Thursday, June 28, 2012

How I dropped 21 lbs in 7 weeks without setting foot in the gym...

When Kyle surprised me with an incredible getaway for my 30th, I couldn't have been happier. And then I put on a swimsuit. Turns out, I could be happier minus 30 pounds still lingering post baby. So here is what I did:

I cut out sugar. It's that simple really. I threw away the processed cereals that were my go to middle of the night food. I parted with the pints of icecream that got me through my last few weeks of pregnancy. I stopped buying the snickers that I swore supplied me with energy (nuts, people). I stopped eating processed sugar. This is not brain science. Less sugar=less fat.

Oh, and guess what, sugars are hiding everywhere: BREADS, salad dressings, pasta, spaghetti sauce, canned fruits and veggies. They are there and they are not your friend. Look at the label. If it's over 5 grams of sugar your body will turn it into fat. If it's under 5 grams your body doesn't register it. And don't be fooled by "sugar-free". They contain sugar alcohols and the studies on what they do to your body are slim.

Here is how the process went:

Week 1:
I want to strangle everyone including the ice cream truck driver who frequents my block taunting me with his bomb pops and icecream cones, but I drop 6 lbs in 7 days.

Week 2: I start to realize I have more energy to clean the house when Jack goes down for a nap. My go to "snack" becomes apple slices with a splash of organic saltless peanut butter. This saves me. I drop another 4 lbs quickly.

Week 3:
I discover oatmeal. I put truvia and blueberries in it. When I crave bread (which is sugar), I eat a cup of oatmeal. Down another 3 lbs.

Week 4:
We have a wedding and I only eat half of a cupcake. That's a big step. Still drop another 3 lbs.

Week 5:
I cheat and get ice cream. I instantly feel like death, but I finish the ice cream. It was good and I don't regret it. Still down another 2 lbs.

Week 6:
I go back to work and continue my sugar-free lifestyle. I drop 3 lbs my first week back for several reasons including less access to my kitchen.

Week 7:
That brings us to today. I still have 9 lbs to go, but I'm feeling great. I'm sleeping better (when Jack lets me), I have more energy at work and I'm starting to feel like my pre-pregnancy self.

Some people may classify this as a diet, but I truly call it a lifestyle change. Of course I cut myself some slack with 2 eat whatever I want meals a week, but I quickly realized how bad these meals made me feel. Do I still think about a big fat king-sized snickers every once-in-a-while, of course. But the difference is, I don't want to feel like crap anymore. Try it!

Sunday, June 17, 2012

We can do this.

Ok, LJ. I am going to work tomorrow. We will wake up and I will hold you and rock you and play with you for 30 minutes while dad gets a shower and then I will leave and get in my car and get on the interstate and drive to work just as I have done for the past 6 years. You will take long naps somewhere else. She is a great person. You will like her. I will work hard. I will be focused. I will think about you 2,000 times. And then I will pick you up and kiss you on the face and on the cheeks and on the forehead and I will bring you home and hold you and kiss you and tell you about my day. And we will repeat this four times until the weekend rolls around and then we can spend two entire days together. We can do this, LJ. We will be fine. I love you.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

10 Mommy I Gotta Have Its.

As I wrap up my maternity leave and prepare to step my little black heel back into the working world, there are a few things I glance around the house and realize there are a few things I simply could not have survived without. Yes, yes, every baby is different, but some of these items are universal so shop up moms-to-be. You gotta have these things.

In a particular order from most crucial to still pretty crucial*:

10. The baby swing (aka, the reason I didn't starve to death for the first 4 weeks). To think I was going to enter motherhood without a swing is simply absurd. Jack cried when I took him out of his swing. He loved his swing. He may not be the baby he has become without this swing. Every mom will tell you to get a swing, but your true friends will tell you to get this swing. Don't skimp here. Get the good one. 

9. Ahhh, the boppy pillow (aka, the reason Jack didn't starve) Bottle fed or breast fed, you need a boppy. This pillow positions baby perfectly and when he's not eating, he can chill on the couch without fear that he may suddenly pick up rolling over. I have a boppy upstairs, downstairs and I wish someone would have told me to get the travel boppy. You need a boppy. This picture is clearly a superimposed baby into the boppy. 

8. The Britax travel system. It's light, it's smooth, it's trendy, it's cool. Literally, it keeps the baby completely covered on hot summer days with dual shades. The stroller is 18 pounds and the only downside is its inability to handle huge bumps. If you live in the mountains, this may not be your best option.

7. Rock & Play-not to be confused with the Pack & Play (which is still in the box). The Rock & Play is a game changer. When Jack is fussy in the middle of the night, he falls asleep in this thing in no time. He lived in it when we traveled. I wish they made these for toddlers and grown ups. This picture is not us, but it resembles us many a night. 
6. Mobile (My solution to showering)-Hard to believe I didn't get one of these until he was 8 weeks old. This sucker bought me 15 extra minutes to shower, get a bottle ready, pump, etc. He loves this particular mobile by Fisher Price. This baby is not Jack. I don't dress him in pink. :
5. Medela Double Pump-We have a love/hate relationship. This is the item I use the most and dread using the most. Not a lot to be said here except if you want to have a life outside of baby, you need a pump. Get the car charger. Trust me.
4. Primo Eurobath-I don't know how it works, but it works and I'm not scared he is going to drown when I blink my eyes. It positions Jack perfectly so he can sit up on his own. With a simple flip it becomes a big baby bathtub. I dig it.
3. Skip Hop diaper bag-Is it a purse? Is it a diaper bag. I'll never tell, but I've gotten a ton of compliments on this sucker so I must have done something right. My husband refuses to carry it so if you're going for the unisex approach this may not be your best bet. 
2. Changing pad kit-For those days you prefer not to be a bag lady, this insert is perfect. It holds diapers, wipes and pacifiers. What more do you need on quick trips to those dreadful baby stores?
1. Medela sterilizer bags=3 mintues. Microwave. Sterilized. Magic and it takes up no counter space.
*This list is not a paid advertisement, but I will accept cash from all of the above companies.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Parenthood? Gross.

"But no one is ever gonna love you more than I do
No one's gonna love you more than I do
And anything to make you smile
It is my better side of you to admire"
-Band of Horses

      There was a time in my late 20's when I looked at my friends turned parents and I felt sorry for the plunge they had taken into this phase. They were missing out on everything. Nothing was easy for them anymore. They couldn't just pick up and catch a spontaneous movie or hit the road to Bloomington on a perfect fall day. Everything seemed so difficult and they seemed so confined and restricted. I didn't understand why they chose to make this sacrifice so early in life.
     And then one beautiful March morning I became one of them.

     There was a time in the recent past when I looked at my friends without kids and I felt sorry for them. They haven't yet experienced love from a place so deep it hurts. They haven't known the kind of protective blanket that falls over you, the feeling that you would sacrifice your life if anyone ever tried to hurt your kid. They don't understand that no matter how many times sleep is interrupted, there is a quiet beauty that falls over you at night. 
     And although you can't just hop in the car and catch a movie, there is an incredible feeling of being needed, that when these small eyes look up at you, they simply could not survive in this world without you. And when these tiny fingers grasp yours, they just can't make it without your hand to guide them. And when that toothless grin melts your heart, there isn't a feeling like it. That you and the person you love created this little life that simply cannot survive without you. And today, I cannot help but hope all of my friends are blessed with this gift. It's a game changer.   

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Letting Go

     Today as we took our morning walk I thought about giving you to another woman in a week and I cried. I cried in front of the man who works on his lawn all day every single day even though it looks the same every single day. I cried in front of the woman getting her paper. In front of the kids playing tennis, the adults playing softball. I cried. Ironically, for the first time since my laser eye surgery I saw the world clearly. My vision was so crisp, it was scary. Cue the perfect song on Pandora about enjoying the simplicity of a moment.

     As I attempted to choke down the lump in my throat and loosen my grasp on the stroller, I realized this was a milestone in life. I cannot keep you under my wing forever. I have to let you go and I want you to know how difficult this is for me. As much as I love my job, I love you more. As much as I hate being away from you, I will love being with you more and more. And although we won't get to enjoy our days together, I promise to make every moment of our mornings, weekends and nights count.
    I need you to understand that one day when the kids talk about their mommies staying home with them that although your mommy couldn't stay home with you, she didn't love you any less. Someone told me they read a statistic about working moms being some of the happiest women in the world and even if this statistic isn't true, I am grasping onto it for dear life. Because sometimes you just have to trust yourself and your decisions in life, even the hard ones.
     One more week, LJ. Let's make it count.

Friday, June 8, 2012


     You have changed me. I see the world with 20/20 vision for the very first time. Before you I thought life was defined by success. How high can I climb? How far can I reach? I wanted to leave a big dent on the professional world. I wanted people to know I was there. I worked hard. I succeeded. I still want all of those things, I just want them for different reasons.
     You have taught me to enjoy the simplicity of an unplanned moment with you on my lap smiling at me like I'm the only person in the world and you would be ok if I was the only person in the world (besides your dad of course).
     You have taught me to be softer. To love deeper. You have taught me that life can be made up of bad moments, but they pass quickly and can be forgotten faster if you choose to move forward. You have taught me the most important thing in life is family. You have taught me how to slow down and see yellow wildflowers in the middle of a dark forest.
    And you have taught me that the place I love the most is home with you and your dad. You have changed me from a place I never knew existed.