Body after Baby: Week 5

Body after Baby logoI gained another pound this week...

Yes, I realize I'm going in the wrong direction.

Here are my excuses explanations:

1. Last week, my Awesome cousin Angie came to visit. This was awesome on so many levels. Weight-loss not being one of them. So, I'll admit, I kinda let loose a bit. After all, we had to make sure she enjoyed her trip to Austin and that of course includes dining at fine establishments like Round Rock Donuts, Chuy's, Hula Hut, etc. Can you eat healthy at those places? Um, not really.

2. It was my birthday last Friday. I turned 31 - a number that I don't really like because I have a weird thing about odd numbers. 30 is so much prettier than 31. Heck, I'll even be excited when 32 comes around so I promise it really isn't about getting older. Anywho...birthdays = yellow cake with chocolate icing, my fave. And my amazing husband decided to sabotage surprise me with red velvet and strawberry cupcakes from Round Rock Donuts. Love him! Don't love the calories.

3. Finally, we were finally able to use the gift I bought for Ricky for Father's Day. Back in June I bought a voucher from one of those deal sites for a 2-hour boat trip on Lake Austin. I thought it would be the perfect way for our family of 4 to celebrate what an awesome dad he is. Not sure how many 6 month pregnant women decide to go ride a boat for 2 hours but I was sure it was a good idea at the time. Then I went on bed-rest. Um DUH. I should have known that was gonna happen. Needless to say we had to cancel our reservation and wait until after baby.

So...I re-booked for when Angie was gonna be here and it just so happened to fall on my birthday. Great way to celebrate, right? WAS great and we had a BLAST. That is until 3 days later when something didn't feel right and I ended up dragging Angie with me to the ER on her last day to find out that I had broken a rib. How you ask? Oh, you know, when my husband decided it would be AWESOME to ask the boat guy to toss Angie and I off the tube that he was pulling us on. We went flying, flipped through the air and got the wind knocked out of us. And I broke a rib.

There went all motivation and ability to work out (not that I had it to begin with, although we did go to Zumba class together while she was in town!)

Clearly my cousin Angie and my lovely husband are to blame for my weight gain this week.

That's my story and I'm sticking to it!

Week 5 } 172.6
Week 4: 171.6
Week 3: 170.6
Week 2: 172.2
Week 1: 173.5
Starting Point: 174.6

TOTAL WEIGHT LOSS = (a disappointing) 2.0 lbs.

Click the links above or the badge in the sidebar 
to read all of the Body after Baby posts.

Awesome Angie

Let me tell you about my awesome cousin Angela...

She hopped on a plane to Texas to visit our family and will be staying with us all week! How lucky are we? She actually took a weeks vacation from her job to stay in a household with 3 crazy boys - 2 that wake up at an insanely early hour and a 2 month old that does nothing but cry, sleep and poop. Sounds like a great vacation to me, no?

We are SO happy to have her here and the boys think she is the coolest thing ever!

Now to get down to business...

I've been reading a blog called Kelly's Korner for a while now and she does this cute series called "Show Us Your Life". Tomorrow's subject is "Show Us Your Singles."

Well, it just so happens that Angela is single so I'm totally going to put her out there in hopes that someone sees just how fabulous she is. Tonight, despite her reluctance, I'm gonna play matchmaker for a hot second and link up on Kelly's Korner so bear with me.

Meet my BEAUTIFUL cousin Angela.
Just 32 years young, Angela was born and raised in the Chicago area and has the spunk and personality to prove it. She fiercely loves her family and watching sports - and is very loyal in both areas.

She has a degree in event/meeting planning which for a social butterfly like herself makes perfect sense. Angela is very driven. Very dedicated. And overall, she knows what she wants.

You won't find a more fun-loving person. Your friends will love her but your family will love her more.

Angela is looking for someone with a great head on his shoulders, a sense of adventure and who wants to settle down and have a family.

If this sounds like you (or your brother or cousin or son) 
and you think Angela would be the perfect match, 
leave a comment below :)

Body after Baby: Week 4

Last week I was certain my out of town travel would result in a weight gain, but to my surprise it didn't. Well, this week it has caught up with me.

Either that or the fact that I have my cousin in town from Chicago and I've strayed a little bit from my normal routine. After all, I have to make sure my visitors get the full Texas experience - which of course includes Chuy's, Round Rock Donuts and other fabulous dining establishments.

Unfortunately I have to report a gain this week. Such a blow after 3 weeks of steady loss, but again, at least I can pin-point why.

I'm going to try to get back on track but until things get back to "normal" around here, I'm not going to lie, it's just going to be difficult.

Week 4 } 171.6
Week 3: 170.6
Week 2: 172.2
Week 1: 173.5
Starting Point: 174.6


Click the links above or the badge in the sidebar 
to read all of the Body after Baby posts.

Body after Baby: Week 3

I had an awesome trip back to Kentucky last weekend for a family wedding - one that included lots of yummy (and not so healthy) food. I tried my best to keep my portions small and not indulge too much but...that's no fun! I even abandoned keeping track on My Fitness Pal for the 5 days I was gone.

I was pretty sure I had probably put on a pound or two but much to my surprise I'm actually DOWN another 1.6 pounds! Woohoo!

That is just the motivation I needed to get back in to a routine of tracking my food and eating healthy again.

My "will power challenge" for week 3: No biscuits or cookies. Kind of random I know. I think I slipped up a time or two with some of those 100 calorie cookie packs that my mom stuck in my bag for a mid-flight snack. Woopsy.

Week 4 "will power challenge": No cake, donuts or muffins.

Hmmm - guess I should have checked on that before I made mini blueberry MUFFINS this morning for the boys. I'll pretend that didn't count and start now. :)

Now for pictures. It could just be me, but I think there is a small difference. That is promising after just 4 pounds. Can't wait to see what I'll look like after 30 more!

PS - If you start following me on My Fitness Pal, you'll notice that it says I've lost a total of 11 lbs. That's from the time I started tracking my food back at the beginning of August, about 2 weeks postpartum. From the day I delivered (while still pregnant) I've lost a total of 26 pounds!

Week 3 } 170.6
Week 2: 172.2
Week 1: 173.5
Starting Point: 174.6


Click the badge in the sidebar on the right
to read all of the Body after Baby posts.

The bump on Hudson's head

When Hudson was born, we counted every finger and toe. We looked him up and down as we took in the sweet smell of new baby. And we cried in relief that everything was as it should be.

Just like his big brothers, Hudson had pink stork bites across the back of his neck and head. He also had a small little pink birthmark on his forehead in that perfect little spot that every person loves to kiss on a baby. I just knew it was where the angels smooched him before he was born.

When we got his newborn pictures taken the photographer asked if I wanted to have that spot edited out. She wasn't sure whether it was a blemish or a birthmark. I told her no, that it was part of him and I wanted it to remain.

Just before Hudson turned 6 weeks old, I noticed that this light pink spot had started to change in color. The pigment was getting a little darker and looked as if it was spreading apart. He also had a rash on his cheeks and neck so I made an appointment with the pediatrician - mostly to check on the rash, but also to ask about the spot on his forehead.

She reassured me that the rash was normal (hey it's been 4.5 years since I had a I forget what is normal and what isn't!) She also said she was not concerned at all with the birthmark.

A few days later, I noticed a change again. Underneath the skin where the pink (now more red) mark was, it began to develop a bluish lump. It looked like a bruise but with about a dime-size bump underneath.

I grew more concerned because of how rapidly it was changing. I didn't want to seem like an overly anxious new-mom so rather than make another appointment just a few days after visiting the pediatrician, I decided to trust my gut and call a dermatologist for a 2nd opinion. They couldn't see him for a few weeks though so I did what any parent would do...I googled it. Which of course only made me more worried.

So then, I sent a picture and a description of what was going on to a couple of friends on Facebook who are doctors. Both suggested that the bump was probably a hemangioma.
I wanted to know for sure, so as I was talking over things with Ricky, a light bulb went off in my head. This is kind of craniofacial, so why not contact Dr. Fearon - Aiden's amazing craniofacial doctor in Dallas. He was unavailable when we called, but his fellow got right on the phone with us, asked us to send him pictures and said he would take a look and call us right back.

A few minutes later, he called. Apparently the spot is one of two things: a kind of deep hemangioma or a vascular malformation. Basically if it is a hemangioma, it will most likely continue to grow and change in size and color, but should start to dissipate a few years down the road, shrinking down to almost nothing. If it is a vascular malformation - which is an abnormal cluster of blood vessels under the skin - it will probably grow significantly as he gets older. It won't dissipate so it would require surgery to remove.


While we know this is such a small thing in comparison to all of the issues we've dealt with with Aiden, it is still an "unknown" and something that will keep us worrying. And the thought of having to put another baby through surgery is heartbreaking. We do feel blessed that Dr. Fearon handles things of this nature in addition to the much more complex craniofacial conditions so we know that if Hudson does require surgery, he will have the best doctor for the job.

This may come across as harsh, but really, this just plain sucks. It's frustrating that this bump is in a place that has already garnered comments and questions: "Taryn, are your boys beating up on Hudson?" "What's that thing on his forehead?" I hate that it's one of the first things people notice when they see my beautiful baby boy. Aiden already deals with stares from strangers and now Hudson will deal with the same. Again, it's something small, I know.

But I find myself saying "Really, God, really?"

There really isn't anything to be done at the moment, regardless of which type of growth it is. Dr. Fearon's fellow recommended we bring Hudson to Aiden's next check-up next year and he will take a look. So until then, we will continue to watch it and hope that it doesn't grow extremely large or cause him any discomfort.

Body after Baby: Week 2

This week's update will be short and sweet as I am traveling and don't have access to my computer. I'm back in Northern Kentucky visiting my family and showing off Hudson. :)

I rocked my "will power challenge" this week, and it was a tough one for me. I have a sweet tooth for candy. Mostly the non-chocolate variety like Sour Patch Kids, Twizzlers and the such. I had a few testing moments that I almost gave in. A solo trip to CVS was one of them. I REALLY wanted to buy some Mike and Ike's and scarf them down in the car on the way home so nobody would know. But I knew I'd regret it the moment the box was empty so I didn't!

Exercising on the other hand has not been going so well. I guess I still haven't found the motivation due to my lack of sleep. I'll get there. Eventually.

No pics this week - BUT - I am happy to report another weight loss! I'm down 1.3 lbs for a total of 2.4 in 2 weeks.

Going to start taking my measurements next week as well to keep better track of my progress.

For now I'm going to enjoy my time with my family :) I'll check in next week! Hopefully I can stay on track while I'm out of town!

Week 2 } 172.2
Week 1: 173.5
Starting Point: 174.6


What it's like

It's a beautiful day outside so I announce I'm taking the kids to the park. They hurriedly dig through the shoe basket by the door and stuff their too-fast growing feet into their scuffed up crocs. I remind them crocs are not the best choice in shoes to play at the park but they insist. I relent. Pick your battles, right?

We pile in the car and make the embarrassingly close 2-minute drive to the neighborhood park. Should've made them walk but I'm not feeling it, so we don't. They unload faster than I can unbuckle my seatbelt, excited to let their feet run and their imaginations explore.

Other families are taking advantage of the cool fall afternoon as well - glad to finally get some relief from the 100+ degree Texas (extended) summer. Two boys are climbing the structure to the slide and Ethan and Aiden join them. When they meet face to face I hear one of the boys say not too discreetly, "Hey, look at his face." The boys stare a bit then continue to play.

A  little girl, about 3, is met by Aiden at the bottom of the slide. She stares and runs crying to her mother, who says nothing.

Another family approaches and as the kids catch a glimpse of my sweet boy, the older child points. The father swats his hand down. The mother whispers (loud enough for all to hear) "Ssshhh. Just ignore him."

While the above scenario didn't actually happen, we have experienced EACH and EVERY one of those reactions while out in public. This is what it's like on a daily basis.

Can you imagine just how much this hurts my heart? I am usually able to keep a brave face and sometimes even approach the kids or adults to intervene. "My boy is so much fun. His name is Aiden and he'd love to play". It diffuses the situation most of the time. But still. It makes my heart ache. For Aiden.

I've taught him to respond to comments with a simple "God made me this way." or "Hi, I'm Aiden." He does a great job and doesn't seem too effected. Yet. He has such an amazing spirit - always smiling and loving life. I surely don't want a few snide remarks about his appearance to change that. I pray it doesn't.

September is Craniofacial Acceptance Month. If there is a message I'd like to get out during this important time of awareness, it is this:

Parents, talk to your kids at an early age about how everyone is unique - no two people are alike - no two families are alike. Prepare them for seeing individuals with special needs or physical differences. Talk about wheel chairs, leg braces and missing limbs. Not only will you probably save yourself some embarrassment should they see someone with a difference, you will also be sending an important message: it's okay to be different.

Teach your children that they don't have to play with a child with a physical difference, and certainly not just because they are different. But teach them to be respectful in any regard. No name calling, finger pointing or other rude behavior should be acceptable. And if it happens, by all means, don't ignore it. That is liable to get mama bear headed in their direction to do a little bit of the parenting that you apparently weren't capable of.

And adults, for the love of God, use your common sense. Be, oh I don't know...a grown up. Don't point at my child or nudge your friend to You'd think it doesn't happen but it does. All the time. Kids don't get a free pass for being a bully so you can be sure that when an adult shows their ignorance by acting like a child I will call you out. I'll try to be nice. But if you're an ass, nice-Taryn might not show up.

Talk to me. Ask me how old he is or tell me he's cute - even if it's just to start a conversation. I enjoy talking about my kids and look forward to opportunities to talk about Aiden's condition with those who don't know. I honestly believe that spreading awareness encourages acceptance. Don't assume I'm sad about having "a child like him" or that I will be embarrassed if you ask me a question. Nothing could be further from the truth. And I bet most parents feel the same way.

Finally, I can't express enough how a simple smile can speak volumes. If I see you looking at my son, and you smile? It puts me at ease. I know you might be curious. Believe me, I get it. If you don't know what to say, just smile. It's that easy.

Children's Craniofacial Association (CCA) works tirelessly throughout the year to remind people that "Beyond the face is a heart". Throughout the month of September families across the United States are spreading awareness about craniofacial conditions like Aiden's. Take this opportunity to have a discussion with your children and also to remind yourself just how important it is to treat people kindly.

If you are looking for some ways to spark that conversation, or to learn more about craniofacial conditions in general, the below links might be helpful.

  • READ All About Aiden - a book I made to read to the kids in Aiden's class at school. Great for kids ages 3-6.
  • READ Wonder, by RJ Palacio - a book with an insightful perspective of what it really feels like to not only have an extreme facial difference but to also be the parent, sibling or friend of someone who looks different. Excellent read for older kids and adults. CCA is offering the book for $12 (shipping included). Contact Annie Reeves at CCA's office to order your copy: 1-800-535-3643.
  • VISIT to make your "Choose Kind" pledge and to access anti-bullying resources and download the educator guide.
  • VISIT Children's Craniofacial Association - CCA is a nonprofit organization that provides emotional and financial support for families affected by facial differences. You can also find detailed information about numerous craniofacial conditions.
  • LIKE More Skees Please on Facebook to keep up with our family and continue to learn just how normal our life is despite having a child with a complex medical condition.
  • SHARE this blog post with your friends and family members by clicking "like" or using one of the share buttons below.
How will YOU help me spread awareness?