(This post contains affiliate links. Thank you for your support! As always, please see disclaimer here). Hello! Hope you had a great weekend. Just wanted to pop in real quick and document my workouts, etc.  If this week had a category, it would be "a little bit of everything." I just kind of felt like mixing it up and doing some random circuits that I made up. I also started carb cycling a bit this week. I'm always looking to try new things, so my goal is to decrease carbs to <50 grams twice per week (on rest days or active recovery days) and see what happens. I did intermittent fasting for a while, but I found that didn't mesh well with switching to early morning workouts - I would just get hungry and be crabby all day. I feel like carb cycling is a little more gentle, but might still have a similar fat burning effect. I'll do a post on it at some point down the road! IMG_4079 IMG_4083 I think I'm starting to see some definition in the arm + back department! In other news, my twins have been super upset the past few days. I suspect it's teething (as usual), but it's been a lot to handle. They've also learned how to say "no" in context. It's the standard answer to every question now. Lord help me.  IMG_4102 IMG_1652 See above - Twin A being sassy and Twin B looking sad. How many teeth do humans have again?? Anyway, back to workouts: Monday: 4/18 warm up: jump rope deadlift: worked up to 5 sets at 165# Tuesday: 4/19 3 rounds: 10 high, 24" step ups (each leg) 10 slow hand-release push ups (3 secs down, 1 sec pause at bottom) 20 jump squats 10 chest flies on the rings 10 in and outs 100 jump ropes 10 tricep dips on box Wednesday: 4/20 rest day! Thursday: 4/21 warm up: worked on ankle mobility - banded lunges + static squat holds 3 x 5 band-assisted ring dips WOD: every 3 minutes for 7 rounds 10 straight leg deadlifts (65#) 5 power snatches (65#) 10 overhead squats *I'm really not there yet with overhead squats, since my ankle mobility is not that great. Instead of adding weight, I use a resistance band (like this one - I have black). If you grip the band wide and pull it tight, you'll end up contracting your back muscles instead of "shrugging" while you hold your arms up. I'm hoping to add weight soon - but I'm taking my time in getting the form right so I don't hurt myself! Friday: 4/22 warm up: jump rope strength: power cleans - worked up to 105# WOD: 10, 9, 8, 7, 6 .... 1 hang cleans (65#) front squats (65# - don't drop the bar in between cleans + squats!!) burpees took me 14:45 - I was moving very slow, this is WAY tougher than it looks. I definitely challenge you to give it a try. I was panic breathing the entire time! Saturday: 4/23 max banded pull ups x 3 max banded chin ups x 3 3 x 10 ring rows (with pause at the top of movement) supersets: 1. 3 x 5 floor press (65# - works best if you have bumpers - or if you have a bench, use it!) 2. 3 x 10 push ups 1. 3 x 15 glute bridges (65#) 2. 3 x 20 reverse lunges w/ 10# at each side 1. 3 x 10 bent over rows (barbell - 65#) 2. 3 x 10 bicep curls (35#) 3. 3 x 10 one arm bent over rows (20#) 1. 3 x 10 hanging knee raises 2. 3 x 10 "tick tocks" (35#) Sunday: 4/24 rest day/"crop fit" - I started a very small garden! IMG_4086 I cleared out this bed and planted all of the things that like to be planted this time of year - onions, two types of kale, lettuces, spinach, peas, beans, broccoli, thyme, rosemary, parsley + summer squashes. I'm going to wait a few weeks for tomatoes, peppers, basil, etc. I planted the kale and lettuces on the side using this bag method. We'll see what happens! Monday: 4/25 The "Bear Complex" without dropping the bar, you do hang clean + front squat + push press + back squat + push press = 1 rep. (except I did 7 sets of 5 reps instead of 7x7. I was trying to go heavier than normal, this is the kind of thing I usually do very light! Believe me, 65# is very challenging with this) 1: 45#   2: 55#   3: 65#   4: 65#  5: 65#   6: 55#  7: 55# then: 3 rounds of: 5 band-assisted ring dips 10 skull crushers (20#) 10 OH triceps extension (10#) 10 triceps pull down (I used a band) I'd love to hear about some of your workouts this week! Have you ever done carb cycling?  Anyone else starting a garden? I could use all of the tips I can get!

I so wish this wasn't true. But, for every photo taken with their beautifully smiling faces, there are at least 10 moments of tears and tantrums that went uncaptured. I often hear from friends and family - "they're so happy!" "all they do is smile!" People don't believe me that my twins cry - A LOT I've tried to get some candid shots, but I just don't know why anyone would want pictures of my two screaming children in their photostreams. IMG_1481 Since the moment Baby A arrived, she's been LOUD. Baby B had to be gently coaxed by the nurses to take her first breath, though she's not far behind her sister in the decibel department. None of us could believe that two, teeny tiny, 5 pound babies could scream that way! I had visions of sweet, cuddly newborns circling in my head during my pregnancy - only to find that my babies shunned cuddling in favor of crying, sleeping in favor of waking, and contentment in favor of drama. We struggled with feeding issues and fussiness that I'm sure was some type of colic. We even bought them special baby hammocks to help soothe them at night. (They worked magic - for a little while at least!) Thankfully, they've turned into great sleepers at night - it's the daytime crying that takes it's toll. My twins have been incessantly drooling and teething every moment of every day since they were three months old. And no, the amber necklaces did NOT work. Sigh. [caption id="attachment_502" align="aligncenter" width="479"]If only they were always this peaceful! If only they were always this peaceful![/caption]  My twins cry for me. When they're being watched by others, they are perfect angels 99% of the time. When they were cast in a movie, people always remarked about their good-natured dispositions. I could quickly hand them off to their stage-mommy, and they'd smile at her happily until the scene was over. They are the babies that wave to passersby in Target, smile enthusiastically, and say "hi." When they're home with me, they go crazy. In the newborn stage, that just meant lots of crying for them while I tearfully breastfed on the couch and watched Hallmark movie marathons. As toddlers, it's tantrums, jealousy, and misery - often for no reason. They are the kind of kids that "scary cry," and I sometimes have to remind them to breathe! I wrote in to a multiples group on Facebook to see if anyone else experienced this. The verdict? Most moms do. Apparently, it's a thing. One mom suggested that I am their safe haven. I am the person they have come to rely on again and again, therefore, they let loose around me. They are unafraid to show their true feelings to me, both good and bad. They also probably feel that there isn't room enough for two in their "safe haven." This definitely makes sense to me. It's like the kids who are terrible at home, but lovely at school for their teachers, but toddler-style. Their little brains can't handle controlling their emotions all the time. Learning to maintain behavioral restraint is just too complex. Something or someone has got to give - and it's usually got to be mommy. IMG_1636 I don't really have any advice. I consider myself "in the trenches" of the crying mornings and tearful afternoons, with no solution in sight. What does ease my mind, is knowing that this might not last forever, (or maybe we'll take at least take a brief hiatus until the teen years!) I just try my best to please them both within my limits of sanity. I'm learning that these tiny humans are individuals. They are not just a copy & paste of one another. One is more sensitive, while the other is more sassy. One is more clingy, the other is more independent. One steals toys, the other steals food. They've been forced to share everything since day one of conception - I can't expect them to share emotions and needs too. IMG_1011

The beauty of the situation is this: getting to know their true personalities will help me tailor my approach to each child differently as time goes on. It's not going to be easy, but multitasking is the name of the game in Motherhood. Just know, that if your baby or babies are criers,  and you think there is no one else who understands.... you are not alone!

twin mom                                                                    (source) I'm here to talk, if you can manage to hear yourself think over the resounding tantrums.

(This post contains affiliate links, thanks for your support! Also see disclaimer here.) I thought this week might be a good time to check in with my post-baby body progress. The last time I really took a look at my progress was January. My twins are now 17 months old! I haven't really lost much weight, maybe a few pounds that fluctuate. I definitely feel stronger and a little leaner. I'm still about 7 pounds from my pre-pregnancy weight, but I don't really mind the scale too much. I've gained a lot of muscle, and I think a little more weight loss will come once the twins wean from breastfeeding. We are down to twice per day now, and it's probably going to happen sooner than later - definitely bittersweet! [caption id="attachment_485" align="aligncenter" width="510"]postpartum fitness                    14 months postpartum vs 17 months postpartum[/caption] I was just thinking about my mindset after I first had the twins. I was so self-conscious. I went from feeling like the most beautiful pregnant woman in the world, to feeling frumpy and exhausted. I know my expectations were unrealistic. I thought I would just "bounce back" after a few weeks - like the celebrities do. I wish we could all just accept that the timeline to get back in shape is most likely not 6 weeks for the average person. I'm hoping that through my real experiences you'll see that these changes take time and effort. I'm still not 100% where I'd like to be. I think pregnancy, especially twin pregnancy, is a lot for the body to handle. My body is now, and always will be, a work in progress. We need to be gentle with ourselves and not expect too much too soon. I'm just glad and proud to have gained so much strength and fit into my old jeans. At the end of the day - that's all that really matters! We've been loving the nicer weather and getting outside for some workouts! It's a nice change of scenery from the basement, plus it affords me the opportunity to workout when the babies are awake. Sometimes I need early morning & nap time for school work, so this is a great option. The twins have a great time running around and playing. They love to say "shoes" and their little faces light up when we get ready to go out. IMG_3795 IMG_3657 IMG_3691 Now onto the workouts! Monday: 4/11 Strength:  max chin ups x 3 max pull ups x 3 static ring holds, 20 seconds x 3 (I have these) push press - worked up to 95# WOD - 3 rounds: 15 box jumps 20 push press (45#) 15 ring rows 15 barbell good mornings cash out: 3 x 12 long sided barbell rows (I had a 25# plate on - see demo) 3 x 12 one-armed bent over rows (20# KB) Tuesday: 4/12 turkish get ups - did multiple sets with 20# KB until form suffered 3 rounds: 5 assisted pistols (each side) 10 KB cleans (each side) 3 x 10 OH triceps extension 3 x 10 dips 3 x 10 tricep pull down with band Wednesday: 4/13 5 sets of 10 back squats (65# - I don't have a squat rack) WOD - 3 rounds: 10 pushups 15 barbell hip thrusts (65#) 5 chest flies on the rings 10 reverse lunges (each leg) 10 single leg deadlifts (each leg) 10 goblet squats (35#) cash out: 3 x 10 hack squats 65# 3 x 10 glute kickbacks Thursday: 4/14 outside! 3 rounds: 20 KB swings (35#) 15 sumo deadlift high pull (35#) 10 burpees 10 sets of stroller sprints Friday: 4/15 Strength: max pull ups x 3 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 chin ups Power cleans: worked up to 105#. Couldn't get 115, though I tried!!! WOD - 5 rounds: 5 snatches (65#) 10 hanging knee raises 30 second plank 100 jump ropes Saturday: 4/16 rest day! Sunday: 4/17 max chin ups x 3 3 x 3 negative pull ups 3 x 10 ring rows WOD - 3 rounds: 14 push press (65#) 14 straight leg deadlift (65#) 7 burpees took me about 8 minutes, I was slow. 3 rounds: max ring hold max wall sit 10 hanging knee raises 10 lying leg lifts Monday: 4/18 warm up: jump rope deadlifts - worked up to 5 sets at 165! That's all for this week. Let me know if you did any great workouts in the comments! Always looking for inspiration :-)

This post contains affiliate links. Thanks for your support! No, this really is nothing like a real deal, but it will probably leave your body a lot happier than what you get from the drive-thru. Some of the fast-food flavors are just so comforting. I grew up on it, so it's no surprise that I sometimes get some serious cravings. For me, chicken tenders + barbecue sauce or ketchup, and any kind of "fry" will get the job done. This recipe is not rocket science or anything fancy, but it's certainly simple and quick. paleochickenandfries I love sweet potato fries and roasted brussels sprouts because they're able to get so crunchy. These take a while - about 45 minutes. Make sure you plan ahead - preheat the oven and start chopping about an hour ahead of time. A lot of people express frustration with getting sweet potatoes crispy enough. My favorite tricks to help them crisp up are: 1. don't use too much oil 2. don't crowd the pan 3. make sure they are on the bottom rack 4. absolutely do not move them around until the very end!!! Some people say to toss the sweet potatoes in a bowl with the oil. This is certainly one way to to do it...if you like making more dirty dishes. I just put the oil on the pan first and move them around in it, sprinkle a little salt, and done! I've also tried soaking them in water first and I thought they were less crispy. It's kind of a trial and error experiment. The brussels sprouts really taste best when you slice them - remove the bottom part and slice lengthwise into thirds. This will give you more surface area to get crispy. Also, don't worry about loose leaves, they end up tasting great when they crisp up! I used olive oil, but I've also successfully used lard and coconut oil. I'm not a huge coconut oil person with savory food, but if you like it, go for it! For the chicken, you'll need some chicken breasts or thighs, almond flour , eggs, and spices for the tenders. I used 3 organic chicken breasts that I cut into thirds, 1 egg, and about 1.5-2 cups of almond flour. I set up a really simple dredging station - like this: paleochicken I usually then coat all the chicken in egg + flour, heat up a skillet with butter, and add them when it's hot! If you're anything like me - you've got 2 hungry babes and a dog begging you to be done with dinner... all while getting in trouble for coming near the hot stuff 1000 times. IMG_3486 Don't turn the chicken until it's completely browned on one side, or you might lose the coating! paleochickentenders That's pretty much it! Super easy weeknight meal. Healthy, but might satisfy some of your bad cravings. Definitely toddler approved! [amd-zlrecipe-recipe:4] Let me know if you try it! What's an easy dinner you've been making lately? Is there any recipe that you've made healthier that reminds you of something unhealthy?