Field trips and something random.

Hey hey hey!

So before anything else, if you’re reading from anywhere in the southeast, or from my island of Haiti (fun fact: I am a delightful mix, 50/50 of Haitian and Trinidadian), I hope you’ve managed to stay safe.  Please keep Haiti in your thoughts.  Haiti doesn’t need this in the least, but the storm has managed to cause some major fatalities and wipe out crops according to major news sources.  Please check on any relatives you may have on the island.  Social media is an excellent tool at times like this!

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I promised a little something at least once a week while I’m still recovering.  I’m officially four weeks out from when Liam was born, and by the time you read this, he will be one month old.  One month since I met the little guy.  It’s really hard to believe, and since we’ve come home, I can’t say we’ve fallen into very much of a schedule, except that he likes to go to bed by 1 am, and he’s been that way pretty much since he was born.

Before I went out on maternity leave (I’m taking a full 12 weeks, not sure if I’ve mentioned that, but I’ve gotten that question a fair bit), I wondered what I might do all day.  I didn’t think maternity leave would be a vacation, but I wondered if I might have some free time to write letters to grandparents, catch up on emails, in addition to getting to know baby Liam and things, but my time has been allocated a little differently than I thought.

What we do during our day.  

Keep in mind, we are still figuring one another out.  This will change I’m sure.  IMG_0096.JPGSo we start our day around 5:45-6:00am.  That’s kind of when he does his first big day nursing session, and when the first light hits.  Usually while I nurse him, I’ll watch some Hulu, eat a quick protein bar, try and drink some water because I’m usually thirsty asf, and depending on how he’s feeling, we’ll either go back to sleep for a second, OR he may want some snuggles until he eats again around 8:30 or 8:45.  He’s been doing this thing lately where he kind of wants to hang out with me, see dad off to work, and poop a few times.  (I’m being so serious, I’ve never met a human being who can poop more.  Apparently breast milk goes through the little ones quickly, so that’s why they’re ready to eat an hour and a half to two hours after they’ve started to eat the last time.)  So after this, usually I can get him to sleep, and I can sleep again for just a pinch.  He may fuss, and again, a few diapers usually are in there.  I’ll try to get in the shower and put on some fresh clothes, because it makes me feel somewhat attractive to wash ick off of me.  I’ve managed to shave a few times (big deal at this time!), and by the time I get some fresh clothes on, it’s usually time to nurse again.  I’m usually starving at this point, but every other day or so, I plan a field trip for me and the babe, whether it’s something we need to research or pick up, and I try to tack a quick lunch somewhere onto that so that we can get out and see some grownups.  The favorite the past few times has been Whole Foods, but we managed to squeeze in BOGO sushi with a friend yesterday which was a big deal.  By the time we get home from our field trip – say we went to the paper store for a wedding present, then to the baby store for some nipple cream, then to Whole Foods, it’s usually almost dinner time, and usually baby Liam likes to fuss for a little while before he starts to get sleepy, and snoozes until pops gets home from the gym.  Nurse somewhere in there.  Usually, we throw something quick together for dinner (which has been made infinitely easier by the kindness of family, friends, and Y folks who’ve dropped off salads and casseroles), and we head out for a walk around the neighborhood so I can get some steps, and Austin can get a little cardio in, especially on a day where he’s skipped it at the gym.  I’ll nurse him one more time, and usually this is the last time for the evening, around 10:30pm.  I pump after this feeding to store just a teeny bit of milk for the following night, and we make up a bottle for Austin to do the final feeding around 12 or 12:30am.  Sometimes, while Austin’s doing that, I’ll do some yoga down on the ground right next to the bed, and focus on some really, really, gentle stuff, and I always finish up with some pelvic floor work.

It’s crazy.  I just wrote this massive paragraph detailing what we do.  We do so much, and yet, sometimes at the end of the day it feels like we’ve done so little.  You’d think I would actually get something done, but most days, I feel like I barely have time to brush my teeth!  The field trips are good because it give me a reason to put a clean shirt on and pull my hair back into an acceptable top knot, but it’s so weird to not put on a dress and go to a meeting.  Right now, this is our normal, and it’s so interesting how hard and how natural it’s seemed at the same time.

Okay, now that I’ve rambled on and on and on…

Tell me something random! 

-I found a 48-oz bottle of kombucha for consumption on our field trip yesterday.  I may save the bottle for if I ever get around to making my own home brew.  It seems kind of tricky, but another instructor at the Y does it, and I’m thinking about asking her to see her lab.  Maybe I’ll make that one of my next field trips?

-I finished Breaking Bad again.  I maintain that it is one of the very best shows I have ever seen in my  life.  Todd is the most bizarre character I think a writer has ever created.  I may write a post just to discuss BB here in a few weeks.

-I am always, always hungry, which is apparently a thing when you breastfeed.  I am desperately shoving anything in my mouth that’s high in fat and protein, and guzzling liquids.  But it’s CONSTANT!

Splenda and the Judgey Moms Committee

Okay, so yesterday, I’m not sure if you caught it, but a sort of funny study and the results were released.  And not funny, like HA HA, but funny like hm.  You get it.

image via wikipedia.org
image via wikipedia.org

Basically, the study was industry-funded.  Two groups of folks, all weighing on average over 200 pounds were divided, and folks who were permitted to drink diet sodas, on average, lost a little bit more weight than folks who were banned from drinking sodas all together.

If you are a complete idiot, you might read the study to say to “drink diet soda rather than water to lose weight,” however, if you are a reasonable human being who thinks critically, you might think just as I did.  The folks who went cold turkey off of soda had a bit of an easier time than folks who “stairstepped” their way off of drinking regular sodas.  Because for a lot of people, going cold turkey is really really challenging, and ends up screwing them in the end.  I am one of those people.

The rub was, the “judgey moms committee,” as I’ve dubbed them, got themselves all up in arms about the findings of the study yesterday.

The Judgey Moms Committee (JMC)

The Judgey Moms Committee is a committee of, well, judgey moms who like to get themselves all up in arms about many things, and then write really really angry Facebook posts about them, a lot of times, without reading into what it is, and getting the facts.

Topics that the JMC members get really upset about are not limited to:

  • Aspartame
  • Sugar
  • How to parent other people’s children
  • Judging other mothers negatively
  • The age at which it’s appropriate to stop breastfeeding, which is truthfully no one’s business
  • Gwenyth Paltrow (they usually either love her or hate her, there is no in-between)
  • Miley Cyrus

The JMC was out in full-force yesterday to speak out on this study.  So here’s what I say on the study, its findings, and diet soda as it pertains to health, wellness, and weight loss.

  1. Diet soda is not good for you.  Duh, but I really needed to put that out there.  I am not saying that it’s good for you, so be smart.
  2. Many, many studies are industry-funded.  So yes, the findings of this study should make you raise an eyebrow, however, the findings of a lot of studies should make you do that.  Do your own research, and figure out what may be best for you and your family.  Do the benefits of whatever this is outweigh this risks?  That is for you to determine.
  3. For the soda-drinkers out there….what kind of quitter are you?  Are you a cold turkey kinda gal/guy?  Or do you did a little bit of something else to motivate you through that?
  4. Though diet soda, and the things that it’s sweetened with are not at ALL the best thing for you, I strongly believe that diet sodas and artificial sweeteners can be a valuable tool to ease someone that’s not living the healthiest lifestyle, into a healthier phase of life.  I know, I know.  Insert your horrified gasps here.  But I believe it to be true.  Cold turkey is really hard and unsustainable for a lot of folks.  So maybe someone like me, who guzzled Coke like it was going out of style can benefit from Diet Coke instead.  After I graduated, and began teaching a ton of classes, I stepped it to club soda, water, and water infusions.  The same went for my addiction to sugar and sweets.  I started by cutting down the sugar I was eating and drinking, and moving to something like Splenda or Truvia.  When I was good and ready, I stepped it down, and now, though I admit I still enjoy my sweets, I don’t feel the compulsion to shove them into my face like I did before.  So while I’m not suggesting you go on a strict diet of Coke Zero and cheesecakes fashioned with Splenda, I think a little bit, especially in a time of transition, can really help you go a long way.
photo (1)
On the right is Coke-guzzling, non-working out Cher, from about 5 years ago. I actually got a little bigger after this. On the left is much-healthier, much better-feeling Cher, eating mostly clean with the occasional treat snuck in. I was busting out of the dress, which didn’t fit at one point, and now, it totally doesn’t fit. Shame though, that dress was cute!

Tell me what you think about all of this buzz?! Who else loves club soda the way I do?

Mommy judgement.

So, after the memorial service on Sunday, we were close enough to the Whole Foods in Charlotte to grab some lunch/dinner, and chat before we all had to go our separate ways that evening. 

If you haven’t been to the Whole Foods in Charlotte, it’s time to go, PS.

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Photo via Kelly Davis/Creative Loafing

Deb made fun of me and said that I always force her go go when I come up.  But whatever, it’s awesome, and I need my hot bar every now and again.

So here’s where the mommy judgement came in. 

As we were about to check out, I noticed a mom with a slice of pizza in one hand, and a screaming child hanging off of the other.  I might have imagined this, but I think she was wearing workout clothes, and she was practically begging this child to use her own feet and stop flipping out.  As she wove her way to the workout, one mom after another caught my eye and gave their best judgmental looks as if to say, “my child would NEVER!” I was embarrassed that these women thought I was in their same club, and I didn’t want them to think that their judgment was okay, like their kids had never flipped out.  

As all three of us, Mom, baby, and me approached the check-out line, I did the best thing I knew to do. 

Y’all knew I was a baby whisperer, right?  

“Would it help if I picked her up?”

Mom wearily mumbled something, which I took as a yes, and I reached down, scooped up little miss cranky-because-she-just-woke-up, and we chatted for a second while mom could pay for something.   When mom was done, I handed her back, and all was right, plus the cashier gave me my sparkling water for free.  

So what was easier?  Making faces at a struggling mom?  Or getting to snuggle with a really cute kid while the mama pays? 

 

I saw the coolest thing yesterday.

When I first started teaching Zumba, one particular semester, (I’d started at State when I was in grad school) there was a pregnant woman who would always, always, come to my class.  She would wear this purple shirt, and hold her belly when the moves got a little too nuts for her.  It was almost her way of saying, “Chill out, not everyone in this class is 19, please respect that.”  It was a good reminder for me.  She would take it easy when she had to, she wouldn’t jump or anything crazy like that.  She always wore this purple shirt, and I believe she Zumba-ed til like 8 weeks before her due date.  She was safe, she seemed to know her limitations, and she stayed in awesome shape throughout her pregnancy.

“Isn’t that thing gonna fall out,” a few friends asked, astonished, when I’d mentioned it.

Cause that’s exactly what pregs wants to hear, while she’s afraid of eating fish, taking a sip of wine, and carrying a Birken that’s too big, that her baby is going to fall out of her vagina when she’s on the elliptical.  How else can we make women feel incompetent as mothers, folks, please, let me hear it!

But I digress.  I was driving home, I think from my own workout on Sunday evening, and was cruising down ridge road when I saw her.

The first thing I actually noticed was that she was wearing a cute top, I’m pretty sure from Lululemon, and it was in a cool color.  A kind of lime, and she shared my taste, as she was rocking the 3/4 running tights with it.  And then I realized, this woman who was cruising at a pretty decent pace?  Was a mom-to-be, probably well into her second trimester, and she was tearing up the sidewalk.  I’m inspired.

I now have no excuse to skip out on any of my workouts or any of my runs, if this mom to be can harness her inner goddess, well hell?! When is my excuse ever good enough?