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This morning I completed 8 weeks of boot camp. Originally I was only going to do 4 weeks, but then I received another 4 weeks as a birthday gift from a very sweet friend (and yes, I was excited about that gift). I am not a morning person at all, but as the weeks went on I found it not so bad to get up at 4:50am in order to make it to the 5:30am boot camp. Who knew?

The instructor treats us all to drinks (not pastries!) at Starbucks after the last session of the month – here we are all sweaty but happy this morning!

Besides the whole getting up early thing, I learned some other things about myself…

I’m very weak. Actually, I was very weak. Now I can actually feel muscles in my arms and it’s not a result of hoisting my 18 pound baby! (Seriously, what’s the deal with that? Shouldn’t I have massive guns since becoming a mom?)

I can workout for an hour and not die. Really!

Measuring inches is key when you’re trying to lose weight and tone up. If I hadn’t been tracking my inches I probably would think Boot Camp hadn’t done much for me because I really haven’t lost much weight in the last 2 months, but I’ve lost just over 12 inches in those 2 months! 12 inches!

I can run faster than I thought! “Testing” this month involved push-ups to the point of fatigue followed by a timed 1 mile run. At the beginning of May I ran the mile in 11:07 which blew me away. I honestly can’t remember the last time I could run one mile in under 12 minutes, let alone so close to 11 minutes. This morning I shaved 29 seconds off that time and ran the mile in 10:38!

20 reps does squat for me, but tell me to do 30 reps of something and my muscles burn like crazy. Now I know to push myself to 30 instead of just calling it good at only 20.

I’ve taken some pictures for a series of chunking up (Lily) and chunking down (me) progress photos. Here’s the first picture and one from this morning! In the first picture I was still sporting maternity clothes and Lily was in size 0-3 month clothes. In the second I’m in regular clothes I had purchased last spring and Lily is in 6 month clothes! Go us!

For you Kansas City area readers, I highly recommend checking out Valeo Boot Camp. It’s early. It’s hard work. It’s early. (Did I mention it’s early?) The sunrises you get to witness are awesome. The results though are so worth the effort! I’m hoping to join them for another month later this summer after Nick’s crazy camp schedule settles down. Yep, I want to voluntarily get up before 5am again!

  • May 27, 2011 - 10:04 am

    Jen - You look great, Helen. Good for you. :) ReplyCancel

  • May 27, 2011 - 10:05 am

    Kelly @ Kansas City mamas - Way to go! I know that feels like an awesome accomplishment when you can push through those workouts and see success. Go Helen!ReplyCancel

  • May 27, 2011 - 10:32 am

    Chancy Green - So glad you talked me into it, Helen. It was fun and you are the best accountability partner. I had a blast.ReplyCancel

  • May 27, 2011 - 10:59 am

    Jessica - Way to go, 12 inches!! And improving your mile time! :) ReplyCancel

  • May 27, 2011 - 11:08 am

    Aunt Sue - Nice job! You look mahhhvelous!!!! I’m about to finish a month of boot camp tonight (lovely humidity going today – should be fun….) I wish I had tracked measurements – I haven’t lost weight either, but people have commented on some toning. It’s tough, but definately worth it! You and your precious girl take a beautiful picture!ReplyCancel

  • May 27, 2011 - 11:09 am

    Lisa - I am serious thinking about doing the next session. Only thing is I look at the picture you posted and I am soo much older than these girls (50)and really no one seems too much overweight to me. Is it tailored to each person? I really dont think I could keep up with everyone.ReplyCancel

    • May 27, 2011 - 11:11 am

      Helen - Lisa, don’t let that hold you back! You work at your pace. The group has other people of other ages and sizes who just weren’t there today. There are some extremely fit people in the group too though. (I was lapped by those fit people many times over the last couple of months.)ReplyCancel

  • May 27, 2011 - 11:23 am

    Lisa - Way to go!!!!ReplyCancel

  • May 27, 2011 - 11:29 am

    Lisa H. - Did you do the 3,4 or 5 day a week session? I think I will do the 4 day session. Do you bring your own water bottle? thanks
    Lisa H.ReplyCancel

    • May 27, 2011 - 1:10 pm

      Helen - Lisa, I did 3 days a week. And yes – bring a water bottle, mat and hand weights! Enjoy it! There’s a fantastic group of ladies doing it again next month :) ReplyCancel

      • May 27, 2011 - 1:38 pm

        Lisa H. - I signed up. Didnt know about the hand weights and matt. Need to go shopping now. I also put you name as a referral. Hope you can get some sort of credit.ReplyCancel

  • May 27, 2011 - 11:29 am

    Kacia - You look AMAZING, Helen, you’re quite an inspiration… congratulations on such a great accomplishment, wow 12 inches! Awesome!ReplyCancel

  • May 27, 2011 - 3:56 pm

    Sarah - you look great. way to go on the 12 inches. that is amazing.ReplyCancel

  • May 27, 2011 - 4:31 pm

    Brenda B - You Rock!!ReplyCancel

  • May 27, 2011 - 6:33 pm

    Rachel E. - Wow, lady! You’re amazing! Great job. I could never get up that early voluntarily. 6 a.m.? Maybe. 4:50 a.m.? No way. Great job with your will power and self discipline. Keep it up!ReplyCancel

  • May 31, 2011 - 11:21 am

    RoseAnne (mom and grandma) - I’m so proud of you!ReplyCancel

  • June 1, 2011 - 12:18 am

    Auntie Laura - you look awesome Helly! So proud of you!ReplyCancel

I have dreams of having a nice, finished basement that I can let my kids play in and host playdates in. Sadly, our basement will only become that with thousands and thousands of dollars in work first (it’s very, very leaky when it rains). Yesterday morning though, I got to host a playdate in my leaky basement anyway!

My friend Jessica had come over yesterday morning so that we could start discussing the mom’s group we’ll be co-leading next year (she’s my new partner in crime). Her 3 kids were with her and the oldest 5 kids of the group were having fun playing together when my weather radio went off. Tornado Watch. Huh, didn’t see that coming! They’d hyped tornado potential the night before but hadn’t really said anything about yesterday morning.

We went about our work (a watch just means be aware and pay attention to the weather, not that you’re in any danger) and about 15 minutes later Nick called me from work. He asked if the sirens were going off at home because they were going off near the church (where he works) and the staff was headed to the basement. Freaky! A couple of minutes later the weather radio went off again this time with a Tornado Warning and then the sirens went off.

Jessica and I stayed calm as we scooped up the babies and ushered the 5 older kids down to the basement. I found our rarely used pack n play down there so that I could lay Lily back down and I hurried back upstairs to grab my laptop, my camera (gotta save the important stuff!), the last 4 apples in the house (the kids were complaining they were hungry) and a basket of toys to keep the kids entertained.

We got command central set up and I downloaded the plug-in needed to watch the local weather guys on my computer. There were images of funnel clouds and tornadoes forming. Yikes! Most of the early action was over by the church and everything here in the metro was mild. A larger tornado ripped through a town about an hour east of us, but no one was seriously hurt or killed.

While the storm went on outside, my children announced they had to go to the bathroom. Awesome. Jessica and I had the same thought at the same time – have them pee into the floor drain!

And further proof of my leaky basement: check out the little streams heading for the drain! At one point I was standing in a puddle, holding up the cords for my weather radio and laptop. We decided that probably wasn’t a wise move, so moved stuff to a drier location.

50 minutes after we went downstairs the sun came out and the tornado warning expired. What an adventure! About an hour later the skies looked unsettled again (and we were still under the watch) so I thought “I should bring a couple of chairs and some snacks to the basement in case we have to go down again”.

Forget the fruit – let’s have some good old comfort food! Ha!

We ended up only needing to go down that one time though, so the Golden Grahams were consumed for breakfast instead. In the nearly 6.5 years we’ve lived in Kansas City, this was only the second time I’ve had to take shelter and the last time was 3 years ago. I’ll be just thrilled if it’s another 3 years before I have to do it again. Joplin has definitely made me more anxious about tornadoes.

  • May 26, 2011 - 11:14 am

    Nanette - I live in the metro area too and also work at a church. Every Wednesday a group of women (most in the upper 70′s and above) meet. We had to get them all to the basement and boy was that an adventure. At least 2 of them are in their 90′s. We had them take their lunches and purses and we took down pitchers of water and dessert. I stayed up on the main level and watched the tv until it said it was near us. They were down there about an hour. It was a crazy day.ReplyCancel

  • May 26, 2011 - 2:21 pm

    Sarah - The kids probably had a ball!ReplyCancel

  • May 26, 2011 - 4:46 pm

    MandyE - I have been much more anxious about the weather over these past few weeks, since the devastation in Alabama (where I grew up). We were under warnings last night – although thankfully we never heard the sirens – and I can tell you it was not a very restful night!

    So glad your biggest “event” was going to the bathroom in the drain pipe! :) ReplyCancel

    • May 26, 2011 - 8:58 pm

      Helen - Isn’t the anxiety the worst, Mandy? :(

      Your last line cracked me up!ReplyCancel

  • May 27, 2011 - 11:06 am

    Jessica - It was so nice of you to leave out the part where we had just settled in the basement and Liam heads for the stairs because he needed to potty and he had an accident on your stairs. Too bad we didn’t think of the drain sooner! I hope we don’t have to have any more trips to the basement this summer in KC, but I do like how you prepared! Now I am glad my stockpile is in my basement :) ReplyCancel

    • May 27, 2011 - 11:21 am

      Helen - I’m all about embarrassing my own children, but it’s job to tell your kids’ embarrassing stories ;) ReplyCancel