Friday, April 29, 2005

Getting Busy

I did some post-partum abdominal exercises yesterday that I got out of an old Fit Pregnancy magazine. Unfortunately, I still have diastasis, or separation of the stomach muscles, so I really can't go whole hog. I'm doing the sitting and standing exercises and will add the floor work when I figure out a splint for my abs or my diastasis gets better. It never improved much in the eleven months after N was born and before I got pregnant with AC. I wonder what will happen if my abs never come back together?

I'm eating fairly well still. Avoiding rolls, eating more fruits and veg, making sure I'm getting plenty of calcium/dairy. However, I've snuck in one or two desserts a day, which isn't helping. Some of the gals I know have joined Weight Watchers for breastfeeding mommas. I wonder what that is like or if I could stay with it. Unfortunately, I'd have to find an even narrower niche: Weight Watchers for vegetarian, breastfeeding, penny-pinching mommas. I don't think they have a program for that beast.

Today I'm going to try a fitness ball routine. I figure if I write it here, then I'll be more apt to do it.

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

My Measurements, Week 1

Okay, so the title says it all in humiliating, living color. I weigh 153, am 5'9" and the two areas I'm worried about are thus:
waist--32 1/4"
hips--39 1/2"
I measured my waist at the smallest part of my torso, which is an inch above my bellybutton. I measured my hips at the largest part of my bottom, which is actually a little lower than where I usually consider my hips to be, but this is where I want to lose the weight. I guess I did it right...

I've been doing pretty well keeping my diet fairly healthy (remember I'm breastfeeding a one-month old), but have just LOST the energy and motivation to do my walking. The biggest factor bleeding all the fun from the task is my $&*^#@ right knee. It is always in some state of pain. If it isn't aching, it's burning, and if it isn't burning or aching, then it's stabbing. I guess I've got to do something about it if I'm to exercise my way to fitness, no? Barring the walking, I still have a set of exercises I can do with my balance ball, but have I done them? Unh-unh.

I will check in again next Wednesday with weight and measurements, as well as a report of my physical activity over the past week.

Health insurance after all

I am so relieved. The benefits director at D's workplace has managed to get AC signed up for his company health insurance after we were one day late trying to get her enrolled (and were promptly refused). Now she can go ahead and have her specialist visits. Load off my shoulder, I must say.

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Mommy Brain Ruins Financial Future

I FORGOT to sign AC up on my husband's insurance during the one-month open window. It was TODAY, 32 days after her birth, that I finally remembered to call. And, guess what? Because we are ONE DAY LATE (31 days is the window), they will NOT accept her until the "open enrollment" period, in November, after which she won't be covered until JANUARY OF 2006. I started crying on the phone to the insurance people.

We have to fill out an appeal form that goes not to the insurance company (BCBS), but to husband's corporate HQ, and THEY decide whether AC can be covered or not, based on our description of why we deserve to be made an exception. What do I say? I don't want to lie. I'm just a forgetful, busy mother of a newborn and a toddler. Is this enough of an excuse? Their response to our appeal may take up to 30 days. Damn them.

Meanwhile, AC has already had two appointments at the pediatrician, vaccinations, etc. that will have to be paid in full retroactively. I had just paid the $20 copays for her last two visits, but now must fork over mucho dinero. Then there's the April ultrasound just scheduled yesterday to check for the spina bifida occulta issue in the tailbone, which could lead to Xrays and other doctor visits, and the surgeon's appointment (umbilical hernia) originally scheduled for May. I have just gotten off the phone after rescheduling both for June, when we will know our insurance status. I don't want to wait to hear the opinions on her issues, but we are going to have to.

So, if we can't get her insured this year, do we buy temporary insurance for her? I know it will be DREADFULLY expensive, but might it be worth it considering the spate of visits and vaccines she'll need this year? Will a temporary insurer consider her to have preexisting conditions that would cause them not to insure her or to charge us WAY more than we can afford? I have been crying off and on all day, mostly because I feel like the stupidist person alive who is now at the mercy of another bureaucracy who doesn't know my baby or me from Adam. And then when we try to get her on the insurance in November, will BCBS look at her record and claim she has preexisting conditions and not give us the usual family rate that we've been getting? I am so confused and have ALWAYS hated insurance things (especially after BCBS helped put black marks on my credit rating).

My husband's local HR person doesn't seem to have any insight on it. All she's said so far is that we need to appeal.

If any reader has any suggestions or experience with appeals or similar situations, please send them my way. I am going to blow our emergency savings (PLUS some) through my mistake if we can't get husband's insurance to pick us up NOW.
(P.S., Delaware has vaccination assistance programs, but I don't think we'd qualify b/c our income is too high.)

Monday, April 18, 2005


I weigh 153 now, in my nightie first thing in the morning. I've been pretty good over the past four or five days with my food choices, but our babysitter down the street keeps bringing by boxes of pastries every Sunday. She works for a bakery, and they are closed on Mondays, so they send their employees home with the leftover merchandise on Sunday afternoons. I told her yesterday that maybe she'd better come every OTHER Sunday from now on... (I'm too addicted to tell her to stop bringing them altogether.)

I'm still walking daily and doing lots of stairclimbing in the house (laundry room in the basement, bedrooms on top level of split-level home), and my right knee is freakin' shot. Here I am at forty years old, suffering from knee problems that started when I was fifteen. You'd think I would've figured out how to fix those by now. I don't know whether to lay off the walking or not. It's not like I'm a runner or anything. Why does it have to hurt so much? Makes it too easy to avoid exercise at all...

Here it is 2:29pm and I have the rest of the afternoon to fill with keeping kids out of peril and making a run (more like a crawl) to the grocery store for the things I forgot yesterday: pantiliners, Kleenex, and diapers. Gasp! You cry out, "For God's sake, woman, if you're trying to live on a budget, don't buy your paper products at the grocery store! Go to Target/Walmart/BJ's/fill in your own favorite box store here." Here's my answer: "I hate those stores."

Why I hate the box stores and love my local grocery store:
1) Box stores are always out of the specific brand/thing/variety I need.
2) Their prices are rarely better than my grocery store's special, minus whatever doubled coupon I can use there (box stores don't double, far as I know). I only buy paper goods from my grocery when they are on special and/or I have a coupon.
3) Walmart is ten miles from here. My grocery store is one.
4) I get babyclub points at my grocery store and they pay me $20 when I've spent $200 on baby stuff. That's a 10% discount, on top of the special discounts and doubled coupons I already use.
5) Shopping at those box stores can make me buy things I don't need. Best I just stay home.

N is up from his nap and requesting either his bear or the chair, I'm not sure which. Back to my day.

Saturday, April 16, 2005

Baby Fat--it's all on meeeeee!

Here it is, mid-April, and I'm one baby richer! N now has a little sis, sweet AC, born four weeks ago today. My kind brother-in-law finds her likeness hauntingly familiar, and sent us this comparison...

AC, phone home!

So, Mommy is keeping two critters happy now (well, four, if you count Rocket and Waldo, which you DEFINITELY SHOULD). I'm breastfeeding AC, as I did N, so I still need to eat more than my usual non-pregnancy diet. But, I'm feeling really unattractive, not to mention that I have no clothes to wear save one pair of size 12 Lands End blue jeans (transition jeans from last pregnancy) and about four baggy tee shirts.

Don't get me wrong - I don't want to drop all my pregnancy weight pronto; I know I need some fat stores to breastfeed and I also know I need to go about this in a leisurely way. But I would like to lose the saggy belly and get some healthy exercise. So, I figured using the blog might help inspire me to stick with my plan. What's my plan, you ask? Well, it is 1) to get some exercise every day. That means, typically, taking the kiddos for a walk around the neighborhood. But I also throw in some pelvic tilts and mini-crunches now and then, and of course, there are the ever popular Kegels. Not helpful for tightening the abs, I know, but you women out there will understand why those internal exercises are necessary. I plan on adding more exercises gradually, particularly ones that target my mid-section. Part 2 of the plan is to eat a healthier diet. So, I'm trying to replace my usual cake/carb/cookie type snacks with a piece of fruit or cheese throughout the day. If I can't do that, then I at least try to go with a bowl of cereal with skim milk.

I've been dedicated to this plan for about three days now, but I never weighed myself before I started, so don't know my starting point. (Not that I particularly want to lose pounds, per se.) Last week I weighed 154. I had gotten up to about 174 right before giving birth, and my usual weight is 138. I also don't know where my measuring tape is, so I haven't taken measurements of those areas I'd like to trim. These are what I'm more interested in, so I'll try to get my stats down in the next few days.

I have so many nice clothes waiting in my closet for me, and I am trying NOT to spend any money for transition clothes this summer. Too, having summer staring me in the face is forcing me to think about banishing the flab (I will want to take the kiddos to the pool next door, I'm sure).