Saturday, May 30, 2009

Get your ass to the gym! (just kidding)

So almost every mom I know (and a lot of dads) are struggling to get back in shape after having a baby.  I should preface this with the fact that I don't love the gym.  Not bad, just expensive, time consuming and impossible to do with kids (unless you have a gym with kid care and even then, ew....).  I figured for the $150/month that I saved in dropping my gym membership, over a few months I could get some great gear to stay in shape.  Here's the short list of what I bought and love.

In addition to having a great back story about how the company came about and excellent customer service, they have a great product.  It is basically a pedometer, but it judges your distance based on the number of times your stroller wheel rotates.  It gives you just the right number of stats - speed (current, max, ave), trip distance, trip time, daily mileage, temp and time.  Its a great incentive to walk a few more blocks to hit that next mile.  Its also rewarding at the end of the day to realize how far you walked.

This was a reco from my husband's trainer who uses this with clients in the park or at the gym. It is a great one piece "gym" that you can use any where and fits in a 9" x 5" bag that you can throw in the closet.  All you need is a solid door that closes, backyard swing set rig, big tree branch or pull-up bar in the park.  The workout is simple enough for beginners and adjustable for someone more advanced.  Plus you can do a little and still feel the results.  Or do a lot and be very, very sore.  Great for a mini workout while the tots nap.

If you've ever taken a Pilates class this is a great primer/refresher.  With ratings on each pose from Beginner to Very Advanced it is easy to find something that will work for you.  It is meant to be done as a longer sequence of poses, but it is a great book to keep around the playroom so you can get a few poses in while you play with the tots.  It asks for a good degree of body awareness and visualization which is fantastic for true fans of Pilates, but if you're truly a beginner this might not be a good choice for you.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Adventures in Potty Training: Part 2 - Potty To Go

Ah, every parents' favorite words 5-10 minutes after you leave home (or 5 minutes after the plane takes off)..."need to go potty!!"  Unless you're traveling in an RV - and even if you are - this poses a problem.   You can either ignore it - at your peril - or find a place for them to do their business.

Oh, but what about a potty seat?  Do I put it in my trunk and haul it around? No.   Here are two great options for potty-on-the-go.
At under $9, weighing less than a pound and folding small enough to fit in your diaper bag (or handbag) this is a great potty seat.  Folds down to about 5" x 6" x 2" so fits easily in a gallon size plastic bag with none of the "dirty" side touching the "clean" side.  If you rejigger your Skip*Hop Pronto changer you can put this in the mesh section, diapers/pull-ups in the zippered section, and a small pack of wipes in the outer zip pocket, a Charmin mini-travel toilet paper in the mesh toggle pocket on the outside and you've got a full changing/potty kit.

I also like that this has handles in the front for those times when the tot needs something to hang on to or brace on (preferable not the edges of the dirty toilet seat).  This is my favorite for size, weight, price and ease of use.  All you need is a toilet.

So what if you don't have a toilet - like if you're in a park or on the highway or find an extraordinarily long line for the one working toilet at a rest stop (which looks disgusting) is a full potty-to-go ("flushing" included).

For $16, including 3 liner refills, you have an instant potty.  No toilet needed.  Refills are about $0.50 a piece so you don't want to make this your everyday potty, but if you find yourself without a toilet you - and your little trainee - will be glad you had one.

If you're in the park (or by the side of the highway) and are pretty sure that the tot is only going to make #1, then you can skip the bag altogether.  Double bonus - you can flip the legs out and it become a toilet-top potty seat.

I keep this in a Skip*Hop Saddlebag on the side of my double stroller just in case we need a potty at the park. 

Just like any potty chair it can be difficult from some kids to get used to a new potty.  I would recommend a daily in-home test drive for a week or two before you travel just to get everyone comfortable.