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I was excited to see this article from NPR posted on the page of my Friends over at GroupExPro titled “Stand up, Walk Around, Even for 20 minutes”

It builds on a few conversations I have been having both around the blogosphere and IRL (I had to throw in the “in real life” slang there, since I am soo geeky) about the difference between ‘Health’ and ‘Fitness’.

A fitness friend posed the question. “Are 15 minute workouts worth it?”

She received a slew of responses from “yes, as a busy mom, sometimes its all I can do” to “No, people are fooling themselves if they think 15 minutes do anything”

I freely admit that the former avid exerciser in me often will skip a workout if I can’t make it a long enough one. But the problem with that mentality, is that over the last 4 years, I have skipped more workouts than I have done…

I have had to change my attitude about what it means to be healthy and now fall firmly in the any-exercise-is-good-for-you camp.

I strongly suggest you go and read the NPR article, but here are my favorite points.


  • Research shows that people who stand up for every 20 minutes of sitting have a lower rate of diabetes than people who sit for the full workday.
  • Walking may be the single best exercise on the planet
  • Warm up prior to exercise, but don’t stretch, it sends a signal to your brain your muscles is about to be damaged. But warming up the tissue with a warm up IS important.
  • You can become healthy with much lower time and intensity of exercise than it takes to become fit
  • Chocolate milk is a great recovery drink!


Lets change our attitudes about what it means to be fit and lets focus on getting healthy!  Now, if you’ll excuse me…I am going for a walk!

One of my favorite mother’s day gifts


Mother’s day, Mother’s day….

Mother’s day was founded in 1914 by Anna Jarvis and by 1920, according to Wikipedia, she was already disappointed in its commercialism.  And I have to agree.  I feel like there is so much pressure on Mother’s day to get the right gift, send the right card, think of all the details, that is loses some of the meaning…to celebrate each families mother.

I think most moms agree, it doesn’t have to be big, it doesn’t have to be fancy.  We just want someone else to think about it!  (but one mommy friend pointed out, if you have newborn twins or 2 kids under 2….it needs to be big and fancy!)

I took a little poll of my mommy friends and the resounding request for Mother’s Day???  No surprise here….alone time!  I mean, we all love those little rugrats that gave us the title of MOM in the first place, but we spend ALOT of time with them already.  A few quiet moments (or a few hours) to collect your thoughts and drink an entire coffee while it is still hot…priceless.

Here are the other things that made the top 10 list of MOST WANTED MOTHERS DAY GIFTS

1.  Sleep in until 10am (with no one else in the house)

2.  Vanilla Latte (or hazelnut!)

3. Handmade Card

4. Mani/Pedi  and a trashy magazine (alone!)

5. Engraved “mothers” necklace

6. Flowers (never a wrong time for flowers!!)

7.  A family picnic (that dad organizes and packs for, after mom gets to sleep in and drink her coffee)

8. Kids Artwork (check out some ideas here)

9. Favorite take-out dinner (no negotiations)

10. Framed Favorite Family Snap Shot

What is your most wanted mother’s day gift? Is it on this list??

My (soon-to-be) two chatter boxes!


This morning, Rylan and I were sitting on the couch before anyone else was awake and she was playing with my iPhone.  She pressed the button long enough to prompt Siri, the phone’s ‘personal assistant’ to ask; “how can I help you?” to which Rylan replied with a growl.


Siri contemplated, her little purple line spinning around and she said, “I didn’t understand Rrrr”


It made me laugh.  That, Siri sure is whitty!  But it also made me think about Rylan’s language and word count at 14 months.  Which is pretty small…and not only does Siri not understand her, but really no one else does either.


I admit, I was a little worried that Rylan wasn’t speaking too many words yet, especially since the baby we share care with has a whole slew of words!  But then I remembered that our baby friend is 17 months and I thought back to Brady and his big language surge right around the same time.


Babies all start to talk at different rates with a big explosion between 18-24 months.  Also, I learned with Brady that the “word count” also includes gestures and sounds that mean specific things.


Rylan’s first word was “Dada”- its fitting since they are both wrapped around each other’s fingers.  And she has a handful of variations on Dada…to only the trained ear of her mother.  She says “didi”…which indicates a dog is walking towards us.  And she says the cutest version of thank you – “Dee doo”.  When ever you hand her something, she is so polite for 14 months!  I’ve heard her say “Agua”, thanks to her Spanish speaking nanny and “mama” has slipped out a few times.


One of the questions the Pediatrician asks at the 15-month well baby check up, is how many words the baby is using.  I remember panicking at 14 months with Brady that he only had 1, and by his actually check up, he had 6 words, 4 gestures and could identify a handful of body parts.


So just because I am the only one who can understand her now…I know she’ll be bossing Siri around in no time.





While out for a walk with the kids this morning, we saw another family out for a stroll!  Those babies were SO cute!

I am busy working on some really great updates to this site.  Can’t wait to reveal them!  Anything you’d like to see??

My view for the majority of my vacation…yes please!

I just returned from a lovely kid-free weekend with my husband. We had an amazing time. We pretty much ate, slept and lounged our way through two and a half delightful Southern California days. But we have also been on a major health kick for the past two months and we didn’t want to blow all our hard work. Here are a few things that help us enjoy ourselves and stay on task.

1. Have an eating/splurging plan– My husband and I would try to think ahead each day about how we wanted to enjoy our meals. We knew we want to have a nice dinner with wine to celebrate our anniversary one night, so we had hard boiled eggs and fruit for breakfast that morning. Then the day we did the buffet brunch, we had salads for dinner.

2. Pick Your Poison- Decide what is important to you, then eat that. While my husband was looking forward to poolside cocktail service, I was looking forward to being a little looser with my food. I stuck with water at breakfast and thoroughly enjoyed 3 pieces of bacon, where as he ordered a Bloody Mary, but skipped the breakfast meats.

3. Drink More Water- If you are on vacation chance are you; flew in an airplane, drove a long distance, you are eating richer, saltier food, drinking more alcohol and/or are in a different climate than you are used to. All of these are reasons to increase your water intake. (Plus, water helps you feel full and sated and may help you from over-eating)

4. Wear More Sunblock Than You (think you) Need– I was wearing 45, but it was my first time in the sun since last summer and I still got fried!

5. Pack Healthy Snacks– An apple, a healthy bar or some nuts pack easily and can take the edge off until you make that later-than-usual dinner reservation. Then you don’t inhale the whole bread basket when you sit down.

6. Fit In Fitness– We were on a (delightfully) kid-free vacation, so we were able to make it to the gym both mornings. But even if you have the little ones in toe, try to take the whole family for a walk, or trade off gym time with your spouse, or a few laps in the pool. Or make your fitness FUN, my husband must have climbed the stairs to the resort’s waterslide 25 times in a row…that’s better than the stair master any day!

Way more fun than the stair master!!

7. Don’t fall for peer pressure– If you don’t want another drink, don’t have one, even if other’s in your party are. Or if the waiter asks if you want a second basket of chips, you can say no.

8. ENJOY YOURSELF– Vacation is all about having fun, relaxing with the one’s you love and enjoying a change of pace. I came home feeling like I enjoyed the food, the drinks and the lounging around immensely and was still proud of the steps we took to stay on our healthy track. But remember, your vacation will end and you will get back to your routine. So if you order a Bloody Mary AND the bacon, you’ll be fine…just be sure to enjoy every vacation-y bite!

ENJOYING date night!

Eye-Hand coordination with hammering out side

We are surviving amazingly well on very little TV for the kiddos.  He still likes his morning cartoon.  I liken it to my morning cup of coffee, he’s not quite awake until he’s had an episode of Phinnes and Ferb, and I am really fine with that.

I cleaned Brady’s room yesterday (I’m convinced my child is a hoarder, but that is another post).  His clean, better-organized room opened up a new world of play opportunities.  He can now easily access more things, allowing more independent play and sparking more ideas other than “can I watch a cartoon?”  Last night after dinner, he built a marble ramp with dad and played two board games before bed.

I am still always looking for ideas and suggestions on things to do to keep my littles entertained, I came up with a list a while back.  But when I need new ideas, I am lucky that I never have to look further than Brady’s amazing preschool teacher and her lists of suggestions from her facebook page or articles she writes for our local mothers’ club newsletter.

Here are some of my Cookies N’ Dirt favorites:

  • Adult Sized Paintbrushes or Foam Roller Brushes: Give your child a bucket of water and send them outside to “paint”.
  • Birthday candles:  Let your little one to put them into play dough- you will be surprised how long they will play with these!

    Play Dough and Candles

  • Tongs and Cotton Balls. Have children move cotton balls from one bowl to another with the tongs. They can also tong tissue, plastic eggs, sponges…anything. This activity is great for hand eye and fine motor skills.
  • Baby soap or regular soap: Soap can be so much fun for children to pump out and play in! Use the dish tubs to set up a “baby bath” with a plastic doll, or a dino bath with plastic animals.
  • Potato Sprouting: Stick toothpicks in the side of an organic potato and put one end in water with the other sticking out. Watch your potato grow a plant.
  • Hammering: Go to a local hardware store and buy the smallest hammer you can find along with some protective goggles. Have your child do some hammering into an old piece of wood or stump. You can start the nail for smaller children and let older children do it themselves. This is great for hand eye coordination as well as cognitive development. Let them know the rules for safety before you start.

    Keeping busy and focused

  • Plant seeds:  lima beans and snap peas are the easiest!! Birdseed is also great.
  • Peel Eggs: Boil some brown eggs and let your little one work at peeling the shell off. It is good for children to struggle a little so don’t be too quick to step in. You can also get an egg slicer and let them slice when they are done peeling.

    Look at the concentration!

  • Color shaky bottles: Fill 4 used water bottles ¾ of the way full with water.  Add a few drops of food coloring to each bottle so that you have one of each color. Put glitter in one, beads in one, soap in one, and cooking oil in one. Now screw the cap on tight and tape the bottle tops. Let children shake and roll the bottles.
  • Fishing: Fill a plastic baby pool with water and plastic animals, fish or bugs. Give your child a net and let them “catch” the animals. If you don’t have a net use a colander or old baseball cap!

What are you favorite activities to keep your kids busy without TV, or what resources do you go to??

Listening to Cat In The Hat on CD in his fort

Day 2 of our modified National Turn Off Your TV week.  I offered Brady 20 minutes of TV before bed, as is his normal routine, and he chose to listen to his CD story of Cat In The Hat inside the fort he built for that purpose.  I guess we are doing ok at the “no TV” thing…maybe this will stick?

Glitter Glue Nails Instead of TV

This week is National Turn Off Your TV Week…or maybe it is next week. (A few different sources say different dates.) I posted on Facebook to see who was “in” for the challenge.
Fellow parents wondered if it meant all screen time; lapsers, iPods, youtube?
Was it just for kids or did it mean US too…I mean, who really can go without SMASH for a whole week??
I had long been thinking that Brady’s TV time had been creeping up over the last few months and I had been wanting to slim it back down.   So, I took this suggestion as a chance to re-examine how I use TV with my preschooler and was their some room for improvement.
This is not the first time I have written about TV and my kids.
And I have tried to cut his TV viewing back before too.
What I realized this time, is TV viewing is just like our health in other ways. We can have normally good eating or exercising habits, but then life sneaks up on you and all of a sudden you realize you are eating movie thither sized boxes of Junior Mints on a regular basis and skipping your morning workout to do laundry (or lets face it, sleep in).
I think every healthy habit needs a reset.  So I decide to take this week to reset our TV viewing.
So did I keep the TV off all day yesterday, day 1 of Turn Of Your TV Week??.
Did he watch 20 minutes in the morning while he woke up with his milk, instead of leaving the TV on all morning?
Did he protest when I said it was time to turn it off?
Did we get out playdoh and art supplies instead and did he entertain himself for at least 45 minutes while I got his sister down for a nap and did a little work?
Did he get one time-out for hitting me after I denied his request later that morning to turn the TV back on?
But we both recovered and we spent the rest of the day;

  • Building a ‘house’ out of boxes in the recycle bin (which he did at the table next to me while I worked)
  • Painting his toe nails with glitter glue
  • Playing Go Fish
  • Had a picnic lunch in the living room
  • He pretended to be a garbage man while collecting every scrap of garbage all over the house (score!)
  • Went to the library
  • Went to the grocery store
  • Had a rousing game of see how I can make my sister laugh while trying to ride in her stroller with her.

At the library, we checked out some books on CD. When it came time for quite time, he didn’t even ask to watch a cartoon first (as is his normal routine). He just went to his room to listen to his new cd. And when I went to check on him about 20 minutes later….asleep.
We’ll keep this up the rest of the week.  My husband is out of town next week and there is NO WAY I am going TV-free then without a co-parent to carry the load.
But I think both Brady and I realized we can survive with a lot less TV.

Now…my next challenge is getting the adults in the house to give up smart phones for a weekend. I’m not sure I could do it? Could You?

AH…nothin’ like a sleeping baby!  We have had a bit of a nap boycott in our house.  At 14 months, I know she is getting close to dropping her two nap a day routine, but I thought it was a bit too soon.  Most experts agree that between 15-18 months is a normal time frame to drop that second nap, and frankly I wasn’t ready to give it up yet!  So we pushed on through, trying to adjust her morning nap time a bit later and still convince her to take an afternoon nap.

We had about two weeks of her protesting at least one nap. Some days she’s refuse to go down in the morning, but still take a good afternoon nap, other days she’d take a long morning nap and protest the afternoon rest.  And on the darkest of days…she’d boycott BOTH naps…ARGH!!!!

But I persisted and just put her down twice a day, even if she just fussed in her crib for 45 minutes.   My husband managed to get her down twice on Saturday (I think sometimes a change in scenery helps) and she has taken two naps for me yesterday and today.

She may still be close to dropping that nap for good…and in some ways that will be fun too!  But right now, I am going to stretch out the two naps a day for as long as I can!!

What age did your baby drop the second nap??  Did you push it or just let it go?

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About Bump Life

Bump Life is a place to support moms and families across all aspects of our lives. A place for tips, expert advice, parenting resources and entertainment. A great place to come for information, support or just a break from our crazy lives. From fitness to finance, from diaper bags to diaper duty, for everything bump, babies and beyond, you'll find it all here at BUMP Life!