Disneyland Family 5K -2014

Disneyland Family 5K -2014

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

"Gen X" - We're Not the Young Punks That We Used to Be.

I was at a networking meeting this morning and I got offended.  The more I think about it, the more offended I become.  It wasn't a personal attack on me or my business or even a client.  It was an attack on my generation.  I belong to "Gen X."  I was born in the early 70s and grew up in the 80s.  You've seen the "Child of the 80s" email that went around via email for years and I'm sure you've heard the characterizations and generalizations of our generation.  We followed the Baby Boomers and the Hippies and they weren't quite sure what to do with us and our technology, our computers and the "dot com" era.  We became "X" simply because no one knew quite how to describe us or handle us.  We didn't go to college yearning to get that 9 to 5 job and wear a suit and tie to work everyday, although many of us are there now.  We wanted more and we weren't afraid to ask for and search for something else, something different, something better.  We went to class in flannel shirts and torn jeans and many of us still have those flannel shirts hanging in our closets.

To the older generations, it seemed like we just didn't care.  The boys let their hair grow long and the girls let their skirts and shorts go shorter.   We wore "Daisy Dukes" before they were Daisy Dukes.  We didn't protest the war in Vietnam but we did watch the Challenger Shuttle explode on its flight.  We remember "Tear Down that Wall!"  We weren't around when Kennedy was shot, but we do remember when Reagan was and we remember our parents reactions to Elvis and Lennin's deaths.

But that is all our childhood.  These days, many of us are married and have kids.  Many of us have been in the work force for close to twenty years.  We have responsibilities, employees, underlings and many of us own our own businesses.  We employ the younger generation, Gen "Y" and the ones that follow.  So what was it that someone said that could have offended me?  Well, I will tell you.

An older woman, who admits that she has a daughter who is 30 was commenting on her practice.  (I will assume, for the purposes of this blog, that she is at least 50, assuming that she had a child when she was 20.)  Her practice area is employment law and she was commenting on the part of her practice that includes counseling employers on how to handle employees and also on counseling employees on how to fit into the work place and to really evaluate themselves (to see why they got fired from 4 straight jobs, for example.)  In making her point, she said something about "generation X-ers" and lumped us into the group of "kids" who don't know how to conduct themselves in various employment settings.  Now, I'm sure she didn't mean to offend me.  In fact, she probably didn't even think about what she had said, at the time it was said.  But I think it raises an interesting point.  We, as Gen-X are now in a tough spot.  We are still young-ish, but we are also now successful in our businesses, raising families and becoming *gasp* adults.  I think it is time that society stop using the term "Gen X" to mean the kids, those just coming out of high school or college or graduate school, those without a clue (some of them) of how to live, work and survive in polite society.

I think it's easy for Baby Boomers to say "Gen X" and lump those who are younger together - but stop and think for a moment what that would mean.  I graduated from college 15 years ago - that means I'm 15 years removed from what the new work force is thinking.  I would certainly not put myself into a generation with them. (Generally speaking, a generation is considered to be 10 years, I think.)  If we use the Baby Boomers thinking (or at least, this woman's thinking) then we could possibly lump the Hippies or Flower Children in with the Boomers and I don't think anyone would like that.  Boomers were born in the mid to late 40s, a by-product of World War II.  So add 15 years to that, you are in ... 1960.  So let's lump them all together too.  And by that same thinking, us "X"-ers could then be lumped in with the Flower Children of the late 50s.  yikes!

But of course we won't.  But I use that example to illustrate the interesting mindset of Boomers, even today.  20 years ago, it was easy to pick on us.  We were finishing high school and going off to college, acting as if we had no cares and as if we didn't care about anyone or anything.  It was easy to blame us for malaise and for taking advantage of our parents good graces.  But those days are gone.  Our parents are older and some need to be taken care of.  We've grown up.  We are no longer the "slacker generation."  We have passed that mantle, but not our moniker.

So to the Boomers, I say get with it.  Take notice of the fact that some of your most trusted employees might be Gen X and we've gotten older.  You can't lump us in with the "kids" anymore.  And to those "kids," I say don't try to be a part of our generation.  We were Pepsi's "Next" Generation and Pepsi was the Choice of a New Generation - but those days have passed.  You're not Gen X and you've probably missed out on Gen Y at this point to.  (Geez! It just occurred to me that someone born in 1990 is now 21 - holy shit!)  So I challenge you to come up with a new title, something that will define your generation for years to come.  But "X" is taken.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Fifteen Years - Where have they gone?!?!

It occurred to me last week (during one of my usual random trains of thought) that it's been 15 years since I graduated from college.  15 years?  15 years ?!?! (Think: Jeremy Piven in "Gross Pointe Blank" asking "10 Years, man, 10 years!" and hitting John Cusak.)  What have I been up to?  Well, I haven't been in the army cultivating a life as a trained assassin, that's for sure.  Maybe my next career.

It struck me as odd that so much time has passed and yet, it feels like I blinked and the years just slipped away.  Remember where you were 15 years ago and then think about how loooooong 15 years seemed.  Me, I was slaving away in a hot gym in Rochester 15 years ago.  I was spending my off hours working at Victoria's Secret at the mall or playing volleyball at Charlotte Beach and spending a little time at Hot Shots in between.  I could be found wandering around town with Kristina, more often than not, at a bar somewhere for ladies night.  I was living in the dorms on campus, having given up my apartment to save money (camp coaches could crash on campus for free - say that fast 10 times.)  I was coaxing my little Toyota Celica through the summer, hoping that it would survive just a few more months.  I spent days on the phone with Pepperdine and another law school in San Diego, trying to weigh my options and figure out how to pay for school and living expenses.  I spent countless hours going around and around with financial aid offices and loan companies, trying to find someone to co-sign for my school loans, since my credit had been obliterated by Rochester Telephone Company and a tiny little thing called credit cards.  (Who knew that at 18 when they start giving credit cards to you that it could come back to bite you in the ass by the time you were 21 - but more on that in another edition.)  I was living the life of a college graduate, comforted that I didn't need to be out looking for a job and scared shitless that I would move all the way to California and not be able to hack it.

I only vaguely remember the graduation ceremony itself.  I remember that it was raining when the day started.  I remember that I didn't have any money to buy a nice dress to wear under my gown and figured that no one would see it anyway, so why bother.  I remember wearing cut-off denim shorts and a Pearl Jam t-shirt, my usual uniform around town.  I remember my Mom getting pissed off at me because I wasn't more dressed up and my indignation that if she had wanted me to dress more "appropriately," she could have contributed to the effort.  I remember that my grandma Norton came, but that I felt afterward that I barely got to see her or talk to her. (Something I would come to regret even more the following December when she passed away.)  I remember having dinner a night or two before graduation at that restaurant near Clover Park that has the big water wheel - what's the name of it?  with Sarah Cooley (Doozer!) and her mom.  I remember that someone was drinking Old Fashioneds, something I had learned how to make in my bartending class, but had never actually seen anyone order. 

I remember kind of floating through the day, thinking that it should have felt different.  I should have been spending time with my friends, hugging, getting photographs to seal the day in my memory (or scrapbooks.)  I did get a few of those pictures, but someone, I felt detached.  Whether in truth or by creation of my own twisted mind, I have always felt on the fringes of certain friendships.  I have always held myself back, never wanting to offend anyone, or insinuate myself where I was not wanted.  To that end, people sometimes mischaracterized me as aloof or stuck-up.  In the end, it was that fear of overstepping that likely caused me to hang back - too far, as it were, and miss out on some of those hugs and photos and tears.

I remember finishing that summer of camp and cashing all of my paychecks and cleaning out my bank accounts.  I remember selling that little Celica, not realizing that I needed to tell the DMV that I sold it (something I learned later when the person who bought it got a ticket that followed me to California.)  I remember looking for a new car to get me to California, and going to look at one with Annette - she told me to make sure the horn worked.  It was a blue Honda civic hatchback and it ran, so that was a good thing.  I remember packing it to the gills and then sitting in my little room in the dorms (I think it was Michelhouse that summer) and crying because I couldn't fit it all in one trip.  I remember driving home to Jefferson and unloading the car and fighting with Mom because I would have to go back that night to get the rest of my stuff.  I remember Mom reluctantly coming with me and helping me to load those last few boxes and then driving back to Jefferson with me late at night.  I remember re-packing the car the next day to begin my journey to California, and I remember my mom leaving for work that day and feeling like she didn't really care that I was leaving because she barely said a word.  I remember the drive to California- stopping in Columbus to see Jen and having just a few hours of normalcy, hanging out in a bar, having a beer, before getting back in that car and being scared to death of what was ahead of me, but starting the car anyway.  I had no other choice.  I couldn't go home and I couldn't go back to Rochester - there was nothing left there for me - or so I thought.

I look back at the last 15 years and still see strings of some of those friendships.  I have reconnected with many of the people I knew in college, some closer friends that others, some falling away as life has taken over.  I see other friends maintaining their closeness, whether through geography or regular visits - something that I could not afford while in school and now made more difficult by the usual things - work, children, the kids' school, finances.  Sometimes I wonder what life would have been like had I stayed in Rochester, or nearby.  One of my professors was campaigning for me to go to law school at the University of Buffalo.  Aside from thinking she was nuts to think I would want another 3 years of Rochester winters, I was ready to see the world - from the sunny side!  Now I wonder what life would have been like had I done that.  Would my mom have still moved to California?  Would I have kept some of those friends from school closer than they are now?  Would I have still made it to the West Coast later?  (It goes without saying that I would not have met Rob, and that my personal life would have taken a different path.)

In the 15 years since I graduated, I have been back to Rochester 3 times.  My first visit back was after just 4 months of school, I took advantage of a winter break and spent a week there, I think.  I remember not having a clue about travel - in the sense that I never thought about how to get to the airport or get back from there when I returned. (I ended up begging rides from people I knew at Pepperdine.)  I remember that my flight to JFK got delayed because of weather and I ended up having to take a cab to LaGuardia to catch a different flight to Rochester - the airline gave me a taxi voucher than the cab driver wouldn't take.  The guy who was supposed to pick me up couldn't wait for me and had to go to work, so Kristina arrived on her white horse to pick me up.  I think the travel time was about 23 hours - ugh.  Another trip was after I met Rob - also during the holiday break, I think.  That time I flew to Ohio and then drove to Rochester for a few days.  Kristina and I (and maybe Sarah) went to Tahoes downtown and her car got broken into.  Our purses were all stolen (my glasses were in it) and we thought we lost everything.  Someone called her dad's house later that night and said he found all of our papers in the trash and offered to return them (for a price and a guaranty that we wouldn't call the cops.)  We got most of our stuff back (minus the bags, the glasses and the stamps.)  Lucky for me, I had been carrying traveler's checks (don't leave home without them) and didn't lose too much money.  I remember talking about Rob, a lot.  I think the girls got sick of me.

The last of my three trips came in 2007 - I was struggling with my relationship and with where I fit in my own life and needed to get back to where I really started, where I became "me."  I told Rob I was going, and he asked to come along.  I showed him (and Brooklyn, who didn't seem too interested) where I grew up - where I drank a lot and what was "home" for me for those 4 years.  I showed him the beach where I played volleyball all those summers and took him to Tahoes (this time, the one out in the 'burbs - he was not impressed.)  I reconnected, just a little bit, with me.

Sometimes I go through the daily struggle and don't think about where I came from and where I've been.  Sometimes I think of Rochester and it seems so far away.  Sometimes my four years there seem like a single grain in the sands of time.  Someday, it will be.  Still, I feel connected to the people there, connected to who I was and what I learned there - not just in the classroom, but of "real life."  Sometimes I can still hear the seagulls at the beach and sometimes I can still smell the chalk in the classroom.

I'm reading a book right now in which the character was living in Paris and went back to Hungary.  At the time he went back to Hungary, he expected to return to Paris in just a week or two.  But it was the beginning of World War II and the injustices against Jews were beginning to grow.  He got stuck in Hungary.  He says something as he is looking back on his journey, something that struck me- "How could he have known it would be his last night as a resident of Paris?  What might he have done, how might he have spent those hours, if he'd known."  Sometimes I wonder, if I would have changed anything, knowing what I know now.  Would I still have spent that summer the way I did? Would I have gone through the last few months of school as I did.  Would I have spent more time with friends and family?  It's interesting to have hindsight - they say it's always 20/20.

For now, I content myself with looking back at photos - I seem to be smiling in most of them and the people who are with me are smiling as well.  I take that to mean that I was not offending them and that they were comfortable with my presence.  Some of them, I can ask and will trust that they tell me to go away when I am bothering them, even now, even thousands of miles away.  I comfort myself with knowing that they accepted my friend request on Facebook, or even sought me out on their own.  And I save these stories to tell Brooklyn when she is older, so that she will pause to collect her own memories, and photos and to savor them when 15 years has passed her by.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Mommy Milestone #25 - one more time

I know that I haven't truly been counting my "mommy milestones" in order, but let's face it - so many of them pass on any given day that if I was really keeping track, I'd probably be with the hundreds of thousands by now.  This one has a low number because I'm pretty sure I surpassed it with Brooklyn and I think it probably happened early on.  I just don't remember it.  That's another joy of motherhood, the ability to block things out and forget them completely, so that we will agree to have more children.  That's the true miracle of childbirth, right there.

Before I tell you about my little milestone, now being surpassed with Kensi, I am reminded of a story that a very good friend once told me.  Her little boy is a few years older than Brooklyn, so she travelled these waters before I did and charted a pretty good course for me to follow.  I remember her telling me that she felt that she had "officially" earned her stripes as a mom.  How did she do it?  Well, the poor little guy was having trouble pooping.  There seemed to be something stuck.  I'll try to put this delicately, so as not to offend any one's sensibilities - but hey, the parents out there will understand.... well, she helped him out.  Manually.  Get it?

So why would that little story come to mind in the midst of this Mommy milestone?  Yup.  Because this milestone has to do with poop.  Lots of poop.  Now let me say that I've been crapped on in my life.  I've had guys that never called after the first date and guys that said they loved me and then took out the girl from down the hall instead.  I've had bosses and co-workers hang me out to dry and I've even been fired for something someone else did (Champs store, Rochester mall, 1995 - and no, I don't hold grudges... for long.)  But I can honestly say, even with my lack of recall on Brooklyn's baby stages, that I have never been crapped on quite like this.   You can stop reading now if you don't want the gory details.  You can keep reading if you want/need another reason to laugh at or with me.

Kensi was sitting on the floor yesterday playing and got a bit red in the face.  It looked like she might be pooping, but because she was happily playing, I let her go.  Then I picked her up to feed her and sat her on my lap, bottle in hand.  She ate most of the bottle and then stopped, looking a little stunned or confused.  As the bottle had progressed, so had the smell, so as she decided that she was done eating, I put the bottle down and picked her up to confirm her status.  As I lifted her off of my leg, I noticed that she slid just a bit.  Generally speaking, when you are clothes-to-clothes, there isn't much sliding.  I looked down and WHOA!  my pant leg had poop on it!  And I'm not talking about just a spot.  I'm talking about full-on, sticky and very messy, greenish-brown poop.  yuck.

I looked at Kensi's back and realized that she had pooped while sitting and that instead of it staying in the diaper, it had gone up her back (and on to me.)  I had to put her onto the floor on her tummy to keep it from getting everywhere.  I quickly cleaned myself off as best as I could and turned to assess the damage of her.  While I was cleaning myself off, she had managed to kick her feet up onto her back (don't ask me how, I don't know) and her feet were now covered in poop and she was rubbing them back and forth.  Fun stuff.

Oh wait... did I mention that this was all happening AT THE OFFICE?  That's right folks, there was no easy fix of dumping her in the tub and tossing the clothes into the washing machine.  No, I had to clean her up as best as I could with the wipes I had on hand (good thing I had brought in a new pack last week.) 

Needless to say, when I finally cleaned her up as much as I could, she went into the carrier with just a diaper on.  We got home and got clean clothes and then had to head right back out to get Brooklyn and take her to gymnastics.  No bath yet.  Then it was home for Brooklyn's swim lesson.  And that's right, still no bath for Kensi.  So what did I do?  I did what any other stressed-out, over-worked, incredibly tired and very resourceful mother would do: I put Kensi in her bathing suit and put her in the pool, poopy toes and all.  Yes, I did.  Now, in my own defense, I had done a pretty good job of cleaning her off.  And I'm sure that the chemicals in the pool took care of any tiny little microbe germs that might have been left on her feet, under her toenails.  And by the way, the water was COLD and Kensi was not happy with me.  So she didn't get in much over her knees (in her crab floaty) and then we curled up on a chair to watch Brooklyn jump in and out of the pool.

Ah, the joys of parenthood.  I'm sure all of you out there who have gone through the first year with babies are laughing along with me right now, having experienced something similar with one or more of your children.  Maybe there are a few of you out there who are expecting and are hoping that this doesn't happen to you. (It will, trust me, it will.  It may not be poop - it might be food spit up all over you in public, or it could be a wet diaper that leaks onto you, it could even be vomit that ends up in your hair.  Rest assured, it will happen to you.)   The good thing is that for the few times you get pooped on or spit up on or puked on, you get thousands more hugs and kisses and smiles that light up the room.  Those are the real milestones and those are the moments that keep us going and really give us the strength that we need to keep changing dirty diapers.

Until the next milestone (or kid disaster...)  ;)

Thursday, June 9, 2011

The End of a *Kindergarten* Era...

Brooklyn is finishing up school this week, marking time until tomorrow at 11:20 when she officially ceases to be a Kindergartner and moves on to the world of First grade.  I watch her with tempered excitement and wonder - how could my little baby already be so big?  And how will she handle having to sit at a desk for an entire school day, and will she be able to pay attention?  But those questions are better saved for August, after the fun of the summer has passed, after we have run out of sunscreen and her blond hair has turned green from all of those hours in the pool; after we have worn out our Disneyland passes and the princesses know her by name; after we have watching countless fireworks shows and are tanned and well-rested.

In the meantime, I had to laugh at how the little ones are celebrating their "promotion."  Today was Brooklyn's class party, a solid hour and a half of playing summer bingo (and winning prizes,) of face painting, of making flower leis, and of course, making and eating ice cream sundaes.  (Oh, the sugar rush!)  In the midst of all of this chaos, Brooklyn, carrying around her yearbook, asking her friends to "sign" it.  I found it amusing, considering things when I was in school.  Several of the moms and I were talking about how classes at the school were marking the end of the school year, with "field day" parties, or playing in the sand with water balloons and commenting how no work was done this week.  Tomorrow, on the very last day of school, Brooklyn's class is having a pajama party.  Jammies and blankets and stuffed "friends," hanging with her friends on the carpet, watching movies and relaxing.

Do any of you remember your last day of Kindergarten?  I don't remember mine specifically, but I do remember that there was no "promotion" or "graduation."  There was no celebration (other than the students celebrating being done with school.)  The 6th graders are preparing for their promotion ceremony, put on by the PTA.  When I finished 6th grade, there was no promotion ceremony, no parties (other than Dawn Gray's birthday party - her birthday fell during the first week of June, I think), just a paperback Webster's Dictionary, a pat on the back and a "good luck in Junior High."  We made the most of it, of course, having our friends sign our dictionaries and making plans to see each other over the summer.  I still have that dictionary somewhere on a bookshelf and laugh at some of the things my friends said at the time.

It's interesting to me how we, as parents, now want our kids to have (and savor) all of those things that we didn't have as kids.  Our parents would have scoffed at the idea of a kindergarten "graduation" (or even "preschool") or a "promotion" from 6th grade to 7th grade (or to Middle School.)  Yearbooks were for high school and for some, only just for senior year.  There were no parties during the school year, other than at Christmas and maybe on the last day of school, for the last hour or two.  Every other moment of the day during the school year was spent learning, even right up to the last minute.  (O.k., I'll give you that by senior year of high school, there was no work being done that last week, especially for those of us who had already gotten into college and didn't really need those last quarter grades.)  But things have changed.

Yes, I got Brooklyn a yearbook and yes, her picture is in it several times.  Her smiling little face is captured there for all to see for eternity (or at least as long as the book lasts) along with all of her friends' "signatures."  I will continue to buy her yearbooks, as long as they are offered.  I can only hope that she will save them and when she is older and has kids, she will share her memories with them.  (She asked me the other day if I had yearbooks and when I said "yes" she said she wondered if she would be able to recognize me in them.  I did have to explain that I only had them from high school and college, but she still wants to see them.)

So much has changed since I was in school, both with the school system itself (more on that later) and for me personally.  I want so much for Brooklyn to experience it all and to have the yearbooks and the pictures to keep, things I didn't always get to have.  Maybe it's a little too optimistic of me to think that she'll even care, but a Mom can hope, can't she?  In the meantime, I'll be the one to remind her and when my memory fails, she'll be able to look at her yearbook and the pictures.  And when it's Kensi's turn, I'm sure I'll do it all over again, because of course it wouldn't be fair to do it for one and not the other.  ;)

I hope whatever stage you (your kids) are in, moving from Kindergarten to 1st or 6th to 7th or from high school to college (or even just a grade in between) that you enjoy each moment and take it all in, even if just for a second.  And have a fun (and safe!) summer.

Friday, June 3, 2011

The "D" Word

I hate diets.  If you succumb to the pressure to "diet," it means that you are admitting that there is something wrong with your body or your eating habits or your exercise regime.  I prefer "lifestyle changes."  That is what Biggest Loser preaches to us, right?  That is what Weight Watchers is all about.  It's not dieting or starving yourself or depriving yourself, it's about changing your habits and "lifestyle" to a healthier version of "you."   Riiiiigggght.

I'm incredibly lucky that I used to be skinny.  I say "used to" because that ship has sailed.  When I was little, my dad would get angry with my aunts thinking that they were filling our heads with "crap" and convincing us that we had to diet and be skinny.  What he didn't realize was that we had a really high metabolism and good genes to begin with and when you spend the entire day running in circles around your house, you will most likely be skinny.  In high school, I was a three-sport athlete.  That meant that I started conditioning for volleyball in late July or at the beginning of August (2-a-day practices in the summer heat and humidity,) went right from volleyball postseason into basketball pre-season and then from basketball post-season into track preseason.  It was a never ending cycle of conditioning and practices and games and track meets and ... oh wait - was I supposed to eat in there somewhere?  As I mentioned, that whole "high metabolism" thing, when paired with highly active lifestyle meant that I could eat anything I wanted.  We would go to McDonalds after a game and I would get a Big Mac Value meal (before life went "super-size") and still eat another cheeseburger after that.  (How my mother could afford to take both Trixie and I out to eat at once is a mystery I may never solve.)

In college, I continued my active ways, playing basketball and volleyball almost year 'round and eating on occasion.  By then, I had graduated to being able to eat most of a medium pizza all by myself.  Yes, I said "medium pizza, all by myself."  (And then there were those empty calories associated with alcohol that had to be burned off, but we won't talk about that today.)

The point is, I didn't have to work at it.  I could eat just about anything I wanted, spend the afternoon in the gym and not have anything to worry about.  Needless to say, those days are GONE.

As you might expect, the whole "real life" thing puts a damper on one's ability to spend part of the day in the gym and the other part at the beach.  When I finished school and had to get a full time job and study for the bar exam, working out went out the window.  I tried joining a gym - 24 Hour fitness in Woodland Hills, but finding time to get there was difficult and required motivation to get off the couch.  I was still able to keep the pesky pounds away somehow and so it wasn't too big of a concern.  A few years into the work force and I got engaged.  Suddenly, the weight was a big issue again.  I don't remember how much I lost before the wedding, but I did lose weight and tried to eat healthier.  I was playing in a volleyball league at the time, so at least I was getting some sort of a work out.  I remember one of the guys I worked for making an offhand comment at lunch one day, about how he liked that I would go out to lunch and just eat "real food."  I wasn't sure how to take the "compliment" until he explained that most of the women he knew were always watching their weight and when they went out to eat would limit themselves to a salad or fruits or veggies.  I would go out and order a cheeseburger with onion rings and a chocolate shake for lunch.  YUM.  So I guess that was a compliment.

Then there's child birth.  Ah, the joys of carrying a child and the wonder of birth.  Yup, I "wonder" when I'm going to get my body back.  I "wonder" how long its going to take to stop the sag.  I "wonder" where that ass came from?  I "wonder" whose body that is in the mirror because it ain't mine!

My chiropractor back when Brooklyn was a baby told me that it takes anywhere from 6 months to a year (sometimes more) for a woman to feel physically back to "normal" after having a child.  I remember telling Rob this and I remember him asking me when Brooklyn was 6 months old "it's been 6 months, are you done yet?"  Brooklyn was just over a year old when I decided that I had had enough.  My clothes didn't fit right, I felt sluggish and frumpy.  I went to Weight Watchers and over the course of 6 months, I lost almost 20 pounds.  I had a few wisdom teeth pulled during that time and got sick once or twice, which helped get me through some plateaus, but I lost the weight.  I was back down to a size 8 and I could button my pants without laying on the bed and sucking in my gut.  Yes, even "skinny" people do that.  I was happy with myself again and I can honestly say that one of the reasons it took me so long to get to a place where I was ready to have another child, was because I knew what it had taken to get back to feeling like "me" again after one child and I wasn't sure I was ready to do it for another.

Fast forward and here we are, Kensi is now 7 months old.  I was o.k. with things until recently.  A lot of the pregnancy weight came off quickly (that "ICU" diet, I'm telling you) and it seemed like I was getting back to "me."  Then about a month ago, things stopped.  That little pouch on my tummy isn't going anywhere.  The jeans aren't getting any looser and the "muffin top" is creeping out.  As someone who can't stand seeing teeny boppers in tight jeans that they definitely shouldn't be wearing, as the fat rolls out over the top, it was very hard for me to stand in front of the mirror and see even the smallest roll start to develop.  ugh.  Now what?

Well, I had options.  I could go to the gym on a regular basis.  (eh... not thrilled with that idea.)  I could get up early and go running. (I don't think so.)  I could get up with Brooklyn and walk her to school every day.  (yeah, not really liking that either.)  Or, I could "diet."   Hmmm... that has appeal.  What would it take?

I didn't really give much thought to dieting, since I thought that my eating habits weren't that bad (aside from watching Biggest Loser with a bag of cookies next to me.)  I tried to eat fruits and veggies on a regular basis and I don't eat a lot of pasta and white rice.  Despite that, my weight was stuck.  Then I had a can of Yoplait yogurt.  (If you're thinking this is going to turn into an infomercial, it's not.  Just bear with me.)  On the can, it said "lose 5 pounds in 2 weeks with our Tune up diet!"  5 pounds in 2 weeks?  That's interesting.  So I checked it out.  The "diet" basically consists of eating 1 container of yogurt each day for breakfast and lunch, along with a grain serving (either 1 cup of multi-grain cheerios or 1 granola bar) and a serving of fruit.  Dinner consists of 6 ounces of lean protein, 2 servings of veggies and a serving of "fat."  Also including in the day was 3 servings of dairy (including the milk for your cereal.)

So I decided to give it a try.  How hard could it be, right?  Well, fair readers, I can honestly tell you that I lasted 3 full days.  (Not counting that I tried it Monday for breakfast but had Taco Bell for lunch and completely caved at dinner. - Those Chocolate chip cookie bowls and S'more cups that I made didn't help.) 

I don't know how people do it.  I don't know how they go on these "fad" diets or "crash" diets where they eat only one thing for weeks (or even days) on end.  I just don't know how they do it.  By lunch on the third day, I was done with yogurt.  I was eating some of my favorite flavors and it was all that I could do to choke it down.  The multi-grain cheerios were tasteless and I am NOT a big fan of skim milk.  Having grown up, literally "on the farm," skim milk is too much like water.  I need a little thickness there.  I did o.k. with the fruits and veggies and I was actually surprised at the amount of food for both breakfast and lunch.  I didn't feel starved or hungry and wasn't looking for snacks at 2 or 3 in the afternoon, so I guess overall, the "diet" did it's job.  But I couldn't get past the fact that breakfast was tasteless.  I guess that's why I prefer Weight Watchers to deprivation diets.  With WW, I can eat what I want, as long as it is within my points range. (No, this is not an infomercial either.) 

My original plan had been to work my way through the 2 weeks and try to lose those 5 pounds.  (I actually managed to lose 2 in the first couple of days. I think the hour long cardio kickboxing class might have helped a little with that.)  Then I would go back to WW and get back into the swing of things, that much closer to my goal weight. (I'm a lifetime member, having hit it and maintained it already.)  That plan went out the window with breakfast this morning.  Although I will say that having done a few days on the "diet," I was not inclined to eat as much as I normally might have, and was able to push the plate away.  That's not to say I didn't make bad choices to begin with - somehow I don't think the sausage link would be considered "lean" protein. 

So here I sit, surrounded by the remains of my turkey sandwich on wheat, with Baked Lays and iced tea (unsweetened, of course.)  A container of yogurt is nowhere in sight.  I can't say whether or not I will go back to the cheerios - there is certainly something to be said for the marshmallows or raisins (or chocolate chips) that you can find in cereal - it gives the stuff taste!  I will probably finish the skim milk, if only just to avoid wasting it, and I will certainly finish out the cottage cheese and fruits and veggies in the fridge.  But I think the next time I think about trying a fad "diet," I'll go run around the block three or four times first.  Maybe then I'll be too tired to think about food and just go to sleep instead.  Happy eating!