bribery charts

Bug and I are charting. (Not that kind of charting. More the put-up-a-chart-on-the-fridge-and-track-your-progress- towards-a-goal kind of chart.) Bribery schmibery—whatever works is my policy these days. Charts worked pretty well for potty-training so I’m trying them out for brushing teeth and exercise. Teeth-brushing for Bug and exercise for me. We both seem to struggle in these areas and it is entirely my fault.

We’ve been so lax with Bug and brushing her teeth which is horrible, I know! It’s just that we have hard teeth in our family and I know she will probably inherit that trait. I’m not worried about her teeth rotting away. I’ve never had a cavity in my entire life and I think Toby only has a few. Gum disease maybe, but our teeth will last forever. But that’s no excuse to let Bug grow up without healthy habits so we are working on it.

whatever works

Bug gets a star every time she brushes her teeth and after seven stars she gets a treat. I probably will have to move it up to more than seven stars but we’re setting our goals low to start out. Her treats will be a trip to our favorite yogurt store or a surprise (which I have yet to determine but I’m thinking something special like a trip to a new park or a picnic).

Does this count for two stars?

So far it’s working really well. The after-meal torture has turned into a new fun game. And no, she can’t get two stars for brushing with two toothbrushes.

I've shot this view a thousand times

So far the chart is working really well for me too. We got up early and took a long run/walk/jog to a nearby beach. Too bad there was a milkshake stand at the end of that particular jaunt which completely defeated my purpose for the exercise in the first place but we’re taking baby steps.

If anybody wants a chart too, email me and maybe I’ll make it available via pdf.

Charts for YOU!

Bug’s Toothbrushing Chart

SAJ’s Exercise Chart

and a bonus:

Bug’s Potty-training Chart

(Though, uh…your guess is as good as mine as to how to use it. We just filled up the rows for whatever day we were on with stars and then got candy when a row was filled up. It doesn’t make sense if you’re super anal but it worked for us.)

Doing “The Shred”

doing "the shred"

Obviously, I am a big ol’ lemming. My friends twittered about the Twilight Series books so I had to go borrow the first book and read it in two days. Then these same friends twittered about how amazing Jillian Michael’s 30 Day Shred work out was so I had to go and see what that was all about too.

In my defense it is free on Cable On Demand so it’s not like I’m throwing money away to satisfy my need to follow others blindly. And of course we had the doughnuts the other day and I had to do something other than sit on the couch and eat bonbons. This is my version of rehab.

Usually, I like to take a run/walk to the beach when I’m feeling in need of some exercise but do you know what it is like trying to get a toddler to go along with that every morning? She is the worst work-out partner ever. I ask her if she wants to go for a stroller ride to the beach and she says no, she’d rather make pancakes and watch tv.

No wonder moms are forever complaining about putting on weight. It’s like you have to put your vanity on the back burner while you cook up yummy delicious things that your kids never eat. And then you feel compelled to eat those yummy delicious things because nobody else is eating them and it would be such a terrible waste to just throw them in the trash can. I cannot win!

The Shred seemed like a good idea. It’s free, it’s on cable, it’s only thirty minutes long. How badly can that go? I can do it quickly in the morning and shut up my conscience for the rest of the day. Easy peasy right?


Here’s a window to my morning:

I don’t have any weights right now so I’m using soup cans out of my pantry. I know they don’t weigh enough but they seem to do the trick. My arms say they are working just fine. I use a can of pink tomato soup and a can of peaches. Baby Bug uses two cans of tomato paste. They are just her size. But then she wants my pink can and the next thing I know I’m rummaging through my pantry and Jillian is not waiting for me to catch up. I know I could pause the show but I never think of that.

When the cans are sorted out and we’re moving on to crunches then Baby Bug wants to lay on top of me while I try to lift my chin towards my knees. Extra resistance is good I suppose but her extra resistance is frankly getting a little tiring. As it is I need to do the modified “easy” version of Jillian’s workout and that version does not include a ton of bricks on my abs. I’m gonna be ripped if we keep this up.

Then there is Baby Bug’s running commentary about what I should be eating while I’m working out.

“Do you want some fishy crackers, Mommy?” she says, holding out her bowl to me.

“No, sweetie. I’m exercising right now. I’m not hungry.”

“But Mommy you ARE hungry. Eat a cracker.”

“No. I’m not.”

“Mommy, can you say yes?”

“No, Baby. I can’t say yes right now. I’m exercising.”

“Mommy, do you want some gummy bears? They’re really yummy.”


“How about some ice cream, Mommy? Some ice cream would be really good.”

Repeat repeat repeat until I flip out and do something really stupid like throw her bowl of fish crackers across the room and then fall on the floor sobbing because really, I do want a cracker. I would love to have a cracker. There is nothing I would like better than to sit around watching tv and eating crackers and ice cream and gummy bears all morning. Waaaah waaah waaaah!

Don’t worry. I didn’t really flip out or throw anything. I wanted to but I didn’t. I muddled my way through to the end of The Shred with Baby Bug hanging off me half the time. It was far from a perfect work out but it was better than nothing. I know I won’t lose 20 pounds in 30 days but I figure every little bit helps. If nothing else it helps get Baby Bug used to the idea that working out is healthy and there are lots of different ways you can do it.