A Weighty Issue

There has been a considerable amount of hoopla surrounding Jessica Simpson’s big reveal of her Weight Watchers body.  She looks terrific—wasn’t crazy about the hair, but not my call.  For that matter, none of it is.  Why should she care what we think?  She has to be happy with herself, furthermore is this what she wants to teach her daughter—worry about what everyone thinks of how you look.  Do any of us moms want that to be a lesson we pass on to our kids?  What about celebrities that lose the weight in a matter of weeks?  I understand they have a job to do, and get roles, gigs whatever based on an image but what if women as a whole finally just stood up and said hell no.  Which is what Jenna Fischer finely tweeted today.  ”Women need to band together and change the message about post-birth weight loss expectations.  IT TAKES A YEAR (or more)!  AND THAT’S OKAY!”

Prior to being pregnant, I practiced yoga seven days a week, on some days twice a day.  My priorities have changed.  I’d much rather spend my time with Zoe and I’m ok with that. It wasn’t like that when I first had her.  I wondered when I would get back in shape.  But I was tired and overwhelmed, I wasn’t ready to return to working out.  And once I returned to work I didn’t want to sacrifice my time with her to exercise.  And now as a stay at home mom, I’d rather do active things with her.  Zoe doesn’t sit still, so I’m constantly on the go.  She loves to play see saw, so I’ve made it a game, and I now do sit ups with a toddler!

Anyway, my husband loves my curves, and that’s all that matters.  More importantly I’m a good mother and wife and that’s makes me happy and at peace no matter what my size.  I want Zoe to love the person she is, and as long as she’s healthy and I encourage that, our job as parents has been a success.  As it is, my daughter will forgo chocolate for an apple!

So while it may be fun to discuss how celebrities look, who cares how much Jessica Simpson weighed?  She has doctors, if they were concerned it’s up to them to discuss with her.  The same as us regular people.  She certainly isn’t the first to gain an excessive amount of weight, and she won’t be the last.  I can proudly brag that I have no idea how much I gained.  I always faced out when weighed and the nurses knew not to tell me.  My doctor also knew not to discuss it with me unless there was a reason and there never was. They say weight is just a number, and it is.  Motherhood is a beautiful journey—let’s all focus on that.

How did you approach weight loss after you gave birth?

What’s Irking Me

So lately I’ve seen many posts referring to why being a parent sucks.  I mean someone literally wrote why parenting sucks!  If you think parenting sucks, you shouldn’t have become a parent.  It’s not parenting that sucks.  Yes, having to worry about finances sucks.  Yes, being tired sucks.  Yes, having a teething child sucks.  There are many things in our daily lives that suck.  But my most challenging day(s) with my daughter remain the best days of my life.  I can’t remember my life without her.

So for those of you that may feel for a moment or even two that being a parent sucks, please be careful with your postings.  Perhaps your child(ren) will one day, when they are old enough, be searching on the web and come across a posting written in frustration.  Would you want your child(ren) to read why you think parenting sucks?  

Zoe and Mommy Day

When you hear that is may rain, it’s looking pretty dreary out, and your husband left your one car at home for the day what do you do?  You pack up and take a ride to New Brunswick.

Zoe was tired this morning.  The hour drive to New Brunswick was just what she needed.  She woke up as I parked.  Side note, good thing about going this time of year to a college town (this one happens to be my alma mater) is that there is not a struggle to find parking—finals!!!!  

We crossed the street to Stuff Yer Face and Zoe had a baby pizza boil.  She ate some, which was perfect, because the leftovers were for her dinner.  We brought home an extra boil for Daddy.

No trip to Stuff Yer Face and New Brunswick is complete without stopping at Stuff Yer Face for homemade ice cream, vanilla chocolate chip for Zoe.  Oh,  worked there, and the same guy is running the place.  It’s nice that he remembers me.  We then went to their homemade chocolate department section which is located next door (was a hobby shop).  Zoe got a chocolate covered graham cracker which she did not want tonight.  I love that—if she doesn’t want it, it doesn’t matter what it is, she won’t eat it.  When she’s full, she’s full.  

My poor baby is tuckered and is sound asleep—do you think with visions of boils and ice cream dancing in her head?

My Writing

Since leaving my last position, I’ve been focusing on opportunities that allow me to work at my convenience from home.  One of which is a contributor to a news website called The Examiner.  http://www.examiner.com/parenting-170-in-newark/miriam-pilgrim

What are topics you would be interested in reading about?

For you those of you that may be interested, they are always looking for additional contributors.  Check it out—it may take some time to earn an income, but I’ve it a look!

One of those Days

It was a particularly dreary morning today.  It was pouring, so we were stuck indoors.  Zoe went on a tear.  My living room looks like the Tasmanian Devil whirled through.  I had given her crayons to color at her table.  I’ve printed some pages from Sesame Street’s website for this purpose.  Zoe, however, had other plans.  Her artwork was literally on the wall.  Yep, she drew on the wall.  Thank goodness for the Magic Eraser.  So after I told her no and tried to explain to a 21 month old that walls aren’t for drawing, she did it again.  So the crayons were put away.

So now after her lunch, she is napping. The sun is making some brief appearances now and then, I think I’ll try and venture out with her once she wakes up.  

How do you keep your little ones busy on rainy days?

Mother Goose Group

Every Thursday we go to the library for Mother Goose Group, which is basically a story time which includes songs, bubbles, and the parachute (not Zoe’s favorite).  I just love watching Zoe.  She’s the only one that will dance to every song the librarian sings, including the Itsy Bitsy Spider—if you sing to a rhythm, she’ll dance.  As my mother says—you can just watch her all day long, and I’m so thankful that I do!

What I’ve Learned in the First 21 Months as a Mom

As a new mom, you talk to other moms, you read books, magazine articles, anything just to figure out what the hell you’re supposed to be doing and when.  I always thought these guys have the inside track, certainly my mother did, I mean she raised to pretty awesome daughters—hehe.

Once my husband went back to work, I didn’t know what I was going to do for the hours he was at work.  I mean, Zoe basically pooped, ate, and slept and going out for a walk was always a big production and I had to get out early—it was hot that summer!

I always tried to time my outings just right so that she wouldn’t cry for some unknown reason.  When it was time to take her in the car, any speed too slow and she was crying.  I was preparing for the day when I was going to get pulled over on the Turnpike or Garden State and explaining to the officer I had to go 80 or else my infant would wake up and hysterically cry all the way to my parents’ house.  I figured the officer would take one look at my unkempt hair and haggard face with the bags under my eyes and take pity on me—luckily it never happened.

As Zoe grew, I did to, as a mother.  What I learned is; babies cry, as my mother says, she’s giving her lungs a work out.  Most importantly what I learned is;  I’m the best Zoe’s mom there is.  What works for one mom may not work for another or her child.  What Dr Spock says you should do, may not be what you want.  I think most of the experts would roll their eyes at some of mine and my husband’s parenting tricks, and so what?  We all just do what’s best for our children at that time, and the damage won’t be permanent.  

For instance, my biggest act of defiance, if you will, is that my husband and I do not let Zoe cry it out when putting her to bed.  It works for some parents, but it doesn’t work us or Zoe.  My mother will proudly admit that on one occasion she let me cry in my crib for an hour, and that was how she wanted to do it and it worked for her—no permanent damage.  It doesn’t for me.  Zoe can’t fully verbalize what’s bothering her.  I don’t know if it’s a fear of the dark, needing mommy for a bit, or just not wanting to go to bed and trying to stay up longer.  At this point, we, her parents, are her source of comfort and security, so yes, I sit next to her and hold her hand while she falls asleep.  I used to let her fall asleep on the couch and carry her to her crib—oh the horror!  One acquaintance told me I was teaching Zoe bad sleep habits when we first put her in a toddler bed and I would sleep on the floor for the first week—um, yeah, not really an issue, she wakes up now and I’m not there, she calls out “Ma.”

My point is, there is no expert on how to raise Zoe.  I (and my husband) know her best, what works for her and us.  I may get advice, or ask, but that’s all it is, advice.  So as one of my very wise friends told me go with your gut, it’s usually right, and I hope Drs Spock, and Brazleton, Ferber, and the person who brought us the What to Expect When Your Expecting series will excuse me for not reading their books—raising a child is not one size fits all.  And if you have read their books, again, that’s what works for you and I hope it helps, as moms (and dads) we shouldn’t judge each other.  Let’s be there for each other and support each other including our different styles of parenting.

A Mommy Moment with my mommy and Bruce Springsteen

For over 12 years, my own mommy and I have gone to see Springsteen—sometimes multiple times during one tour!  

The last time we saw Springsteen together it was 2009 in the city.  My husband had joined us for dinner and we announced to my mother we were expecting.  Fast forward to April 4. 2012, as I was leaving and giving Zoe a kiss goodnight she cried and clung to me and my heart melted.  My mother and l did leave, but I stood in the hallway crying for a bit.  I knew she would be fine, she was with her daddy, but her cry was heartbreaking.  My husband is great, he sent me a text not long after telling me she was fine.  He also reminded me that aside from a mother, I’m a mother and a daughter too.

Mom and I had a blast—Bruce and the E Street Band rocked the Izod Center.  Of course I was exhausted the next day, but so worth it!  Thanks for the night out, Ma!

A Journey: From Conference Calls and Deadlines to Stretch Marks and Cottage Cheese Thighs

There’s an ill conceived notion as to how single ladies in NYC live—life is not Sex in the City, or at least mine wasn’t.

I lived in the same shoebox on the outskirts of Gramercy for seven years.  The location was great!  I was near the subways which got me to my job that yes, I did work 5 days a week and no, I did not go out to fancy lunches nor meet my friends for cocktails at noon.  I didn’t shop at Bergdorff’s on my lunch, or ever for that matter and would’ve rather been in a yoga class or on my couch than the trendy clubs or fabulous new restaurants.  I liked my routine, I’m a creature of habit and change does not sit well with me.  However, I was lonely.

I had a relationship, if you could call it that, for roughly 7 years, on and off.  He was (and probably still is) charming, charismatic, handsome, smart, but also selfish and spoiled.  He loved to go out and drink and I liked to stay home.  We’d fight, he would stop talking to me and then would call sometimes months later after a night of drinking and we’d get back together.  Honestly, I have no idea why.  In the midst of this “relationship” I would meet other guys and date during my breaks with Mr Charming.  

One year I had decided to go out to California to see my best friend and her boyfriend (now husband).  Not long before my arrival date, my bff e-mails me to tell me they have another friend, B, coming at the same time and would I mind.  Of course I wouldn’t, the more the merrier.  So off I go to Marin County, CA, with no expectations except being out of the city for New Year’s and away from Mr. Charming (we were on a break).  

Landing at night, I go to my bff’s and B is already there with bff’s boyfriend playing video games and drunk.  I noticed B right away, very good looking and the most beautiful eyes.  The rest of the night is blurry except the cuddling on the floor and smooching with B.  The next morning could’ve been awkward, but it wasn’t.  We ended up hanging out like a couple over the next three days.  But besides the distance, B was the nicest guy I ever met and me being the jaded New Yorker though I needed someone more cold.  And so we parted, trying to keep in touch but really knowing it wouldn’t work.  He lived in Southern California and I was back on the east coast and back to Mr. Charming.

B and I would text sometimes and I was in the fantasy football league he was running.  I remember once he called at about midnight on a school night because he was in town.  Mr. Charming and I finally ended it in 2008, ok he broke up with me, thankfully!  Subsequently one of my yoga buddies told me I should be on Facebook, she couldn’t believe I wasn’t.  After a while I acquiesced and signed up.  I looked for B on there, but couldn’t find him.  Not long after, he friended me.  

One night I had posted on Facebook I was packing to go on a business trip to Kansas, B replied it was halfway between NY and California.  I joked if he was meeting me in Kansas—lol.  We texted during my trip and of course my flight was delayed back home.  He texted me to let him know when I got home.  I was hooked—I wanted this nice guy!  We continued texting and I didn’t have an unlimited text package at the time, that bill was a nice surprise!  We eventually moved to phone calls on the weekend.  I don’t remember how it came up, but he said he was thinking about moving to NY.  Then it became, if I don’t have a place yet could I move in with you temporarily.  I said absolutely, which is what I had wanted anyway.  

He was to move in September 2009, which then became July 2009.  So when he got off the plane on July 23, 2009 it was the first time we had seen each other in over 4 years!  We didn’t skip a beat.  It was the scene out of the movie, no words, just a kiss.

Two months later on September 25, 2009 we got married at City Hall, not for any reason other than we just wanted to be married and didn’t want the big to do.  About a month or so later we found out we were pregnant, and on July 11, 2010 our beautiful Z was born.  

After my leave I had gone back to work, but I wasn’t the same, I wanted to be home with my girl, so much I physically hurt.  The demands on my job had increased and I couldn’t nor did I want to sacrifice my time with my family for my job.  After many conversations with B and with his support I left my job with the possibility of having a part time job, it didn’t come to fruition.  So I’m on the look out for work from home opportunities.  Yes, our income was drastically reduced and I can’t buy for Z whatever I want whenever I want. What I do get is to go outside with her and play, take her to classes at library, make dinner for her and B and treasure each moment I get with the two of them.  

Cleaning your house while your kids are still growing up is like shoveling the walk before it stops snowing.