Preserving the Toddler Nap

For the past nearly 18 months, we’ve been very lucky: aside from those initial tough first couple of weeks, Maya’s been a great sleeper. Which you know means #2 someday will be a terrible sleeper. And eater. And everything else!

Anyway, because she’s been on the petite side (albeit with delicious rolls galore on her arms and legs) she was in the infant carrier until 15 months – meaning she could easily sleep anywhere and stay asleep upon arrival at our destination — no shifting or carrying required.

Continue reading “Preserving the Toddler Nap”

Tune in to yourself … like a baby

We can learn a lot from watching babies.

Babies, who can’t express themselves in any ways except crying and smiling (at least in the beginning, before they can communicate via expressions and words) are incredibly attuned to their needs … and once those needs are met, they move on. They eat til they’re full, sleep til they’re not tired, stop playing when they’re bored … They don’t dwell, there’s no guilt, there’s no nothing except the here and now.

[Until three hours later when another need arises, that is!]

They are so absolutely in tune with their own bodies that it’s almost mind-blowing that we adults (who live in a world of excess food and minimal sleep, who play Words with Friends instead of hitting the hay even though we are bone-tired … ) need to retrain ourselves to get back to that place of primitiveness and simplicity. Continue reading “Tune in to yourself … like a baby”

Let’s Talk Sleep

Of all the sleep books I have bought and read, I’ve managed to take bits and pieces of each to create the best of all worlds for our family re: sleep schedules.

I know sleep patterns and schedules can change as children grow up, but I like to credit these three books for helping us get Maya to sleep through the night (STTN) [which, for us, is roughly 8 pm-7 am] since she was 11 weeks old.

Of course there have been exceptions … there have been random off nights when she’s been sick .. and then there was that annoying two-week stretch at 4 months when she’d wake at 2 or 3 AM screeching … but it’s all been short-lived, thank goodness. Continue reading “Let’s Talk Sleep”

One More Hour PLEASE?!

Stretching (and happy) in the morning!

Dear G-d,

I wish more than anything for a pause button between the hours of 5:30 PM (when I pick up Maya) til 6:30-7, when she starts rubbing her eyes.

Every sleep book I read encourages listening for/looking for sleepy cues, and rubbing her eyes is one of them you kind of can’t miss. In fact, it could even mean she’s about to get OVER-tired … so we can’t keep her up just for selfish reasons.

As a mom who works outside of the home (I say that because ALL moms are working moms!) it’s particularly hard.

I know I have a lifetime with her, but I literally get two hours a day with my baby girl.

And it sucks. Continue reading “One More Hour PLEASE?!”

Who Needs Sleep? I do, I do!

I’m reading Healthy Sleep Habits, Healthy Child and it’s one of the best sleep books I’ve read so far. Written by a prominent pediatrician (Dr. Marc Weissbluth), the basic premise of the book is that sleep yields sleep; i.e.,  more daytime sleep = more night-time sleep. And that, my friends, = a well-rested family.

I’m not going to do a formal review of the book — I’m only like an eighth of the way through — but I wanted to talk about it today because the book is relevant to EVERYONE … not just people with babies or small children.

I’ve always been the type of person to choose everything over sleep. I just couldn’t be bothered! Continue reading “Who Needs Sleep? I do, I do!”

Five Truths I’ve Learned Through Pregnancy to Carry Me Into Motherhood

1) I do not need to exercise every single day to stay physically fit. Any amount of activity is better than none, and cutting my workouts in half did not change much about my physique … nor did it make me gain an obscene amount of weight. I literally gained what my doctor recommended and nothing more.

Why this matters: As a new mom, especially one who has a C-section, I will be unable to exercise for 6-8 weeks … and even if I can find the time to do it afterward (and I’m hoping I can) it will not be without its challenges. Continue reading “Five Truths I’ve Learned Through Pregnancy to Carry Me Into Motherhood”

Lose Weight While … Sleeping?

200140664-001This month’s Glamour features a cover story called “Lose Weight While You Sleep.”

The results are pretty surprising and, when looked at holistically, seem to make sense — in that if someone is getting 8 hours of sleep, they are likely not noshing late at night and likely have more energy to exercise and therefore are likely eat better … and so it goes.

I have to say, I’ve been focusing on more sleep lately and I even posted about sleep and exercise a couple weeks ago … but I’ve not seen any results on the scale. But I also haven’t been giving it a conscious thoguht, either.

And though I usually think “diets” like this are a crock, I think the article makes some good points that any of us could benefit from. Continue reading “Lose Weight While … Sleeping?”

Sleep Cycles & Exercise

For the past four years, I woke most mornings at 5:15 to exercise … after getting 5-6 hours sleep the previous night.

Part of me loved/craved that feeling of virtuousity but the truth was, at the height of my exercise addiction, I feared if I didn’t exercise first thing … other things could pop up that would impede my workout because in my disordered mind, ‘I-need-to-burn-x-calories-today.’

It was pathetic.

I mean, I pride myself on my devotion to fitness and any time one can get it in is awesome … but I was crossing a line. I was going to bed at midnight and waking five hours later to repeat the same cycle over and over again. Continue reading “Sleep Cycles & Exercise”

Weather, Mood & Exercise

winter_depressionI don’t know about you, but now that it’s getting darker so much earlier, I’m having trouble adjusting to the time change.

But here’s something exciting: with the usual annual stress brought on by the time change, I think I’ve finally bid “Perfect Girl” mentality.

I used to wake up at 5:15 to the alarm with no trouble. Now I can’t even do it. It’s like I turned 29 (in October) and ever since, haven’t been able to do it.

In fact, I don’t even bother trying; I’m enjoying evening workouts and with my husband in class twice a week or studying, I am finding time each weeknight to go — even when I have my own dinner plans or after-work commitments.

This is a new “me” in so many ways. I’m not beating myself up for my inability (or lack of desire) to wake. This is huge, monumental!

Of course, when it’s cold out, all I want to do is be inside with my husband, the warm fire, a good book and a mug of cocoa. In fact, as I write this, the snow is coming down and it’s icky out. But I know I will hit the gym tonight; it’s in my DNA. Exercise makes me tick. I need it. I crave it.

I worried that with this recent “loosening the reins” mentality that I’d find myself skimping out on exercise, but rather, I am finding ways to work it in rather than building my life around it. Continue reading “Weather, Mood & Exercise”

Getting Zzzzzs Can Fight Off Lbs.

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Be honest.

Who really gets eight hours of sleep a night?

I don’t know about you, but in college (and my darling roommates can attest to this!), I was at my “creative genius” between the pre-dawn hours of 1-4 a.m.

(A. and H. unfortunately had to hear the lovely tap-tap of my keyboard during those ungodly hours … my apologies, girls!)

Yup, I was most definitely a midnight owl. And unlike many college kids who could sleep in til noon, I held down a part-time job in the university mailroom and internships and still made it to 8:30 a.m. classes several days a week.

Somehow, it didn’t faze me back then to survive on 4-5 hours of zzs.

And even after I graduated and started working, sleep was never really a priority. In fact, once I started hitting the gym regularly in the mornings back in 2004, it just became habitual. Continue reading “Getting Zzzzzs Can Fight Off Lbs.”