20 November 2008

Wait - where did I hear that?

In the spirit of productive information sharing, I have a lot of little "tidbits" - strange bits of information that I've picked up from .... well - that's just it - sometimes I don't know, but I do know that it's TRUE. We've all been there..... offering medical "advice" that we're as sure as if we went to medical school is true - and, sure enough, it works - many a mother has diagnosed strep throat, ear infections or appropriately brushed off minor sports injuries because we just "know". We've all offered timely news - financial, political - whatever - and found that someone can second our thoughts and even carry on a conversation about the alleged "facts" - thereby proving that we each heard it "somewhere important". In fact, off the top of my head, I have a few of these "tidbits" rolling around in my brain, begging for me to share.... and.... because it's snowing and me and the little ones haven't left the house in days (or at least it feels that way), I have no one to share with but my blog.

I was reading an old Real Simple magazine the other day and discovered that you can dial 800.FREE.411 from your cell phone, and... save a bunch of $$$. I'm ALWAYS ordering take-out on the way home from basketball pick-up or gymnastics or somewhere - or - trying to find an unknown destination on the way to a birthday party..... I "411 a lot, and this info. helps me (lets' face it, there's a lot of useful info. in Real Simple).

Months ago, while I was still pregnant with my one year old, I was sitting in the doctor' office reading a parents mag of some kind and stumbled onto the following info. - (in a nutshell - I'm definitely not quoting here) - don't sweat it if you have a non-eater who will only ingest chips, sweet stuff like yogurt or, preferably, cookies and the dreaded "chicken nuggets" - instead - hit him/ her with vitamin-packed fish sticks instead. In this house, we now call them "long chicken" and feed them to my picky, vitamin-deprived two year old. After employing this technique for months, I was recently called upon to reveal my source for this reasoning and had to REALLY think - writing it down like this ensures that I would not need to do that again anytime soon - think, that is.

And - because I've used up my allotted "me time" today (I don't dictate that, obviously - my kids do), I'm going to close with a few follow-ups: First, I'm still down on Petit Tresor and would like to encourage people toying with the thought of using them for gifts, employing their services in any other way, etc. (especially as the holidays approach) to..... go straight to your source and cut them out entirely - shop Posh Tots, Burberry, Petit Bateau, Tiffany - straight at the source - unless you like being belittled, ignored or want a really good "bad customer service" story - if so, then, by all means, go to Petit Tresor. And... second.... I found a great gingerbread recipe for my kids to help with .... easy to do, no waiting time on dough... made easy to cut out, successful cookies (no disappointed kids - we were able to decorate cookie people that looked like people and had not spread all over the cookie sheet) - Google Annie's "Gingerbread Links" Page.... some overt religious messages on top, but..... definitely just a cookie and recipe links site.

For those of you who still, despite kids and, as a result, a slow social life, consider yourselves hip and "in the know", I'm saving some word of mouth holiday gift ideas for a holiday week post.... good ones... stay tuned....

11 November 2008

Taking "higher ground" today ...

I was just going to rant today (we all have those moments, days, weeks, months - right?) - well - instead - I'm going to provide a really useful tool to help with what I semi-"ranted" about a couple of days ago. Go to www.gowearfit.com and check out their new device that is - and here I have the eloquent words of someone close to the project in terms of marketing:

"a wearable health monitor that helps you measure the calories you burn WHILE living EVERYDAY life - from taking a walk to doing the dishes"

Awesome. But... Mac users (that's me - so I share your frustration) have to wait about a month in order for the site to be Mac compatible. It's in the works, so ... be patient.

And... because I'm in helpful mode today and happen to be looking for some kid-friendly gingerbread recipes..... I will be back with some recommendations on that - simply because I saw some really good sites, leads, recipes, etc. - and.... I think that is truly the beauty of the Internet - the ability to virtually do some social networking - or rant / blog to strangers and friends alike, etc. - and.... obtain TRULY helpful info. despite all the "clutter".

I am, admittedly, fried today. It's cold here, so... my boys are in sit and watch movie / or wrestle on couch mode - which means I am a short order cook for them (literally - before noon - I have done cereal, eggs, hot cocoa, milk, juice, cookies and peanut butter crackers - yesterday, I did a cheeseburger at 10 am - anyway...) - and - I have a baby who would rather climb the stairs and play with the blinds than play with her shape sorter or drink her bottle. At least my babies want to spend time with me ... right - which is more than I can say for the 12 year old :) - smiling now, but don't get me started......

09 November 2008


It occurs to me, with all that is going on in the world now and all of the sad stories I hear daily, that I am one of the luckiest people alive. I have great kids and the best husband - I live in a nice neighborhood, send my kids to a good school - we take vacations, have a lot of weekend fun at museums or movies or even roasting marshmallows outside in the backyard - just a fantastic life, in general. I need to focus on that more.

06 November 2008

Self-esteem "Workshop"

I haven't had any time to blog lately - haven't written necessary thank yous for recent birthdays - haven't showered most days - definitely have not organized vital "stuff" like photos that need to be downloaded, clothes that need to be taken to Good Will or Salvation Army, etc. - I eat lunch standing up lately, have my coffee go cold daily, wade through piles of toys and work around dirty breakfast dishes until well past lunchtime - Let's just say.... I'm busy.... and a bit frazzled. Baby is walking - preschool for four year old is in full swing - middle schooler's sports are picking up pace - two year old has decided he likes gymnastics class and wants to go again and again. On top of that, holiday shopping has to start, trick or treat just passed, school has only been in session a few months so the homework routine is still shaky - I have to face it; this season is busy.

This brings up an interesting point. And... I must say, on the front-end of this rant, that I am a lifetime food-watcher, nutritionally conscious, a seasoned exerciser and former dancer / athlete, and..... all that said.... who has time to eat right? diet off the baby weight? exercise AT ALL? even take a vigorous walk ( don't know about you, but we go at a toddler's pace around the neighborhood)? I'm a little tired of hearing personal trainers, parents of older children, doctors, etc. say...... you have to make time to exercise - you have to watch what you eat even if it means going out of your way to make that low fat salad (excuse me? Often, it is 4 pm and I realize I have gone foodless all day so I eat a cookie to avoid passing out). I mean I do ab work at midnight between teething baby wake-ups, I do arm work in the shower, I stretch each am while kids climb all over me - I do what I can.

I think we all need to be a little easier on ourselves. Focus on getting back to what makes us comfortable and healthy as opposed to the "perfect" image of your self - either through your eyes or another's. Having babies does change your body for a while, but you can get back to an active, happy you. Give yourself more credit for lifting the little ones all day (it really does work your arms) - eat a sweet now and then (eat the veggies, lean proteins, etc. to stay healthy and happy - the treats because you deserve it) - do your crunches, stretches and your weights for 10 min. or so - at least it's something and keeps you strong and flexible for running around with the kids. I mean -today, I may even pick up the pace a little when I walk the hood - then, allow myself a coffee drink - new yoga pants (can't wear my old jeans but I can look hot in my yoga pants :) - I may even ask my husband to rub my back (sometimes massages seem like a luxury, but.... a backrub is necessary for nursing and / or busy mothers - that post-pregnancy backache sucks, doesn't it? And... it lingers....).

Don't feel guilty. Use the slow cooker recipes (found some good ones in Real Simple recently), shop for new clothes if your old ones are tight, have fun with the kids and count what you do as exercise. Life is too short to worry about such silliness.