When I was growing up, my mother would rearrange our furniture at least once a month. Sometimes I'd walk in and wonder if I was in the right house, because nothing looked familiar.
Since then, I've come to believe that rearranging furniture is good for you. Unless you try to take it upon yourself to push a 300-pound wall unit using only your legs and strain a muscle.
There's just something about the change that is so invigorating. It shakes things up and shoos away stagnancy. Rearranging furniture not only gives a room a whole new feel, it provides an excellent opportunity to clean behind the couch and beneath beds and dressers.
Last month, or last week - I can hardly keep track anymore - we moved all of the tables out of our "kitchen" area and threw down a big area rug. We now eat in what was once our "family room", but is now our "dining room", that space located immediately next to our "kitchen" area.
Having this extra space in the kitchen has been great. The kids will drag their beanbags in and lounge around while we prepare meals and wash dishes. And since we've been without a #&^#@#% dishwasher for six days, we're spending even more time than we usually do, in the kitchen area.
Washing a multitude of dishes. By hand.
A few years ago, one of my extremely fit co-workers told me that she would spend 20 minutes a day running on a small trampoline. According to her, this was a great cardio work out and great fun, the perfect combination. So this past Christmas, because I've been looking for an easy way to get some aerobic activity in to my every day, Santa brought
NOW, instead of the kids jumping on the couch - they jump on their trampoline. And since we've got extra space in the kitchen, we pull the trampoline out whenever we're making dinner - or washing dishes - and the kids enjoying being near us as they take turns jumping and launching themselves in to their bean bag chairs.
What I love most about this little trampoline is that I can get in a great aerobic workout any time I want, without leaving the house. Jumping on a trampoline is less likely to hurt an unsuspecting child that wanders in to your path like a jump rope, and I can do it while I'm talking to the kids - watching American Idol (yay!) - or catching up with Charlie.
Important things to notice in this picture that perfectly captures our lives: Bunny is no more than a foot from Elizabeth. The highly imaginative William is pretending to be something. In this case, a jock with arm weights. And Henry is running around in the buff. Whoa. Is that a box of brownies on the counter?
Why, I never!
The trampoline that we own is rated to 200 pounds and was received fully assembled, with the exception of the legs which simply needed to be attached. (This looks similar but I don't know if it's the same brand. Ours doesn't have a label on it.) Charlie loves jumping on the trampoline and was very surprised that he got such an intense aerobic workout. He was even more surprised when his legs were wobbly the next day.
(Santa also brought one of these for Christmas which nearly killed us.)
I love jumping on the trampoline. I'll run, do jumping jacks, and throw in some "twist" moves. Within five minutes, my heart is beating out of my chest, I can hardly carry on a conversation and my brow is dripping in sweat.
Not only is jumping on a trampoline a good aerobic workout, if you're coordinated enough, you can even add a little weight resistance.
I think it's important to have good muscle strength since you never know when you might feel compelled to move a 300-pound wall unit by yourself.