Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Workout Videos

I have been very faithful in doing a morning workout.  Around six weeks postpartum I began doing short workouts.  I found a section in our cable titled "Ten Minute Workouts" and started with the Beginner series.  I did a few of the cardio dance routines and a couple of the yoga.  Although the cable lied.  None of those workouts were ten minutes.  They ranged from eight to twelve minutes each.  Maybe it's an average?  Plus, I'd be lying if I said I did the videos in their entirety.  Having a three year old and a newborn means lots of interruptions. 

Eventually I decided I was ready for more (when I wasn't winded after ten minutes of cardio).  I found a deal on a new program and ordered it online.  I started the HipHop Abs program over a month ago and every weekday morning have been faithfully doing one of the workouts in the video series.  It came with a calendar of when to do which video for the first thirty days.  I like programs that are scripted for me and this certainly seemed easy to follow. 

The first weeks were great.  The videos were about twenty to thirty minutes each, and I attempted to time my workouts for when Baby2 was taking her morning nap.  Once the video was done, I'd hop in the shower and get ready for the day (this meant two minutes after I got in the shower Baby2 would decide to wake up and scream and I'd frantically try to rinse soap off while Baby yelled at me, "Baby2 is crying Mommy!"). 

Then the third week hit and the calendar told me I was supposed to double up on some of the videos, taking my twenty minute workout to forty plus minutes.  Baby2 did not like this.  Lots of screaming ensued and I did not get a quiet shower if my workout was extended.  Thus, I quit following the program and decided to make my own and do whichever video I felt like doing in the morning.  

That's what I've been doing every weekday morning for the past couple of weeks,.  I'm sure it's not as effective as it's supposed to be, but at least I'm getting some workout in. 

While doing these workouts, I often wonder how much this guy is making off his series.  He has quite a few workout program choices, too.  It can't be too hard to make a workout video.  I've broken it into a few steps:

1)  Look good (ok, that's the tough part)

2) Come up with some catchy phrases for workout moves

3) Invite a couple of good looking friends to dance in the background

4) Have a bubbly personality that motivates people.

It might also help if you had some knowledge of how muscle systems work together and how to work specific parts of the body, but that knowledge can be easily faked.  It might also help if the workout moves you are using actually work, and if you could get a couple of testimonials to vouch for you (easy enough-pay some actors).  

I could totally do it.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Making Friends

I've been so proud of myself lately.  I've been taking Baby (and Baby2 although I just wear her like an accessory, so it doesn't really count) to gymnastics, storytimes, and the park.  There I've met other moms with children of similar ages and actually had conversations with them.

At storytime I met a nice mom of a three year old with a baby due in a couple of months.  We've taken our daughters to the park at the same time and they both enjoy being pushed on the swings, so we chat while we push.

I met a mom of four at the park and talked about pros and cons of having more children and how one knows when one's family is complete.  Then randomly ran into her while I was on a walk around my neighborhood.  She was driving by and recognized me and pulled over to say hi.  It turns out that she lives nearby and would love to go on walks with me.  We exchanged phone numbers and will hopefully go on a walk soon.

I met another mom at the park who told me the story of how she had left her home on the other side of the country with her daughter and boyfriend at the time and traveled all the way out to California.  She hadn't told anyone she was leaving, just left a note with a family member.

I met another mom at gymnastics who has a daughter the same age as Baby.  The mom was so nice and friendly and we talked a bit about potty training.

I'm also reconnecting with friends from high school who are around and have children around the same age as mine.

I randomly ran into a friend while walking around the neighborhood and ended up having her and her daughter come in and chat for a bit.

Another friend has two sweet boys who Baby plays well with and gets excited when we are going to see them.

Another friend has a son a little older than Baby and we get together and talk while the kids play.  They were over not too long ago and had a blast screaming and running around with each other.

I have a friend with a daughter a year older than Baby who lives about an hour away.  They have  made the trek to my place for lunch play date recently.  Baby keeps asking when we can see them again.  Next time it will be our turn to go there.

I love meeting and hanging out with other moms of children around the same age.  It gives us something to do during the days and helps Baby with socializing.  I'm proud of myself for taking the initiative to talk to people and actually making some connections.       

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

The Day I Had a Migraine

I used to get migraines a lot when I was in middle school.  Something about changing hormones and going through puberty was the culprit I think.  After that I would have them sporadically here and there.  I remember having one when I was on a trip to Europe and I ended up staying in the bus all day while my traveling companions went and explored Monaco that day.  I had a friend take pictures for me so I could have some memory of it. 

I had a couple of migraines in college, and again during my first pregnancy.  The latest one was at the end of last year when I was administering the state tests to the students at school.  Good thing they were quiet and occupied.  I begged painkillers from fellow teachers and sat at the desk all day glaring at the students and trying to breathe.  Then I had one yesterday; my first experience having a migraine while taking care of my children. 

For me, a migraine comes on in stages.  First, my body will usually give me some type of warning sign when I''m about to get one.  Some random part of my body will go numb, like a fingertip, or my big toe, or my bottom lip.  It's weird.  That's my first signal to get some drugs in my body as soon as possible before the next stage of the migraine hits. 

After something goes numb, my vision starts to go.  I can't focus on anything and I have a hard time seeing anything clearly.  It's like I've looked at the sun, or had my picture taken with a bunch of super bright flashes.  If I look at a clock or a phone, I can't see the numbers.  Once in middle school I had a migraine and went to the office to call home.  They handed me the phone and I had to have one of the office staff dial for me because I couldn't see to do it. 

After the vision goes, I get really loopy.  My brain gets fuzzy and I just can't think.  I look at an object and forget the name of it.  I can't form complete sentences or speak coherently.  I remember one episode where I was trying to remember the Yankee Doodle song and couldn't for the life of me remember what the words were.  It's like I'm on some mind numbing drug. 

Then comes the pain.  My head just pounds and pounds and it hurts so bad I get nauseous and just want to crawl into bed with all the lights off and fall asleep so the pain goes away. 

Eventually it will end, although the amount of time the pain lasts will vary.  Usually I've pumped myself full of some type of painkiller to make it end sooner. 

Yesterday I didn't feel the first warning sign like I usually do.  Maybe I was too distracted trying to keep Baby from smothering Baby2.  Or too sleep deprived.  Whatever the case, I noticed I was starting to lose my focus when I tried to look at things.  Then it just went downhill from there.  I dug through the medicine cabinet and found some Excedrin Migraine (Husband keeps it on hand.  I was looking for ibuprofin, which I normally take, but saw the Excedrin first.  I've never taken it before, but it seemed like a good choice at the time.  I mean, it says "Migraine" on it) and took a few capsules.  I tried to read the directions, but couldn't see them, so I took a guess (two tablets is the norm, right?).  I was hopeful it would kick in soon.

Then I started to get loopy. 

Baby kept asking me to do things with her and for her and I couldn't focus to help her.  I remember trying to tell her she needed to finish her waffle, but I couldn't remember the word "waffle."  She made a mess on the floor and I looked at the vacuum, but couldn't remember what it was called.  In my head I was trying to put sounds together but it just didn't work.

Blindly I texted a few people to see if they could come get Baby so I could try to rest and hope the Excedrin kicked in soon.

Then Baby2 had a nice blowout in her diaper.  I was worried I would trip when I picked her up, but I was okay.  Instead, I had a hard time wiping her bottom because I couldn't see it.  I was asking Baby if she thought I got it all, and she was somewhat helpful.

I think the Excedrin made me jittery as well, due to the caffeine.  I haven't had caffeine in who knows how long due to pregnancy and breastfeeding.  I made an exception today.  Anyway, instead of laying down, I felt like I needed to do something, so I tried to straighten up what I could see in the house, while my head started to pound.  I gave Baby whatever she asked for so I wouldn't have to try to think and form coherent sentences while my head was pounding.   

Then the toilet in the hallway bathroom decided to overflow.  Like, seriously.  It came over the top, flooded the floor of the entire bathroom, made it's way into the hallway, and across the hallway and into Baby2's room.  Of course.  I grabbed whatever towels I could find and laid them out everywhere, while Baby followed on my heels saying, "I'll help you Mommy!" 

Eventually my dad replied and said he could come take Baby for me.  By that time my vision was starting to return, but the pounding was still there.  Oh, and nausea too.  I didn't want to throw up into the other toilet for fear it would overflow too, so my plan was the sink or garbage can.  Luckily I didn't need either one this time.

Baby went with her Papa while Baby2 took a nap and tried to eat something and drink a ton of water.

Then I decided to consult Dr. Google to see if taking Excedrin Migraine was a good idea while breastfeeding.  I probably shouldn't have done that.  Apparently it is bad.  It contains three main ingredients:  acetaminophen, aspirin, and caffeine.  Acetaminophen is ok in small doses, as is caffeine.  Aspirin is a huge no-no.  Apparently it's linked to Reye's Syndrome, some terrible disease that can be fatal.  Nice.

I looked up the time that aspirin gets into my milk, and of course every website had a different opinion.  Some said immediately, others said it peaked at three hours.  Another website said it peaked at six hours.  Another site said around nine hours.  Then I tried to look up dosage amounts and if I only took it once what the possible side effects would be on the baby.  Most sites weren't very helpful.  They basically said to avoid it while breastfeeding. 


So now I'm a tad bit paranoid and hoping I didn't break my baby.  I'm scrutinizing her for any rash or any indication that she is having an adverse reaction.  And praying.  I'm probably overreacting and she'll be fine, but that's what you when you're a mom.  

Friday, May 17, 2013

Cures for Colic

Baby2 likes to cry.  She cries and she cries and she cries and she cries.  If she's not sleeping, she's crying.  Lately, it's been getting better, but she still cries a lot.  Here are the top eleven cures that I've tried:

1)  Using the Five S's from the book "The Happiest Baby on the Block."  Sometimes it works.  Sometimes it doesn't.

2)  Holding Baby2 in the Moby wrap while pacing the house. 

3)  Giving Baby2 to Husband or any random person who happens to be around.     

4)  Turning up music and shaking my hips.  One night I held her in the Moby Wrap while I shook my hips to the top tunes of the 90s and 2000s.  It worked.  She stopped crying as long as the music was on and I was dancing.  If I stopped either one, screaming ensued.

5)  Jumping on the trampoline.  Don't freak out, just gentle rocking motion that doesn't even count as jumping.  This sometimes helps calm Baby2.

6)  Walking on the elliptical bike with Baby2 in the Moby Wrap.  I recently discovered this one.  She really likes the rhythmic movement.

7)  Putting Baby2 in the baby swing.  

8)  Carrying her in the Moby while we take a walk around the neighborhood.  This is a pretty good one.  Usually she will fall asleep while I walk.  The moment I stop she will wake up and scream again.

9)  Turning on some form of white noise, like the vent fan above the stovetop.  Or the vacuum cleaner. 

10)  Using a vibrator.  No, not that kind!  What are you thinking?  A friend of mine lent me a pillow that vibrates so I can put it in the swing with Baby2, or in the carseat, or the Moby.  It's supposed to be soothing.  

11) Skin to skin contact.  I get Baby2 naked (still wearing a diaper, though. I don't want to get peed on), and take off my shirt.  Then I hold her and rock her.  Sometimes this works, sometimes it doesn't.  Husband knows that nothing else has worked at this point when he comes home and finds me topless.  As he said the other night, "It must not be too bad yet.  You still have your top on."

Most often then not, she just keeps screaming.  When that happens, I turn to sugar.  I once ate practically an entire pan of brownies in one night.  I was sitting at the stovetop, Baby2 strapped to me in the Moby, screaming her little lungs out, vent fan going on high.  The brownies were right in front of me.  What's a girl supposed to do? 

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

What Are We Doing Today?

Every morning Baby will come in to see me right after she wakes up.  The first words out of her mouth are, "What are we doing today?"  She needs to know the exact itinerary of our day, the order in which we will do things.  She doesn't like surprises and gets very upset if we don't end up doing what we had initially planned. 

A typical morning conversation might go something like this:

Baby (groggily coming in and climbing on the bed):  What are we doing today?

Me (rolling over to check my clock):  It's three o'clock in the morning.  Go back to bed.

Baby:  But what are we doing today??!!!

Me:  Sleeping.  Go back to bed! 

(Walks Baby back to bed). 

Baby (groggily coming in and climbing on the bed):  What are we doing today?

Me (rolling over to check my clock):  It's six o'clock.  Why are you awake?

Baby:  It's morning time.  We need to wake up!  What are we doing today?

Me (cracking open an eye):  Eating breakfast. 

Baby:  What are we doing after breakfast?

Me:  Exercising.

Baby:  What are we doing after exercise?

Me:  Going to get groceries.

Baby:  We need milk and apple juice!  We need milk and apple juice! 


What are we doing after shopping?

Me:  Coming home.

Baby:  Then what we doing? 

Me:  Eating lunch.

Baby:  What we doing after lunch?

Me:  Playing at home. 

Baby:  What are we doing after we play?

Me:  Waiting for Daddy to get home.

Baby:  Then we go for a walk?

Me:  Maybe.  Then we will eat dinner and take a bath and go to bed.

Baby:  Wait, what are we doing after we wake up? 

Repeat conversation until Baby has it memorized.  Then proceed to follow plan. 

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

My Bladder is Broken

I know, the title is probably too much information. 

Anyway.  My bladder is broken.  

You know how they say women who have babies tend to have weak bladders?  Any laughter and a little bit comes out.  Or they constantly have to use the bathroom.  Like every five minutes. 

I have the opposite problem. 

My bladder doesn't tell me when I need to go.  Instead, it will be a few hours and I'll realize I've had a lot to drink, but haven't gone.  So I go use the bathroom. A whole lot will come out.  And then a little more.

See, broken.     

Monday, May 13, 2013

It's a Tuck Everlasting Kind of Life

Have you read the book Tuck Everlasting?  Or seen the movie?  I remember reading it when I was in elementary school, and then again when I was taking a Children's Literature course in college.  It is a nonfiction novel about a family who stumbled upon a water source that made them live forever.  They are the Tuck Family.  I remember a description in the book where a girl from the town (Winnie), goes into their home and says that the family moves like they have all the time in the world (which they do, she just didn't know it at that point).  The mother's movements were patient and unhurried.  The family didn't have to be in a rush to do anything because they could take as long as they wanted.  They literally had all the time in the world.  They were in the middle of a wheel, where the spokes keep moving around them, but the center never moved location.  

I feel like I'm moving at a Tuck Everlasting speed.  I don't feel rushed to do anything.  I don't have any deadlines to meet, any specific schedule to follow.  I can be patient and take my time to do things.

That doesn't mean it's always pleasant and peaceful at my house.  Far from it.  Baby throws tantrums, Baby2 screams and screams.  But I know it won't last forever and time will just keep on moving.

It's a weird feeling for someone who used to be run by the clock: getting Baby to daycare on time so  I wouldn't be late to work, then teaching very structured class periods punctuated by the annoying school bell.  Then off to pick up Baby, get her to bed on time, and repeat the next day. 

Now the wheel keeps spinning around us, but we are in the center.  Unrushed, with all the time in the world.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Cookies and Cupcakes and Brownies, Oh My!

I like to bake.  I really do.  It's different than cooking (of which I'm trying to get better).  I think I'm pretty decent at baking (not decorating, like those fancy cake decorator people who turn cakes into all kinds of crazy objects, I'm just good at putting the ingredients together).  Cooking has too many possibilities.  There are a bazillion spices and sauces and combinations of things that I have no idea what to do.I know people who can just toss a little of this and a little of that into the frying pan and out pops a gourmet meal.  That's not me.  I toss a little of this a little of that and my cat won't even eat what I come up with.  I can cook if I follow a recipe, although even then things don't always turn out right.  Or if it's something simple, I tend to forget I need to watch it and get distracted.  I once burned a pot of rice three times.  In one night.  I'll stick to basic baking.  Flour, sugar, eggs, not too much to go wrong.    

Baby also likes to help me bake.  She helps scoop things and pour things and mix things.  Sometimes she might fling a bit of flour here and there, or pour an extra teaspoon of salt, but it's not too big of a deal.

Since I've been staying home, I have a whole lot more time on my hands.  You know, in between keeping two children alive and happy (the happy part is the hard part.  I think I have the keeping them alive part down pat).  Baby2 likes to scream a lot, and that tends to stress me out.  My motherly instinct is to calm her down, but she doesn't like any of my tactics.  She lets me know this by more screaming.  When she screams, something inside of me screams SUGAR!!!  I just want something sweet, and I want it now.  Thus, I've been baking a lot.

I've made chocolate chip oatmeal cookies (I was trying to be good here- oatmeal is helpful with milk production), brownies (one of husband's favorites), and cupcakes (although I never did get around to frosting them.  I just ate them as is).  I would bake during the day, and Baby would have a blast helping mommy.  In the evenings, I was devouring as Baby2 was screaming.

They made me feel better.

I do know that I wasn't contributing to my weight loss in any way whatsoever and was most likely sabotaging myself.  Then I started noticing people posting recipes on Facebook.  Yummy looking recipes.  I saw a recipe for a 60 second chocolate chip cookie where you throw the ingredients in a bowl and nuke it in the microwave.  The effect was one giant chocolate chip cookie rather than the usual dozens that I would make with my normal recipe.  I've made the 60 second chocolate chip cookie numerous times now.  It was delicious, and Husband liked it so much he would proceed to lick the bowl clean.  I figured smaller portions would help me control my sugar bingeing.  Somehow I think I'm just compensating by eating it more often.

Then I saw some healthy recipes that substitute healthier ingredients for the nasty ones.  I made chocolate chip oatmeal cookies (yes, the chocolate chips were supposed to be raisins, but I couldn't resist) and substituted applesauce and bananas for sugar.  I thought they turned out great.

I have also replaced my butter (a dairy item, and I'm avoiding dairy for Baby2's sake) with vegan butter or coconut oil, depending on how I feel at the time.  Cow's milk has been replaced with almond milk.  I've also been using honey as a sweetener instead of cane sugar.  Poor Husband keeps asking for a batch of regular chocolate chip cookies.  One of these days I'll bake him some.  In the meantime, I'm having fun trying alternatives and convincing myself I'm eating healthier.        

Monday, May 6, 2013

Quiet Time is Dead

Remember when Baby got out of quiet time to use the restroom six times?  I decided to stop fighting it.  I killed quiet time.

No more time outs for getting out of bed.  No more screaming from the little monster.  No more having doors slammed shut and then locked on me (yes, she did that).  No more telling Baby quiet time wasn't over yet and yes, she still had to stay there. 

It was just getting to be more and more of a battle and Baby wouldn't even fall asleep at all, even though I just knew she was tired.  Sometimes I would make her stay in bed for a couple of hours when I knew she needed a nap.  Yet, she still didn't fall asleep and would do any of her plethora of three year old tactics to get out of it.  Usually she resorted to screaming at me.  It was stressful for all of us. 

We haven't had quiet time for a few days now and Baby has been fine.  She's fallen asleep in her stroller on our evening walks a couple of times, but I'm ok with that.  She's a tad bit grumpier, but she snaps out of it when she is distracted.  We just put her to bed a little earlier, which is nice.  Don't children outgrow naps around this age? 

The downside is that I really have no quiet time.  Although it's not like I had any quiet time anyway.  Usually Baby2 would scream all through Baby's quiet time.   I could never get them to be on the same schedule. I the morning we would wake up and Baby2 would sleep while Baby would run around like a crazy child.  Then during Baby's quiet time, Baby2 would decide that she wanted to wake up and scream.  Once I got her asleep again, Baby would wake up.  Then they would both be awake, Baby2 would scream and not want to be put down, I would make dinner while holding Baby2 and fending off Baby, Husband would come home, Baby2 would fall asleep for a few minutes, we'd eat dinner, Baby2 would wake up and scream some more.  Husband would give Baby her bath and put her to bed while I attempted to calm Baby2 (usually that meant I just pigged out on anything sweet that I could make or find.  Something about a screaming baby made me want sugar).  Baby2 would calm down for me to put her to sleep and I would fall into bed.

I don't know why I'm writing in the past tense.  This is now (minus the dead quiet time). 


Wednesday, May 1, 2013

The Post Where I Have a Pity Party About My Weight

Baby2 is two months old this week, and I still have twenty more pounds to lose.  I look like I'm still six months pregnant, and none of the old postpregnancy clothes from Baby fit me.  I won't even go near prepregnancy items.  The other day I tried to put on an old pair of pants (a larger pair), and I couldn't even get them up over my thighs.  It was laughable. 

Everyone says breastfeeding will just melt the pounds away.  Ha.  I think I'm in the rare category where that doesn't work.  I'm starving all the time and even though I'm trying to eat healthier, it doesn't seem to be working.

I was really excited after Baby2 was born because the pounds just disappeared during the first couple of weeks.  I was dropping about a pound a day. Then I plateaued.

Have you seen the workout informercials for P90X, Insanity, etc?  Well, I purchased HipHop Abs.  I am determined to get my stomach flat by August at the very latest.  I am currently on week 3.  While I'm not seeing results as quickly as I hoped I would, I did lose one more pound.  That's progress, right?  I'm assuming I'm also building muscle in the meantime, so it's balancing out.

I know it took me nine months to pack on the pounds, so I'm not expecting results over night.  It would just be nice if they came at a quicker pace.  I want to be able to wear my old clothes again.  I think they miss me.