Aquatoberpril (An Extended Water Drinking Challenge)

Don’t worry, I don’t know how to pronounce that blog post title either. It’s just a nod to the fact that my  “Aquatober” challenge – where I try to spend the entire month of October drinking water instead of soda and other sugary drinks – has extended itself all the way through April. Hence, Aquatoberpril.

In my original post about Aquatober I noted that I have varying success every year I try to detox myself (and my wallet) on all of the soda I consume (it’s my liquid vice of choice). Some years I don’t make it the full month. Some years I make it a bit further. Well, this time I’m still going strong some six months later – minus a milkshake I made myself the other day.

I don’t say this because I want a bunch of virtual pats on the back or expect someone to round the corner with a trophy. I mention it because it taught me something new this year. It was the first time I ever mentioned it to anyone beyond my immediate friends or family. And suddenly I felt much more compelled to stick to it. Something about declaring it to the blogosphere made me more committed than ever to not slip up and apparently to not give up – even once November rolled around. It wasn’t like I expected a public shaming if I opted for a Coke one night (heck, it’s not like you’d know) but the enthusiasm you guys showed for it in your comments was apparently a strong motivator to me.

It’s funny because there haven’t been lots of visible rewards for being soda free for six months. Sure, there are probably some extra dollars in my bank account from weeks of just ordering water at restaurants. My dentist might like me a smidge better. But overall I haven’t noticed my energy being way up, my skin being more lustrous or whatever and I certainly haven’t dropped weight (although the book tour might be to blame thanks to all the cupcakes). I think the main satisfaction I’ve gotten is the confidence that I can muster up some willpower when I need to. I can stick to something and I can create a new habit. So I wanted to thank you for your role in that, whether you realized you were helping or not.

Oh, and I’m totally not making any promises about giving up soda for good from here on out. We’re about to enter those hot and humid summer months where all my body wants is something cold and distinctly not water tasting. Anyways, what’s keeping you guys motivated these days? Or, if you’ve ever given up soda, did you notice any big differences from the experience?

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Knocking On Three’s Door

Clara’s just a few short weeks away from being 3. And despite being a far cry from the early lay-on-your-back infant days when this photo project started (like these), we couldn’t resist this shot of her dreamily staring up at the flowers, which almost seem to be floating down around her.

The funny thing is that getting this shot was anything but dreamy. Here’s how it went down (almost literally). She started off with a just-bloomed azalea in her hands. The ol’ spring theme was officially on overload.

It entertained her for a few shots. “Ooooh, pretty.”

And we actually almost called it a day when we got this shot of her politely sitting with it.

But we decided to charge forward. At this point Clara was over the flower, so we swapped it out for this felt heart beanbag instead. She LOVED it.

She desperately tried to get it to stick to her shirt.

Much to our surprise she was successful. Victory, right?

Think again. It fell off seconds later and when she couldn’t recreate the magic moment, it was all downhill from there. Even when we tried to show her it would stay on a non-vertical part of her body, like her shoulder. Nope. Not having it.

We were fully in the throws of a tantrum. When a bean bag doesn’t stick to your shirt the natural reaction is to throw yourself to the ground right?

But at least in the aftermath (once she had calmed down), we captured this quiet moment that looks pretty and has a quintessential story of toddlerhood behind it.

Ah, memories.

Psst- For more on this project (and how we add the week to her shirt using photoshop) click here.

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