Archive for ‘parenting’

January 5, 2011

Shampooing Everyday Is Not Necessary

I shampoo every other day and I’m fine. But lately, I’m going three days between shampoos. Recent studies — okay, a handful of my friends at Happy Hour — have told me that they no longer shampoo every day.

One of my BFFs, let’s call her Grace, and I had the same therapist, let’s call her, June. June has gorgeous long wavy hair. June always looks fabulous in that pulled-together yet slightly-harried-Upper-West-Side-Mom kind of way. June told Grace that she has used no poo for years. My ex-therapist has not shampooed her hair in years and she is a great therapist (okay, I know, totally unrelated!). (If you’ve ever wondered What the heck do people talk about in their therapy sessions? Now you have an inkling —  ‘to shampoo or not to shampoo? That is the question.’ Yes, there are bigger issues to discuss in therapy, but who am I to judge? I’m blogging about going no poo.)

‘No poo’ is a  movement for a more natural cleanliness and a snub to corporate conglomerates who have drummed it into our smelly heads that shampooing daily is essential. It is not. It is better, especially in the winter, to go a few days.

My daughters can go a week between shampoos and they always look fabulous in that pulled-together yet slightly-harried-Upper-West-Side-Kid kind of way.

Grace said her stylist recommended that if she really must shampoo her hair, only shampoo the roots and condition the ends. I have not tried that. But one of my daughters tried it and reported it worked well. When I tucked her in that night and kissed her head, she still smelled delicious as always.

The smell of my kids’ heads releases my happy pheromones.

August 30, 2010

What we talk about

I walked with the girls to the actors’ housing today (because our beloved Sarah Hankins had just moved in). We walked through our beloved neighbor’s property to get there.

The girls and I chatted, held hands, talked about them getting braces and going into Middle School. I love running with my son and my girlfriends, it’s true. And I love walking with my daughters too.

I love the ease of conversation when you run or walk. It’s very high quality sharing time with kids.

I don’t really know why. It’s not that what we share is so deep. I think it has something to do with not being interrupted by phone calls or responsibilities. When we talk at home, there’s always dinner to cook, homework to do, cleaning to be done.

The tasks when you are in your home are sisyphean. (I love using that word!) But the talking on a walk meanders.


August 22, 2010

An Homage to Breastfeeding

Let’s say you’re like me – someone who looks for joy.

I cannot let August slip away without mentioning the joy I felt breastfeeding. This is National Breastfeeding Month, as I am occasionally reminded by some mother I follow on Twitter.

Breastfeeding not only feels awesomely good for the mother, because you’re so close to such a warm, loving body, but the bliss on the baby’s face – that Milk Dud look – means that the little one is enjoying the bonding too. Physically we are just wired to love the feeling.

I am not a fanatic. I nursed my boy for seven month and my twin girls for a year. (We were moving a lot that year, from NYC to the Adirondacks to San Francisco back to NYC and I wanted to give the girls something they could count on – a warm breast! Plus, it was much easier to pack my boobs than a bunch of bottles!)

I encourage every pregnant woman who is considering breastfeeding to please, please, please, do it. You won’t regret it.

Yes, it might be hard at first for a newborn to figure out the latching on reflex.

So, I relied on professionals to validate me. When I had just given birth and was still at the hospital those first couple of days, every time a nurse walked by, I would call out, “Hey, am I doing this right?” I would nod at the little guy at my breast.

“Yes,” she’d usually say. But if she said, “No, it looks like he’s fallen asleep,” then I’d learn how to break the hold and latch him on again. Having another woman affirm my ability made me feel confident.

I also want to say that I think the whole nipple confusion worry is overblown. Every day I nursed the girls and not only did they get mother’s milk, but they also got at least one bottle of formula. They never refused nipple or bottle. They were just happy to be fed.

I hated pumping. I felt very, very embarrassed from the first time I ever tried it and never got the hang of it. I did not want anyone to see me doing it. (Although I could care less if anyone saw me breastfeeding.) I  felt like a cow hooked up to an automatic milking device. I wanted my little warm calf snuggled up to me, not a plastic funnel sucking up to me.

Breastfeeding so rocks. It is so good. It is so nice. I loved it. And I miss it. At the time and now ten years later, I’m so glad I did it.

Yes, this blog is about usually about fitness and running, but it’s also about health. By running, I am searching for a natural high. In breastfeeding, I found it. (Oxytocin is the feel-good hormone of breastfeeding.)

July 27, 2010


Dan doesn’t get mad if he misses a shot or double-faults. With the same mess-up, Hayden has thrown his racket and cursed himself. I fall somewhere in between. I like to blurt out, “Bastard,” in a quiet, English accent when I miss a shot. I did note when playing last night that my blurting out, “Bastard!” is ironic, given that I am playing against my own son.

Still, “Bastard!” Hayden really does have a nice little drop shot that he inherited from his dad. And what do I have? I have tenacity. The more I play, the better I get. Dan is really good overall. I think he’s taking a class in Zen Tennis. He has the mind game and the real game down. He’s unflappable, consistent.

There is something totally satisfying about the Thwack of hitting a ball. Something very healing about whacking at a ball flying through space. The sound, the feel, the shudder. I am not great at golf or softball, other thwacking-type sports. I just like being outdoors. And as I’ve mentioned on this blog, I love the bonding of playing sports, doing yoga, or running with friends. Only the camaraderie of Happy Hour comes close.

A few of my work friends and I occasionally find a cheap place for Happy Hour beers on payday. I like that part of work — the socializing part after work. (Okay, I also like the socializing part AT work.) But working out with friends is really, really fun.

You learn a lot about people playing against (or with) them in sports. The biggest surprise? How good the IT people are at tennis — Fred and Cynthia, for example — are really athletic. And you don’t always equate computer nerd with jock.

Becoming a grown-up teaches you that people are not simply the high school labels we might impose upon them. People are complex. It shows through in their game.

March 7, 2010

so psyched

I ran 16 minutes without stopping this morning.

I saw a Red-Tailed hawk near the playground at 83rd in Riverside Park — the River Run Park. I had to stop running to take a picture of him (why is it a him? Why not a her?)

The day was so warm and I had been trailing this father and teenage daughter. He was sort of racewalking. Yes, that’s how slow I am — I run as fast as an old man racewalking.

I don’t care. At least I got out there.

I have to admit I was inspired last night to run today. I read the girls “The Berenstain Bears and Too Much Junk Food.” Sometimes I think the Berenstain Bears are so sexist. Why is Dad always the buffoon and mother so wise, as she darns his socks or whatever? But then again, there is a lot you can learn from children’s literature. If you’re open to the message and you can overlook the household gender stereotypes.

January 7, 2010

Horizontal and No TV

1/1/10 A vacay that is mostly horizontal is very nice. I had planned yesterday to walk the length of the beach as I had with Joanna on that first (or was it second?) morning in Akumal. But inertia sets in.

Instead, I lay at the pool, arguing with my brother in law about why my little family could not blow up our TV, as he advised. When raising their boys, Jeff and E did not have a television.

I said, “Chris and I both work or worked in television. It’s disingenuous to give it up.”

“That’s like, if your mother worked in a brothel, you shouldn’t keep your kids from working in a brothel,” Jeff argued. I don’t think TV’s as bad as a brothel.

My kids sat on our lounge chairs piping in, “But what about Glee? If we gave up TV, we’d have to give up Glee and American Idol.” But the kids were much more on board with the idea of “No Television” than I would have thought. They’re more on board with it than I am.

Hayden listed all of his friends whom he plays sports with outdoors.

Catherine agreed with Jeff — we should take the television out to the field in front of Skenewood and simply shoot the TV. Charlotte just stared at the surf.

January 7, 2010

Apples to Apples: Who’s Competitive

I talked to Joanna, her mom, and her sister about my four blogs, while we played Apples to Apples at the Snack Bar. Joanna and I agreed we’re going to do a 5K in 2010. The waves were still lapping (like at night, they don’t have to roll like that, no one is watching, but still, the waves do their thing.)

I played Apples to Apples, oh, about 10 times on this vacay. My advice is to throw down the Barbara Walters card for any category – Sophisticated, Scary, Funny. She’s really a great multi-purpose celebrity.

Last night, young Chris and I almost came to blows. We both thought we had the winning card. The adjective was American. So, Chris threw down Bald Eagle. I threw down watermelon. Unfortunately, someone else (Jeremy?) threw down John Glenn. And you can see where this is going. Ernestine picked John Glenn. Okay, he is American. It was E’s prerogative to pick the answer she thought was best. But Bald Eagle is not necessarily more American than watermelon, nor is John Glenn.

I simply cannot believe I am not the best player at Apples to Apples. I am so good with words and so good at reading people. I lost every single time I played. I am not as good as I think. Not really.