Winter, Motivation and the Urban Mom.

Well, that was a bad weekend for the diet! While I ate a bunch of healthy foods, I also ate too much bad. Frustrating, but today is a new day. At least I didn’t do a lot of sitting around the house this weekend. We took the opportunity to go to through all of the closets in the house (luckily we’d already gone through the majority of the storage unit) and throw away a bunch of junk. My little family lives in a 900 sq foot apartment. You would think that it would be difficult to cram so much stuff into our little space. Well, it’s not. We took out 8 bags of junk to the trash and a trunk-full of stuff to Goodwill. It does feel good to have that out of here. I’m glad I finally felt the motivation to do it…even if that motivation didn’t translate to sticking to my diet this weekend.

Today, I took the little guy to the zoo. It was over 30 degrees and he needed to get outside. I thought I’d explain why Fynn and I spend so much time at the zoo. I have two words for you: “urban mom.” I knew that when I decided to have a child in an apartment building on the East Side that it would be more difficult. Besides laundry and parking issues, we don’t have a backyard. During the summer, we have a little courtyard that Fynn and I can play in, but in the winter that courtyard is filled with snow that has been piled there by the plows. When he was really little and wanted to ride in the stroller, it was easy to take him for a walk. Now that he doesn’t want to sit in the stroller (good thing), but he also doesn’t want to hold my hand on the side walk (bad thing), and he has a tendency to dart towards the street (very bad thing). Walks on the sidewalk of Prospect Avenue aren’t really fun right now. I’m all nerves, I have a really bad back (so I can’t carry him when he gets tired), and I don’t want to bring the stroller because I need two hands to catch him before he runs into the street. It’s not as bad in the summer because I can hustle down to Brady Street Bridge and go to the lakefront and it’s easy. While on the trail, we only have to worry about crazy bicyclists who don’t really believe that walking pedestrians have the right of way. We do go to the park as well…even though he gets bored pretty quickly on the equipment and spends most of the time just looking for a good stick.

To combat cabin fever in the winter and summer, Nate and I have purchased yearly memberships at multiple places in town – Discovery World, Betty Brinn, the Art Museum, and the Zoo. We also go to Central Library quite often. What I love about the zoo is that once we’re on the grounds, I can just let him run and play. He doesn’t have to constantly hold my hand, we both get a lot of exercise, and I can let him direct where we should go. He gets to have a say, which he just loves. It’s funny to watch his route – through the Family Farm to see the cows and the ducks, up the hill to see the monkeys, to the fish and reptile house to see the alligators, down the hill to see the elephants and giraffes, around the bend to see the kangaroos, sheep and the polar bear. Then he hops in the stroller for a snack while I head over to see the big cats. Then we have to go back to the Family Farm so he can play with the little kids tractor and milk truck. When the train is running, we have to get a ride. It’s fun, safe and relaxing (most of the time). So there you have it.

Well, back to dieting. Have a great MLK Day!