Monday, August 30, 2010

BAB Project: Week 10 - SAB. O. TAGE.

There is nothing like feeling fancy about your weight-loss and then promptly eating a floppity-jillion calories in a week, all: Look at me! I can lose weight! I should probably polish off this Nutella and then have a date night with J in which I consume THREE alcoholic beverages and garlic bread and fried green tomatoes and pasta with seafood in a rich pesto sauce and espresso and almond cheesecake! I am sure this will help the pounds melt off!

Ugh. I want to bitch-slap myself.

On Monday, I weighed 153.2. If you are playinga along at home, that's a one-pound gain. This morning I weighed in at 151.6, but then after breakfast weighed 152.8 (damn you, Honey Nut Cheerios). So, in summary: still chubby. This week was a wash.

I've been thinking a lot about my relationship to food these days. Why do I eat more than I need? Why do I crave sugar? It struck me that food is one of the only remaining pleasures I have these days... that is, something just for me. I can't really drink much; even if I am dumping my milk, you can't be hammered when you're responsible for a tiny nugget. I can't flit off to the bookstore and luxuriate in the stacks for endless hours. I can't hop on a flight to Colorado, just because. I can't blare the radio in my car; when H and I roll about town, we're typically listening to the sound of a vaccuum on blast. I can't even just pop out to the mailbox anymore. Popping out - when J is at work - requires very careful planning around naptimes and nursing.

So what can I do? In the evenings, when H is sound asleep - gearing up to wake FOUR TIMES A NIGHT BUT THAT IS ANOTHER POST CHRIST ALMIGHTY - I can eat. I can smother Nutella on everything. I can polish off my trail mix and my strawberries and my dried mango slices, and then head back to the fridge for some frozen, chocolate-covered coconut milk bars.

It strikes me that this relationship has surreptitiously crossed into unhealthy terrain. Suddenly, food is like a no-good ex-flame, only texting me for late-night booty calls. It's really time to re-read my copy of He's Just Not That Into You and pump the brakes on this harmful new habit. Ya dig?

My mother came over on Monday afternoon, just returned from a three-week vacation in Florida. "You look good, Melis," she said to me, and my mother doesn't say anything she does not mean. "You've lost weight."

"I haven't," I said, rolling my eyes. "I'm still 15 pounds away from where I started, which isn't even my ideal weight."

"Well, I never got back to my pre-pregnancy weight after having you."


"Noooooooooooo," I moan. "I won't allow myself to not get back."

And the REAL work begins.

Half-marathon training began this week. Lord have mercy. I also tried the 30-Day Shred, which I found surprisingly easy. (Anyone can handle 3 minutes of abs, right?) I'm also trying to get out and walk with Hendrik as much as possible.

Determination, thy name is HomeValley.

Emmys Dis Lost, But Look at Me Liking Jimmy Fallon!

Admittedly, I am tearing up watching Modern Family accept the Emmy for Best Comedy Series. It's a seriously phenomenal show; and did you see Manny's outfit? That little man is sharp.

A few notes:

  • Stop nominating The Office, Academy. Let them work for it again, for JC's sake. This last season reeked.

  • I am sure Mad Men is a fantastic show. I bet it's smart, sexy, and cleverly-written. (I also bet it's extremely misogynistic, but I've never seen it, so I must withhold judgment.) And? This Jon Hamm person is incredibly rugged and handsome. But... how could you shun Lost, Academy? What did Damon and Carlton ever do to you? Has any show in the history of television garnered such a voracious and loyal fan-base? This is a show that seeped into the hearts and minds of viewers. It was stunning, and you did the actors (Matthew Fox, Terry O'Quinn, and Michael Emerson) a grave disservice. For shame.

  • Glee! And best opening for any awards show ever? Or was that just me? (I deduct points for Kate Gosselin's involvement. Sweet Jesus, that woman has no comedic chops. I wish Tina Fey would have sucker-punched her. Now that's funny!)

  • Betty White! A friend of a friend believes that with every Golden Girl passing, Betty just gets that much stronger. That woman is a force, y'all. I want to be that relevant at 88.

  • Ricky. Gervais.

  • I am done with True Blood, but Alexander Skarsgard is delicious. (And a Swede! This makes him my new boyfriend.)

  • I do love me some Jim Parsons. Bazinga. J and I are forever trying to convince people to watch The Big Bang Theory. I don't know anyone who does, but it is certainly a great time.

Did y'all watch? Thoughts? Anyone want to consider writing a pilot with me? I think we should be there next year. If Kate Gosselin gets to go? I want in.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Let Me See That Hendrik Roll

This child is a rollin' fool, y'all. He also decided two weeks ago that he will only sleep for 2 - 3 hour stretches through the night, which just goes to show you: never boast about your son's superior sleeping habits. The sleep gods will smite you.

So herezzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.

So here is a video of mah little nugget rolling over. He is very nimble and athletic. And his mama is very high-pitched about milestones, so please to turn down your volume.



Monday, August 23, 2010

BAB Project: Week 9 - Schwimmer and Me.

This week I had a sex dream about David Schwimmer.

I don't know. I have no excuse for this.

And really - we didn't get too far. I was actually Jennifer Aniston in the dream, and Schwim and I were dating in real life. The reason I disclose this at all is because we were about to get at it, when Schwim took off his shirt to reveal spectacularly-sculpted washboard abs.

"Whoa!" I exclaimed, as Jennifer Aniston. "Dave - how did you get that body?"

To which David Schwimmer replied: "I cut out sugar."

Methinks this is quite possibly the most boring "sex" dream of all time. (Though I am eyeing Ross appreciatively on TBS since. Meow!)

Yep, I am obsessed with fitness, but that didn't stop me from ordering a rootbeer float yesterday at brunch. (For real: how good does that sound right now?)
This morning I weighed 152.2! I've lost 6.2 pounds so far. Still not eating any meat (save fish), and changes I've noticed in two weeks? My skin looks better. I can't directly correlate this with our new diet (I have been using Lumene night cream for a few weeks now), but my skin is clearer and noticeably less red and ruddy. To wit: I didn't use foundation on Friday, and I wasn't horrifying to gaze upon. So there you go.

I've been slowly easing back into running, but let me tell you, it's a grueling slog around the hills of Manayunk. The humidity is unpleasant, and the fifteen extra pounds on my frame likely add to my discomfort.

But I'm out there. At least I'm getting out there.

I invested in some new workout gear from Target. I only had two sports bras that fit, and I figured I could use a few more to avoid having to wash every other day.

The real athlete in the family though? Hendrik, who learned how to roll over from back to tummy this week, and now does it all the DAMN time. With the milestones, buddy!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

BAB Project: Week 8 - We Don't Eat No Meat.

This week, HV is weighing in at a blistering 153 pounds! I've lost 5.4 L-Bs to date.

And I've got some goals now, people. Hear me out.
  1. Must be in the 140s by September 4th. This means I must lose at least 3.1 pounds by that date. Burrito-free for 17 days. The sacrifices I make.
  2. Must begin half-marathon training. To that end, I shall bore you all with weekly progress updates. The half is scheduled for November 21st. I know an adorably chubby blogger who has a looonnngg way to go.
  4. Continue new vegetarianism. For us, it works.
  5. Drink more water.

Cutting out poultry, pig, and cow has been a complete non-issue for J and me, which strengthens our conviction that we actually didn't eat a lot of meat, and can essentially take it or leave it. Further strengthening my resolve? I watched Food Inc. this week. YOWZA. (Aside: Netflix streaming video is the greatest invention since Netflix. Get on this, kids.)

So our meals consists of lots of fish and tofu and pasta and salad and beans. As I write this, I'm polishing off last night's leftovers (turbot, asparagus, and curry cous-cous). It hasn't been a challenge to plan meals yet, and I don't foresee it will be. There are many vegetarian and seafood options out there we haven't explored yet. (Tonight, for instance, I am making falafel.)

I took H for a long walk/jog this morning at Wissahickon Park. I do my best thinking when I'm exercising, and I do my best exercising when I am outside. Hendrik also loves his stroller; so I've got a wonderful work-out buddy these days. I feel like I've got my weight under control, and now I am just looking forward to the sweet day when I can fit into my jeans again.

Inside the Brain Of HomeValley. Be Afraid.

I think you all may be incredulous to learn how much mental energy I actually expend on this blog, as my most brilliant and hilarious posts rarely get published here. They’re mostly written in my mind; when Hendrik and I are strolling about town, or when I’m driving in the car. I make lists in my Evita journal about interesting topics as well, but they’ve often got a short shelf-life and soon become irrelevant, and there is always a load of cloth diapers that needs to be put in the washer, or taken out of the dryer, for that matter. (I really cannot stress enough how much I really, really miss procrastinating.)

I worry about site traffic, and followers. I worry about comments received and comments given. I fret about popularity and grammatical errors. I ponder fresh ideas – is this too personal? Not personal enough? Will this topic resonate? Is this funny? Am I funny? Have I lost the will to be funny? (Man, I was funny in 2008. You should totally read those archives.)

I compare myself to other bloggers. Constantly. I berate myself when a fellow writer’s post resonates, or if she makes me laugh aloud: damn, that’s good. I'll think. Why didn’t I come up with that?

And Twitter. Man, fuck Twitter. The pressure on that bitch is suffocating. Okay, I’ll begin. I’ve got 140 characters to share something funny. And in my mind?


(I also worry about the crickets.)

It occurred to me on Monday night that all of this? The constant BARRAGE of WORRY?

Unhealthy. And Unnecessary.

Because frankly, not that many of you are reading.

I don’t want to sound ungrateful. I cherish each and every man and woman that comes to this site, whether you visit every day, several times a day, or bi-annually. This is my corner of the Interwebs, and the fact that you are reading it? Brilliant. I thank you for that. Let's make out.

What I mean is… this is a really small corner of the Interwebs. Yet somehow, QITNM takes up MASSIVE residence in mah brain. And let me tell you: I do NOT have that much brain capacity to begin with. Plus, I think I am actually getting dumber by the day. Motherhood and vodka will do that a girl.

(Oh, and I am totally rebelling and am all – fuck you, blog! I will end a sentence with a preposition if I feel like it; and I REFUSE to feel bad about that too.)

I suppose what I am saying is just this: I need a little distance. Mental distance. I don’t want to shut down the blog. I don’t even want to stop posting regularly.

What I want is freedom from anxiety. My blog is making me anxious. It’s giving me the stink-eye from across the bar, silently judging every grammatically-incorrect sentence I type. It’s wondering where the funny is, and whispering that maybe I’ve lost it…

Or maybe that’s just me.

To sum up - rather anticlimactically, since none of you bitches are actually inside this brain (spoiler alert? Images of burritos, So You Think You Can Dance, and toned thighs abound) - I am giving myself permission to just write for moi. No more pressure. No more posturing.

I’ll just write what I know, and I hope you’ll like it. Hell, I hope you comment all day long, but I am no longer going to hit publish and wait anxiously for a windfall of comments. I’ve been waiting for that windfall for four years, and still it eludes me.

I’m just going to write openly, honestly; and attempt to fill my brain with other pursuits, like a half-marathon; a new career path; a Masters; and a beautiful family that could use a little more mental energy expended on actually writing grocery lists instead of forgetting the parmesan cheese EVERY DAMN TIME, and maybe sweeping the porch every once in a while.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Three Months Later

I blinked, and you were three months old.

This morning, you indulged me. You let me cradle you in my arms like a tiny baby (unheard of for months), and sing to you. (You really enjoy the Growing Pains theme, btw.)

We've come a long way, the three of us. The first time you spit up? I cried, then made Dad call the pediatrician because I was too shaken to speak. Then, I remembered that I had given you red-colored vitamins earlier that day, and you probably weren't spitting up blood.

Still, that's when I realized it.

I am going to worry about you - every day - for the rest of my life.

You should know that upfront. And, like I always remind you as we bounce along, singing songs and talking about your new world: please, just call me once a week when you are in college. Because I will be at home, with your dad, worrying.

Just... remember that.

Other things? You're hilarious, child. You won't go down in history as an "easy" baby, but that's why we like you, kid. If I had to predict your personality, based on traits you've already exhibited?

Strong-willed. Enthusiastic. Passionate. Inquisitive. Energetic. Excitable. Adventurous. Angry if you are not fed IMMEDIATELY.
How can I begrudge you these qualities? They are us.

J + HV = You.

Your eyes are exquisite - big as saucers and blue as the ocean, before BP. They dance when you smile and gurgle and coo. Your hair is dirty blonde, and thankfully you get more of it every day. Your brown mullet is still prominent. Your toes are your dad's. Everything else seems to be an interesting combination of the two of us. One moment you giggle and look exactly like me; the next, you furrow your brow and you are the spitting image of your father. You're a chameleon, little lord. And possibly a loner, Dottie. A rebel.

It is fantastic to see you learning, making sense of this place. You can grab things! You can roll over! You can gnaw on your fists and drowl with the best of them! (I am betting you'll have a tooth between four and five months.) You sing with me, and you have totally already said "mommy" and "I love you," but for some reason, no one believes your dad and me when we tell them this. Go figure.

Parenting is exhausting, man. We never eat a meal together anymore, as one of us is typically bouncing you. We don't get out alone anymore; we barely sit, ever.

But? This is precisely what we signed up for. The three of us. A team. An unstoppable rebel force. Every day with you is a gift, and we can't wait for the firsts yet to come: our first real vacation; your first foray into Manhattan. Your first words; your first steps; the first time you hug us and say "I love you."

We love you, H. More than we could have ever imagined. Happy birthday, sweet boy.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Things I Threw Away Today

J and I cleaned out my office today. Oh and cleaning? No easy feat with the Snooze Face. (Public Service Announcement to the Childless: You are not busy. You have never been busy. Please, don't think me an asshole. Just consider yourself warned. Now pour yourself a goddamn glass of chardonnay and get your ass on that couch. Watch Mad Men, for the love of Lionel. Just do it now, because if you ever have a child, YOU WILL NEVER SIT ON YOUR COUCH AGAIN. Love, HV )

(Oh, and True Blood sucks. Just take my word on that.)


Where was I?

A list, for my tired-of-jiggling-fussy-babies-and-shushing-them-loudly-in-their-ears soul.

Things I Threw Away Today, by HomeValley:
  1. Photos of kids who played orphans in our sophomore year production of Annie. Seriously, who the fuck were these kids? Why did I take so many useless pictures of them? Also? They are between ages 20 and 25 now. I hate those fucking kids.
  2. All of the letters from my senior year spiritual retreat. After about the fifth letter by some lovely girl I didn't remember, I tossed them. (Though not before reading a cheerful and succinct note from my algebra dance buddy. Shout out, Sarah K!)
  3. My old cell phones, after I stared at them in disbelief like Wha? I can't receive email on you? You are from the Stone Age, phones. Alas, one ancient Verizon flip-phone contained dirty text messages from J and a floppity jillion photos of Jesse Malin shows, plus J and me on our adventures in Manhattan and Queens. And then I was all Wha? J and I used to do it, and go to late-night underground rock shows? Again, I beseech you, childless people: get laid, attend concerts, and for God's sake - GET ON THAT COUCH.
  4. Floppy. Disks.
  5. 73889 playbills, though it pained me to do it. But J yelled at me when I threw the Titanic book in the save pile. And he's right, you know. That show had some balls having all those poor drowning third class folks singing about how they couldn't wait to make it to America.
  6. A lone cigarette in a burgundy pack from Italy. (But I totally need this! I whined to J. No, J said. You're a grown-up. You don't need to save smokes from your 1998 trip to Rome. DON'T I?!?!)
  7. A flyer from senior year of college in which - as Resident Assistant - I asked my homies to write me their "elevator horror stories" to make a case for repair to Resident Life. Then I remembered that people were always almost dying in our elevators, which what the fuck, Pace University?
  8. A flyer from a TKE frat party that claimed to be "the HOTEST party of the SEMSTER." Ahahahaha. Adorable, TKE.
  9. A note from my first grade teacher to my mother, claiming I was often "distracting" in class, not paying attention and scribbling notes during lessons. Shut up, First Grade Teacher.

Lessons learned? I am completely and utterly sentimental, and kind of a pack-rat. But as J reminded me: we're moving forward now.


Tuesday, August 10, 2010

BAB Project: Week 7 - Fluctuation Nation.

Evening, chickens!

Where in the world has I been? H and I have been all over the place: the Jersey shore, Georgetown, and Clarksburg, MD. We're just such social butterflies these days - today we took a trip to dad's office for lunch, in which H wooed all the ladies - I haven't had a moment to write.

Don't worry though: I still find time to eat. (Modo Mio, I'm lookin' at you.)

So weight-wise, I stepped on the scale yesterday morning, and I weighed 153.8. Cheers! After a hearty dinner of whole wheat pasta and a tofu-zucchini-onion tomato sauce, I weighed 158.4. You might remember that weight from such numbers as THE BEGINNING OF THIS MOTHER EFFIN' PROJECT HOLY CHRIST.

The scale is lower today, but... dudes, I gots no idea.

Here's what's new this week:
  • J and I are vegetarians this month, except for fish. I'll let you know how that goes.

  • I registered for the Philly Half-Marathon. This means I better start training right quick.

  • I am deep in the world of Fidelity investments and Roth IRAs and rollovers and conversions. It has nothing to do with weight loss, but it blows just the same.

  • It's hot as hell in Philadelphia. I am THIS CLOSE to updating my Facebook status to reflect this fact. You know it must be serious.

  • Still on the fence with Twitter. It hurts my heart.

More tomorrow, loves.

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

BAB Project Week 6 - I Totally Have 2 Week Fours. Meh.

First, what you are all really clamoring to hear about: MouseWatch 2010.



We've caught six of those motherfuckers. I am in denial that so many could have been actually living here; we live in a row home, and J and I think they are just gallivanting from home to home, cheeky little buggers. Each day, I hope and pray this horror will cease, that someday I shall be able to remove the yellow post-it note, and run the dishwasher again. (The detergent is under the sick. Blast!)

The silver lining is that they really can't get to our food, which is stashed in the higher cabinets. They seem to reside only under the sink and the drawer below the oven, which is REALLY a shame for the organic banana-walnut muffins I baked and devoured last week using a muffin tin housed BELOW THE OVEN.

Mmm... mouse turd muffins. Delish!

Oh! Before this rodent assault, J moved the toaster from a high cabinet to the lazy susan cabinet located between the sink and the oven. J is under the false impression that I will use this toaster EVER AGAIN IN LIFE.

Mmm... mouse hair English muffins!

Okay, this post is revolting. Apologies.

Moving on, I've lost a grand total of: .2 pounds this week! (Lo: I am stressed.) I am down 4.2 pounds in 6 weeks (the first post was actually the start of week one, blahbleenoonecares), and I'm okay with that. My BMI is currently 24.1, which is good. But according to Self magazine, a BMI between 18.5 and 22.9 means you may be 2.5 times more likely to age free of disease. So sign me up.

This week, I am going to register for the Philly Half-Marathon. I've been trying to run again, but it's difficult in this heat, and I loathe running on the treadmill. But hardcore training for the race will begin in a few weeks, and I am confident that the fitness boost will finally get my weight in check and I will see consistent results.

In the meantime, I am embracing my temporary curves. It's actually quite fun to shop in my own closet (I haven't seen these things in a year(s)), and make the larger-sized pieces work together. It is also fun to color-coordinate with H:

Preparing mah boy for a career in fashion, I also make him sit in his chair and help me sort through my closet. Sometimes he giggles, but lots of things are so tight on me he has to spit-up in distaste.

The one thing I really need help with is crushing my sugar addiction. Any advice - or clever sugar substitutes - for a mama?