To your left

A month ago, our little family had joined the push biker community of Portland. We now own our beach cruisers and a trailer. My fear of biking in busy streets are nearly gone. I don’t think it will go away quickly, but I feel much, much more confident here in Portland than I was in NZ.

Our attempt to use them to take the kid to school and back home is costing me plenty of leg muscle cramps, wasted morning shower, and a monthly bus pass that I buy at the end of each month ($77). The exercise is great, it’s always great. It just feels icky to get to work gasping a little, my scalp full of sweat and hair that’s still wet. Ew.

So today Jonno and I decided to rest from it, then back on it tomorrow for some volunteer work. I think mentally that did it because my body relaxed. Gone were the muscle cramps that I believe start before I even ride the bike.

I’m not very familiar with biking “ethics” so I learn as I ride. To your left! To your right! Raise arm up to go left? I didn’t know that. Jonno had to correct my hand signal. ๐Ÿ˜›

I also realized why many bikers would stay close to the center on roads, especially when it’s inclined. Sorry car drivers, but it’s really wobbly riding down the bike on the side where the roads aren’t flat. The flatter the better you see.

Somebody also took a photo of me riding. The driver slowed down just to do that. I wonder what I was doing, or not doing, at that moment. Look, there’s that chubby woman trying to lose some weight. Hahaha!

Yes, it’s not just my imagination. I don’t feel as fat as I did last week. I’m not fat compared to those who are, but I do have some jiggly spots. ๐Ÿ˜€ I think I have somebody else’s thighs wrapped on mine. Who knew that biking could do such wonders?

It’s different, though, riding with a mission and riding for leisure. Oh well, it is what it is. I just have to make use of my $500 bike. Or else, I’d just be another hoarder.


Day 5: Insanity Workout

One of my goals by early August is to complete the Insanity Workout. It started out hard because I wasn’t in any shape or form for this kind of exercise.

I started it with every bit of determination to accomplish 60 days of craziness and expectation that I’d improve. Here’s what I can remember of the last 5 days.

Day 1: There was no exercise that I couldn’t complete, much less a set, without taking a break! Within the first 5 minutes, my lungs were giving out and I thought I was going to start puking like some of those contestants on The Biggest Loser in their first week. My feet were hurting every minute. I stayed through until the end, trying very hard and telling my husband that I didn’t like it. I wanted to get my money back.

Day 2: Almost the same as day 1. I told my husband that I didn’t want it anymore after completing it. I even yelled “Help!” to my husband and kid after the workout while laying on the floor. Needless to say, I napped on the floor with sweat pouring from my tired body for about 10 minutes I guess. Is that what you would call passing out?

Day 3: Oh, I’m getting better at it! I completed the first set without taking a break! Hey, my quadriceps are hard. Dang. I completed it without telling my husband that I wanted my money back. On the way to work, 5 blocks from the bus stop, I tend to brisk walk to get there in less than 5 minutes; only this time I found myself not panting by the time I got to the 3rd block. Maybe I was improving? I didn’t sweat at all when I got to work. Nice.

Day 4: Recovery workout that’s not recovery at all, at least to me. My quadriceps became hard from the first 2 minutes all the way to the end. I lasted the stretches and I was happy.

Day 5: Wow, I was finally getting my form and taking breaks farther in between. My quadriceps felt “hard” the whole day it seemed and my lungs weren’t giving out easily as I worked out. My feet still hurt but not every minute anymore. It took more out of me before my feet started hurting and that was my cue to take a break. I knew that I didn’t have to buy new shoes! ๐Ÿ˜› I can recover faster and continue working out. I noticed that I could “ski” continuously and my endurance is really improving! Because of this improvement, my perfectionist self was thinking that I’m not putting more effort into it because I’m not as struggling as I was in the first 2 days. It could be me, so I’ll check on myself on day 6.

If anything, I’m just happy that I feel lighter and stronger. I didn’t measure my body parts and weighed myself in because I don’t have the tools to do them, but I’m okay with that because I took photos. It’s also not difficult to see and feel the difference. I also enjoy carrying my 34-lb toddler now without feeling my muscles starting to give in soon.

What I noticed though from day 4 is that I have this regular need to stretch even at work. My calves feel tired, especially the left one. Stretching does the trick and it could be that it’s due to sitting for long periods of time, which I shouldn’t really do.

So we’ll see what happens in the next few weeks. I’ll try to post more about my progress on a weekly or so basis. x.

Goals, goals!

You may have noticed that I recently put a Goals widget on the right, and I have 2 that I want to accomplish by early August.

The original savings goal was $5k but we already have $4.5k as of writing and it’s not fun when goal-setting has no challenge to it, so I upped it to $9k. That’s taking into account additional expenses related to having friends and family visiting from out of town and overseas. I expect plenty of eating out, going out,ย barbecuing, and then there’s our first ever big family road trip that we have not planned for yet!

The second goal is something I also recently started. I’m on the 3rd of the 60 days, and I already noticed an improvement in my endurance. The Insanity Workout makes me crawl after I do a day’s workout but I am determined to finish it. I thought that working out at night would just keep me awake longer, but not Insanity! It’s really insane! It’s not for everyone though. I think, apart from ensuring that you are physically okay to do this kind of workout, it also requires the right personality from people. If you’re into this kind of thing, go for it!

Teach a toddler: how to blow nose

When my toddler was about 6 months old, he had his first cold shortly after he started full-time child care away from home. I don’t remember much about teaching him how to blow his nose at that time, but I remember that by the time he turned 1 he was a pro at it!

Seeing children with snots forming the number 11 from their nostrils down to their lips is just sad because I know it’s possible to teach them to be clean and sanitary.

Before I taught him to blow his nose, I experimented with a snot sucker. Unless your heart is prepared to see the look in their eyes as you suck the air out of them, try it on yourself first.

And so I made it my mission to teach him to blow his nose properly. There is no special instruction, you just demonstrate how to blow your nose with the use of a tissue and say the word blow before and after you do it. Repeat a few times.

The thing with this “lesson” is that you can’t teach it everyday, only when they or any family member has cold. That’s why it’s more essential to me to teach nose-blowing as soon as your baby catches the cold bug.

A teacher at his previous school told me that my kiddo was the only child there who would ask for tissue so that he could blow his nose. He was 18 months or so at that time. Of course I was proud. ๐Ÿ™‚

See that photo up there? You would never catch my son with those nasty 11s!

My kiddo was sick with cold and cough last week and we didn’t have any trouble keeping his nasal airways snot-free, not to mention maintaining his shirt clean. Our mission was to ensure we had easy access to tissue in the areas of the house where we hang out most of the time.

My observation tells me that this “lesson” isn’t on the top of the list to teach a kid. If it were, I would’ve seen few children with 11s parallel to their philtrum. It’s not sanitary and it’s not healthy to eat your snot. Isn’t it enough that some kids, my kiddo including, like the taste of their boogers?