Mom Code

Yesterday I was out for an early birthday lunch and while standing with my co-worker waiting for our food, I noticed a mom with two little boys. They were adorable and I felt a pang of guilt as I waited for my food, kid-free and not harried. I felt guilty that I wasn’t home with my own kids. 

The oldest little boy was around 2 and somehow kicked off his Snoopy shoe. Without even thinking twice, I ran over to help him. His mom was carrying the other boy on her chest and I remember far too well how impossible it is to lean down to help your other child while wearing a baby. I told the little boy to sit down and then put his shoe back on. The mother thanked me and I went back to waiting for my food.

The whole thing took less than 30 seconds but my co-worker was surprised at my actions. “Is that some sort of mom code?” he asked. “I saw the little boy lose his shoe but it never would have dawned on me to help.” 

And it never would have dawned on me not to. 

I’ve never thought of it that way – that there’s a mom code and in helping each other, even strangers, we are acknowledging that we’re all in it together. It makes me wish there were other invisible signals we could send each other – to the depressed person, the grieving person, the anxious person, the nervous person – that would say “please help me today. I don’t know how to say it out loud, but I could really use a hand.”

Just like mom code, but for other things, too. 

So if you’re reading this and need help today, I’m here. Send me a signal, whatever signal you’d like. 

5 Times I Wish I Could Speak Baby

  1. While changing diapers. It’s not like we haven’t done it before, kid. Do you want to go to sleep with a dirty diaper? No. Stop kicking me. 
  2. While traveling in a double stroller. Please stop kicking your brother. Please stop yelling. Please stop. I thought walks were supposed to put you to sleep. 
  3. While dining in a restaurant. No, you don’t need all the crayons. Share them with your brother. Share at least one. If you share one for two minutes you can have chocolate milk. 
  4. While traveling in the car. You threw all of the toys I gave you 20 seconds ago onto the floor and I can’t retrieve them while driving. Please stop screaming. Please stop eating your brother’s toe. 
  5. While eating breakfast. I cannot make pancakes, fill a bottle, pour cereal and heat up breakfast links at the same time. Here, have some chocolate chips. Peace and quiet for 30 seconds while Mommy drinks her coffee is worth the impending sugar high. 

Heavy Boobs? Never Fear, Title Nine is Here

If you’re anything like me when it comes to bra shopping, you go to the nearest TJ Maxx or Ross, try on a bunch of different sizes and then buy the cheapest bra that “fits”. I’m here to tell you that you don’t have to suffer boob spillage from the top of your bra, uncomfortable straps digging in to your shoulders, or any discomfort at all. The caveat? You need to get fitted for a bra that actually fits your body.

I had the opportunity to visit the Title Nine Portland store for a sport bra fitting, and you too can get a personalized bra fitting during Title Nine’s Fit Fest on Wednesday, June 1, or Thursday, June 2. RSVP here.

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Marvel Bra

The first bra I tried on was the Marvel, which I wanted to really like, but the band didn’t fit well. If you’re looking for a supportive sports bra with underwire, this is a great option. Just make sure you try it on before buying, because as much as I wanted to love this bra, I didn’t love the fit.  I did the jump up and down test, and can promise that your boobs will barely move in this bra. If you’re a runner, this would be a great option.

I also tried on the 2-in-1 Adjustable Sports Bra, and almost ended up taking this one home. This is the perfect bra to wear all day at work, and then go directly to a workout. My only complaint is that it doesn’t come in any fun patterns.

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2-in-1 Adjustable Sports Bra

The third bra I tried on was the 7 Wonders – at first I hated this bra because it was difficult to get into, but it turned out I just needed a different size. After trying on the correct size, I immediately decided this bra had to come home with me. It was comfortable, very supportive, and when I do run, my boobs won’t bounce. I also love that it comes in fun patterns.

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7 Wonders

The also ended up loving the Tech Athena bra. It’s not as supportive as the 7 Wonders, but if I’m just going on a walk with my family, this is the bra I would wear. If I planned to run, it wouldn’t provide the support I need, but it’s super comfortable and the type of bra you could wear all day when you’re lounging at home or running errands.

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Tech Athena

I also tried on the Last Resort – I promise you that your boobs will not move in this bra, no matter what size you are. It’s ugly and hard to get into, but you will not move an inch. Since I’m not a marathon runner, or much of a runner at all (yet), I didn’t see the need for something so…restrictive. The Aero bra was one of the last bras I tried on, and while it was comfortable, the only color in store was a boring beige color and I felt like I was wearing a grandma bra. The woman helping me said the Aero bra is a favorite with large chested women, but I liked the Tech Athena and 7 Wonders better.

So, now that you’ve heard about my experience, don’t you want to try on a bunch of bras for yourself? I promise it’s fun, and the bra fitters (bravangelists!) are patient, kind, and non-judgmental. If you visit Title Nine during Fit Fest, I’d love to hear about your experience. Go try on a bra and enter to win one by tweeting at me (@hazzeltoz) using @TitleNine and #T9FitFest in your tweet. (Open to US residents only. Giveaway ends June 3.)

Fine Print: I received 1 (one) complimentary bra from Title Nine during the preview event of the upcoming FitFest at the Portland location. 




Three Weeks & 171,331 Steps Later

I bought a FitBit Alta for myself for Mother’s Day, and three weeks later, I can say it was the best gift I could have given myself. If you work at a desk job and/or live a mostly sedentary lifestyle, a fitness tracker is the perfect motivation to get up and get moving.

I’m super Type A, so the ability to track my steps with a little tap on the wristband of the Alta is a great way to check my progress throughout the day. I also have reminders set from 10am to 4pm to remind me to get up a move (at least 250 steps) every hour.

The Alta also tracks sleep patterns, and I’ve been astonished to see how restless I am at night. Maybe that explains why I’m tired all the time?!? I’m going to ask my doctor about it at my next appointment.

The Alta is slim like a watch and the wristband comes in different colors. When I bought the Alta on Amazon, they were running  a special where if you purchased the black Alta, you got an additional purple or blue wristband for free. I haven’t actually switched out the black wristband for the purple, but I like having that option. I won a Jawbone Up a few years ago and wore that faithfully for a while, but the band was bulky and because I sit at a computer most of the day, the Jawbone Up made typing uncomfortable. I don’t have any of that discomfort wearing the Alta.

I’ve also set the Alta to receive text and call notifications if my phone’s bluetooth is on and within range of the Alta. It’s nice to just glance at my wrist to see who is calling or texting without pulling my phone out of my purse or pocket. I don’t keep the bluetooth on all the time as I’ve found it drains my phone battery, but it’s a nice feature. Speaking of battery life, the Alta’s battery life is long. I only charge it every 4-5 days.

The great thing about FitBit is that you don’t have to have a fitness tracker to use the app, and the app provides a lot of information about your activity and provides opportunities to challenge your other friends who own a FitBit or have the FitBit app installed on their phone. The gamification aspect is actually quite motivating.

I highly recommend the FitBit Alta. While I originally wanted an Apple Watch, I “settled” for the Alta and have been really happy with my purchase. I realized that the Apple Watch would have provided too much distraction with all the possible apps to interact with, whereas the FitBit Alta provides just enough information. It’s like reading an ebook on my iPhone – I get way too distracted by the other apps to read for very long.

If you have a FitBit, let me know and I’ll add you as a friend. We can keep adding steps together.

You Can’t Do Everything & That’s Okay

Another day, another doctor. That’s life with chronic pain. But today’s visit with a new doctor changed my life. 

She can’t know how her words affected me, but after asking about my job and commute and family obligations, she said something so simple and so obvious: “you are burning the candle at both ends. You need to give yourself permission to not do everything.”

But I’m trying to lose weight and take care of my kids and do my job and spend time with my husband…

“I think you look good just the way you are.”

Mind blown. 

Every time I go to a doctor’s appointment I wait for the lecture about my weight. And it’s never happened. But this doctor knew exactly what to say to make it click for me. It’s not about the numbers on the scale, but about how healthy I am both physically and mentally,  and I cannot expect myself to be healthy emotionally if I keep beating myself up over the numbers of the scale. I exercise. I eat healthfully, most of the time. I’m trying to make time for myself. 

And I need to stop and acknowledge that I can’t do everything and that’s okay. Right now, I don’t read. I listen to podcasts and music on my long commute instead of books. And that’s okay. My house isn’t spotless and sometimes the boys have cereal for both breakfast and dinner. And that’s okay. I will never iron my clothes or organize my underwear drawer. And that’s okay. 

Dinner can wait. Breathe in, breathe out. Rock your baby longer, smell the last hint of baby in his hair. 

Dinner can wait. Breathe in, breathe out. 

You Can’t Make This Stuff Up

Future President talks nonstop on the way home, and usually I nod or ask questions, but tonight I didn’t have any words in response to his bold proclamation:  “You know who my favorite mommy or daddy is? Daddy. He plays Playmobil with me, he sings to me, he does everything with me. Well, mostly everything.”

I couldn’t think of a response that was neither rude or shocked, so I said nothing. A few seconds later, he pipes up: “Well, this is awkward.”

You don’t say. 

One Day as a SAHM

Called in sick today because my whole family has a stomach virus, the same one I had last week. I guess you can call me “typhoid Mari.” 

This meant that while my kids were mostly on the mend after puking earlier in the week, both grandmas were down with the bug. So today I had the hardest job in the world: SAHM. I’m not kidding. Staying home with kids is no joke. 

So we didn’t stay home all day: we were at Costco before it opened. And here’s a secret – they usually open the doors before the advertised opening, sometimes as much as 15 minutes before. And when your kids wake up at 6, you can make it to Starbucks, Costco and Target and fit in a couple loads of laundry, all before 11. 

When I am home, I feel compelled to do housework, so I washed sheets, vacuumed and cleaned bathrooms. We bought a birthday present and card for a party more than a week away and went to swimming lessons. A lot was accomplished, including breaking up more than one fight over the same two cars that both kids insist on playing with, even though there are a bazillion more all over the older one’s bedroom floor. 

I also ate way more than I usually do during a work day, consumed more caffeine than I normally do and managed to spend way more than planned at both Costco and Target. It’s a good thing I’m not home during the week on a regular basis or we’d be broke and I’d be overdosing on fish crackers. 

To all my SAHM friends, I salute you!