@HonestToddler, meet Honest 10-month-old!

Baby Lucie being mischievous, A Mom Apart

I just discovered what might be the greatest Twitter handle of all time, for new parents at least. @HonestToddler is a person with a very wry sense of humor, who is obviously a parent of a toddler, tweeting a toddler’s thoughts. Some of the greatest tweets are listed in this Huffington Post article, but I basically pee myself every time I see one of his/her updates on Twitter.

As the parent of almost-toddler Lucie, I thought it would be funny to come up with a few of my own. No way will I ever be that witty, but hey, maybe someone will get a chuckle out of it.

Oh, you mean you didn’t request a 5:30 a.m. courtesy wake up call? Suck it!

Mom’s favorite show is The United States of Tara, but she complains about my rapidly-changing personalities. Don’t get it.

Why do they call it a jogging stroller if it’s never used for jogging? smh

While you’re on the subject of my birthday, I’d like 100 electrical sockets to play with.

I HAAAATE MY LIIIIIIIFEE – wait, a game of peek-a-boo? Yipeeeeeeeeeeeee!!

I throw something on the ground, they pick it up like little monkeys. #winning

Planning a first birthday party

I honestly can’t fathom a world where I had the money, time, or creativity to plan a first birthday party for Lucie that looks like this:

Fancy First Birthday Party
This is almost ridiculously gorgeous, and I’d love to be able to put on such a production (mainly to post the pictures on Facebook, let’s be real). But here I am with just over a month left until Lucie turns one. We just spent all of our money fixing our dog, who is deathly allergic to everything. I recently started a new full-time job, we’re still working on our house, and I can barely find time to get my butt to the gym.

Who has the time and money for this stuff? Really, I want to know.

Anyhow, Pinterest has been my best friend as I try to plan an affordable yet memorable first birthday celebration for Lucie. We decided on a teddy bear theme, since we nicknamed her “Lucie Bear” when she was still in the womb. She’s now known as “The Bear,” “LB,” “Baby Bear, or, occasionally, “you messy little troll.” A bear theme seemed more appropriate.

Our budget is very small. It’s hard to justify spending loads of money on something she won’t even remember. The main goal is for everyone to enjoy themselves – especially the birthday girl. She’s a total water baby, so it made sense to have the party at a friend’s outdoor pool.

These cupcakes looked simple enough to make myself, and they’re also super cute. I’ll probably make these instead of splurging on big birthday cake:

Teddy Bear at the Beach Cupcakes

Source: cuteeverything.com

Instead of ordering party centerpieces that will most likely be thrown away, I was thinking it would be cute to order a few books like this on Amazon and use them as centerpieces. Maybe surround them with little bowls of “bear” snacks, or pictures of Lucie throughout her first year.

Birthday for Bear Book, Teddy Bear Birthday Party

I also love the idea of clothespinning photos to a string for additional decorations. This is especially neat for a one-year-old’s party, so friends and relatives who don’t get to see her much can see how much she has grown and changed.

Hanging Clothespin Pictures, First Birthday Ideas

Source: kristanlynn.com

Party favors are a little tricky since there won’t be many kids, and the kids that are there will be different ages. I was thinking maybe some mini Uno cards (fun for families), bubbles (which Lucie loves) and candy of some sort.

It’s shaping up nicely – in my head, at least. This should be interesting come showtime!

 

 

A beautiful life

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We celebrated my grandma “Memo’s” 80th birthday last weekend at Lake Martin. This is a woman who epitomizes class. She is generous, kind, strong, beautiful, and always put together. She’s always been there for her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren for everything. I can’t remember a time growing up when she wasn’t present for a birthday party, graduation, or any other milestone. We adore her.

It was wonderful to see my aunt and cousins. Lucie even got to meet her 4-month-old second cousin Briggs for the first time and spend some quality time with her older cousin, June. My sister made the trip from Austin, and although it was a short visit we always LOVE spending time with Auntie LiLi.

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Memo and 2-year-old June cut the birthday cake

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Lucie hamming it up, as usual.

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Wild Lucie, Sweet Briggs

Lucie really, really loves her aunt. I have never seen her laugh as hard as she did in the video in the last post. I wish we had these kinds of weekends more often.

Lucie giggling with Auntie LiLi

The last 10 pounds

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I have been gaining and losing the same 10 pounds since I was about 15. The cycle went something like this: once I realized I was getting fat again, I would start running on the treadmill every day and eating next to nothing until I was a size 2. Then I would stop. Then I would get fat again. Keep in mind I am only 5’3, so the difference between fat and not fat is really only about 10 pounds.

The last time I actually felt like I was in great shape was at my sister’s wedding in July 2008. Then I graduated, got a real job, and all of that progress went out the window. Not having that convenient (and free) on-campus gym and running trails really took a toll, I suppose. You’d think that marrying a fitness freak would motivate me to stay in shape. Well, it motivated me to start going through that 10 pound cycle over and over again.

Add a baby into the mix. I gained 35 pounds when I was pregnant with Lucie. Technically that is still within the acceptable range for pregnancy weight gain, but when I first got pregnant I was already on the higher end of my usual weight fluctuations. And I cannot seem to drop the last 10 pounds of baby weight. I can fit back into most of my old clothes, but there is a definite muffin top. It’s depressing.

A few months after Lucie was born I joined Adrenaline Fitness and have been loving it so far. Although I haven’t been going consistently enough to see a difference, it’s definitely the best gym I have been part of with challenging classes.

But I am resolving to change my body and get in shape. We’ve even talked about signing up for the Savannah half marathon on November 3rd. I thought it would be interesting if I documented my progress here, if only just to keep myself motivated.

The Challenges:

  • Finding time to go to the gym. Yeah, I know – “if you have time to get on Facebook, you have time to work out” and bla bla bla. But here’s the thing – I have a choice of 6 a.m. and 6:30 p.m. group workout classes during the week. Lucie goes to bed at 7:30, so if I go to the gym after work I don’t see my baby all day.
  • Chardonnay. It calls to me.
  • Office Temptations. Now that I’m working in the city, there are tons of great restaurants within lunch distance. It’s also one of those offices where there is always food. People love to bring in treats. I never want to say no for so many reasons.
  • It’s Hot. Not sure this counts because I see folks out running in all sorts of crazy heat. But highs in Atlanta have been in the low 100s.

The Arsenal:

  • Group Classes. Group classes always challenge me much more than I challenge myself. My favorites at Adrenaline are Body Combat (kickboxing), Body Step and RPM (spin). I know that I need to add more resistance training, so my goal is to do Body Pump at least once per week.
  • Taking Public Transit to Work. Which means another 30 minutes or so of walking per day to get to and from work.
  • My Fitness Pal.  A great little app that allows you to track calories burned and “earned” throughout the day. I find it’s very eye opening to track calories. You can search a huge database to find caloric values, as well as exercises.
  • Couch to 5K. Another great app. This one’s not free, but it’s something I really feel I can stick to since it starts out relatively easy. Plus, you can listen to your favorite playlists AND the commands at the same time!

I plan to keep track of my progress here, but here’s the thing – I don’t really like weighing myself. I know the fact that I don’t kind of breaks a cardinal rule of dieting, but I would so much rather evaluate progress by how I look & feel, and how my clothes are fitting.

So many things to think about. If only Ben Stiller could move in, take away all my junk food and force me to exercise every day.

Ten months old: what we’ve learned

Baby Lucie at 10 Months: A Mom Apart

Baby Lucie turned 10 months on June 24. She’s starting to look and act more like a toddler every passing day. She’s got a thick head of hair, a full-fledged personality (attitude included) and a little head that’s chock full of knowledge just waiting to come out. She can already say a few words – recent ones include doggie, kitty, ball, up, and “but-a-doo” (that’s “butterfly”).

She’s taught us so much already. Since I have been thinking so much lately about how much our lives have changed in such a short time, I thought I’d pass along a few nuggets of wisdom from a first-time momma who is very much still learning.

  • Children are pretty resilient. When we first had her, the level of worry was through the roof. “How are we going to screw this up?” was always at the top of our minds. Every time we changed her onesie or gave her a sponge bath, we thought we were going to break her fragile little arms. But somehow, ten months later, she is healthy and thriving.
  • The daycare kids are alright. I get a lot of sad “I fell bad for you” looks when I tell people I have my baby in daycare. And God forbid, it’s not even the super expensive “prep school” variety. It’s a Kindercare. And guess what? I went to one when I was little too. I turned out fine, and she will too. In fact, she enjoys it and seems to be learning a lot.
  • It’s not a competition. Have you ever noticed how moms on message boards are so quick to jump down each other’s throat when they feel another mom is doing wrong? I think it’s a shame. The fact is, there’s really not a “right way” when it comes to parenting. And it’s always best not to get in debates. When unsolicited advice comes around (which it will), just smile and nod, and keep doing it whatever way works for you.Baby milestones aren’t a competition, either. Lucie is still not crawling, and I often get pity looks from other moms. The truth is, I can’t do anything to speed it up and I’m happy to enjoy the cuddle time before she’s monkeying out of my arms and getting into every little thing.
  • Messes can be dealt with on weekends. I can’t tell you how stressed I got when she was a newborn. With every misplaced dish, bottle or sock, my blood pressure would rise until I finally blew up on someone (my husband). Eventually I learned to look past the messes by reminding myself that we work full-time aside from being parents, and everyone needs at least some time to relax. Now we do our cleaning ritual on Saturday mornings until the mess starts rearing its ugly head a few hours later.
  • Choose your battles. Something I have been particularly bad at, especially when it comes to the state of the house or other petty things that stress me out. Most of the time, it’s really not worth an argument or an evening of coldness.