Rant: Summer is NOT Over!

I won’t lie, I’m irritated. Everywhere I turn, I keep hearing the words, “As this summer comes to a close,” and “Now that we’re a few days from the end of this summer,” and other such crap.There are 28 days left. Yeah, that’s right. 20-freaking-8 days, or FOUR whole weeks. That’s almost a month of summer left.

Listen up, my people. Summer is three months long. The first day of summer was June 21st and the last day of summer is September 23rd. Ignore Labor Day, except to enjoy a nice summer BBQ or other festive little summer party. And I stress SUMMER party. Labor Day does not mean it’s fall.

I don’t know who started this ridiculous rumor that summer is over after Labor Day, but I’m here today to tell you that it’s NOT. Each season is three months long. Fall gets three months. Winter, unfortunately, feels like it gets six months, but it DOESN’T. It gets three. So does spring. And by golly, SO DOES SUMMER.

So stop trying to end summer early, or I’m going to cut a bitch. Summer is conducive to swell easy living. Cutting bitches is neither easy, nor swell. You can see how this premature end-of-summer B.S. is problematic for me.

If you’d like to see me look like a crazy homeless person, ranting about summer (this is not my finest look, y’all) then watch the video.

Here is a pleasant article I wrote about how to squeeze the juice out of summer, in case you missed it the first time:
12 Ways to Take a Small, Daily Vacation This Summer to Let Your Soul Sing

That is all. Carry on.

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The Weight Loss Advice That Is Finally Working for Me (Video)

Click here to watch the video.

When I was pregnant, I was a total animal in the gym. Several days a week I attended a high intensity bootcamp that was a big ole ass whoopin’ no matter what kind of shape you’re in. The instructor, Raquel, who I totally fell girl-crush in love with, is the hardest trainer in these here parts.

Last summer, I had the baby. Even though I was taking it easy and I was no longer working out, I got back into great shape super fast. I was back into my pre-pregnancy clothes within a few weeks. But it didn’t last.

Now I’m Fat

Fast forward to a year later. The toll of sleep deprivation and new-baby-overwhelm meant that my diet went to crap. Over the last several months, I put on 15 pounds.

In an effort to lose weight, I went back to this bootcamp class, but at a different gym with a different trainer. I wasn’t losing any weight. I wasn’t getting enough sleep and my diet was terrible. I wasn’t treating myself well, and as a direct result, I’m looking more like trash and less like royalty.

I walked into my bootcamp class last Tuesday and who should I see there, but Raquel, who was subbing that day for the usual guy. Her class was on a whole ‘nother level from what I’m currently used to. It was HAAARD. The warm up alone had me beat.

Diet Advice, Please?

After the class, I approached Raquel to seek some advice. You know how sometimes you just want someone to tell you what to eat? That was my intention when I went up to her.

Raquel didn’t recognize me. I jogged her memory, you know, the really pregnant lady who used to take this class at the other gym? She remembered: “Oooooohhhh yeaaahhhhh. Wow. Huh. You look really … different,” she said.

Watch the video reenactment of THE FACE she made. Priceless, funny … and painful for me.

Different indeed. I explained that I’ve actually put on weight since having the baby because I’m not taking great care of myself.

Lose Weight by Shifting Your Priorities

Raquel looked me in the eye and said, “It’s hard. It’s hard taking care of a one-year-old. It’s hard taking care of a two-year-old. A friend of mine is a mother of 13-year-old triplets, and she’s still recovering. I’m not sure when it gets better. But here’s the thing. The earlier you make yourself a priority in your own life, the easier it is. You have to make yourself a priority if you expect to make any progress.”

There was something about how she grabbed me by the lapels with her gaze while she spoke; her words knocked me upside the head. It was clear that her message was super important for my well being, and I needed to hear it.

My Weight Loss Plan

Raquel was right. This is it. This is the week I’m making a huge lifestyle change. I’ve been more consistent this week than I’ve been in forever. I finally feel the momentum carrying me, and I’ve lost a pound or two.

I’m using Tim Ferris’ Slow Carb Diet to overhaul my eating habits, with the modification of cutting back on dairy instead of eliminating it entirely. Continuing to eat dairy will slow down my weight loss, but I will be more likely to stick to the plan long-term that way. The slow carb diet is healthy, balanced and gives me energy throughout the day. Tim has been eating this way for eight years, so it’s a sustainable lifestyle.

Plus I’m following Raquel’s recommendation to attend a BODYPUMP™ class twice a week. I’m still taking my daughter for walks every day — briskly for 30 minutes if I carry her in the Bjorn, or a long slow walk if we use the stroller.

Unlike in the past when I’ve lost a little weight, I’m not getting too comfortable – and I’m also not getting discouraged at the amount of work ahead of me. As long as I continue to make myself a priority, I know I will lose the weight. This is the inspiration I’ve been waiting for.

Click here to watch the video! :)

Sh*t the Hubby Says: Fried Chicken Edition

Inspired by Shit My Dad Says.

The back story: Every time either my husband or I leaves town, the one who is staying home often takes leave of their senses and orders evil, fattening takeout.

The qualifications for the takeout chosen are:

  • the at-home person desperately craves it but rarely orders it, on account of the out-of-town person’s preferences
  • delicious enough to cure loneliness after the baby goes to bed for the night.

When The Hubby is away, a binge-worthy serving of Thai drunken noodles is my vice. When I’m gone, The Hubby favors a big bucket of crispy-fried chicken parts.

While I was in San Diego for a few days last week at BlogHer ’11, I called home to check in. Here is a rough approximation of the conversation.

Me: How’s it going?

The Hubby: Not so good. I’ve been eating off this same bucket of chicken for two days and I had to throw it out.

Me: Old chicken, eh. Did the crispy coating get soggy?

The Hubby: No, it’s time to detox. I’m sweating gravy.

Me: I could use a detox myself. I’m going to eat more vegetables.

The Hubby: I’m going to eat jambalaya with sausage.

Why Making Your Bed Every Day Can Be a Waste of Time

Don’t make that face or it will freeze that way. If you touch yourself, you’ll grow hair on your palms. That old tin can on the counter labeled “pineapple juice” actually contains the grease from the roast. (Sadly for me, it turns out the last one was true.)

When we’re kids, we’re told all sorts of things to keep us in line. When we become adults, we hang onto some of these mental artifacts and feel guilty or slightly “off” when we don’t do things our mother’s way. There are times when our mother’s way feels right, and there are times when we need to forge our own path, sans guilt.

How You Spend the Moments Is How You Spend Your Life

Let’s say it takes you one minute to make your bed every morning. That translates to more than 6 hours per year used on bed making. If you live until you’re 80 years old, that’s two or three weeks of your life spent on straightening and fluffing sheets and pillows.

I don’t know about you, but if I were on my deathbed and somebody handed me the gift of a sprightly three additional weeks to live (preferably in Hawaii), then I’d take it.

Sometimes Mom Is Right

When you live in a bedroom with all the size and charm of a meat locker in New York City, your bed equals your living space. An unmade bed is essentially your home, and that can feel yucky and chaotic. I was beyond thrilled to have a made bed when I lived that way, so my motivation was high to keep up the habit. There are times in your life that having a made bed enhances the quality of your experience, so that single minute each day is time well spent.

Some people just looooove themselves the sight of a neat and straightened bed. There have been times that I’ve gotten all googly-eyed over my pristine bedroom and I just want to sit and stare at the sexy serenity. This is all about swell easy living after all, and if a made bed feel so good – while a messy bed appears so dreadful – then do it! Make the bed! Drink in the view and feel superior to all the non-bed-makers out there. You deserve it.

Sometimes Mom Only Thinks She’s Right

If you find yourself, day after day, admonishing yourself for the unmade bed but you aren’t motivated to change it, then I absolve you. You have my permission to throw off the yoke of your guilt and skip happily through the tulips. Rest easy knowing that you’ll simply unmake your bed at the end of the day anyway, so you don’t need to bother. Feel superior to all those suckers out there wasting their lives feeling smug over their made beds. You deserve it.

Now that I don’t lay eyes on my bed until I’m tearing off the covers to climb in at night, I’ll save myself that one minute per day, thank-you-very-much. These days, with a one-year-old underfoot and career strides in sight, each minute is priceless and my priorities are a little different. And so I’ve chosen to bump bed-making off my list.

Listen to Your Mother (Sometimes)

I promise you won’t grow hair on your palms. Your face might actually freeze that way, in which case I hear Botox is an option. There is one thing I know for sure: you shouldn’t snatch that tin can off the kitchen counter because you want pineapple juice when your mother warned you not to drink the fat.

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Links to Lots of New Articles; Attending BlogHer ’11 in San Diego This Week

Why hello there, good lookin’. I did it again — I ran off and wrote a bunch of stuff on Parentables without telling you. I suck. Below you’ll find all the links to these stories so that you may click at your leisure.

By clicking these links, and sharing the stories you like on your social media platform of choice (Facebook, Twitter, StumbleUpon, etc.), you keep me employed in the bloggy world. I can’t thank you enough for that.

So please don’t be shy — if you appreciate something you read, “like” it! And if you hate something you read … bury your emotions beneath a heavy pile of bitterness and vitriol, or you can get drunk and break stuff. Your choice.

I’m going to be at BlogHer ’11 this week in San Diego. If you’re going to be there, let’s say hello in person! Please send me a note via the contact form.

Without further ado, LINKTASTIC!

What Career Advice Will You Give Your Children?

Is This Generation of Parents More Thoughtful, or Just Plain Neurotic?

Parking Lot Etiquette During Car Seat Combat

5 Things Lady Gaga and Moms Have in Common

Imagine Away Your Cravings to Lose Weight

50 Awesome Things About Babies

14 Ways to Help Your Child Defend Herself Against Bullying. Hint: Be Prepared Before it Happens

How Our Baby Began Sleeping Through the Night: My Saga of Exhaustion and the Sleep Solution That Rescued Me

Help Your Baby Sleep by Popping in Your Earbuds

How to Make Your Days Run Smoother by Recharging Your Morning Routine

How to Keep Sane by Choosing 10 Easy Things to Accomplish Every Day

Gender Identity and Hair Length: Should Parents Dictate a Kid’s Hairstyle?

Pregnancy Calendar: Week 11 Pregnancy Symptoms

How Using Paid Childcare Could Make You a Better Mother

Pursue Your Passion, Even With Small Children at Home

Party Planning 101: Keep it Simple to Make the Party More Fun

Work Smart, Not Hard: Be More Productive by Spending Less Time in Front of Your Computer

How I Save Money on Clothes Shopping: Avoid the Mall at All Costs

Pregnancy Calendar: Week 15 Pregnancy Symptoms

Your Facebook Friends Could Save Your Child’s Life

Why Parents Should Learn to Trust Their Gut Instinct

Can Calling Your Child “Good” Be a Bad Thing?

Finally, I Have a Reason to Boycott American Girl Stores

Pregnancy Calendar: Week 19 Pregnancy Symptoms

The Severe Brain Injury That Produced Amazing Artistic Talent

Easy New York Style Pizza Recipe: You Can Even Buy the Crust and Sauce

How to Teach Your Baby or Toddler to Drink From a Straw

Make Your Life Click by Learning How to Parent Your Inner Child or Inner Rock Star

How My Picky Eater Became a Gastronomic Explorer

Some Schools to Restrict Assignments: The Battle Over Homework Continues