Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Back in the Saddle Again

According to the experts, a new mom is supposed to wait a full six weeks before exercising. Initially, I had no problem with this. After all, in my pre-Jack life, I regularly waited six weeks between workouts. Besides, with the magic of breast-feeding, I was told the baby weight would all but melt away on its own.

Sadly, much like anti-aging creams or unicorns, the fat-burning powers of breast feeding are just a beautiful fantasy. Even sadder, I have spent nearly six post-partum weeks fuelling that fantasy with cake, chocolate, full-fat lattes, red wine and enough carbs to make Dr. Atkins weep in his grave.

My first clue should have been a couple of weeks ago when I tried my old Levis on "just for fun" (note: it was NOT fun) and realized they barely pulled up past my knees. The second clue was even less sneaky: my ex-masseuse (who also happens to be the truth-telling waxer, for those of you who've been reading for a while) blatently told me I'd gained weight. Hoping she had me mixed up with another client, I pointed out that I had been nine months pregnant when she'd massaged  last time. Yes, she said. But now the fat was in my face and hips. It was, quite possibly, the least relaxing "Relaxation massage" of all time.

So that was last week. And although I technically should wait until Friday of this week to do much about it other than try to find reasons to go for walks that don't end in coffee and cake somewhere, today I threw caution to the wind and did my first post-pregnancy workout. It's called The Tracy Anderson Method Post-Pregnancy workout and it is designed to "awaken your muscles" and bring the skin back to the muscle. Well, after an hour of being tortured by this pert little pocket person (who apparently gained 60lb in her pregnancy... a claim I find dubious, but whatever) my abs are awake. And after nine months of napping, they are extremely grouchy.

A thank you note to my son

Dear Jack,
Thank you for being so nice to mommy all day long yesterday after an evening of bubbly birthday fun with Auntie Mel.  I appreciate the fact that you were down with spending the whole day chilling out in our PJs. Parenting lesson learned: babies > champagne.

Saturday, 11 February 2012

Game on!

For the most part -- with the notable exception of giving birth in a room overlooking the London Eye and waking up to the sight of Westminter across the Thames -- having a baby in London is, I imagine, much like having a baby in Toronto would be. Sure, there are some differences in terminology - pram/pushchair vs stroller; nappies vs diapers... but for the most part I just use my old Canadian words and somehow the kid gets from point A to B with a relatively clean bottom half.
Today, however, it's time for some uniquely British Culture. No, no. We are not off to Jack's first post-utero trip to the Tate, nor are we taking the stroller to see the Queen*. Nope. Today, we are going to the pub to watch the rugby. Because in England, it is somehow perfectly normal and acceptable to take a baby to bar.

*for the record, he HAS been to a few local galleries in the pushchair
**also for the record, that is someone else's kid in today's photo. Babies in bars, fine. But no baby of mine need ever pose on astroturf.

Tuesday, 7 February 2012

Trying to talk about Russia

Over the past couple of weeks, Jack, Alex and I have been blessed with many visitors. Which is lovely. It really, really is. But dear, sweet baby Jesus it can get boring.

I mean, like many babies, my baby is cute. I love my kid. And I am very pleased that others love my kid and care enough to visit us. But my kid being cute and loveable does not a two hour conversation make! I have spent a lot of time lately sitting on my couch, staring at people staring at my sleeping kid. Which is fine for an hour... But any longer than that and you are basically stealing my sleep.

That's why it was so extra lovely to have my BBC friend Sola over this afternoon. In addition to the usual birth/sleep quotient/bowel activity chat (which, for the record it is extremely challenging to baby blog without discussing!), we talked about Russia! And it was awesome.

Dear future guests, Come by anytime. Please bring  conversation.

Pyjama party

My mom flew home yesterday. I did my best to keep my heart under my sleeve - a few cuddles, kisses for Jack and a reassurance I'd see her soon in Toronto and she was out the door. After which, I spent a good half hour or more staring blankly, crying and wondering what the hell I am doing trying to raise a baby so far away from my own family. It really was amazing and magical having her here and if I had one wish right now, it would be to build a supersonic transit link between Toronto and London.

Oh well. Life goes on - and, really, I will manage to see her again soon. Gotta be thankful for the fact that we both have the health and resources to make that possible. Also on my gratitude list for the day? The makers of The Office. And the makers of Alex's super-comfy couch. And Alex himself. After I wiped my tears away, we spent the rest of the day/evening having the most gloriously lazy day I can remember having in months. Just cuddled with Jack, ate when hungry and enjoyed an Office Marathon. Today it's sunny outside and I'm feeling far more ready to face the world. Alex is going to stay home and job hunt as I take Mr. Jack on our first solo outing to Brixton. It's not exactly far... but it's baby steps to making London feel like home again.

Thursday, 2 February 2012

My new trick

One of my favourite things about this blogging business is finding just the right image to sum up what I'm talking about. Simply throw a keyword into Google images and hey, presto! A gallery of images from which to (illegally) choose. Well... this is today's image. Because today's keyword was "Milking". Because I just milked myself.

So that's a little weird. And... since I am not really sure what else to say about it... I will leave it to the good people of Howland Homestead Farm, providers of today's image, to sum it up for me with the following blurb from their website. Just substitute "cow" for "yourself"! (And yes, that exercise *is* as bizarre in practice as it sounds in theory).

"We believe that hand milking a cow on Howland Homestead Farm is an essential item on everyone's life list of accomplishments, along with space travel, running a marathon, getting a hole in one, or winning the Nobel Prize.  We are grieved to think of the number of future epithets that will read: "Yes, I conquered Everest, but if only I'd hand milked a cow on Howland Homestead Farm!"

I am pretty sure HH farm's copywriters are being a little sarcastical here (in my opinion, milking oneself is in NO WAY a neccessary life achievement) -- but in addition to being a really freaking weird thing to see yourself doing, it really is a pretty nifty thing to be able to do. And seeing as Jack seems to have broken my left boob, a handy one, as well!