Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Mommy Pledge to Get Fit Backfires

Not really sure what I was thinking trying to get started on a weight loss and health kick in the midst of one of the craziest times in my life. Not only did I start a brand new job, but also packed up the apartment to make a major move and relocation, searched and found a home for us to live in, identified and secured tenants to take over our previous lease, find and secure a quality daycare, etc.

And, let's just say, the list goes on with how much has been going on in my life these past two months. Still there is more to do, but the major stuff is complete.

So, with all the stress came much eating and much of it not very healthy.

A couple of days a week for over a month I traveled to my sister's where I stayed overnight and then commuted to my new job. It was the long drives down and back where the bad eating habits kicked in. After a long work day followed by the long drive and no exercise I was exhausted and spent and hungry.

Tonight my husband said I should really give myself a break considering how much we have been dealing with and how much I have accomplished for our family in record time.

I was initially going to write that I really can't say there are any good excuses and that I could have made the time and effort to plan. But, let's be real here. Time was not exactly on my side. With so many plates flying in the air, little sleep and much to do I fell back into my old habits.

Despite making a pledge to get fit and healthy in a previous blog post here and not being able to commit to it, I am committing to it now.

So, instead of beating myself up as that will not do me any good at all, I am making another go at this.

Even though we are still unpacking many boxes, trying to get a routine established for Sarah and us, getting settled, making new friends, etc., I have decided to take the first step.

Tonight, after picking Sarah up from school, she and I drove to the gym and signed me up. The great news is that this gym, like the one I was a previous member of, has a swimming pool where I can also take Sarah to swim. I also get the great benefit of swimming as fun, relaxing and rewarding exercise amongst other activities including an indoor track to run or speed walk. And, it doesn't hurt that tonight happened to be an amazing deal of less than $20 per month, no contract and no sign up fee. Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhh.

I hope your journey to good health and fitness is working out. And, if it's not, don't beat yourself up. Start fresh and start new. Wish me luck.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Mommy's Monday Morning Moment in Haiku

If I don't have to get in a car for a long drive for a long while I will be a happy person and a happy mommy.

This past week we spent much time in the car traveling to and from for family get togethers and other auspicious festivities that my goal, hopefully, is to remain as close to home at least for the next week or two if at all possible.

Thanksgiving traffic
Is sure the worst of its kind
Ran late to wedding

Thankful for good health
Happiness, prosperity
Time with family

Sarah time in car
Filled with watching videos
Helping to calm her

Holiday traffic
Was stressful beyond belief
Thankful Sarah calm

Awesome time with friends
Kids playing, laughing, happy
Hard for it to end

Mommy needs more sleep
Need vacation from time off
Pooped from holiday

Still more unpacking
Settling into new home
So loving it here

Here's to a new week
Start fresh and think of renew
Chanukah soon here

Sarah hugs the best
Amazing how they help heal
And ease, warm my heart

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Portable DVD Player: My Savior

This past week was an incredibly busy one for us traveling in the car back and forth to family and friends for holiday, wedding and birthday festivities. Much of the time involved Sarah being in her car seat for long spurts of time.

It first started with the day before Thanksgiving driving to a wedding typically a two and a half hour drive away. We expected to be in the car for likely a bit longer due to the holiday traffic and to stop once or twice along the way for potty and food breaks and some run around time for Sarah. But, due to the crazy holiday traffic, likely the worst I have ever experienced, we could only make one stop along the way as arrival to the wedding we would have been very, very late. On top of it all, because of the insanity of the traffic, another two hours got added on to our commute. We factored in extra travel time but didn't expect this.

As a result we made sure to have a portable DVD player in the car to keep Sarah occupied outside of the typical car games and activities we do. I have to say thank goodness for having this electronic device as it saved our lives that day. Normally, I don't like Sarah to be exposed to too much television time but knowing how stressful the drive could have become with the long hours and stress associated with traffic and Sarah potentially flipping a gasket from boredom it was what was needed for all involved.

Sarah was then in the car for another unplanned two hours that same night as we were not able to make our way to friends who were going to babysit. (Sorry Jessica and Amy for the last minute cancellation) We had to instead drop me off first at the wedding alone, with little time to get to the sitter and back to the wedding in time for the ceremony, and for Sarah and Daniel to then go all the way to my parent's home. Fortunately, thanks to friends I was able to get to my parent's home after the wedding safe and sound. (Thanks Sal and Nori)

Bummed by all of this Daniel was then convinced Sarah was going to be fussy and cranky in the car. With the movies on DVD fortunately Sarah was incredibly patient and seemingly understanding of the situation. If anything, she was content during an otherwise stressful situation for Daniel and I. Despite not being able to dance with my hubby and share in the joy of this wedding with my honey I was glad to know that Sarah was okay and content, not giving Daniel a hard time, and all-in-all she a great time with her grandparents once she arrived at their house.

Nonetheless, when push comes to shove sometimes having video solutions available during long car trips especially at night when it's hard to see in the car to do other activities, for kids, this is a valuable solution worth considering.

I have come to realize that the nature of situations like this warrant the help of television or videos to help a child remain calm and comfortable. I know that I need to research further other car games and activities for toddlers. Often times we do much with her in the car but once sun sets our car activities become limited especially if Sarah's not ready for sleep.

Any ideas you want to share I am fully open to. In the meantime, you can be sure that I won't be leaving home for any long trips without DVD support.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving

I have much to be thankful for in my life. Not only do I have my health but I also have a super wonderful husband who is incredibly supportive, compassionate and loving. I am also thankful for the sweet, adorable, energetic and vivacious daughter who loves me unconditionally, giggles like rays of sunshine and keeps me on my toes and often in desperate need of a caffeine fix to get through the day.

I give thanks to my friends and family, and readers, and wish you all well this holiday season.

I can't say this enough.
My life as a parent has forever changed me. I see my life through Sarah. She's been my motivation, inspiration, and sometimes aggravation. It's because of her that this Thanksgiving I have something also special to celebrate. Seeing the future I wanted for Sarah, that Daniel and I wanted for Sarah, I was fortunate to find a great new job and relocate us. So, this Thanksgiving we are in a new home, new city, surrounded by family and news friends. We now live in a house with a backyard (yeah!!!) in a great neighborhood with superb schools and a very short distance from close family. I look forward to building our new life with Sarah's future, and ours, in focus.
Sarah's presence in my life continues to be the light that keeps me going and the sunshine that warms my heart.

Sarah has been growing by leaps and bounds since last Thanksgiving. She knows her letters and numbers, can trace them too, loves to ride on the swings and run around too, has a great appreciation for arts and crafts, and is developing at such a rapid pace it's so exciting to help foster and watch her grow.

Today, I share with you this special something from my little special someone as we, together, wish you and yours a happy and healthy Thanksgiving and prosperous year.

Happy Thanksgiving!!!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Daycare Drop-off Drama

Our move to the suburbs is complete. And, with this comes a lot of newness. As you can imagine, for a child this can be daunting and exciting all at the same time.

Therefore, it should come as no surprise that taking Sarah to daycare each morning for the past four school days has been somewhat challenging. Even after taking Sarah to see her new school before the move and talking about this change with her well before the move, still it is scary for her. I can understand that with new faces including teachers, parents and kids this can be overwhelming.

I need to keep reminding myself of this.

Fortunately, Sarah does not kick and scream to get into the car to go to school. In fact, she's excited to go. Once we are in school she's fine too. Taking off her coat, putting her food in the fridge, and roaming around she likes to do. It's when it's time for her to sit down and have breakfast and I need to leave for work that Sarah has her full on meltdowns.

Let me emphasize, Sarah has been in daycare for a good part of her life. So, for her, she's used to going to school for a long day and spending it with teachers and friends.

However, again, newness is certainly making it scary.

So, I have had to tell the teachers each day to "rip off the band aid."

While this happens, in the swells of my body my heart aches and my stomach hurts. On the outside I have to keep my composure as I will either lose it or make Sarah even more upset if she sees mommy with tears. It's so hard to do this. Sometimes I just want to scoop Sarah up and say let's go and we'll see you tomorrow. Clearly, I can't do that. And, since I then call school later in the day to find that Sarah is doing well I can continue. Sarah seems to like it there. She has had the occasional moment of sadness but all in all seems to be enjoying it.

I know that this will get better with time for both of us. In the meantime, I write this feeling such guilt, pain and anguish. I know that this too shall pass.

Still, the daycare drop-off drama wakes me from sleep in the morning before the alarm goes off hoping and praying that that day will be different. Here's to hoping that Sarah will make new friends soon and be excited to go and want to stay at school.

I love that Sarah wants to be with me, and Daniel. Sometimes I used to think how is it she's not mad at us or lashing out at us for leaving her at school for such long hours in the day. But, she still leaps into our arms at the end of each day and that makes it alright.

Tomorrow is another day. Oh, wait. Tomorrow is Thanksgiving and school is closed through the weekend. Here's to hoping Monday will be a good daycare drop off. And, if it's not, I just need to remain strong and know that in time it will get better.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Mommy's Moments of Reflection

This weekend's moments of reflection.

Awesome time with friends
Watching our girls bonding
Playing and laughing

The move is complete
We are now settling in
Loving the new home

Sarah adjustment
To new home, new school, new friends
It will take some time

The unpacking starts
Finding room for everything
The chance to spread out

The family room
Sarah's favorite play space
Loaded with her toys

Time with family
Sharing with them our home
Making memories

Monkey bars, swings, slide
Backyard playtime so much fun
Meeting new neighbors

Moving and children
Can be somewhat tough for all
Plan accordingly

Make a fuss about
When moving to a new home
Your kids room, play space

Moving can be much
For little kids to process
Give time to adjust

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

I Must Be Nuts!!!

Last night, after a full day of work and a jaunt to the mall with Sarah for some treats and playtime, there was still something left for me to do before my bedtime that I needed to muster the energy to complete.

Yawning much and wishing for my bed, blinded by piles of packed boxes with more that needed to be packed still there was one more thing for me to do before I retired for the night.

You are likely going to think I am crazy when I tell you more.

Because the following day would be Sarah's going away party at school (since we are moving and she has established relationships with her friends and teachers) I promised myself, and her, that I would make cupcakes for her send off.

Now, mind you, I make cupcakes often. This is not a problem for me. I even had extra reinforcements in place this time around to ensure that this could get done in a timely fashion without too much craziness or mess.

Why couldn't I just go to the store and buy beautifully made cupcakes?

My husband even tried to pep talk me into buying as well. He said that Sarah would love them regardless. He's right. And, I know he's right. Sarah would love them no matter what, whether I made them or purchased them. But, still after the fleeting moment passed of considering store bought treats I still said no. I know I would not be any less of a mom if I bought versus baked. I just feel great reward in making these special confections.

And, since I am not a great cook, I gravitated to baking as it was much easier for me. I am not good as a dash of this here and a pinch of this there. i take great pride in the products I churn out but am also my own worst critic when they don't come out as planned. (note: Sarah's second birthday cake -- not my best creation).

Further, a couple of years after Sarah was born my baking desire grew exponentially. With birthday parties and kid's get togethers happening more often we started to bake together. It became a new "thing" for us to do together. And, I love how adorable Sarah looks in her apron and how much we bond while we bake together.

Therefore, it should come as no surprise that despite exhaustion the cupcakes got made and Sarah was thrilled. This time I made the cupcakes without Sarah since it was well past her bedtime. Once we are settled in our new home I intend to get back into our routine of baking together.

I know, you are likely saying I am nuts. I accept that. As a mom, I want to do so much for Sarah. This choice to bake, despite it being late and me being tired, was more about me wanting this for Sarah and how much pride I take in making the effort.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Monday Mommy Moments of Reflection

This was an incredibly exhausting weekend. Lots and lots and lots of packing to do before our big move. Still, though, I find it very important to take Sarah out for playground jaunts, even if for short spurts so that she can get much playtime during all this craziness. It just means staying up super late to get it all done.

This mommy is tired!!!

This past weekend in haiku.

Some much packing left
To do before moving day
So many boxes

Sarah and TV
She's watching so much of it
What's a mom to do?

TV is helping
Sarah's not under my feet
Packing it all up

We will need reprieve
From television watching
After we are moved

Feel like bad mommy
But have to get it all done
Must get over it

Talk about timing
Daniel's book is due next week
We are all tired

Excited for change
And to be near family
To spend lots of time

Need the mommy strength
We will be moved soon enough
Happy, excited

Will miss NYC
Ready for this journey
To our future

Keep following me
Here at Mommy's Point of View
I will still be here

Friday, November 12, 2010

EmbarASSing Mommy Confessional

What is a mommy to do? When you gotta go, you gotta go.

I have a confession to make. I have peed and pooped on Sarah's potty seat. And, I have done it more than once.

Since we are in the throes of potty training with Sarah she sometimes get so excited in the mornings before I am fully awake asking incessantly to sit on the big toilet. Because of this, I often don't get my chance to go to the bathroom first in the morning, a must for someone living with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Therefore, once the topic of bathroom comes up my urge to go grows exponentially. Once it's in my head that I have to go to the bathroom, I really need to go. And, since this is such a crucial time for Sarah I can't just tell her to hold it in when we are encouraging her so much to let it out.

But (butt -- ha ha ha), sometimes when Sarah has to go, I then have to go too. She sometimes tells me, "Mommy, you have to wait your turn."

It's in these instances that I have had to resort to sitting on Sarah's potty seat and go.

Hey! It's a potty seat. I am using it for what it is to be used for. This seat does not discriminate against a small tushy or a big one like mine.

If anything, I thought that it would help Sarah to learn that pooping on the potty is good and that, look, Mommy does it too.

Okay. You can be grossed out now. But, when the mornings are early and I'm half awake and have to go to the bathroom, I may continue to use Sarah's potty as she continues to embrace her own growth on the big porcelain tank. The reason this has become the situation is that I don't like to leave Sarah in the bathroom by herself just yet as she has been known to fall off the toilet seat from too much excitement. Go ahead and laugh. I do too.

Let's just say that I am doing this for her safety and my sanity. With IBS when the urge is there to go, I must go.

Oh, the things a parent must do to survive. Have an embarASSing moment or confessional you would like to share?

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Mommy Pledge to Get Fit and Healthy

Just about this time last year I had an epiphany (thanks to a photo of me from a friend's wedding -- ugh) that I needed to lose weight and get healthy. It was too long after having Sarah that I had not taken off all of my pregnancy weight. I was also motivated by a segment I saw on the Dr. Oz show about the idea of going on a sugar detox and it got me to thinking about a change.

Therefore, I started, the day before Halloween last year and asked my husband to join me on a journey to better health, better eating and better body.

It was incredibly tough.

Deciding to cut out sweets and soda was a start. And, it was a huge factor in my weight gain over the years that it was going to be really, really hard to manage. The great news was that with better eating habits, cutting out the sweets and soda and adding in exercise I managed to lose as much as 15 pounds within four months. My husband lost 17 pounds. We felt great. We felt amazing. We were able to get back into favorite clothes. I finally hit my goal of pre-pregnancy weight.

Then, we fell off track.

For me, every time I have had successful, reasonable, weight losses with amazing results I then add back in the sweets and such in small doses and then the weight creeps back up to the point where I am back to where I started. It's not as if I didn't have a healthy weight loss over time, each time. The temptation of sweets was just so exponential. It may sound extreme to cut out all sweets but for me I am not good at eating them in moderation.

I have been fortunate to have two wake up calls recently prompting me to make a public declaration right here, right now, at Mommy's Point of View to make a change. Ironically, another friend's wedding is coming up in late November that I fear how I will look in photos. And, since starting my new job nearly a month ago, I have been involved with a great new education effort for one of my clients (Centocor Ortho Biotech Inc.) that has given me new motivation.

I have been helping to raise awareness about a disease near to my family: psoriasis. This autoimmune skin condition, which can be uncomfortable and painful, affects a dear family member of mine. The more I thought about the campaign and spoke with media about it the more I realized there was something in it for me as well.

While I do not have psoriasis, the message about this program rung true for me. All in all, it is important that we incorporate exercise into our daily lives. In another year I will be forty and the realness of that has also made me realize that like what this program is trying to help people living with psoriasis do, is true generally of life. The importance of regular exercise, healthy diet and stress management can help to improve lifestyle.

And, as a parent, I want to live a long life to enjoy the many milestones I will experience with my daughter. I also want to become the best me that's possible: physically and emotionally. You pretty much can't have one without the other.

So, while I love food, and especially sweets, something has to change.

How is now going to be different?

I want to say that publicly declaring this need for change and to be emotionally and physically fit I have to just try, and try hard.

My husband and I are getting started. We have done it together before and we will do it again. And, instead of waiting for until after much of the overeating may take place between Thanksgiving and New Years we decided that the time is now.

Therefore, I am making my pledge now to become FIT -- emotionally and physically.

Want to join me?

It's going to be a tough road for me but I look forward to what the future holds for a more energized, rested and balanced mind and body.

Wish me luck. I am going to need it.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Monday Mommy Moments of Reflection

A very busy weekend indeed for this mommy. Fortunately, I was able to get a mommy reprieve and go to a really fun bridal shower for my friend getting married later this month. I also had time to reflect on the amazing next steps we are taking as a family all for Sarah and for the life we now want to create for her, and us.

Packing up boxes
Getting ready for the move
So much more to do

Bridal shower fun
To celebrate a friend's joy
Soon she'll be married

Time to toast and drink
Laugh and eat and celebrate
A mommy time off

Let's go to dinner
My precocious toddler said
Chinese food we ate

She loves to eat out
Did a great job with chopsticks
Sarah is a hoot

Even more packing
Toys and books and clothes
On sunny Sunday

With her grandparents
Sarah spending time, playing
Laughing, giggling

That much more packing
The end of the tunnel light
Starting to glow bright

Getting excited
Many journeys lie ahead
Ready for new start

Kids open your eyes
To what it is real in the world
Helping set their path

Next chapter for us
Centers around my Sarah
What's next is for her

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Early Morning Potty Training

Sarah has been heavily in the process of potty training very excited to start wearing big girl underwear -- or panties as she likes to say.

She has full interest in going pee pee on potty chairs, toilet rings and adult toilet seats, but has no interest at this time in dropping off the kids at the pool.


I guess this part will come soon too.

I am just happy that she has an interest in potty training. And, with us in the throes of a major move to a new home and new school, I am not pushing at all on this developmental milestone. I even suspect that Sarah may regress during all these new changes and that toilet training may fall back somewhat. Often I think, this milestone is so significant that I keep reminding myself that is has to happen naturally for Sarah so as to hopefully not screw her up too much (Freud fills my brain much of the time during these moments).

In the meantime, Sarah has gotten into the habit of waking very early in the morning around 2am or 5am calling me to say that she needs to go potty. Now, it would be so good to just fall back to sleep and hope that she does too but knowing how critical and important this process is I know I have no choice but to get up and take her to the bathroom. And, ninety percent of the time she does pee. Fortunately, Sarah goes back to sleep after these wake-up relief moments, most of the time. But, please, this tired mommy is already so tired that waking up for bathroom breaks, which I won't even get up for myself, are making me that much more tired.

I know, no water before bed, and other beverages not too close to bed time. Even when this doesn't happen, still Sarah wakes with the need to pee. Wondering if she's dreaming about lakes, oceans, ponds, etc. (giggle). She loves, loves, loves to jump in puddles wearing her boots. Maybe that's what she's dreaming about. (ha ha ha)

Soon this milestone will pass and that little bit of sleep for me will come back, at least until the next milestone that may wake me prematurely.

Happy daylight saving day. Yes, I have been up for a while now. Got to love potty training.

I will say this, I am loving the brightness of the morning. Have a great day.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Monday Mommy Moments of Reflection

Here are moments of reflection from this weekend past. What a really fun time!!!

Happy Halloween
Pumpkins, candy, kids dressed up
Great trick/treat weekend

Fun filled costume month
Birthday parties, Halloween
Many dress up times

A princess, Sarah
Excited kid dressed as cow
And kitty cat too

First a blue princess
Then a cow dressed saying "Moo"
And cute kitty cat

Costume party fun
Mommy, Daddy and Sarah
Dressed as three cool cats

Packing continued
Unloading, donating too
Mommy swap meet fun

Sarah's clothes too small
Out with old in with the new
Gently used finds, SCORE!

Volunteering time
Providing for those in need
Every bit counts much

Brownie making fun
Sarah giggles as she stirs
Loving time baking

Princess Ariel
Purple, blue and frilly dress
Twirling all around

Halloween with kids
Much fun you want to join in
Dress up and laugh too

Reminded again
The value of great friendships
I am truly blessed

Halloween Candy for the Troops

While we all recover from over indulging in too much candy during Halloween, still the candy is in our homes staring at us willing us to...