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Tuesday, March 31, 2009

No More Sitting On My Ass: Part II

So... about those fitness goals. What were those again?

Eating habits:
1. Eat more fruits, veggies, and whole grains; and fewer simple carbs.
Hmmm... fruits? veggies? Buying more, but not necessarily eating them. I have four apples and an unopened bag of salad sitting in my fridge while I sit here on my tuckus sipping a Barq's.

But I'm doing better with my carbs. I bought a loaf of whole wheat bread instead of white this week when my husband asked for "regular-sized bread" for his grilled cheese-maker. And because we're on a very tight budget, we don't have any much money for junk food such as 180-calorie cookies from the bakery.

2. Eat when I'm hungry, and only when I'm hungry.
Still kinda sucking at this one. I'm not skipping as many meals (or substituting meals with sugary cereals), but I could still skip, um, no meals. The eating when I'm hungry thing is hard, given the mom thing, and the daycare worker thing, so I'm still frequently forgetting that I'm hungry. And I'm still giving in to most of my munchies.

3. Eat appropriate portions.
Well, to be perfectly honest, this has never been too much of a problem for me at mealtimes -- but always a problem with the desserts (you may not have realized this, but I have a bit of a sweet tooth). I have one cookie, and I just can't stop there.

Unfortunately, this is still kinda the case. :(

Activity habits:
1. Basic level of fitness.
Obviously, this is not a short-term goal. And just getting myself off the couch was a lot harder than I expected. I have not purposely set out to get active since before I found out I was pregnant (for frame of reference, that was about 2 years ago).

So I'm pretty proud of myself today: I just got done with my "workout" for the third time in six days.

Confession time: my "workout" is 3 sets of Dance Dance Revolution.

Yeah, I'm a dork. But I think it's a nice transition from no activity to some activity, and in about a week I'll start doing something a little more intensive.

2. (later) Better endurance, some tone, maybe some muscle even.
Again, long-term goals. But tonight was the third time I did my ... activity, and I already feel like I need more of a challenge to actually get some results (by which I mean pain).

New goals: 1) Do better on my current goals.
2) Keep track of what I'm putting in my body -- food, drink, gum, whatever.
3) Weigh myself every morning (to be averaged at the end of each week). Just to keep myself in check.
4) Drink more water and less pop and milk (which I'm already doing better with, actually: I bought 2 percent for myself and my husband so we don't drink the baby's whole milk; I'm also already drinking more water). I'd like to gradually increase my water intake to the recommended 48 to 64 ounces every day.
5) Get more rest.

I've really got my work cut out for me, haven't I?

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Haiku Friday #18: And The Worst Mother Of The Year Award Goes To...

Haiku Friday

*Haiku-ers: I know this is two days late. Blogger was screwed up Thursday night, and I didn't get a chance to publish until today. So sue me.

Oh, yeah, you're right. I haven't posted in weeks. Oops. Sorry folks.

Back to your regularly scheduled blog...

Sev'ral weeks ago,
I took my husband to the
Emergency room.

Silly me! I thought
We wouldn't have to go back
Again -- not this year.

This time, it was the
Children's Hospital ER.
My son's arm was hurt.

On Monday afternoon, my dad mentioned that Adam was favoring his right arm a little, but when I got him home, he didn't seem to be acting unusually. He did sleep horribly Monday night, and had a terrible morning on Tuesday -- he wouldn't eat, or laugh or smile. All he did was cry. And all I could think was, "I wish he would cooperate so I'm not late to work."

When we got to the daycare, I told his teachers about his lack of appetite and his sleep habits. He's been on antibiotics for a double ear infection and teething tablets for these 3 evil molars he's got coming in, so I mentioned that as well.

About an hour later, they came to me (I work in the classroom next door to his) and told me his arm was swollen and he refused to move it. So we made a trip to the ER. The whole time, I was just wondering how this could have happened. What kind of parent lets her child bust up his arm and doesn't even realize it?

He had a few x-rays taken (boy, does he HATE those -- he had to have one of his hips two weeks ago), and he was pissed. You could practically hear the obscenities he was trying to scream at the x-ray technicians. And I don't blame him one bit -- those x-ray rooms are pretty scary. Mostly darkened, large cameras looming overhead, a long table that looks more like a creepy kind of conveyor belt -- I'd be freaking out too.

While we waited for the results to come back from radiology, my husband arrived and just held our son for the longest moment. If I hadn't been so stressed out, I would have thought it was really sweet.

The x-rays didn't show a fracture, so they put his arm in a full splint and told us to monitor his pain for the rest of the week. We got to leave around noon, my poor kid in a sling, and we went to Penn Station for lunch, where we spoiled him with undiluted apple juice, bread, cheese, and part of a cookie.

By the time I started writing this a few days ago, Adam was moving all over the place, trying to point, reach, and crawl with his bum arm. I thought that was a good sign, and the doctor had told us that should his condition improve, we could remove the splint.

So I took it off, moved his arm in every direction, and gave him a bath. But as I was putting some lotion on his arm, he screamed out in pain. Back to the emergency room we went.

The nurse who saw us told me that another x-ray wouldn't do any good until 10 to 14 days after the injury, so he will see his regular doctor on Thursday. They put another splint on, and at least he's much happier and more mobile than he was last week.

I hate myself for not even knowing what happened. Did he fall? Did he bump into something? Did he do something in his sleep?

I guess we'll know more on Thursday.

For more haiku or to play along, check out A Mommy Story.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Haiku Friday #17: Generosity

Haiku Friday

My husband is in
The middle of his student
Teaching semester.

The head of his school's
English department bought four
Dress shirts in his size

So that he may have
Something nice to wear for job
Interviews this spring.

He said, "I've been broke
Before. I know what you are
Going through right now."

All he wants? That he
Pays it forward to someone
In need, when he can.

Wow. Talk about generous. This man has only met my husband fairly recently (within the last month or so), and he doesn't spend much time with him. But he saw fit to reach out and help us with something that could mean the difference between twice and more than three times our income next year. Those dress shirts are nice.

My father-in-law bought my husband a suit a few months ago to wear to interviews, too, so provided a job exists and Brandon is qualified for it, he may just get it. His dad also agreed to lend us the money for the PRAXIS test as well.

All this is really a lot off our minds. We were supposed to get our tax refund last Friday, but the date was changed to next Tuesday for some reason. That was a huge blow, considering that several bills are coming due in that time -- or have already. We're also looking at trying to pay off some that have gone past due with this rather large chunk of change we're expecting in the mail.

Yeah, preschool teachers? We don't make enough to support two adults and a toddler -- even with government help. And regardless of whether my husband is able to find a job with benefits after he graduates in May, we will lose our government health insurance in October. Why? Because apparently, eight dollars an hour is too much money, and in October our twelve months of "transitional assistance" with medical costs will end. But at least our son will get to keep his until we make about twice that.

But with help from our friends and family -- and the recent warm front -- it feels like we can conquer almost anything.

To read more haiku or to play along, check out A Mommy Story.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

No More Sitting On My Ass

It seems like everyone has physical fitness on the brain these days.

The FLYLady (aka Marla Cilley) is right in the middle of a Body Clutter challenge on Facebook. Kristen from Motherhood Uncensored is hosting the Shredheads for the month of March. Christina of A Mommy Story is once again hosting Hot by Blogher this year -- even her husband Aaron is aiming for a goal of his own.

Independently of all this --I swear, I've been thinking about this for like a month! -- I've also been thinking more about my own health and fitness. I'm coming to the realization that although I may not need to lose weight (come on, I want some boobs to speak of), I'm waaaay out of shape. I have no muscle, no tone, and no endurance whatsoever.

My husband and I are also starting to think about planning for baby -- and pregnancy -- number two (nothing solid yet, just starting the conversation). I am not at a place where I am happy with my body -- not that I've tried very hard to fix that. And before I get pregnant again, I'd at least like to be mostly satisfied with the shape I'm in. That way it will be easier to get back to a place I like after the fact (or at least not harder).

Plus, you know, I should probably start thinking about setting a good example for my kid(s) in the matter of eating habits and staying active. So they may be motivated to do the same.

So, here goes: my two, very general goals are: A) to eat better, and B) to be more active.

As far as my eating habits go, I want to eat more fruits, vegetables, and whole grains; and fewer simple carbohydrates. I'd like to eat when I'm hungry -- no more, no less; and eat appropriate portions for my caloric needs.

As for increased activity, I'd like to have a basic level of fitness, and then add endurance, a bit of tone, and possibly a little more strength and flexibility. Oh, and it has to be fun. I know myself by now, and I won't stick to it if it's not fun or if I can't find a way to make it fun.

So maybe I'll try some walking or jogging, swimming in a few months, maybe even basketball or something. I have three great places to work out: the Jewish Community Center, my apartment complex facility, and the Power Shack gym -- all of which are free! But they're not doing me any good if I don't go.

So tell me: are you in good shape? Do you have room for improvement? Do you have any plans for improvement, and if so, what are they?

*Remember: healthy weight loss is defined as only about 1 to 2 pounds per week. If you're fairly inactive like me, start slow and build up. Don't work the same muscle groups every day -- every other day is plenty. Most importantly, get a buddy! If you have someone going for a goal right along with you -- even if it's a different goal -- it's sooo much easier! Plus, if you have to be accountable to someone other than yourself, it's more likely you'll actually follow through.

And don't forget to stay hydrated!

Hmmm... also I can't seem to find my camera-uploader-plugger-inner-thingy. So, I will post the "before" pictures at a later point in time. After all, what's the point of planning to post "after" pictures if there's nothing to compare it to?

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

The Importance of Vehicle Maintenance

Sunday night I got a call from my dad. Someone had crashed a car into their house.

At first I assumed it was a drunk driver. What I couldn't figure out was, how drunk do you have to be to hit their house? Their neighborhood is an oval -- it doesn't go anywhere else. And they live on the straight part of the street. Furthermore, their driveway is half an acre long, and uphill. Seriously? How does that work?

Well, it turns out the driver was not drunk. It was a 70-year-old woman whose gas pedal in her new Toyota got stuck. She was visiting my parents neighbors across the street, started to back out of their driveway, and the pedal stuck. The car traveled across the street, up my parents driveway, into their garage door, the supports on the front porch, over the lavender bush, and into their next-door neighbor's tree.

Thankfully, my parents, and their cat, are fine (just somewhat shaken). Their cars even survived without so much as a scratch on either one.

But it was scary walking through their front door yesterday. Bricks, wood, glass, pieces of the car were everywhere. Miraculously their rocking chairs were unharmed as well. There is a temporary support holding up the porch ceiling, and the entire garage door is gone now. My parents' bedroom is crooked, and basically looks like it could come down at any minute. My mom says she won't sleep there for awhile, and I don't blame her -- even though it was deemed safe.

So, the lesson for today: Have your car inspected by a mechanic you know and trust. Get a Carfax report (or another report) before you buy. Take it in for regular checkups, just like you would your kids. After all, it is your life, and the lives of your passengers, that it's carrying.

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