Category Archive : parenting

My Child Is Overweight? Really?

I knew it was coming. And even though I knew it was coming, I was still mad.

They told me my gorgeous rough and tumble little boy was overweight.

Does this look like the picture of childhood obesity to you?

I say that I knew it was coming because since about age 1 he has been in the 90th percentile for weight (which is a far cry from the tiny little being he was at months). He is 50% for height, so we can no longer blame the “overweight” thing on him being short. Thing is, as you look at this kid, the last thing I think is that he is overweight. He is rock solid. Six pack abs. So my question is? When are doctors going to start accounting for factors OTHER than BMI to determine obesity risk factors? We were lectured about his eating habits, despite the fact that his school serves a very balanced diet every day. He rarely eats candy. He told the doctor he hated chocolate. He rarely eats chips. Fruit juice gives him the runs. So, doc, go ahead and just TRY to tell us we are doing something wrong here. I dare you.

Our very athletic-built family will NEVER get out of the “overweight” range unless other factors are taken into account. As a pregnant woman, I’ve been getting DRILLED about being “overweight”. Yeah… my weight gain has exploded, but to be honest? I don’t know why. My eating habits are not all that different from where I was prior. Sure, I have had some aversions to my usual favorite vegetables, but I haven’t been THAT bad. Either the sins of my 1st trimester have caught up with me or gaining weight is just what my body does when its pregnant.

I have preached many times over why I loved Medifast so much. They looked at the big picture. Muscle Mass. Body Water. They looked at the body’s total composition before making their final assessment on my final “goal” weight. While BMI was factored in, it wasn’t the be all end all of my overall health. They readjusted my goals to a reasonable place that was RIGHT for my body. Weight Watchers certainly doesn’t do that. So I ask, why can’t a doctor’s office perform these assessments?? I don’t give them enough money already? They can’t afford this equipment? Tell me why?!!

Beyond the “overweight” analysis that I got for my son, they have verified that he is a healthy, vibrant 5 year old boy. His vision and hearing is perfect. He has already blown away 95% of the developmental and physical milestones that he should have reached (or will reach) during age 5. We only have to work on tying shoes 🙂 As anticipated, he had to get 3 vaccines which pretty much knocked him down for the night and earned him a little extra TV time and snuggles from mom.

As always, I feel beyond blessed that my son is healthy and happy. There could be SO many worse things to worry about than my son weighing “more than average”.

Starting Kindergarten

I can’t believe it. My precious baby boy started Kindergarten this week!

I feel very lucky that this transition is such an easy one for us. He is attending Private Kindergarten at the same school he has been at since he was 3 months old. He knows his teacher (her son is about 6 months younger than Jackson and they have been in preschool and Pre-K together). No big scary bus. No new kids. Same place, just a different room. We are very strong advocates for Primrose Schools and have often told the former owners that Primrose needs to expand it’s program to include Elementary Education. We are believers that this school is one of the primary reasons for Jackson’s intelligence and manners. We are so sad that this is his last school year there but excited to start our baby girl there next March.

The first day of Kindergarten was not without it’s tantrums. Primrose Pre-K & K students are required to wear school uniforms. After 3 months of summer camp? He was not thrilled to put on the brown Merrill dress shoes. It was a fight and one that he lost.

You can see his disdain over the shoe fight in this photo
Ready for his 1st day! 

He quickly recovered and we got ready to go. He was excited that BOTH his mommy and daddy were bringing him to school for once. We said our goodbyes and off he went all grown up and independent. Nothing but a wave and a smile.

All day at work, I thought about him. How was his day going? Was he able to keep up with the work? Was he getting along with his friends? Was he listening to his teacher? I couldn’t leave fast enough at 4:00p to get to him and hear about his day.

His first day of Kindergarten was good. When I picked him up, he barely even noticed me walking into the room he was having so much fun with his friends, playing CHESS (WHA??). He said the work was hard and he had trouble with one center and that he couldn’t “solve the problem”. Being a very excitable little boy, he had some trouble listening which we will keep an eye on. He said the best part of his day was “Playing tag.” So, as suspected, recess is still the best time of the day.

The start of this school year marked some new routines in our household. After a summer of relaxed routines and rules, we laid the hammer down. No more TV during dinner. No more eating dinner at the center island- but sitting down at the dining room table and having dinner as a family and talking about our days. Homework, when that starts, will be done after dinner and before any playtime. Bedtime is now a quiet bedtime snack and maybe one episode of a cartoon (preferably a more educational one) instead of a full-blown movie. We are now reading a couple books (he reads one to us (!!) and we read one to him) before laying down to sleep by no later than 8pm. We are working hard on getting him to go to bed independently before the baby comes.

I am so blown away at how awesome this kid is. I am such a proud mama this week!

Recharging The Batteries (NaBloPoMo Day 3)

What is your favorite way to recharge when you feel drained of energy?

Being a mom, I am pretty much always drained of energy both emotionally and physically. It has been important for me over the last four years to find many outlets as ways to recharge my batteries and keep myself energized. I need to do this not just for me, but for my son so I can be a better mom, for my job so I can be a stronger employee and for my husband so I can be a good wife.

Coffee. Yum! 

Okay. Perhaps this isn’t the best outlet, but I freaking love my coffee in the morning in a can’t live without it sort of way. So, today, when I spilled it all over just as I was walking out the door? Not cool. I love my morning cup of Joe. It’s delicious and it warms me up. I’m not one of those people who slugs it down all day long. Just one simple mug in the morning and I am recharged.

Post Run- Runner’s High

Maybe some people get tired from their workouts, but for me, it is my greatest source of recharge. After a month of walking pneumonia, I was finally able to start training for the 7K I am running in March. Can you say runner’s high? I was amped up all night last night! The runner’s high is one of the reasons I have become so addicted to running. When I was overweight, I use to roll my eyes at the people who would say, “I get energized when I workout!” Liars! Then my body got used it it, and then my body started liking it and THEN? My body now needs it. When I was sick, I was really surprised at how much I was missing being able to run and workout. It’s real, people! Teach your body to want to exercise and you will gain so much from it!

Secret healthy snack stash

Truthfully, I really suck at this one. It is one of the things I have long struggled with; however the influence of Medifast has actually helped me a great deal in this department. It is true, that if you pack healthy snacks to bring with you to the office, you will eat them over choosing any other junk that may be laying around. Sometimes this works, sometimes it doesn’t. I do feel much more energized after eating fruits and veggies over a piece of chocolate (even if the chocolate is oh so good!).

My Bestie. 

I freaking love my friends. They make me laugh. They lift me up. Whenever I am in need of a little boost, I will send them an email or a text to say hi. Their response never ceases to energize me and add a little excitement to my day. Thank you friends for always being my constant source of entertainment!

Me & My Cute Movie Date

Okay. I know that sounds hypocritical. I just said that being a Mom wears my shit out. While as a whole, being a mom is tiring, but spending time with my kid is the best. It is hard not to feel energized around him! He is hilarious, fun and the most energetic 4 year old boy I have ever seen in my life. I have the best time with him.

How do you recharge when you are feeling low on energy? 

A Mommy Fear Comes True

I’m not a helicopter parent by any measure. I stand back and let my son learn things on his own. I let him try new things. I try not to interfere or nag until it becomes a safety issue. I try to keep my “no” items to the things that matter the most so that he understands when I say no, I mean it.

When we started building our house 5 years ago, we had given up hope of having a baby. We picked a model and our FABULOUS Country Joe Homes sales manager exceeded our expectations by adding in the little extras that we loved but didn’t think we could have such as a pantry and a large wrap around front porch. It was our little dream home. We didn’t put much thought behind designing something child-friendly, because we were under the assumption we weren’t having one.

Cue our shock 4 months later when one pregnancy test after another showed up positive.

We were able to make small changes- such as what color to paint his room and what kind of carpet we should get that would withstand the spills of a child. We couldn’t do anything about the large staircase or the location of the upstairs rooms and bathroom.

Here is how our house is laid out (for the most part):

On the 2nd floor you can see that to get from the bedroom next to the master to the bathroom, you’ll have to walk right in front of the stairway. From the time we brought Baby Jack home, this has been a worry of mine- when he starts heading to the bathroom on his own, he’ll have to walk right in front of that huge, long staircase. We watched him a million times run down that hall to the bathroom and back without incident and finally gave him the freedom to leave his room on his own at night. I always hear him get up (we still have him on a monitor) and hear the pitter patter of his little feet trotting down the hall. I never go back to sleep until he is safe in his bed.

Early this morning, the sound of the door opening and his feet in the hallway awoke us at around 4:45am. My husband thought he had been in the bathroom a long time and went to check on him. Jack emerged from the bathroom, gave his daddy a leg hug and proceeded to try and run around him only he cut his turn short and went tumbling down the stairs. In an effort to try and grab and save him from the fall, my husband fell head over heels right behind him. I didn’t see any of this, I only heard the sounds of bodies going down the stairs and of my child screaming in terror. In a panic, I jumped out of bed and ran after them. Father and son were embraced at the bottom of the stairs. I quickly grabbed Jack into my lap to cradle him, put my hand on the top of his head to feel for any growing bumps and then felt the wet, stickiness of blood. Nausea flooded over me; however, I immediately I jumped up, turned on lights and ran to the kitchen where I hoisted him up on the counter to see what had happened to my baby boy. Seeing no gaping wounds, I caught a glimpse of my husband. He was a disaster. Arm bleeding, chin dripping with blood, swollen face. He took the brunt of this fall. I checked Jack from head to toe: barely a scratch. How is this possible? Seeing the state of my husband, I knew he needed medical attention. He stubbornly refused my offer of bringing him to the hospital and told me to just make sure Jack gets to school. Thankfully, my husband only required a couple stitches on his chin and had no broken bones (I’ll bet he’s glad I started making him take multi-vitamins!). He is in pain though with his bumps and bruises (yet apparently not so much pain that he’s able to hold his XBox controller?? Fishy…).

Seriously though, my husband is a hero. He sacrificed himself and did whatever he could to keep our son from getting hurt. True love, man. True love.

My mommy instincts are still screaming even though everything turned out shockingly okay. I know it is time to take action: What are we going to do to keep something like this from happening again? As you can see from the floor plans, there is a bedroom right across from the bathroom. I hate the idea of having him go through such a change (he’s been his current room since birth), but hate the idea of him getting injured on that stairway even more. Sure, we could put a gate at the top of the stairs, but what a pain in the ass those things are to fiddle with, not to mention you can STILL fall down the damn stairs after you go through it anyway.

I vote new room. We can paint and decorate it up and make it feel like it’s truly “his” room that he can be proud of. It will get him closer to the bathroom, remove the issue of the stairway and may even get us over the overnight bedwetting hump. Now to get my husband on board with this idea…

What are your greatest mommy (or daddy) fears? Did you take specific action to keep them from coming true? 

My Romantic 7 Year Anniversary

Yesterday, I celebrated 7 years of mostly wedded bliss with my husband. We know couples who have taken fabulous vacations on their 7 year anniversary. Upgraded their wedding rings to add more bling.

We did nothing of the sort.

At the last minute, I rushed out to find a suitable gift for my husband. Very out of character for me as I usually research for months for the perfect, most creative gift. We follow the traditional/modern gift chart for our anniversary, mostly for fun, to see who can come up with the most creative gift. The 7 year gift is either wool or copper. Sounds easy, right? Oh so wrong. Now, with some research, I probably would’ve come up with something unique in the copper department, but flying by the seat of my pants? No luck. So, I’m stuck with wool. Also sounds easy, yes? Oh so wrong. EVERYTHING I looked at that would fulfill my husband’s picky clothing palette was cotton! There were gorgeous merino wool turtle necks and v-necks, but no crew necks. I made one final stop into Banana Republic (yeah, I might be obsessed as it is one of the few smaller, less expensive shops to go in Downtown Minneapolis). I settled on a merino wool half zip sweater and crossed my fingers. Walking back through Macy’s, I also bought him a new pair of wool gloves that have a heater and touch finger so he can use his iPhone with them on and completely random, a new belt for his new skinny waist. I never shop at the last minute so I was not confident in my selections. Never mind that I could have bought him a bottle of scotch and nice cigar and he would’ve been content.

Not surprising at all, the bus was running late. So, I had the hubs pick up the kiddo from school and I swung by to pick up our romantic dinner of take-n-bake pizza and cheese bread. Yes, I classied that up with a little red wine. My husband then left to take the kiddo to swimming lessons while I played with my new iPad 3. My gift. Which I guess has some copper in it? Husband then dropped the child off at home and made his way to the gym while I put the cranky, tired kid to bed.

By the time he was home from the gym and showered up, the kid fast asleep, we were exhausted. I quickly sped through the DVR, watched The Voice and off to sleep I went.

Romance at its best!

We do have a sitter for this Saturday and we will attempt to go on a date. I say “attempt” because I begged to do something other than our go-to date night dinner and a movie and as you all know, the ideas in my head are usually much more exciting than reality.

There you have it! Pretty much sums up how our anniversaries are spent now that we have a little one. The good news? There’s a lot of love still there, even after 7 years of marriage and a full decade of togetherness. No, our marriage is not perfect. Is there such a thing? We bicker. We sometimes do not spend much time together. Our anniversary serves as a reminder of our commitment to each other and our lives together. Despite our busy and exhausting day, we were able to look at each other, look at our surroundings, look at our son and say, “We’ve done good.”

The Great Bedtime Battle

Since becoming a mom, I have learned a level of patience that I had no idea existed within myself. I’m not certain my husband has quite grasped on to the concept yet, so for now, it will have to be my “thing”.

Some of my virtual mama friends out there have entered into the potty training phase and have expressed their frustrations. OH the frustrations. I often imagined that my son would still be in Pull Ups going into Kindergarten as I really saw no light at the end of that tunnel for a good long time. My strong-willed child put up a good fight. Just like everyone said it would happen, suddenly he would be potty trained and we woulnd not even realize when it happened. I look back and cannot pinpoint an exact day  or even month when it happened. I have not forgotten how frustrating it was. The accidents, the excuses. We tried everything from rewards charts to candy to toy bribery. We are still working on overnight accidents and he hasn’t gotten the whole wiping thing down yet, but we aren’t stressing over it either.

Just like everything with our son, he chose to do it in his own time. In his own way.

Like many parents, bedtime is definitely a battle. Our child has no off switch,  so getting him to shut off for the night is one of the most insanely frustrating experiences. It’s THE main reason my husband and I take turns putting him to bed. If it were an easy process, I wouldn’t need every other night off from this duty. Just like potty training, he is taking his own sweet time when it comes to going to bed on his own. We have established such a flawless routine that attempting to break it in any way is proving disastrous.

Out of the blue, he decided he was big enough to go brush his teeth, go potty and get his jammies on by himself. If we DARE try to interject, he gets ANGRY and tells us to leave. He wants to do it by himself! Also out of the blue for the first time, he got out of bed on Saturday morning, came into our bedroom and declared, “Mommy and Daddy, it’s wake up time!” He proceeded to explain that the bunny is awake so we all need to be awake now too. Now, the bunny clock has to be just about the best invention ever:

We were having issues with Jack waking up in the middle of the night thinking it was time to wake up for the day. He didn’t seem to understand that it was 2:30am. It was a battle. So, we bought him this sleep/wake training alarm clock from One Step Ahead so he would know when the bunny is sleeping, he should be sleeping too. Holy crap. It actually worked. Yes, he still wakes up with bad dreams and needs a hug or needs help getting to the potty, but he knows to go back to bed because the bunny is still sleeping. We noticed on our video monitor (yes… he is 4 and we still use it… don’t judge me), that he will wake up before the bunny is up but sit in his bed and play with dream lite or his stuffed toys until the bunny is awake. This this is like magic and we love it.

However, this magical clock did not cure his bedtime battle struggles. He WILL NOT let us leave the room and we must painfully wait until he is fast asleep before we can slip out. We thought maybe with all of his newly discovered independence that he would suddenly decide he can go to bed by himself too. So, we asked him if he was willing to try and if he would do it, we would reward him with a shiny, new light saber. Both nights we attempted this, we failed. He is dependent on our nearness and obviously thinks we are abandoning him if we don’t lay by his side. Cradling him in my lap while he shook in fear with giant alligator tears rolling down his eyes, I reassured him over and over that I wouldn’t leave him. My patience nearing its breaking point as I longed for my “me” time, my stomach grumbling for my next scheduled Medifast snack, I took a deep breath and snuggled in next to my sad, little boy. He fell asleep quickly, holding my finger in a death clutch that said, “Please don’t leave alone, Mommy.” As I freed my hand and tiptoed out of his room, I blew him a kiss and promised myself that we would no longer try and push this issue with him.

As with everything we’ve “struggled” with along the way, he will learn to go to bed by himself in his own time. It may be a month, heck, it could be a couple more years. I do know for sure, it will be in his time. When he is ready. Truthfully? Despite the sometimes frustrating push back he gives us (i.e. I need to go potty again, I’m thirsty, my tummy hurts… etc etc etc), I have learned to love this quiet time. Most of the time we snuggle and read books on my Nook and then just talk. I’ve learned more about his day in the 10 minutes before he falls asleep than dinner and playtime combined.

I selfishly treasure my time with him, so why be in such a hurry to get him to grow up!?

I was not compensated in any way for promoting the sleep training clock. It is just that kick ass that I had to share it with all of you. 

Motivation Monday: The Finish Line

He’s my reason for everything. 

I know, I know… I have been absent lately. The last couple weeks have been very strange for me. Leaving a job that I have been at for 5 years was a huge thing. I think I held onto it for as long as I did because I didn’t think it was possible to “manage” my life starting over somewhere new. You know… full-time job, mom, family, self, etc. I had a good schedule down. I had things figured out. But, something was missing and I knew I was selling myself short professionally.

I have been able to take some time off between jobs. I am proud that I stood up for my need to have this week off, even though my new gig wanted me to start right away. My husband is away on a fishing trip with the “men” this week. While I’m sure I could have worked things out to manage a new job and my kid, I’m so glad I chose not to. As a matter of fact… I am loving my time at home. I feel relaxed and at peace. I don’t feel rushed. I am enjoying time with my boy, just the two of us. As I was getting dinner ready tonight, he ran up to me, threw his arms around my legs and said, “I forgot to give you a hug when you picked me up at school so I’ll give you one now.”

He’s my reason for everything. Especially my weight loss.

Yes, I have enjoyed the “benefits” of my weight loss. The size 8, the shopping for a new wardrobe, the two piece. I still kind of look at myself in the mirror, especially at group fitness classes and wonder if that could really be me. But it was about more than that for me. I wanted to lower my blood pressure (103/70 today… lowest in 4 years). My cholesterol was high. My BMI, a 32 when I started, was considered obese. I wanted to stop the spread of my endo. I wanted to do all these things for my health so I could be around for my little boy for a long, long time.

Today, I did it. I reached the finish line. Goal at Medifast is a little different. They take more into account than that elusive number on the scale. They look at your overall picture. At 151 lbs (just 1 pound from my original goal), they determined that I was ready to start my transition. With all the muscle weight I hav eput on, it wasn’t necessary to lose any more fat. It is possible I will continue to lose weight during transition; however, the goal is to get me back in the real world. This week, I get to add in an additional serving of veggies and I can choose from any of them (corn, potatoes and avocados for example are prohibited during the weight loss phase). Next week fruit. Then dairy. Then grains. Each week I will get to drop down the number of Medifast meals as they teach me how to eat going forward.

A pic of an outfit I tried on at Express.
I still can’t believe I fit in these clothes! 

While I reached the weight loss finish line, I know this isn’t the end of the journey for me. Maintenance will be a lifelong deal and I anticipate it being the hardest part. Let’s face it. I’ve got some food addictions. I’ve got some food issues. Maintaining this weight will not be easy for me.

For today, I am celebrating. I’ve lost 60 pounds over the last year and a half. I’ll be honest when I say that I never, EVER thought I would actually make goal. I struggled for so many years… I can’t even find the words to express what this means to me. I cannot thank Medifast enough for getting me to this milestone. I know there are many naysayers out there who are expecting me to gain all the weight back and all I have to say to them: thank you for the motivation to continue keeping it off. I will prove you wrong. 

My husband will be taking my official before & after photos which of course I will post for all of you to see. The question is… what to wear??? 

Wordless Wednesday: A Special Thanksgiving Lunch

Every year my son’s school hosts a Thanksgiving lunch where the parents can come in and have lunch with their kiddos. I wish I could go have lunch with him EVERY day. What I couldn’t capture on camera was walking in (albeit a little late) to find Jack sitting at a special table alone waiting for me to arrive. He was “saving” my seat. He gave me a big hug and we ate our (okay, he ate my) turkey lunch. It was a most memorable moment. I am so thankful for my sweet, loving and silly little boy.

From my family to yours, wishing all of you a Happy Thanksgiving!

Wordless Wednesday: 2011 School Picture Edition

There is nothing I look forward to more than getting school pictures back and Jack’s photos this year did not disappoint. How is it possible that he is this big? How on earth did they get him to sit and smile like that?

Infertility Hurts

99% of the time I am at peace with my infertility.

I am okay that my one little boy, my miracle, will be my only child.

Then, that sneaky little 1% slithers in and my heart breaks into a thousand pieces. Many moms (especially 1st time moms) already have their canned answer for the question, “When will you have another?” I always thought I would have 2 kids. I never imagined raising an only child and always wanted a perfect little happy family. If I was lucky, a boy and a girl.

Those who have struggled with infertility get it. The frustration. The desperation. The hurt. The feeling that something critical is missing in your life. Make no mistake, I take nothing for granted when it comes to my son. I remember being pregnant like it was yesterday. I think I sometimes still feel the ghost kicks in my tummy. But, finally being able to get pregnant once, I got a little cocky. I figured it would be easy the 2nd time around. I did this once, I can do it again, right?

I had no idea how wrong I would be.

Even before my surgery this year to remove what I thought was just going to be a little endo scarring and an ovarian cyst, my husband and I made the decision that we would be done. This would be our choice and not the choice of a doctor or my body. We didn’t want to have to endure two years of not seeing 2 lines on those damn tests. We didn’t want to go through another miscarriage. We didn’t want to spend the money on extreme fertility treatments. We were done.

I had no idea how final those words would be.

Waking up from surgery, my doctor came up to me with the sympathy face and in my haze, even I understood when she said they had to take the ovary that our decision was now set in stone. Being down an ovary, the damage caused by the endometriosis and the risk of its return if I am untreated determined my sentence.

Those who do not know what happened to my poor battered insides still ask the question, “When are you going to give Jack a sibling?” Or make comments such as, “Wow, that boy needs a brother or sister to play with.” Then there are those who know what happened and still have the audacity to ask, “Well you still have one good ovary, right?” Um. It’s not just an ovary issue, it’s an endo issue. So, as “at peace” as I like to think I am with our fate, the questions still sting. They are constant reminders of how I can’t have any more children and there are no other alternatives (at least ones that normal people like us can afford).

I try to recall and hang onto every moment with Jackson, all the way back to my pregnancy. I’ll never get to experience any of it again and I never want to let go of how magical it all is. Being a mom is amazing and I feel so lucky to get the chance to be one at all.

So before you open your mouth to ask a mom any of the above-mentioned questions, try to remember that not every woman is a child making machine like Michelle Duggar and think about how deeply personal that question actually is.