3 Reasons I’m Annoyed My Toddler Can’t Walk Yet

1. The acute lower back pain I’m currently in physical therapy for from lifting a non-walking toddler.

2. The sprained rib I was diagnosed with today that I most likely got from lifting a non-walking toddler.

3. The kid pictured above, Kate Wood, is just a few months older than Posey and is already an international swimming star. A baby that swims laps? Maybe I need to re-direct my efforts and head back to swim school

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Rating the Disney Princesses: From Skinniest to Fattest

Disney-Princess-Kida-disney-princess-30168400-2560-1117

Come on, give me a break! Could you imagine? Oh, wait. It kinda happened. Read Harley Pasternak’s stupid blog, and then come on back real quick-like.

I wrote about it today on The Huffington Post. Read it here. And then let’s you and me make a plan to have Ashley Tisdale’s jaw un-wired shut, okay?

5 Snacks To Help Lose the Baby Weight

Poor Jessica Simpson.  She never had a chance.  Baby Maxwell is 10 weeks old, which means the world has continued to call her fat for 70 days.  Despite her reported $4 million-deal with Weight Watchers, it appears the baby weight isn’t melting off the way she… or I…or probably YOU… thought it would.

I’ve been told that women should aim to eat 30 grams of protein for breakfast every day. That’s a lot. Like, five eggs.  Gross.  Who could do that?  So here are five quick and easy snacks that helped get me back on track*.

*But I’m no Jessica Alba. Sigh.

1.  Nature Valley Protein  Bars

Since Posey naps around 10 and around 3, I find that a lot of days we’re out and about during lunchtime.  These bars– which Costco sells in a giant 24 pack– are the perfect snack to keep in your diaper bag. Self-contained, you can eat while driving (just the peanut butter dark chocolate ones– the almond ones are way messier for some reason) and 10 grams of protein.

2.  Light String Cheese

Again, easy to take on the road, portion-controlled and only 50 calories with 6 grams of protein. I’m a Sargento girl.

3.  Stretch Island Fruit Leather

These were an impulse buy at Costco a few months ago, and I’ve never looked back.  45 calories, all-natural ingredients, no added sugar.  I keep them in the diaper bag with the protein bars.  You can’t get enough fiber, you know what I’m saying? Which reminds me, the gummy fiber supplement inventor deserves an award.

4.  Kashi 7 Grain Waffles

I usually have one of these for breakfast, along with two slices of turkey sausage or nitrate-free turkey bacon from Trader Joe’s, but they make a great snack, too.  Remember: no white flour!

5. Protein Smoothie (approx. 220 calories, 16 grams protein)

I started replacing cow milk with almond milk a few months ago.  Some people argue that dairy causes an excess of mucus in the gut– causing belly fat, but science has proven that’s pretty much bunk.  However, I do sort of subscribe to the thinking that lady-cow milk is for hungry baby cows who need to gain 2000 pounds, so I try to limit my intake to the bare necessities: cheese and Skinny Cow ice creams cones.  Therefore, I use almond milk in coffee and smoothies, like this one:

  • 3/4 c. unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • 2 scoops vanilla Aria protein powder (I get it at Trader Joe’s)
  • 1 banana (or peach, or whatever fruit you have on hand)
  • 3 ice cubes
  • a pinch of cinnamon

Blend all ingredients in a blender and enjoy for breakfast or as an afternoon pick-me-up!

Jess, we’re rooting for you.

3 Places that Make My Life Easier These Days

Previously, I’ve complained that I would be fired if I did my job the way other people did theirs. However, I wanted to take this opportunity to sing the praises of a few Chicago businesses who just could not be getting it any more right for me lately. Here goes:

1. Kingsbury Street Cafe

Across the street from the Lincoln Park Whole Foods and adjacent to VIP’s (Chicago’s Finest Adult Entertainment) (going to skip the hyperlinks on both of those), there lies one of the finest dining experiences in the city. Rose Duong and her top-notch staff serve breakfast, lunch and dinner that’s not only out of this world, but also vegan-friendly, if you’re into that sort of thing. I brunched with my brother-in-law recently, and he ordered pancakes “for the table.” Apparently, that’s a thing (it applies to fajitas, too), and you’ll be glad it is when you order Rose’s lemon pancakes FTT. It’s also a great place to take kids ‘n babies. There’s a fantastic kids’ menu, a parking lot, and the tables are far enough apart that you don’t have to worry about your baby getting sneezed on– or your baby sneezing on someone else.

2. Town & Country Pediatrics (their site is currently under construction) 

For the first six months of her life, I took Posey to a different pediatrician’s office. It was fine, but I wasn’t 100% satisfied. We recently gave T&C a try, and I feel like I wasted the first six months of my daughter’s life. First of all, they’re open 7 days a week. Second of all, this is how they operate: Posey’s had a runny nose for a week, but her breathing was kind of loud last night so I wanted someone to take a listen to her chest. I called the office at 7am. The answering service answered. They told me they could make me an appointment with the nurse practitioner as early as 7:30am. SAY HUH? Since when does a doctor’s office offer to get you in before you’ve even had a chance to pee yet? We went in at 8:30 and were out of there in mere minutes, my nerves calmed– and the rest of the day ahead of us.

3. Frog Temple Pilates & Yoga Studio

I’ve taken classes from Randi, the owner, for years. She’s an amazing teacher. If she taught German or knitting, I’d take that from her, too. The studio has great pre-natal classes if you’re expecting, and if you already plunked yours out, Marcia teaches a Body After Baby class on Sundays. But here’s a secret: they let me bring Posey with me. During the week. I set the car seat down in the corner and pray she’s still young enough not to get mad… and get my Rolling Like a Ball on. Tuesdays at 10am is the secret bring-your-baby hour. First mat class there is free.

Liz Lemon, I presume.

Over the last week, I decided to do something completely unlike me. So I took a short-term job working at lululemon‘s first U.S. warehouse sale. And by “took a job,” I don’t mean signed on as a PR consultant or advised them on their media strategy. I straight up unpacked boxes and worked the cash registers. I made chit chat with guests.  I asked them if they found everything ok. I used their first names after I saw their credit cards. I made eye contact. Sort of. It was good, honest, on-your-feet work, and I liked it. Until I saw people I knew from high school.

I used to have an Important Career. Four months ago, I gave it up. There is a part of me that isn’t ready to accept that I am now a stay-at-homer.  Or a warehouse-sale-in-a-convention-center girl. Was I embarrassed to be spotted there? Not really, because it was a cool event. But what if the people who saw me thought, “That’s all she’s up to?” Would I care?

Would you?

I feel like I’d be lying to you all if I didn’t tell you I went to a Zumba class last night.

It’s true.

In my quest to lose the remaining baby weight that requires me to fasten my pants with a jerry-rigged hair band, I’m trying anything. So last night, I stood in the back right corner of the Zumba room at my gym and sweated to the beat of A Man Named Victor. Depending on who you talked to, Victor is either a revered genius, a samba-ing Joel Osteen-meets-Ricky Martin,  or a really terrible teacher.

Pro-Victor: Women were lined up early, squealing to tell me how I lucky I was to be there, as the regular teacher was absent and a sub was teaching.”VICTOR IS THE BEST, OMYMYGOD YOU CAME ON THE BEST NIGHT!”

Anti-Victor: After shaking her head in disgust and grapevine-defiance for 25 minutes, the woman next to me literally stormed out of the class after telling me that “THIS is NOT Zumba.” She assured me that the truest, purest form was only to be achieved on Friday nights at 6:30 with Jessica. This sentiment was backed up by another woman, who interestingly enough was one of the women who, just minutes before, assured me I was in for the best 55 minutes of my life. A Victor defector.

I may never know who was right. I may never know which side of the fence I stand on. The only thing I DO know is that Victor was wearing this:

Except it was the tank top version.