Finger Foods & Exercise

V and I have a playgroup on Mondays. It’s a chance for me to get out of the house and meet more moms. V is too young to care much about socializing with the other babies, but we’re hoping all the kids will grow up together. It also gets me a chance to see where the other babies are at.

I’m quickly realizing that V seems behind on foods. There’s one mom who cooks all her own baby food and cuts it up into microscopic bits for her daughter. Others just give their babies whatever. Most are already on some form of finger foods. V is one of the younger babies in the group at seven months; the eldest is a year but we have several nine and ten month babies. After taking an infant CPR class I’m terrified that V will choke on something. I was afraid she’d choke on baby cereal her first time. Most of the other moms said they were the same way, and at some point you just have to go for it. This particular playgroup also had snacks, so I decided to be daring and gave V a cracker and a piece of cheese. She loved it! After the playgroup I immediately headed to the store to buy more crackers and other foods she could hold.

I should mention that we’ve also hit a snag in my food making foray. Remember how I caved in and bought some store food? Well V loves it. All three flavors. I don’t know if it’s because the food is smoother or because it’s a mixture of different flavors but she eats it willingly each time. I can’t say the same for the food I make. 😦

One of the moms in my playgroup recently started a hiking group. It sounded pretty insane. Who’d want to push a stroller around and up hills in the heat. That’s crazy talk! However, it became apparent at yesterday’s playgroup that most of the moms were involved in this as well. Desperate for another excuse to leave the house now that our library reading group is over, I asked for information.

I should say that I hate exercise. I know it’s a stereotype that gamers never get out and exercise but this is far from true. My last GM was a runner. My current off tank plays hockey. One of my old healers frequently hit the gym before every raid. Just because my husband and I are lumps doesn’t mean that most gamers are.

Anyway, I’m really, really out of shape. I own an elliptical machine that never gets used. It’s too big to fit in the livingroom so it’s in the sunroom. The problem is that this room has no insulation; in the winter it’s freezing and in the summer it’s sweltering. I’ve been trying to do a bit of walking with V and the dogs, but that usually just involves walking to the dog park (like a block away) and sitting in the grass until V wants to leave. I’ve also been trying to eat right more often. Before I met my husband I was a decent weight. Since then I’ve gained 60 pounds or so. We eat like shit. He loves cooking and fast food and it’s hard to stay on a diet when you’re partner doesn’t generally eat the same things you do. I haven’t started calorie counting yet but I have been trying to eat healthier. If V is going to be stealing things off my plate I want them to be healthy.

My typical lunch these days: sandwich, strawberries, Sun Chips, sweet peas and Crystal Lite. Sometimes I cut out the chips.

The idea of a hike was daunting. When I picture hiking, I picture my mom and step dad packing all their camping gear and hiking miles and miles to some faraway campsite. I picture 50 lb packs and carrying your own water. I picture narrow trails uphill (the whole way) in the hot sun. Doing this with a baby in tow didn’t sound appealing. Still, I needed the exercise and another excuse to get out of the house. I packed our lunches and we headed out.

There were seven moms total. Four had jogging strollers and two had some sort of baby carrying backpack. I had my baby Bjorn. I was also the only one in shorts and a tank top; everyone else was in sweats. At least I had sunglasses. It became apparent really fast that I’d underdressed both myself and V. Thank goodness I didn’t go with my original idea to put her in a romper. At least had pants and socks on. I had one really thin “sweater” in the car that I ended up putting on backwards so I could drape it over the two of us. As I got warm from hiking I just draped it over V. The chill really set in once we stopped to picnic. The breeze was blowing and I was pretty chilly. I kept throwing a blanket over V but she protested that she’d rather have her hands free.

Amazingly, astoundingly, I had fun. I could keep up (one of my main worries was that I’d lag super far behind) and hold a conversation while walking (another worry). The terrain was flat most of the way with just a few inclines. The drive alone to get to the place was gorgeous, but the view in the park was just as spectacular. There was a lake, boats, rolling green hills and wildflowers. V and I walked a total of 2.8 miles. It was totally worth it, and made me miss all the more those times camping, fishing or canoeing with family while growing up. I mentally made plans to come back here with one of my dogs (only one, the other would get too carsick en route) and my husband. Perhaps my mom could bring a couple boats up next time she came to visit.

Yes, sign me up for the hiking club. I’m in.

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