the smell of my desperation has become a stench

The cat troll goat diet

Due to a combination of factors, most of which have to do with horrible life-altering catastrophes, I have somehow reached my pre-pregnancy weight. I don’t recommend this diet. It’s not nearly as bad as the one I was on after Leta was born, the Let’s Think About Committing Suicide Every Hour diet, but it’s pretty bad and requires that you lose a loved one and suddenly wake up one morning with a flesh-eating disease.

Wouldn’t you rather just cut out the carbs?

This diet also requires that you listen to this noise for at least 10 hours a day (Warning: this is 60-second clip of a four-month-old whining. If you are not prone to seizures or violence, you will be after listening to this once.)

I’ve put off organizing my closet until I reached this point, but even now a lot of my clothing still doesn’t fit right. Everything in my midsection has sort of shifted around, and where there was once a curve there is now a 1973 Chevy Van covered in airbrushed flames careening around that curve, and it’s being chased by a swarm of local police who are steering with one hand while clutching a donut in the other.

All of my big jeans fit, sort of. Meaning that in order to walk while wearing them I have to perform a ridiculous acrobatic dance of squats and lunges to stretch them out enough that I can bend my knee. Also, I’m not ever washing them again because then they’d shrink that centimeter or two, and BOOM I’m back to wearing my maternity pants and people at the grocery store are asking me when I’m due. Oh I’m due, alright. FOR SOME WAFFLE FRIES.

Anyway, I was trying to avoid thinking about all the crap raining down around my ears the other day, and I got into the organizing mood. And you seriously do not want to screw with me when I am in that mood, not if you enjoy the arrangement of limbs on your body, no. I remind myself of my mother when I get into that mode. You know that woman, the one who sold more Avon products that anyone else in the world? Yeah, when I was growing up and she was scrubbing the bathtub, my siblings and I would hide in the closet because the violent squiggly lines around my mother’s body were likely to disfigure our faces.

I was a mad woman, throwing out shirts and odd sweat pants that had been accumulating for years, and then I got to my underwear drawer, OH HELL YES I’M GOING THERE. Turns out that the majority of the weight I gained during pregnancy amassed itself in my butt, and for the first time in my life I had one! You can’t tell from any of my pregnancy pictures that my butt doubled in size, but that’s only because it was so small to begin with that even when doubled it was still invisible to the naked eye.

It boggled the minds of scientists!

And holy horse balls, that underwear is huge! Massive! As elephantine as my ego! I took one pair, pulled it over my head, stuck my arms through the leg holes, and suddenly I’m wearing a toga! A toga with tiny puppies and hearts and an elastic pink lining that is long enough to measure the coastline of Africa.

Who wore those things?! I DID. I wore those things! And why didn’t the person sleeping next to those things say something about it? Like GOOD GOD, WOMAN, HAVE YOU NO DIGNITY.

Point is. Pre-pregnancy weight! Sort of. Yay!

  • Mindy

    2009/10/15 at 5:44 pm

    Bothered by a 4-month old whining? Let me give you some perspective so that you can better appreciate the loveliness that is coming from your daughter.

  • JW

    2009/10/15 at 5:46 pm

    Am I the only one who didn’t think the noise was that bad? It just sounded like, you know, a baby. I was expecting more of a poltergeist moan or something.

  • Chriss

    2009/10/15 at 5:47 pm

    I am running the add on but it isn’t playing…is this God protecting me?

    Pre baby weight- what is this concept? Never heard of it. I was under the impression my fat was permanent.

  • Kelly-Vision

    2009/10/15 at 5:52 pm

    Congrats on the pre-pregnancy weight.

    And for the record, my dog, who is prone to seizures by the way, went absolutely ape shit when I played the audio clip of Marlo. You did give me fair warning.

  • damaris

    2009/10/15 at 6:02 pm

    sounds better than doing kegels all day long. I still have 15 lbs to go but I don’t see it going anywhere anytime soon.
    dang it!

  • gina

    2009/10/15 at 6:04 pm

    Still tell people that I haven’t lost the baby weight from my 12 year old twins. Never tell people that they are really adopted.

  • Clzimm

    2009/10/15 at 6:09 pm

    Pretty sure a 4 month old doesn’t exactly “whine” yet…those noises are her only way of communicating with you that she needs something. It did not make me think of birth control, it made me want to pick her up.

  • christen

    2009/10/15 at 6:09 pm

    congrats on the pre-prego weight, i’m insanely jealous as today was the day i weighed in at the MOST i’ve ever weighed pregnant… and i’m only 28 weeks. grr


    2009/10/15 at 6:15 pm

    I’ve heard that whine before, I know I have, I know. Wait, it’s my fellow cooking school students when their food has not turned out well.

    (But, take heart. By the time your angels are that age they will be living in a dorm and whining to someone else so all is not lost.)


  • just beth

    2009/10/15 at 6:23 pm

    the two st. bernards and our new kitty all tried to rescue Marlo. or maybe they were trying to rescue YOU, I don’t know.



  • Cynthia

    2009/10/15 at 6:35 pm

    My daughter helped me clean out my drawers after I lost the third pregnancy weight. She pulled out a pair of HUGE panties and asked me “Mom are you sure these are not grandma’s?”

    She actually asked me if I was wearing “granny panties”. Dont tell my mom though, her ass is nowhere near as big as those maternity briefs – yuck.

  • Grace Matthews

    2009/10/15 at 6:35 pm

    Congrats on the weight loss. I understand being suicidal…that whining is unbelievable.

  • Janet

    2009/10/15 at 6:38 pm

    Marlo sounds like she’s uncomfortable, Heather. Like maybe her tummy has some gas on it. I know nursing babies aren’t supposed to have that, but maybe? I didn’t nurse my son and he had severe colic–cried, screamed, and pulled his legs up toward his tummy–and the colic continued until the doc decided he was allergic to milk and took him off it. So I kind of know what you mean about the noise but maybe she’s trying to tell you something? Just a thought.

  • Janet

    2009/10/15 at 6:39 pm

    Marlo sounds like she’s uncomfortable, Heather. Like maybe her tummy has some gas on it. I know nursing babies aren’t supposed to have that, but maybe? I didn’t nurse my son and he had severe colic–cried, screamed, and pulled his legs up toward his tummy–and the colic continued until the doc decided he was allergic to milk and took him off it. So I kind of know what you mean about the noise but maybe she’s trying to tell you something? Just a thought.

  • Jill

    2009/10/15 at 6:47 pm

    My niece – who is 4 months younger than my daughter – did that ALL the time. Awake, asleep, it didn’t matter. It drove me crazy – and I can’t imagine how my sister-in-law felt. Good news is…she turned one last month and she TALKS! Not in full sentences or anything, but enough to communicate her basic wants. Which is totally awesome.

  • Flicka

    2009/10/15 at 6:55 pm

    I don’t know, Marlo’s whining didn’t sound that bad to me. My son screamed (I mean purple-faced screamed!) for the entire first seven months of his life so I think I’m a little jaded. I would have taken Marlo’s noises any day and thought it pleasant. That being said, I don’t have to live with her. I’m a different person than you are and if that sound is your “nails on a chalkboard” then you have my sympathy. I don’t think infancy is ever easy, whether you’re the mom or the baby. We all just kind of survive until one day it’s suddenly fun again. Hang in there!

  • Anonymous

    2009/10/15 at 6:55 pm

    I’m sorry, but to those of you whining about pregnancy weight…are you more worried about your vanity/weight gain than the health of your developing baby? EVERYONE gains weight during pregnancy. If you didn’t, there would be big problems. Some don’t lose it. It’s part of life. oh well.

  • katie

    2009/10/15 at 6:56 pm

    OH MY GOSH the weirdest thing about this post? I started listening to the baby whine, and my dog comes running from the back of the house, jumps on the couch and proceeds to walk over onto my desk and start sniffing and snarling at the computer.

    Guess we just got a preview of what she’s going to do if I have a baby!

  • Lisa

    2009/10/15 at 6:57 pm

    Congrats though I’m jealous. I have a 6 mo/old and I still have 15 lbs to go … I gained 30 and the baby was 8 1/2 lbs. That’s sad, I’ve only lost 6 1/2 lbs in 6 mo!! Whew, I don’t want to think about it… pass me the oreos 🙂 P.S. I’m still wearing that underwear.

  • micahmaranda

    2009/10/15 at 7:17 pm

    Reminds me of SNL’s Grimaldi’s Nativity Christmas Creation. You must watch! Oh, sweet 7.2 oz. baby Jesus.

  • shawn michelle

    2009/10/15 at 7:20 pm

    oO(sigh) i’m 14 weeks in and only a little over half way to pre-preg weight – a tad depressing.

  • Kim

    2009/10/15 at 7:43 pm

    UNFOLLOW!!! Wearing maternity pants as I type – baby on my lap is 6 months old……..not fair Heather. She did enjoy Marlo though. She was talking back to the computer! She speaks goat too.

  • Matt

    2009/10/15 at 7:46 pm

    My dog freaked when I started playing the clip of Marlo. It stirred her from her nap, she ran over next to me and stared at the computer at full attention, cocking her head to the side every time Marlo made a sound.

    She’s never done that before! I’ve tried playing clips of dogs and cats and other animals and she barely even notices. But Marlo fussing? It’s the one sound on the whole internet that makes my German Shepherd go “WTF?!”

    So congratulations.

  • Joles

    2009/10/15 at 7:58 pm

    Dino, my Chuck-colored Doberman, thought this noise was intensely interesting. He’s standing her, ears perked, doing an Aussie-like head tilt. I don’t think I’ve ever seen him so interested in ANYTHING.

    I’ll have to keep it around for the next time he’s distracted by the cats.

  • IB12

    2009/10/15 at 8:05 pm

    Evil…worse than water boarding… have you no shame hehehe

  • Naomi Niles

    2009/10/15 at 8:20 pm

    I’m not going to listen to the crying baby. No, I’m not gonna do it. You can’t make me!

    Congrats on the baby weight loss!! Woo hoo!

  • FashionTouch

    2009/10/15 at 8:28 pm

    Congrats on weight loss! Eternal fight for every woman.
    It is though making me afraid of motherhood even more than I am now 🙂 And I am getting old and husband wants a little one, and mom talking about this everytime I call her…. What am I supposed to do???:)

  • Renae

    2009/10/15 at 8:29 pm

    I lost 43 pounds within 6 weeks of having my second son and it’s called, having 2 kids under the age of 2 and trying not to lose my mind. I agree, a HARD way to lose weight.

  • kassyross

    2009/10/15 at 8:51 pm

    Very good information on weight loss , to loose weight is the keyword today!

  • Terri

    2009/10/15 at 8:55 pm

    Oh my gosh, that adorable girl is trying to talk, not whining. If you notice in some of the early videos you have of her she is trying to get something out but of course she is too young yet for words. I would bet she will start talking early.

  • Mariann

    2009/10/15 at 9:00 pm

    Do not remember my prepregg weight. Too many pounds ago……lol. …….and judged by my email addy…….too many kids ago. The end will stay that way.

  • BarnMaven

    2009/10/15 at 9:03 pm

    Congrats on getting into the prepregnancy jeans…I don’t care how you get there, it always feels good. And yes, our bodies change drastically when we have babies. Worth it, but takes some getting used to.

    You’ve mentioned a few times in the last weeks about mysterious stuff crashing down around your ears…I hope that all is as well as it can be in your world (aside from anxiety, sleepless squirmy goat-sounding babies and losing your Grammy). I know you’ll tell us what it is when you can, just can’t help but wish you some peace of mind.

  • Stacy

    2009/10/15 at 9:05 pm

    sorry, but that is some kind of pre-babbling, that girl is trying to tell you something.

    better than screaming anyday.

  • the niffer

    2009/10/15 at 9:09 pm

    Oh boy. The cats did NOT like that sound. Little do they realize they’ll be hearing it at least 10 hours a day come Nov. 23 ish.

    I remember reaching my pre-pregnancy weight and not believing the scale because my body was all weird and not fitting in clothes. I think my ribcage actually spread. Pregnancy is such a weird and interesting thing.

  • Danielle

    2009/10/15 at 9:15 pm

    Congratulations on the quasi return to pre-pregnancy weight!

    I’m with you. I told my husband that my body is like the overhead compartment of an airplane. Things may have shifted during the process of gestating and birthing a brand new person.

    But damn, it felt so good to squeeze into those pre-pregnancy jeans!

  • JessicaRabbit

    2009/10/15 at 9:27 pm

    Ok for whatever reason when I play that clip my calico goes nuts and tries to bite my fingers off. No baby, fine, baby, rabid finger chewing of doom.

    Marlo should use her powers for good.

  • Lu

    2009/10/15 at 9:34 pm

    I totally understand that things shifting thing. We are never the same. Cute audio clip.

  • Syc Stone

    2009/10/15 at 9:40 pm

    Good luck with your efforts and congrats on taking the initiative to lose weight!

  • kelly

    2009/10/15 at 9:47 pm

    that is the sound of a baby pooping…


    2009/10/15 at 9:52 pm

    Bossy, too. Pre-pregnancy weight. Where weight equals WHO CARES AS LONG AS *THIS* IS THE WAY I STILL LOOK IN THE DRESSING ROOM MIRROR?

  • Victoria S

    2009/10/15 at 9:52 pm

    I was playing the audioclip on my laptop, and my husband, who was 1) on the other side of the house and 2) raiding in World of Warcraft with 3) his headphones on, jumped up from the computer to check on me because he thought I must have been in pain or having a nightmare.

    That is the power of Marlo’s whining.

  • Tamara

    2009/10/15 at 10:22 pm

    I could only make it through 30 seconds. Painfully reminded me of my six month old baby, who makes similar noises, though more sputtering. I’ve become one of those velour-fleece-pant wearing moms due to the whole post-pregnancy shifting of curves…comfortable, but not sure how I feel about it. Does it all go back into place someday?

  • Julie

    2009/10/15 at 10:26 pm

    That clip of Marlo made my dog rush over to my laptop and cock her head about 180 degrees to listen in that funny dog way. Then she started frantically nosing the laptop like, “Make it stop, please!” God forbid we ever bring an actual baby into the house.

  • Anonymous

    2009/10/15 at 10:45 pm

    It’s weird but (admittedly hearing the clip completely out of context) my first thought was that it sounds like she has a tummy ache.

  • The Expatresse

    2009/10/15 at 10:48 pm

    I hung onto my maternity underwear waaaaaay too long because it was 100% cotton and felt nice.

    Until . . . DUH DUH DUH! I went to visit a friend, and she did some of my laundry and then she pulled an intervention on me. I had to throw it all out and buy real underwear.

    But you know, a few pairs organized some sort of Underwear Underground Railway and every now and then I find a pair in the back of the drawer.

    They’re like a stray dog . . . they want to stay. Can I keep them please?


    2009/10/15 at 10:49 pm

    I have a worse’s called The Swine Flu. Pray to all your Tiki Gods now that your family is spared. It is a bitch.

  • Gin

    2009/10/15 at 10:54 pm

    Marlo seems to have struck a nerve with canine-kind. Like many others my dog came running from across the house and looked at me like: “Hey lady, what the hell is that noise and why aren’t you making it stop? I’m trying to sleep here!”

    She better get used to it though, because I’m 37 weeks preggo and that noise is going to be constant around here soon!

  • Jessica

    2009/10/15 at 10:57 pm

    I made it 19 seconds on the clip. I have a 7 1/2 month old of my own, thank you very much. 🙂 Congrats on the ass/weight loss??

  • LovingDanger

    2009/10/15 at 11:03 pm

    Congratulations!!!! On Monday I wore jeans without an elastic waste for the first time over two years. HELLO 2 under 2! Yeah so when I realized I could do the pants up I was all HELLS YEAH! GET MAMMA SOME SCOTCH! Then I realized I couldn’t bend over but that’s not the point, the point is I did those fuckers up!

    Also the question that decides whether I’m a human visitor uses some funny words! “Umpired LaBelle” what the hell is that shit!

  • ellie

    2009/10/15 at 11:11 pm

    When I played this clip my dog woke up and started whining, one of my cats ran over whining and in the end everyone ran up the stairs fuzzed up and frantic. Yikes.

    Congrats on your new bod, both the additions and subtractions. Don’t cave to the waffle fries. You’re almost there.

    (OK, I admit I would cave to the waffle fries, but I’m trying to be encouraging.)

Heather B. Armstrong

Hi. I’m Heather B. Armstrong, and this used to be called mommy blogging. But then they started calling it Influencer Marketing: hashtag ad, hashtag sponsored, hashtag you know you want me to slap your product on my kid and exploit her for millions and millions of dollars. That’s how this shit works. Now? Well… sit back, buckle up, and enjoy the ride.

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