From the category archives:

Baby Gear

So.  I want to lose 10 pounds of baby weight by the end of the summer.

I kept in pretty good shape through my pregnancy!  I did yoga very regularly and walked everywhere.  My eating habits are pretty darn good, too.   But, still, I gained 35 pounds.  2o of that came off right away, and then 5 more were sweat into the bed in the first week or two after his birth.  That was great!  I had never undergone such a physical change so quickly.  There were days when I looked into the mirror and said things like, “I can’t believe I EVER thought I needed to lose a single pound before pregnancy!”  After all those weeks of growing bigger and BIGGER, I felt so tiny in those first weeks after labor and delivery.

That said, my skinny feelings are over.  Like, really over.  Nothing fits.  I have a closet full of pretty dresses that won’t zip over my anything.  I have a shelf full of size 28 jeans that can barely fit around my ample thighs.  It’s not horrible.  It’s not earth-shattering.  It’s certainly not a deep and meaty thing to talk about… but it I do feel a little disheartened.

I am stoked to be a mom, but I want to be a hot mom!  I want to be a mom with something that resembles my old body.  I realize that I’ll have a little bit of extra that requires me to wear my Spanks a little more often, but I at least want my dresses to zip.

SO!  With all of this in mind, I have eaten my last almond croissant for a while and I am getting down to business with proper eating.  I’m sure that I’ll feel like eating the floor often enough, and I’m also sure that I’ll let myself eat the floor since I am breast-feeding a boy who is above the 95th percentile for size… but the floor had better be made of whole grains, veggies, and lean proteins.  No more fish and chips from Ivar’s, no more sneaking cookies, and no more rationalizing french toast for breakfast.

I am also glad to have the green light to work out to my heart’s content again.  Mind you, my heart’s content isn’t all that much… it’s usually just enough.

To help my workouts, I have made a promise to myself to be more outdoorsy. We live in the Pacific Northwest, and this is absolutely stunning country.  When I moved here, it was my intention to get more in touch with my love of nature.  I had lost touch with the land after all of those years living in New York City!  It can’t be helped!  So I figured I’d get back in touch with mother nature in the Olympics and the Cascades, no problem.  Yet, I’ve been here for two and a half years now and have only been on ONE single hike.  It’s just hard to get moving in the great outdoors when you’re a total downtown dweller with no car.

I vocalized all of this to a friend recently, and she let me know that she too needs to be more outdoorsy!  AND!  She actually has a car.

We made a date to head out to our first hike today with another girlfriend in tow!  It wasn’t a huge hike, but it was still a pretty impressive feat for our first time out.  We hiked the trail to Rattlesnake Ledge, which is 4 miles, roundtrip, and about a 1200 foot elevation gain.

Axelrod rode in his Ergo carrier, which is so perfect for longer walks.  He fared pretty well!  I had to stop in the middle of the climb to nurse him.  Once we got to the summit point, I changed him like a big brave hippie with all of these totally stunning views around us.  Then, he lay there on the rock with us, wide eyed.  He really loves being outside in the sunshine!  He gets so alert and I wonder just what he can see out there.  He always cries when I pick him up to move to our next destination.  I love that he can sit still and enjoy himself so much, and don’t take a moment of that peace for granted.

On the way down the mountain, he got a little difficult and I figured out how to nurse him in his Ergo while hiking down the mountain.  I felt very proud of myself, like the La Leche League should give me a special advanced nursing badge or something.  And now?  I guess I’m fully a PNW mom.

I did learn a few things for our next hike.  Like!?  Maybe I should have had pants and booties on the baby to keep his little legs and feet away from all of those mosquitos.  And maybe I should have brought a banana with me, because I sure wanted one.  Maybe I should have brought a little pad for him to lay on (though laying on the Ergo seemed to make him happy enough).  But we did a pretty good job, and boy am I ever tired tonight.

And, all that diet talk aside… and I totally ordered a beer when we went out for lunch after our hike.  Gosh, was it ever deeeelicious.

Burping on the trail

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Swingers

by Milton on Tue, Jun 15th, 2010

in Baby,Baby Gear,Challenges,Design,Home,Month 1,Parenthood

Baby on one knee... iPad on the other.

With the exception of our nursing and napping enabler, the marvelous iPad, we’re both super sensitive to baby gear.  Most of it is junk.  I see it in the store and immediately visualize it in a landfill.  It’s pretty much all badly made molded plastic crap, and much of it requires a batteries.  Gross.  I cringe at the use of even a disposable water bottle or plastic shopping, so you can imagine how all of this other stuff makes me feel.

I tried to get around the baby gear issue by only registering for very few things and buying vintage.  The furniture I bought to house Axelrod’s little onesies and pajamas is midcentury stuff that matches all the blonde wood we have in our space, refinished a little with some fabric that will eventually translate well into his own room (someday, someday!).  Our pram is a fantastic mid-70s vintage.  We co-sleep when he’s not in the pram, and hope to totally avoid ever owning a crib.  The little books and toys we’ve gotten for him are stashed in bins on the blonde wood shelves.

The big, amazing, SUV style BOB stroller is the big item in one of our only big closets.  The ugly Graco infant seat was my one plastic concession in our living room, along with a vibrating chair that is on loan from another family.  We found that we could strap him into the car seat and rock the seat with our foot, creating a swing effect, OR put him in the vibrating chair.  They both work, depending on his mood.  I thought it’d hold out through the infant swing phase nicely.

And then he started to get fussy in ways that only a good rock would suffice.

He’s generally not a fussy guy.  He doesn’t cry unless he has a really good reason.  He cries when he’s hungry.  He fusses when his diaper needs changing.  He cries when he has gas.  The thing is, that whole gas issue?  Yeah.  That happens a LOT.  He’s always working something out, be it a man sized burp or a series of charming farts.  He grunts and pushes and cries.  I can’t blame him.  Digestion issues are the devil.  We use a little Gripe water from time to time, but this stuff certainly doesn’t put him down for a nap, hands free.

The thing about infants is that they get all worked up.  They’re happy and gorgeous and smiling, and then something will happen to tip the scales and you could be looking down a rocky road for the next few hours of family peace.  It’s not that he screams, really.  We are very fortunate to not have a baby with colic.  He just fusses.  He grunts.  He squeaks.  He squirms.  If it goes on for two long, the scales get tipped and his head gets all messy and refuses to sleep.  You’ve got to reset that baby brain with some white noise and swinging to lull him off to sleepy time, thereby lulling yourself off to some precious sleepy time.

For us, the worse time is in the morning.  It starts to happen any time from 4am to 6am and can sometimes (luckily not often) last until 2pm.  He starts to get gassy and he starts with the grunting and the squeaking.  Sometimes, this makes for parental shambles for the whole rest of the day.  A baby who nurses at midnight, 2, and 4 and then decides to be mostly awake until late morning or early afternoon makes for a parent who is trying to survive the day on only 2 hours of sleep.  Exhaustion makes everything worse.  We will start to snip at each other and argue about areas where we generally feel peaceful.  That’s not a pretty way for new parents to go!

Enter… my bratty foot stomping insistence on buying a baby swing.  I was lucky to have the backup of my mother and sister-in-law on the swing front.  They were all visiting- Milton was uncertain of this ugly plastic monstrosity, but it’s rather hard to argue in the face of so many mothers.  Our family needed a swing- it was decided.  We headed to a local baby gear consignment shop and put our fussy baby into some of the ugliest swings I’ve ever seen to test them out.  In the end, Milton and I decided to come away with the cheapest one.  His sister used the same model for her little girl, and it worked for her, that was good enough reason for us!  We bought it and brought it home.  My mother sent me to bed for a much needed nap and commanded absolute silence from my very young sisters and step-father.  She scrubbed the swing while I slept.  It now looks practically new and now doesn’t have that sweetly rancid other-people’s-baby smell that I associate with day care centers and baby consignment shops.  Phew.

Today is the first day we’re getting to test the swing.  His little head flops around a little in it, so I’ve got him supported with an adorable purple elephant that a good friend of ours knit.  I put him in that swing when he was grunting, squeaking, and badly in need of a nap… and he went down for the count.  After 10 minutes, I moved him to his pram for a proper sleep and breathed a sigh of relief.

The swing will go right back to that consignment shop in a few months.  Our living room will look worse for the wear in the meantime, but we three will get some sleep in the meantime.  We’ve learned that a sleepy baby by day means a sleepy baby by night… so I don’t doubt he’ll be lulled to many naps in this thing.

Once he grows a little more and can focus on some different things, I’ll tell you all about the ugly playcenter hand-me-down that was dubbed by it’s previous owner as the “Neglector 1000.”  We’ll use that thing (currently stashed under the couch) and pass that right along to the next baby, too.

In baby world, the fussbucket motto must be, “By Any Means”. Even if those means are plastic.

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