Snot Season- January 14, 2015

Your baby needs a tissue

It’s everywhere. It’s looming over us wherever we go. Preschool, the store, church, friends’ houses. Name a place. We are all in fear of any one of the numerous plagues wreaking wintertime havoc. Last week Henry and I were down with a seriously nasty cold. He had the cold on top of Roseola which resulted in a 4-day fever. In Charlotte’s class there has been a child stricken with flu and another with strep throat in the past week.

The germs! My God, the germs! We can’t seem to escape them. No amount of grocery cart sanitizing is gonna save us this winter. Seriously, ya’ll.

I’m glad we got flu shots, but we all know the strains going around aren’t being covered by the shot. Sweet Jesus, I keep having flashbacks to 2007. 2007 was the ONE YEAR I was too lazy to get my flu shot. Well, I got the flu and I wanted to die. Seriously. Praying for death. People who don’t get the flu shot have never had the flu. I mean the kind of flu that is diagnosed as actual Influenza. They give you Tamiflu and you are on your ass for 5 days. That kind of flu. Not the “Oh, I feel achy and my my nose has been runny for two days.” I mean the flu.

I feel like I was pretty responsible when Henry was sick, paranoid even. Paranoid about spreading germs. We cancelled all New Years plans. We stayed away from everyone until the pediatrician told me he was “no longer contagious.” (FYI: For Roseola, that’s when the rash appears. Our doctor said you are not contagious by the time the fever breaks and the rash appears. Here’s more on Roseola.)

However, some cold symptoms remained, turning into an ear infection. We are now on a round of antibiotics. I know the answer, but I always ask about ear infections, “It’s not contagious, right?” The answer is always, “No, not contagious.” Cool. Okay.

As he’s getting over it, but boogers remain. Nasty green boogers and the occasional slug of yellow snot stick to his sweet face. I wipe it, and wipe it and wipe it again. With wipes, with tissues. He screams. It sucks.

Here’s what bugs me: The stank looks I get from other parents and adults in general when my kid’s nose is crusty. I want to shout, “I know it’s the peak of flu/strep/puking season. I’m SORRY! I’m doing the best I can! He screams like I’m skinning him alive to wipe his face! Boogers and snot are part of being a human child! The doctor says he’s not contagious anymore!” 

I feel like I’m constantly reciting his recent medical history when someone says, “He needs a tissue.” I just can’t stay ahead of the snot. I’m sorry, but we can’t stay inside forever. Occasionally you will have to witness my boy in his natural state during snot season.

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Body Back Class #1- January 12, 2015

This morning my brand new FitBit went off at 4:30 am. I had flashbacks to my 2:00 am alarms when I was a news reporter. I thought, “I’ve done this before. I can do it again.” Only, I haven’t done THIS before. This is new. It was still dark, raining and cold. Oh, and Monday. I didn’t care. I was psyched for this opportunity.

Remarkably, I walked into the gym on time at 5:30 am to meet the group of women I’d be taking this 8 week challenge with. They are my group for Body Back.  Many readers may know I’ve been doing Stroller Strides since I started saying home after maternity leave with Henry. Stroller Strides is a great workout you can do with the kids in the stroller. We get cardio, strength training, abs and stretching in each class. It’s great.

But, I needed more. In fact, I didn’t even know how much I needed until my first Body Back class today.

body back logo

Body Back is a results-based workout designed for moms. Workouts are high intensity interval (HIIT) workouts resulting in weight loss & increased strength and energy. Groups are small. Classes are twice a week. We get one-on-one attention from the instructor. We get nutrition counseling. It’s pretty awesome.  Christie is our instructor. She’s lovely and energetic. She makes 5:30 am bearable, even exciting. For the first class we discussed our goals for the 8 weeks as a group before assessments.

Assessments. Christie pulled out the scale. Oh God. I was the first to step on and I legitimately thought that somehow that scale was totally off. Surely it was a piece of crap, right? Oh no. It wasn’t. Christie said it was brand new or something. I’m not sure. I couldn’t hear anything at that point. I could only hear Simon and Garfunkel’s “Sound of Silence.”

“Hello darkness, my old friend
I’ve come to talk with you again”

I stared at the number and assumed that because I was fully clothed and had a protein smoothie in my belly that the scale was 25 lbs. off. Right? 25 lbs. of liquid was what I drank this morning, right? I should have peed before assessments. Right?

Me on the scale in my first Body Back class on Instagram

I took a breath and smiled. I asked Christie to take my picture making a funny face to stay positive. It was my only defense against the defeated, horrible feelings I felt looking at that number on the scale. Long ago, in what often feels like another life, I had extremely negative emotions towards scales.

The short of a very long story is this: I battled an eating disorder as a teenager. I was diagnosed with Anorexia at age 15. I had fantastic inpatient and outpatient treatment for two years. Going away to college was the best thing that happened to me when it came to eating habits. I have had a happy and healthy adulthood, and a good relationship with food. It’s not a secret, I’m happy to explain anything about it to anyone, it’s just that an eating disorder is no longer part of my life, so I don’t talk about it that much anymore. I’m proud to have awareness of my mental health because of what I went through.  That’s it.

Anyway, since I had children I’ve been all like, “I want to show my kids how much I love my body! I like being healthy and working out, but I’m going to show them that their Mama enjoys food and has a positive body image! Gimme that cupcake!” That’s great, but I hadn’t stepped on a scale since I was 9 months pregnant in the OB’s office and didn’t care how much I weighed.

In my body-positive, scale-free life I kinda went a little too far the other way. Cookies anyone? I have been living life as if I was 25 lbs. lighter. In my mind I still have a thin 20-something body that looks great in a wedding dress or a bikini. Don’t get me wrong, I think I look okay. I don’t have the body loathing that I once had. I mostly like the way I look. But, today I came to the startling reality that I’m now a 30-something woman who has gestated and birthed two babies and I am not, in fact, keeping it as tight as I would like. My body is different now. I just stopped nursing my second baby last week. The breastfeeding calorie burn is gone and a softer belly remains.

I’m embarrassed to put that on the Internet, but it’s true. Don’t we all want nothing but Photoshopped, perfect pictures on social media? Well, I’m over that. This is what it is. This is where I’m at.

More than how I look, I want to be stronger. I want to be leaner and trimmer. I want to be able to run further. I want to do real push-ups. After assessments today, I learned I can do a whopping one real push-up. One. I want to do more. I feel like I’m at a place where I can get in really good shape. I’ll be updating twice a week about my Body Back journey. Follow me on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. I’ll be using hashtag #SPBodyBack.

I may not get back the body I had as a 20-something. That’s okay. This is the body of my 30’s. You know, the one that carries a 4-year-old in a “Frozen” Snuggie and a 14-month-old still rocking his Christmas pajamas in January. It’s the body I’m going to have. It’s my “body forward.”

with the kids on the first day of Body Back

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New Shampoo- January 9, 2015

Princess shampoo

Someone asked me once, “What’s your favorite smell?” Easy. The smell of my children’s hair after a bath. I’ve always washed their hair with Johnson & Johnson’s Baby Shampoo or Head to Toe Shampoo/Body Wash. You know the stuff. It smells like a baby. We’ve all had it around the house forever. My obsession started when they washed Charlotte for the first time in the hospital. I breathed her in. When they took her to the nursery I could still smell her on the receiving blanket next to me. I needed her back with me to breathe her in some more. That’s when I fell in love with the smell.

She’s four. I still wash her hair with it just to smell her. She’s had a ton of cherry-bubblegum scented bubble bath or whatever, but her hair is washed in Johnson’s. Always. For Christmas she got a box of princess bath items. A comb and mirror, complete with her first bottle of body wash. Surely it would make her skin princess-smooth. She was psyched. My heart fell a little when I saw the shampoo in there too. I knew nothing would keep her from hair that magical and I knew it wouldn’t smell like Johnson’s.

That night I reluctantly sniffed the pink bottle and washed her hair. When I went to check on her before I went to sleep I leaned down to kiss her. I smelled her hair.

It was a new smell. A non-Johnson’s princess smell. It is not the smell of a baby. It was a mixture of cherry-bubblegum and sparkles. I loved it. In the whiffs of fruity candy, her curls carry the scent of my four-year-old. The smell is bright and spirited. It somehow represented my funny kid who is learning about a bike with training wheels, builds Lego towers as high as she is and wears dress-up clothes while drawing pictures. My cherry-bubblegum girl who sings loud, runs fast and hugs hard.  It’s perfect for her hair now. All too soon it will smell like highlights or hairspray and I’ll long for the scent of cherry-bubblegum.

Plus, I get to wash her baby brother in Johnson’s until he cares about shampoo, if ever. I think their hair will always be my favorite smell.

Charlotte after her bath in pajamas

Fresh from her princess bath.

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Pajamas: Why Kids Need More P.J.’s- January 7, 2015

I was with a group of moms recently when someone asked for “practical advice” for a first-time mother. This woman was compiling ideas for an “advice book” or something for a baby shower to give to the mom-to-be. Practical advice. Okay. Advice on diapers and milk supply went around the group. I suddenly blurted out, “Pajamas! Buy more pajamas than you think you need.”

Everyone paused and looked at me. One said, “Oh yeah. Totally.”

Right now I am literally going to air my dirty laundry. Take a look, this is the inside of my washing machine this week before I ran it.

pajamas in the washing machine

These are just the pajamas that are visible. Every load of laundry I do has at least one set of pajamas in it. Think about it. What is your kid often wearing when they do the following?

  • Leak through their diaper
  • Wet the bed
  • Puke
  • Get a bloody nose
  • Eat pancakes with syrup
  • Eat popcorn and chocolate milk while watching a movie
  • Smear chocolate candy from their Easter basket or Christmas stocking on them

That’s right! Their pajamas! My mom asked me what I should get the kids for Christmas. “They both need pajamas,” I replied. My daughter got some Hello Kitty pajamas and (shocker) some “Frozen” pajamas. That’s another thing. Are you a mom who hates tacky character shirts for kids? Well, let them get their Lightning McQueen-Dora-Ninja Turtles-Doc McStuffins-Sponge Bob fix with pajamas! You’ll get the satisfaction knowing your kid will likely barf and pee on the tackiness. The satisfaction will wane when you realize it’s just more laundry. Here’s to more sleep!

Charlotte and Henry in pajamas

Side Note: I used to be a mom that didn’t like tacky character t-shirts. That ship sailed when the S.S. Princess Everything docked at our house awhile back.

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The Worst Holiday- January 2, 2015

I love most holidays. Christmas is my favorite. I’m not alone there. It doesn’t get better than presents and food in honor of Jesus’ birthday. As an optimistic extrovert I do enjoy almost all the other holidays too. I made the most of single Valentine’s Days and 100 degree July 4th’s in the past.

July 4, 2009. It was insanely hot, yet I am so happy. (And young. Geez.)

July 4, 2009. It was insanely hot, yet I am so happy. (And young. Geez.)

There is one holiday, however, that I don’t like. New Years. I hate it. New Years Eve is the sad, cold and drunken let down to Christmas. I had no problem working the New Years shift when I was a TV news reporter. No social plans I ever had on December 31 came through. No one in the group could ever finalize plans. Someone always drank too much. I always spent too much money and was left too tired the next day. No thank you.

It got better after I got married and had some chill restaurant-then-champagne-toast-at-home evenings, but New Years still symbolizes the holidays being over. Twice in my life it meant I had to go back to work because maternity leave ended in January.

I spent all day January 1, 2015 being cranky and bummed out. Part of that was because my one-year-old is feverish and snotty. I was cooped up with him as my nose got stuffier. I lashed out at my well-meaning husband who did absolutely nothing wrong. I sulked at the Rose Parade, which sucks compared to the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. Thanksgiving, now there’s a holiday.

I think what I hate most about New Years is the insane amount of pressure we put on it to “start over” or “resolve to be better.” Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy looking through friends’ “Year in Review” or “Best of 2014″ videos and collages on Facebook or Instagram, but I don’t like making empty resolutions.

I think I hate it more this year because I don’t really want to make any changes. I’m happy. I’m blessed. I feel almost too lucky, like something is going to happen if I make changes. It’s easy to be complacent when you’re in a good place. I’d rather just enjoy myself and watch my sweet babies grow than force myself to make strides. See…look at them! This picture makes me want to freeze time in December, 2014 instead of leaving the holiday season behind! Ugh!

xmas professional 7

I owe it to myself and my family to keep getting better. So with a giant eye roll to the institution of New Years resolutions, in 2015 I resolve to:

  1. Write more.
  2. Take more risks.
  3. Be more patient with my family.
  4. Have a better attitude about New Years.

Happy 2015.

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