Sunday, February 25, 2007

Baby Fat

This week, someone said to me "Looks like you've lost your baby fat." Instead of just saying thank you, I had to obsessively explain in great detail:

"Thanks, but in reality I'm much heavier than I ever was pre-pregnancy. You see, I used to weigh 130 lbs. and that was only when I was't trying to get pregnant. Before that, I was around 125 lbs. Now I'm about 150 lbs. so I am less than I was while pregnant when I got up to 169 lbs. but I'm much heavier than I've ever been."

I don't know why I have a hard time accepting 150 lbs. as my new weight. I still look proportional. I don't fit into any pre-prego things unless you count the variety of Old Navy velour sweats I've worn for years including through my entire pregnancy. In the real world, those don't count. I'm just barely fitting into the Size 12 pants that I bought 3 months post baby.

Up until the last 2 weeks when the whole family was sick, I was working out at least twice a week and feeling stronger, more compact. Now I'm back to feeling a little large and lumbering. But I can honestly say I'm not fat. Just bigger than I'm used to being.

In reality, I'm not obsessing over my weight every day. Or even my strange new shape (saggy boobs, poochy belly, thicker thighs). But it must be right beneath the surface that I can't even just say "thank you" when someone points out how good they think I look. I think it is all part of the "I'm not really me anymore" feeling I keep getting. I don't know who I am but I'm feeling a little like that guy in the TV series Quantum Leap who would wake up and be inhabiting someone else's body.

It isn't a bad body. It is just...different and unfamiliar. I knew that getting older would bring about all kinds of body changes, but I figured they'd be gradual and unsurprising like the extra gray in my hair. Post-pregnancy body changes are a jolt to the senses, and I guess I'm still reeling.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Birthdays....for Better or Worse

Where does the time go? I feel like I'm constantly racing the clock to get things done in between Seth's leaving and returning from school. But, beyond the hours in a day....where do the years go?

Seth is turning four this Saturday, and he's a "little man" now. He can't wait for his birthday because he stumbled on one of his unwrapped presents in the basement and has been asking every day since if today is his birthday. We are trying to explain to him the difference between today, tomorrow, yesterday, etc. But, since he so lives in the moment, he just wants everything now....or wants tomorrow to be today.

In his own way, unknowingly, he is wishing time away. I, on the other hand, try to savor the moments. He is growing quickly. And, as he ages, so do I, and others I love...and life can feel so fleeting.

One of my 40 something friends had a birthday this week. I sent her a card, and she replied via email by saying thanks and that she'd prefer not to remember it. I got the sense that the years of celebrating it were over for her, and it made me feel sad.

Yes.....I'm getting older....we all are....but what is the alternative? And, I do want my birthdays remembered, for better or worse. I will never tire of receiving a well-chosen card or gift. If you want to keep it in birthday is August....just don't have to send a present......but good wishes are always appreciated. And, most importantly, good health and more fun times ahead, as we watch our children grow into themselves!

We just ordered the birthday cake for Seth....this year it will be a Bob the Builder theme. I hope it will leave an impression on him. I know it will on me. And, I'll be sure to tuck away a miniature Muck or Lofty (if you know Bob the Builder) for Seth, too, can look back one day when he is no longer wishing away tomorrow....and smile.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

How Did I Get Here?

I'm typing this blog post with one hand, holding the pump flanges to my breasts to pump breastmilk for baby. Baby is now almost 8 months old but I made a pact with myself when she stopped breastfeeding at 3 weeks old (after a nightmarish bout of infections, blood, pain and tears) that I'd pump until she is a year old.

The babysitter called in sick so I'm tossing toys to baby who just woke up (after another 4am wakeup for a bottle - her new habit after sleeping through the night for months) - she is on the living room floor starting to whine out of frustration because she can't get up from her tummy position. I'm trying not to pick her up every time she whines so she can figure out how to push herself along.

In my previous, pre-baby life I'd be working right now, from home, but fixed on my computer without interruption, getting a staggering amount of work done in a day. My joke used to be that I could do in an hour what it takes most people to do in a day. It was true. Now my "joke" is that it takes me 3 days to do what I used to do in an hour.


Okay, I'm back. Where was I? I can't stay on task because I can barely remember what to do. It is much better than it was 4 to 5 months post partum - my worst months ever. But even though I'm feeling a little more "normal," the whole concept of normal has shifted now that I have a baby.

Whine. Whine. Whine. I know, baby isn't the only one whining here. It is just that I have come to realize how the old adage "be careful what you wish for" applies to my life now. After 4 miscarriages, I was certain that I wanted a baby and damned determined to have one. Now that I have one, I keep wondering "How did I get here?" Another nagging question is "Who am I?" I've added Noa's mom to the mix of all the many hats I used to wear. But those other hats were how I made a living.

I guess this new Mom Hat is how I make a life.

To Have or Have Not..........A Nanny

I admit it. I'm spoiled. We've had a live-in nanny with us since Seth was born, so I'm used to having at least some level of flexibility with my schedule. This week, our nanny has been out ill, and we don't know when she is coming back....and I'm not a happy camper. On top of it, my husband is traveling on business now, so some days, it's all me....and that means my day stops at 2:30PM when nursery school ends.

Since I am so not a morning person, I feel like I'm walking around in a bit of a fog, trying to adjust to setting my alarm to get Seth off to school. It reminds me of the fulltime working professional I used to be, in what now feels like another life. It was a pre-motherhood chapter that doesn't even seem like it was me. There was a time, yes, when I awoke before daybreak and commuted in NYC, didn't complain....except about my bosses. So, why am I fighting the alarm now?

Guess I like feeling entitled to sleep in a bit if I'm able. Is that so awful? I know plenty of moms heed the crying call of a baby at all hours.....but now that my son is four, I've been there, done that....and like my morning chill time.

So.....what do we do now? Try to find a new nanny who doesn't live in? (I'm not overly inclined to adjust to a new live-in) And, if so, for what hours? Can I bite the alarm bullet and reluctantly rise to the occasion myself in the AM? But, then what happens after school?

Stay tuned................

Friday, February 09, 2007

Musical Beds tonight, I am sleeping with my dad (not in the sense you might think of course).

My elderly dad is spending the weekend with us recuping from his recent surgery. Since our spare bedroom is in the basement, and it's too many stairs for him to tackle, he is sharing my comfy pillowtop mattress tonight and tomorrow, and my husband is hitting the sack solo downstairs.

My son is totally thrilled to be having a sleepover with his grandpa. (He likes to tuck him in.) And, I'm grateful for the time with my dad as well. I have just found in recent years that I don't sleep as well as I used I hope his snoring and frequent bathroom trips don't further keep me up. I was pretty much always a light sleeper, but it's gotten even more challenging. Combination of being a peri-menopausal mom, and having "midlife mom brain" (information overload), my 35+ mom friends and I surmise.

After chasing a four year old around all week, you'd think I'd just fall into bed, but that's not necessarily the case.


Tonight my son was in rare form at the diner. He was so clearly overtired that he passed on his turkey burger (and fries) and spent a good portion of the time under the table picking on used chewing gum people left behind. Has your child ever done that? (Where is the hand sanitizer when you need it?) It was one of those nights where we probably should have just done takeout, but after being in the house so much (it's been really cold here this week), we just wanted to get some air....however frigid.

I don't regret it....but since it wasn't didn't exactly leave me in the greatest frame of mind for a peaceful night's slumber. But, I'll do my best. Tomorrow I take Seth to gym class, and he'll be his usual energizer bunny self, and I'll have a little bit of mommy chill time. I'll take what I can get. Perhaps on the way home he'll nap in the car, and I can do the same when we get back to the house. Wouldn't mind if someone would drive me around one day until I doze ....preferably a limo, thank you, with a flat screen tv and cushioned reclining seats in the back.....and a bottle of champagne on ice. Why not go for the gusto?!

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Spider Mom Pumps Iron

Getting to the gym never happens as often as I'd like it to. I admit it. Sure, I have an exercise bike at home and treadmill, but the exercise room in the basement has become more of an overflowing toy storage area of late. There was a time when I would even retreat there to meditate in peace. I have the CDs and candles to prove it. I am a huge fan of the practice.........but these days, finding quiet time feels like a luxury in my multi-tasking mom life.

That said, I do think it's essential to keep our minds and bodies best we can.....and at 40+, the aging clock is ticking (not just biological). In the bigger scheme of things, we want to be here for our kids. And, since it seems, my son is destined to be an athlete......he already has asked for boxing lessons and loves to tackle more than anything.....I need to keep up. This summer, we will buy him his first bike. A big step for him.....and no doubt, cardio for me, as I chase him down the hill on our block.

So, when he fights me because I announce it's time for mom to hit the gym, I tell him that mommy has to exercise (pump some iron). That I need to be strong and Spider Man (who has muscles) son's favorite super hero these days..........and that "SpiderMom" will be home in time to read books with him and put him to bed.

Tomorrow I'm going to call my gym and arrange for his private boxing lesson. I might be well-served to get myself a pair of boxing gloves. Who knows? It could one day become a family sport for us....and then I won't have to fight him to go to the gym........we can duke it out there, as a mommy & son boxing duo.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Babysitters Rule

The babysitter has left and I'm all alone with baby again. Every day, I get a small reprieve from this new life called Motherhood in My 40s and get a chance to be the old me, or a semblance of the old me. I can attempt to multitask, work on my book, consult my clients, and all around pretend to be a functioning adult in a civilized world.

Then the babysitter leaves. And it is all baby, all the time. She is 7 1/2 months now, in a whining and groaning stage like she is trying to tell me something like "get the hell off the computer, mom, I'm much more interesting and my diaper is probably poopy." She is a little frustrated by the fact that she is not yet crawling although she is getting awfully close. Everyone says I'm going to be wishing for the non-crawling days again, but I have to admit I'm really looking forward to her being mobile. I think that will be so much more interesting than the "all I can do is sit and topple over then whine, whine, whine" stage.

The babysitter is saving my life or at least my sanity. I don't think I could survive 8-9 hours a day of total baby and nothing else. Call me a bad mommy, call me what you will, but I've just been adjusting to marriage later in life (38) and although I thought I wanted a baby, when she finally came, I was looking for the receipt so I could read the return policy.

Life with baby is just really hard. If it wasn't for babysitters, I'd be in the funny farm by now. At least half of each weekday, I can pretend to be a little bit normal. Because as far as I can tell, mothers are not normal. I don't know what they are yet, but they definitely are not normal.