Sunday, March 28, 2010

the postpartum body

So, lately I've been watching a lot of TLC's What Not To Wear.

Yeah, we recently got cable.

Anyway, this show fascinates me. Stacy London and Clinton Kelly, "Style Experts," give shopping tips and help needy fashion victims learn to dress in a way that better flatters their shape. It is, to put it concisely, a style makeover. Sometimes the show is a bit brutal, sometimes it's just fun. But for me, it's pretty much always educational.

The philosophy of the show is "embrace the body you're in." Don't plan for six months from now, when you'll have lost that pesky 20 lbs you've been trying to get rid of. Don't try to hide that 15 lbs you've gained by wearing over-sized, baggy clothing. Accept what you've got, and play up your strengths. Period.

I'm not really digging the body I've got right now.

I mean, it's alright. The shape is familiar to me - it's my shape. It's just...slightly super-sized. Me, but super-sized. Lovely.

And it's not like Elise wasn't worth it. I posted that poem a few days ago, largely because it's something that I struggle with. I was preaching to myself, mostly. I want to accept it, be cool with it. Make my peace with the changes that pregnancy and birth almost necessarily bring.

Lovely sentiment. But a bit hard to swallow when my clothes don't fit right.

The good news is, I have a mere 10 lbs to lose. The bad news? The last 10 lbs of pregnancy weight is always tough for me. I have to fight for every ounce, it seems.

Armed with ideas, I ventured out this weekend. I hoped to find some clothes that will work for my now, and not my 10 lbs from now. And unlike the last time I attempted this, I was thrilled with the results. I now have some basic staples to get me through the next few months without despairing every time I look into the closet. I still want to lose that 10 lbs, and I have little doubt that I will. But for now, getting dressed isn't quite so depressing.

I will admit that I did buy one item which I'm sure would appall the show's hosts. It's a long, dark skirt. They would say it "does nothing" for me, and that I am not doing myself a service by wearing it. But I loved it. I loved the way it felt, the way it floats around my legs. So I'm okay with committing one shopping "sin." It doesn't always have to be about fashion, at least not in my opinion.

I know; I'm such a rebel.

And speaking of rebellion, I doubt you'll ever catch me in those stunning high heels they're always talking about. I can never walk properly in heels, and they absolutely murder my feet.

Besides, with shoe wicked pointy-toed shoes? I'm sure at least one of my children would lose an eye.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

10 things I love about my boy: Kyle

1) The fact that he is so quick to laugh.

2) That he will run to get a drink of milk, in the middle of a wrestling session, because he believes it will give him a burst of super strength. Milk is to Kyle what spinach is to Popeye.

3) His great passion for reading. Because of this passion, he can read words like "responsible," "advance," and "innovate" from signs and t-shirts, with no problem.

4) How easily he shares with others.

5) The way he is utterly smitten with his new sister. I'm talking smitten.

6) How he runs to Elise when she cries and, as if it's his beloved duty, leans down and sings "Rock-A-Bye Baby" into her ear. And yes, she does stop crying.

7) His strong sense of justice.

8) That he has finally accepted that if he sits still, his fingernails will be clipped ever-so-much more quickly.

9) The fact that his very favorite place to be is next to Elise.

10) The expression on his face when he says "Thanks, Mom."

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Monday, March 22, 2010

"The Fish Makes the River, the River the Fish"

By Melissa Crowe

Where there were pale pink moons, barely
distinct from the milk-sky around
you have made dark disks, fist-sized and freckled,
islands even in your near-sighted first days you will not miss.

Where I was narrow, slim as a stream, barely
a trickle through powdered ground
you have carved your outlet, canal of space from hip to hip,
through which you will swim into this bright sea.

Where I was free, blank and smooth as a sheet, barely
love-pocked, or weather-rippled,
you have marked me, made me your own, purple striped
by your growth and stretched for your passage to come.

I have made you, yes, each diamond scale of your side
I have sculpted, each gill reddened
with my own particular air. And you, you have made me,
you have made me everything you will need.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010


So, I've been trying to concentrate on eating more protein. Fewer carbs. I've got some baby weight I'd like to lose.

No...not that kind of baby weight. But you know what I mean.

And yet, in my quest to eat more protein and less carbs... rather looks like a case of self-sabotage.

A spiffy new Bosch mixer is not a friend to weight loss. But the result certainly are yummy!

Monday, March 15, 2010

wild times

Thanks to better health, we were finally able to have Owen's (postponed) birthday party last weekend.

He enjoyed playing with his friends, and just basically monkeying around.

More cake? Score!

Happy birthday again, Owen.

And I'm so glad to be finished throwing birthday parties until September.

Friday, March 12, 2010

a letter to my house

Dear New House,

I'm sorry I haven't had much time for you lately. I miss you, even though that may sound crazy. I mean, we see each other all the time. We do spend a lot of time together, after all. But quantity doesn't necessarily equal quality, I do know that.

And when I can, I really enjoy working on our relationship. The whole "quality time" thing. I have a definite sense that quality time may be your love language, and I'm so sorry if you're feeling neglected.

I adore you, I really do. And I'm looking forward to a time when I'll be able to do more for you. Treat you the way you deserve to be treated. Buy you presents, give your walls a coat or two.

But right now, I've got other things on my mind.

See, I've got these four precious little people to care for. And it may be hard for you to hear, but they're my priority at the moment. They have all these needs. They need to be fed regularly. They need baths, hands washed, faces wiped. They need their clothes tended to. They need instruction. They really need to be taught to put things away when they're done.

They need to be taught about Jesus.

And they need to be read to. Played with. Held, cuddled. Loved.

So you see, Dear New House, there just isn't much time for you right now. But I haven't forgotten you. I'm just being selective about how I spend my time. After all, I have priorities.

I guess you'll just have to get in line.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

four weeks

Owen is 2!

Owen turned two years old this week! It was actually a few days ago, and I've never done a birthday post so late. But perhaps you'll forgive me; life is a little busier these days.

We've had colds and coughs around here, so we had to postpone Owen's birthday party. But his grandma and grandpa (Jeff's folks) and Uncle Kevin still came over to help us celebrate. It was a fun time, in spite of the sniffles.

Here is Owen with his "Birthday Boy" book:

Opening presents was fun. He got the hang of it quickly...

The cake turned out yummy! And Jeff did a great job decorating it.
As for the cake itself, I used this recipe, with a few modifications. I used sprouted whole wheat flour, sucanat in place of the sugar, and coconut oil instead of canola oil. It turned out great. I topped it with this frosting from Wardeh at GNOWFGLINS.

Happy birthday, sweet boy. We love you like crazy!