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!

  • Snotty McSnotterson

    2009/10/16 at 11:58 am

    Holy Horse Balls is my new band name. It’s easier for me to come up with band names than lose the baby weight, especially since my baby is now 11 years old.

  • Not Steve McQueen

    2009/10/16 at 12:04 pm

    can you be addressed on television as “Heather, who puts her maternity underwear online”. I think that will attract more viewers than that magazine thingy.

  • Renee

    2009/10/16 at 12:21 pm

    I think pre-pregnancy weight should have it’s own milestone sticker on those baby’s first year calendars. It’s a big freakin’ deal, and deserves a sticker.

  • SAHM: Surviving Assorted Home Mayhem

    2009/10/16 at 12:46 pm

    Congrats on returning to pre-pregnancy weight! Sadly, I’m still attemping that same feat myself, thing is; the “baby” just turned 3 and I’m pretty sure I can’t call this “baby weight” any longer. Oh, and fair warning; when he stopped nursing (at 1) I *gained*. Ugh.

  • Chrystal

    2009/10/16 at 12:47 pm

    Congratulations! It took me 9 months to get back to my pre-baby weight with my first. I’m hoping with my 2nd (I’m due in Feb), it’ll melt off much quicker!

  • Embee

    2009/10/16 at 12:48 pm

    “why didn’t the person sleeping next to those things say something about it? Like GOOD GOD, WOMAN, HAVE YOU NO DIGNITY.”

    Um, because Jon values the tools which got you in those underwear in the first place. duh!

  • Teri

    2009/10/16 at 1:06 pm

    The baby noises made my dogs bark. They normally just bark when a commercial on tv makes a doorbell sound:) Congratulations on the weight, oh and I highly recommend chili cheese fries as a second course to the waffle fries! Loved you on Phil the other day–thanks for sticking up for all the moms.

  • Jif

    2009/10/16 at 1:09 pm

    i couldn’t bring myself to listen to whatever it is you posted as I am still dealing with the trauma caused by the shingles video…

  • Beverly

    2009/10/16 at 1:39 pm

    It’s not so bad, Jif. It’s just a baby whining.

    I’ll take that over parents whining any day!!!

  • BigMamaCass

    2009/10/16 at 1:44 pm

    HILARIOUS!! I am still *gulp* 25 lbs shy of reaching my pre-pregnancy weight (hush I gained a lot, ok?) anyhoo… I have plenty of time, he is ONLY 20 months! LOL

  • Lisa

    2009/10/16 at 1:47 pm

    My friend and I were just talking yesterday about how we would really like to hang out with you. Not in a creepy stalker way, just because we like your story and honesty and humor.
    Stories of peoples’ lives give meaning to all of it!

  • Julie Wood

    2009/10/16 at 2:22 pm

    no freakin fair! I don’t get all you women that can come back to pre-pregnancy size in less than 1 and 1/2 or well, 2 and 1/2 years for this baby. I really don’t think I’ll ever get back to where I was. I’ve tried, I tell you, I’ve tried. But you ladies who think that pregnancy weight is somewhat of an uncomfortable thought, can shove it. Mine was horribly uncomfortable and it’s still not all the way gone. So, forgive me for being a little ticked by the women that can lose it without months of maternity clothes – after the pregnancy. Point is – you did great, me, not so much. And, I have issues about it. can you tell?

  • Emmy

    2009/10/16 at 2:23 pm

    I’m listening to the exact same noise right now coming from my 7-month old.

  • Ev

    2009/10/16 at 2:50 pm

    Here it is Friday afternoon, I’m starving, and I come here and read the words “waffle” and “fries”. Either one is bad enough by itself, but the two together is cruel. Now I’ve got to stop on the way home and buy a waffle iron and a deep fryer..damn you, Armstrong!

  • Emilie

    2009/10/16 at 2:56 pm

    I am 5 weeks post-partum and weigh less than when I got pregnant. I promise that is not bragging because I vomitted every day I was pregnant, was 6 days overdue, labored for 23 hours, pushed for 2 hours and sprained my pelvis during delivery. Who knew you could sprain your pelvis? Even my doctor was surprised. I had a walker for the recovery floor and when the doctor wrote me a prescription to get my own walker for at-home use, I said, “no need, I’ll just borrow my Grandma’s extra one.”

  • Hayley

    2009/10/16 at 3:02 pm

    I just saw you on Dr. Phil, and I’m so glad because I came to your page. I just read one of your FAQs about call child protective services…its hilarious! Isn’t is funny how other people feel like they know how YOU feel and how your life is and then they even feel so almighty that they get to tell YOU how to raise, treat and love your child? I just wanted to say I love your website and although I may not make it back through all your posts, after all I do have a 7 month old running, crawling, around, I will be reading every day. And I love the pictures of the dogs, we have 3 and I love how you include them.

  • Keri

    2009/10/16 at 3:06 pm

    Marlo sounds exactly like my son! Oddly enough, I didn’t find it annoying at all; it actually made me smile because I’m in my last half hour of work and I can’t wait to get home and see my little guy. So thanks for that!

    I totally know what you mean about being back to your pre-pregnancy weight and your old stuff still not fitting, what is up with that?? It’s like, Congratulations! You lost all your pregnancy weight! Now, lose another 10 pounds and you might fit into your old jeans. No promises. Have fun!

  • Sadie

    2009/10/16 at 3:08 pm

    Hah! My son is 2 weeks younger than Marlo, and as I played that clip he could hear it from his crib and made matching whiny noises. In fact I’ve got to go spring him from said crib…

  • Tay

    2009/10/16 at 3:10 pm

    I found that clip pretty damn cute, actually. Maybe after 10 hours it would stop being cute, though.

  • Mumologic

    2009/10/16 at 3:25 pm

    The game show buzzer whine kicks in at about five months.

  • No. 17 Cherry Tree Lane

    2009/10/16 at 4:14 pm

    My daughter is 20 months old and I still haven’t lost all my weight.
    So, congratulations.
    and I kinda hate you, too.

  • Rachel E.

    2009/10/16 at 4:18 pm

    When I was growing up and my mom got in THAT mode she’d yell at the top of her lungs, “WHERE ARE MY SCISSORS?!?!?!?!”

    That’s when all seven of us would flee and hide to protect our very lives. Then, in hiding, we’d argue in whispers about who had mom’s scissors last and where they possibly be…


  • denise

    2009/10/16 at 4:47 pm

    Hooray for getting reacquainted with your pre-pregnancy weight! And in such a short time! I hope all those horrible haters didn’t force you to abstain from eating. You’re a gorgeous woman, pre or post pregnancy weight, short hair or long. I’m dumbfounded by the vicious cruelty in your ‘hate’ section.

    Re: that clip. Both of my babies made that sound beginning around that age and I actually thought it was adorable! I never perceived it as whining, but as them trying to wrap their mouths around sounds they just couldn’t quite make yet. Each kid did it much more aggressively and pointedly if I would talk directly at them while they were doing it. It always seemed like rudimentary attempts at language to me. Perhaps you could try to shift your perspective and it won’t get under your skin quite so much? easier said than done, I know…just a thought.

  • Sunnie G Baker

    2009/10/16 at 4:52 pm

    I can’t get the video to play 🙁 I’ve been curious about this goat noise you speak of, now I guess I’ll never know what you meant.

  • Alyxherself

    2009/10/16 at 5:06 pm

    The longer this whole hating Dooce thing goes on, the wierder it is. Men are right about women, we’re two faced bitches. I have never heard you say a bad word about anyone, and have always seen you talk up mommy bloggers. You have certainly helped to raise household conciousness about women blogging, and blogging in general, and all you do is write honestly about your life.
    I come here to have a smile and enjoy what you share and I have to deal with fucking jealous ass lame-o’s who wanna tell you how to run your life. Fuck. Get over yourselves, people. Don’t fucking come here. Go somewhere else and leave Dooce’s blog for those of us who enjoy it.
    Damn already. Shut up you stupid cows.
    And Heather? good for you, stress diet sucks, but being lardy on top of all that crap sucks something terrible. I remember when you and Jon lived in L.A. and you wrote that post about trying to beat him up some brutal outdoor flights of steps on a workout! maybe you should challenge him to flights steps to get your muscles back 🙂
    I swear, at 40 and 2 kids, its the working out that gives me hope against gravity.

  • Cynthia

    2009/10/16 at 5:35 pm

    The whining seriously upset the cat.

    As for the jeans, you can wash them once a week, just don’t dry them. The stiffness goes away in 5 minutes. 😉

  • Yes!

    2009/10/16 at 6:08 pm

    #209, I could not agree more.

  • Ginger

    2009/10/16 at 6:56 pm

    Jeans—don’t ever put them in the dryer. Let them air dry, then give them a whirl with dryel.

  • Ellen

    2009/10/16 at 10:29 pm

    I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I’m really disappointed I can’t play/hear the clip of Marlo whining.
    I’m sorry you had to go on the diet you did; I hope your (((shingles))) are calming down, and I’m sorry for the loss of your Granny Boone.
    The pic of Lily and Marlo is precious. Marlo looks like she’s about to be upset, and Lily looks kinda tough. Smackdown time?

  • Anonymous

    2009/10/16 at 10:41 pm

    Ok. Congrats on the sorta weight loss thing. You’re cool like that & it’s good to know that you have to work at it, because you look like one of those awesome supermodel women who say they can eat anything and just take long walks with the children to burn it off. Bah!

    Re: the whining. I must inform you that you have yet another super genius on your hands. Your sweet baby is talking to you. Really. I’ve met many a baby who began to speak at 4 months. The key is to figure out what they’re saying. Sometimes you’re lucky enough to get comments in the context of the conversation, other times they’re trying to tell you that you looked better in the top you wore yesterday. Imagine the frustration.

    I can’t tell what she’s saying, but whatever it is, she’s saying it over & over. What was going on at the time? It’s way cool when they realize that you understand…they get really excited!

  • Anonymous

    2009/10/16 at 10:58 pm

    Even though I have Quicktime, I could not hear the audio clip in Windows Explorer, but could using Google Chrome as a browser. HTH somebody!

  • Nicole

    2009/10/16 at 11:03 pm

    Just saw you on Dr. Phil (I’m catching up on my TiVo) had never heard of the website and now I’m hooked:). Congrats on your jeans I too had the same thing happen to me today, I got back into my pre-pregnancy jeans today, my dtr is 7wks old (also my second) a small miracle! Men have no idea!

  • Nicole

    2009/10/16 at 11:04 pm

    Just saw you on Dr. Phil (I’m catching up on my TiVo) had never heard of the website and now I’m hooked:). Congrats on your jeans I too had the same thing happen to me today, I got back into my pre-pregnancy jeans today, my dtr is 7wks old (also my second) a small miracle! Men have no idea!

  • Mary Jo

    2009/10/16 at 11:17 pm

    My one year old beagle, Rascal, found the clip to be very exciting. When it started playing he ran over to me and climbed up on my lap to look at the monitor. I’m not sure what Marlo was saying to him, but he was very curious. LOL I love it!

  • Elizabeth

    2009/10/16 at 11:53 pm

    Maybe it’s my 38 year old ovaries and uterus that haven’t been put to use making a baby yet doing the taking, but I found that sounds pretty great. My dog actually stopped licking her butt for a minute to come see what all the noise was about. Now, talk to me again after 10 minutes (let alone 10 hours) and I will probably be grateful my dog licking her hind quarters is the only sound in my house right now.

    I haven’t lost the 25 pounds of baby weight I gained when my best friend had her kids either 🙂

    My captcha word is “boneyer” -what is that exactly??? One who eyes, well…

  • Rachel

    2009/10/17 at 8:58 am

    This post was the best form of birth control ever! I am 23, and it made me soooo happy that I am not a mom yet.

  • Onepot

    2009/10/17 at 9:17 am

    What in the world are waffle fries? Looks like I’ve been missing out.

  • Tran

    2009/10/17 at 10:43 am

    Yeap, girls and women should do somethings to keep good weight and shape after having a baby. Men love good looking women, lol

  • Deanna - The Unnatural Mother

    2009/10/17 at 10:50 am

    Here’s to pre-pregnancy weight!!!

  • Kit

    2009/10/17 at 11:11 am

    Congrats on the weight thing!

  • Lisa

    2009/10/17 at 11:54 am

    I was back down to my prepregnancy weight pretty quickly too, but like you, it’s all in weird places now. So, a lot of shirts got thrown out for being too tight and too short! Congrats!

  • mrs.notouching

    2009/10/17 at 12:11 pm

    Yay! And I can totally relate to the shock of looking at my maternity underwear…. I mean… whoa! really?!

  • Kari

    2009/10/17 at 1:18 pm

    I returned to my pre-preg weight quickly. When people ask me how I stay thin, I tell them “High stress livin’.” Where my tummy was once flat (and pierced!), I too have a van, but mine has a fantasy-blue-hot-chick-and-wolves painting on it, and is blasting prog-rock.

  • Allison

    2009/10/17 at 1:55 pm

    In the Times Book Review published Sunday, David Kamp writes that Mr. Chabon “shows admirable restraint in not pimping out his children, in not giving away too much of their lives, their trials and their cute utterances.”

    You’d be wise to do the same.

  • Ang

    2009/10/17 at 4:53 pm

    Holy comment section batman. Well, I am super-tardy or just retarded at not looking you up earlier Deuce. My mother-in-law reads you daily and for some reason, in my seriously sleep-deprived post-partum fog, I neglected your page.

    I have a 2 month old who looks much like your baby girl. She’s started to track my body (enormous body- how could she miss it?) and voice. Poor thing, she has no idea what her hot momma looked like back in the day… mind you that was somewhere in the early 90’s but at least there WAS a DAY.

    I’ve had those underwear adventures…hell my “fat panties” elastic went shot- so that tells you how much weight I gained.. the poor fat panties didn’t survive… and I think they’ve been disposed of. I can’t match a mit or baby sock in the wash at the moment, so who the hell knows? I’m pretty sure the 2 month old is snacking on them at midnight, I blame her for lateness, why not blame her for this too?

    Anyway, glad to see I’m in good company. Glad to read you. Cheers, Ang

  • Aidyl

    2009/10/17 at 5:06 pm

    To #244 Allison

    “Make somebody happy today. Mind your own business.” ~Ann Landers

  • Yolanda

    2009/10/17 at 6:01 pm

    Heather –

    Good evening. I played the clip of Marlo whining and my cat who was sleeping next to me woke up from his nap he was disturbed. I think I will play it for him everyday that way when we have a baby the sounds will not be so foreign to him.

  • hairstyles for girls

    2009/10/17 at 6:05 pm

    I’m still not my pre pregnancy weight and my “baby” is now 3. How much longer do you think I can get away with using the excuse that I just had a baby?

  • Kari

    2009/10/18 at 1:20 am

    Um, that sounds like the whine of a baby with digestive problems: constant low-level discomfort = wretched whining.

    I expect she’s still mostly on boob? (Sorry, I’m not reading regularly). Both my kids had terrible colic so I did the rice-for-a-few-days-then-add-boiled-chicken diet (deadly boring). But worth it as we discovered various things I was eating that gave them a lot more gas.

    Also, my daughter ruptured her eardrums like 5 times her first year — and then the pediatrician said “hey, maybe she has reflux!” Yes indeed, baby reflux can get in the sinuses and then the ear canal, causing nasty ear infections and a hell of a lot of whining.

    Just saying — she’s trying to tell you something. Figure it out.

    Cheers, K

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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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