Category: Weight loss

2-0-1-4

I have read somewhere that the first week of the year is a good snapshot of what the rest of your year will look like. Or I am totally bullshitting this one because I needed to find a smartass way to frame my first blog post of the year. I could talk about my resolutions except that I haven’t made any resolutions…OK; I am lying. There are still two things on my ‘I swear to god this year I will’ and these are:

– I will lose the extra 15lbs I still carry around. One of my mates overheard me talking about these 15lbs and thought I had actually gained them in the last month or so…It was the wake-up call I sorely needed.

AND most importantly,

– I will stop saying ‘No, this does not make any sense…’ to every single suggestion DH makes about…basically anything. More recently, he was talking about living in the mountains breeding sheep or something like that (what does a city girl like me know about life in the mountains anyway?) and I started to say ‘It is impossible because a)…b)…c)…blablabla and z)…‘To which DH retorted:’Can you not put my ideas down like this? I haven’t even finished talking yet…It’s not a big deal; I know you, you’ve ALWAYS been like this but it is annoying.’ OOPS. He was not even angry, just resigned. That’s not good enough. It is actually terrible. So yes, I decided to bite my tongue before talking for the rest of the year. Even when DH starts talking about our crew of 5 spending a 2 weeks vacation in a RV in Middle America…See, biting my tongue.

Besides these 2 pledges, I have no resolutions worth detailing. I thus thought about the past week trying to decipher what this could seriously (and not seriously) tell me about what 2014 has in store for my family and I. Drum roll!!!! In no so specific order:

– Better ‘me time’ for everyone

The cold weather in NYC has proven really challenging. Cabin fever and the sober realization that this year we are slowly but surely going to outgrow our current living space led me to accept the plain truth that the 5 of us needed to sever our umbilical cords to each other. For years now, we have been doing everything together (including taking a family shower to save time sic) per choice as well as per sheer necessity. ‘Me time’ was for me something like doing the laundry and for DH, going to the bathroom.

Note: he does go 4-5 times a day equipped with his mini IPad while I almost NEVER go because I am just a mutant freak. Nature is seriously unfair! On bad days, I would nudge him to get out by tagging him on a Facebook update such as ‘DH, get out from your hiding spot right now!!’ (Worked every time by the way) or I would time him to count how much alone time I was owed. I am a petty, petty wife.

Anyway, I can see that things are changing – slowly. P has started to voice some preferences when it comes to seeing ‘her’ friends (the girls) as opposed to her twin brother’s friends (the boys). Meanwhile, G has been timing himself out in his own room quite often just so he can be on his own, I guess. L now plays on his own for a considerate amount of time without hanging onto my butt or tit. DH started a biweekly guitar/singing jamming session with some neighbors in the building. As for me, being stranded home because of snow, icy rain, or kids’ colds made me realize that I wanted to create, cut, pleat etc. MORE. But unfortunately this week-end, I stared at some chiffon fabric for about 2 hours and then tried to make a cape which actually made me look like a freaking black giant cocktail umbrella pick.  Not a good omen for my creativity.

– Wilder parties

Most our friends with kids are now, like us, at a stage where screen time is no longer felt like guilt but perceived as a socially acceptable survival tactics. Besides, PBS kids on the Ipad is kind of awesome right? What this means is that everybody is now ready to catch up on the last 2 years of no hard partying because of pregnancies, breastfeeding, fear of hangovers (TV in the morning makes those way more bearable) etc. And if our NYE party is a snapshot of what lies ahead of us, the year will be fucking wild:lots of Champagne, kids dancing surrounded by drunken parents, masquerade masks, split legs on the dance floor, choreographed Karaoke and so on. Yeah!!!

– Bolder decisions
Since we found out we were pregnant with L, we have been living in a temporary mindset: staying in the same not entirely furnished apartment because we did not have any energy to look for something else, DH staying in the same job because we could not afford for him to work 15 hours a day to impress a new boss while I have been sporadically freelancing because I was unsure about whether our fragile family equilibrium would sustain a potential return to a full-time job etc. But this can no longer last: no more savings, no more space, too much stress. We need to make our life easier NOW. And I started to commit to my life as as a New York mom to 3 kids by…going onto containerstore.com to buy: pegs rack to hold the kids’ scooters so I stop sliding on them and a shower basket for my shower products (3 years in the apartment and I am still hurting my stiff back by bending down to get my fucking Burt’s and Bees shower gel…). 2014 is looking productive, people.

On this note, I wish you all a Happy New Year and if you live on the US East Coast: STAY WARM!!!

Below some fun moments of our first week in 2014 including a video of how to let your kid crash (almost) into a pole while trying to figure out how to take a video with you IPhone…

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Cougar town

cou·gar
ˈko͞ogərnoun
  1. a large American wild cat with a plain tawny to grayish coat, found from Canada to Patagonia.
  2. informal, an older woman seeking a sexual relationship with a younger man.
I cannot remember the last time I went dancing with my girlfriends. I have a vague feeling that it was just after I stopped breastfeeding P & G, like 2 years ago. We were at Bagatelle and I thought ‘Boy, I am back! I am so going to rock New York night scene now’. Of course, a couple of months later I learnt I was preggers with L. It then felt like I was never going to be back. EVER. I have been missing a good ladies’ night out where crazy dance antics meet existentialistic drunken tirades about Love, Life, Career, and other women’s frocks… So last Friday, when, after a dinner drowned by a few pisco sours with my girlfriend Jules and her husband, my very own DH suggested to check out the only lively bar of Upper West Side, ‘Prohibition’, I think I squealed and literally rushed everyone out of the peruvian restaurant.
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What I like about ‘Prohibition’:
– it’s jammed packed (because there is no other bar in a 20 blocks radius) so it reminds me of my time in London when we used to push left, right and center to reach the bar. And then, you had to show some gymnastics prowess not to get drenched by over filled pints of flat beer. I never thought I would ever said this but yes, from time to time, I do miss the ‘beer shower’. When you spill martinis over here, there is no much to drink afterwards. Fact.
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– There’s a live band playing some Rihanna and Maroon 5, which means the crowd is …old-ish but wanna be young. In fact, last time I was there the place was full of Cougars. I had heard of cougars, I had encouraged my single girlfriends to become cougars but it was the first time I ever saw an entire room full of them. It was impressive. They are super toned, perfectly manicured, and wear J Brand (very) skinny jeans. You can see around their eyes that they have lived and lived well but were stunning. It is well documented that Manhattan has a very high ratio of single ladies but contrary to what TV shows like Sex and the City or Cashmere Mafia suggest, from what I have seen so far they are much nicer than their televised versions.
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– Because the crowd is old-ish, people don’t give a fuck about how good they look. I remember when I went to Buddha bar, I was amazed by how many young pretty ladies would do a 2 step dance, not smile, and slowly sip their cocktails…DH called it ‘the cover magazine pose’ or something like that. I called it ‘a waste of alcohol’. The crowd at Prohibition also does not seem to care if they are embarrassing themselves talking to a stranger (often yours truly, I don’t know why but I always attract the most random conversations). Last time, I found a new mom sulking in the restrooms about how it was her first night out since she gave birth and she asked ‘Be honest, do I look like a mom to you? Cause I really don’t want to look like a mom tonight?’. I replied: ‘I am not sure what you mean by that. I am a mom too. But you look hot so you should not worry’. She was skeptical, stared at me and blurted: “Can I borrow your make up? I never wear red lipstick or black kohl on my eyes…And you don’t look like a mom’. I was going to oblige but she suddenly rushed to the cubicle to…Oh well, poor mama.
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Instead of dancing though, I ended up spending most of my night on the sidewalk with Jules ranting about absolutely everything. How does DH cope with my insecurities, my body getting old and never recovering from giving birth to my 3 babies etc? I mean,let’s face it I could never be a cougar because I could never have the body of a cougar. Why is it that older women can only nab a younger stud if they look like goddesses (e.g. Bo Derek)? But older men can look like a troll but still bag themselves a top model? Why is it that I am so confused about what I want and who I am now? Is it motherhood? Is it age? Is it the 2 Pisco sours and 2 mojitos I had tonight? I don’t have any answers hence the existence of redlipstickmama (my alter ego who actually can admit she is fucking lost…) However, something funny that happened that night is giving me some sort of peace for now.
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Jules was complaining about how, if she had known about this impromptu night out, she would have taken her ‘baise-en-ville’ instead of her beach bag/mama bag (it was the last day of her summer vacation). I laughed hard because I hadn’t heard nor used this expression in like 15 years. Note: in French a ‘baise-en-ville’ (literally a ‘shag-in-town’) is an overnight bag or even smaller, in which one might carry all the necessary items one might need were one to decide to not go home and instead spend the night elsewhere to usually have sex. My younger and wilder self would have: a toothbrush, a deodorant roller, some facial moisturizer, a lipstick and a miniature bottle of Eternity fragrance by Calvin Klein. Anyway I tried to find the proper English translation for this expression and found a ‘shag bag’…A ‘shag bag’ is a rucksack or other small bag which contains condoms and sex toys to be handy at any time and any place. Example of how to use this expression given by the Urban Dictionary is: ‘Let me reach for my shag bag, baby!‘ (???)
I think some stuff are better left untranslated 🙂
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OK getting back to my story…So I started to empty Jules’ bag for a laugh and realized it could have been my bag. What I found was a beautiful metaphor of my life as it is at the moment:
– some dried fruits i.e. sweet healthy snacks in case the kids starve or have a tantrum (which seems to happen all the time)
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– a half-eaten bagel. I never have the time to digest properly a meal so leftovers are always welcome
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– a pretend play plate and spoon for an off-the-cuff play date. Moms are seriously the best unpaid improvisation entertainers.
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-some designer sunglasses to hide over tired eyes on a lucky day and the ‘I am just fed up with life’ eyes on a very bad day
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– expensive sun block because while the kids can do with Neutrogena, we are old and thus need the big guns
– a lipstick, obvious.
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– a gossips magazine because sometimes I need to see what seemingly ‘have-it-all’ women are like and sometimes I need to pity those who seem to mess it up more than I do. I am talking about Scarlett Johansson, divorcing Ryan Reynolds??? Really? But mainly because perhaps insecure Me craves for some kind of public recognition…one day.
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– And my ultimate favorite: one, not two, heeled shoe! Because I secretly hope that my dancing queen alter ego is not dead and ready to rock it big time but the reality is that I forgot the other shoe at home with my babies soundly sleeping and snoring.

As Jules and I were giggling contemplating the state of our messy lives, our DHs looked on, shook their heads, smiled (almost lovingly) and cooly went back to their pool game. No judgment.

I may never be and look like a cougar and will always be a silly dork but I guess, my salt and pepper haired man does not seem to care much about it. And it is just fine by me.

Mama bag

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Mood of the day: teenage dream

After 5 minutes looking at a dress I have owned for 20 years but haven’t worn in a long time, I decided to take that old rag out for a walk. 20 years…I am lucky that back then I was not so much into tight fitting otherwise even 3 SPANX body shapers on top of each other would not have been able to help me get into the dress. I remembered buying this chiffon dress at a Le Chateau shop, in Toronto (Canada). It was expensive for me but I had managed to save just enough of the little pocket money my parents gave me for my first trip outside Europe to buy that Boho dress (of course 20 years ago, Boho was not a style but someone misspelling  the then low profile U2’s lead singer).  I remembered that summer very well, listening and dreaming on songs by Christopher Cross. Odd to think that I was day dreaming as a teenage girl listening to a guy who looked like this,  a far cry from The Bieb or the dandies of One Direction…

To accessorize the dress, I chose phosphorescent colors (nudge to the 80s  atrocious fluorescent clothing trend in Europe which should be buried forever…I am serious; upcoming fashion designers out there DO NEVER BRING THIS BACK): fuchsia belt from H&M, lime green bangle from a African style clothing store in Harlem, Bebe Noir (they have pretty fierce accessories), and sandals by George Rech.

PS: I am glad my work meeting was via Skype because my belt just snapped out almost hitting me in the eye.

PS2: I checked the belt and it is not defective. The sad truth is: pre children belts should probably hit the trash can. Noooooooo!!!!!!

Teenage dream

Fashion babbling: the challenge – episode 2

It is time to review how far I got on my journey to being ME again. Since the last count, I have given or thrown away:

– 4 maternity trousers/jeans (OK, they are still in a bag on my desk but I swear they will not make their way back to my closet…)

– 2 nursing tops mainly because they had impossible to remove breast milk stains. Hate breast milk stains. I spent a fortune on nursing pads but it was utterly useless. I was one of these women who had breasts like freaking geysers. If I was sneezing, I was leaking. If I was laughing, I was leaking. If  I was coughing, I was leaking. The worse? When L was crying, which was all the time, I was leaking!!! That’s when I decided that motherhood turned me into an animal. I mean, seriously? I might have as well started to crawl on my knees and lick my cubs. Also, non moms could not understand my plight. Thor, GBFFb (Gay Best Friend Forever b), once saw my half an inch white breast pump valves and said:’Oh your nursing pads are so cute, they are like breast tassels. Naughty girl!’ I was like ‘What??? I am leaking liters of milk, changing pads every hour and you really think I would look like bloody Dita vonTeese???‘.

Anyway, I still owe some maternity clothing. Shame on me. Plus while I had a breakthrough few weeks ago wearing my pre pregnancy jeans, I had a relapse since. The waistband got so tight I could not sit anymore. I thus decided to do something I said I would not do: buy some ‘intermediary’ jeans i.e. jeans between the world of ‘whale like pregnant me’ and the world of ‘ME again’. I chose skinny jeans from GAP, comfy and cheap. Except that of course the only thing that is skinny in those jeans are the ankles because I had to buy two size bigger than my normal fit…