Occasionally I find myself stuck at home with a couple of kids and a rain day. After the requisite 9am Sesame Street viewing and maybe some Price is Right, there’s a whole lot of space time and energy needed to burn in there. This past winter I found a book called The Toddler’s Busy Book, meant to give stuck at home parents all sorts of jolly craft and cooking ideas. The best idea I got from that book. Get a basket and some balls and play “Toss the Balls in the Basket”. This book is a wee bit too unrealistic for me. I am not lucky enough to have a craft room or even a craft closet. I do have a craft box, filled with stuff like paint and chalk and bubbles and mostly stuff I don’t feel like cleaning up after he decides to smear it on the rug/couch/wall. I am also not lucky enough to have a kid that eats. Anything. So the Super helpful ideas of making ants on a log or whatever other “toddler friendly” concoctions are in that book, not helpful. Does anyone need a Toddler’s Busy Book?
So, for the urban dweller amongst us, here is some stuff I’ve figured out that helps keep the kids entertained and a few that also allow me to get something done around the house.
- Rain boots and puddle jumping. Even if it’s just around the block, loads of fun until someone takes a faceplant in said puddle because the uneven sidewalks are hidden by same said puddle.
- Bear piles. Take all the bears and whatever other stuffed items you have and make a big pile and then jump around on it. This activity hopefully results in leaning back on the pile and reading a nice book.
- Rearranging the kitchen cabinets, because nothing is more fun for a 2 yo than taking things out of the cabinet and putting them back in (get a rag and clean the cabinets while the child is removing items) and imagine how surprised your partner will be when they come home, reach in for the nuts and find a can of beans instead. Keep them guessing!
- laundry. Not as easy with a newborn, but if the baby is napping, the laundry room can be a very exciting place
- Dance Party – fire up that playlist and dance dance dance (which also counts as exercise)
- Puppet Shows – pull out your favorite book (Confederacy of Dunces has worked well for me) and reenact scenes with whatever puppets, animals, figures you have lying around. The kids are entertained and I get to revisit an old favorite.
- Youtube exercise videos, they are short and can target specific areas. Get the kids involved and challenge them to see who can do more crunches.
- Make something – as a last resort, I’ll pull out the glue and glitter and whatever cardboard item I’ve saved, stick them all together and enjoy the delightful sparkly mess we made
Any combination of these ideas along with a sizable nap and “lunch” should usually get us through til 4pm when we can all sit down and watch Oprah or Ellen…although crap, starting next week, we don’t have an option. Oh Oprah, we’ll miss you. I guess I’ll get to enjoy my first attempt at explaining That Television Show Isn’t On Anymore.
On Monday I’m headed out to Danbury, CT and getting certified to teach Body Back®, another Stroller Strides program designed by Lisa Druxman. This is a results-based workout designed specifically for moms. Whether you just had a baby or had a baby twenty years ago, it will help any mom get her body back. Most importantly, it will help moms unlock their personal possibilities in an inspiring and powerful environment.
It’s different from Stroller Strides because it’s done without the babies and you sign up for an 8 week session, meet 2x a week and follow a meal plan designed for you.
I am really excited to be able to offer this program to Brooklyn moms. Because I NEED it. Really, I need someone to give me a Body Back class. I feel fine and can see how I’ll eventually get rid of this belly (10 months up, 1o months down is my new mantra) but I’m ready to get back out there, find my groove and rejoin the world of the living.
ready, set, go!
Okay, so my new years resolution of keeping up with this blog failed. But I was finding it next to impossible to write anything of any use about fitness or health at 30+ weeks pregnant, when all I wanted to do was sit on my butt, eat and watch old 90210 reruns. But here we are. 3 weeks postpartum and it’s time for me to get back on that horse. Time to get back outside, time to introduce my new baby to the world of Prospect Park and exercise, time to start clean eating and clean living and refocusing my attention on my self, my family and my business.
It’s been a roller coaster couple of weeks. The lead up to the birth was an exercise in frustration, discomfort and boredom. And these past few weeks following the birth have been an exhausting hormonal fiesta of baby love. I’ve been amazed at how easy it’s been to forget the exhaustion, the engorgement, the feeling of being nothing more than a baby feeding machine. But at least now I know how fleeting this time is, and how important it is to live in the moment and be as present as possible for not only the new baby but the whole family.
I don’t know what’s more exhausting, the fluctuating hormones or the sleeplessness. There have been a few days where crying seems to be the easiest thing to do. Days when I feel like the worst mom in the world because I have to focus so much attention on the new baby and Harry is getting the shaft. I went from spending all the time in the world with Harry and now we get fleeting moments of together time. And while he’s being a champ, I can tell he’s frustrated and confused. And I know it’ll work itself out and the hormones will equalize, but some days it’s hard to imagine how…and when.
The plan is to use this blog as a path to recovery. Today starts the Get Fit Challenge with Stroller Strides, we’re challenging moms to see what changes they can make in their body, lifestyle, eating habits and while I can’t join in on classes yet, I can start making changes in my life. I can write down what I eat, I can get out and go for a walk every day, practice plank, squats, kegels, I can go to bed earlier and drink more water and find the joy in spending time with my children and my husband.
And hopefully this will help alleviate my stress and nerves about how much life will change with these two kids and how I’m ever going to leave the house with these two children and my sanity again.
Doesn’t mean we can’t get some exercise in.
Here are some foul weather tips on getting your exercise while you and the baby stare at each other
Arms – Instead of weights, the baby can be held or lifted slowly for resistance. As long as the baby has good head control, he will enjoy the extra face time.
Shoulders – hold the baby overhead and raise and lower while playing peek a boo.
Kiss-ups – but the baby on the floor underneath you – your hands are in line with your shoulders, raise and lower giving that baby a kiss each time you get down.
Crunches – lower obliques – lie the baby on your stomach – hands under your lower back and legs up in the air – lower them slowly down to about six inches off the ground and then slowly back up
If you have a stability ball – lie on the ball with your feet on the floor and your upper body on the ball. Place the baby on your lower lap and slowly raise and lower your chest. CRUNCHES!
Hip Bridge – again, more lying on the floor – baby on your chest – feet on the floor, knees up, raise and lower those hips, giving a good glute squeeze with every lift.
Kegels – you can do these just about any old time. If you just read this, I hope you’re doing those kegels right now.
Butt busters – Holding the baby under his arms, your feet are hip width apart, bring one knee up and lunge laterally, lowering the baby to allow his feet to touch the floor. Keep your back straight, chin up, while lunging. Lift the baby back up, bring the knee back up and back to center.
Just Dance. Put on your favorite fast paced song and dance the whole time with the baby. They will love this and you will get that heart pumping. Harry still loves him some Britney Spears and we have a ridiculous time dancing around to her old hits.
There was a lot of talk this past week about the streets not being plowed of all the snow and now that the snow is mostly cleared and piled into big grayish frozen mounds on the corners comes the real challenge. How to get those $%&* strollers across the streets.
As New Yorkers, we pride ourselves on our ability to get where we need to go without having to get in our cars to get there. And then we get hit by Snowtorious BIG. If you’re a person who doesn’t have to worry about being bound to a wheelchair or push a stroller then all this snow is a really annoying inconvenience, but if you are one of these wheel dependent types, you’re basically at the mercy of the goodness of people who shovel their walks. Apparently, this goodness doesn’t apply to certain churches or schools on major thoroughfares in Park Slope (and I guess nobody is responsible for crosswalks). And woe is the person who might happen to be pregnant and trying to get somewhere while pushing a stroller (yes, I’m talking about me). Somebody actually HONKED at me today while I was trying to push my stroller through the sludge in the street for taking too long. Why don’t you get out of your car and honk at me…
Anyway, this all leads me to, one more amazing reason why there is Strength in Motherhood. And I mean literal STRENGTH. By having a strong core and back, we can carry those kids of ours over the mounds of snow and leave those cumbersome strollers behind. It’s going to be a long winter moms, and possibly not the end of the snow. Come on out to Stroller Strides and let’s work to get that core strong enough to carry those kids up the Slope and back again.
Yep, I ate some cookies this week, and chocolate, and I think there might have been a pound of butter used in the family Christmas dinner. Okay, there was a lot of consumption, and of that consumption, not a lot of it was, let’s say, kale. AND with all best intentions of going for daily long walks after Christmas foiled by Blizzmageddon and the awesome NYC DOT deciding not to plow the roads in Brooklyn this year and my delicate 7 month pregnant self and a kid who had the croup followed by crazy teething, it’s been pretty easy to fall in to the rut of oh why bother, I’ll just wait til the baby is born and work extra hard to get the weight off then. But you know what? No.
I’m throwing out all the leftover cookies and snack mix and best intention vegetables going mushy in my vegetable drawer (some day I’ll figure out what to do with celeriac, but not today). And use the amazing power of the New Year to start over. To rededicate myself to health and wellness and fitness, to the best of my elephantine self’s ability. Yes, I will use that juicer and slow cooker and eat more beans and kale. Yes, I will go for a walk and get that kid out for some fresh air even if I can’t get outside because the streets are full of that delightful 5 day old NYC snow grime which make the crosswalks impassable with a stroller, then I will find a way to get in some exercise.
I’m lucky, I have to go to Stroller Strides – what are you going to do to recommit yourself to a new you this year?
I talked to my cousin this weekend, she lives down in Alabama, and she asked if I had reached the walrus phase of pregnancy yet. Okay, maybe I’m not walrus sized yet, but boy oh boy, is it getting harder to get up off the floor. And walrus is a pretty good analogy for what the last four months of pregnancy feels like.
You know what doesn’t help. Thanksgiving. I bought an extra 4 sticks of butter at the grocery store, because I didn’t want to run out while baking and cooking (thankfully, I only used two). And I was just cooking a few dishes. For friends. Most of whom don’t even eat carbs. So I might have eaten some of their carbs that night. And you know how after you have Thanksgiving, you’re so tired from eating and visiting that you don’t want to go to the kitchen and cook a nice healthy meal, so you order takeout the next night. Is that just me?
And then you’re so tired you don’t even really want to go for a walk or anything but lie on the couch and think about how stuffed you are from two days of eating, which really turns in to four days of eating because it really is the never ending weekend. Yeah? Well, I’m feeling the effects. I suppose I can claim that it’s the walrus part of me, but if I don’t get some leafy greens and a big fat walk into my system soon, I might start growing tusks.