Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Trying to Get Back to the Pre-Baby Bod

So, I finally got semi-serious about doing something more focused about my post-Everlyse body.  It really has never been much of a serious challenge for me to be on the thin side-but after having Everlyse and nursing her for eighteen months, my body was finally my own again as of August and still about fifteen pounds heavier than normal.

I decided to begin with the Special K challenge.  It was a good kick start-my appetite gradually decreased, it was easy to follow, and I do enjoy eating Special K.  The down side was that it left me feeling a little lethargic in the afternoons...but, I did lose seven pounds in less than three weeks.

Alas, those pounds did not take my mommy-muffin top with them.  This particular pooch that most mommies know is  like a friend who says they're just going to crash at your place while looking for an apartment yet 5 months later are asking you to buy the toilet paper with the bears in the commercial because what you have isn't good enough for their lazy bum.

I am giving said pooch an eviction notice.  I am continuing my yoga practice and am adding more targeted work.  For a couple of weeks, I started using the Tracy Anderson Post Pregnancy workout DVD.  I think it's a great workout albeit a little depressing because Tracy is a size 1/2.  Yes, a 1/2, she's not quite a 1, but the size of her head likely prevents her from being a size zero.  She declares repeatedly that she gained sixty pounds while pregnant.  I want to believe her when she says my "skin will come back to the muscle" on the pooch flap, but it's hard to trust someone who looks like the last time they ate bread was when she was busy gaining the sixty pregnancy pounds.  I think I might throw this one in from time to time rather than make it my go to pooch patrol.

Today I decided to go for a slow but steady approach to "winning" the race.   I busted out with my older DVD, the Accelerated Body Sculpting DVD with Mari Winsor.  This is a good and very well rounded toning workout.  I actually enjoy it, rather than being in a slight state of torment throughout each exercise.  The exercises are challenging, varied, and the amount of repetition is effective without becoming torturous.

So, the plan is...no more Special K challenge.  Although, for breakfast I do eat it-that, or low fat Nutri Grain waffles with fruit (on days that I want to feel special).  For lunch, something sensible and energy providing because I do have a 20 month old to chase after all.  For dinner, whatever I feel like making in a portion that makes sense for it being the last meal of my day and rather late.  Snacks are raw almonds, dried apricots, a Special K bar, and 1 or 2 squares of dark chocolate.

I will likely do the Pilates workout more often and throw in the Tracy Anderson DVD if I'm feeling bored.  For my creative self, I will also do the Shimmy bellydance workout I DVR from FIT TV.

I am enjoying getting back into some of my clothes-especially now that my bra size is almost back to normal.  I think that none of this would actually be an issue for me if I could wear all of my clothes and keep the pooch...but that isn't the case.  There are many things that I very much love wearing and cannot because of my midsection.

Wish me luck, today I did my workout with Ever climbing all over me and it was not the easiest thing in the world to do.  I just know that if successful, I will feel that much more myself and also be more physically prepared for the baby that Eric and I would like to have after Ever gets a little older.

Here's to not having to suck it in!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Uncertain Witness

I have to admit, I'm kind of in the neighborhood of terrified regarding the possible "cabin fever" that might be on the horizon for myself and Ever as colder weather approaches.  A pretty consistent part of our routine involves fresh air in the form of playground outings, beach visits, and walks.  I know that there will still be the opportunity to do these things albeit in our jackets...I also know that there will be days when the weather is just too yucky for it.

I'm sure that I can find many things for Ever to learn during this time, but it's also a time for me to get outside of the box-literally-when I get outdoors.  I'm sure you'll see some postings in the coming weeks regarding what I'll be doing about it.

Today is rainy, so I busted out with a notebook and pencil.  Everlyse was overjoyed at the prospect of expressing herself on paper (which you can see on the youtube link).

I just don't want to fail her in some way.  It doesn't seem to matter how much I give for her or my family, somehow I have a nagging feeling inside of me that it isn't enough.  My brain says it is, but apparently my brain can't tell my feelings what to do.

I'll continue to do my best and live with the nagging-maybe tell that voice to shut her yammering once in a while so that I can enjoy this exquisite little creature that God so graciously bestowed me with.  I am present in so many life moments with her in a way that I know I've been before when face to face with a miracle (the whisper of leaves, the light bulb going off over a child's head when an idea is given birth to, the rising up of pure joy in the form of laughter).  What I'm witnessing with Ever is something incomparable and wondrous to behold.


Friday, September 24, 2010

Get In The Classroom Or Shut Your Mouth

I commented the following on a teacher friend and former colleague's Facebook page after someone she knows wrote about how easy teachers have it.  It turns out Facebook's founder, Mark Zuckerberg has donated $100 million dollars to Newark schools and will be working with Mayor Booker regarding how it's to be used...  

Um, Danny-don't know you-but you need to get yourself in a classroom for a minute before you start talking smack like you know something. There is absolutely nothing that you could compare it to-maybe other teachers may have things a bit easier, but in Newark-there is nothing comparable. Your entire life is engulfed by it, no matter how you try to find balance.

Yahaira, we know the truth, girlfriend.

I don't know what they'll do with that money, but they need to put that check in someone's name that has NOTHING to do with that school system. The money needs to come out as a result of real systemic change taking place. Changing the "it's who you know" mentality-changing the expectation that children are only learning when they're sitting like catatonic little robots and are motivated by fear to learn rather than their natural curiosity-changing the way new teachers are NOT trained and are told to CONFORM all while preaching that kids unique abilities are to be cultivated....which is just an impossible juxtaposition.

My heart is still in Newark. I'm just not sure how long it will take for me to recover from the brokenness I feel after dedicating myself YES 24/7 to my kids and their families at Horton, I still can't visualize myself in any classroom because I remember what it felt like to be engulfed in each child's life and in my hopes/expectations for them and the incredible frustration of being limited from what I was trying to do.

According to the Huffington Post, this money will be used through a foundation to benefit schools in America with a special focus on schools in Newark.  I don't know that money itself will do the trick, but I would absolutely love to see real change in the public school system there.  TEAM charter schools are already doing an amazing job of proving that the problem is not the students or their environment, the problem is the system.  As for Mark Zuckerberg, it's so heartening to know that someone at his level of success is finding ways to share his blessings with others.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Handy Man

It's nice to be surprised once in awhile.

As long as I've known Eric (my husband), he's never been more than a couple of feet away from a laptop.  He is so skilled at most things involving technology (and creativity) that he's now built a career upon it.

I wasn't prepared to find out that he.....
is handy around the house?!?!?!?

My dad is super handy.  In fact, his name is Manny.  Yep, there's a show on the Disney channel called Handy Manny and they based it on him.  At least it seems that way....
Eric likes to joke that if you handed my dad a few 2X4's and some wire he'd build you a computer.

I had kind of resigned myself to thinking that although he does light stuff around the house, Eric's probably not going to do things I've seen my dad do.

I was wrong.  The lovely thing is, now Eric has it in writing, in public, that I admitted to being wrong about something involving him, haha.

On weekends, when there's stuff to do, Eric refers to himself as S.H.I.T.  Super Husband In Training.  S.H.I.T. then tackles his S.H.I.T. list and admits to feeling very satisfied as things get marked off of it.

Last night after getting home a little after 8, he hung a curtain rod in the family room and then put together 2 IKEA wardrobes.  By MIDNIGHT....I was in awe.

Like I said, it's nice to be surprised once in awhile.  So, maybe he's not going to get an old waterbed frame and turn it into a wall entertainment/shelving unit like my dad has done, but he no longer needs to I.T. at the end of his title.  Of course, there are so very many reasons he doesn't need the I.T. at the end of his title having nothing to do with doing stuff around the house, but I'll save those for another post.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Boys Go To Work and Girls Stay at Home

Today I met a very lovely mommy from Ireland at the playground who has lived here in Jersey for seven years.  As we discussed the challenges of being a stay-at-home, she said that she is concerned about her daughter's impression of a woman's role.  Her daughter has said that "boys go to work and girls stay home."  Her mother has been pointing out women she and her daughter encounter in professional positions and explains to her that they are at "work."  

I said her daughter (a three year old) is probably old enough for her to explain that although she isn't leaving home to work, she is in fact doing a very difficult and important job.  Also, now that I'm thinking of it...her daughter is probably old enough to understand her if she explains that she is staying home to raise her herself and to teach her things only she could teach her.

Anyhow, it just resonated with me.  As mothers, guilt follows us everywhere.  She was very happy in a career role, but with all of their family in Ireland, just couldn't get comfortable with leaving her little one with strangers (which is exactly why I decided to take time off from my career).

I hope that the love with which she has made her choices is what makes an impression on her daughter over time.  I hope the same for myself and for other stay at home moms and dads who decide that they are willing to sacrifice the income and the social respect that come with having a professional career in order to raise their own children.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

How to Take a Pre-Menstrual Health Day

1.  Go easy on yourself.  It's okay to be tired and yes, a little lazy right now.
2.  Dark chocolate
3.  Notting Hill...or maybe The Holiday
4.  Cuddles (from any willing victim)
5.  A hot (or at least warm) bath
6.  Zero guilt about any of the above listed remedies

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Baby Einstein vs. Eebee Baby

Blogging sans computer...
My computer's hard drive pooped out yesterday.  Sigh. 

Today I decided to give my opinion of the Eebee Baby video series.  The back cover touts it as the"non" Baby Einstein. I thought I should try something different.  Hmmm, I've never thought of using a light switch to teach Ever the difference between on and off (she says snarkily)...

Everlyse knows how to sign many household words and say them after viewing Baby Einstein's sign language DVD's for nap wind-down.

Anyhow, the key to getting something out of a learning tool is practice. The learning videos produced by Baby Einstein are a great tool for both parent and child.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Why I Love Frittata

1.  You can eat it for any meal
2.  All you need are eggs and whatever else is in your refrigerator
3.  It's almost like eating quiche
4.  You only need 20 minutes and it's a whole meal in ONE pan
5.  Sure, you need to use the oven...but, it is so worth it

Today's frittata for linner was made with green peppers, onion, corn tortilla, and feta cheese-I made it with roasted red potatoes on the side because I felt like having some potatoes (equally good in the frittata), but my roasted potatoes are really yummy on their own.

It was good.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Things I Learned From My Mom, Wonder Woman, and Morgan Fairchild

Today while "putting on my face," as my mom used to say, I thought about the time I take each day in doing so.  I do this even if I'm not going anywhere.  Sometimes it feels like a chore and sometimes it feels like a treat.  Most of the time it feels like a small place in my day where I can go and just be the woman I dreamed of being as a little girl.

My little girl image of a grown up woman was a mixture of 10 % Wonder Woman, 10 % Morgan Fairchild ("Dallas", anyone?), and 60% my mother with the other 20% being filled in by other random characters, such as Joan Jett.  I watched my mom apply liquid eyeliner every day and do her hair-I asked her where we were going.  She replied, "Nowhere, I just feel better after I put on my face."  I could see that she did, too.  Her mood was lifted, plus, she was gorgeous.  Morgan Fairchild gave me the impression that I would have a fancy bedroom and have my slippers at the bedside when ready for bed.  Which I do (not so much a fancy bedroom, but slippers by the bed, anyhow)...and I religiously apply cream to my hands and feet before bed as well.  Wonder woman instilled in me the idea that with the right accessories...boots, arm bands, corset-I could leap over buildings and fight injustice all while looking extremely hot.

So, as I do my make-up I have a special time to myself.  My husband knows that the kids should not be in the room with me during this time if at all possible.  He entertains them downstairs.  On weekdays I usually do this during Ever's (my 18 month old) nap or before she wakes. It's quiet and it's a luxury to sit at my vanity and do my thing.  Some days I put thought into my outfit...other days (like today), I'm in my husband's t-shirt and some shorts.  No matter about the outfit, I feel pretty.

If I think on how many times Eric (my husband) has commented on my appearance vs. housework it's a no brainer.  He very often thanks me for making the effort (even though he knows it's more for me than anything or anyone else), he may not say "Wow, you did your makeup," but he'll take a look at me and say something about how beautiful or how sexy I am. 

So, if you ever find yourself in a frumpslump (as I like to call it), bust out your makeup kit.  It doesn't take much-you know what your basics are that make you feel like yourself.  Take care of yourself...the laundry isn't going anywhere.