Monday, January 28, 2013

Epic Mom Fail

Background: 3 months ago, I was smoking crack and trying to be efficient and scheduled both boys for back-to-back peds well-child visits at the worst possible time on the face of the earth 5pm.

3:30 PM: leave work, realizing that "leaving a bit early" actually meant an hour and a half to get across town, wrangle kids at daycare, and get them half-way across the city again to the pediatrician

4:00 PM: arrive at daycare. go to get B first downstairs. He is full-on in "I hate mommy" phase and refused to stop playing with the sand table to look at me, much less come with. Finally pull him away with the help of his teacher and he runs up the stairs yelling at me to not come with him, because "I want to go by myself!!!"

4:15 PM: get L from upstairs. Wrangle his whining, snot-covered, writhing body into his cold-weather gear only to find B missing. B has run into the baby room and will not come out. The DIRECTOR of the daycare (the one with all the comments about how I'm "never around" has to help me). My hands are full and I leave the diaper bag, we never need it on the way home.

4:30 PM: outside waiting for the bus. It is biting cold, 15 degrees, windy, and getting dark. B unzips his coat and pulls off his hat. I can't fix it because I've got L in the carrier and afore-mentioned hands being full. The director is walking out to leave for the day, and comes to us and puts his coat back on. I suck.

5:10 PM: finally make it. We are late. They have a very strict late policy and I am apologetic.

5:20 PM: get into room and they ask me to take of L's diaper to weigh him. Good god, he has an enormous stinky poop in there and guess what I don't have with me? Start rummaging around clinic because I feel at home in clinic rooms and nurse comes in "WHAT are you looking for?". She gets me wipes and a diaper.

5:30 PM: all weighed and measured and waiting for doctor. I attempt to take B for a pee, and he freaks. No, I only want to go with daddy, go away, no no no no no. Want to go home!!!

5:35 PM: B runs off behind the reception desk and refuses to come out. I count ONE TWO THREE and actually get to THREE so I have to bodily drag him back to the exam room. Meanwhile, L, clad in only a too-small diaper has gotten away. I find him pulling pages off the printer. No one is amused.

5:40 PM: B starts throwing his shoes in my general direction. I tell him to stop just as the doctor walks in. He then proceeds to throw shoes at my head, picks up heavy toys and throws them at L's head, hits me & L, and grabs the doctors computer. He is not listening to me or the doc and when I bodily force him to sit on the floor he says "I want to hit L. I want to hit him more". I text G for back-up. This goes on for 20 minutes as the doctor asks me detailed questions about B's behavior and I try but fail to convince him that really this is wayyy out of character.

6:00 PM: G walks in and is SHOCKED to hear the doctor recommend behavior therapy for B and to be asked how we discipline the kids and if we hit or otherwise physically hurt them. B sees G and does a 180. Angel.

6:15 PM: we finally get to L and I mention the hitting at daycare (dismissed as normal), and not having any words. Speech therapy is recommended and I refuse, saying "but I think he's on the verge...". I get the whole "There is no stigma...what can it hurt..." lecture and I realize my only hesitance was that it would take up a lot of time. I just didn't want the hassle and I truly think he's fine.

6:45 PM: we get home. L finds a sippy cup that's been sitting out all day. I absent-mindedly give it to him to drink.

7:00 PM: L throws up a ton of milk. clearly it was not cold enough to be left out for 10 hours and be drinkable.

8:00 PM: Wine.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Playing Hooky...and other updates

Daycare is open tomorrow. Work is not. Possibilities....

I'm actually at work now. Cells need feeding every 2-3 days regardless of holiday schedule. I'm waiting for the media to warm up so I can get this done.

B is going through the reject mommy phase again, but stronger and more extreme this time. I've been trying to take it in stride but it was starting to become hurtful yesterday after a whole day of refusing to hug me, purposefully saying "daddy I love you" "no, not mommy", refusing to let me read him stories, and constantly telling me to "go to work", "go away", "i don't want you".  Hopefully it ends soon. Its very hard to keep delivering endless patience and nurturing without any reward.

L is was sleeping much better. After the first night of re-re-re-re-training, he has not woken up at night once. His AM wakings continue to be pretty early though--generally before 6. On weekdays we just get up for the day with him, this is harden on weekends. This morning he woke at 5. I could not get him back down in his crib & I committed the cardinal sin of sleeping with him in the guest room for another hour and a half. This is how its always started. 5 am becomes 4 am becomes 3 am....

I've stuck to most of my "reset" plans: no sweets, no playing games on the phone at night, exercising. We gave up the "no booze" after about 10 days. Even 10 days helped, though, I'm back in a more healthy pattern of occasional beer or glass of wine after dinner or with friends, instead of the several drinks every day holiday visiting in-laws mode.

I've been on an on-line shopping kick. I'm trying out new styles and vendors for clothes and shoes. Most everything needs to go back. Having to trek to the post-office to return packages will cure me of the shopping bug, I'm sure.

OK, media should be at a perfect 37 degrees. Time to work.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Oh Three: A letter to B

Oh B. Oh 3. Six months ago  two and a half, likening it to southern summer storms that come and go without warning, replaced by brilliant sunshine. Three is more like the pacific northwest---wake up cloudy, go to bed cloudy, with maybe a few rays of sunshine poking through now and then. And yet...beneath the grumbling and the sulking, something is emerging. Toddler is giving way to genuine chub is all but gone, your knees no longer soft and dimpled, but scabbed and dry like a little boy. You are our little comedian, talking nonsense or calling us by the wrong names, and laughing hysterically over it. You're an easy audience, too, finding the simplest things uproarious, like when I crumpled your shirt up and told you to toss the basketball into the hamper---this one got snorting laughs and you had to relay the story to daddy (?).

You are shaping up to be an intellectual. You love books, doing puzzles (we're up to 40 piece ones), and listening to music. Also jumping and running. But little interest in balls or cars. You like watching and "helping" in the kitchen. You mostly eat well, except on the days when you subsist on air, but always ask (because it could never hurt!) for cake, ice cream, doughnuts first thing in the morning and before bed (we almost always say no),

You are, at heart, a good kid. You want to be good. You love it when we are happy, and you try so hard to behave. At school you are the model child, sitting when its time to sit, eating quietly, falling directions. But at home... oh dear. Its just hard for a little monkey. And, as is developmentally appropriate, you are pushing us, testing boundaries, wanting to exert some little control onto a life that is mostly laid out for you. Wake up when we tell you to, quickly get ready, go to school, come home and immediately eat dinner and get ready for bed. Four stories a night, alternate mommy and daddy reading. Bath every other night (we did relent on that one, you used to get one daily). Go to the toilet every 2 hours. So you stand your ground where you can. You refuse the toilet. Sometimes for so long that you have an accident. Demand daddy instead of mommy (never ever ever the other way around, you are absolutely attached to daddy right now) and poor daddy never gets a break. Refuse to get out of bed in the morning, and then jelly-leg your way through the morning routine so that we are literally dragging and wrangling you around. Not want to get in the bath and then not want to get out. Demand 5 stories and sob when we say no, because good lord we've been reading for 30 minutes and its 8:30 and WE want to finish cleaning the kitchen and go to bed!

You love your brother, I know this...when friends & relatives joke about taking him home with them (oddly people do this frequently, he is super cute), you get anxious. "No. Don't take L. I WANT him". Yet you are often frustrated by him destroying your half-done puzzles, or ripping the book out of your hand, and you lash out. You hit him sometimes, knock him down, pull his hair. Then you feel bad about yourself and lash out some more. Finally you apologize and kiss the top of his head. I think you will like it when he's old enough to actually play with you, instead of simply destroying all of your games. When you see each other after a while apart, you both light up and give each other big hugs.

We took the side off your crib last weekend. You didn't ask us too, and in fact, when we asked, you told us you wanted your crib. But we figured it was time, and its going...OK. At bedtime the freedom is a bit much and you get really hyper and run around for a while, and you are having more trouble falling asleep, sometimes crying out for "more water", "put the blanket on again", "one more hug". But you sleep all night and we actually have to wake you at 7:30 in the morning (despite L being up and LOUD from 5:15 on most days). You nap nicely after lunch at school but never ever on the weekends. We've stopped trying and just enjoy the extra time with you (and put you to bed at least an hour early on Saturday and Sunday nights).

It must be hard being three, and it is sometimes (often these days), hard mothering a three-year-old. But its also a lot of fun. Many times recently I'm laughing harder than I've laughed in years, at the things you say and do (yesterday you asked if a toy in your book was a boy or a girl. we didn't know. so you pretended to pull something out of your "pocket" and fiddle with it, and declared the toy was indeed a boy. Apparently you were looking it up on your phone. Ummm wonder where you learned that...). I'm so excited to see what's ahead for us.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Positively Negative

Its been a busy couple of weeks chez-Ana, made all the more grueling by this constant low-level sickness that we keep passing around to each other. On top of the sinus pressure and achy throat, I've had some other strange symptoms. My boobs have been so sore, almost engorged feeling. And I could almost swear that I am lactating occasionally...this after completely weaning L more than 3 months ago. I think I need to get my prolactin levels checked.

This Sunday I woke up feeling quite queasy. I figured it was my turn with the second of the GI bugs L has managed to catch in the past month, but it neither progressed nor resolved, and I was still queasy Monday morning.

Yes, it did take me more than 24 hours to realize I needed to make a little trip to the drugstore and get a stick to pee on. 

But I had to make it through the entire day of work before I could run the errand, which gave me plenty of time to think. And panic. And think more panic-y thoughts about how we're barely hanging on by a thread and I couldn't possibly handle this right now. About how we've just finally started planning things, like a vacation this summer, and some minor renovations on the house and I couldn't possible handle this right now. About how frustrated I am with my body and finally motivated myself to take actions to get healthier and I couldn't possibly handle this right now.

By the end of the day my hopes were quite clear..  I peed on that stick like I'd done dozens of time before and stared at it...forgetting for a moment and automatically trying to will that second line into appearance. Negative. And I was relieved. Oh so relieved. And yet...I peeked at the stick again before I threw it out, to make sure, and I'd be lying if I didn't admit to feeling a little twinge.

Friday, January 11, 2013

How to sleep-train your monster

Ugh. Sleep training an older kid is way way harder than sleep-training a 6 month old. They are bigger, stronger, louder, and waaaaayyyy more persistent. We decided we are done. D.O.N.E. with co-sleeping with L no matter what the hour or situation. When  he was smaller and snugglier, it was doable...we all cuddled up and slept fairly well together, and it was way easier than listening to him scream for hours. Now, not so much. It became less about simply comforting him with our nearby presence and gentle touch, and more, being a human lovey that he grabbed and scratched and teethed on and pulled at constantly. Neither of us are able to sleep anymore when he's with us.

So for the eleventy-billionth time we decided to let L cry-it-out (if you recall, we originally sleep-trained him, successfully, at 5 months...he needed a refresher after every illness & vacation and he initially did fine but after about 10 months he just WOULD NOT STOP with the night-waking). As usual, he went to bed easily at 7:30. At 10:30 he woke up crying, but stopped after 10 minutes. Same around 12:30 (this early waking started last weekend with an illness, before he was only waking once, around 3:30-4AM). Then at 3:30 he was crying, stopped after 15 minute, slept for about 5-10 minutes, and then cried again for 10 minutes, slept again for about 5 minutes....repeat until 5:15 AM whereby he fell asleep for 45 minutes and I just got him up for the day at 6.

I am wrecked. I've basically been up since 3:30 AM, because by the time I fell sleep again, he was up again. A few times throughout this nightmare, I did go downstairs and pat him so that he knew we hadn't completely abandoned him.

I had already decided to take today off, just a little break that I'd promised myself for months and finally had nothing scheduled and could do it. I'd planned all manner of activites, but I think I'll just take a nap since it begins again tonight.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Its like a sickness I tell you...

Even after I resolved not to resolve, I couldn't stop myself. This is what I officially planned to do, which is actually turning out to be hard enough. But no, my brain keeps coming up with new "fun"challenges. Every time I read a blog post about someone else's resolutions, I think...ooh good idea! And some just come into my head from out of the hidden world of terrible ideas nowhere.

Maybe I should try to sew enough to go through  my fabric stash! Maybe we need to try out new recipes, one per week! Maybe I should sign up for a class of some sort! Maybe I need to: try to do my hair more often, update my wardrobe, start wearing heels, etc.. etc...

I have so far stopped myself, but I can't help myself getting excited at the possibilities.

ooh...Maybe I need professional help!?!

Monday, January 7, 2013


A comment on my post about our morning routine made me realize I may have misrepresented the situation. In terms of chores and parenting duties, I think G and I are pretty 50/50, if not 60/40 (60 him, 40 me). I've read before that in shared work, each party tends to overestimate their own contribution; I imagine a bit of that was happening, but also it was probably an atypical day, hence my annoyance & outburst.

For the mornings, like I mentioned, part of the issue is that we have no set "routine", every morning unfolds a bit differently, based on sleep, morning needs, and some other indeterminate factor. Some days I get up with L and end up getting B ready, too (like the one I described). Sometimes we each take a kid, sometimes G takes them both. At least once a week, I leave so early that he does indeed take care of everything on his own. If there is any breakfast making to be done (i.e. eggs, oatmeal, fresh pancakes) for the kids, that's his job. Dog-walking in the butt-early hours is also his job.

He also has does almost 100% of daycare drop-offs, and 80-90% of pick-ups. Having stepped in to do this more often recently (maybe once every couple of weeks), I understand that this is a surprisingly challenging job. The pick-ups are physically taxing, trying to herd both kids, take B for one last potty trip (which happens to be downstairs), load up all their multiple containers and cups (and remember to get every last one, lest we get into this weekend's situation of B refusing to drink milk because his yellow cup got left at school!) get sass info from the teachers, and bring the super-heavy stroller down the stairs (through 2 sets of doors) while simultaneously carrying 2 squirmy kids. In the winter there is also the matter of re-bundling in hats/mittens/coats/full-body fleece. Then its a long walk home complete with stops for answering questions that can't be heard, handing out pretzels and mitten re-application. The last 0.25-0.5 miles of it, recently L has had enough of sitting in the stroller and needs to be carried.

Drop-off is less onerous, but more emotionally challenging; for the past year, B has had on & off periods (weeks to months) of crying dramatically and begging to stay home.

Once we're all together again for the evening, we again split up the duties in some fashion. G generally (i.e. 70% of the time) does both boys' baths---it started when I was pregnant and couldn't really do the bending easily, but I don't really love the task on my best days. And I have the (to me) much more pleasant task of bedtime story reading (G doesn't like this, he falls asleep in the middle of reading picture books to B!!!). I always make the boys' lunches because he has trouble remembering all 7 items for B and 5 items for L (we have to send all snacks & food)---it takes me 15 minutes, and him 30. He does the kitchen cleaning---put away food, load dishwasher, clean counters, sweep---probably 70-80% of the time. He always does the late-night dog walk, since I tend to change into PJs after dinner, and go to bed earlier on most nights.

Sick days are usually a compromise of who has the most flexible schedule that day. (Today I win...G is at home with L, if he's still sick tomorrow, my turn).

He takes the boys' for haircuts (he gets his done at the same time).
I tend to do doctors appointments because I like to know what's going on and he can only give vague mis-information---but if I'm busy he'll go---maybe he does 30-40% of these.
 If someone is coming to work on the house, G tends to stay home---he likes to know what's going on and I can only give vague mis-information.

These are our weekdays. The post has gotten long enough, I'll probably do a separate one for weekends.

Its not always split down the middle, but it seems to even out overall.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

On energy and expectations

I think I've mentioned this before, but I just don't seem to have the energy I used to have. I don't know if its age or physical un-fitness, or diet, or all of the above, but I get tired pretty easily these days.

Take today. I actually slept a solid 7.5 hours for the past 2 nights in a row (we moved L to another room to let him CIO without disturbing B, but he actually slept the whole night...I think he is getting sick, he has been extra tired the past couple of days, eating less, and cranky). I got up at 6, on my own, drank my coffee, got L from his crib & fed him breakfast by 7 AM. Then I did a very very short & easy workout of 20 minutes on the elliptical and a few abs & push ups. I ate breakfast, showered, and started making headway on our chores by cooking up the items for the boys' lunches. I played with B while L took his first nap of the day. We decided to go out for brunch, and we walked a short 13 blocks there, had a typically frantic but not-too-terrible time & a delicious brunch, and walked back by noon. I was exhausted. I thought it was just from eating all those delicious potatoes, so I volunteered to take the dog for a walk to the dog park and to pick up something from the store...I figured the walk in the cool sunny air would help wake me up. Nope.

G said I looked horrible and insisted I take a quick nap, but of course here I am blogging. I don't want to take a nap...if I can manage to fall asleep, I sleep for way too long & then end up groggy and worse off then before. More than that, I don't want to need to take a nap. Not when I am healthy & well-rested to begin with.

I've cut out alcohol (for now, hah!), cut back a bit on caffeine, drinking tons of water, no sugary/sweet stuff, very moderately exercising, no major stressors going on...what else can I do? (if you say, "cut out gluten", I will reach through the computer and smack you, because, unless I have endoscopy-confirmed celiac...just no).

I actually saw a patient in clinic this week with a resident. The patient had limited mental abilities and had a family member with him. When we finished the visit with the patient, the family member started talking about his own health, and asked the resident (I was on the phone calling another specialist to coordinate patient's care, & plus he was a tall male) who he should see about "being tired all the time". The resident's advice was brilliant: of course talk to your PCP, and take care of yourself, with good diet, sleep, and exercise...but you're how old now, 38 (!!!), sometimes you need to adjust your expectations.

Since I firmly believe that unmet expectations are indeed the root of most unhappiness, I might have to give this a try.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

The littlest bully?

We've gotten several comments from L's teacher in day care that he is a bit rough with the other kids. His behavior was described to us with a barely suppressed smile, because if you saw this kid.... He is all of 18 lbs at 15 months, all dimples and cuddles and tiny tiny tiny! Add in the fact that he still has no words, its hard to remember that he really is old enough to know better.

From the get-go he's had a problem with personal boundaries. He loves to run up and hug, to stick fingers in mouths & noses, grab hard onto ears, paw at chests, pinch and worry on any inches of skin he can get between his pointy nails.

As adults, it is a mixture of sweet & super-annoying*. But it must be absolutely terrifying to young children. We've seen him knock over a friend's 8 month old, trying to give him a hug. And he often paws at B's face which B (who is so NOT cuddly and really really likes his space) hates.

He also has no problem at all simply taking what he wants, and frequently leaves B in tears as he considers the half-finished puzzle, or half-read book that suddenly disappeared from his hands. We generally intervene when this happens.

The teacher said they remove him from the situation and make him go back and show "nice hands" or to give back the item and give a little hug, and that we ought to be consistent with that at home...we're trying it, but he really does not seem to understand.

Every time I go to the daycare, the director mentions how L is SO SO different from B, so self-assured and confident (as opposed to shy, often frightened B, I suppose?). She says it as a compliment, but I wonder.

*This post written while L pulled up my shirt and alternated pinching and nuzzling my belly and then grabbing and twisting my nipple.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Oh what a beautiful morning...

OMDG asked for a sample of our morning routine, so here it is. I need to qualify this with the fact that actually every morning is different, as we wake up at different times based on L's sleep overnight and how tired we are feeling. And since neither of us have to be at work at any specific time (save the one glorious day per week when I have 8AM patients and just leave the house no matter what at 7:30), the routine can take as little or as long as we let it.Since the fight we had Thursday morning spurred this, I will try to recap what happened that morning. I could not help editorializing so you could feel your blood pressure rise as you read it, too!

4AM: L wakes up shrieking. I extract him from his crib in boys' room and place him in pack-and-play in guest room to cry it out. He shrieks for less than 5 minutes and falls asleep. I am awake for 30-45 minutes, though. 

6:30 AM: We wake up to L shrieking again. Its still pretty dark outside and G actually goes and pats him and leaves him to CIO again, thinking it is the middle of the night. When he comes back up, I inform him it is daytime and to get him. He brings him into bed & leaves him with me while he goes to the bathroom to brush teeth & shave.

6:40 AM: G takes L downstairs & feeds him pancakes, cheerios, and milk while I brush & use bathroom.

6:50 AM: I head downstairs & pour myself coffee. G goes on walk with dog.

7:05 AM: I have finished coffee and go upstairs to change L's clothes & wake up B. B imitates surly teenager and refuses to get up for quite some time. Then refuses to pee. Then refuses to open mouth for tooth brushing or to cooperate in any way with getting dressed.

7:20 AM: Head downstairs, both boys dressed & teeth brushed, for B to eat breakfast. B eats nothing and there is toddler-y behavior. G returns from dog walk and proceeds to make his breakfast. Every day. EVERY DAY. he eats the same thing: 2 scrambled eggs & a bowl of oatmeal with banana/cinnamon/toasted walnuts. I go to get ready (bathroom/shower/dressed).

7:40 AM: I come down, ready to go. G is still eating breakfast & feeding L oatmeal. B asked for some. B ate nothing. I start pulling our lunches together and loading up the stroller. I put the cover on the sofa in the basement (dog started to sleep on sofa while we're at home and it was getting gross) G finishes breakfast and cleans up the breakfast dishes, etc...

8:10 AM: G goes upstairs to get ready (bathroom/shower/dress). I know this will take some time. I eat a protein bar. I let the boys play for a while & change another poopy diaper. I find coats/mittens/etc...Cleaners are coming today so I put $ in envelope and get the cleaning products/rags ready. Feed dog. At 8:30 I start dressing them to go out. L doesn't handle cold well so I have to put this whole-body suit with attached mittens on him which I take B to the toilet to pee, which involves tantrums.  B heads upstairs when I wasn't looking.

8:40 AM: G finally comes down. I make snarky comment about "took you long enough...". Fight etc...
Coax B downstairs, coax dog downstairs and close the gate (she has also started jumping on beds when we're not home so we have to baby-gate her downstairs). Get shoes on. L kicks his off. Repeat. Put hats on, both take them off. Repeat. Fight with B to get mittens on, he takes off. Repeat X 3.

8:55 AM Leave the house.

Ha! I'm sure you notice the million inefficiencies here, I am well aware of them. The problem is not so much how to streamline, but more, how to get husband on board without seeming too naggy? Or how to keep myself from losing my shit, regardless of what happens?

I'd welcome any advice.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

More of the same

Don't you just love the shiny fresh feel of a new year? A blank slate, ready to be (neatly) filled in with wonderful things. And then the fuck-ups begin.

Only 3 days into 2013, and I hit a low point this morning. It was one of our typical weekday starts: chaotic, disorganized, and long beyond comprehension. I mean seriously, we get up before the sun and can't seem to make it out of the house until 9. I need to describe our mornings in more detail, in hopes of getting some advice on changing them, but just thinking about it is raising my blood pressure right now, so I'll save that for another day.

Anyways, I snapped at the boys. And then when G finally emerged I completely blew up at him for taking so long. And then he lost his shit at me, obviously. There was lots of yelling and unhappiness all around. When we finally coaxed B to the door to leave he declared tearfully "I was not happy when you were yelling".

Great. Not only is my marriage on shaky ground but now my kid is scarred for life? All before I even make it to work in the morning? Ugh.

As usual, time give perspective and I realize G & I will be fine. B will be fine. We just need a better morning routine.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013


As stress and complications built up last fall, I found myself slipping into comfortable old  bad habits. Let me count my sins:
  1. Alcohol. One modest glass of wine became one big glass became two. A shared beer with pizza became a shared beer plus another later. 
  2. Coffee. Again the creep. My morning cup of coffee became morning 2 cups, plus maybe some more after I got to work. I think it was affecting my night time sleep, even when consumed early in the day.
  3. Junk food. Candy, cookies, fried foods---you name it, I was consuming it. I'd also gotten into the habit of snacking during the workday, and not a healthy snack like an apple. No, I was inhaling Cheez-its or leftover halloween candy, popping downstairs for "just a little bowl of soup" & inevitably choosing something with the words "creamy" or "cheesy" in the name. 
  4. Mindless time-wasting. Clicking around on the internet, game after game of i-phone scrabble, facebook stalking.
  5. Laziness. Inertia regarding exercise definitely set in. "An object at rest..." and all that. 
So I have planned a detox of sorts this January. I used to consider myself a moderator (in Gretchen Rubin's terms) but a couple of failed attempts to "cut back" on things showed me the truth. I am better at abstaining altogether (for a set amount of time...the thought of never makes me panic, but not for now feels right). For the past few years I've done "no baked goods January" to get out of the holiday habit of eating whatever homemade confection made its way to the shared food table at work. This time I'm going to take it a bit further...and I have company---G is joining me (for part of it) so that we can motivate each other.

No booze, no sweets, no playing games on my phone instead of sleeping.  Only one cup of coffee a day (G is refusing to play along with this one). At the very least, the INTENTION to exercise on Monday, Thursday, and Saturday mornings (G will take Tuesday, Friday, and Sunday).

Why? Well, besides the obvious health benefits and hope of losing some of the 10 lbs I've put on in recent months, I'm hoping to return these behaviors to their rightful place as luxuries and indulgences. When you're swigging a couple of glasses of wine every night, continuously raiding the "fancy" chocolate, and every day is an "off day", those things are no longer treats to be savored, looked forward to, and enjoyed. I miss being delighted by a small piece of dark chocolate with a little glass of a bold red or an hour of brain candy web-surfing.

By keeping my list of "donts" focused and the time frame discrete, I am pretty sure I will succeed. If it backfires and I find myself making up for lost time in February, though, I'll have to rethink.