Monday, September 27, 2010

How do you do it?

I have finally come around to the idea that exercise should be, and needs to be, a more regular part of my life. The problem, though, is trying to figure out how to fit it into my day.

Except for an ill-conceived attempt at cross country running my freshman year in high school, I do not participate in sports. I am not athletic. I do not run. I do like to walk, but generally outside and not on the treadmill (which lives in our basement. Yes. I am lazy).

I am, however, exceptionally good at making excuses:

1. I don't like to walk unless the weather is nice.
2. I don't like to walk if it will mess up Girly's nap schedule. (Not so much an issue now, but used to be).
3. I don't want to have to pay someone to exercise.
4. I am not willing to give up my 1 hour of alone time during naps and devote it to exercise.
5. I can't workout in the mornings - I leave for work by 700am and we have already discussed my pure hatred for mornings that start in the 5's.
6. I could workout at night, but only after I cook dinner? Well, then, that interferes with my daily glass of wine.

See? I am a whiner.

I feel very fortunate that most of the baby weight from #1 came off with relative ease. (I don't know if breastfeeding was always easy, but I do give it credit for helping with those pounds.) Slowly, though, I think some of those pounds have crept back. I find myself saying ridiculous things like, "Oh, well. I'll just have another kid anyway - what is the point of trying to lose the weight?" Well, here is the point: we are entering Fall and when your clothes don't fit from last Fall, that feels crappy. And, should we decide to have another and I start a pregnancy weighing quite a bit more than last time? I'm sure I'll really feel excellent about myself 40 weeks later and 40 (more) pounds heavier.

So, my current approach is to try to really devote 30 minutes each day (or most days of the week) to an exercise video on TV. Girly can run around while I'm doing it and I can generally keep her out of mischief, or at least hear what kind of mischief she is getting into.

How do you fit exercise into your day / week?

Thursday, September 23, 2010

The one in which a good idea backfires

I previously mentioned the new use of a basket of toys / books / calculators in Girly's bed. (Calculator, you say? Yes. She's totally a nerd and I'm totally OK with it.)

This has served us well for the past 10 days or so. Surprisingly, she doesn't seem to really use it ... she may pull out a few of the books as she is falling asleep, but otherwise doesn't pay much attention.

That is, until naps this week. Sunday and Monday resulted in totally disrupted naps as she had a grand ol' time playing with all her toys and talk-talk-talking to herself for over an hour. Yes, I had some alone time to eat my lunch and I didn't have to listen to her cry, but the face-slapping, hair-pulling, crumbles-at-the-drop-of-a-book girl we were left with in the late afternoon was So. Not. Worth It.

So - this is apparently a nighttime tool only. Let's see how that goes.

Monday, September 20, 2010


They say one is born every minute, right? I guess I am the one for 8:10pm on the day of my birth in 1977.

I think some of you will feel my pain when I say that getting up at 5:15am for two weeks in a row will inspire you to do crazy things and seek crazy solutions. I mentioned this KID'Sleep alarm clock before and finally found myself desperate enough to order it. Anything with the slightest promise of 10 additional minutes of sleep seems to be worth about $120,000 to me about now.

** I started this post about 10 days ago to keep track of our progress. Progress? Hmmm - you decide. **

It arrived on a Friday (!! happy dance !!) and I put it to the test. Here is the lowdown:

Night/Morning #1: I set the clock, showed Girly the sleeping cow and explained that when the cow was sleeping, she needed to be sleeping. She woke at 5:19am as usual, I went to her room, showed her the sleeping cow and told her to sleep, just like mommy and daddy. Surprisingly, she laid down and was quiet for about 10 minutes. This happened three more times - she cried out, threw all her stuff on the floor, I went in to put it back in her crib and told her to lie down. At 6:03am she was up and I excitedly (this was good acting on my part) showed her the dancing cow and told her it was time to get up.

Aside: Part of the problem with the early waking is that Girly gets up, then poops and then screams out that she is "Poopy! Change diapey!". I feel bad just leaving her there for 30 minutes or more when she is clearly uncomfortable. This was the first night I explained that I would change her diaper and put her back in bed and she was actually OK with it.

Night/Morning #2: Same routine. Girly was excited about the sleeping cow. I decided to put a basket of books and toys in her crib to see if that would improve the throw-crap-out-of-your-crib-until-mommy-gets-it game. She is big time into taking things in and out of baskets. She woke first about 5:20am, I showed her the sleeping cow and laid her down. She was up again about 10 minutes later with a poopy diaper, and same routine. Then, she was quiet until 6:04am when I acted exciting about the dancing cow again. She didn't throw anything out of her crib, so that was a plus.

Morning #3: Could it be this easy? Huz nudged me early in the morning and said, "what time is it?" Ummm ... thanks for waking me up, and it's 6:04am. "Have you heard the Girl?" No. No? NO! She slept until 6:30am which, no joke, is like a frigging miracle.

Morning #4: No, it could not be this easy. Up at 5:22am, showed the sleeping cow and laid her down. Up at 5:53am. I let her cry until about 5:57am, then I went in for a 'teachable moment' (see above re: sucker). I showed her the sleeping cow, again explained that we couldn't get out of bed until the cow was dancing. At 6:00am, when the cow started dancing, I got her out.

Morning #5: I'll take it. Up at 5:02am - see the sleeping cow? - lie down - I'll see you when the cow is dancing. Then, up at 7:03am!!! Love that kid.

Morning #6: Can't remember, but only marginal.

Morning #7: Rated poor to very poor. I have the unfortunate situation of having to get up at 5:15am on Thursdays to leave my house before 6:00am for work. So - Huz was on duty. Girly was up at 5:15am ... when he responded with the cow routine, she was not pleased. I am usually the person that goes in and puts back to sleep and he is the one that gets her up for good. She was probably confused and, well, OOPS on our part. Then, she cried that she was poopy. I changed her and laid her back down. She started crying out that she was poopy again. Crying wolf? (or, is that crying poop?) Huz didn't get her till 6:00am and she really was poopy. Ooops again.

Morning #8: Marginal.

Morning #9: Marginal.

Morning #10: Slept till 6:34am with no waking in the 5's. Happy campers all around! (Well, at least until she skipped her nap that day - can't have it all).

Morning #11: Slept till 6:15am with no mama visit in the 5's. Are we on to something here?

In summary, I do feel that we have made progress. I can't say the progress is entirely due to the clock, but I do honestly feel that it has helped. Plus, the happy "cow dancing!" dance that Girly does when you go in to get her is worth every penny of the $50, and more.

Friday, September 17, 2010


So, after the last post about raising girls, I feel the need to issue a clarification. Or a retraction. Or an admission ... whatever.

I truly didn't think that our Girl was aware of princesses. We don't play princess, or have princess dolls or books or any kind of princess paraphernalia.

We had a Mom & Daughter pizza and fro-yo date last night and there happened to be a little sidewalk sale party event. As Girly busted a move to the DJ, a nice lady gave her a little tiara comb for her hair. It was the sparkliest-pinkest-sparkle fest you've ever seen. And she loved it, of course.

But - the best (?worst) was that she then proclaimed - for our entire walk to the fro-yo shop - My Pin-cess! MY Pin-cess! MINE PIN-CESS!

So, not only do we have a serious case of the MINE's (!!!), but she apparently knows about, and adores, princesses.


Tuesday, September 14, 2010

oh, girls

I had one of those 'big picture' moments recently ... can't remember how I stumbled on it ... blog? Twitter? Facebook? ... but it made me freeze in my tracks and just think, whoa, this job is SO huge.

The job of raising children, but especially the job of raising GIRLS.

I wish I could remember how I found it, but please read this post: Redefine Girly - A New Way to Parent Young Girls. Even if you have boys, I think some of the points are interesting and might make you think again about the young girls in your life.

When I was buying big baby items (pack n'play, swing, bouncy seat, exersaucer), I intentionally tried to make them as gender-neutral as possible, thinking we might have a boy some day. I tried to do the same thing with the itty bitty newborn clothes that I thought we could use for more than one baby, girl or boy. That was more challenging, as those of you who didn't find out the gender of your child can attest to.

How is it that marketing and corporate greed (i.e. the need to buy 2 of every product - one pink and one blue) has slowly, but surely, contributed to the concept of gender in our society? I am certainly not qualified to comment on the intricacies of our society and economy when it comes to gender roles, but I think you can see it in the aisle at Target and elsewhere. Why is it so hard to find neutral kid clothing? Do PJ's have to be covered in princesses - for little babies who don't know any better? Why do I see other girls, about age 2, who look like tarts? Why are the simple, child-appropriate clothes often so pricey, out of the reach of the majority of Americans?


All this being said, I certainly do like the color pink and we have a lot of it. I make an effort, though, to buy Girly clothes that are NOT pink - which can be harder than you think. I try to buy more simple or traditional clothes - no words if I can help it. (I have a friend who was searching for plain, brightly colored onesies for her little boy and couldn't find them anywhere for a decent price. Target recently filled this gap, but seriously, was this rocket science?).

As I look around the room, most of our toys are gender neutral. We have a couple of baby dolls, which are of course fine for little boys or girls, and a pink car and pink purse that were gifts. I guess we've done a decent job, and I will continue to make the effort. I know our Girl will express her opinion about the toys she likes and wants in no time, but I will try my hardest not to steer her in one direction or another.

Friday, September 10, 2010

A Mom's Best friend

I guess it could also be a Dad's best friend, but really, are any Dads reading this? Right. Just as I thought. Back to the Moms.

I love, love, capital LOVE, love Evernote. Do you use it? I don't even have an iWhatsIt, but still find it extremely useful in all aspects of my life.

First, some background: I am the child of a librarian and marketing guru / rehabilitated pack rat. Growing up, we had lots of magazines around our house and my mom always tore out 'inspiration' pages and filed them away neatly in hanging files. She cut recipes out of magazines or the newspaper, taped them to index cards and filed them in an old card catalog. Truly. Then, my dad was forever reading something and always dog-eared the corners. You know, for future reference. Fast forward and (genetics is an amazing thing) I find myself with piles of dog-eared magazines, piles of tear sheets, files and files of recipes. Occasionally I can find what I am looking for, but our kid totally gets in the way of my tearing and filing system.

Soooo ... I randomly came across Evernote a while back when I was looking for a way to organize my recipes, in particular. It's genius! I can go through a cooking magazine, corner the recipes I like, find them online, and then cut and paste into Evernote. No tearing or filing! Then, I can search by any ingredient - so much more useful then trying to remember if I filed those green chile enchiladas under 'chicken' or 'mexican'. If you come across a recipe on some blog that sounds good, just cut and paste it for the future. You can also scan any piece of paper that, say, has a handwritten recipe and it is still searchable!

I don't have convenient access to a printer at home. (Aside: does anyone anymore? Seems like sitting down at a desktop computer with an attached printer is akin to saying you are riding your dinosaur to the quarry for work, a la Fred Flinstone). So, I am usually dragging my laptop into the kitchen when I cook. This would be far simpler if I had an iPad .... Santa? Please get on that.

It's not just recipes, though. You can cut and paste anything from the internets and save it for future reference. A cute kid's birthday party? A good DIY project? The perfect gift for your in-laws? YES. ALL OF IT.

I love products like this that support my OCD. Technology is an amazing thing!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Switching it up

A few random thoughts for today:

1. We switched Girly to 2% milk. Our pediatrician suggested we could make the switch whenever, as long as she was getting other full-fat dairy, and we just finally did it. Perhaps the fact that she gained 1 pound in about 2 1/2 weeks pushed us over the edge. (It was mostly due to post-sickness rebound, but still). She didn't give a hoot, and maybe it will even be healthier for Mom and Dad.

2. If you have your act together (unlike me), you might be able to take advantage of the lingering summer sale items that are still around in some stores. If you know any kids who have mid-winter birthdays, their parents sure appreciate the thought of toys that can be put away to pull out several months down the road. Same goes for end-of-winter sales for those kiddos with summer birthdays. I suppose this might not work when kids are old enough to realize that the toy won't be useful in the near future, but Girly doesn't mind the deception.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Consider this a warning

Dear 3's, 4's and 5's ....

I haven't seen you in a while. Let me tell you - you weren't missed. It is so rude the way you barge into my sleep and make me stumble through the halls, rubbing my eyes, to get you to go away.

Please stop corrupting my child. She doesn't want or need to see you. There is nothing good that happens when you are around.

If you show yourselves again, I will be forced to resort to more significant measures.

Consider yourself warned.

Signed -
Bleary eyed in the Midwest