Category Archives: exercise

Birthday Wishes

Last year, all I wanted for my birthday were Riley’s two front teeth.  (Thankfully, the birthday fairies made that wish come true.)  Coincidentally, we found ourselves at the dentist on Saturday getting yet another x-ray because Riley kept complaining that the top of his mouth behind his front teeth hurt.  Turns out he’s fine.  There’s no abscess or sign of infection.  There’s no need for dental birthday wishes this year, which is a good thing, because I need the birthday fairies to focus their energy on me.

Last week, I wrote about how busy I’d been doing mommy things, like wiping booger filled noses.  I’m still doing that, except this time it’s my nose.  After almost six years of motherhood, I thought I was immune to the kids’ germs and runny noses.   Not this time.  Riley’s evil cold even took down Mike.  He’s been on antibiotics for bronchitis since Friday, and even though I was feeling better on Saturday, I woke up on Sunday with the Cough.

In honor of my birthday, my mom sent me this really cool “Remember When…” booklet.

Here’s a 1975 advertisement for Exedrin, which pretty much describes how I feel if you replace “a headache” with “the Cough”:

You go, Working Mama!  Check out my BFFs, including Drew, Tiger, and Angelina, who were born in 1975, too:

Even with the plague upon us, it was our birthday weekend (Mike’s birthday is the day before mine), so we persevered.  On Saturday, we had a birthday dinner with family and friends (lobstah for this birthday girl!), and on Sunday, the boys and I surprised Mike with an impromptu Star Wars Clone Wars birthday party.

It wasn’t really a party – just a cake (that’s a Darth Vader candle in the middle), a Star Wars Clone Wars “Happy Birthday” banner, and the five of us (including Harry).  The center of the celebration was this lopsided cake.

Homemade…obviously.  I’m not sure what happened, but the cake was super crumbly and hard to keep together.  Despite her sad slope, she got high marks from the judges.

Today, on my birthday, I started with a Green Dream smoothie from Whole Foods.

I was going to get the Kalicious, but the woman behind the counter talked me into the Green Dream because it has kale and spinach.  She must have known it was my birthday.

I wanted to go for a run (my next 5K is in less than two weeks), but the Cough dictated that I take a brisk walk instead.  Actually, the Cough wanted me to sit on the couch and catch up on “Married to Jonas,” but I did that yesterday.  Also, I’m a martyr (and my thighs will be grateful when Mike go on our 10th anniversary getaway in December).  After the walk, I dedicated the rest of the morning to blogging.  Don’t be too proud of this righteous act.  I may not be tearing through the mall today on a shopaholic bender like you’d expect, but I’ve done plenty of damage leading up to this special day, and there’s a good chance I’ll dive into some additional retail therapy later in the week.  I also bought myself…wait for it…a ten-class package at a local fitness center to add strength training to my routine.

Runaway Mama confession #327: I can run a 5K, but I can’t do a push-up.

Each year at my check-up, my doctor asks me if I exercise, and I always say, “Yes, I walk and jog.”  Then she asks me if I do any strength-training, and before I have a chance to say “no,” she says something like, “Oh, you’re a mom.  Your exercise is your kids.”  Yes, of course!  Lifting my kids is a workout!  Wiping their noses is resistance training!  Yelling at them to clean their toys is excellent for the abs!  Ah, no.  Have you ever taken an ultimate workout class with intervals of cardio and strength training on the treadmill and rower mixed with free weights and suspension cords?  That’s a workout.  Yes, motherhood is exhausting, but it doesn’t kick your ass like multiple sets of sprints, chest presses, and squats.

There’s nothing more defeating that hearing someone say (or thinking it myself), “You look great…for a mom.”  My birthday wish for my 37th year is to be strong – regardless of motherhood, because of motherhood, and for motherhood.  And in case the birthday fairies have any extra time, here are a few additional birthday wishes:

I wish for better DVR management skills.  The new TV season is in full swing this week!  (Please let “Grey’s Anatomy” be good this season.)

I wish for Dylan to fall madly in love with edamame.

I wish for a team of elves to clean out my garage.  Actually, make that a squad of super heroes.  Or a team of Autobots.  The boys would love that.  (Maybe if I wore a costume, I’d have more motivation.)

I wish for a Vitamix 5200 so I can make the Green Dream at home for less than $6.99 plus tax.

Oh, and I’d like an iPad.  (Even my mom has one, for Pete’s sake.)

Any other September babies out there?  What are your birthday wishes?

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Filed under birthday, exercise, shopaholism

Tools for 2012

1.    MacBook Air


This beauty arrived on Christmas morning.  (Thank you, Mike, I mean, Santa!)  I don’t have to share the computer – and the sticky keyboard and mouse – with the boys anymore, and if I ever run away I can easily blog from the road. I want to write A LOT this year, and I’m grateful I have this amazing tool to help me.  Which leads me to…

2.    Gratitude Journal

I’m still working on gratitude with the kids, and I’m pleased to report I’m making some headway.  Last weekend, Dylan and Riley filled a bag of toys to give away.  Of course, they did it to make room for new “Star Wars” toys (that was part of the deal), but they still did it and it was a step in the right direction.

I’m working on gratitude, too.

Yesterday my entry was: I’m grateful for family dinner.  You might want to sit down for this one.  I cooked dinner – baked salmon fillets and sautéed kale with garlic – after Mike got home from work and before we put the boys to bed.  The best part – besides how delicious it was – was that Riley “helped” me cook and both boys sat down with us while we ate.  Not surprisingly, Dylan wouldn’t taste anything, but he asked a lot of questions about the food.  Curiosity is a good thing!  Riley tasted the salmon…and liked it!

Tonight, I’m making cilantro lime shrimp burgers (courtesy of Whole Foods…yum), french fries and broiled asparagus.  I’ll let you know if the kids eat any of it.  Tomorrow, the boys will probably eat their usual macaroni and cheese and fruit on the couch because Mama is going out.  Which leads me to…

3.    Weekly Date

This is the New Year’s Resolution Mike made for me to have a night off each week to do something for myself.  Last week, I went to the mall one evening.  I know, it wasn’t very inspiring, especially for a Shopaholic Mama, but I had to return something (and, um, buy something), and it kept me out of the house until the bedtime antics were over.  Tomorrow, I’m headed to a book club dinner for “Room: A Novel” by Emma Donoghue.  (Yes, I read the whole book.)  Which leads me to…

4.    Read and Run

These are the tools that keep me away from the mall, relieve my anxiety and fuel my creativity.   Currently, I’m reading “The Art Of Racing In The Rain” by Garth Stein.  It’s wonderful and is making me fall in love with my dog all over again.

Next on my book list is “Is Everyone Hanging Out With Me? (And Other Concerns)” by Mindy Kaling.  I hear amazing things about it.  After that, it’s Tina Fey’s “Bossypants.”  I’m a reading machine!

And a running machine!  Well, sort of.   Lately, I’ve been going on twenty-minute runs.  It’s nothing impressive, but it’s enough to keep me healthy, sane, and inspired, which leads me back to the first tool on my list.

What are your tools to stay on track this year?

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Filed under books, exercise, family dinner, New Year's resolutions, Shopaholic Mama, writing