Friday, January 30, 2009

Mini Cher

Hugh calls this Valentina's "Cher" outfit. She's starting to grow into her adult looking clothes so even though we don't have many special occasions for it, we play dress up from time to time in the house. The day she wore the frilly Cher ensemble, we went to a mommy's group I've been to a few times now. The facilitator/instructor lady taught us how to put the babes on their stomachs to become accustomed to the crawling position and also how to prop them in a box so they can learn to sit up on their own. Mostly she encourages us to find positions the babies can stay in on their own (15 minutes or so) without being held all day long. Valentina's favorite is on her back staring up at the whirling ceiling fan. It so fascinates and delights her that she laughs, squeals and gurgles to it for over half an hour each time. Listening to her laugh is one of my newest joys.

Hugh videotaped them playing with the dog today. It's the most fun she's had in her three months of life. I know the grandmas will love it and anyone else that has a soft spot for happy babies or playful bulldogs, go to and search "Utta and Valentina". There are two of them.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Baby V

Not Pampita

They know her by first name like Cher, Madonna, Bono. She is Argentina’s Heidi Klum – a model, sometime actress, celebrity and gorgeous-bodied mom. She is the woman all normal moms here love to hate.

I hate her too. When I was pregnant last winter, Pampita posed boldly in a string bikini on the cover of Gente magazine (Argentina’s People) in her 8th month of her second pregnancy. She glowed and looked sexier than most non pregnant women I know. She is in Gente magazine again this week. This time to flaunt her taut bod six months post birth. My jaw dropped when I saw the g-string bikini shots of her cavorting on the Chilean beach with her beau and two young children. She hasn’t a touch of cellulite or loose skin anywhere. You would never know she was big bellied – twice. I hate her.

I gained 40 pounds in my 9 ½ months of growing Valentina. 30 melted off within two weeks of the birth with little effort other than breastfeeding. The last 10 aren’t budging. My belly, which used to be toned and flat from yoga is now a bowl of jello. The skin is squishy and loose and spills over too tight jeans. The vertical dark line still runs from my sternum to well past my belly button. My hips are wider and seem to smirk when I attempt to wear any of my pre-baby pants. I am not Pampita. They say she went to a spa for two weeks after the baby was born to get drained, massaged, wrapped and who knows what else. Whatever she did, it worked. What I am doing is not working. Some days I do yoga at home in between feedings. Others I go rollerblading around the lake. I tried once last week to run for the first time in nearly a year and lasted half a lap with lots of gasps for air. My organs felt like they were being jostled around an empty suitcase. This is not the body I remember but it’s the one I’m stuck with now.

Friday, January 2, 2009



I have a feeling my desire for more of and current lack of sleep will be a major theme this new year. My aunt tells me being tired is a constant state of being as a parent no matter what the age. Lovely. I rang in the new year asleep. Valentina and I stayed up until 10pm and then went down for the night after her bath and a poorly executed bedtime lullaby. I woke at midnight to the sounds of fireworks exploding outside the apartment - across the street at both plazas and the parque Rosedal. The fireworks lasted for hours. This week I learned that Argentines do fireworks so well they export them to the Chinese. There were still firework sonic booms at 7am the next morning. There appear to be no rules with regard to who can set them off or where they can be used. Grandmas to 6 year olds throw mini hand grenades into oncoming traffic for sport once a year in celebration of Ano Nuevo. Seeing it reminds me that yes, we live in a third world country. We stayed in to protect Utta who last year trembled all night from the noise. Also, because we have yet to venture out at night with or without the baby.

I am making my way back to some of my former activities. Yoga practice when I can squeeze it in at home, Thursdays@three writing group and next month I will return to teaching prenatal yoga once a week. Finding time to write is the hardest thing. Any "free" time I have is spent with my face buried in a pillow. There seems to be no catching up. The important thing is Valentina is well fed, rested and growing quickly out of her cute onesies.