This time of year, we are normally enjoying days out in the mountains as a family. February half-term, we drive out to either Switzerland or Austria with the kids for a week of skiing and snowboarding in the alps. Although this year, we had surprise baby number five so are hanging out in England…all week…all of us…in the house.
Not that I don’t love having everyone home…but it can be a bit ‘cabin-fevery’ if the weather is grim. I have found that first day of any holiday when the kids are off school, sets the tone for a while…so it helps to have something planed or organised to help get everyone off to a good start. Especially when the kids aren’t really use to being around each other for full days on end.
I wanted to start this week, with all 7 of us, out strong. This Monday proved tricky to be the most mellow of days for a number of reasons, so I find it that much more important to make time for those things that are going to help us function at optimal performance.
Our two oldest kids each had a friend stay over for a sleepover…so that’s 7 kids in the house total…I had a dentist appointment first thing in the morning for a filling…pregnancy kills my teeth and my super handy husband was making and installing thresholds for our doors downstairs most of the day…we are talking sawdust…butt loads of sawdust…everywhere…very grateful, but it was EVERYWHERE!
There was valentine card making…GLITTER!!!!! And then I decided to trip over a plastic sword (probably covered and buried in sawdust) while carrying a large pan of boiling water with cooked pasta in it and pour half of it over my right forearm and hand…I’m right handed.
I spent the rest of the evening slathering on Lavender EO and packed with frozen packets of peas.
But here’s the thing, although there were some things I didn’t overly enjoy about my first day of the half-term week, there were many more things to be grateful for. The kids worked well together making cards, painting and reading. My husband has the skills and brain to make things in our house, so we don’t have to hire someone to come in and our kids can learn self-sufficient skills from him too.
Our kids have great friends that I genuinely like, so sleepovers aren’t a pain. I was given fantastic dental treatment absolutely free under the NHS, because it’s within 12 months of having my last baby. Sawdust vacuums up pretty easy. My arm is SO much better today thanks to cold water and essential oils.
And because of my little boiling my hand and arm thing last night, the four oldest kids really worked like a well-oiled machine to help Dad get dinner on the table, clear up, house cleaned and little people in the bath and bed. In fact, because I was pretty much out of commission for the evening with just one working arm, we had a nice evening in and watched a bunch of episodes of Stranger Things…which I have been wanting to watch for ages. It rather forced a slow mellow evening.
I was lucky to get in a workout in the morning after the dentist so it ended up being a pretty great start to a pretty great week off.
Stepper or Cross-trainer (whichever you like…or you could use a treadmill too)
40 minutes on the Stepper/Cross-trainer (med to high level…you shouldn’t be able to have an easy conversation) with a stop every 5 minutes for one of these…
10 body weight dips on the chin-assist machine
Then repeat until you finish the 40 minutes. Most Cardio Machines will give you a minute pause so you can hop off, crank out the 10 reps, run back, hop back on and pick up where you left off.
Stress-Away Blend by Young Living
I used up my first bottle of Stress Away that came in my starter kit after I had a C-section when Huxley was born in September. I took it to the hospital with me and I think I was out by Halloween…the oil, not the hospital. This blend is great in rollerballs to use throughout the day to rub on the base of the neck and shoulders to help calm and relax when things get crazy. It is packed full of calming essential oils like lime, vanilla, copaiba, cedar wood and lavender. It’s like a little vacation in a bottle.
I have been exploring and trying out new blends; but last week we got our Essential Rewards order and it was one of the promo free oils for February. I diffused some in the morning when all the painting and card making (GLITTER!!!) and homework and reading and woodworking (SAWDUST!!!!) was happening. It really does support a calm environment and helps to de-stress. Needless to say, it was in the diffuser all morning.