Sunday, July 28, 2013

9 Months

Noah turned 9 months old on July 14 (I know, I'm a little late on this post). He's at that stage now where he won't sit still for too long, and he wants to get into everything. He LOVES crawling, and if you open a door (and I mean any door - bathroom door, refrigerator door, dishwasher door) he gets super excited and makes a beeline for it to discover what's inside. 

With that said, this was the ONLY good picture we managed to get out of him for his 9-month photo. He just would not sit still!

For his 9-month appointment, he had to get another shot (unfortunately, he inherited his Mommy's thighs). 

He was none-too-happy about it, but he was still a brave boy. He only cried for literally a second and then he was over it. Mama was proud!

Also celebrating a birthday this month is Daddy! Happy 31st!

And now that Noah's 9 months old, we've officially had him as long as I was pregnant with him. They say it takes 9 months to grow a baby, so you have at least 9 months to lose the baby weight. I finally got really serious about losing the weight and began working out 4-5 days a week, incorporating weight training and LOTS of cardio. I've also started the slow carb diet (more on that in another post) and it's done wonders for my health and energy levels. I am now proud to report that I'm weighing in at about 117 pounds - just two pounds shy of my pre-pregnancy weight! I'm almost there!

Those weekly weigh-ins at Publix don't feel so bad anymore!

Friday, July 12, 2013

Strawberry Birthmark

Last night when John and I went out to dinner, the hostess who showed us to our table took a look at Noah and said, "Aw, he's so cute, but what happened to his face?" I get some form of this question all the time ("What's that on his face?" "Did he scratch himself?" or my personal favorite "Oh my gosh, what's wrong with his face?!" I mean honestly people, think of a better way to word this question). 

The answer to all these questions is: it's his STRAWBERRY BIRTHMARK. What's that, you ask? I'm not quite sure myself. All I know is, he wasn't born with it - it appeared several weeks after he was born. It started off really small, and at first I thought it was just another scratch on his face as he had plenty of those when he was a newborn from scratching his face with his super sharp nails (I eventually had him wearing mittens 24/7). I admittedly photoshopped it out of some of his earlier photos because I thought it was just a temporary scratch and it would soon go away. However, it started growing bigger and redder and actually developed somewhat of a texture, so I asked his pediatrician about it. He confirmed that it was a strawberry birthmark (there's a more technical scientific term for this but "strawberry mark" is just cuter) and that it would eventually disappear when he's about 3-4 years old. Is it harmful to him? No. It's purely cosmetic. He even mentioned that if it doesn't go away in a few years, I could actually laser it off. But John and I have grown quite fond of it, and many times I don't even notice it (that is, until some idiot yells, "What's wrong with your kid's face?!") John even once said that he'll miss it once it's gone. 

Upon learning what a strawberry birthmark is, I googled it and learned that some kids have it much worse. I mean, like really worse. Seriously. Google it yourself. 

So I've come to appreciate the cuteness of Noah's strawberry mark. Even if it never disappears, it makes him unique and it's part of who he is.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Independence Day

Happy 4th of July!

Check out these awesome shoes I got for Noah. 
On sale $17.99 (originally $28)

Noah Bear and Steiff Bear are still friends.

I love this star print chambray one-piece I recently picked up from Baby Gap. I think it's the perfect outfit for the 4th of July. 

He's not smiling, but I still think he looks devastatingly handsome in this photo.

Hope everyone's enjoying the holiday!

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Fake It 'Til You Make It

8 1/2 Months Postpartum

Oftentimes, people tell me that it looks like I've lost all the baby weight and then they ask, "What's your secret?!" Well, I can assure you that I'm sucking it in, wearing Spanx, or wearing clothing that cleverly disguises the small baby pooch that I still have (see picture above: the diagonal stripes are creating the illusion that I have a tiny waist. Oh, and I'm wearing Spanx underneath). 

Noah is about 8 1/2 months old now, and I've come to terms with the fact that it's going to take me a little longer than what I'd anticipated to lose the weight (I initially thought all the baby weight would be gone by Christmas - ha!) Even though I've been exercising regularly and eating well, I still have a bit of weight to lose and then some toning up to do afterwards. This used to really bother me, but I've come to realize that there are ways to at least look skinny while you're trying to lose the weight.

1. Wear Spanx.

Spanx helps smooth out the bumps and bulges and keeps everything sucked it. In the photo above I'm wearing the Simplicity Mid-Thigh Shaper and the Simplicity V-Neck Camisole. Don't buy these from the website or some expensive department store. Look for them at discount stores such as T.J. Maxx or Steinmart, or wait for flash sales from websites such as or

Without Spanx (left), With Spanx (right)

As you can see, even with the Spanx my tummy is not completely flat, but it helps significantly reduce the appearance of my baby pooch.

2. Buy the bigger size, even if you don't like it.

I know, this one sucks. I hate that I'm no longer the size I used to be. For awhile, I was still buying my pre-pregnancy size, but I realized that it actually made me look bigger when I tried to squeeze myself into this size. I quickly learned that a bigger size actually helped me look smaller, and so I gave in. Whenever you're trying on clothes, tell yourself it's about the fit, not the number. This is a hard one to swallow, but you look so much better when clothes fit you properly.

Below, I'm trying to squeeze myself into my pre-pregnancy size 25. These jeans are just too tight around the waist and create the dreaded muffin top.

In this photo, I've sized up to a 27. As much as I hate being a bigger size, I just have to suck it up (and in) and admit to myself that I'm no longer a size 0. And honestly, the bigger size just looks better. There's no squeezing or pulling, it doesn't take me 5 minutes to squeeze and wiggle my way into them, AND they're more comfortable.

Also, wear mid-rise or high-rise jeans. Say buy-bye to those low-riders. I loathe low-rise jeans now because of the horrible muffin top they create. High-waisted pants keep your tummy concealed and tucked in.

3. Create an illusion.

One of the easiest ways to look slimmer without having to suck it in or wear Spanx (which, let's face it, can be a little uncomfy and restricting at times) is to wear clothing with some ruching or other details that flatter your midsection.

This is a top I wear when I work out. Obviously, I can't wear Spanx to the gym so this top with ruching details around the waist helps conceal my tummy while I work on slimming my midsection.

Also, flowy tops or blouses with a more A-line shape sit away from your body and help conceal any baby pooch you may still have.

I was inspired to write this post when someone came up to me at the gym last week and complimented me on how I looked and even went so far as to say she wished she looked more like me. At this point, I felt like a bit of a fraud. There were so many things I wanted to tell this complete stranger, like how I'm not really as fit as I look or hard I'd been working but still not where I want to be. I empathized with her because I'm always comparing myself to other women and just feeling discouraged and even depressed at times when I saw how skinny they were and how quickly they bounced back. 

I'd beat myself up wondering why I couldn't look like Kristin Cavallari who, a few mere months after giving birth, was already bikini-ready.  

But some women are just lucky (or rich and have the means to afford a personal trainer and chef), while the rest of us have to work out (a lot) and eat healthy, all while working full time and taking care of our babies. What I'm trying to say is, losing the baby weight is hard. But I don't want other women to beat themselves up over losing the weight like I did for many months. I was resentful, discouraged, and downright depressed, and those are some of the worst feelings to have when you have an incredible new baby at home. There are really more important things in life. 

The weight will eventually come off, or you'll at least be happy and come to love your new body and the great things that came out of having to change it.

Ultimately, I want to encourage other women to take their time when losing the baby weight and to not feel discouraged when they see other women bounce back quickly after giving birth. They're either wearing Spanx (like me) or they're simply freaks of nature. Relax and know that with regular exercise and a good diet your body will become stronger and healthier. And lastly, know what's important. Your body changed for the most amazing thing you'll ever experience in your life.