Sunday, December 15, 2013

House Hunters

Since we moved up to the Northwoods in July, we have been in house hunting mode.  After having owned a home, we felt we were a lot pickier about what we wanted with our second one, making the search a lot tougher.  As a mom and triathlete, I also had a wish list of things that I wanted to accommodate the lifestyle.  Well, as of about two weeks ago, we closed on our new home!  So how did it match up to our needs and wants?  Read on!
One thing I liked about our last house was that there was a second bedroom right next to ours.  It sure made having to get up during the night with a baby a lot more convenient (as if it’s ever really convenient).  Unfortunately, with our new house I now have to trek down two flights of stairs to the kids’ rooms.  There is a loft area next to our bedroom though that a newborn can stay in at first, just for the simplicity of being closer when getting up multiple times a night.  I’m not sure how I feel about having kids two levels down from us at night, but it will be nice not having them on the main level for when we are awake and they are not.
We are now only about 7 minutes from the YMCA, which means I basically have a pool in my backyard (well almost).  We do have a lake though!  HOWEVER, I’m not sure if I would want to swim in it.  The water is so dark that I can’t see anything in it, and frankly, that freaks me out.  It also has a fisherman/weeds shoreline and the information we found on it says that the bottom is 85% muck.  Yuck.  Well, there’s a pool 7 minutes away.  Even if we don’t swim in it, a paddleboat was left behind that we can use in the summer, and I already cleared a skating rink!  Right now we are the only house on the lake, and the end of our dock not only has gorgeous surroundings, but it is also a great place to unwind in absolutely peace and quiet (stolen moments that every mother needs).
We now have a 3 car garage – yes!  That means there is plenty of room for all of our workout equipment (weights), and to set up my bike on the trainer.  When we looked at houses, space for that was definitely something we were looking for.  An additional bonus is a paved driveway!  Say what?!  I should clarify that we now live out in the country on 7 wooded acres with a long driveway, so I could have only assumed that such a setting would mean that we would have a gravel driveway.  However, now I don’t have to worry about getting my bike down a gravel driveway and out to pavement (because as a mother, we all know that every minute of an opportunity should not be wasted). 
Running?  Well, I lost my trail that I had in Three Lakes, but I at least had it for my marathon training.  When it’s winter, I don’t want to take Baya out in the stroller anyway (and the trail is obviously out of commission for it too), but I have the Y nearby with treadmills, and we are on pavement for when it someday warms up again and I can bundle her up enough to take her out when the road has cleared off.
Another bonus is separate his and hers walk-in closets in the master suite.  This means that Andy no longer has to see or complain about all my workout clothes hanging all around.  Overall, we are in love with our house, even though it needs some work done on it (including the immediate attention of a new water heater).  We are excited about this being a place where our kids will grow up.  Our driveway even does a loop in our yard where they can ride their bikes around.  That is, until someday when they are ready to venture out on bigger rides with their mom!

Monday, December 2, 2013

Thriving on Routine

            It makes sense that kids thrive on routine.  It is obvious that Baya is at her best when she has stayed on her schedule.  I’m also at my best when Baya stays on her schedule!  Starting with her wake up time, we are at the point where I can expect certain things from her at certain times now.  Illness, traveling for holidays, and other things sure know how to mess up routine and I can see how it affects her mood and behavior (mine too).
            Yes, routine is amazing for kids.  Consistency is so beneficial to children.  It is also superb for me when she stays on her schedule because then I know what to expect from her.  I can plan things around her schedule.  I know my time frame for getting in a bike ride on the trainer.  I know how much time I have afterwards for if I can fit in a shower, or do the dishes, etc.  Routine is more than just that though.  It is said, “Motivation is what gets you started.  Habit is what keeps you going.”  Winter has already arrived here in the Northwoods, and so I am seeing some newer people come into the Wellness Center to try to establish a new routine that involves working out (and the New Years’ Resolutioners will soon follow).  One woman was saying that her struggle is motivation.  It seems that is common for many. 
            As I’ve said before, motivation is not something I typically struggle with, rather it often comes down to opportunity instead.  If I have the opportunity, then I will certainly follow through on planned workouts, and sometimes I may need to put in a little extra work in making it happen, but I always do my best to fulfill what I have set out to do.  I believe a lot of it comes down to routine, not motivation.  I am in the routine of working out every day.  I am in the routine of running everyday.  It feels wrong to not run, or take a day completely off.  In fact, it bothers me to do so.  This may seem extreme, but it is a good example of what routine can do to you.  It is my routine to go to the Y in the morning and get my swim in first (if it is a day I get to swim).  It is never a question of if I feel like swimming.  I am in a swim block right now, and some of the workouts I am doing are very tough.  Some days I struggle to hit my intervals.  However, I never allow myself to question whether or not I FEEL like doing the workout.  I just do it.  It think Nike is on to something.  Don’t question it.  Don’t allow excuses to pop up.  Just do it.  Make it your routine. 
            My next training block will be on the bike.  On the trainer.  In the garage.  It will not be exciting by any means.  In fact, it can be downright unpleasant.  Given Baya’s schedule though, I know I only have a small block of time during which I can make my ride possible.  There is a minimal amount of time for procrastination, which I think is another pitfall that we can easily fall into.  The more we allow ourselves to procrastinate, the more likely it becomes that the workout becomes compromised.  If we stick to a routine though (come home from work, have lunch, hop on the bike), then procrastination is eliminated and the work gets done.  While I know schedules should be flexible and expected to change, we can adapt easier just by shifting our routines around, but not abandoning them altogether!
            Simply put, routine means happy baby, which in turn equals one happy momma!