Spring Break- March 26, 2015

Phew! We’re back in town after a four day spring break getaway to the beach with friends. I feel like I learn something every vacation. I always get introspective while away. Even when we’re busy making memories, vacation causes me to pause and think. The change of scenery and different routine cause me to reflect on life.

When I was working and I went on vacation I would ponder my career path and make goals for myself when I got back to work. Sometimes I would make a point to not think about work AT ALL and bask in a weekday on the beach. I always said the worst day of vacation is still better than the best day at work.

This vacation I reflected on my family. I looked at them and noticed all their eccentricities, their nuances and changes. They are remarkable people.

My Husband- He needs vacation. He doesn’t stop enough. In the calendar year 2014 he took no days off until his boss noticed. He took off 3.5 weeks in December. He had to use the time. This year we’re spacing out the time off. He needs more than just a football game or a video game to unwind. He wanted to take out the laptop. I didn’t let him. I assured him work would be there when he got back.

He walked down to the ocean with our daughter and carried her on his shoulders through downtown Savannah, GA. He took dips in the pool, drank beer and laughed. Sometimes he doesn’t know he needs to stop.

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My Daughter- Sometimes all the fun and change of routine can be more than a 4-year-old can handle. Back home today she was delightful. On the trip? Eh. She had some rough moments. Her good friend was with her and sometimes it’s hard to share and get along when you’re always together. Little people get tired quick and meltdowns happen.

But in the great moments I realized how big and capable she is now. I watched her jump in the pool with little fear and ask to take off her life jacket. I listened to her entertain herself and her brother in the car. She “read” a book to her friend by going through the pictures and making up the story.

Charlotte vacation

She chased all the seagulls on the beach, grinning between piercing screams. She caught a football and laughed. I caught her in a quick moment of stillness. I wondered if she was reflecting too.

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My Son- This growing, smiley boy made our trip even better. My busy little man notices everything. In this week alone he added “apple” and “car” to his growing vocabulary. There’s no way he couldn’t add “car.” We spent so much time there, it’s fitting.

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All things considered the kids did great during a 5-hour car ride. The way back was 6 hours due to back-ups on I-95. I even caught this:

car hands

Me- All the working out and healthy eating I’ve been doing is great. But, I enjoyed a few days of indulgence. Fries and ice cream on vacation are good for the soul.

We’re back. Our cups refilled, our souls reflected upon. Onward…until our next getaway.

fam vacay pic

Hilton Head, SC March, 2015 It was humid.

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Toxic Toys- March 20, 2015

One day this week Henry had his sister’s “My Little Pony” in the stroller. He was more than happy to take it from his sister after we dropped her off at preschool. Some little boy pointed at my son and said, “That’s a girl toy!”

I rolled my eyes. We’ve exhausted that haven’t we? The “Boy Toys” and “Girl Toys,” thing has been discussed ad nauseam. Let kids play with what they want. Shut up you little twerp. Ugh! I just wanted to shout, “Don’t you know about that poor, sweet boy who attempted suicide after being bullied for being a “Bronie?!” No, of course he doesn’t know that. He’s a little kid.

I didn’t respond. I just rolled Henry away. Honestly, I’m just grateful he’s playing with an actual toy. Here is a list of things I have had to take from my 1-year-old in the last week because he was playing with them.

  • Size 10 men’s Rainbow flip-flop
  • Bottle of Clinique Happy Heart perfume
  • World Atlas
  • Dog bed from the Martha Stewart Pet Collection that my dog has laid on twice
  • Jar of Miracle Whip
  • Nintendo Wii U Game Pad
  • Starbucks straw
  • Ice cube
  • Car keys
  • Clorox Toilet Wand and holder
  • Bottle of Eucerin lotion
  • Harris Teeter VIC card
  • Crock Pot lid
  • A half masticated baby carrot
  • Styrofoam bowl
  • A 2013 calendar
  • Decaf Keurig K-Cups
  • Weekly preschool report from the teacher
  • A window pane (Yep, he ripped it out of the window.)
  • The ottoman
  • Dog food (Which also made a good snack, apparently.)
  • Angry Birds boxer shorts
  • A battery powered candle
  • His own poop

So, when I see my son playing, instead of asking myself “Oh! Wait! Is this a ‘Boy Toy?!'” I ask myself “Wait! Is that toxic? Could he get sick from chewing that? How long should I wash his hands this time?”  He can play with whatever he wants as long as it is a freakin’ TOY from the TOY AISLE! Maybe I should just get Clorox Toilet Wand refills for his Easter basket this year. He’d be thrilled.

Wait. Are those toxic?

One-year-old playing with non-toys

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Fantasy & Fact- March 17, 2015

I had the windows cracked to let cool air blow on her as we sped along the road. It tangles her wavy curls and through the rear-view mirror I see her push them out of her face and giggle.

Over Taylor Swift’s latest Top 40 hit I hear, “Mommy, Snow White texted me from Hawaii!”

I laughed and said, “She did! What did she say?” That’s when my 4-year-old prattled the way she does, inventing stories in her head. Stories. Always stories. It seems fairy tales never leave her. Whether an adventure of her own making, or one she’s seen or read a million times, they are there. She acts them out. She retells them with toys. She takes well-known tales that made it to the big screen and makes them far more amazing than Hollywood could.

“Mommy, what is Hawaii like?”

Except for facts. Facts stop her fantasies. She wants to know more of them. I tell her how Hawaii is a state made of islands. I tell her about tropical beaches, rainforests and volcanoes.

“Mommy can we go there some time?”

I peek at the mirror and say, “Sure baby, when your brother gets older.”

“Mommy, when he gets older can we go to Disney World?”

Back to fantasy. She informs me that’s where the real Anna and Elsa are. She wants to know if we can meet them and all of the princesses. I assure her that there is no way we would brave the Orlando heat without making sure she got to meet her heroes.

Later I ask her what she wants to be when she grows up.

“I’m going to be an astronaut. Mommy, I’m going to go to Jupiter, where that spot is.”

I applaud her for her ambition to be the first earthling on Jupiter. She asks me what Jupiter is made of. She tells me how you can’t breathe in outer space. She names all the planets and their characteristics. She tells me how Pluto is too small to be a planet. Facts. Science. She craves knowledge.

She dresses in princess costumes while reading about animals. She stares at the sky and tells me what the clouds are made of, but tells me what shapes her imagination sees in the millions of water droplets.

Fantasy and facts. She needs both to make sense of her world. She needs both to form the stories she will surely tell us one day.

“Mommy, I’m going to be an astronaut, but a princess astronaut.”

Yes. I know.

Charlotte looking at the sky

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Body Back #16- The End

I’ve been putting off writing my last Body Back post because, well, that means it’s over. Plus, I’ve been away from the computer working out and being outside because it’s finally not snowing. I’m not even kidding you, I would do this again 50 times over. Seriously. It’s weird. You get kind of addicted to it. HIIT workouts are amazing. Here’s why a program like Body Back works for me, personally.

  • It’s fast- Workouts are an hour long. Granted, on my 20th burpee in a row, the class does not feel like it’s moving quickly, but it is. Many in our group were working moms and had to get to work after class. We all had to get to our children. An hour was perfect.
  • It builds strength- I can do pushups. I can hold plank. I like feeling strong.
  • Results- Obviously.
  • Community- Body Back groups are kept small on purpose. We had a group for encouragement and to hold each other accountable. Now I get to be a “Body Back Alumni” and continue with Body Back “Boost” workouts and online support.

A few of us in my group went out on Monday night. We talked, laughed and had a real adult meal to celebrate what we had accomplished. Some in our group will be doing other sessions of Body Back. Some will do Boost classes. Some may take on a totally different workout routine. Not one us regrets the past 8 weeks. See, look how cute we are…

Ronda, Christie (our instructor), Me, Nicole. We missed two in our group, Katie and Melissa!

Ronda, Christie (our instructor), Me, Nicole. We missed two in our group, Katie and Melissa!

The future for the new, fitter me? Exciting. More to come. For now I have to get to bed so I can workout again tomorrow.

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Parenting In Spring- March 9, 2015

Oh, sweet sunshine! I’m not one to complain about winter. I love Christmas, scarves, warm drinks and snow days. But, this year? This winter? This many snow days? No thank you. I’m done. Sunday was the first warm day. I had to get out. I had to get at least a mini-workout in. I went out for a quick jog with Henry in the stroller. I had to Instagram it to prove the exercise happened and to brag to IG followers up north that the afternoon’s temperatures were in the 65 to 70 degree range.

ig stroller

It was during this jaunt that my parenting came into question. Twice.

The warm breeze blew on my face as I picked up the pace. No cars were on our quiet wooded street. I heard birds. Henry said some version of “Woof!” whenever he heard a dog bark. It was sweet and lovely. I was energized as my heart rate went up. That’s when I got a text from a friend to finalize our dinner plans. I stopped in the street to answer her. Again, no cars were around.

As I prepared to hit “send” I saw some neighbors coming up the hill. It was a couple in their early sixties walking in the warmth together. I briefly smiled at this pair of graying Baby Boomers before glancing back at my phone. They were the only others I’d seen out. I heard the man say, “Don’t text in the middle of the road!”

::pause::

I looked up. I was still trying to type my message. In my mind I thought, “Uh, mind your own business, Pops.” Instead I chuckled nervously, “Yeah, not my best parenting move. Ha!” I rolled my eyes and rolled my baby out of the middle of the road. He said, “You can stand in the middle of the road and text alone, but not with your baby!”

What?! Seriously?! I croaked out more nervous chuckles. Was this guy trying to be funny?

This is the intersection where this went down.

This is the intersection where this went down. Dangerous, right? 

I was thinking they may have felt they stepped on my toes by telling me what to do so they came over to admire my babe and be a little more neighborly. They smiled and told me how cute Henry was. That’s when the woman scolded me said, “He’s not wearing any shoes!” I politely smiled and explained how he fights me when it’s time to put on his shoes and since it’s such a lovely day, I thought going barefoot in the stroller would be fine.

Good God, people! Really?! Don’t you think if I had heard a car on our very quiet street I would have moved? Was it the safest thing in the world to stop there? No, probably not. But, no one was in danger and it certainly didn’t warrant comment. Then the shoe thing on top of it? Am I wrong to be rubbed the wrong way by this? I wanted to shout, “Yep! I’m that neighbor. I’m a reckless 21st century mother who’s more preoccupied with her phone than her child. I love the thrill of pushing my kid out of the road at the last second. I hope a car comes speeding by! Screw shoes! You should keep an eye on me and my neglected kids!”

Excuse me while I go inside like it’s winter so I don’t have to see the neighbors.

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