Friday, February 26, 2010

Team MEepa

This is Gabrielle Anwar. She is on one of my favorite shows, Burn Notice. She has also had four children. Four. And she is in her 40s. Four children and in her 40s. Sigh.

Now, I am not saying I want to look like her. OK, I want to look like her a little. But that is not the point. My point is that the expectation for women, especially ones who have just given birth, are very high. Celebrities are back to their pre-pregnancy bodies in an alarmingly short amount of time, and more and more women are putting that burden on themselves. Unless you have a ton of money and time, which most new moms do not, especially when they go back to work, then these expectations are impossible to reach. In order to be a size 4 with awesome arms and a healthy glow, I (and most other new moms) need the following:

1 - No job, as in, I don't need a job that requires me to sit at a desk for 8 hours (or more!) a day. No job means I will have the time to get my beauty sleep and work out at least two hours every day (even if it just means yoga and a run).

2 - A personal trainer. He (yes, HE) and I will get together about 3 days a week.

3 - A stylist. Now, I don't need a daily blow out, but it would be nice to be able to get a haircut before it's all grown out and shaggy. A trim every few weeks would be much better than what I am rocking right now. Add in a massage therapist and spa technician and we are good to go. No more muscle knots, grown out eyebrows and parched skin.

4 - A personal chef. Or even a sous-chef. I don't mind cooking, but the grocery shopping and prep work is unfun. How can I be hot and relaxed if I have to do "chores"?

5 - A housekeeper. Picking up, making the bed, dishes, laundry - all fall under the aforementioned unfun category. He or she won't have to come every day; maybe just every week.

6 - Last, but not least, a nanny! Now, he or she won't need to be there all day and night. Ok, maybe a night nurse those first few months, but after the multiple night feedings are over, I am thinking a nanny from 6am to around 11am. That will let me sleep in, work out, and run a few errands. Then I'll be the best mommy I can be. Me and the kiddo. Walks, playtime, bottles, feedings, I am all over it.

As Josh says, if it were my job to be hot, I would be. If my income depended on my dress size, then working out, sleeping, and eating well would replace standing at the bus stop, sitting in front of a computer all day, and doing some serious multi-tasking at home. Then again, maybe celebrities wish they didn't have all this pressure to look good. Maybe they want to run around with their kids on the weekends, order mozzarella sticks after bedtime on a particularly rough day, and be the first thing the baby sees at those 5:30 wake ups. Maybe juggling the house, a job, and a baby and experiencing everything that entails make those dark circles, aching back, and soft tummy worth it. Well, maybe that trainer wouldn't hurt...

freeze, dirtbag!

Ask anyone, I am the snobbiest of the food snobs. A child of farm stands and farmers' markets, I love dropping names like Barbara Lynch and Michael Schlow. If I can't make my own pasta I try and buy fresh, not dried. If it's not fresh caught fish, then forget it. I only cook with basil in the summer and apples in the fall. Frozen pie crusts in my freezer? Puh-lease.

Sadly, the days of chicken pot pies from scratch during the week are over. Reheating frozen lasagnas, boiling canned soup, and searching for quick and easy recipes are the MO now. It's actually a good thing. I have introduced many new recipes into our rotation while trying to make them as hassle free as possible. One of the ways to do this was going frozen.

I went the frozen route when I started making Rolo's food. January in Boston doesn't really lend itself to fresh and accessible fruit. I bought, steamed, and pureed frozen peaches, mangos, and blueberries. When I saw the vegetable selection in the freezer section, I picked up a few bags for our dinners, as well.

I was hesitant at first; it just seemed too easy. What do you mean I don't have to spend 40 minutes taking the butternut squash apart? I don't have to cut the ends off all these beans? These brussel sprouts are all clean? Are you sure? I don't get it.

Cue the singing angels! A whole world of shortcuts and recipes have opened up to me. Below are two we made last week. I can't wait to see what else those freezer doors hold this weekend. Peppers? Squash? Dare I say it... potatoes?

Josh and I caught this on Guy Fierei's show one weekend and tried it the following week with fresh cauliflower. It was a disaster for several reasons. We cut the vegetable pieces too small and boiled them too long, so instead of remaining meaty in the sauce, they just kind of mushed up and made this thick, chewy tomato sauce. Not too appetizing. I liked the flavors though, so I wanted to try it again with frozen cauliflower pieces. Worked like a charm. Since they were already par cooked, I didn't bother boiling them before they went into the sauce. They were firm, yet tender, and really worked well with the capers. This is a great week night meal - quick, easy, and very hearty.

Cubed butternut squash! Not only will this be great for our dishes, but in a few weeks or so, this will be a gosdend when it comes to feeding The Chingu. All I will need to do is pull out a few cubes, steam them, and voila! Dinner for The Babba-du! Love it.
This made a great strew and made even better leftovers. Also perfect for a weeknight, cut up an onion, open a few cans and a bag of frozen squash... and..... done!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Rohan who?

Like many parents, we do not call our son by his first name. His given name is for day care and bank accounts. Instead, we use one of the many, MANY nicknames he has collected in the past 7 months.

When he was first born, my mom pulled out every name from her Marati pet name arsenal. Out of the dozens of names she used, for some reason, "Chingu" stuck with me and Josh. This is by far his most common name. We call him "Chingu", but refer to him as "The Chingu". 'Did you check on The Chingu?" "We have to make The Chingu's food for tomorrow." "Can you start The Chingu's bath?" I have a feeling this one will stick.

From Chingu/The Chingu came the following:
Chingu Changu
Chingu Bingu
Chingu, Changu, Holiday Inn

My mom also calls him "Babe-du," which is a pretty common pet name for a baby. It only has two syllables, but in all his white-ness, Josh added another one and made it "Baby-du" aka "The Baby-du". From Baby-du came Babba-du and Babe-u. We usually put a "The" in front of those as well.

As the Indian diminutive puts an "u" at the end of words/names (see Deepu Thai), Pup-u, Stink-u, and Monk-u started floating around as well. "Tumm-u" and Motu (Marati for "Fatty") are also thrown around here and there.

Based on these nicknames, there are the names we actually call our son. As in, when I am feeding or playing with him, I try to get his attention with the following:
"Monk-u Babe-u"
"Monk-u Babba-du"
"Chingu Pup-u Babe-u"
"Stink-u Pup-u Babe-u" - this is a changing table favorite

The nanny calls him "Guapo" for obvious reasons. My sister calls him "Oi! Hagrid", because he is huge, and "Baby!", which my mom hates. And my mom, who started all this, now calls him "Goud-um-bee-chi-bee", which means the sweetest seed in the sweetest fruit. I like that one the best.

ETA - I forgot Monkey-Mu, which has become popular this past few weeks. Also, how could I forget NON-family nicknames, which include Chunkers and Tummers? Poor kid.

Monday, February 22, 2010

The little things

For the past few years, I have wanted a trench coat. A cute little number that screams spring and maybe channels a bit of "That Girl!" and 'Mary Tyler Moore". Last winter, I decided that this would be the year of the trench. My leather jacket, purchased in 2003, was still in good shape, but had overstayed its welcome.

2009 included many things, but not a trench coat. They had maternity trenches, but I just didn't see the point, especially since I wasn't showing until May-ish anyway. I waited.

Luckily for me, Santa gave me a nice little gift card to Banana Republic! Yay! I went online (time to actually GO to BR is scarce....) and ordered a trench that had a nice figure, got great reviews, and seemed to be exactly what I wanted. Until I saw the coat close up. It was longer, more square and not quite the right color. Boo. Oh well, I thought, maybe I don't have the body for a trench. Another year with old leather for me.

Since Rohan went down at 6 Saturday (a napless day from hell), and Josh was glued to Mass Effect, I ran away to the mall to run a few errands, namely, returning the rejected trench. While I was at BR, I tried on a few of their other coats to see if I liked anything. I did. Cute, khaki, big buttons, great fall, nice shape, girlish lining. The same price as the other coat, so I didn't think much of it when I walked up to the counter to exchange them.

BR Lady: (scan, check, type type type, scan, double check) Is this the only coat you received?
Me: Ummm.. yes.
BRL: Well, it seems you were sent the wrong coat.
Me: Oh! Well, that explains a lot...
BRL: So we can give you credit back on this coat.
Me: Ok. Well, I was just going to exchange them.
BRL: Well, the coat you are getting is on clearance. It's $60.
Me: Oh. Ok. Thanks.
Me in my head: Woo hoo! Take THAT Banana warehouse!

It's the little things really. A coat I wanted for ever? Check? A coat $140 less than what I thought I'd be paying? Win!

(I also picked up a pair of sunglasses that I had been eyeing for a few weeks. With the new shades and trench, I look like a milf-y spy.)

Tuesday, February 16, 2010


In the beginning, there were diapers. And vomit (they try to fool you by calling it "spit up" but it's just vomit). And naps. And repeat. While Rohan did smile and meet your eye and follow you around the room, he was still kind of a lump. An adorable lump of a baby that needed to be tended to. Sure, he got lots of kisses and we talked to him, but he never did anything BACK. Calling our relationship one-sided doesn't even begin to describe it.

Now, however, we are buddies. He talks about his day, kisses back, points to what he wants, rolls to what he wants, and grunts with the best of them. He has opinions on things, like mangos (like) and cauliflower (hate). He loves watching snow fall and cars drive by. He can't get enough of the swings and the playground slide. He laughs hysterically at anything, especially tickle fights and peek-a-boo. He is mystified by snapping fingers and clucking tongues. He looks at me intently when I show him sign language and sound out "Mama".

He is perfecting his body language. He kicks his feet when he is happy, stretches when he wants to be put down, slaps his hands when he wants more of something, and raises his eyebrows when he encounters something that piques his interest. No matter what what he is doing, if you open a book, he turns his head and is all ears. I love his huge grin whenever I open "Goodnight, Gorilla".

While he still needs to be fed and changed and bathed and put down for naps, I don't feel like I am "taking care of him" anymore. We just kind of hang out; read books, watch TV, do chores in the kitchen, run errands. Sure there are times (like Sunday afternoon) when all Josh and I want to do is pass out and that is the opposite of what Rolo wants to do. But haven't we all experienced the "I want to leave this bar and get a cab NOW but the person I am with is on a mission and there is no way I can let her go home alone so I just need to readjust my heels, splash some cold water on my face and join her for a shot at the bar" phenomenon? You push through the fatigue and pain, make the best of it, and then they owe you:)

And yes, I just compared my 7-month-old to a drunk girlfriend.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

we have lift-off!

Imagine my surprise last night with Rohan sat up in his tub, leaned forward, grabbed the opposite side of the tub, pulled with his arms, and lifted that cute butt of his OFF THE TUB FLOOR! Granted, he did not stand all the way up, but I was floored. Floored!

After the bath, when he was lotioned and diapered and dressed, I took him over to his play area to see what's what. How far could he pull himself up? Could he hold onto something and stand on his own? Pretty far, and yes. After about 10 minutes of this structured workout, we rolled around on the floor in fits of laughter and got a little too worked up for bedtime (oops). If we keep working on this, though, I think we may skip crawling altogether and go straight to walking!

Sunday, February 07, 2010

baby steps!

I WENT TO THE GYM TODAY! I write this in all caps, because this gym trip was about a year in the making.

Ok sure, from April (ok, fine, March) until July, I was very pregnant. My 2nd trimester energy, which fueled about 4-5 trips to the gym a week, plummeted. Going in the morning was out, since I usually woke up a little light-headed after only a few hours sleep. After work, all I wanted was the couch and a foot-rub and a meal. Going to the gym was not really high on my to-do list.

The first three months after Rolo was born, I went on a lot walks with him (I aimed for about 2 hours a day), but no gym. I was tied to Rohan's feeding schedule, and then when Josh got home in the evenings, all I wanted to do was sit and unwind a little. Leaving the house and running in place after 12 hours with a baby was also not high on my to-do list.

Then I went back to work in October. Even if I had the energy to go during lunch, I spent all my free time in the "mother's room". After work, I rushed home to make the 5pm feeding. No energy. No time. No gym.

Now, nursing is over. Rohan is sleeping through the night (for the most part) and we have help with the baby and around the house. Josh and I have also worked out a system; one of us in charge of diapers, naps, feedings, baths, and bedtime two days a week and one day on the weekend (I have Mondays and Wednesdays off, we play the weekends by ear). Theoretically, I could come home, kiss the baby, kiss the husband and hop in the car and go to the gym. Have I? Of course not. It is way more fun to cuddle and play and snack and make dinner with Josh and Rohan in the high chair. Who wants to leave that? Not me.

But I must. My nursing body is fading away. I no longer fit into my size 4s. (Boo.) All my muscles are tight and sore. My back hurts. Walking up hills makes me feel winded. I am severely out of shape.

This is the plan. Yoga on Sundays (just came back from class! yay!), boxing on Wednesday nights (starts at 7:30, totally doable). and rock climbing on Saturdays (when possible - we start next weekend).

Once the weather gets better, maybe I can also start taking Rohan on walks in the evenings. I also want to start running at the gym during the day. This will obviously depend on my workload. I used to do it; I just need to get back into the habit - lugging my clothes back and forth, showering during the day... blah.

Anyway. This is it. I am tired of feeling soft. I want to be in shape again. I want to be able to stretch and not feel pain. I want to actually jog with the jogging stroller and not walk up all the hills. I want to hit the beach with confidence this summer. I am in a wedding this summer and everyone else in the wedding is beyond hot. I need to step up my game so I don't ruin those pictures:)