Thursday, April 21, 2016

Fitbit Customer Service is awesome

A month ago I bumped my Fitbit Surge against a chair while walking through our dining room and was devastated to discover I had cracked it. I'd only had it since Christmas, and am a little obsessive about meeting my daily step goal and tracking my runs. I was so upset that I had broken it and worried that the crack would get worse and make the entire device unusable. 
My cracked screen

I e-mailed Fitbit customer service to see if there was a way to replace the glass or otherwise fix it. They asked me to send them a picture of the damage and info on where it was purchased from. Two days after that they send me a new one.

Color me shocked.

I was not expecting a whole new Fitbit. At most I thought I would send them the broken one, so they could replace the glass. In reality I was afraid they were going to give me a discount on buying a new one, as some of the forums I'd read about similar issues said that was their resolution. Not only that, but they didn't even want me to send back the cracked one. I e-mailed them back to ask about sending the broken one to them, and they advised that I could keep, recycle, or "do what I would like" with the broken one.

Mind blown.

Not only do I have a new Fitbit, but now we have an extra one that Fynn enjoys wearing around the house- constantly asking what time it is and how many steps she's taken. That kind of service makes me love my Fitbit even more.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

In our house, we're getting strong, not skinny.

Like 99.9% of women, I've always battled with body image issues, yada yada yada. Pretty sure most of is from growing up where my mom was always on a diet of some sort and fretting about her weight. (sorry, mom, if you're reading this)
Showing off some guns

Knowing this made me realize I don't want Fynn to know I worry about weight or being thin, so I've always tried to talk about being healthy, and strong. I'm not perfect. Drew and I often discuss weight loss or whether our clothes make us look skinny. Fynn has seen me first gain and then lose a lot of weight over the past 2 years, so I want her to see the thought and work that goes into being in shape and having a healthy attitude about exercise.
Fynn picked out our workout today

Lately Fynn has been joining me in some of my workouts, and it's been fun to see her try to do different exercises. Today we rocked some 30 Day Shred a la my bestie Jillian Michaels and Fynn professed afterwards that we were getting super strong together, though I was pretty sweaty which she thought was gross. I'm trying to get us both in the habit of exercising during Bentley's morning nap, that way I can get my workouts in each morning once we're on summer vacation.
Our DVD player is broken, so we rock our workouts on the laptop

And now, my blogging time must come to an end as a certain 3 1/2 year old is upstairs yelling "Mom-EE, Mom-Ma, Mom-EE, Mom-Ma" along with some nonsense song that is sure to wake up her little brother.

Friday, April 8, 2016

But you say it Mama

Do as I say... just don't say what I say.

Fynn is a perceptive child, and she definitely picks up on my potty mouth. Some how I hold it in while at work, or around other people's kids, but it comes out in front of Fynn (and Bentley) and sometimes that means awkward moments like these:

Exhibit A:

In the car months ago after a rough (r.o.u.g.h) day and long car ride with both kids screaming.

Fynn: "Don't say F*****g Mama, it's not nice."

Valid point, Fynn. Valid point

Exhibit B:

Easter dinner. Drew's whole family and mine.

Fynn: (turns to me) "Where the hell is Lyssa?" 

Exhibit C:

In the drive thru line, and a cranky old guy honks his horn, flips me off, and calls me a moron while almost hitting my car because I didn't move out of his way. Apparently I was supposed to drive over the car in front of me in order to accomodate his van into the drive thru lane.

Fynn: "Well, that was f*****g rude"

Yes, yes it was

Therefore, I've had a good long chat with Fynn about why we don't drop F-bombs or other similar curses and promised both her and myself that I will keep those words in my head and attempt to be a better role model... or at least minimize the chance that she'll pull out a few of those choice words in even more awkward situations. 

Mom of the Year- right here, folks. 

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

What I read: January

I'm getting close to getting caught up on my book lists and cruised past the halfway point in my goal of reading 60 books by time I turn 30 in September. 

25. Action Research: A Guide for the Teacher Researcher by Geoffrey E. Mills
Obviously I chose this book for a bit of light-hearted reading; and it totally delivered. Luckily it was my last assigned reading book for grad school (woo hoo!) and it wasn't bad per say, it was just all about planning, conduction, and reporting action research which is obviously a riveting topic that everyone should delve into. It had a ton of great information, and was invaluable in the action research process, so if you're doing some action research in your classroom, I highly suggest it. If not, ditch it.

26. The Honest Truth by Dan Gemeinhart

One of my students brought this book to me because she had absolutely loved it and my kids know I'm always looking for new books. This did not fail. It was emotional and powerful and I'll be damned if I didn't throw it down at one point and refuse to continue reading because I didn't like what had just happened. But of course I had to finish and find out what happened, I'm so glad I did. I'm pretty sure 2/3 of my class has read this book over the last 3 months and every single one of them loved it. High praise from a group of 5th graders with very different book tastes. 

27. The Girls Who Went Away by Ann Fessler
I actually didn't have a good idea of what this book was about before I started reading it. It showed up in my Books You May Like list in my library e-book app, so I downloaded it when I was pumping one day. It's a book all about girls from the 50's and 60's who gave their babies up for adoption because they were young, unwed mothers. The stories in this book were heartbreaking as many of the girls were forced into giving up their babies, or had no idea that it was even possible that they could keep their children. It was sad and frustrating at the same time. I did lose interest at some points because all of the stories were pretty similar, so they started to blend together.  

28. Unenchanted by Chanda Hahn
Sometimes I swear I love young adult books way more than adult. This is one of those books that makes me think that. It's the first in a series called "An Unexpected Fairy Tale" and made me think a lot of the TV show Grimm. In the book, Mina discovers that she is a decedent of the brothers Grimm and that she is therefore cursed to battle the elements of different fairy tales. Her father was killed by the curse, and if she doesn't survive it, the curse will go after her younger brother who doesn't speak. I like the way Hahn incorporates fairy tale elements into the book without being cheesy or predictable, and I love how Mina is a dynamic character who grows as a person as she discovers just how strong she is.

29. The Burgess Boys by Elizabeth Strout 
No lie, chose this book because half of it is set in Maine and that is a rare enough occurrence in media that it caught my attention. This book is about the Burgess siblings; Jim, Bob, and Susan. Jim and Bob escaped Maine to move to NYC as soon as they could, while Susan stayed behind. All are a mess, and it's clear that losing their father in a freak accident when they were young is the cause of that (the kids were in the car while the dad was getting the mail, and the car ran over the dad). The siblings end up coming back together when Susan's son is arrested for a hate crime, and Jim and Bob (both lawyers) come back home to help their nephew. I didn't love this book, but I felt compelled to find out what happened to everyone, so I kept reading. 

30. Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery 
A classic. I've read this entire series too many times to count since my grandmother bought it for me when I was about 10. I started again, because one of my students picked up the series and was having a hard time with some of the vocabulary and understanding the time period. Then, of course, I got sucked back into the series and have been working through it since. I think this first book is my second favorite, because I love young Anne and how unpredictable she is. Her penchant for finding trouble borders on being ridiculous, but is also hilarious. And now I really need to find the movie version on DVD because I have no way to play my old VHS tape, and I love that movie.

31. Anne of Avonlea by L.M. Montgomery 
Book two in the Anne series. I love how this book shows her growth commitment to fulfilling her dreams. Rereading these books for the first time in almost 10 years, I picked up on so many nuances and subtle details that I had missed when I last read them in high school. 

32. The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins
This book is one of the best books I've read in a long time. I don't even know where to start with describing this book except to say that Hawkins is an amazing writer. The way she unravels a story with subtle details and descriptions is just phenomenal. I got to the end of the book and realized just how many times she hinted at the truth throughout the book, but I had missed it because I was so caught up in what was happening. This book reminds me a lot of Gone Girl in the way the story unfolds and the way the ending left me shocked, yet expecting it at the same time. In looking for a picture of the book cover, I was so excited to discover that it's being made into a movie that is coming out in October. 

33. Fairest by Chanda Hahn
This is the second book in the Unexpected Fairy Tale series and it was just as good. Love the main character, Mina, and I love the use of fairy tale elements in a modern, mystical format. I'm only bummed that I can't seem to find the rest of the books through my library either in e-format or actual book. I'm hoping that they get them soon, because I'd like to see what happens next. 

Monday, April 4, 2016

I didn't need help when I had a newborn, I needed help about 6 months later.

When you bring home a tiny human, everyone bends over backwards to help you out. Family members bring food, friends stop by with gifts, and everyone understands that you're exhausted and overwhelmed and not your usual self. No one things you're lazy if you're napping midday or gives you the side-eye for wearing the same pair of leggings for the third day in a row as you cruise through the DD drive through and consider it a successful outing. Fast forward a few months though, and you're expected to be all "back to normal" (whatever that is) and get your stuff together. You've had time to adjust! Baby is older! You know what you're doing!

Nope Nope Nope Nope Nope

Here's why. The newborn stage is easy. And yes, I know, any new mom with a newborn is ready to slap me right about now as they're right smack in the midst of all the hell that is newly postpartum life. Hear me out though. Keep in mind, this is my experience, but I'm going to show you how life with a newborn kicks the pants off life with an older baby.

Round 1: Sleep
Newborns are up all night, but they also sleep on and off all day. So while you're sleep is a broken down hell of choppiness, the number of hours you get in a day can actually be a decent night's sleep.

Starting at 6 months my kids play the 45 minute "screw you, mom" game all night long. Followed by not napping during the day which wouldn't help any way because, yep, back to work it is by this point. 

The winner: Newborn. Because from when Bentley was 6-12 months  4 hours of chopped up sleep felt like the ultimate luxury, and that's messed up.

Round 2: Feeding

Know what my newbie babies eat? Milk. And as I'm 120% pro-boob, that milk arrives at the perfect temp, is constantly being made, and requires no bottle washing. The messiest part is the spit up which results in multiple outfit changes a day (for both mom and baby)

Know what happens when you introduce solids? You get food in every crease and crevice of the high chair, floor, and baby. Also that food has to be made by someone which creates dishes to wash. Also, now that you're back at work, that easy-peasy milk now has to be pumped multiple times a day require more washing of pump/bottles.

The winner: Newborn. Because washing pump part sucks

Round 3: Diapers

Again, from the breastfeeding perspective: an EBF baby's diapers don't smell. At least not like poop or even all that bad.

Bring on the solids at 6 months? And you develop nasty diaper concoctions that are always convinetly created right as you're trying to head out the door for work. And you're probably already 10 minutes late.

The winner: Newborn. Because poop.

Round 4: Assistance

Everyone wants to snuggle your newborn, watcher your older kids, or do other things around the house to make a new mom's life a little easier because "oh newborns are so hard". Even better are the meals that are dropped off/made for you and the fact that everyone forgives you for being scattered, messy or otherwise a mess,

By 6 months you're expected to have your ish together which is bonkers. Somehow you're supposed to handle this baby thing along with back to work along with keeping your household together because obviously it's sooo much easier now that baby sleeps more at night (excuse me while I laugh so hard I cry at the though of babies who sleep through the night)

The winner: Newborn, because I like to set the bar low and love it when others do too.

Round 5: Playing with baby

Newborns are kind of boring. I mean yeah, you can spend hours fawning over teeny-tiny toes and the perfection of each feature. I'm not knocking that. But since all they do is eat, sleep, poop, they can get kinda boring.

Older babies are all exploring the world and discovering how to move their bodies. It's exhausting and exciting and gives you all the proud mama feels because they're growing up so fast.

The winner: Older babies because they become actual people, and that's kinda fun


Older babies are fun and cute, but the work involved it exhausting combined with the increased expectations of getting your life back on track. Honestly, if I had my way, I'd tell people to leave me the hell alone for the first 6 months and then invite them over to hold/snuggle/help. Because by that point I'd appreciate it a lot more.
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