Monthly Archives: February 2014

Making time for Fitness

Disclaimer: this blog post contains affiliate links

You know how it is as a mom. With each baby you add 5-10 pounds maybe more. You are so busy loving on the new beauty in your life that you don’t even notice or care that you haven’t gotten back down to your pre-pregnancy weight. It is just life and the pounds are adding up.

I didn’t care until my fourth pregnancy. When I went into labor early at 33 weeks and then on bedrest for 5 weeks that was when things really started going downhill for me. Confined to bed and trying to eat as much as possible to bulk that baby up should she still come early, things started going down hill fast. She didn’t come early, not until 42 weeks to be exact. She was a big baby and I lost a lot of blood and had to have a blood transfusion, but even with that I was very very weak after her birth. I had the extra weight from trying to bulk up and the weakness from bedrest an now even more weak after childbirth. I never lost any weight from that pregnancy and before I knew it was pregnant with my 5th.

After he was born I decided I was tired of feeling weak and tired all the time. Getting in shape was more about being healthy then loosing weight for me.

Here I am at Gooseberry Falls with my fourth baby on my back. I was looking for a picture of how big I had gotten but apparently censored many of them.

That was when I stumbled across Beth Learn at Fit 2 B Us–an online “gym” offering “tummy safe” exercise videos. As you can imagine after 5 pregnancies my tummy was feeling pretty weak, stretched out and flabby. I discovered that there are relatively simple and painless exercises to get those muscles back in shape. Actually I found out exercise could be painless. I was hooked.

Still a year later after loosing 35+ pounds and now feeling strong and capable I am using her videos a minimum of 3 times weekly (though I try for everyday but life happens you know). What I really love about her videos are they are painless and fun, I don’t have to get myself siked up for exercise, I look forward to it and how it makes me feel. During one yoga video, “Warrior I” my daughter Mavis said, “oh mommy you look so beautiful.” I don’t think I have to tell you how that made me feel.

She also has videos that focus on “little” muscles life the pelvic floor (mommas you need to work this out) and the neck. Overall I have just found her approach so different and refreshing. It is all about quality of life and health.

Me this morning

Beth Learn is also available for consultations, they have an active facebook page and is just and overall great resource and community.

It is also very affordable $10 a month with a discount if you purchase a year at a time. But another great thing about Fit 2 B is that you know you are supporting a great online family business (there are 2 families that work together to produce each video and run the web page) and if you sign up and use the code amydoeun you get a further discount and we get credit for referring you. Isn’t that great? You get healthy and support 3 families working for the same goals.
discount code: amydoeun


I have a confession to make–I am a goal/task oriented person. In the past when I was feeling overwhelmed with my perceived workload I would try to slow down by telling myself “just do the next thing.” My theory was instead of looking at a big long list of things to do it was only the next task I had to focus on. But there is fallacy in this, I was still looking at the task, the next goal.

Things were starting to get to a head as they sometimes do last week. I had a baby goat in my living room that wasn’t doing well (luckily she is thriving now), children going crazy from nearly 4 months indoors, a home to keep, the pending growing season, it all seemed like a lot, and “just do the next thing” wasn’t cutting it. I was feeling overwhelmed and crazy. Then one afternoon things changed.

The children were starting to act tired and in need of a rest. The baby was sleeping more and more, though still eating and with a mild fever he wanted to go back to bed after only 2 hours awake. I lay down with him and felt his fever rising fast. He was asleep, I didn’t want to wake him but knew I needed to get his temperature down. Then he had a seizure. We have experience febrile seizures. Though it was scary it wasn’t a panic situation. I had neighbors come a stay with the children until my parents could arrive and called an ambulance.

I was just a fever related seizure. We were home 4 hours later after numerous tests and we went into hibernation. For one week we didn’t leave the house as the sickness worked its way through. I had a mild case, moms don’t have time to get sick. I had children and animals to tend.

I have a new perspective now–saying yes. For the past couple of days I have tried to look at my days as not a list of tasks to finish, or something to get through, but an opportunity to connect. My oldest is 9, half way to 18 and things are flying too fast, “do the next thing,” doesn’t cut it when you have lots of loving and cuddling to do (I have been known to write those on my to-do list).

Yesterday I tried to focus on saying yes to my children. We played board games in the middle of the day, went out to play, changed dinner plans, worked on projects and still finished school and all the tasks on my list. But rather then having the tasks be the goal, loving and connecting was the goal. I have no illusions that I will always remember to do this. That I will never have an incredibly busy day and feel overwhelmed again, but I am hopeful that my perspective is shifting. In just one day I see through my children’s eyes, happy memories of a mother happy and relaxed with them, rather then always focusing on the next thing to do.

Goat Milk Mozzarella = Pizza

We are settling into a very nice rhythm around here, though we did have the major flu work its way through the house. Even though I only got a mild case I found that having the rhythm of chores and others to care for (animal and human) helped me keep my priorities straight through the illness. I was actually feeling really out of balance before that but the illness helped me slow down and reprioritize and find comfort in things I previously took for granted. I am actually starting to enjoy the milking now. One of the perks is all the homemade goodness.

We are discovering a new love in our home–homemade pizza. This is made all the better with homemade cheese from our goats.

I used Rikki Carroll’s 30 minute Mozzarella recipe. I wasn’t sure if it would work with goat milk but it did and was delicious!

Proeun found a dough recipe he wanted to try with Avril’s help.

Avril and Mavis add the toppings.

The children proud of their delicious creations. Even if you don’t make everything from scratch it was such a rewarding experience making dinner with the children and the loved it. What a great way to connect! How do you like to connect with your family?

9th Annual Immigrant and Minority Farmer Conference

Last weekend I had the opportunity to attend the 9th annual Immigrant and Minority farming conference. I have been on the planning committee for the past 3 years. This just makes me appreciate the conference more. Some of you may not know but farming is hard work, and it can be very isolating. It can also be emotionally draining especially when you run a CSA and you have customers that are depending on you but there is nothing you can do about the weather, little you can do about water and pests, well they can be overwhelming. You know the product you want to give but sometimes it just doesn’t happen and all you can do is pick-up and try again next year.

For new farmers starting out there is even more strain, couple that with language and cultural barriers and it is a wonder anyone farms. So why do we? It’s because this is who we are, we have to be growing stuff, we love seeing the process even when it doesn’t work out exactly like you expected. One farming friend of ours who has been farming for 6 years says one thing she loves about the conference is “I don’t feel like a failure here.”

Yes going to this conference is a lot like coming home. I only see some of these farmers once a year but it is fun to catch up and share experiences. Yes it was a great rejuvenating weekend. I am sad to see it go.

Juan Garcia of the Farm Service Agency (FSA) addresses the group.

Farmers visit the exhibits.

Here’s to a great year for all of us.