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Exercise is good for you, now your face is turning blue…

So I’m overweight.  Seems most in the country are these days.  And like everyone it seems I’m trying to fix that.  To put it in my 5 year old’s terms “exercise makes you un-fat.”  I’ve told her that’s not the point to exercise.  So what IS the point?

Here it is… the reason we exercise is so we can do more exercise.  Yup.  I keep telling myself that because the scales haven’t budged for 3 months of exercise but I HAVE become able to do a lot more.  Like jumping jacks and jump rope, things I couldn’t do after baby 3.  This is only remotely depressing.  My clothes are baggy like an elephant and some are falling off me now… but the scale still don’t budge.

Yesterday someone gave me the challenge to go on a 2 mile jog.  First, I don’t jog.  Second, I think if you’re going to give a challenge like that it should be adjusted to the altitude, hills, climate, and weight the person is working with.  I don’t mean how fat they are, but more how many kids they’re going to be pushing/carrying!  My friend lives in a fairly flat area, is single, and so a 2 mile jog means they jog around the block 4 times and it’s done.

First I found a route that would be 2 miles because blocks where I live are oddly shaped and not a consistent length.  Up to the library and back would be 2 miles.  That works, I’ve got some books to return, sounds good right?  Well, first I’d have to get the kids ready.  My kids walk slow, and there’s a killer hill between the library and us (think 15-20% grade…) so I’ll have to bring the killer double-stroller (it weighs about 40lbs.  With both kids in it, it weighs 100lbs.  And that’s WITH a 13lb baby strapped to me.)  And then second, I’d have to go UP and DOWN this hill. 

I’ve done this walk before.  As you go up the hill your mind goes to the pioneers and you start singing “for some must push and some must pull as we go marching up the hill” IF you can get any breath that is.  Usually I just puff in time to the song.  You begin to curse every bump in the sidewalk.  You curse the people who don’t trim bushes so you have to go in the street.  And you curse people who don’t have trees because it’s HOT, even in the winter. 

And then there is the downhill… To do this I strap the stroller to my waist because if it takes off down the hill my kids would be doomed.  And yes, it’s happened before.  You lose your grip because you stumble over someone’s bumpy sidewalk and ZOOM! they go down the hill usually tipping as they fall off the curb.  That time my daughter was too young to remember and didn’t get too hurt.  They’re old enough now that I know they’d remember for life and it would scar them for life and I’d be marked as a terrible mother until one of them did something similar to their kids and forgave me.

If I DID try to do this, we’d have to pack a lunch, hike the mile up there, spend time with the books and have lunch, then hike the mile home.  That sort of defeats the whole “quick 2 mile jog” idea.  More like a “2 hour hike”…

So what to do… well… thank you Lord for the rain which we so desperately need in this our hour of “I need an excuse to keep me from a 2 mile hike.”  :) 

Bottle Feeding is Natural

One of the arguments that people tell me against formula feeding is that it’s not natural. I find this argument fascinating because people have such weird ideas of what is natural and what isn’t. I believe that bottle-feeding is natural, and as for what’s in the bottle it’s amazing we have something that is so much better than in the past.

Every human group has made eating tools. The ability to make tools for eating is one of the things that connect us to chimps by the way. To put it simply, the bottle is a tool for feeding a baby liquid and falls into the use of cups, spoons and funnels. If you go back to caveman days you find, in graves, babies buried with their bottles. When an animal has used a specific tool for so many generations then you have to consider the making and use of that tool as natural for that animal. The use of cars for instance is new, and is not consistent in every human society, so the use of cars is more unnatural. But the use of a bottle or something similar to feed a baby liquid is everywhere that I’m aware of.

Why did we develop the bottle? Simply put, it was necessary. There were times when the mother could not breastfeed. Other times when the mother died, the child was too weak to suckle effectively, too many children for mother to keep up with, bad nutrition of the mother affecting her milk, etc. As a survival technique, the ability to feed the baby without mom was very important for humans to master. Even today emergency survival tips say that as long as baby has a breastfeeding mom they’ll be fine… but ignore that if something happened to that mom then that baby would be at high risk. When the survival of the baby is dependent on one specific person being alright… that’s a very scary situation.

Now we can certainly argue that formula is not natural, but even then humans have been making milk mixtures trying to find one that would help the baby to thrive. While ‘formula’ in it’s present state is new, again, every human civilization has made a mixture to try and supplement or replace mother’s milk when mother’s milk is not available. There was also something called dry-nursing where a baby was given solid foods from day one to try and supplement mother’s milk, or to replace it. These babies had a very low survival and health rate… and it’s because of the abysmal survival and health rates of babies on the mixtures and foods of the past that the current baby-formula came about.

Basically we’re talking about many many generations of humans who used bottles and a mixture of milk when baby could not get mother’s milk. We’ve been doing this since caveman days. So when exactly does something become natural? We’re tool makers, and we made tools and mixtures to improve the survival of our children. Quite frankly… what could be more natural than that?

Signs you have a Spirited Child

Before we had my daughter, I picked up a book called “The Happiest Baby on the Block.” Boy was I glad I did! It gave me more tools to use and helped us a great deal! Well, my daughter is 5 now and her brother is 2 and my husband is at his wit’s end, so we went ahead and got his toddler book from the library and we’re reading it through. Now, I don’t agree with all of it. Quite frankly, my son cracks up at me talking toddler-eese which does help during a tantrum but it’s not quite for the reasons the good doctor thinks.

In this book he talks about how there’s 3 different types of children (sometimes the line is blurred.) About 10% of kids are spirited kids. Then there’s shy kids and easy kids. Now, Harvey Karp talks about how to tell if your kid(s) are falling into one of these categories. When my husband and I read this list, we couldn’t help but laugh. See… by some luck of fate (or God knowing what we needed) we have spirited kids. Our first two anyway are definitely spirited, and it’s a good thing too! I’m so cautious and often having trouble with my own fears that having spirited children definitely is a good thing. It pushes me out of my comfort zone, and also makes sure I don’t hold them back as I watch them make a million friends.

Here’s some indications you have spirited kids though:
-when my daughter was a newborn, she would shriek as if something broke when she had poop on her butt. We called this her poopy alarm (once we were certain she wasn’t broken.)
-when my son was a baby, he would scream for 2-3 hours straight. No, it wasn’t colic. He hated riding in the car and he would scream for hours (as we discovered on vacation.) Everyone told us eventually he would give up and fall asleep. He never did. Let me put it this way… cry-it-out would never have worked on my kids.
-my daughter learned to run before she learned to walk. My son learned to stand, only because between his sister and the dog he was constantly being pushed over so he learned to stand and push back.
-one of the sisters at Church, when introduced to you, says “Oh, you’re the one with the two spirited children! I loved watching them… I had 2 spirited ones as well out of my 5. You’re in for the ride of your life.”
-everyone at church knows you as the mom of the toddler who stands in the window on the 1-inch ledge (something no other child had ever done….) or the mom of the little girl who is everyone’s friend.
-last year my daughter broke both of her arms… first from jumping on the bed, then once that was healed she broke her other arm within a week from climbing a baby-gate.
-your kids find new ways to un-child-proof a previously child-proof area. For instance, when we first went to a doctor’s office the kids discovered the hidden closet and several other things they had successfully kept from who knows how many kids. After that we were put in a room with only an examination table, chair, and 3 books… it’s not like we even let them get into the things, just the fact that they found them made the doctor nervous.
-at the playground, they make friends within seconds of arrival.
-if you leave something behind that they wanted they will not forget for the next few days.
-your daughter hands out valentines that she snuck from home to everyone working at SAMS club.
-your high energy border collie mix collapses at the end of the day without any walk or play. For that record… despite the top-ramen, stickers, and candy stuck in his fur, he looks GOOD for having no walks. He’s very trim and fit… I call it the kid-workout. The only time he isn’t up and being chased or chasing them is when they’re asleep, then he’s collapsed and asleep soundly.

My husband wistfully talks about how he wants an ‘easy’ child. Even a ‘shy’ child would be nice. We somehow got very lucky and our first two are definitely spirited children. I’m not sure what we’d do with an ‘easy’ child… probably fall asleep.

Happy Easter!

This will probably be my first ‘controversial’ subject. One of the problems people seem to have with Mormons stems from the idea that Mormons tend to believe (as a whole) that their religion is true, and other religions are false. A better view of a Mormon point of view (although this is my opinion, and not official doctrine of the church) is that our church has the most refined truth and everyone else has truth of differing levels of refinement. Sort of like pure gold versus the black powder gold that some places actually mine (someone once showed me what the gold looked like where they were and it just looked like black powder.) My mom especially talks about how every religion has truth of some level, and every religion has something they can teach us. Joseph Smith’s example (he studied as many religions as he could after the church was restored) shows us that we should learn from everyone.

However, the politically correct religious viewpoint these days is to see everyone as having the religion that works for them and is true for them. The problem with that is that truth isn’t measured by what works for you, but by what is TRUE. I’m a Christian. Therefore anyone who does not believe Christ as the Savior and Lord is wrong because I believe that to be true. Someone who believes Christ did not conquer death and live again again is wrong, because I believe that to be true. If you believe these things to be true, then you can’t view any religion that doesn’t believe that to be anything but false. That doesn’t mean that religion is entirely wrong about everything, has nothing to teach us, and that choice of religion should not still be allowed, but they are wrong about this (and other) facts.

If you don’t believe it to be true, that’s fine. But for the Christian who believes the Bible to be the word of God, and for the Mormon who believes that the Book of Mormon also is the word of God and that the word of God is revealed through His servants today, that’s simply how it is.

Today I celebrate the return of Christ from the Spirit World, the resurrection of our Lord, and the opening of the most peaceful time int he Book of Mormon when Christ’s church was established firmly there.

What a DAY!

So I had an appointment to see the doctor today at 2pm. I got my mom to watch the kids, and headed out early and arrived at 1:30pm, which is great considering they warn you that if you don’t check in 15 minutes early they delete your appointment. They told me though that my copay is $25.

Recently I did the responsible thing and ditched my Visa card. I have an American Express for ‘emergencies’, but usually use my husband’s debit or cash. So when I presented my husband’s debit they said that since I was not him that even though I had his ID, and my ID, and our name is not a normal name, that I could not use it. I then pulled out my American Express and they marveled and the color and see through but then told me they can’t take it. o_O So I started digging. Between my husband’s and my wallets I got out $23… 2 bucks short. The nurses took a collection and actually gave me the pennies and nickels back. I now owe them $3 the next time I am over there. Thank you Theresa!

Sitting and waiting for my name to be called, they called me and another lady back. I speak English, the other lady spoke Spanish, meaning the nurse got us confused and kept calling me Sophia and then had to have us switch rooms. Yay! The nurse then came in and checked me out. She then told me the key to losing weight!

“Put the fork down and move more.” Yay! It’s that simple folks! Forget about things like hormones or health restrictions, just put down the fork! And move! I smiled nicely, but when she wondered why another patient reported her…. I reminded myself how the nurses had taken up a collection for me and let it slide.

For the next hour I spent the time reading a book. Thankfully it was a BIG book. And an entertaining book. “Bringing Up Be’be'” in case you’re wondering. But finally my doctor came in, I explained I was there for a quick in and out and refills and he explained that a ‘little one’ is very sick in the other room and they’re running emergency tests on him to try and figure out why he’s so sick, so I can’t feel upset or angry at having to wait for so long, or when he’s pulled out in the middle of my 10 minutes to review 2 flu-tests. :( Poor little one.

Then downstairs to their pharmacy and a 30 minute wait for my prescription to arrive. Yay! more reading. This time with some strange guy hitting on me. Yeah… right. I pick up my prescription and find out they’ve shorted me, and I point that out and they inform me that even if a doctor orders me 2 of something, I have to verbally confirm that or they assume I want 1. Really? wow. Okay then. After a quick stop to get info on how to renew things, I run to the car and head on home.

I check the time. It’s 4:30pm. That means I’ve been waiting for… a LONG time. And my kids will be chewing on Grandma… hmm… should I pick up something or cook when I get home? Should pick up sunflower seeds for salads for dinner… oh, flashy light ahead. Well, see there’s this road where there’s a light that flashes when the red light is going because the hill makes it hard to see the red light, so I immediately watch traffic and keep 2-3 cars behind the car in front of me and note as a couple of cars go around me.

What I didn’t know is it also flashes when it’s a school zone and the speed limit is now 20mph instead of 30mph. For about 1/2 a block.

I see police flashing lights in the rear-view. Huh what? I start to pull over, and when he doesn’t go around me, I decide to pull into a parking lot (it’s a busy road and I don’t want to inconvenience anyone.) He comes up and I turn off my car, radio, etc, and take my belt off to signal that I’m not going to run. I’m so… STRICT about speeding that it never crosses my mind until he points out that it was a school zone for a half a block and I was clocked at 32mph.

I’m flabbergasted. I did what? SPED? I feel like I did when I was 6 and was caught giving pushes to a girl on the swing and got a citation, except I’m getting a real ticket! I hand over the registration and my license and he goes back and runs the info. Turns out I have a completely clean record (well, yeah. Never done anything) and a completely clean license. I’m that annoying person going 32 in the 30 zone that everyone passed just a couple of minutes ago…. leaving me in the back to get noticed. He explains that he would process it and I’d be done and clear and everything, but since it was a school zone I have to go downtown while the judge chews me out, and then have it cleared. Since I have a clean record, it shouldn’t even take any points or cost me anything. Just a tongue-lashing is what he said. He looks slightly guilty, I’m trying not to cry, I’ve been extremely polite, and everything.

Knowing me, the judge will put me into a PTSD panic and I’ll be sobbing on the floor shaking…. I take my court date with a smile. 28th of course… the 27th my husband is off work and would be able to drive me down and drop me off for the date then meet me again and no problem. The 29th my husband would also be off work. But the 28th is Inventory day and they will not give him that off… great. Great. Great.

The cop takes pity and leaves the lot not behind me. I perch at the end of the lot, scared to move from the lot and into traffic until he slinks down a back alley. I go to the pizza and grocery store, come home and make the kids lunch (they usually eat at 4pm, it’s 5pm… our record runs around my husband’s night-job…) My daughter catches me sobbing on my sleeping husband, and I explain it was just a bad day, then we go and take a shower and I explain I’m washing the bad day away so it will be a good day now. But to help, she should definitely take a nap. She accepts this, and I pat myself on the back for not breaking out chocolate where she can see and associate bad-day=chocolate. Nope, bad days = take a shower and then rest.

I do have to tell everyone though because my mom will have to babysit the kids while I go see the judge. Now my dad’s reaction to a ticket is a severe tongue-lashing and looking like he’s going to have a heart-attack because now my insurance will go up and my fee and my… I point out that nothing will happen as far as I know (this is the benefit of 10+ years of driving and no record.) My husband’s reaction is “everyone makes mistakes, it’s alright, you weren’t speeding you just didn’t know the limit changed for half a block.” My mom’s reaction is “they’re tricky downtown” and I have to give heed to that a bit… having the speed limit 10mph lower for half a block? Yup, that does count as tricky.

This little fox isn’t going anywhere for the next few days. Lousy day. I wonder if I can mail the $3 to the lady…

Cold Showers!

A couple of months ago a site that I really like talked about the health benefits of taking a shower like James Bond (Sean Connery style.) I’m no fan of James Bond… I mean the guy basically runs around with cool gadgets, gets the girl, and kills the bad guy. If that’s not a “guy” flick I don’t know what is. But I DO like Sean Connery. Especially when a dragon, and the cold shower happened in that movie too.

Apparently during the last few minutes of the shower, Sean Connery flipped off the hot and stood in the invigorating cold shower. The article then went on about all the health reasons, mostly having to do with how it makes your heart start pumping and increases the blood circulating everywhere as your body goes “AHHHH!”

Realizing this could be fun to try out, I suggested it to my husband, who cringed at the very idea of it. It took me a week before I got him to try it, and a month before I figured out he was cheating and not turning the hot water off entirely. In his defense, the water here comes out of the tap at about freezing in the winter-time. Still, if I could do it, he could do it! So I began sneaking my hand in and helping him turn off the hot water until he was in the pure cold.

My kids also are taking showers now, and at the end of them I say “Okay, cold now!” about a minute or two before I turn the hot water down. At that, the 4 year old sucks up all the warmth she can and then runs from the shower. My 1 year old typically runs around for a moment, gets sprayed with the cold, then shrieks and runs out yelling “DON’T DON’T DON’T!” Yup, I’m a terribly mean mommy, but it gets them out so I don’t have to get soaked pulling them out of the shower and rinses out the hot-water from the pipes (the cold water is cleaner and typically carries fewer mineral deposits.) Besides, if it makes my son as handsome as Sean Connery, well, he’ll thank me one day.

As for me? I grew up in California and used to make my mom take me swimming in the winter. I feel that blast of cold at the end of the shower and it actually helps me remember those days of childhood fun. So I actually do this, and turn the hot water entirely off when I do, embracing the freezing. It’s an interesting sensation, your body starts working to warm you, and when you step out you feel warm in the room. You wrap up in the towel and feel warmer, then get dressed and climb into bed and for the first time in my life I feel WARM as soon as I climb in bed. Who would have thought that a cold shower would make you more warm for sleep?

So definitely try it! Or sneak your hand in while your husband is facing away from the faucets and turn off the hot for him, he’ll thank you for it! Oh, one note though. If anyone has heart conditions, don’t be an idiot, talk to the doctor first.

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