Doing yoga with a baby

During first introductions, another mom in my Mommy & Baby yoga class said bluntly of her very young baby, “We needed to get out of the house.” #truth

Our little short stack, Evie, is a little older than three months, and I sure wish I’d jumped into this class on week 3. As a newly-minted stay-at-home mom, getting out of the house has been a profound challenge– hence my mixed delight and horror at the Rookie Moms challenges. This sh*t is hard.

My own mom suggested I start with postnatal yoga. If Evie could touch her toes, Grandma would pay. Here’s how it broke down.

Babies Make Great Social Props

In Jane Austen books, people always need letters of introduction. I think it’s because they didn’t have Mommy & Me groups.

“Oh, he’s beautiful!”

“What a sweet smile!”

“So much hair!”

“Only seven months?”

This is like the best version of a cocktail party, where you have exactly the right thing to say to everyone. It’s this mellow, diverse group of ladies, and, by merely reproducing, I’ve become a charming party guest.

All this time, I didn’t need social skills; I just needed an infant.

Yoga Has Nothing to Do With It

The sweet instructor, Erin, earnestly corrects my foot position and the angle of my knees. I always thank her and aim to get things in parallel, but it doesn’t matter. I’m holding a baby in front of me and I can’t see my feet, no matter which way they point.

What’s handy here is that I have two excuses for my poor performance that don’t involve my lack of athleticism: for one, my body recently birthed a baby, so no one expects it to be in top form (except that “What’s Your Excuse?” lady). For two, my body is off the mat half of class anyway when I’m soothing or distracting Evie, and maintaining the integrity of the pose is a lot less meaningful when she’s squawking.

No One Cares That Your Baby is Crying (or That Your Boob is Out)

There are always at least three babies in the room, and chances are that one of them is crying at any given moment. Actually, sometimes there aren’t three babies in the room because one of us has taken a particularly grouchy little ‘un into the vestibule to cool off. When these kids set each other off, it’s like a room of car alarms.

Only, it’s cool. When I took Evie into the vestibule during her first class, everyone was sympathetic: “Is she okay?” There were no dirty looks. The time I curled up in the back of the room to feed my sweet hungry hippo, I finished up only to find that two other moms were nursing right on their mats. Boobs everywhere, you guys, and nary a cover-up to be seen.

I’m counting this challenge a success. Can’t do a wall pose for love or money, but Evie and I have a date for story time tomorrow.

{ 1 comment }

Professionals recommend bribery
Inspired by an NPR/Freakonomics story about bribery in which an economist gives each of his four children the opportunity to earn “a lot of money” for eating fresh fish in Hawaii every day during their vacation, I decided to try to bribe my preschooler with trinkets to try new-to-him foods. After all, the radio story revealed that children were more motivated by prizes than anything else (like knowing that good foods build healthy bodies).

The prize I laid out was a plastic dinosaur for each new-to-him food. For roughly two weeks, I presented him with his dinner along with 1-3 toy dinos for trying eligible foods. He didn’t earn anything for eating applesauce or cheese quesadillas, but he could have for trying a bite of a grape (yes, a GRAPE!!!), which he declined.

I bribed my child to eat healthy food with toy dinosaurs

If I’m totally honest, you should know I wanted to keep this bribery program running long enough to for him to earn 72 dinosaurs, no matter the duration. My friend, the engineer, calculated that he could try seven different foods at ten times each and I was overly optimistic when I purchased them. Instead, I had to cut the experiment off after 14 days because it was such a colossal failure that Whitney was losing her patience with me. Yes, Whitney.

In 14 days, Sawyer earned only four dinosaurs and two of them were total cheats on my part.

Where did we begin?
Sawyer is not your typical picky eater, if there is such a thing. He approaches unfamiliar foods with anxiety and nervousness. If he’s going to try it, he might sit in my lap cowering and retching before he fully tastes the thing and declares that it is not bad.

Got that? He actually likes most foods that he tries, but he is unwilling to try new things. Ugh. So frustrating.

According to family legend, this was never more true than his approach to ice cream. Once we felt like he was old enough for a taste, he refused. He was offered ice cream many times, until he finally — nervously — agreed to open his mouth for it. Of course, he loved it. By the next time we had ice cream, he had already forgotten that it was a positive experience. So he refused it another few times. This usually happens about three times before he remembers that he liked any food in the past.

It is also worth noting that he has two big brothers who willingly eat food like salmon and kale salad with smiles on their faces and we all sit down to family dinner most nights of the week, where everyone eats the same thing.

When Sawyer decided, for the second time, that broccoli was pretty good, we made a video together so I can show him next time he is reluctant. It was his idea.

Did bribing work?
Sawyer was largely unmoved by the dinosaur bribery scheme. He tasted what he was going to try anyway so we did have some slight progress toward trying and liking new foods. He acted like he wanted the toys but never enough to move the needle. The four dinosaurs I gave out were for the following:

  1. a dessert with honey, raisins, and dates — after days of no progress, I wanted to make it easier for him (and me!) to succeed. But c’mon.
  2. homemade cheese pizza — the crust was unusual so I thought he might not eat it, but awarding a bribe for a kid eating cheese pizza is embarrassing.
  3. a cheeseburger — this was HUGE for us, real progress toward a new food. Interestingly, we were not at home when he ate it so I think it is very likely he didn’t have dinosaurs on the brain.
  4. broccoli — and he said he liked it. Notice he’s in my lap because of his anxiety but quickly wanted to make himself a video because broccoli rocks.

Other days, he ate all the foods that were not dino-eligible or Nothing At All. Yes, multiple days in this game, my two-year old went to bed with no dinner.

What did I learn?
Was it a waste of time? Was it fun for me because I am a data geek? Was it nice to get positive feedback from other friends with picky eaters? Yes, yes, and yes.

I enjoyed trying something new on this kid but, all in all, I only passed out four dinosaurs. I don’t think that bribery changed Sawyer’s behavior in a significant way, but Whitney and her family think I need to offer a better prize.

{ 3 comments }

What I learned from the #30×30 closet remix challenge. Spoiler: I am a lazy sweatpants wearer.

August 19, 2014

My sister lives 500 miles away, and therefore, we don’t see each other much. I stalk her through twitter and Instagram to know what she’s up to on a daily basis, and the big things, like a business trip to the Cannes Film Festival (she has a film industry job), I learn via phone calls […]

Read more →

Activity #28: Pack a picnic and roll in the grass

August 18, 2014

The challenge for the day is to take advantage of a warm afternoon and feed your family outside; it’s time for a real live picnic. It is so much easier to clean up Cheerio crumbs when I can just shake my blanket into the grass and leave the rest to the bugs. I like to […]

Read more →

Instagram vs. Real Life for moms

August 14, 2014

Inspired by a very funny recent post on Bustle, a few of us wanted to share the maternal version of What I instagrammed vs. What was really happening or my entire life is a lie. For better or worse, we could go on all day like this! What you saw from @mommyprojectSD Trend setter. #babystyle #skinnyjeans […]

Read more →

Dressing up as Olaf, Anna, and Elsa: FROZEN costumes for kids

August 13, 2014

I know it’s early for Halloween, but some of these have just hit the market, and I don’t think there’s any reason to wait. Why should kids only wear their costumes once per year? Who doesn’t want to be Elsa every day? Or at least wear it at your own FROZEN birthday party! Here are […]

Read more →

Another crazy experiment in potty training

August 12, 2014

Ugh. We are not THERE yet. We are so close. In fact, 12 months ago, I thought we were super duper ticking-time-bomb close because my not-yet-two-year old was so interested in pooping in the potty. Fast forward a year and he’s still quite interested in #2 because he gets to trade $h1# for candy. But peeing […]

Read more →

Summer Fun Giveaway

August 11, 2014

What’s all this Back to School nonsense? Stop trying to end my summer! August isn’t half over yet and we still have a lot of water play to get into. Today we have a giveaway for those who don’t have a care in the world about school starting. We are thankful to the folks at […]

Read more →

Activity #27: Go swimming

August 11, 2014

Taking the baby in the pool is both scary and funny. A kid’s gotta stick his toe into the water at some point, right? Buy a package of disposable swim diapers or a reusable one, and plan your outing. This is our 27th rookie mom challenge. If you are alone, think carefully through the logistics […]

Read more →

Celebrating my inside/out day {Rookie Moms Challenge #40}

August 8, 2014

The Challenge: Celebrate Baby Being Outside Longer Than Inside! The Friday before my 37th week of pregnancy, Eric left for work, and said to my stomach, “Son, would you mind coming out sometime this weekend?”  Lo and behold, at 4:00 AM that night, I woke up to my water breaking. I couldn’t believe it, we […]

Read more →

Why is it so hard to leave the house with a baby? {Rookie Moms Challenge # 15}

August 7, 2014

Leaving the neighborhood used to be so simple.  Before I had a kid, I would just put on my shoes, grab the dog’s leash and go for a walk. Now that I have Piper there are, like, 42 additional steps to the process. One of which usually involves changing a diaper full of poop RIGHT […]

Read more →

Off-to-school or back-to-preschool? Win these useful goodies

August 6, 2014

We’ve assembled a few things we love for a fun giveaway, just in time for some of you to put your kids in a toddler program or preschool for the first time. Or even back-to-school for those whose preschools take a summer break. Here’s what we’ve got. Everyday Bento – An adorable book full of […]

Read more →