one!
I drove to Yorba Regional Park on Thanksgiving morning, put on my bib and checked in. I was actually excited. The gun went off all I could think was, “This is it, my first 10K race.”
The race was on, my music was blasting and my legs were moving, although, they felt like they were moving through quicksand, they were moving. I passed mile marker 1 with a smile on my face, 5.2 more to go! It felt like every mile marker was a little bit further then it should have been. Mile 5-6 were the hardest. If only I worked on my endurance training more and less on the finish line. We will chalk it up to the sprinter’s brain error…mind only on the finish line. Yah, I need to work on that.
The last part of the race was the best! Maybe the last 100-150 yards were full of people cheering me on to the finish line. Something happened in my legs and they just sprinted full force to the finish markers! I made it!
It was the most amazing feeling. It was a challenge run, but the feeling of crossing the finish line was indescribable. I was completely overwhelmed with emotions. The pain of the run was completely worth it. Now, I understand why running is addictive. That feeling of accomplishment is simply incredible.
Three months ago, I would’ve told you, there is no way I would ever run anything more then a 5K, and I just proved myself wrong. Although I trained the wrong way, I learned from it, and I think I am looking forward to another chance in two weeks!
Here are my official results from my first 10K race!
I am now two weeks away from my next 10K, the Troutman Sanders Renegade Santa Run! I am still sore from my 10K yesterday, and I have definitely learned my lesson, to take it slower, and follow my training schedule. I don’t see myself running more then 4 miles at a time over the next 14 days.
My first two races (5K, 10K) are in the books since turning 30, seven weeks ago and I have one more to check off before the end of the year. If it were not for the amazing girls in Run Club (and a huge thank you to Carmen & Lynsey), then I would have never achieved these new goals, because I would have never believed in myself.
I would not categorize myself as creative or crafty in any way, in fact, most of my days can be summed up by this ecard…
…but there is something about the holidays, and wanting to start family traditions, that has brought the craftiness out of me.
Last year, I made our first Family Thankful Tree. It kind of resembled a big stick. I call it my Charlie Brown Thankful tree.
I loved the idea of the thankful tree as a way to show thanks. I even think I got a little more crafty with my tree this year. The family thankful tree is a fun family tradition to begin on November 1st! Every day, each family member writes down on a leaf what they are thankful for and by the time Thanksgiving arrives, you will have a beautiful tree, full of thanks to share!
We are halfway into the month of November, so here is picture of our family thankful tree so far!
I think we have come a long way since the Charlie Brown twig tree last year!
I have been trying to talk to the girls about being thankful and why we say thank you. After a 2-3 minute discussion (which is a very, long time for a toddler), I asked Chelsea what she was thankful for, to which she replied, “A driver.” and “Shopping carts.” I have to agree, both of those are very handy, and definitely something to be thankful for!
Another creative idea I found on Pinterest, which I actually followed through on, was my felt Christmas tree! We just put the tree up today, so the girls could decorate and re-decorate. Yes, I put it up early, but there will only be a few years where they really get excited about it, which makes me excited to get it up early!
Right now, the Family Thankful Tree and Christmas Felt Tree are facing off in a dual on opposite walls of each other, and I am sitting in between them, feeling extraordinarily crafty!
I love being able to start new family traditions. Our next tradition to begin this year is the Elf on the Shelf! A parent’s secret to getting your children to behave for a month. Stay tuned for some mischievous elf adventures!
This morning, I left my house at 7 a.m., and headed for Angels Stadium to participate in the Big “A” 5K! It was my first race since I began the Fit4Mom Irvine/Tustin run club, 4 weeks ago, and now I am just 5 weeks away from participating in my first 10K, the Santa Run!
I’m a big Angels fan, so when I found a 5K at Angels Stadium, I was pumped! Warming up on the field was a lot of fun. Of course I had to play it out and do stretching/sprinting/warm-up exercises in the outfield, just like the Angels would for a game!
One minor mishap, it seemed like no one remembered to turn off the sprinklers on the field. So every now and then a surprise sprinkler would pop up from no where and soak some unexpected folks before the big race. I did get sprayed once, but managed to sprint away to avoid the downpour! No one wants to start a race soaking wet.
The race was ready to begin. Excited and ambitious, I was the first one in line before the crowds flowed in behind me. I had my earphones in, my MapMyFitness app on my arm, ready to go, and a goal of an 8:00 min split per mile in the back of my head. I was just waiting for the buzzer to start my race, and I would be off in my own little world.
Wait.. this is Hollie we are talking about here… you know the story wouldn’t be that easy, right!?
With a smile on my face I look down at my iPhone, and press “begin workout” on my app, split seconds before I glance up only to realize, I’m in a stampede! There were 30-40 guys who meant business and were not running, but SPRINTING full speed up the steep ramp to get out of the stadium. All I could do was SPRINT full speed to keep from getting run over.
I know the cardinal rule of racing long distance is not to start out too fast, and I sure broke that rule. When I finally got to the top of the (did I mention, very steep) hill, maybe 100 yards of a full on sprint, and made my way over, I could feel my chest hurting from the extreme dry air, and I was breathing very heavy. All I could think was, “Oh crap.” Not the best way to start off a race, but at least it was better I made this mistake at my 5K then the 10K.
I spent the first mile trying to get my rhythm back, and my breath. I already knew, after a start like that, this was not going to go down in the books as my most fun 3 mile run. However, I was determined. I was not going to walk. I was not going to slow down my current pace. My goal was an 8:00 minute mile and I have been consistently running 8:00 minute miles in my practice runs. I knew I would only be mad at myself if I stopped or slowed down. I made a stupid mistake in the beginning, but that wasn’t going to be another excuse to not hit my goal. I was not going to listen to that little voice in my head that says to give up or take a break. I’ve listened to that voice too many times in my life, so I just kept on moving. I’m okay feeling sore tomorrow, but I am not okay feeling sorry.
The race began and ended on Angels field, with the final lap around the warning track before crossing the finish line. Running around the entire field, was exactly what I needed to amp up some energy for the last part of the race. It was awesome!
As I crossed the finish line, I hit end race on the MapMyFitness app to find out how close I was to my goal. I was over the moon to find out that I hit my goal after the most unpleasant start.
That feeling of accomplishment is the reason I love running (which 5 weeks ago I would have told you I hated). I never thought I could run much further then a mile. My head was wrapped around the fact that I was a sprinter, and I just couldn’t run long distance for fun. I’m still trying to knock that thought out of my head. Running is not going to get any easier so I just need to train hard to get better.
So, I have tackled the 5K, my first running milestone. I have 5 more weeks to train for my 10K and I won’t lie, that one makes me a little nervous, but I’m determined. I’m done looking for excuses. I’m going to do this for me. The 10K is something I never thought I could do, (or wanted to do) but now it’s time to prove myself wrong!
Time to lace up!
“This Girl Is On Fire!” (current favorite running song)
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, 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.
Last month, I joined Stroller Strides, and it has been a complete life changer for me!
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 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
Stroller Strides is a nationwide fitness program and best of all, the first class is FREE! For more information, visit their website http://fit4mom.com and find a class near you!
“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!