Aloha Friday: Getting Active

It’s time for another Aloha Friday, the day that you take it easy and look forward to the weekend, in Hawaii and blog land anyway. As you should know by now, over at An Island Life, Kailani decided that on Fridays she would take it easy on posting and ask a simple question for you to answer. Nothing that requires a lengthy response.

If you’d like to participate, just post your own question on your blog and leave your link at An Island Life’s blog. Don’t forget to visit the other participants! It’s a great way to make new bloggy friends!

Little Baby Blueberry is ten days old today – which means I still have about 4 and a half weeks of recovery ahead of me. I feel leaps and bounds better than a week ago, for sure, but I can still tell it’s going to be a long road. Pain killers are still very much a necessity and it doesn’t take much more than a flight of stairs or a good nursing session to wipe me out. Still, I’m looking forward to getting back into an exercise routine as soon as the good doctor gives me the go ahead. I have already lost at least ten pounds and my husband and grandma tell me that I look really great, which is awesome, but you know I’m just getting started. I’m planning to start simply with walking but if we get a Y membership I might take some classes and of course there is the Wii and workout videos. I know Dan would love it if I’d try running, too. As of this moment the only thing I’ve ever run for is the ice cream truck, but we’ll see…

BB is so lucky – the only exercise she needs to worry about right now is tummy time!

If I could be as skinny as her and only have to do that as an “exercise” – man I’d be one happy woman! Anyway, my Aloha Friday questions for this week are…

  • What is your favorite way to exercise?
  • If your a mother, how long after the birth of your little ones did it take for you to get active again?
  • How long did it take you to “lose the pregnancy weight”? (I’m still losing the pregnancy weight from my first child!)
  • Any recommendations for a good work out class I can take or a DVD to rent?

The Things I Want To Teach Her

Apparently I’m having a baby. I mean, I know I’m having a baby but you know sometimes it just sort of occurs to you like you maybe hadn’t really really realized it before? That comes in waves for me, this understanding that in a couple months I will be a mother of two. That I’ll be caring for an infant, recovering from a birth, and that MM will no longer be an only child. I’m still scared shitless that this is all a huge mistake – that MM won’t want to be a big brother, that I’ll be losing my first baby for this second one whom I know nothing about except that she definitely has a future has a soccer player if she’s interested.

They say a woman becomes a mother when she gets pregnant – that the maternal instinct is just there. I didn’t feel that way with my first pregnancy and I largely still don’t feel that way about my second. It wasn’t until that moment, holding him for the first time, that I really got it – that I felt that love and it was real. After that it held strong and fierce, surprising me with it’s strength, as I’m sure my love for BB will be. But right now, in this moment, I am just a pregnant mother of one. So it’s weird to think about my life in the not so distant future where I will be a mother of two – I’ll have a son and a daughter.

I wonder how raising a daughter will be different than raising a son. Raising MM has felt largely natural to me – I’ve grown accustomed to his man bits and his all boy personality (though terribly sweet) and I can’t imagine anything else even though anything else is coming soon. I think about the lessons I will have to teach my little daughter as she grows up – the lessons I learned and the ones I wish I’d learned sooner. They are different from the lessons I’ll want to teach MM because, well, boys and girls are different and they have different things they each need to learn. Not like math and science and English, but life.

*

Things like, “Date less. Spend more time on non-romantic endeavors. Don’t stress out so much about, “Could this guy be the one?”” Because honestly when he is the one – you know – he does treat you right, there are no games, and while it’s not simple, it’s not rocket science either. There’s no need to search under every rock and stone – if it doesn’t feel right, it probably isn’t. At least, that’s the conclusion I’ve come to after a long, tedious search for love. There’s a quote from Juno about love that I really really… love:

“Look, in my opinion, the best thing you can do is find a person who loves you for exactly what you are. Good mood, bad mood, ugly, pretty, handsome, what have you, the right person is still going to think the sun shines out your ass. That’s the kind of person that’s worth sticking with.”

-Mac McGuff from Juno

I remember talking to a friend of mine in college, who was already married. I asked him if he thought the boy I was dating would be The One (because married people are experts on these things) and what he said upset me at the time, but it was true. He said he didn’t think that guy was the one (he so wasn’t) because if I had to ask, then I hadn’t figured it out yet – that when you find the one, there is no more questioning. It’s “The End” but not in like a sad, depressing way, so much as, you just know. The dating scene is over, you won. That’s not the kind of thing that you can understand though if you haven’t experienced it. It causes me so much grief to see friends going through the scene – sticking with guys that don’t treat them well, under the premise that they could be the one, and what if this is meant to be, and “I think I might love him.” Because man I’ve been there. And looking at it from the other side of the game, if I could have just skipped way more than half of those failed relationships and done something else while I waited to meet Dan – I totally would have.

Things like sex. Lessons like, “Don’t give yourself away to make someone love you.” (Which if you’d told me I was doing that I’d have laughed and said, “I’m not that stupid.” But I did. And I was.) They say sex complicates things but that’s like a gross understatement. Once you get those three little letters involved in a relationship, everything gets harder. You become invested – your emotions for that person become tangled in that act that you shared, even if you didn’t intend for them to. And as a mom, I can’t help but add that having sex, no matter the precautions you take, is like saying, “I accept that a baby could result from this.” Because they do – whether you planned it or not – pregnancy happens. AIDS happens and that’s awful but pregnancy – man that’s huge. That’s life. If that guy that knocks you up doesn’t turn out to be the one, you still end up stuck with him forever – even if he isn’t physically present, the reminders are there. And when they are physically present – is that a good thing or a bad thing? It’s important. It happens.

And I mean, babies are wonderful – being a parent has been oh so rewarding. But it’s also hard – and it’s something that changes you forever. Your life is never just your own after that – you are responsible for the well being of another human and you will love them to an impossible degree, thinking about their needs and wants and happiness constantly, often more than you think of your own. It’s expensive and time consuming and all encompassing and there are no take backs. So sex is pretty huge – and it’s a pretty special thing – it’s like the biggest thing you can give someone – there’s nothing bigger than that kind of a commitment of yourself. Use it wisely.

And ohhhh body image. I don’t even know what lessons I will have to give on body image, lord knows I haven’t figured it all out. I know that society has crazy hard expectations about beauty and that you can become obsessed with perfection that isn’t real. That whole BMI thing – putting people in a little box of “should be” with no regard for their individual differences. People are not the same. They have different bodies, different diet needs, different things that work and don’t work. But they are all beautiful. Everyone is beautiful.

The important thing for me, that took me way too long to figure out – is more science than soul. It’s about what you eat, how much you eat, and what you are eating for. Activity level and why it’s important. That whole idea that the food you eat is not placed before you solely to please your palate (although it’s nice when it does). Food is the fuel your body needs to keep going – too little food or too much food leads to unhealthy outcomes. Calorie counting has helped me tremendously with this – the idea of turning it into math – this is what my body needs, this is what I am feeding it. It’s helped me so much during this pregnancy and I am so proud. And yeah I still over indulge sometimes – sometimes you need that treat – but that’s okay because calorie counting always works the next day or week when you are ready to get back on again.

Exercise is something else that I never really got until recently. Which is not to say that I’m good at it now – but that I kind of get why I should do it and how it helps. For me it’s as simple as, “Exercising more helps to make up for your indulgences. Exercise more and you can choose to eat more – or to lose more weight.” And also important is that the end goal should be realistic – it should be healthy – it should be, “I feel like I’m wearing my own skin again – I have energy to spare and I am happy.”

And no matter how much weight you lose, how short you cut your hair, what color you dye it, what clothes you wear – you will find that it will still and always be you under there. You can’t escape that – you’ll always be there. So you’d be better to learn to love you than spending a lot of time trying to change things that cannot be changed. I can’t tell you how often I’ve gone for a new hair cut or color and been so disappointed that it was still me – just me with different hair, a different outfit. Still me. I think I spent my entire teen years trying to erase myself only to wake up one day and desperately want just me back. And realizing that was one of the coolest, healthiest things I’ve ever done.

*

I don’t imagine that I’ll be able to just explain these things to her and that she’ll accept them – I know you have to learn those things on your own, but I hope that if she’s at least heard these things out loud that when she has the opportunity to get it, that she will and she’ll remember and it won’t feel so strange as it did for me, kind of figuring it out on my own. I never had that actual mother figure growing up. I had a strong web of women in my life, aunts and grandmothers and a string of step mothers, but it’s different. There are boundaries and there’s a lack of time. For the most part it was just me and my dad – who did an amazing job raising a sensible, smart girl (in my humble opinion) but you know you can’t answer every question even if you try – they might not hear you until they hear it for themselves.

I won’t be able to teach MM and BB everything – Even if I tell them verbatim all the things I’ve listed here, they still may not get it. And there will be things I’ll miss, that will seem so much more critically important to them because they will be their life lessons to learn – the things which will make all the difference. There will be things I get right and things I get wrong – things they get right and things they get wrong. And that’s fine. But if I could hand pick a couple lessons to pass on to Baby Blueberry and any other girls who haven’t figured this stuff out yet – those things up there would be the things I’d want to start with.

Then I’d put on some ultimate girl rock – an ego boost in a song – because girl power, that idea that YOU ARE AWESOME and deserving of the BEST – it’s not egotistical – most people no matter how confident they seem are not confident at least not all the time. People need an ego boost – a reminder that they rock. Because we forget. So after I spent hours or days or awkward minutes trying to express those things above to my little girl, I’d probably put on this song and be like, “This will explain everything.” And then she’d be like, “Mom you are so lame.” But seriously.

“Now That You Got It”
by Gwen Stefani

Now that you got it, what you gonna do about it?
Now that you got it, what you gonna do about it?
Now that you got it, what you gonna do about it?
What you gonna do about it? What you gonna do about it?
Now that you got it, what you gonna do about it?
Now that you got it, what you gonna do about it?
Now that you got it, what you gonna do about it?
What you gonna do about it? What you gonna do about it?

Now that I’m your baby the things you promised me now I want
Now that you got it, what you gonna do about it?
What you gonna do about it? What you gonna do about it?
All the stars I was reachin’ for you had in the palm of your hand
& if for just once I would let the
padlock on the door be open
Well, dammit, just get on over here
This better be the best thing I ever felt
My days, they better be sunny
It better be nothing but all that I want

[CHORUS]
Now that I’m your baby, the things you promised me now I want
Now that you got it, what you gonna do about it?
Now that you got it, what you gonna do about it?
If I’m really your baby then share with me your secrets & all
Now that you got it, what you gonna do about it?
What you gonna do about it? What you gonna do about it?

I’m the raddest queen of them all
I could have anyone, so what I want?
Perfect, get it right, never wrong
So you gonna step it up? Or you gonna be gone
Not like the rest (not this), nothing is typical (ain’t nothing is typical)
This is not a test (no test), this is a for sure (it’s all gotta be for sure)

[CHORUS]
Now that I’m your baby, the things you promised me now I want
Now that you got it, what you gonna do about it?
Now that you got it, what you gonna do about it?
If I’m really your baby then share with me your secrets & all
Now that you got it, what you gonna do about it?
What you gonna do about it? What you gonna do about it?

(Yo Gwen whatcha make ’em do?)
Well, I’d train him like a marine corps
Boot, camp, make him like a superhero (yes ma’am)
That always better be his response
Or I don’t give a dog a bone
Attention! Show me your skeletons, let’s not play games
We can be closer than sharing last names (gimme my award)
The award is a purple heart, it could be yours
If you earn that medal, yeah you could be my boy

[CHORUS]
If I’m really your baby then share with me your secrets & all
Now that you got it, what you gonna do about it?
What you gonna do about it? What you gonna do about it?
If I’m really your baby then share with me your secrets & all
Now that you got it, what you gonna do about it?
What you gonna do about it? What you gonna do about it?

Now that you got it, what you gonna do about it?
Now that you got it? What you gonna do about it?
Now that you got it, what you gonna do about it?
What you gonna do about it? What you gonna do about it?

How about you?

  • What lessons do you hope to pass onto your children?
  • What have been the life defining ah-ha moments of realization in your life?
  • What is your ultimate Girl Power anthem (or Guy Power for any male readers)?

Taking The Good With The Bad

Babycenter.com has a great article up called 25 Good Things About Bad Times – the silver linings to be found in this bad economy are there if you look for them. We’ve certainly had to lately. While I’ve had plenty of stress to deal with lately, money worries and a world just waiting to change on me at every turn, the good things have been plenty and should not be forgotten. Some things I am thankful for in this bad economy:

  • Quality Time – While it would be nice to have Dan working, earning money and life returning to normal, it has also been very nice having him home, spending more time with him and both of us spending more, quality time with MM. We’ve gone to the park and playground more, taken more pictures, played more as a family (blowing bubbles, tickle fests), played more board games and video games together and talked more about more things than we would be able to otherwise.
  • Having An Extra Helping Hand – Being all six months pregnant or something absurd like that, it’s been nice having Dan home to help out. He’s been able to help with dinners, cleaning and even just chasing the boy around. I’ve been able to sleep in by almost an hour every morning, which I can hardly feel guilty about when we have nowhere to be and um, I’m six months pregnant.
  • Getting In Shape – Lately we’ve been finding extra ways to fill our day, new things to do to kill an hour or two. Our favorite thing to do is probably take long walks. We walk for at least a mile and a half almost every day, sometimes more. Dan’s also been jogging (something I have no interest in joining him with right now). He’s lost over 50 pounds since October and well you all know I’ve been able to maintain my pre-pregnancy weight. But we’ve been able to kick our lifestyle into high gear by really focusing on the exercise part of our “diets” where we weren’t before.
  • Eating Better – You’d think that by cutting back on our grocery bill everywhere we can, that our diets would be suffering, but that’s really not true. We’ve been making more meals from scratch and enjoying every minute of it. Can’t afford to buy cereal? Let’s make pancakes – oh darn, right? When we ran out of bisquick, we started making them honest to goodness from scratch and found we loved it! We learned how to make homemade meatballs and may never go back to those frozen meatballs again. We’ve also loved seeing how much we can cut down our grocery bill without it killing us. And seeing what indulgences are really important to us at the end of the day, and which ones aren’t. Our grocery bill will never be the same again.

I’m sure there are more things – I know there are – but honestly, rather than sitting here talking about it – I’m going to get up and go live it and get back to that quality life I’ve been enjoying. While it lasts.

In what ways has this bad economy made a positive impact on your life?

KMBFBAG: Week 8 (I think)

With all the changes going about in my life right now that I have no control over, it’s nice to have one area where I’m still the boss – my good ole’ diet (said with sarcasm). Actually, I am doing awesome, if I do say so myself. Still no weight gain or loss – my doctor is tickled pink with me and assures me that my stomach and baby are growing at just the right pace. My husband, friends and family are all telling me how great I look and (here’s the best part) way back when I bought two pairs of maternity pants – one fit me comfortably, the other a bit snugger but passable, unless I tried to wear them all day, then I’d be one suffering momma. Those pants? Fit way better now – no pain, all the benefits of a fabulous fitting pair of pants. And the slightly more comfortable pair, to be honest, are getting a bit too big. Oh to have my problems, right? 😛

I still feel over weight sometimes, particularly when trying to get out of a chair or roll over in bed, but I mean, duh, I’m pregnant – and while the rest of me is shrinking, the belly gets bigger every day. All baby. I know, I’m gloating – but darn it, I’m doing awesome! Remembering all the weight I gained with my first pregnancy I’m just so proud and so thrilled to know that I won’t have all that awful weight to lose a second time. I can’t wait to see what size I am after this baby is born and seriously – I still get to eat dessert at night and have my indulgences – this whole thing is just miraculous. It’s all math with all benefits in my mind. Benefits being these super hot jeans that I’m wearing.

How are your diets going?

KMBFBAG: Week Something

I really have nothing to say. Sometimes this seems like the weirdest challenge choice for me ever. I’m doing fine. I haven’t gained or lost anything significant to mention. I’m fine. I’m drinking water, eating fruits and vegetables and mostly staying within my calorie limit. My cravings are starting to get harder to ignore but I’m dealing with it. I’m not going to bore you with me repeating this over and over so I’ll just end this now. Maybe next week I’ll have something more interesting to report.

This is me, signing out.

Weekend Diversions: The Blogiversary Special

In honor of my 1 Year Blogiversary, this week’s Weekend Diversions will all be somewhat blogging themed. They aren’t quite as divertive as usual, but they are cool. And it’s my party, I  can do what I want to.

First order of business is to avoid being productive and see which celebrities are on Twitter now. Some of my favorite celebs to follow are @danecook, @MarthaStewart, @johncmayer, @TheEllenShow and @jimmyfallon. But Blissfully Domestic just did a post listing even more great celebs now on Twitter like: @aplusk (Ashton Kutcher), @MrsKutcher (Demi Moore), @BritneySpears, @MishaBarton, @TheRue (Rumer Willis), @LilyRoseAllen, @JaneFonda, @FranDrescher, @iamdiddy (P. Diddy), @BrodyJenner, @RyanSeacrest, @MCHammer, @ElijahWood, @Jamie_Oliver, @Michael_Phelps, @LukeWilson, @TinaFey, @JimmyKimmel and of course @PerezHilton. That should keep you happily diverted for awhile… When you’re done updating your following list (you are following @mommablogsalot, right?) we’ll continue. ::waits::

Wasn’t that fun? But now you’ve been sitting on your arse twittering for god knows how long, eating god knows how many delicious snacks (I’m drooling just imagining it, and I have a very good imagination when it comes to snacks). Time to burn some of those blogging calories with the ProBlogger’s 10 Ways To Get Fit While Blogging. I’ll give you a sampling to get you started, but then you’ll have to click that link for the rest:

1. Cyber Squats – Who says you have to sit when you’re online? Set your chair aside for a few minutes and instead do squats as you write your next blog post, comment, or when you cruise around the Web. I’m squatting as I write this post – ouch!

2. RSS Raises – As you’re sitting at your desk, straighten your knees and lift your legs out in front of you. Do this as you catch up on your favorite blogs on your RSS reader.”

Alright now that you’re feeling toned and fabulous and probably thinking about jumping on Twitter to see if @johncmayer has updated recently, let me entice you with… money. Yeah it’s a low blow I know, but seriously the ProBlogger is at it again with New Blogger Jobs Available. So now you can call all this bloggy diversion the most worthwhile activity you engage in, because when you aren’t being entertained or sharpening your writing skills, you’re getting in a stellar workout and making money, too! So be sure you check out that article, too before moving on to my last diversion which sounds suspiciously like work except with a huge payoff…

Another gem from Blissfully Domestic this week: Free College Tuition (if they’re willing to work for it). How cool is this? Apparently the new campus trend is offering students free tuition and/or room and board in exchange for their manual labor. Sound too good to be true? I was actually very impressed with the deals they were offering – things like working 10, 20 hours a week will get your kids free tuition in some of these schools and one college of engineering is simply offering free tuition to it’s students. Seriously. I know you’re checking that article out right now for links to your kid’s future college dreams. Your welcome.

That’s actually all for this week – sorry no funny videos (try YouTube) or games (okay there is this one) but I’m suspecting this was worth your time anyway. Stay tuned for more blogiversary celebrations, coming to an RSS feeder near you…