New mom enters land of the living

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Two and a half months have passed since our baby Paloma was born and I've run out of excuses for not working out or pulling myself together before 2PM. I finally looked in the mirror (only because I was cleaning it) and decided that enough is enough - I need to re-enter the land of the living, even if I still feel like a sleep deprived zombie.

My first day on the elliptical machine was hard. Not the workout, but the three hours of procrastination I spent doing every other chore in the house. Wait, there are dust bunnies under the crib. Move bed, vacuum. Equally exhausting was the dread of squeezing my post-baby body into my pre-baby exercise clothes.

With the house in order, laundry sorted and going, and kids miraculously playing peacefully, I once again run out of excuses. No problem, I better check my e-mail. A news story flashes with a picture of my former workout idol, Madonna. What's she up to? Seeing her bulging arm veins and manly triceps, I almost scrap the workout all together. "Look what it's doing to Madonna," I tell myself, "This cannot be good for you."

Then one of those humbling mommy moments snaps me back to the reality of my overstretched abs. "Mommy, are you having another baby?" asks my pig-tailed four year-old. "No, honey,"I try to say sweetly through clenched teeth.

Fine! I'll get on the machine, but first I have to nurse and by the way, isn't nursing supposed to help my stomach come to its pre-baby shape? I guess there's an exclusionary clause for the fifth baby.

Long story short, I did 25 minutes on the elliptical and some abdominal crunches. I felt soooo good afterward! Why did I wait so long??!!

Baby's still asleep. Good! I can shower. Oh, this is what it feels like to be clean before noon. I had forgotten.

Baby's still asleep and the other kids haven't killed each other? I'm going to exfoliate and mask with my new favorite organic skin products (the best post-baby gift I have EVER received) and what the heck, I'll give myself a home pedicure.

Pores clean, skin soft, nails painted, hair washed. I'm back in the land of the living.

To learn more about Rachel, visit her website at www.rachelcamposduffy.com.

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Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.