Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Week Two - Surprised to Not be Perfectly Thin Yet.

Made it through Week 1, and there are still things I need to tweak. Overall, though, I am pleased with my resolve. I've started eating salads for lunch instead of delicious organic pot pies and pizzas, which should help a bit, no? I also avoided chocolate and candy, but I did notice troublesome sugar intake elsewhere, like my lattes, strawberry preserves, and the two fruit drinks I gulped at Arts Fest because they were just ridiculously good.
Here goes:
Starting weight: 158.2

Current Weight: 157.8 (Amazing, right? I am just pleased the scale is moving in the right direction.)

Total L-Bs lost: .4! Boo yeah!

Number of gym visits this week: 3

Other physical activity: 3 walks with Hendrik in the punishing heat

Most triumphant moment this week: I reached last week's goal and avoided all chocolate and candy! And that spa pedicure was sweet, y'all.

Most soul-crushing moment this week: Not dropping 10 pounds. Looks like this is going to be challenging, huh?

What's motivating me this week: A very fit fellow mama, who told me in no uncertain terms recently that staying fit and losing weight after kids? Is hard. But she does it with will power, and by tossing those chocolate chip cookies I voraciously devour. Sometimes you just need to hear there is no magic bullet.

Things that would make Jillian Michaels weep this week: Grande decaf non-fat caramel macchiato. All those empty calories! Fail, HV. Fail.

This week's mini-goal: 4 gym visits, and one two-mile run.

This week's reward: Will finally put that Sephora gift card to good use.
At this rate I will be bikini-ready next summer. Hooray!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

They Call it The J.

I really, really LIKE my husband.

Yesterday was a bad day. Hendrik was UNHAPPY. Nothing I did was working. I felt like a bad mother, which I know is melodramatic. He's a babe. I can't read his mind. I just want to be able to comfort him when his screams escalate to epic proportions, his tears flowing and his yellow eye goop oozing angrily.

J came home with a giant bouquet of lilies, and a proposition: let's get out of this house.

It sounds a bit counterintuitive, what with a SCREAMING child and all, but Hendrik always comes through in the clutch. He remained quiet and content on the way to the restaurant, lost his shit in the car once we parked, nursed, and was placid for the next 45 minutes, allowing us to enjoy our meal. It's like he knows how far he can go.

As we settled into the car for the ride home, J burst out into song:

"They call it the J!" Then: "Why am I singing the Frasier theme?"

Suddenly, a duet: "Oh baby I hear the blues are callin' tossed salad and scrambled eggs!"

Then, giggling, because the baby's screaming has sent us over the edge, and what the fuck does the Frasier theme song MEAN?

"But I don't know what to do with this tossed salad and scrambled eggs! They call it the J."

It was just enough flowers, turkey sandwiches on foccacia, and theme-song singin' to revitalize a mama.

Thanks, babe.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Body After Baby - The Inaugural Post

Supporting his mama with adorableness.

So lo and behold - I write about my desire to get back into shape, and look what I find on Sarah's blog! The gods, they are smiling.

So this is my inaugural post, in which I tell you that my goal is to drop 25 pounds (Yep, I've tacked on a few extra for good measure) by October 1.

And hey! I went back to the gym this past weekend, only to find out I'd mysteriously been kicked out of my Healthy Lifestyles program (inactivity?), and that yep, I'm out of shape. Whilst on the elliptical on Saturday, I had imaginary conversations with Jillian Michaels in my head to keep me motivated.

HomeValley: I can't do it!

Jillian: YES YOU CAN! Do you wanna be fat forever? Do you WANT to lose this baby weight or NOT?!?

HV: Yes... But I can't go on, Jillian! It's too hard!


HV: Yes!


HV: YEEESSSS! *breaks down into heaving sobs*

JM: *softly* Why is this so hard? Why is it so difficult for you to give up the chocolate chip cookies?

Obviously, I need to develop a better playlist.

So here goes... On Sunday, I banished chocolate and processed sugar from my diet. So far, so good, including when J remembered his secret pregnancy stash of Snickers bars for moi, and devoured that satisfying conglomeration of chocolate, nuts, and caramel in front of me.

I suppose this is how we'll track this:

Starting weight: 158.2

Current Weight: Talk to you in a week!

Total L-Bs lost: 24 since H was born. So that's cool. Unfortunately, we're starting here at 0.

Number of gym visits this week: 2, thus far

Other physical activity: 1 walk with Hendrik, thus far

Most triumphant moment this week: Snickers avoidance, y'all.

Most soul-crushing moment this week: SNICKERS. YUM.

What's motivating me this week: My son. Putting healthful things into my body, drinking more water, and avoiding sugar mean Hendrik reaps the breast milk benefits. Also? A shopping trip to Kohl's. The jeans I purchased are two sizes bigger than normal, and holy hell FLORESCENT LIGHTS. Jiggly bits.

Things that would make Jillian Michaels weep this week: All of the chocolate and sugar I ate on Saturday in preparation for Sunday's start date. And I enjoyed every calorie-laden morsel.

This week's mini-goal: No chocolate, no candy. Really, really challenging for me.

This week's reward: A trip to the nail salon.

Let's DO THIS!

Friday, June 18, 2010

DENIAL: Thy Name is HomeValley.

A medium? She CRAZY!

On Sunday we ran errands, which is always interesting with our little buddy. (Now, all errands generally involve a diaper blow-out, because I think Hendrik just enjoys effing with his parents.)

J waited in the car with the babe whilst I ran into Target. I had only a few items to pick up:

  • a digital scale

  • a one-piece swimsuit

  • a cover-up, Jesus Christ cellulite jiggly bits

We needed a scale, as our old-school Ikea one was falling apart, and desperately inaccurate. I figured it would help me get back on track, and bonus: we can weigh the boy, which helps with my piece of mind.

I am not sure why I needed the suit. I was thinking I was going to finally swim in the pool at the gym. Honestly? I am frightened of the pool at the gym. I mean, I am just not a very strong swimmer (I have no form), and there are typically a lot of elderly people wearing swim caps in that pool. Also, I haven't been to the gym in five months. Still. I have plans, people.

I grabbed a MEDIUM, non-descript, brown one-piece, made sure it was returnable, and brought it home to try on (there is no time to try on a swimsuit with a 4 week-old infant pooping in the car). Also, Target lets you return bathing suits. Gross, Target.

Dudes: I grabbed a MEDIUM. The size I mostly wore pre-pregnancy. When I was about 22 pounds lighter.

Stuffed sausage, party of one.

"Oh," I mumbled to J as I waddled into the bathroom to get a good look at my form. "I guess it will be awhile before I wear this, huh?"

"Why did you buy that? Because you are a mom now, you need to wear a one-piece?"

(Aside: maybe. I mean, because I am a mom now, I understand reverse mullets, y'all. They must be damn convenient. I have blown dry my hair once since May 15th.)

"No, J! I had to buy it on account of my pooch!"

Oh, my pooch.

I mean, I know I gained a ridiculous amount of weight during my pregnancy. I am thankful to be down 23 pounds or so. Alas! Would that this pooch would just melt away on its own! Then I could continue to eat copious amounts of chocolate chip cookies and pizza and cheeseburgers, and have my old flat belly and wear pencil skirts. I need to wear pencil skirts! What about the PENCIL SKIRTS?!?


Apparently, I think I can carry around an extra 22 L-Bs and still maintain my old size. I also believe that my pre-prego jeans should fit, as I torture myself by trying them on periodically. They don't make it past my KNEES! Gah!


I am going to have to get serious, for the love of Bob Harper. My problem? I am not sure how to this whilst breastfeeding. My initial inclination is to cut out chocolate (which is also a win for my gassy, reflux-y offspring), and processed sugars. To stick with fruits, veggies, and whole grains.

Easier said than done when you're caring for a tiny infant, and all you want to do is eat all of the M&Ms. (Crap - what did I do with those M&Ms?)

And so we begin, folks. I am saying this: in two months time, I would like to be down at least 16 pounds. I feel like 2 pounds per week is realistic for nursing, though I know I can't do any major calorie-restriction, I can amp up my diet and haul my ass to the gym.

Also? I need to buy some new pants. I can't live in maternity jeans for the next 2 months. It's uncivilized. I am sure I will hyperventilate when I learn my new non-pregnant size, but thems the breaks. Hendrik is well-worth the body woes, y'know?

(Oh, here's a charming little anecdote to start your weekend. Last Saturday, J and I got all dressed up and took Hendrik to dinner on Main Street. I was wearing this dress, and I asked J, "So, how pregnant do I look now?" He gave me the once-over, and said, "Well, you didn't start showing until month 4... so I'd say... Like, 25 weeks pregnant?" Me at 25 weeks pregnant. LORD.)

Thursday, June 17, 2010

One Month

One month old today, and already a little world-weary.
Back to the doc's today, this time we left with a prescription for Zantac. Hendrik is over this reflux. Eff you, reflux. Leave mah precious belly alone.
Me? I am having one of those days. The woe-is-my-mushy-pooch-formerly-known-as-my-abdomen days. I've been googling "how to lose weight while breastfeeding" and feeling just a bit low. Meanwhile, I am trying to remember to stay in the moment... It seems I am always fighting to temper my anxiety, and to stop imagining every single thing that could possibly go wrong. I'm concerned about the future of my career, and what lies in store professionally.
Also? I am trying to cut out sugar. What am I: Superwoman?
My boy? At one month, he is glorious. He is growing (nine pounds, 5.8 ounces this morning, up from nine pounds 1.4 ounces on Monday)... He is focusing. He loves music (very partial to Jack Johnson and our wedding CD), the outdoors, and moving, whether he's swinging, driving, or strolling around the Yunk in his ginormous Bob Revolution. Oh, he LOVES his nursery. The orange wall soothes him. He's also fascinated by the lion we created, affectionately dubbed Lionel Richie.
Dislikes? Diaper changes, the end of feedings, and when Dad lectures Mom about cleaning and organization. (True story.)
Most nights we look at him, and still can't believe he came from us. Or that 32 days have gone by.
Happy one-month birthday, Hendrik. We adore you, son.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Stenosis Schmenosis

Totally zen about this whole thing. Calm down Mama OMG.
We're currently keeping my little nugget upright, at a 45-degree angle, post-feeding. Child has got some issues. He's been spitting up quite a bit, almost to the point of projectile vomiting Exorcist-style. Yesterday, I called the pediatrician and I brought him in for a weight check and a once-over, figuring he was dealing with Saturday's choco-chip cookie overdose.

After a few hours of Internet research, I was ill-prepared for the potential diagnosis. Have you dudes ever heard of "pyloric stenosis?"

Within a few minutes of examining him, the ped gave me the 411 on PS. She then said though she didn't feel the "olive" in his belly, she'd like him to get an ultrasound. At the children's hospital. Immediately.

Oh, and if he does have this condition? He'll need surgery. Immediately.

Um, to reiterate, I took my kid in for spit-up. I was told he might need surgery within hours?

Imagine how composed I was, sitting in the office there, feeding my screaming, starving baby. We were both sobbing. The ped gave me a hug, and told me that H could have no liquids after 12 PM. I finished up his feeding in the exam room, composed myself, and hurried to the car to call J.

At which point I lost my shit again.

J came home and we cuddled a pleasant, satiated Snoozer. We then packed about 17 bags for the trip to the hospital, just in case. (Clothes, breast pump, toiletries, magazines, etc.)

I prayed all the way there, whilst examining my child for signs of this mysterious condition.

"Does he look yellow to you? He looks a little yellow to me."

"Stop," J said.

Hendrik was a champion during his ultrasound. He whined a bit at first, but then seemed to think Meh and went back to sleep. Within a few moments, we were told that the results were negative. I could have wept with joy. We were elated.

And so we still have a spit-up issue, though it is lessening. The doc thinks it was possibly a little bit of a stomach bug, perhaps combined with reflux, so if you are coming within 20 feet of my child? PLEASE WASH YOUR HANDS. I mean, please wash your hands within 20 feet of any small infant and toddler. If I am ever around your baby, I will make a big show of washing my hands and slathering on the organic hand sanitizer, because dude. Nobody needs projectile-vomiting infants getting ultrasounds of their tiny bellies up in here.

Friday, June 11, 2010


I'm having trouble writing Hendrik's birth story. The words get jumbled and I can't seem to get coherent thoughts on paper. It's still a work in progress, I s'pose. To distract you, some delightful tidbits:

  • Fucking soft spots. I am TERRIFIED of soft spots. The other night, Hendrik's head was dented. Seriously! And it was also kind of pulsating. So I did what any new mother would do: I burst into tears, nudged J - who was sleeping placidly next to me in bed - and wailed that our son was brain-damaged - I have RUINED him! And J looked at him and said: "He's fine." By the next morning, H's skull had regenerated and healed itself with Ninja-like prowess. Fucking soft spots.

  • Michael Jackson won the Ninja Baby Pool. That's... er... creepy.

  • I have discovered the secret to my own happy marriage is keeping the kitchen sink empty. There is nothing that will piss my husband off more than when he needs to use the sink for a manly-man task, and my dishes are piled there, "soaking." I told J my brilliant theory the other day, and he stared at me, bemused. "Sure, but maybe you could expand the cleaning a little bit?" Quite.

  • Pretty sure the raccoon is long gone. The pest guys need to come and remove the expulsion trap and close up the hole. They canceled on me Wednesday (due to weather) and then last night they showed up at 5:30 PM. They said it would take them about an hour and a half to do the job, which for these dudes I estimated to mean about six hours. I told them it wasn't a good time, and blamed H. Because you can do that when you have babies.

A raccoon tryin' to come into MY house? Not on my watch, Mama.

Wednesday, June 09, 2010


Every day is a little bit different.

J's back to work, and so Hendrik and I are adjusting to our new life together, sans dad. On Monday, we went grocery shopping and bought stamps at the Post Office. Yesterday, we went for a long walk, enjoying the gorgeous weather together. We stopped at CVS, and even made it to the coffee shop for a quick decaf latte. I picked up Self and Women's Health magazines, and wondered (via Facebook), if it might be possible to lose 20 pounds by the Fourth of July? (Oh, I have already lost 25 pounds. I'll let you dudes do the math there. And let's never mention it again, mmmkay?)

Hendrik is just over three weeks old. Just when I think I know his patterns, he confounds me again. He is gaining weight steadily, and his cheeks are getting ever so slightly chubbier. He loves light; put him in front of a window, or step out onto the porch, and he is mesmorized. His tiny mouth forms an O, and his eyes get very wide. They sometimes cross when he is really attempting to focus.

He also loves to be in motion. He screams when we attempt to strap him into his car seat, but as soon as he is moving, he settles down.
Oh, and much to our delight, he adores his orange wall. He lights up when he's in his nursery, and he stares at the wall in wonderment.

He's got amazing head and neck control. He is also a champion "rooter." If he is ever so slightly hungry when I lay him on my chest, he lifts his head and bobs it ferociously up and down, eventually finding his way to a breast. He's no slouch, my kid.

Tummy time really pisses him off. He prefers to be on his back. He spits up about 78636 times a day. Just this week, he has decided that he would like to eat, thankyouverymuch, Lady with the boobs. And eat. Even if it takes six hours and two bottles of pumped breast milk. I fear he has inherited his parents' appetites.

We call him Snoozer, although we're making a conscience effort to say his name more. (Occasionally, we'll refer to him as Ninj.) He had the great misfortune of being born when the MacGruber movie was coming out; so he gets "Macgruber!" shouted at him a lot, or often: "McSnoozer!"
He has this face, too. He does it when he's waking, and sometimes when he is milk-drunk and settling down to sleep. He tilts his head back, scrunches his tiny brow, purses his lips, and stretches his arms out to his sides. It seriously makes us melt and guffaw at the same time.
Yes, we'll keep him. Even if he frustrates his mama with his insatiable appetite, or pees and poops and spits up on his father within a span of 3 minutes when he arrives home from work. He only needs to make the Snoozer face. He owns us.

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Oh Em Gee ClusterFEEDING.

Hey, y'all.

Very little time to chat, as this child is permanently attached to my jubblies.

I am hoping to finish the birth story this week.

To distract you from my sorry blogging of late:

Perhaps he wants out of this laundry basket his parents have cruelly placed him in? Or perhaps he has heard too much of the Glee soundtrack this week and is channeling Lea Michele?

You decide.

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Labor, In Painstaking Detail. Please to Enjoy. Part 1.

You'll have to forgive me this painfully-detailed account, but I don't want to forget a minute of it.

On Saturday, May 15th, J and I planned a DAY. You know: breakfast at our favorite spot; a walk on the Wissahickon Trail; a quiet afternoon spent sunning ourselves and reading in the backyard; and finally a romantic date on Main Street.

"This could be our last weekend," I said happily to my husband over a bacon-and-egg omelette that morning. "But really? I don't think it is. I think we have at least two more weekends."


On the trail, we ran into another very pregnant mama. "We've got the same idea," she yelled to me. "Walking these babies out!"

I wonder if her walk was as effective.

At home, I spent some cherished hours with my beloved Kindle, reading a book of short stories. My mom called.

"We've got a nice little Saturday planned," I told her. "It could be our last weekend, you know. Not that I think it is... I have no signs of labor. None. I'm going to be pregnant until June. Cheers."


We eventually showered and dressed, and I felt pleased with my pregnant form. I waddled down to Main Street on my husband's arm, and we ended up at the Italian place. I ordered an NA Coors. We talked. It was lovely.

When we arrived home, we sank into our respective couches and watched the making of Planet Earth. We were engrossed in the filming of the snow leopard chase (never before filmed, y'all), when I started to feel... something.


"I'm feeling crampy," I announced to J. "It's probably nothing."

As the night wore on, however, it got increasingly uncomfortable. But I was totally handling it. Am labor champ! We went to sleep. Occasionally, a cramp would wake me. At 1 AM, I had to pee.

And here is where it gets interesting. Because I peed. I was done peeing. I stood up and flushed. I washed my hands. I walked towards the bathroom door, when suddenly -


I mean, not a torrential downpour, but a gush of fluid coming from me, tinged pink, on the floor. (Hey male readers!)

I started to tremble.

And much to my delight, I got to TV sitcom-it into the bedroom, and say:

"Babe - I think my water just broke. It's TIME." (Fantastic, right?!)

(HA! HA. Meh.)