Mom Bod

{you guys rule, seriously. I have my mo-jo back for now at least!!}

It seems totally foreign to write about myself and not my son. In fact, it seems quite vain and narcissistic in a way. But I know some of you out there want to read about my body 11 months post-partum and I want to 'book-end' those belly shot/post-partum body posts in a way that pulls it all together.

Let's start with the bottom line: the numbers on the scale. If you do recall I gained a whopping 43 pounds with pregnancy--- partially due to pre-Eclampsia and water retention, partially due to me being a little underweight pre-pregnancy, getting the green-light from my OB to shoot for a 40 pound addition, and partially because I was on 'bedrest' for about 4 weeks at the end of my pregnancy without access to exercise. Then I had a 7lb 10 oz baby and was down 12 pounds upon discharge home. At one week I was down 21 pounds, at two weeks I was down 26 pounds and so I had 17 more pounds to lose at my last update. Then I sort of stopped posting about my Mom Bod (yes, in caps) but basically I lost another 7 pounds by my 6 week follow up with my OB, which is when she cleared me to exercise again. I was 10 pounds above my pre-preg weight for what seemed like a freaking eternity. Even with regular exercise (more in a bit) I couldn't get that darn scale to budge and was getting pretty down with the numbers. Then I decided to cut myself a break and 'not care' anymore because my pre-preg clothes were fitting just fine and I figured that my new big tats could be 10 pounds (possibly?) and that my body needed to be heavier to feed my ever-hungry son. I praised God for being 5'10" because I felt like my height hid my extra weight really well, spreading it out vertically to the point that I didn't even SEE the extra ten pounds. I didn't weigh myself from June until December and honestly didn't think much about my weight, either.

Then in December I had to get a physical for my insurance and I was SHOCKED to see that I was one pound less than my pre-pregnancy weight. I was ecstatic, of course, but also shocked because I really felt that I hadn't done anything to lose those stubborn ten pounds and I had no idea when they came off. Maybe they were gone for many months before I got weighed because I did notice my clothes getting a little looser with time but didn't think much about it since I had vowed to 'let go' of the scale control stuff. But dude, I was apparently thin again and didn't even know it! It's funny that I discovered this at nine months postpartum-----nine months to gain 43 pounds, and nine months to lose 44. :) I do like symmetry.

Also, in case you were wondering, my blood pressure was back to normal by my six week follow up appointment and was a fab 120/70 at that nine month check. In case it didn't hear me before, Pre-Eclampsia can kiss it next time! Seriously. Don't come around here looking for trouble again, thankyouverymuch.

When it comes to actual fitness as a mom my whole outlook has changed drastically. Before the days of Truman I was training for a full marathon and even ran 11 miles the day before I got my positive pg test. Nate and I had the luxury of running for hours at a time, we were members of a fantastic gym, and could literally exercise anytime we pleased. Holy moly, things are different now my friends! The very first time I worked out was the night of my six week OB appointment. I was literally itching to go for a run and had Nate watch Truman for me, while I trekked out for a light jog in my mommy running shoes. Um, can we just say that it was ugly and horrid and I couldn't make it more than a quarter of a mile before I had to walk? I felt my thighs burning and my lungs sputtering and realized that I had a ways to go before I could qualify as a runner again. Then during the rest of my maternity leave I made it a point to run with Truman in the BOB stroller at least 3 days per week. That stroller is basically gold on wheels, if you ask me, because it let me exercise while allowing my babe to nap which is a total score in mommy-ville.

Throughout the summer and fall I'd run with Truman in the BOB a few days per week and sometimes Nate would come along too, to form family of jogging fools. I never found the secret to running on a work day, though, so it is still strictly something I do on my Wednesdays off and the weekends only. Just not enough time in the day, nor enough energy for that nonsense. We ran that 5K as a couple in June and then sucked it up for a half marathon in October. But after that it started to get Wisconsin-cold and I just couldn't take T out in the BOB with me anymore. So Nate and I would take turns watching Truman on the weekends while the other ran and sometimes we still to the tag team thing. But mostly, I'm all about workout DVDs now.

You see, a good workout DVD means that I never have to leave home and so Truman can be napping in the other room while I sweat it out by the TV. Also, although I am addicted to pure cardio like running it feels amazing to do some resistance training, too, since I felt like I lost all of my muscle mass with pregnancy. I did some DVDs during my maternity leave, too, and now I have to say this is the ONLY regular exercise I get during the winter months unless I feel super brave about running in the frigid temps. The DVDs I love to hate are:

-P90X's Plymetric routine: I refuse to do the other discs just to spite Nate because he wants me to do them (and I like to anger my hubby sometimes:) ) but I do love the Plyo one! It's a full hour, though, so I must plan carefully around naps. I feel like this is the best workout of the bunch.

-Jillian Michael's 30 Day Shred: love that it's only 20 minutes long and hard core! Jillian kicks my rear like none other and I love that there are three different workouts;

-Jackie Warner's Xtreme Timesaver Training: OMG---this kicks my mommy butt big time and is only 30 minutes long. Definitely less cardio and more repetitions with the weights but I feel like it's a well-rounded workout for sure;

-The Biggest Loser Cardiomax Weight-Loss : my least favorite, but still acceptable if I skip to the harder levels. Bob is pretty insane, much like Jillian, Jackie and Tony.

So that is basically my recipe for exercise now as a mom. I have always been an active person who needs to work out or I go a bit stir crazy, but now instead of going for an hour long run I pop in a video instead. Works for me! I realize that I'm incredibly blessed to have a good metabolism and good genes because I never counted calories, restricted my diet, or went crazy exercising. In fact, my appetite has remained ginormous ever since pregnancy probably because of breastfeeding. We eat healthily but I definitely indulge myself in sweets and snacks and anything that I'm craving, but I just make sure to do that in moderation. My diet has not changed in the slightest comparing pre-pregnancy to post-pregnancy and I'm thankful that I have always enjoyed exercising.

And finally, I must comment on the overall appearance of my Mom Bod. Although I have lost all the baby weight I can tell that my body is much different than before. I'm still breastfeeding and so my boobs are still big but nothing like they were 6 months ago. I know I was at least a big C cup in my breastfeeding prime but now those nursing bras are too big and I've taken to wearing my old 'college' B-cup bras for funsies. I have one that is a front closure so even though it's not a true nursing bra it still gives me access to the girls as needed and I can feel like a normal person again without the nursing clasps up top. I'm quite certain that when I stop pumping and nursing my funbags are going to deflate and be a sad sight. If I was an A-cup before I wonder if it's possible to be a negative A cup, inverted to the point of pathetic? We'll see. I just have a bad feeling. Another fun fact? My right boob is still significantly larger than my left and it still produces a butt-ton more milk, too. I'm still praying that it will return to it's partner's size some day so I can have my matching set again. A girl can dream, right?

My linea nigra is shockingly still hanging around even 11 months after birthing T-man. It's super faint now but still there and I definitely assumed it would be gone by about month 3 or something. I hope it does vanish one day but at the same time, it's like my little visual reminder of being pregnant or something and it's so light I might be the only one to notice it anyway.

My stomach is pretty much back to it's pre-preg state of being but probably a little softer overall. It's not like I have a muffin top like I did those first few weeks but I can tell there's just a little more to inch around the edges now. I'm surprisingly okay with that, too. I think my belly button is still a little more stretched out compared to before but it's mostly recovered and I still thank my lucky stars that I didn't inherit any stretch marks from my basketball belly days.

So I suppose I must share actual pictures, huh? I made Nate take a belly pic 'for old times sake' tonight and let me tell you, we were quite rusty. He was goofing off the whole time and then said, point blank, 'Why are we doing a belly pic right now? Are you pregnant and this is how you are going to tell me right now?' Ha! No, dear. I love that he was totally not alarmed by this idea and thought I was up to something, though. Good to know. :)

So here is the before and after, extremes---the day I found out I was pregnant and right now, close to 11 months postpartum. Not too different, really.


And for fun, let's throw in a couple of shots in the middle of those extremes. OMG. My triple chin look at 38 weeks pg is reason enough to wait on number two a little while longer. Nate walked by and said 'Ooooh, I just want to pinch those cheeks!' to the computer screen when he saw my whale-like self. Not cool, Nate. He's on a roll tonight, folks!

So really, postpartum body of a mommy isn't too bad. A little different but no big deal. I think I won't freak out as much about weight gain next time around either, knowing it really does come off without working too hard at it. At least that is my story this time around and who knows what will happen next time. :)

Why blog?


Let me figure out how to work this thing again. Bear with me. Aside from Truman's 10 month post the last time I typed here was 12/14. Dang. It feels even longer than that, actually.

But this time I'm not going to type the usual 'wow, it's been awhile' introduction and then move into Truman updates. This time I am blogging about blogging. Or really, more specifically, I'm writing to discover why I write. Deep, huh?

I never really buy it when bloggers say they blog solely for themselves. If that were the case then why put it out on the public web? Wouldn't a little private word document suffice? I started this blog 3.5 years ago as a way to stay in touch with friends and family back in Missouri. I even have a nice little tab up there for all to read on the topic of why I blog. But the funny thing is that this blog morphed into something much more than that. The friends and family are still there but usually get updates via emails instead. This blog has given me most of my real life Milwaukee friends in one way or another. It's given me some faithful commenters who could absolutely qualify as 'real' friends, too---many of whom I forget if I've actually met them in real life before or not. It's given me an outlet to vent my frustrations, to sing praises of my family and friends, and of course it's given me a way to beam with pride over my precious son. I embrace the title of Mommy Blogger whole-heartedly and do not see that as a negative identity at all. And yet, I constantly toy with throwing in the old blogging towel but I just can't seem to do it.

The reason I'm having such a hard time walking away is that if I don't use this venue to capture my fleeting thoughts on mommy hood, I'm afraid they will slip away. Truman is changing at mind-boggling speeds these days and although I try to write in my paper journal I don't do it often enough. I've caught myself looking back through old posts a lot lately to reminisce about Truman's early days and I'm so thankful I blogged as much as I could because the first few months are a total blur. It's like these posts serve as virtual bookmarks, to slow down the spin of the world a few minutes at a time, so that the ordinary days don't fade away into the past. And now that I've typed those thoughts I see that it's really about control for me. Go figure. If I can blog about a problem or an accomplishment or just a regular day in the life----then I have control over those events since I put words to them. Huh, just another control issue I guess.

Yes, I could just type it all out on a Word document and then transplant that to my yearly digital album (because that has always been a reason for blogging---documenting life not just on the invisible internet but in a tangible album). But I'd be lying to you if I said I don't care about comments. The feedback I receive from complete strangers is incredibly powerful for a new mom who feels absolutely clueless at times. The support, the virtual interactions, the contact with other women living a similar life is truly uplifting. Somewhat addicting, actually. The 'hey, I went through the same thing with my kid and made it out alive' comments, and the 'you are doing a good job, lady, and your son is super cute' comments are like happy little pats on the back. And I admit that I like them.

I remember back in the day when I posted regularly, commented on other blogs religiously, and stalked my own stats frequently---it was incredibly time consuming and yet I felt so connected and....liked. Is that what blogging is all about? A high school popularity contest? I definitely don't fit that bill anymore and I'm trying to decide where I stand in the blogosphere these days.

I could easily throw out the 'I'm too busy, don't have the time' statement but I probably have more free time with this job than I did 6 months ago at my previous one. It's just a question of HOW you spend your free time, what your priorities are, and what you make time for; blogging has not been on my radar for awhile now. Even though I have a long list in my head of potential posts (first birthday party planning, cloth diapering a 10 month old, the saga of breastfeeding late in the game of babyhood, a day in the life now compared to back then, finding time to exercise as a working mom, my body 10 months postpartum, etc) I just can't seem to formulate the posts. And again, I'm not entirely sure why that is.

I'm not saying all of this as a way to beg for comments on why I should stick around. I think I'm typing it because I'm testing the waters a bit. Is this still fulfilling for me? Does anyone still read this blog? Does it make me feel like I'm soaking in the moment a little more, capturing my thoughts, making that instant a little more real? Or just the opposite? I'm still not sure.

I'll ask you, readers, if you also blog: Why? Why do you make that a priority to fill your free time? Do you feel the need to bookmark life with a post so that the moment doesn't drift away? And more selfishly of me: why do you read this blog? Is it because you are also a mommy and like reading about our parallel lives? Or you just think Truman is insanely cute (because he is and I never tire of hearing that one!)? I'm curious and clearly wavering.

I worry that my decrease in frequency of posts means that I'm forgetting more of the everyday treasures in our lives. And that is just not okay. Because I never ever want to lose these simple moments of happiness in the years to come. I still think this whole first year of being a mommy has been truly magical.

And with that, I feel obliged to show you a bit of that magic. Truman now gives open-mouthed, sloppy, wet kisses on command. And I'm asking for them about 72 times per day, in case you were wondering. :)

Ten Months

Double digits already? Who took my squishy newborn and replaced him with a toddler-esque little dude? Let me simultaneously scream, 'No, slow it down!' and 'I adore each new phase, bring on the next!' because I can't decide which way to feel about this milestone.


oh, the changes.

I kind of like how I divided up the nine month post according to the hot topics in baby life: eating, sleeping, and motor milestones/achievements. Not that our lives can be fully captured in three topics but those are certainly the biggies, no?

Let's analyze solids first and wait for the breastfeeding discussion a bit, shall we? Truman eats three meals a day plus one or two snacks but in the past few weeks he's caught his mommy's picky eater gene. At first he only wanted to feed himself and avoided all things spoon related and then that quickly morphed into him only wanting to eat what suited his refined palate at that very moment, which of course changes daily. Sometimes fruit is a hit and sometimes it totally fails. Sometimes graham crackers are like gold around here and other times they must taste like dirt. Basically we are happy when the kid agrees to eat ANYTHING we put in front of him because he definitely has opinions on what is good enough for his taste buds.


He tried his first french fry the other day at a restaurant and of course he chowed that down in record time. Sweets are always a success story, too, so I really do think he is trying to assert his opinion about food these days. Great. Grand. Wonderful. I guess the fact that he is gaining weight and eating 'enough' is what we'll go off of and I'll try to stop stressing about my kid tossing food on the ground, as if it's his personal mission in life to feed Henry the dog 5 ounces of people food a day. :) Needless to say Henry is a BIG fan of Truman these days.


The milk saga continues around here as Truman now nurses only once a day (if that), in the mornings right after he wakes up. That is when he is still sort of sleepy and cuddly and patient enough to wait for my let down. Otherwise, every other attempt at nursing is a no-go and usually leads me to feel like a total failure breastfeeding mom. I hate seeing him push me away as he turns his head to search out a new form of entertainment. But no matter how dark, quiet, and calm of a place we 'nurse' it doesn't work out anymore because this kid is simply on the move and cannot be bound by my boob. His distractedness is even affecting bottle feeding these days, as he can't sit still long enough to take in a whole bottle without NEEDING to get down and play/touch/search for various objects. I admit that when he is too restless for a bottle it does make me feel a little bit better about myself and my 'slow milk flow' because if the fast bottle doesn't cut it in Truman land then it must not be a personal thing against the tats. In fact, I'm certain that Truman is weaning himself from breastfeeding simply because he is a busy-body now and it's not because he doesn't love me. Isn't it sad to know that it took me a long time to be okay with this revelation, and not feel upset about it? He will usually take about 4 bottles in various amounts, totaling around 20 ounces each day. I'm sure you don't care about that but I'm big into milk numbers these days so you must oblige me.


So most days we get a loner nursing session in before we start our day, and sometimes even that is a struggle, and then it's me and my beloved/hated pump for four sessions each day. I am basically an 'exclusive pumper' now and I am usually pumping about 2-4 ounces less than what Truman takes in bottles in a given day. I counted up my freezer stash and we still have 200 ounces left but we have started to add an ounce of whole milk in breastmilk bottles occasionally because of our pending Missouri trip (leaving on Saturday 1/1 and not returning until Saturday 1/8!!!!). I won't have access to my stash down there so I need to make sure we have enough milk on hand or I will be incredibly ticked if I have to buy formula during our vaycay. Seriously. Two more months until his birthday---I am totally going to lean towards the finish line tape on this one and make it at all costs. And so whole milk is my friend to cushion our trip with a little extra milk padding. Wish me luck!

(Dressed up for his first Christmas!)

A much happier topic around here. (Sigh. Smile.) I'm beaming as I tell you that Truman now sleeps through the night about 90% of the time. Pause: let's remember that until he was 8.5 months old he NEVER EVER slept through the night, not even close. So this is still relatively new and awesome and is my one redeeming fact when I get sad about the lack of breastfeeding. Most of the time he goes down at 7:00 or 7:30 and sleeps until 6:30 or 7:00. Of course there are still times when he thinks it's necessary to begin a party in his crib at about 5:00 and then it's a tough call on our part---do we just start the day early since we can't really complain about a nice long sleep stretch like that; or do we have Nate give him a bottle to see if that will stretch it out a little more? Decisions decisions. Luckily we don't have to make that one too often.


Truman naps twice a day now, and has fallen into a pretty solid routine of passing out for about 2 hours in the morning and at least 1.5 hours in the afternoon. Gone are the days of 4 mini-naps and I can see that he'll be a once-a-day napper pretty soon. Again: such a big boy!!!

(spoiled, happy baby)

As if there was ever a doubt that my son is the product of two first-born, stubborn Germans--he proves he has his own agenda and is just now starting to army-crawl. Yes, I know that most babies check this off the list much much earlier than 9.5 months. But he totally didn't feel like it before, you know? It's like he felt his parents pushing him to crawl and so he defiantly ignored us and did it on his own terms. Now he is all about pulling himself forward on his belly and it practically became an obsession of his lately. Like, 'MOM I HAVE TO CRAWL TO THAT SPECK ON THE FLOOR OR I'LL JUST DIE!' type of a thing. Cute but not so cute when we have to actively guard all the non-baby type things in the house now. I'm sure it will only be worse when he is walking--but if we stay on this slower than the norm path it might be well past his one year birthday for that milestone.


Not up on all fours yet, but close. Not pulling to stand yet, but close. As I've said before this gives me great practice as a new mom who tends to be a little psychotic about my son because I'm learning to let him do things on his own time and not freak out as much. (stop laughing, I'm trying!). What's that saying about all babies doing things on their own clock, when they are ready? And the whole thing about not comparing your baby to others? I'm telling myself that Truman is perfectly healthy and isn't 'delayed' but he has a mind of his own. It seems like he prefers to focus on one task at a time, giving 100% of his attention to it until it's mastered, then he is able to move on and focus on something else. He might not be the first of his friends to crawl or walk but I have to remember it's not a race. He'll hit all the milestones when he is good and ready, I suppose. He is the boss and I'm not. Chalk that lesson up to motherhood's biggest pill to swallow.


He's gotten really into saying, 'Da Da' when he sees Nate. Simply adorable, right? But then again, he says 'Da Da' when I request that he says 'Ma Ma' instead. Not cute. Still waiting on my moment in the spotlight over here! He'll try to imitate a lot of sounds we make and sometimes he gets close. But when in doubt he always revert back to the old favorite 'Da Da.'


If there was a 'Like' button for opening and closing drawers, Truman would hit that baby about a million times per day. Drawers = sweetness. Also totally sweet? Watching objects fall from hand onto ground. It's totally mesmerizing to toss toys and food and everything possible and see how they fall.


Still clapping and waving and shaking head vigorously to say 'NO!' He will also making a farting sound with his mouth on command which is our prized trick of the month. Actually, imitating us make all sorts of sounds is a new fun thing around here and sometimes I swear Truman is trying to talk to us and relay actual information to us through sounds. His faves are still yelling, squealing, and making high-pitched vowel sounds in order to wake the neighbors. We are using baby signs when we think of it and I know he 'gets' some of it, some of the time. Yes, we are totally that couple who signs to our baby and it's actually pretty fun if you ask me. Signing 'more' and 'all done' and 'milk' and 'doggie' are the most frequently used signs when we can remember to use them.


In other news, he now has six freaking teeth. His two top middles came through this month with authority and are basically the cutest things in the world. Speaking of growing things, his hair is getting pretty awesome. A few long strays here and there and it's really filling out compared to his bald days.


Oh, and for at least a month, if not longer, diaper changes have become my least favorite activity. In fact, Nate and I might become professional alligator wranglers because Truman has perfected the alligator roll during changes. I know some of you can picture it: remove old diaper, and as soon as the new one is ready to go on, the baby starts to spin so you grab him by the feet and he keeps spinning. Thus the alligator roll. Horribleness all around. I've actually gotten really good at applying a diaper and various articles of clothing with Truman on his stomach or sitting up, or even crawling around. Sometimes I need to catch my breath and drink a recovery shake after those diaper changes because they are absolutely draining.

(our little hippie baby, straight outta San Fran)


So here we are at ten whole months. Sleeping more, staying in one place less, and worth every second of it. Bring on 2011 because 2010 was freaking awesome. :)
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