Musings About Life... After Birth



Posted by Chelsea on September 30, 2008

At the risk of sounding like a broken record, six months after having my second child, weight-wise, I’m still nowhere near where I’d like to be . Sigh. That’s why this afternoon (Wednesday) at 2:00 PM EST, I’ll be joining Broads Molly and Christine of XM Radio’s “Broadminded” (tune in on XM Channel 155!) to try Hello! SkinnyJeans, your good ‘ol classic denim staples made with a high nylon/elastane content that sucks in your gut, butt and thighs. The credit for this find goes to Momtourage member Alison, who read about them in a magazine and said we needed to get some ASAP.

We’ve tried other slimming jeans before, so the Broads and I are looking forward to comparing these bad boys to other varieties. Catherine Hart, the founder of Hello! SkinnyJeans claims her jeans are the best because they’ve got “scooped out” thighs, which drastically separate and slim your thighs and push out your tush, and inseams that are drawn forward on the leg, making it appear that there is less real estate on your drumsticks.

Wanna check them out for yourself? Visit They come in a variety of colors and lengths, and are $178 each.


Posted by Chelsea on September 29, 2008

The other day, Momtourage members Jen, Alison and I were eating lunch with our kids and we all noticed how curly-headed those four little buggers buggers are. Granted, that’s probably what you get with a group of nice, Jewish kids, but still - it’s pretty remarkable, especially since the corkscrewed gang resembles a scoop of Neapolitan ice cream - one blonde (mine), two brunettes (Alison’s) and one redhead (Jen’s). Curls like theirs are pretty are pretty enviable, and always bring comments; wherever we go, people always make all sorts of “Look at those gorgeous curls!” or “He looks just like a little cherub” remarks. I always thank people when they compliment him like that, and to those who make the angel reference, offer them the opportunity to take him home and discover that’s he’s actually a little devil

just how angelic he truly is.

Don’t let the cherubic ringlets fool you.

To maintain my kid’s curls, I use the Krly Kids products by Ouidad, the New York-based hair stylist who is known as the authority on curly hair. I know, I know - I’m definitely advancing my quest to make my son gay by using all sorts of fancy haircare products on him, but seriously, this stuff keeps his locks from getting all ratty, tangled and ‘fro-esque. If your kids have curls too, you gotta try this stuff - it’s fantastic.

Ouidad’s Krly Kids No Time For Tears Shampoo, No More Knots Conditioner and Pump & Go Spray Gel, $12-$15 each, or $36 for the set,

Got a curly kid? Send me an email at - I’ve got four sets of the products to give away!


Posted by Chelsea on September 24, 2008

The next thing you know, People will tell us that the sky is blue.

Clay Aiken: I’m a Gay Dad

By David Caplan

Following the Aug. 8 birth of his son Parker, singer Clay Aiken is following through on a promise he made to himself as a new dad: to publicly acknowledge that he’s gay.

“It was the first decision I made as a father,” Aiken, 29, tells the upcoming issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands Friday. “I cannot raise a child to lie or to hide things. I wasn’t raised that way, and I’m not going to raise a child to do that.”

Aiken says he expects the news may overwhelm some of his fans. “Whether it be having a child out of wedlock, or whether it be simply being a homosexual, it’s going to be a lot,” said Aiken, who returned to Broadway last week as Sir Robin in Monty Python’s Spamalot.

He adds that he hopes his fans “know that I’ve never intended to lie to anybody at all. ... But if they leave, I don’t want them to leave hating me.”

How He Came Out to His Family
The born-again Christian singer also reveals how he told his mother Faye he’s gay four years ago. After dropping off his younger brother Brett, who was being deployed to Iraq, at Camp Lejeune, “I started crying in the car,” Aiken remembers. “It was dark. I was sitting there, thinking to myself. I don’t know why I started thinking about it ... I just started bawling. She made me pull over the car and it just came out.”

So what was his mom’s reaction? “She started crying. She was obviously somewhat stunned. But she was very supportive and very comforting.” Even now, Aiken admits, “She still struggles with things quite a bit, but she’s come a long way.”

As for his own child, Aiken tells PEOPLE that Parker – who was conceived via in vitro fertilization with his best friend, music producer Jaymes Foster – will be raised in an environment that is “accepting and allowing him to be happy.”

Says Aiken: “I have no idea if he’ll be gay or straight. It’s not something I’ll have anything to do with, or that he’ll have anything to do with. It’s already probably up inside the code there ... No matter what the situation you’re in, if you’re raised in a loving environment, that’s the most important thing.”

So here’s my question: how could ANYONE on God’s green Earth who has any knowledge of Clay Aiken - much less his OWN MOTHER - be surprised by this? I mean, come on. He says his mom was “obviously somewhat stunned”. Obviously? Um, no, Clay. If you had told her you were marrying a woman, then she would have had a right to be “obviously stunned”.

For some hilarious alternative covers, click here.


Posted by Chelsea on September 15, 2008

Little Bro had his 6-month birthday on the 14th. I can’t believe it’s been six months. Time flies when you’re having fun - and even when you’re not.

I took him for his 6-month checkup today and thankfully, he seems to be doing well. At 18.5 lbs and 27.5 inches, he’s in the 75th percentile for both height and weight, which is where he’s always been (and, interestingly, Big Bro has always been too). He got one oral vaccine and three shots, which was just so sad. His eyes got so wide when the nurse jabbed him with the first needle, and then he let out that terrible silent cry - you know, the one where the poor kid is in such intense pain and shock that he can’t even make sound at first. Poor dude.

Granted, I’m completely biased, but Little Bro is one adorable kid:

Big Bro is pretty darn cute too, yet they look really different, I think. Big Bro is a dead ringer for his dad at the same age, and has fair skin, blonde curls and blue eyes, while Little Bro has olive skin, brown hair and hazel eyes, and resembles my baby pictures.

It makes me a little sad that I haven’t been able to relish all of Little Bro’s developmental milestones the way I was able to with Big Bro. The first time we gave Big Bro food, both my husband and I were there for it, we took all these photos, and there was lots of cooing and clapping. Little Bro’s first food eating involved my tossing our nanny a jar of Earth’s Best Organic sweet potatoes and a baby spoon, then snapping a few quick photos before heading out the door to drop Big Bro off at preschool. I understand that that’s just how it goes with second, third, etc. kids, but it still makes me kinda sad. Especially now that the focus in our house is largely on potty training Big Bro, poor little bro gets a bit of the shaft in the attention/focus department. Little Bro is essentially along for the ride - sometimes even literally - and basically has to adapt to Big Bro’s schedule. I just have to keep reminding myself that he’ll most likely be a well-adjusted kid for it (unlike me, an only child who never really learned that I wasn’t the only game in town). I’ll let you know….

All in all, Little Bro has been a dreamboat of a baby. He’s so smiley and giggly; he just has such a sweet, cute personality. So much so that he’s somewhat suckered me into the idea of having a third. The funny thing is, when I was pregnant with Little Bro and found out I was having another little boy, it made me really sad. Of course, there was the part of me that was bummed I wasn’t going to have a daughter, but more so, the thought of having another insanely active little boy running around just completely frightened me. Big Bro is a major handful, and I had no idea how I would deal with another one like him. My husband reassured me that no one has two kids with the exact same personality, and sure enough, Little Bro is very different from Big Bro. Little Bro is in most ways far more chill than Big Bro ever was. He’s not in constant motion - even when strapped in a car seat, and he’s much more patient. On the other hand, he also seems a bit more needy - liking to be held more than his brother ever did, and less into hanging out in the Exersaucer or in the bouncy chair, unfortunately. Despite my early reservations, I’ve since realized that having this little boy is exactly what was supposed to happen for me. I absolutely adore this child, and feel a very strong bond with him. In some ways, it’s different han the one I feel with Big Bro. Not better or worse, just different. I knew I would love this baby no matter what, but I never knew how much I would. I thought my life with one child was pretty full of love, but with two - wow. Some days I’m not totally feelin’ that love, but on the days I do, it’s all cheese and Hallmark cards (was that redundant?).

So, as much as these past six months have felt like the most insane months of my life (and, likely, they have been), they’ve also been some of the coolest. Sometimes when I’m sitting on the sofa or cuddling on the bed with both of my little guys, I am overwhelmed with the feeling of how incredibly lucky and blessed I am. I mean, these two beautiful, sweet boys are mine - my family. I wish that kind of happiness for everyone. 


Posted by Chelsea on September 10, 2008

I’m nearly two weeks into potty training Big Bro, and sadly, it hasn’t been going too well. He’s definitely “ready” (or as “ready” as he’ll ever be), and we’re having decent success at home, but when we’re out, he rarely wants to stop what he’s doing to tell me he’s gotta go. Therefore, we’ve had our fair share of accidents - and a lot of them have been full-on gross, if you catch my drift. Just this week we had one at school today, one at the park the other day and another that same day when Momtourage members Meredith, Jen and I were at Chicken Out eating lunch with our kids. Ugh. I know we just started, but already, I am so over it and so frustrated. Obviously, I can’t communicate this to my kid, as that would only set us back even further, not to mention guarantee his presence on some therapist’s couch 20 years from now.

I needed some major advice, so I consulted my brother-in-law, Michael, a child psychiatrist and the father of two older kids (read: he’s done this before, and actually knows what the heck he’s talking about). He listened intently, and then offered these words:

“I think it’s time to bring out the big guns.”

“The big guns?”


Really? I had always heard you weren’t supposed to use food as a reward when potty training, despite the fact that one Momtourage member (whose name has been hidden to protect the innocent - and the guilty) bribed her kid with her favorite, blue licorice. It worked like a charm, both in getting her potty trained as well as in turning her poop turquoise.

“Yes, you generally shouldn’t use sugary sweets,” he said, “but in this case, you need a jump start, and I think he’d be motivated by the reward.”

I wasted no time picking some up today - little Halloween snack packs that can easily be thrown into my purse. I picked up some extras for myself, my motivation to endure - literally - more of this crap.

When discussing this plan of attack with another child-development professional, she echoed my brother-in-law’s advice. “Honestly, would you show up to work if you weren’t getting paid?” she said. Point taken. “Don’t worry,” she reassured me. “Really, he won’t be expecting M&Ms when he’s 4.” Let’s hope not.

When I think about Michael’s M&M advice, it makes perfect sense - especially in the case of potty training. I guess kids sometimes need that extra goal - whether it be a piece of blue licorice or the ability to push the real-life vacuum as Momtourage member Sloane offered her son while training him. So, I’m trying the M&M trick, and hoping for the best.

I just hope I don’t reward myself with them too often.


Posted by Chelsea on September 07, 2008

This past weekend, my parents came in town and watched the boys while my husband and I got the hell outta Dodge (a.k.a. Chevy Chase, MD). As much as we love the little critters, Little Bro’s 6:00 a.m. wake-ups and the stresses related to potty training Big Bro were seriously taking a toll, and we were both so in need of a break.

We went to fairly nearby St. Michael’s, MD and stayed at the GORGEOUS Inn at Perry Cabin. Interestingly, a good part of the movie “Wedding Crashers” was filmed there. Remember the senator’s house where Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn’s character’s go stay? It was this hotel, actually (check out the web site - you’ll totally recognize it). It’s right on the Chesapeake Bay, and wow, it was beautiful. We slept late, got massages at the hotel’s spa, hung by the pool, ate some amazing food at 208 Talbot, read the paper by the water and caught up on the first season of “Mad Men” (which is major league amazing - if you haven’t seen it - you must rent the DVDs). Neither of us wanted to leave. It was Heaven.

When we returned to D.C., we were all rejuvenated and happy to see the boys. What a difference a weekend away makes.


Posted by Chelsea on September 02, 2008

Need to drop a few pounds? I do - like, a “few” times seven or so. In the meantime, it’s all about Spanx, the miraculous shapewear from Atlanta girl (woo hoo!) Sara Blakely. I hate to admit that all of those “Have you lost weight?” comments I’ve been getting recently can’t honestly be answered with “Why yes, and thank you, you wonderfully observant person!”. My seemingly svelte figure is completely the result of my wearing Spanx’s Hide & Sleek Girl Shorts and Slim Cognito Body Shaping Cami. Sara, you deserve a Nobel Prize.

This afternoon (Tuesday) at 1:00 PM EST, I’ll be joining Broads Molly and Christine of XM Radio’s “Broadminded” (tune in on XM Channel 155!) to discuss the newest offerings from Spanx: the Bra-llelujah! Full Coverage Front Closure Bra and the latest additions to Spanx’s hosiery line, the Patterned Tight-End Tights and Under the Heel Tight-End Tights.


The Full Coverage Front Closure Bra has naturally adjusting shoulder and back straps, made from a unique hosiery fabric that automatically conforms to your body like a second skin, banishing VBL (visible bra lines) and minimizing back fat. Its front closure design eliminates uncomfortable metal hooks and clasps in back, and it features smooth, soft, molded cups that provide uplifting support and coverage. While it does have an underwire, the bra’s unique channel design guarantees that it will never peek or pop through. The bras are $62 at

Footless tights worn with pumps are hot, hot, hot for fall; all the celebs have been rocking this look lately. To get the look with a little shaping, Spanx’s Under the Heel Tight-End Tights are your ticket. A flattering companion under skirts, dresses and tunics, their body-shaping benefits slim the middle, trim the thighs and smooth the rear. A specially-designed heel pocket keeps tights in place when you tuck them under your shoes, while their soft leg band adds comfort when you place it on the ankle. Opaque yarns flatter your legs while the non-binding waistband keeps you slim and oh-so smooth. And the cotton gusset means undies are optional. $32 at



Patterned and textured tights are a must-have accessory this fall. These patterned tights have a smooth, flat waistband and rounded toe to keep your tummy and tootsies comfy. Extra tummy control and extended thigh control are paired with soft yarns for a smooth, slim look. Patterned Body-Shaping Tights come in all sorts of patterns and colors. $28-42,

Want to win a new bra or some hosiery from Spanx and Assets, Spanx’s lower-priced sister line? I’ve got 10 bras to give away and 10 hosiery sets including one pair of Spanx and one pair of Assets patterned tights each to give away. To be eligible to win, you must be registered for The Momtourage’s mailing list, so if you’re not, click on the green “Join Our Mailing List” box at the top, right-hand corner of this page to register. If you’re already registered, you’re already eligible to win!

Page 1 of 1 pages

    Follow Me on Twitter!
    Subscribe to The Momtourage’s regular features

    Click on the icon below to get The Momtourage™ content updates through your feed reader whenever we update our site.

    Learn more about RSS feeds.

    Blog Feed

    Check Chelsea out on XM Radio!
    My Current Obsessions
    • The Kiefer CottageThe Kiefer Cottage
      Meet the Kiefers: a quirky, lovable family of five on a quest to transform their 1940s Kansas City bungalow into the house of their dreams. The budget is small, the dreams are big, the creativity is inspiring. Check them out - you can thank us later. Happy reading, everybody!
    • Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day® All Purpose CleanerMrs. Meyer’s Clean Day® All Purpose Cleaner
      I don't understand gals who claim to loooove cleaning. That said, I do get a certain joy from using Mrs. Meyer's Clean Day® All Purpose Cleaner to care for my home. You can't lose with this is hard-working & earth-friendly, and will leave your abode smelling like a day spa instead of a chemical spill. Try Lemon Verbena in the kitchen and Basil in the bathroom. At only $7.99 a bottle, you can afford to pick up both!
    • True BloodTrue Blood
      Um, does this even need a caption? Doubtful, but let me just say that this is the hottest hour on television. Vampires are seriously sexy (especially Eric), and on this show you get to see a lot of them--if you get what I mean. Put the kids to bed and flip the channel to HBO on Sundays at 9 p.m. to taste the fun that is True Blood.
    • Valentino Bow Thong SandalsValentino Bow Thong Sandals
      So comfy and feminine, I know I'd wear them all summer. But dang, that much money for jellies? Possibly worth the splurge. $275,
    • New Balance Kids’ Sneakers in wide sizesNew Balance Kids’ Sneakers in wide sizes
      My boys have wide feet, which means finding cute shoes for them is tough. These, however, rock. Prices vary, visit to purchase.
    • Zoya “Laurie” Nail PolishZoya “Laurie” Nail Polish
      This sheer pink polish is, without question, the PERFECT nude pink. Plus, the polish is free of formaldehyde, toluene, camphor and dibutyl phthalate (read: yucky crap that isn't really safe for prego gals). $6,