A MomWorkOut…at the EDEL GATHERING!!

Adding the Edel announcement to Five Favorites at MamaKnowsHoneyChild. (Have you read this yet? Incredible)


Do you bend down roughly 6 billion times a day picking up various objects on the floor and go to bed each night wondering why your back hurts?

Do you find it difficult to muster the energy or motivation to workout even though you’ve been dressed for it all day?

Do you ever feel like you lack the strength that a mom needs to fulfill daily tasks without pain or discomfort?

Are you in search of getting in shape but have no time to get to a gym?

Do your babies wake up screaming at the first sounds of a workout video?

Is your only space to store workout equipment taken up by toys?

Has pregnancy made your core muscles weak and less effective than you would like?

Do you like me?

Then the MomWorkOut is for you!

I am happy to announce that at this year’s Edel Gathering, yours truly is looking forward to meeting you and making you sweat. It will take place Saturday morning at 8:00am. In my first stint as an amateur blogger who also is also an amateur workout instructor, I will be leading the MomWorkOut. I think it will be plenty of sweaty fun. But, only if you join me.

This is Why I am Excited to lead it:

I am a mom of 3 under 4 with a 4th baby on the way. For me, fitness is much less about appearance, and much more about function, faith and fun. It’s about finding an outlet to relieve stress. It is a chance to realize specific goals in a way that I enjoy and that works with the demands of my daily life. It’s about doing things that are difficult on purpose for God, my family, myself. It’s about having enough strength to lift my babies, enough energy to clean the house and play with my kids with less physical discomfort, especially when pregnant.

Before becoming a mom, working out was tedious, more about feeling less guilty about eating, and mostly horrible. I pushed through lots of cardio, ran a few races, came to love the endorphins. Yet, when I became a mom, I realized more than ever that a body that can give life to the world can surely finish a 10K with strength, grace, and a big fat smile. The guilt about eating, not eating, working out, not working out, running too much or too little began to greatly diminish. Freedom and fun took hold of the guilt and smashed it. I began completing several road races, triathlons and now, I CrossFit. I have grown stronger and happier, and I would like to spread the message.

Here are Five Reasons why you should join me.

1. The Workout is designed specifically for Moms
As moms our bodies are under core strength stress, limited sleep, and demanding schedules. The movements and exercises will be designed specifically with a mom’s body and mental disposition in mind.

2. It is Fast
Diapers! Laundry! Dinner! Cleaning! Carpool! Playtime! PlayDates! ETC! Time is of the essence! The MomWorkOut is meant to be short and intense. We will be done within 20 minutes, yet complete enough work to get us stronger, healthier, and holier.

3. It is Simple
No Equipment. Simple Movement Patterns. At an individual Pace. No Athletic Coordination Necessary. Can easily be recreated in the middle of the family room when Edel is over.

4. It is Free
And you might learn something!

5. It will be Fun
In addition to the opportunity of witnessing a very clumsy 31 Week pregnant woman instruct a workout while waddling as morning entertainment, I promise it will be fun.

Despite my general fear of traveling to cities alone in which I know no one, I’m facing my fear and eager to workout with you! Sign up and spread the word!


 3 minutes after nursing my 3 month old, I jumped into a very dirty river and swam with several floating, dead fish. WE CAN DO THIS! SEE YOU AT EDEL!

And for the best Inspiration: A Video of my baby doing burpees



Also, while there is no need to sign up, I would love an email or comment if you are coming! Wear what you want, move how you want, have a blast.

Marathon Mom’s Monday

Not even a warning from a new to the toilet toddler could convince me it was time to stop watching. A fateful Sunday brunch brought us to the perfect spot to witness the incredible spiritual, mental, and physical feat that is displayed by each and every person still running at mile 24, and if my children’s bladders had allowed me, I would have stayed there all day cheering. If I hadn’t been wearing jeans, holding two kid’s hands, and sporting a 18 week baby bump that sends all sorts of pain down all sorts of places when running occurs, or had my sweater pulled back by my husband and children, I probably would have paced a whole bunch of scared strangers through the 2 miles to the finish line over and over and over again.

Three days ago I discussed “never wanting to run a marathon.” I am honestly very happy with my previous experiences with halfs, 10ks, and triathlons (from which I’ve retired due to the most clumsy bike crash Southern Florida has ever witnessed). But, yesterday’s site of the very obvious perseverance, fortitude, and myriad of human virtues exuding from the runner’s I witnessed, strongly called my bluff, and back on the bucket list running a full marathon went. So in a few years, or decades, if my body allows, I will be the girl eating a burger at mile 20.

Running has made me a better mom. It’s something I crave, look forward to, anticipate. It clears my head. It pushes my body. It gives me the opportunity to practice virtues. It’s the best silent prayer I make. It reminds me of what I’m capable of, who I am, who God is, what I’m grateful for. It makes me less crazy. It relieves stress, and instead of pounding a wall, I pound the road. And I can’t wait to get back at it 6 weeks post delivery.

And other mom’s who run fascinate and inspire me. Like my sister, mother of 6 boys, who ran at a highly impressive speed for each and every one of her 13.1 miles, mom or not. Crossing the finish at 1 hour and 41 minutes earned her the title fastest mom in the family and probably a lot faster than most others. It was a hobby she picked up after having her 5th boy. Since then, she tackled injury and physical weakness with mental strength and prayer, lack of training time with creativity and more prayer, goals are accomplished with will power and the pursuit of being better, and so much prayer. I think sometimes she might wish her treadmill actually created distance between her and her responsibilities, and her long runs might set a Hail Mary record. And how she does it, I will never know.

To celebrate yesterday, and all of its runners, I bring to you an interview with one of my favorite mom’s. Yesterday she ran her 2nd half marathon in a personal record. Her answers offer insight, reflection, and inspiration not just to run, but to set goals and reach them with grace and a super huge smile.

Meet Natalie: mother of three, wife to Bill, phenomenal friend to me. She answered these questions post half marathon #1. Due to a pregnant stupor, I failed to dedicate a post of which she was very deserving. Since then, she crossed a second finish line in record time with another huge smile. Cheers to Natalie!!!



Can you explain what it was like to commit to training for such a huge physical endeavor while being a mom to 3 toddlers?

Commit. That is the answer. I committed. I signed up, paid the fees, bought the plane ticket. I committed to a training schedule and stuck to it. It actually wasn’t as time-consuming as I thought it would be. The schedule I followed had me training 3 days a week. Tuesday and Thursday were always 30 minute runs and on Saturdays I would increase my mileage. Sure, there were days I didn’t want to run, but I would get out there and do it. Luckily my husband also likes to be my coach and would get me off the couch and running in no time. The support of my husband was huge. If he didn’t support my commitment to this goal, I would have never been able to accomplish it. Having a good support system was key for me to prepare. Friends were a huge support for me and I can’t even tell you how much words of encouragement, running advice, and simply interest in how my training was going helped.

What was the low point? How did you overcome it?

To be honest my low point was being annoyed with myself for not sending in my times from my 10K to get a better corral number. I was in the second to last corral and found it difficult to get past the walkers. I was so frustrated that I had spent so much time training and was feeling like I couldn’t compete to my abilities and as a result was not going to meet my time goal.  I was already feeling defeated and grumpy at mile 4, but after seeing my awesome sisters cheering for me, I simply decided to change my mental state and have fun with the experience.  They were having fun so I should too! I decided at that moment that my goal was to finish my first half marathon …after all the Pittsburgh half marathon was just around the corner and I could work on new goals for that one!

Do you think the experience will help you be a better mom in any ways?

I believe that this journey has gotten me to a better place to physically care for my children. It was way of reclaiming my body, getting healthy, and having energy.  It has also offered a mental release to relieve the stress of parenting so many small children.  Every time I finish a run, whether short or long, I feel refreshed and ready to be present to my children again.  In addition to being a better mom, I am able to be a better wife.  Seriously, sometimes bill will get home on a day when I am not having the greatest of days and he gets the brunt of my frustrations.  He’s so awesome that instead of getting angry back, he will just order me to go for a run. Coach Bill to the rescue! So at the end of the day, I run to be a more loving wife and mother.  Oh shoot  I better stop typing. Maria is currently on the counter, putting plastic bracelets in the toaster and sipping my left over coffee from this morning……………………maybe a run would be good right about now….  

How did it feel to cross the finish line? 

It felt great! I worked really hard to train for this race. And for me this journey towards completing 13.1 miles was more about overcoming a sense of self. I was never a runner growing up. I played sports – basketball, soccer, etc – but was never a runner. After having Maria I was 30 lbs heavier than pre-maria and just felt really awful in general. I decided running was the best way to get exercise and save my sanity (when I started running I had 3 kids ages 2 and under and sanity was usually a fleeting luxury). So this journey towards the half marathon begin 18 months ago when I could barely run 1 minute without huffing and puffing and wanting to quit. To cross the finish line of a half marathon felt like an achievement on a physical level but also on a spiritual level. There were so many times during training I had to fight my body and convince myself not to quit. I found myself repeating my mantra, “the flesh is weak but the spirit is strong”. Often during the long runs when I wanted to quit, I would contemplate the stations of the cross and really try to journey with Jesus. Now I have to admit that at the Disney princess half marathon I couldn’t quite get into the spiritual journey with princesses distracting me at every corner! And seriously at the end I just wanted to fall over, drink water, eat hummus and bask in the glory of what I just accomplished.




(if you are a mom, know a mom that would like to share their thoughts on fitness of any sort, get at me via email or blog comment. I’d love to chat, learn from you, or offer a post to you viewed by 7-12 readers.)

5 favorite at home workouts: CrossFit Inspired, Stay at Home Mom Approved

This week as a way to show my love for Jenny’s Wellness Project and Natalie’s #30daymommybootcamp, as well as share my secret for staying sort-of sane, I’ve compiled five of my favorite workouts that require no equipment, space, and barely any time.  All workouts have been tested on my family room area rug while 3 children play/mostly misbehave, and are timed at about 10 minutes or less.

I learned how to properly perform these movements at CrossFit, and if possible, that’s where I like to do them. Since the mom-life can make it difficult to get out, there are lots of days that I do the following workouts barefoot and with babies. But, If you are in Pittsburgh and able, I really- really- very- very much recommend Alpha Athletics.

As gym class graduates, most of you may already know how to perform the movements. If I had spent less time purposefully messing up volleyball rotation, I may have learned them there too. Just in case of memory lapse, pregnancy brain, or a shared skill in distracting the gym teacher, consult the following videos for proper technique and a glimpse of extremely toned muscles.





1) 10 minute Total body workout:

1 minute of squats

2 minutes burpees

1 minute pushups

2 minutes sit-ups

1 minute jumping jacks

1 minute of squats

2 minutes burpees

Keep track of your reps and see how you improve over time!


2) For your bum:

5 Rounds (or more depending on how badly it hurts) of:

10 squats

10 lunges

Keep track of time and see how it improves!


3) AMRAP (as many rounds as possible) in 10 minutes

10 squats

10 situps

10 pushups


4) Get back your six pack right before you get pregnant again

10 Rounds

10 situps

30 second plank


5) NO Rest for the Weary

100 lunges

100 squats

100 burpees

Again, Keep track of your time and see how much it improves over time!


These movements make my motherhood easier, and since clumsy is my most frequent form of movement, you can trust me when I say that they don’t take all too much coordination. The better and more consistently I do them, the less my back hurts, and the stronger I feel. The shortness of the workouts encourages intensity, thus releasing aggression, thus protecting my husband and children from a crazy frustrated mom or furiously folded laundry.

And for your entertainment, and my embarrassment, I’m including a video of me deadlifting a weight that is almost equal, but still a lot less than, the weight of a full size human being approximately 6 inches off of the ground. I never thought I would care about lifting a heavy load, but experiencing an increase of strength really does feel quite good even though the video indicates a very bad mood.


To stronger backs and better bums!

Go to Moxiewife for better 5 favorites!

Five Favorites, Crossfit

It’s been five weeks since my husband first tricked me into believing I beat him in a Burpee race. I hit that ground and bounced and clapped with stamina and speed, racing to the end number with all my might, as he pressed on cool and collected, planning on doing one more than me no matter the number completed. It was sort of like the first time I discovered that he liked me during a game of Ping-Pong played with his non-dominant left hand, but way more frustrating and sweaty.

Before I digress further into what its like to be a competitive woman married to a non competitive man entertained by my feats and efforts, I feel the need to express my new-found appreciation for Crossfit, mainly because I’ve never experienced a work out like it and I do think like-minded moms may agree. The following are my five favorite things about it. Go to MoxieWife for more and better.

1. It focuses on the function of the body, not on its physical appearance.

There are few things I find more frustrating in our skinny is best and sex is supreme obsessed culture than workouts, gyms, billboards, ads, etcetera x  5 Billion that focus on what we look like and how it can be better/sexier/more defined and with less clothing, bigger boobs, and more abs. My goals in working out are simple: to maintain mental sanity, and to better and more comfortably endure the demands of a mom’s day chasing and lifting small people and repeatedly squatting and squatting and squatting to wipe spaghetti sauce among other liquids off the ground. And I’d like to maintain enough strength to continue having more bambinos while keeping all of my real joints. Sure, appearance is important, but not having sciatica numbing shooting pain every night because I am actually strong enough to handle a day’s labor is the real goal here, especially during the pregnancy months. Repeatedly hearing “just think about how many calories you are burning, and how much smaller your waist will be” makes my head spin in “but I don’t care about that!” frustrated circles and it is absolutely the worst way to motivate a person who believes eating should be guiltless and enjoyable. True health to me is a balance and an integration of our physical, spiritual and psychological natures. And while a better butt is surely a warmly welcomed effect of a hill run, usually, I would much rather imagine grabbing a cheeseburger and a Guinness at the top rather than a bikini and a diet pill. The bikini will ride up, anyway.

Crossfit, at least at my gym, is based on the work out serving us, rather than us serving the work out. 50 crappy situps might make my waist line better looking. Crossfit, though, is much more interested in one good sit up that will make me stronger and better able to support the rest of my body picking up my 20 pounder baby, 30 pounder sprinting toddler, and 40 pounds of the most densely concentrated muscle that makes up my little boy who will probably continue asking to be held until college. Proving against mental doubts and all of our “I can’ts” is just as important, if not more, than actually performing a pull up or lifting a weight off the floor. But, can I mention how much easier it is to fulfill my daily tasks of lifting, setting, lifting, wrangling, changing, holding in place, bouncing, carrying, halting, with better form and less chance of injury?

And one of the best parts? I’ve never once heard the word Calorie. Amen and alleluia, finally. I like to eat them not talk about how many there are in an avocado or egg yolk (eat more fat and enjoy it!).

2. Time effective

I’ve been in search of quick workouts ever since having kids. I try and steal away several minutes for long therapeutic runs or relaxing walks/swims when I can, but let’s face it; those opportunities are few and far between. In the exact same amount of time as it takes me to break a sweat on a treadmill, I’m finished with my work out of the day at Crossfit. It’s like all those magazine advertisements of “6 pack abs in 3 minutes!” only true, and with a lot less abs counting. And the more I go to the class, the more I learn how to do it on my own (probably not what my coach wants to hear, but…)

So if I’m home with my monkeys with no chance to get out or work out without an average of 17 tantrums, I can look up a workout and confidently get full body, effective, intense (or not depending on my mood) results in less than 10 minutes. Additionally, my kids can learn how to count my reps while I do it. And as I have mentioned before, watching a child do a burpee is truly one of the funniest, most enjoyable, energy sucking activities of all of my mom tricks.

3. Teamwork

Communities are fun! And when 100 lunges are on the line, friends are made quickly.

4. Equal playing field for husband and wife.

Since I trip just looking at a soccer ball, co-ed intramural wasn’t an option, and ice hockey seems like a fairly terrible idea considering my stature and love of teeth. Barre classes seemed like a cruel and unusual punishment for a man and 2 days into our marriage after running with me during the dating days Jim admitted he was just trying to impress me. We agreed that Crossfit was worth a try.

He’s good at most things, I’m good at fewer things, but some things, and partner workouts are a barrel of laughs.

5. I’m learning things and reaching goals.

In addition to all of the new and admittedly extremely confusing acronyms, I’m learning about how my body is meant to move and lift, and seriously!!! Lifting my kids is so much easier than it was just weeks ago. And even if one of my goals is to do a singular push up or one day graduate from the child training bar, reaching a goal is a good feeling, and protects against that whole haggard feeling that waves its literal ugly head at me in the mirror when I forget I haven’t showered in 3 days and am still wearing the same mascara from two days prior.

So, just like Green Eggs and Ham, try it and you may!

And if you are in the Pgh area, go to Alpha Athletics and ask for Tony and tell him I sent you. (I feel so Italian.)

A Great Race!

On September 30th of last year, I watched thousands of runners speed by my fifth floor labor window in black spandex with flashes of neon, as I cursed my way through each contraction kicking the floor and wishing I could join them on the pavement five levels down. I stared at the exact spot on which I vomited everywhere the previous year for hours and hours of “labor- is- the- worst.”  It’s at the height of the 4-5 mile hill, right over the road barrier, and it was a most embarrassing display of too eager too early, and the pre-run coffee/apple breakfast of idiots was most certainly a bad choice. The desire to avenge my public display of spewing stomach acid grew with each successive labor pain. And if there is anything a still pregnant girl hates most, its watching a bunch of skinny, light on their feet, athletic types gazelling effortlessly one after the other right in front of her.

The great news is that I birthed the cutest baby ever that day, and this morning, I had the opportunity to beat that hill that plagued my labor. What’s more is my sister signed up too, and my brother took my mom’s walker bib to join us. For the record, “Mary DiCarlo” finished first in the senior division at a whopping 62 year old woman pace of consistent 7 minute miles. (Don’t worry, the mistake is being rectified, and the poor woman robbed of her tireless effort will be given her rightful prize).


I had two goals this morning. First: to wear the same outfit as my sister to get her back for all the times she refused to dress in matching Laura Ashley drape patterned jumpers as a child. I succeeded. Second: to hold my chunks.

For lots of runners, the 9:30 race time is an invitation to sleep in and arrive well rested and stretched. For a mom, however, it’s a double duty call to wrangle a full mornings work- load AND road race. The two oldest did, however, put their “fast” shoes on all by themselves so they could “beat Mommy.”

I almost threw up 4 times before I left the house because, apparently, I’m a head-case. Additionally, I drink way too much coffee.

I maybe a little bit hopped a fence and got a really good starting position for my siblings and myself, as Maria continually downplayed her talent and speed. Two miles in, the girl was smoking me, and the dream of a picture- perfect- hand –holding- sister’s- in matching- running- outfits- photo- finish to flaunt around social media was left in the dust along with me. And as much as I would like to blame it on leg length like I did here, pssshhh. Or maybe she just didn’t want to hold my hand? (I WOULD NEVER!)

3 miles in, I made lots of fellow runners uncomfortable with my mile marker cheering. 4 miles in, I faced the hill that claimed my breakfast two years ago. I stared up at that window and wondered whose labor I was currently frustrating. I said some extra Hail Mary’s for her and held each and every sip of my coffee, sport bean “meal.” Could someone please help me learn how to eat before these things? 5 miles in I began to get very bored and no one wanted to talk, especially not about the women and labor at the hospital. 6 miles in: hurting, hurting, hurting! 6.2: all done! And my big brother and sister greeted me with a sweaty hug.

It was indeed, a Great Race. Even if James told me I’m just not as good as Maria and maybe I should borrow his red Pumas to help me run faster.

P.S: Tonight I put Rita down for her 364th night of sleep. The big 1 is tomorrow!!!!

Five Favorite Fitness Accessories

Before I begin rambling about five of my favorite fitness accessories, I owe an enormous thank you for such a kind, generous response to my last post about miscarriage. Thank you, thank you for all of your comments! And a very special thank you to Grace for sharing it with her millions of readers.

Five Favorites – my first edition! Fitness! Go to one of my favorite blogs MoxieWife.com for more

But first, another tangent:

The days of my dating life were filled with them: fast runs with my boyfriend by my side. It was quality time with him for me, a loquacious girlfriend quieted by an inability to exert herself physically and pull together coherent sentences for him, better butts for both of us. Once married, it took approximately 5 million times of his diverting against my repeated asking, “want to go for a quick run together?” before I figured it out. He hates running. He just liked me. It was all a courting strategy.

Five years, each of them my favorite, later, we have finally figured out a work out we both like to do together. Crossfit! We started last night. I’ll keep you posted. So maybe I’m jumping the fitness gun since we’ve only officially done it once, but it was super fun and without any transition at all, I’ll jump into my five favorite fitness accessories.

1. Lululemon’s Run Inspire Crop




I know, I know, they cost $88 and are made of spandex, BUTT (pun intended) if you’ve ever seen yours in these, regular spandex will be difficult to get back into. I estimate somewhere around 400 workouts being magically placed into your upper thigh, gluteus maximus area in one pair of pants. Additionally, they wash better than any pair of pants I’ve ever owned, and I wash my stuff after every single work out. I’ve owned mine for almost three years. I’ve washed them approximately 5 billion times. They still look brand new. My bum has grown a few sizes in them during pregnancy, and no one but the mirror told me that they noticed. I’ve only thrown on a pair of boots and a long sweater pretending they weren’t work out pants a handful of times making myself feel like a fashion genius while actually fooling zero fashion aware people. Splurge!

2. Brooks Ghost


I’ve tried many a shoes and these are my new favorites. They are super flexible and cushiony without the feeling of wearing a huge shoe. They support my mother of three, three and under, damaged joints and make them feel not as damaged. Aesthetically pleasing? Not as much as those trendy Nike’s, but I simply cannot just do anything when my feet hurt. Expensive? Absolutely, but I think that’s the case with all running shoes. They don’t actually make you disappear no matter how much you ask them when picking up scrambled eggs off the floor for the 7th time that morning, even if the name suggests it.

3. Stylish Pullover – Target Special

Any time I think of the word pullover, I also think of my favorite, “no its a cardigan but thanks for noticing!” scene in Dumb and Dumber.

As a busy mom, and a lazy dresser, a quick smell resistant sweater is key to transitioning from a work out into the rest of the day when there isn’t time for a shower, or you just don’t feel like taking one. I found my favorite one for target for $2.97 one glorious morning on super sale, partially making up for the $88 spandex. TJ Maxx has great ones, too.

4. Sport Beans


If I ever had to climb a bean stock, I’m pretty sure these beans could get me to do it. As a small girl, sometimes I need some extra energy to get me through a long run, especially when I’m nursing. They help me recover faster, and they don’t make me throw up like those terrible gel meals or Gatorade. And! If your toddler hates pedialyte, like mine, they have electrolytes and they think its candy, mostly because it sort of is candy. FYI: The ones with caffeine are disgusting.

5. Burpees with kids


Monetarily free, comedic relief for days. Usually we race each other and Josie wins. Rita rolls around, James, jumps and falls. It’s a barrel of laughs and sweat, and a full body work out complete.


Happy Toning!

10 things to waste your time ;)

(This blogging hiatus brought to you mainly by the three years late discovery of Downton Abbey. And having caught up, I’m now (WTswearword!) mourning my two favorite characters and ready to blog about the trivial during my childfree moments once again.)

Here are some not blog worthy things…

1. I brought baby wipes to Mumford and Sons. Its just that sometimes I can’t escape my essence as a mother for even a moment, and when I saw the pack of baby wipes on my car floor, I put them in my purse out of habit. But, since they are the greatest invention of all time, they very much came to the rescue on several occasions none of which had to do with wiping an infant. Spilled beer? I’ve got it. Portapottys been used too many times? Allow me. French fry grease making you slimy? Here you go. Every time I pulled out a wipe, I reminded my husband of their use and my genius. If only baby wipes could help with “post- best- concert- of- my- adult- life- accidental- kids- don’t- know- what- a hangover- is- and- are- so- unsympathetic- about- it….

2. I went to Mumford and Sons!!!!!! Only once was my pearl wearing group called “White Trailer Trash,” by a stranger who, apparently, likes quiet concerts.


3. We put a birthday hat on Mary, again. It’s a Mary’s birthday tradition. My sister and I head to our church playground, stuff our faces with pizza and carrot cake, and watch as the nine children wreak havoc well, as they generally do. We sing happy birthday as the little ones attempt to catch the fish in the pond next to her statue. We swing at a Mexican piñata, in honor of Our lady of Guadalupe, as the crawling kids experience candy raining, making all future thunderstorms disappointing. I’m pretty much positive that the Mom of all Moms finds it both entertaining and endearing.


4. Maria and I ran a 5k together, and once again, she proved faster and more determined. Before I go all “Ashley Simpson living in Jessica’s shadow” on you, she only beat me by 15 seconds, which I choose to blame entirely on the two more inches her legs have on mine. I came up with a formula. Two inches = 5 seconds per mile. 5 seconds per mile X 3.1 miles = we finished at the exact same time. The feelings of inadequacy began as I crossed the finish in the fastest recorded three point one miles of my life, feeling good and proud and sweating and hyperventilating. She, however, was already there, not panting or sweating, and saying things like, “I wanted to finish faster. I’m so disappointed I never reached ‘throw up’ speed.” I consider “throw up speed” to mean “slow down!!!!” Running in the shadow.


5. On one particular 5:45 am wake up call, I calmly explained “it’s too early for a Saturday, please go back to bed.” He did! And then he began calmly playing with toys as Jim and I slept. Is it beginning to sound too perfect yet? Because he changed his sister’s #2 diaper all by himself, too.

6. I learned that riding carousal at a place called Rib Fest brings about similar symptoms to those of “throw up speed.” Rib Fest is one of my favorite weekends of the whole year. But, I do not recommend trying every rib in the fest times 2 or maybe 3, and then spinning repeatedly while staring at weird looking circus animals moving up and down while also trying to balance two dizzy children sliding off of said animals because they ate too many ribs, too.


7. I had this conversation recently: James: “Mom I’m going to buy you something really nice.” Me: “Oh yea?” James: “Yea, a lightsaber,” he said with the proudest and widest grin and glimmer in his eye. “But, if you hit me with it, I’m taking it back.”

8. We went to Mass on a Wednesday night. Jim forgot to mention that Josie was wearing underpants, and Josie, seemingly, forgot as well. The font wasn’t the only liquid puddle.

9. Fish food is now #2 on my “all time worst mess list.” Poop is holding strong at #1.

10. Saw this Ray Romano quote. “Having children is like living in a frat house – nobody sleeps, everything’s broken, and there’s a lot of throwing up.” May your Pee Sigma Poop chapter be running smoothly.

The Mom Workout

The Mom Work Out

“Faster, mommy! Faster!” They chant, and plead, and encouragingly discourage all at once as they jump and clap and bounce with energy and smiles. I try to comply but its too fast, already, and I wonder if Marion Jones’ kids do the same thing to her. Its not that I don’t appreciate the cheering, its just that my legs are too short, and I’m simply not a Cheetah, or a race car.

“Awe, man, mom! you are done?!”
“Yes, done,” as I pant and gasp and drip sweat.
“Why are you wet?” he asks.
“Swimmin!” she replies.
“No swimming,” I shake my head.
“Ok, so you are going to bike now?” he asks again.
“No, I just went running, didn’t you see?”
“Well, that wasn’t very long. You should bike too,” he says as I wonder when I birthed such a tough personal trainer.

I climb on the bike, deciding, he’s right, I could use a few more minutes, and they are occupied and enjoying, the baby is asleep, and this much time to work out hardly ever happens. So I pedal and climb and just as I get into my mountain stride, Josie flips the switch with a giggle, and the bike loses power and so do I.

“I like this song, Mom. Is it Sublime?” he comments on Pandora, as I question whether or not I’m impressed or frightened by his song recognition. I lean towards frightened and switch to “Old McDonald.”

“Time for burpies!” he says with conviction. Again, I wonder when and how he became such a demanding meathead. “Ok, let’s do ten!” I muster up the energy. I do one, as they complete three, clapping and jumping better and higher and I notice I’m biting my cheek and grinding my teeth and they are giggling and flailing around continuing to chant their “faster!” mantra.

Their combined age is 5 and they are whooping my bum.

They hang from the pull up bar and she kicks me in the head. I catch her on the floor and decide to lay down, and when I think we are done, I find him sitting on my feet. “Time for sit ups, mom. Ready? Go!”

I’m confused, aren’t I the boss? My quivering core suggests otherwise. He counts as high as he can and I hope that’s all he has on his list. “What’s next, King James?”

“Cookies and Marshmallows!” he exclaims as she cheers in approval.

“Sounds good.”


Happy Hump Day.

the two minute workout is still a work out

Today, I choose to take pride in my 1 minute and 37 second work out because working out is something of which a mom should be proud, even if its duration is less than two minutes.

In the 45 seconds I’ve been sitting responding to messages and emails, Josie has gotten out of bed 3 times because she’s a hippie and found a ball that is more fun to bounce in the kitchen than in her room or bed, (so maybe “checking email” should be added to the “proud” list too?). The most recent “would you like to be tied in?” scared her, so I think she should stay and allow me to ignore the 34 million cheerios on the floor and type instead. During that initial, uninterrupted, 45 seconds, I came across three different Facebook messages regarding my half marathon race bib that I tried to sell a month ago. At the time, I found it odd that no one wanted it, as I should have, because, in fact, three different people tried to buy it from me, three people, to whom I never responded because their messages went in the weird “other category” that I accidentally clicked and never actually read. My apologies to the runners I left hanging, but, to quote hip young people, “sorry, Im not sorry.” Sure, I ran untrained and with an injury, and slower than I would have liked, and much slower than my initial post-baby #3 crazy crazy crazy time goal. Nonetheless, I actually enjoyed every single mile, and even though Jim forgot to pick me up on time and sort of made me walk an extra two miles to find his car full of children hungry and in their pajamas, it was a wonderful, sunny morning full of purposeful sweat, time to pray, and strangers cheering for me. I thought back to those miles and thought of the fun and the cheers. Then, I looked back at today, and thought of the poop and the disappointment and realized: working out is hard to do and all moms should be really proud anytime they figure out how the heck to get it done. This morning, as 1 minute and 36 seconds flashed before me on the treadmill, I wanted to cry, because I knew it was all the time I had before someone was really going to lose it or be lost or fed a quarter, and I woke up with really high aspirations to work out well today. How frustrating it can be to have the will, the interest, to find the fun, to set aside the time, only to have it thwarted by a two year old shoving toys down toilets, feeding the baby money, smashing blueberries, and the all time grossest, pooping on the floor. My first effort to hit the pool before the monkeys awoke from their slumber was thwarted at 1am when accidentally woke me for much too long looking for his phone charger, and the early morning swim was traded for sleep. My second effort was well thought out and organized and I was convinced it would work. Step one: I set up a super interesting activity for James. Step Two: Nurse Rita for a nap with Josie by my side. Somewhere mid-milking Josie walked to her room, and since I could hear her, I thought it was fine. Not fine. Within roughly 48 seconds, she took off her diaper and pooped all over a curious george sticker book and her carpet. I try not to judge those who can’t seem to control their bowels and are still having trouble putting together sentences, but…. Maybe she was trying to get to the toilet? Or maybe she’s taken by the hipsters and toilets seem to limit her freedom. Whatever her reason there was poop all over my favorite cream carpet and the sound of Maria’s ever wise, “are you sure you want cream in the kids rooms?” obstructed my ears. Cream I picked, and poop it was. When I finished scrubbing, the baby was awake and no miles had been run. I tried a baby seat for Rita because maybe she would stay in it and bounce and not be scared of the treadmill pounding? She lasted for 47 seconds, and Josie went to her aid and fed her a quarter that she found who knows where. James walked in to see the commotion and took the quarter and hit his sister for almost choking his other sister and proceeded to jump on the bed, which was abruptly interrupted by falling off the bed, and no matter how many times we read that book, he misses the moral, and he continues to be the monkey to jump on the bed and fall off and bump his head. And that was all she wrote for the workout and all I’ll write about it. Maybe tomorrow, maybe not, and since 1:37 is my new standard of pride, things are looking good an thats the way they should look, and we all are doing great.