I blame the baby

How I rationalized eating the cookie that I'm eating after writing this blog post

Every month I lose five-ish pounds and every month I put them back on (perhaps you are familiar with this cycle) and I am beginning to think, "You know? Maybe this is just how it's gonna BE." 

And really, is that so bad? Can I just stop comparing myself to the Me of 2009 because 2013 Me is a HECKUVA lot different.

  • I have three children on three different schedules. 
  • I am on a hefty dose of crazy pills. 
  • I moved and if I want to run in my new neighborhood I have to run HILLS.
  • I'm older. 
  • I'm much more fond of naps.
  • I am no longer super amazed by my ability to lose weight. It is no longer novel. It doesn't feel like an exciting challenge. It feels like TORTURE.
  • It's impossible for me to work out at the same time every day so it never feels routine.
  • Chocolate feels WAY better than skinny. 

I tell myself, "Girl? You're still thirty pounds and two sizes smaller than you were when you got married." And that helps. Pre-kids me would have laughed herself silly at the idea that post-kids me could run three miles in a row, without stopping, and without a basketball coach chasing after her and screaming about conditioning. I mean, not all is lost. 

Anyway. I'm just trying not to berate myself too much. Could I have more will power? More motivation? Could I do better? YES. Would my life be more awesome if I had those things? I'm not so sure. Napping suddenly holds premium value. Rest is a new requirement in my life. I feel super lame saying that, but DUDES. I'm TIRED. 

I can already tell that things are going to get simpler. The kids have something like seven weeks left of school. After that? I decide the summer schedule. We can go to the Y every single stupid morning if I decree it so. And when school starts again I'm going to have five days a week where I drop the big kids at 8;45 and pick them up at 3. I could have a routine again. It is entirely possible. Even LIKELY.

But these last two years, with the kids going different places at different times, with the baby who only recently started reliably sleeping through the night, with the husband who was traveling, with the always always tired... maybe it really isn't so bad that I am where I am. Right? MAYBE it's amazing that I'm even this CLOSE! No? Too much? All right, whatever, I'm going to bed.



Let me just put my head down here for a sec...

I don't think I'd been so tired in my life as when I was pregnant with Emma. I finagled an afternoon nap out of every single day, even if I had to sleep next to a child playing a noisy iPad game. I was tired from when I got up in the morning to when I went to bed at night. I thought it would pass after the first trimester, but it actually got worse. But the only time it occurred to me that there might be something wrong was somewhere in the third trimester, as I pushed a cart through Target, and thought, "I could actually fall asleep, right here, walking."

At one of my last Emma appointments I was informed that I was rather anemic and should start taking iron pills, stat. I took a few, until I forgot. I think I was busy napping. 

And maybe it's taken until NOW to realize that I am STILL so VERY TIRED and maybe (?) there is something wrong? Maybe having the baby didn't cure anemia. Maybe I should be taking iron pills. Maybe then I could get through an afternoon without fervently wishing for a quiet hour alone with my sofa. 

I have never EVER been a napper, and not for lack of trying. My mind races, my heart beats faster, it's like my body is all, "Um, NOOOOOOO, you have things to DOOOOOO." Until I was pregnant. I took naps when pregnant, as many as possible, but then the baby would arrive and I'd be back to my regular no nap self. It would drive me crazy when friends or family would take the baby and tell me to nap. GAH! I mean, it never occured to me to sleepwalk in Target, but I had no problem spending an afternoon in my bed. Otherwise, naps? Too high strung for that, oh well! 

But ever since Emma was born I have looked forward to, hoped for, wished for, GREATLY DESIRED an afternoon nap. Or a morning nap. Whichever works out, I'm flexible. Emma, mind you, is nearly 16 months old. And it's only been the last couple of weeks where I've thought, "HMMM. MAYBE THIS ISN'T JUST BECAUSE I HAVE THREE KIDS WHO RARELY LET ME SLEEP A WHOLE NIGHT."

I thought it was that - Emma's been a rotten sleeper, and if she wasn't waking me up, one of the big kids was having a night terror or a bloody nose. I thought maybe it was the constant business travel. I thought I was just busy. I thought more exercise would help. Maybe I had too much going on. But NO. I should not be this tired. I should not feel distraught when I realize Emma isn't going to cooperate and the big kids aren't going to play by themselves and I can't lay down on the couch for just a few minuteszzzzzzzz

I am actually writing this blog post right now instead of napping. I thought to myself, "FTLOG SELF! GET A GRIP!" So here I sit, in hopes of keeping myself accountable to taking those vile iron pills stuffed in the back of a bathroom drawer, to see if it helps with the Daily Dragging. Because honestly, this is ridiculous. How will I ever hope to open a community-serving coffee house or write a novel or lose 30 pounds or paint the rest of my house or learn how to do a smokey eye if I want to crash on my couch every single stupid day?! I AM THE ANTI-NAPPER!

NOW I'm going to go unload the dishwasher which is BY FAR my least favorite household task. I will NOT lay down on the kitchen floor and take a snooze, even though I have CONSIDERED IT. 

Optimism! I have some!

Phillip had to be at the airport at 9:45. I dropped him off and headed directly to my parents' house, Sanctuary Of Free And Cheerfully-Given Childcare. I've been feeling nervous about this week of solo parenting for a long time, probably since the LAST week of solo parenting. However! I'm feeling okay about it NOW and here is why: 

  1. We are staying at my parents' house for two nights. TWO. This is one part giant hassle to ninety-seven parts Just Not Being Alone. I LIKE being alone, but not for five days in a row. I may have to type this in front of the Mike Huckabee show, but my mother is rocking my not-sleeping baby in front of the Mike Huckabee show so I CAN type, so I have absolutely no complaints. Besides, Mike Huckabee has his moments. 
  2. The rest of my week contains preschool, a visit from the in-laws, a visit from the Baby Observer Therapist Lady who I would sincerely like to adopt but probably can't until the Year Of Baby Watching is over, and a long-scheduled playdate. 
  3. My week will be capped off by a weekend in a locale some forty degrees warmer than it is here. The thought of reading a book in the sunshine will keep me going for a long time. 
  4. Did I mention a not-sleeping baby? But yesterday she took a long nap, fell asleep at bedtime by herself, and slept from nine to three-thirty in the morning which: HOLY MOLY WHO TOOK MY BABY AND GAVE ME THIS BABY WHO SLEEPS? I WILL KEEP HER! 
  5. I'm not saying this is a trend. I am saying IT GIVES ME HOPE.
  6. If all else fails, I bought a new swing. In which I saw her fall asleep on her own with my very eyes.
  7. We are not snowbound! We can go places! WE CAN GO TO TARGET. 
  8. Also I have some good TV stored up. 

A long time ago @anneoftroy told me that she always planned to DO something when her husband was out of town and what *I* always plan to do is watch GOOD TV SHOWS and EAT TREATS. I'm simple. 

In other news, I just got home from attempting to buy a swimsuit. This was not the PURPOSE of my visit to the store, my PURPOSE was to buy batteries because SOMEONE left the swing on all night even though there was no baby IN the swing... anyway. I was showing my mom where I'm staying this weekend and bragging about how hot it was going to be (at least to a ghostly pale Washingtonian like me) and she said, "are you going to go swimming in THAT pool" and I said "oh God not I am not wearing a swimsuit what are you smoking" and she just pointed at the picture of THAT POOL and I thought YOU'RE RIGHT MOM. Why should I let my thunderthighs, my saddlebags, my love handles, and what breastfeeding has done to the rest of me AHEM keep me from truly enjoying THAT POOL? Am I that girl? Am I really that vain? Am I really going to give up THAT POOL?

The truth is, Internet, I am totally that girl. But I thought I'd give it a go anyway. Perhaps I could find some giant piece of interestingly draped black spandex that covered at least 75% of my body. I didn't find anything like that, but I did try on a few other things. They weren't... SO bad. I didn't buy anything, but I didn't cross off the idea of perhaps looking in a DIFFERENT store. 

And then I ate the chocolate that Phillip was SUPPOSED to take on his trip with him so I wouldn't eat it all but forgot in the car when we dropped him off this morning. OOPS. 

The Obligatory New Year Health Kick Post

Oh HI Internet. I'm just sitting here in my pjs, going to town on this here bag of chocolate chips. It's gonna be THAT kind of health kick post. 

No really, welcome to my Week of Resolutions. Even though I'm not really IN to resolutions. I mean, as far as resolutions go, I resolve to floss. But I'm big on GOALS which seem a little different to me and I have five particular goals for the new year, and I hope the blog keeps me accountable in my attempts (or, more likely, un-attempts) to achieve them. So the first one is [SHOCKER] lose the baby weight. 

And guess what! I lost four pounds this week. FOUR. Sure, three of them I gained over Christmas weekend so I'm only really down a net of ONE, but still, I lost four pounds in one week and this has given me a ton of confidence for the rest of my weight loss slog. Because that is what it is. A SLOG.

However. I am still up 23 pounds from my pre-Emma weight. My pre-Emma weight wasn't my lowest adult weight, but when I was at my lowest adult weight I was also veering into an unhealthy relationship with Jillian Michaels. I was quite happy at my pre-Emma weight and I am quite happy to stop there. 

Which brings me to a seemingly unpopular opinion. (Fact? Thought? Thought, I think.) I am HAPPIER when I am at a lower weight. 

I KNOW! That's the sort of thing that'll get me kicked off the internet, but for me it happens to be true. I was perfectly happy when I was overweight - which was my entire life until right before I got pregnant with Jack and dropped 30 pounds. And then I was all: HEY. THIS IS BETTER. [FOR ME!] 

It's better [FOR ME] because... I think I just felt better. I liked the way I looked. I was strong. I fit into the kinds of clothes I wanted to wear. I no longer felt like the Fat Friend or the Fat Sister. Is this incredibly shallow? YES PROBABLY GAH. But I did (DO!) feel better when I am 20 pounds away from where I am now. I'm sure it has a lot to do with what it takes to GET there (exercise and eating well) but that's even more reason, right? 

So all three post-partum times have been SUPER ROUGH because now I know what my life is like at a smaller size and I so badly want to get BACK to that smaller size. Maybe this is a horrible super-shallow thing to say but every morning I am so BUMMED OUT getting dressed. I get mad at myself for cutting my hair so short when I knew I'd have Baby Weight Face. I can't zip up my tall boots. Pants that used to FALL DOWN are now DIGGING INTO MY WAIST. I hate it. It makes me unhappy. IT JUST DOES. 

I'm hoping to lose these 23 pounds by Emma's first birthday. I'd like to lose six by the time I go on my little girls' weekend at the end of January. And I'll make another smallish goal after that. I can do this, even if it will take a little longer than it did with Molly. I have a ton of clothes in my closet that don't fit. I'm a TINY bit apprehensive that my shape has changed, AGAIN, and that even when I HAVE lost the weight my clothes won't fit. BUT I CAN DO THIS!

I've lost weight solely by changing my diet, but the last time I added running and DVD workouts and exercise made a huge difference in my life. I'd never exercised before. Turns out it's awesome! (Sort of!) This time I am exercising MAYBE once a week. It's a combination of not wanting to and not having an opportunity. My life is a lot different with two not-napping preschoolers and a baby not yet on a schedule. But I hope to pick that up again soon. When I do hop on the treadmill I'm surprised at my endurance. I mean, it's pretty embarrassing, but considering where I was before I'd EVER attempted to run on a treadmill? I'm amazed. It makes me think I CAN do this again. 

I'm going to write more on the weight loss blog too, especially now that the holidays are over and I (supposedly) have more time again. 

Tomorrow: a resolution/goal that is not so trite!

Oh THAT third baby

Phillip told me that I made it sound like I was pregnant. Hence his throat-clearing the other night. Oops. In case anyone is wondering: NOT PREGNANT. Which doesn't mean I can't talk about it, right? But before I get started I have a little bit of business with my husband. Okay? Just a sec.

Phillip DARLING. You should probably just skip this one. There won't be anything new for you, and since putting the words "third" and "baby" next to each other in a sentence makes you all jittery-like, it's probably best you just skip this one. Be thankful I'm doing my venting elsewhere and that I won't need to rant your ear off for another, oh, couple of weeks.

All right. So. Back whenever Phillip and I had the How Many Kids Do You Want conversation my answer was, "At least three" and Phillip's answer was "No more than three." Which means: Three. (At least.) (Heh.)

SEE PHILLIP?! I'm just trying to be FUNNY. RELAX. I'm SORRY. Just go back to your queries or your reports or whatever it is you're doing today. BYE.

Anyway. Large chunks of my grad school neuroses revolve around the fact that we're more or less putting our lives on hold for two years. I am, at least. Phillip gets to go to school and earn a degree and I WANT THIS FOR HIM, but I feel, essentially, that I will just be at home waiting for him to finish. And two of the big things I'm thinking about can't happen during the grad school years: moving to a bigger house and having our third child. "Can't" of course is probably the wrong word, but 1) those things seem unwise, for various reasons and 2) Phillip doesn't want to. Especially the third baby. He will have enough going on, thank you very much. 

The house thing is another post for another day (and wouldn't you know, I'm already plotting the alternatives.) But the baby thing is requiring a lot of Perspective Shuffling. A lot of Paradigm Shifting.

To be super perfectly absolutely honest, I am not ready for a third baby. This has mostly everything to do with pregnancy. I had a ridiculously breezy first pregnancy and I remember feeling like I could SO handle a second when Jack was only 5 or 6 months old. I could TOTALLY do that again. But my second pregnancy was really hard. I was sicker and more uncomfortable, I was in way more pain, and the near-constant anxiety I experienced during that pregnancy laid the authoritative smackdown on any anxiety I've had in the last handful of years. Not enough time has elapsed to make the memory softer around the edges. I'm not sure how much time that will require, to be honest. It was worth it, and I'm willing to do it again, but I'm also really happy NOT being pregnant. Or nursing. Or anxious. Or trying to fit into my pre-pregnancy clothes. I haven't been this happy in my own body... EVER, and I'm not ready to mess it all up again. 

But I hate - HATE - this sort of insta-decision about the size and shape of our family. It means waiting and there is nothing I am worse at than WAITING. It automatically means there is a three-year age difference, at least, between Molly and Third Baby. I don't like that. It feels huge. It makes me think I'll have to have a FOURTH baby, just to make up for Third Baby's lack of close-in-age sibling. You can only imagine what Phillip thinks about THAT! Or poor Potential Fourth Baby, whose only reason for existence is to make things up to Third Baby. GAH. BE THANKFUL YOU ARE NOT INSIDE MY WARPED AND STUNTED BRAIN.

Now, before you all start lining up to slap me, I am FULLY AWARE that in the Grand Scheme of Things, three years is NOT a super huge age difference. That plenty of people want to wait that long or longer. That plenty of people don't even WANT a third baby. And then there's another group of you who want to call me out on my Catholic cred and demand to know why I think I can "plan" this at all (or the fact that I even WANT to, and if you are one of those people I am thinking you should find yourself another website to read for I am going to DISAPPOINT.) Oh, and then LOTS of you, I'm sure, have three-year or more age gaps between your kids, or between you and your siblings, and it's perfect and why would I think it WOULDN'T be perfect and obviously I need to get over myself. Oh! And! The people who are all, "DUDE. She already has TWO and her husband is going to work full time AND go to school AND she wants to sell her house and she's talking about WHAT NOW?"

Have I left anyone out?

Okay. So. You all know that I am the oldest of five kids, that we're all about one year apart and that family holidays are a rocking good time at my house. You may also know that Phillip is the youngest of two, that there is an EIGHT-year age difference between him and his brother and that family holidays at his house are of a quieter more laid back variety. (Although it gives me opportunities to be The Youngest and 10-year-old me was right: being the youngest IS a free trip to Awesomeville.) Add in expectations and cultures and plain old personalities and you just sort of end up with your own picture of how things will work out. I don't think either of us set out to or wants to or intends to mimic our own families, but it DEFINITELY plays into our visions of our future family. Phillip cannot fathom the kind of life I had growing up. I cannot fathom his. To me, a three-year age difference seems lonely and separate. To him it's nothing.

I know it sounds kinda weird being all Morose over something I don't even WANT, but I just don't want it YET. What if I want it in three months? Or six? Or when Molly is two, which even Phillip thinks is an acceptable time to start negotiating the next baby? It's not like it COULDN'T happen, but between The Circumstances and My Husband, it probably won't. SIGH.

The smart thing to do is wait until he's done with school and we're in a bigger house. We will allow for surprises and, you know, life happening, but that's the plan. "Plan". And little by little I am wrapping my brain around the idea. Waiting so long for Third Baby is not half as bummer-worthy as it was even a week ago. And I keep seeing families with two older children and one little one in a carrier or a stroller. I know it's because I'm keeping my eyes open, but I can't help but feel like God is trying to tell me it will be fine. THOSE families look happy! Mine will be happy too!

I also don't want to sound like Third Baby will just easily and cheerfully appear, or that everything will go according to plan. I know enough of your stories to know that's not always the case. But I have no reason to feel anything about Annoyingly Optimistic, the way I am about pretty much everything else.

I have that nagging blogger feeling, where you've written a whole bunch about a topic that's important, to you at least, and you haven't quite got it right. Like you've left something out. And people are going to comment on the thing you've left out and you're going to be all DARNIT. I MEANT TO SAY THAT. But oh well. It's almost ten and I've had two people instant message me so far to inform me that if I don't get my powdery mildew zucchini away from my tomatoes I shall have no caprese salad this summer AT ALL. So. Must start Googling!

Turning the house inside out

While I feel I am in a constant state of restlessness over all the things we need to do before the baby gets here, Phillip kind of floats along in a "Huh? The baby's coming when?" until something hits him. Like last night when he turned to me and said, "How will we rock the new baby when the rocking chair is in Jack's room?"

We live in a (technically) three bedroom house, but the third "bedroom" is on the first floor while the real bedrooms are on the third floor. Which means no one is ever going to sleep down there, at least not until there are teenagers who don't want to be anywhere near their parents and who can also fend off any intruders breaking through the front door. Getting our boy to sleep is the highest priority in our boring lives, so no way are we going to put the new baby in his room. New Baby is going to sleep in our room and when New Baby wakes up at 3 in the morning and won't go back to sleep after being fed, no way are we going to rock New Baby in Jack's room. You see the dilemma (even if you think we're a touch neurotic.)

So NOW. We're going to move the living room rocking chair into our bedroom. Which means moving my desk into the office. Even though:

  • There is no room in the office
  • because it's the dumping ground for everything we don't have room for
  • like the extra computers
  • and 4000 software manuals
  • and boxes that need to be recycled
  • and toolboxes
  • and shoes
  • and winter coats
  • and the treadmill we have used exactly once since we bought it in January. (WHAT. I got PREGNANT. What's the point of losing weight NOW?)

And that list doesn't even cover the largest point, which is: PHILLIP AND I HAVE TO SHARE AN OFFICE?!

My "office", aka the corner of our bedroom where I write my blog posts, contains 1 adorable desk, 1 adorable ribbon board, plenty of adorable Japanese office supplies, a handful of reference books, and a super cute lamp. Phillip's office space, on the other hand, is a pile of papers and receipts and bills and cords and cables and TWO monitors and little mysterious electronic gadgets and 1 talking Yoda doll. The office is a tiny room with a long narrow window. It's dark. It smells like boy. The carpet is dirty. When people come over I shut the door so no one gets a glimpse of the office as their first impression of our house.

I am pretty sure that with my eye for Throwing Things Out and Phillip's skills in physically Throwing Things Out, we can accomplish our Making The Office Into An Office We Can Both Tolerate goal. (Okay, maybe that's just MY goal.) We just have to actually DO it. Which means a lot of nagging and hinting and planning and fretting and NAGGING on my part. And, on Phillip's part, doing whatever I say.

I am both excited for and dreading our trip to Ikea, in which we pick out a new storage unit for Jack's room and some kind of creative wall storage for the office. (Those 4000 software manuals can't ALL be thrown away.) I am excited for and dreading moving all of this stuff around. I've felt restless about our house for a long time. We are not using our space well and I feel like our bedroom is the dumping ground when the office gets too crowded. I'm hoping we can turn the bedroom into a peaceful pretty place, where a baby just happens to sleep as well. I'm hoping to turn Jack's room into a place where he can play when I'm busy upstairs and that holds clothes and books and blankets and shoes for two babies.

I'm hoping doing all of this doesn't kill me.

What am I doing posting at 5:30 am on a Sunday?

To record, for posterity's sake, one of the Worst Days Ever.

On Wednesday Jack fell down the stairs because I forgot to shut the baby gate. On Thursday he bawled when we left my parents' house, most likely because he was leaving They Who Spoil Him and going home with the woman who forgot to shut the baby gate. And on Friday, he made it up to me by coming down with a Stomach Bug.

I have to tell you, Jack hasn't really been sick. I think he's had two colds since he's been born. I've never had to call the doctor about anything other than scheduling appointments. But he had barfed up his dinner in his bed, barfed up his breakfast and then barfed up his after-nap snack and that's when it dawned on me that perhaps he was Coming Down With Something.

I spent Friday mopping up barf and calling the doctor and updating Phillip and feeding the baby real food because he seemed TOTALLY FINE and then realizing THAT was a big mistake and... ugh. Oh and then calling Phillip and asking him to come home early, WHICH I HAVE NEVER DONE, because Jack was being the King of Whiny and I didn't want to bring the King of Whiny to a grocery store to pick up our first jug of Pedialyte.

But that wasn't the worst day. The worst day was yesterday, when he gave it to ME.

When I woke up early and felt awful I blamed it on my available sleeping positions being narrowed down to Left Side or Right Side and also the fact that Phillip, shall we say, sleeps sort of loudly. Sometimes! And when I threw up about an hour later, I blamed it on pregnancy. La la la.

When I threw up again, without having eaten anything, and when my whole body started to cramp up, we decided that Phillip was in charge and I was going back to bed.

I spent the rest of the day hurling up the NOTHINGNESS in my stomach and moaning from the bed. I lost count how many times. The one time I tried to go downstairs and be with my family, because I was feeling a little better and hadn't barfed in three hours, I had to run right back upstairs and die.

Jack, at least, was better. He had stopped vomiting and he wasn't even having the promised disgusting diapers. He was pretty lethargic and mopey in the morning, but after several sippy cups of water and Pedialyte (I have NEVER seen him drink so much!) he was a new baby and back to his charming self. He took super long naps and played like a good boy. He and Phillip would come visit me every so often, which was very cute, even if I had the energy of a 90-year-old woman in hospice care and could barely lift my head.

Also? Yesterday was gorgeous and sunny. All day long I heard people using lawn mowers and actually talking to each other outside. We'd had PLANS, but now I was an invalid who couldn't even keep down a sip of water.

But the best part?

Feeling sort of bad that we'd only given him crackers and Pedialyte all day, and he seemed FINE, Phillip said he was going to give him some real food for dinner. That seemed to work out well, until Phillip burst into the bedroom well after dinner time with a baby whose dinner was all down his front. We stripped him and put him in the bath (by that time I had kept down three sippy cups full of Gatorade, YES, SIPPY CUPS, THEY DON'T SPILL IN YOUR BED and I actually helped! Go me!) Jack didn't seem miserable, like I was. I even told the nurse the day before how chipper he seemed for someone constantly throwing up. But even that wasn't the worst part.

The worst part was, right after I'd hurled up all three sippy cups of Gatorade (AH, OVERCONFIDENCE), Jack woke up. It was about ten. First Phillip went in. Then we let him cry. Then Phillip went in again. Then we let him cry. Then I went in, because after having been curled up in a ball all day, my back wasn't any better and I wasn't sleeping anyway. I pulled him out of his bed thinking I'd just sit and sing to him until he eventually fell asleep but nooooo. He wanted to PLAY. He wanted to crawl around and look at the space heater and the books on the floor and who was that snoring in the other room? I put him back in his bed, thinking I'd sing to him from the rocking chair (I was afraid if I kept wrangling him myself I'd probably throw up all over him). So I sit back down and start up my awesome rendition of Baby Beluga when he STANDS UP and starts JUMPING UP AND DOWN.

It was 12:30 in the morning.

We've had other bad nights, but not one where Phillip was utterly exhausted and I was utterly exhausted and not to be trusted with bodily functions. We had no idea what to do. There was no way either of us could stand taking him downstairs and letting him tire himself out. So we let him cry and it was awful. AWFUL. I kept telling myself that he was dry and fed and just had some water and angry about having to stay in his crib. I kept hoping that he'd realize it was THE MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT and get bored and go to sleep. But after I don't know how long, Phillip finally went back in and this time, probably because he was so exhausted from the crying, he fell asleep.

So I've had what? Four hours? Five hours of sleep? Inconsistent sleep, because I woke myself up every time I switched sides. At least I wasn't sick during the night, and now I'm starving. Good sign, right? I'm hoping this is just a 24 hour thing, and I'm also hoping TO GOD that Phillip is not sick today. Every time I woke up in the night I said a little prayer that he was immune.

But maybe I will be posting tomorrow about the REAL bad day, Sunday, during which I was running on Gatorade while taking care of my baby and my bedridden husband. Have you been to church yet? Pray for me.

How many times can I mention cake?

Hello from Sunday night. I finally tore myself away from Paper Mario to run up here and get a few things done before I go to bed. Except it's hard to get a few things done when you can hear your husband playing Paper Mario downstairs and you are sort of insanely jealous.

(SERIOUSLY. You Wii owners must try this game. I suggest making sure you have nothing scheduled for the next month or two.)

I told someone I would spend my entire Monday doing a certain project. (Oooh, that sounds so vague. Like I am a Secret Agent! Or a Political Operative!) Anyway. I do believe I used the word "devote". As in "devote my entire Monday." So yeah. This is me getting the obligatory Monday Blog Post out of the way.

Except: so not obligatory! I am so excited about you Weight Lossers! How cool are we? I may have bragged a bit about us in real life. As promised, here is The Progress for the weekend:

  • I did awesome
  • Until we had my family over Saturday morning for brunch
  • Where I still did awesome
  • Until it was time to serve the cake
  • (Cake is TOTALLY brunch food)
  • (And we ordered it special)
  • Have eaten nothing but broth and cucumbers today to make up for it.
  • (I must be kidding.)
  • There is LEFTOVER CAKE.

Suffice to say that I have not weighed myself, for fear of seeing that I have GAINED a pound. Thereby shooting myself up to a FIVE POUND weight loss goal instead of an infinitely easier FOUR POUND GOAL. 
But tomorrow? So back to business.

I was trying to figure out how to connect with the other Weight Lossers, so we could see how everyone is doing and who is doing great and who needs a good kick in the chubby shin. Have not figured that out yet, because- SIGH- I am not a Computer Whiz. So if you're up for it, let us know how you're doing in the comments! At least that way I'll know to send a shin kicking email. (Also, how cool are you guys! It appears nothing brings out the lurkers like births and guilt-trippy posts about weight.)

Dude, this post is about as substantive as angel food cake. (I hate angel food cake. Why eat cake that tastes and feels like styrofoam? Have you not heard of DEVIL'S FOOD CAKE? Which is SO MUCH BETTER? Are you now wanting to kick MY shins for bringing up CAKE? AGAIN?)

I better go to bed so I can function tomorrow. I did say I would do actual work. That would pay me actual money. It'd be nice if I could remember how to type in the morning. Of course, I don't plan to ignore the internet all day. Goodness no. I'll need something to do when my brain hits the CANNOT POSSIBLY CONTINUE wall and I've got weeks-old comments to respond to and bargains to find online and, as always, blogs to read. I hope you'll have something fantabulous for me to read.

Night night!

P.S. It is January 6, official Christmas quitting time, and my decorations are STILL UP! Who wants to come over and help me box up 8 zillion ornaments? Anyone? I've got cake!

I have not eaten a cookie in TWO ENTIRE DAYS

It just took me 45 minutes to get Jack down for a nap at my parents' house, so I am in a STELLAR mood. An excellent frame of mind for writing about one's fat pants, don't you think?

(Although I am compelled to add that the baby slept from 6:15 on Wednesday to 6:30 on Thursday and his parents gave a great HALLELUJAH to the heavens when it was confirmed that neither of them got out of bed during the night. Turns out you can't retain your sunny disposition if you have given up your third nap AND you are consistently cutting your second nap short.  It was fine when the second nap was nearly three hours long (I KNOW. JESUS LOVES ME.) but the holidays ruined THAT so, there you go. Also? A tooth! GAH.)

Anyway. January! 'Tis the season for weight loss, Internet, and I am not too proud to jump on the bandwagon. Well, if I wasn't already IN the wagon. Sigh.

I really really really wanted to get down to my pre-pregnancy weight before my Christmas party. Not because I was going to wear some slinky dress or bore all my friends with the news of my accomplishment, I just wanted to get there before everything I ate at the party (plus the actual holidays themselves) solidified itself on my ass. That way I could say, "Hey! I lost it before, I'll do it again! Take THAT, twelve different kinds of Christmas cookies!"

I'm sure you are not surprised to hear that I didn't reach my goal. But! I only had three pounds left to go. Three pounds! That's, like, WATER WEIGHT! I tried to behave over the holidays, I really did, but there was fried bread dough and dim sum and more cookies and more wine and then an unexpected New Year's gathering and now? I am four pounds away. (And no, I was not keeping track of my weight during the holiday weeks, so I have NO idea how much I gained after Christmas, suffice to say it was probably a LOT more than one pound. What do you think I am? A masochist?)

Then I decided I would lose it all by January 10. That's Jack's 8 month mark (and my sister's 25th birthday, oh my GOD, that means I'm ANCIENT) and I wanted to be able to say I'd lost it all by 8 months. Screw these 9 months on 9 months off people! I AM AN OVERACHIEVER!

But now I am looking at having to lose 4 pounds by this time next week, and, shall we say, this is the most difficult time of the month to lose weight. YOU KNOW WHAT I MEAN. In fact, it may be IMPOSSIBLE.

So here is the new goal: lose four pounds by the end of January. And, ideally, do not GAIN more pounds. Really, is it so hard to throw away the leftover cake? It's not like it's the only cake left in the universe. I CAN MAKE MORE CAKE.

Who's with me? It's only four pounds! And it's only January 3rd! That's one pound a week! We can totally do it!

All right. Now that I've got the cheery positive rah rah rah thing out of my system: THIS TOTALLY AND COMPLETELY SUCKS. I had absolutely no idea how much this would suck. I was dying to be pregnant and have a baby. It happened! I had the easiest pregnancy in the history of pregnancy. Even childbirth wasn't the horror movie I was steeling myself for. I did not have a nervous breakdown during the first six weeks like I thought for SURE was going to happen. I was fine! Everything was perfect!

But man, even if your pregnancy is relatively carefree and you escape stretch marks and scars and reconstructive surgery, it so screws with your body image. I'd read about all these women who, for the first time, felt happy with how they looked. Glowy and glorious and in tune with Nature. I don't know. The only thing I was in tune with was the exponential growth of my butt.

I worked really really hard to lose about 30 pounds before I got pregnant. I did NOT enjoy packing them back on (plus 15 more). (Yes, I KNOW eating an entire box of cookies once a week compounds the problem. SHUT UP.) But while I was pregnant it wasn't the worst thing in the world. I had a good reason, after a while I was obviously pregnant and not just a giant lardbutt, and I'd tell myself I'd lose it like I lost the other weight.

Except I happen to be the lone woman in the world for whom the Breastfeeding Diet is a total crock. The weight sloooowly came off, but I didn't feel like my normal self until I stopped breastfeeding at six months and signed up for the Evil Weight Loss Challenge. And after that? Over a year since I'd started gaining back weight? I finally felt like myself.

I remember telling Phillip, "I feel like I have my body back." And it was HUGE. I may be four pounds away, but I'm no longer standing in my closet and crying because nothing fits me. I still have some pants that are too small, but I have a bigger stack of pants that are too big. I can put them back in the Fat Pants box. My old shirts are long enough again, my sweaters aren't bursting at the seams, I can not only button my favorite pair of pants, they hang and slouch and droop and make me look like a total slob, just the way I like them.

It is really wonderful to not wake up every morning and feel powerless over your own self.

But still! Four pounds! THEY ARE COMING OFF. They are coming off via Maggie's Slacker Version of a Low Carb Diet (essentially: no sugar and no white flour, unless I think I'm going to die, in which case a handful of chocolate chips may be necessary.) And over the weekend we cleared out a big empty space in Phillip's office for a dirt cheap treadmill I plan to score off craigslist. I decided to do this MONTHS ago, but we only rearranged the office recently, so now I am lumped in with all the other Resolution: Lose Weight shmucks who are trolling for dirt cheap treadmills on craigslist. Sigh.

And seriously- who's with me? I am VERY good at sending motivational emails.

Flopping on Dr. Internet's couch

Because of the stupid writers strike (I am a supporter! Just not happy about it!) Phillip and I have been watching the last season of The Sopranos. Phillip really likes this show and has dilligently powered through each episode over the last couple years. (I know. It would take me, like, a month. But Phillip has other things in his life besides television.)

I used to watch the first half with him and sleep through the second half, so I never really know what's going on. Since the writers strike, however, we've been watching them earlier in the evening, so I am awake for the whole episode, sometimes even two episodes. But last night, after the episode where [SPOILER!] Tony offs Christafuh, I told Phillip I was done. He could watch another one without me, but I was going to bed.

I went upstairs and folded all the clean diapers and put things away and just tried to get The Sopranos out of my system before I crawled into bed.

Having to get disturbing TV or books or local news out of my head is nothing new for me. I've always been the type to tear up during a particular emotionally-manipulative commercial, for example. I remember watching Schindler's List at home, with the remote, so I could fast forward through anything that was too much to bear. But only recently have I had to hurriedly change the channel so I wouldn't have to hear about the latest child abuse case or listen to 911 tapes or see pictures of local devastation.

This makes me feel really irresponsible. I like to think of myself as someone with a decent working knowledge of the world. I read magazines that don't have pictures of celebrities in them. (Although I certainly read those too!) I watch cable talking head shows religiously. Every once in a while my dad will talk about some book that details a section of History about which I am desperately ignorant, and I'll pick it up at the bookstore so we can discuss it later.

So when The War came out a few months ago, I was pretty excited to see it. I scheduled the entire series to record on TiFaux and I started watching it during Jack's nap. I quit watching it right around D-Day. It was magnificently done and captivating, but it was interfering with my ability to function in the Real World. I'd started having 'What if my baby goes to war?' thoughts randomly pop into my head. And then thoughts that only made sense on the most theoretical level: "What if they reinstitute the draft and Phillip goes to war and doesn't come home and then twenty years from now I have to watch my SON go to war and HE doesn't come home?" Can you say PSYCHO?

The part of me with seriously defective brain chemistry has a terribly difficult time letting go of those thoughts. I have been known to fixate on negative thoughts that aren't even possible, so thinking about losing my child to war some day is peanuts. I have had all of three truly anxious days this fall season, and those three days are due entirely to a couple of spectacularly wicked child abuse stories that cycled through the local news for a few weeks in October. I wanted to write about it, but I can't yet. I still think they have a grip on me.

In the last several months I've just attempted to make peace with it. I have a baby now, so the stakes for everything are higher. I've always walked around waiting for the other shoe to drop- wouldn't having a baby make that so much worse?

I've tried to limit my intake of Negativity. I watch the local news to catch the weather, then I turn it off until my politics show is on, and all those people talk about is the 2008 presidential race, which is my version of watching sports. I deleted The War off TiFaux so I would not be tempted to watch the rest. I don't go to war movies or nearly anything based on a true story. I have a whole shelf of books that I've had to stop reading, because I couldn't get through the parts about child abuse or torture, or even dependencies on prescription drugs and car accidents. I find myself wishing I could just block out all the scary Life stuff and live happily ever after in my house, which is decorated in nice happy colors, and where we play on the floor and eat dinner and snuggle on the couch. I never used to wish for that, and it makes me feel so guilty. There are people out there dealing with war and poverty and hunger and losses I can't even imagine- don't I owe it to them to at least KNOW about them?

I am so overwhelmed by these things right now. The woman who killed her family. The floods. The assassination of a very brave woman. The sick babies in the St. Jude Children's Hospital commercials. Teenage pregnancies and thirty-five-year-old women who can't get pregnant. (I saw Juno yesterday, despite my better judgment.) The neverending string of mistreated children on the local news. The histories and backgrounds of the kids in my mom's fifth grade class. And that's before I float off to husbands killed in action and concentration camps and genocide and... you get the picture.

There is so much right now I think it will flatten me.

I am pretty sure this has to do with dark days and early nights and my annual I Hate This Time Of Year Funkitude. I am not depressed. I am rarely depressed. I am not pessimistic. I am not wondering why bad things happen to good people. I am not mad at God. I am just constantly wondering how one person is supposed to hold all of these things and not collapse. And I wonder at my ability to get through anything hard, when it is so difficult simply to know about the hard things. What does God have to say about that? And if someone says "God doesn't give you more than you can handle," please don't be offended if I roll my eyes and switch on the Bravo channel.

Anyway. See how I save the morose stuff for the weekend? When no one is looking? Back to Irreverent Baby Fun on Monday!