Friday, October 24, 2014

Play at the Park

Today was a perfect fall day. A little windy, but nothing a nice sweatshirt couldn't handle. We added almost 2 hours to my 500 hour pledge bringing us up to 4 1/2 hours. The weekend looks gorgeous so hopefully we can keep it up.
I went for my morning walk/run, 40 minutes outside for me, while my girls get about 30 for recess ( I count the 30). We picked some carrots, composted some stuff and played outdoors a bit. We also went to the park for a while after school. I went to a different park today to meet a friend and am glad I did. My town's park, which is beautiful and new, is almost always empty. While sometimes I enjoy this so I can play and run around with my girls, other times I want to sit and relax and they want playmates. Its so sad to rarely see another kid at this park. I don't understand what does everyone do? My town doesn't have many neighborhoods so either the kids are on playdates, playing in their yards with siblings or alone, or doing after school activities. A neighboring town, which is really that, a nice little town, with houses close and a real neighborhood feel, is the park we went to today. There I saw children. A group of older boys playing football. Girls climbing on the monkey bars, kids swinging, running and having fun. An older girl pushed my youngest on the swings a bit while I chat with other moms. And no I don't feel one bit guilty about it. I love this town, to bad the taxes are outrageous. But it is the rare place I see kids playing, with no structure, no adults controlling the play. Just time to be a kid, like its the 70s. To not watch tv, no phones or ipads. Just actually free play. I love watching my daughter learn to navigate the kids and find her place playing. And how she keenly observes them to see how well they climb or jump. After some watching she tries to do it to. She's always been a watcher. Today she tried the monkey bars. She fell, poor kid has my upper body strength, or lack of. But practicing on those bars will get her there. And after seeing the other kids she was very determined to get right back up and try again. If we were alone at our town's park she wouldn't have tried. Thinking that's something big kids do, or not something she can do. Seeing her friends she knew she could. And she was right. I love watching her grow in her own right. Free to play, learn and grow

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Day 3

Okay so in day 2 and 3 we only brought our total to 2 1/2 hours. Rain, bitter rain, windy rain. Has kept us in. This weekend I will make up for it, I'm sure.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Day 1 500 Hour Outside Challenge

Well day one is here and with the sun setting it is almost gone. Today was,hmmm, trying to say the least. My 3 year old got my last nerve today. She was very trying all day and not listening. I lost my patience too much too. Not my best parenting day, but not my worst either. I got 1/2 hour during the day outside. Cleaning out the car, playing at the farm stand. My goal was another hour at the park which was cut to a short 1/2 hour (I'm counting the 1/2 hour or after today I will feel defeated before I even get going) due to my 3 year old refusing to wear shoes or a jacket in 50 degree weather. So we left the park. I was frustrated with repeating myself multiple times and wasn't going to let her run around in a t-shirt, capris and no shoes. With winter coming soon I need to set a precedent of weather appropriate clothes for outside. So total on day 1, 1 hour. Not great and with a few days of rain this total might not go up much. Looks like we will be making up for it this weekend. I hope. Side note I'm also wearing a pedometer to meet a daily goal of 10,000 steps. I am right at 9,000 and know I will rack up 1,000 more with after bedtime cleaning. So one goal met.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

500 Hours

500 hours outside, in the sun, rain, or snow. 500 hours, which is a little over an hour a day. It doesn't sound hard, but I know with my modern
indoor life it might be a little challenging, which is why I'm challenging myself and my family to it. I recently read a blog about a mom who pledged to get outside 1000 hours for the year. This is amazing, but she is a homeschooling mom, I am not. I don't think it would be possible to get out that much in a year. Maybe it is, I don't know, if I do well this year maybe I will up it for ourselves next year. I love being outside, but in my "old age" of in my mid 30s now I've become somewhat of a, hmm how should I put this nicely, another word for a cat. I dislike the cold and hot sun. I gripe about putting on layers for me, my 2 girls. I feel like in bad weather I spend more time putting on clothes then we spend outside.
Well no more. Fresh air solves so much, my vitamin D deficiency. It can help with cabin fever, get my in my garden more, help me move more to lose those last few pounds. Get my girls more active. Help us feel more connected to nature, less connected to the tv, facebook or online world. I'm very excited to give this a try, well not a try. I will do. I will log from tomorrow Oct 20 to the following Oct our outside time. I will only count my daughter outside 1/2 recess if I get out on my own and spend that time outside too. The log will be heavier somedays, light to nothing others, and that's okay. As long as come next October I will be outside for 500 hours. Children spend less than an average of 1/2 hour a day outdoors during the week and about 2 hours a day on weekends. This is about 208 hours outside on weekends and about 130 for the week. Well under my 500 goal. And this is from an older study from 2009, with the huge increase since then of smartphones and gadgets I would think those numbers are even lower today. There is a huge increase in ADHD, obesity, mental illness, social problems all since we have become a society who closes the door and stays inside. Study and study shows spending more time exercising and outdoors in nature, helps so many of our modern problems, especially with children. For myself I see this. Since I've graduated college and am not forced to walk a mile to and from classes in all weather I have noticed I get Seasonal affective disorder at times through out winter. Which with knowing I have low vitamin D this doesn't surprise me. I want to curl up in bed, watch tv all day or read. Okay so reading isn't bad. But getting outside is the number one suggestion for SADS and I just can't do it. Well no more. I will get us outside. I will turn off the tv. I will use our bodies and not let them become one with the couch. I will spend 500 hours outside.