Bad news: Jelly Bean has croup. (A virus characterized by a nasty cough that kind of sounds like a seal barking. Which my boys found hilarious. Which made Jelly Bean upset. Which made her cough harder.)
Good news: She got a dose of steroids at the pediatrician’s this morning and she’s like a new kid. Modern medicine really is a miracle. (Except that she’s ravenous. I’ve never seen her eat like this! It’s kind of funny – she just ate 4 pretzel buns, one after the other, only stopping to tell me, “these is the bestest food I’ve ever had!!”)
Tired news: But that meant that I spent most of last night awake – holding her upright, rocking her, taking her in a steamy bathroom and then out into the cold night air. (The hot/cold thing is supposed to help open their airways – I learned it from Anne of Green Gables. And the pediatrician also recommended it.) And then watching her fitfully sleep just in case she, you know, stopped breathing. Thankfully she’s fine now but I didn’t sleep at all and now I’m a walking zombie.
Hey kids! Do you like number crunching? Manipulating other people like marionettes? Watching people do intimate things when they think they’re alone and recording them? And then telling the whole world about it? If so, then human research is the job for you! But seriously, this new crop of health research is all about what people do in the dark and if you’ve ever wanted to try out being a professional creeper then you’re going to love this. Although, just FYI, the “intimate things” I’m referring to are eating, sleeping and excreting.
(Is this a good time to tell you that there is already video of me using the bathroom floating around out there? In college my best friends worked at a gas station who was managed by a guy who thought it would be awesome to hide a camera in the ladies’ restroom and film us all doing our duty, er, doody. The only reason we ever found out was ’cause he started showing it to people and got arrested. If that’s not reason enough to bring back aprons as a fashion statement, I don’t know what is!)
Google “funny sleeping baby” – it will make your whole day, I promise!
People have been talking about it for decades but it officially became A Thing when Oprah declared (Dear Oprah, I miss you already!) on her show that for her Best Life Diet she was no longer eating after 8 p.m. I scoffed. “Doesn’t she know that a calorie is a calorie no matter what time of day you eat it?” It turns out that Oprah was right and I was wrong. (She was also right about white jeans making a comeback.) As I got older and little deeper into this whole weight management thing – two rounds of eating disorder therapy plus a year with Geneen Roth yammering in your head will really make you examine every facet of your eating habits – I realized that what Oprah had said holds true for me too. (Still not buying any white jeans though.)
Sleep is great. Not only does it feel awesome but it helps you burn fat better, strengthens your immune system, makes you smarter, lessens depression and helps avoid unfortunate decision making. (I may or may not have eaten about 20 mini candy bars pilfered from my childrens’ Halloween stashes after a recent sleepless night, ahem). Exercise is also fantastic. It ups your metabolism, gives you greater energy, helps your mood, and ameliorates the stress incurred from any unfortunate decisions you have recently made. (The Almond Joys might have been really really good. Not that I’m admitting anything – that’s between me and the calorie counter on the treadmill.) A lack of either sleep or exercise brings down a host of evils upon your head that I won’t detail as we all know it is magazines’ jobs to scare us silly but suffice it to say it all comes back to You Could Die. Consequently, one of the questions you hear the most bandied about in fitness circles – and one I think is answered the worst – is about how to balance sleeping and exercise in a time-crunched world.
Exercise is often touted as the antidote to everything from depression to insomnia. “Take a brisk 10-minute walk on your lunch break and power through that glass ceiling!” magazines often advise (note to mags: What does one do about the sweat on one’s power suit? Because I’m not changing into my Lululemon and nikes for 10 minutes.) But what if it works against you? Gym buddy Allison made an interesting observation on the stretching mats (a.k.a. the mats of ill repute) the other day as we navigated the damp spots of other people’s bodily fluids in order to find a dry spot to leave ours on.