Friday, October 4, 2013

Call 911, Not me

My first major in college was biology.  I was going to be pre-med.  I was going to save lives or find out what ended them by getting into forensic medicine.   I took all kinds of science classes.  I even took an anatomy class and dissected a cadaver.

What I didn't do?  I didn't take a class involving people actually bleeding.

Almost done with my sophomore year, I realized I was going to be going to school a really long time, owe a lot of money and eat a lot of P&J sandwiches.  Unless…I switched my major to business and let the company I worked for pay for it.

That is how I ended up with a Bachelor of Science - in Business Management.

I have always felt like a sellout.  I picked the bottom line and easy street over doing something meaningful and rewarding….and hard.

That is until this month.

This month we had two accidents requiring us to go to the ER.  Both involving blood, making me realize that I wouldn't have made it in medical school.

In fact, now I realize I am pretty much useless in any emergency situation.  When I purchase emergency row seats on an airplane, they shouldn't be asking me if I can lift 30 pounds.  They should ask if I stay calm and don’t faint.

And then immediately move me to the back of the plane.

Situation #1 involved my 18 month falling on our hardwood floors, flat on his nose. Blood was everywhere. I ran screaming “oh my god, oh my god, oh my god!” to the bathroom and stood there a moment before realizing my husband and son were in the kitchen.

By the time I got to the kitchen, the hubby had gone through several towels trying to get the bleeding to stop. I, being the supermom I think I am, took over attempts to get it to slow down and tried to calm my son.  For like a minute.  Then I told my husband I felt woozy and he instructed me to sit down and put my head between my legs and breathe.

Fortunately he was able to get the bleeding to stop.  Unfortunately, my son’s nose immediately proceeded to swell up 3 times its original size.  So, off we went to the ER to confirm it wasn't broken. It wasn't.

Situation #2 involved my losing battle with a mandolin slicer.  I cut off a small part of the tip of my thumb.   After not being able to stop the heavy blood flow for over 30 minutes, we decided to go to the ER.

Again, I gave another stellar and brave performance during a crisis.   This time when I felt woozy, I refused to sit in the chair as I was pretty confident the chair was only going to reduce the height of my fall when I fainted, not if I fainted.

I laid down on the cold kitchen tile, thanking the plastic baby Jesus for allowing me to live long enough to see my child born.   My husband didn't know what to think.   I just cut off the tip of my thumb, not my entire hand including a major artery.

He was wonderful and held ice to my head until I felt OK enough to sit up.  Then I took the towel off my thumb and started the whole, “I am coming to see you Elizabeth!” act from Sanford and Sons all over again.  Wow…showing my age with that reference.

My dear 18 month old didn't know what to think.  If I cried, he cried.  I tried to put on a brave face, so not to traumatize him.  Eventually, he laid on the floor with me staring at the ceiling.  For a moment.  Then he decided sitting on me playing with his cars (while I moaned) was more fun.

So there we were.  Me on the floor, holding my thumb.  My son sitting on my stomach, holding matchbox cars.  My husband, holding an ice pack on my head.

It was finally time to take me somewhere to help stop the insanity bleeding.

After piling me and my son in the car, my husband ran back inside the house to make sure we had everything.  That is when it happened.

I finally fainted, as promised.

Here is the thing about passing out.  I actually have the best dreams when it happens.  I have dreams that seem to go on for hours, but really only last about 60 seconds.  On this day, I dreamed were all trick or treating for Halloween.  I was little disappointed when a came to and there wasn't a bag of Skittles anywhere in sight.

Of course fainting meant I let go of the towel covering my thumb and woke up in a pool of blood.

Queue the circle of drama again.

In an effort to shorten this story, the hospital got the bleeding to stop, I will live and eventually the part I cut off will grow back. But I learned a lesson this month.

Need to be somewhere on time?  Call me.
Need to set up your wireless router?  Call me.
Need a shoulder to cry on?  Call me.
Need someone to help in a crisis situation, involving blood?  Don't call me.  You will be screwed.

You will die.


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Saturday, September 21, 2013

Crock Pot Stuffed Peppers

I decided to do something new on this site.  I am going to post recipes I have tried and really liked.  

Not only does it give me a break from having to come up with witty antidotes about motherhood, but I can finally do something with all those Pinterest boards I have.  An who doesn't love a good recipe?  Especially one that is easy, doesn't have a million ingredients and you don't need a engineering degree and a bunch of free to time to make.

I am all about easy.   I have tried to follow recipes that have a bunch of crazy ingredients and usually I screw it up.   I either forget an ingredient and end up looking confused.  Sort of like when you put together a Christmas toy and have screws left over?

Or it requires too much multi-tasking and I lose track of time and something boils over or burns.

Or it just tastes disgusting and them I am really, really pissed because I just spent a shit load on a lot of fancy ingredients that I will never use again.

Most of the recipes I try are variations of the original recipes I have found.   I am always looking for easier, healthier ways to make something.  Sometimes it works out.  Sometimes it doesn't.

This time, it turned out pretty yummy.

And I am sharing it with you.


Wine In My Sippy Cup's Crock Pot Stuffed Peppers
Serves 4

Would I make it again:  Oh yeah!

What would I do different:  I would probably try and make it a little more "clean" but cutting up fresh tomatoes and using plain quinoa and then adding my own herbs.   But right now?  I don't got time for that.  Plus, I was able to empty out what I already had in the pantry.

Ingredients:
  • Box of already seasoned quinoa mix (or rice mix if you want)
  • 4 good sized peppers (green is cheapest but I think yellow and red are yummier)
  • Package of Italian sausage (meat type and heat based on your preference)
  • 1 Can Hunt's No Salt Added - Diced Tomatoes with Basil, Garlic, Oregano

Step 1:  Make the quinoa or rice using the instructions on the box.  I used Near East brand in Roasted Red Pepper and Basil because it was in the house already and it seemed like a good fit.  But you can use any flavor you think will taste good.


Step 2:   While quinoa is cooking, cook the sausage.   You can find ground sausage or ask that your butcher ground up links for you.  Me?  I just took home a package of Al Fresco brand Chicken Sausage Hot Italian.  Chicken sausage is healthier but it is hard to find it already ground up.  So, I squeezed them out of the casings and browned it up.   It worked just as well.   However, it is a slimy process.  It is like touching used condoms.   Oops, should I have not said that?



Step 3:  While the sausage and quinoa are cooking, cut the tops off of the peppers and remove the seeds.  Some people cut up the tops and add them to the sausage meat.  I like to feel all fancy and look like a better cook than I am, so I leave them intact and cook them in the crockpot.  But that is my preference.
 
 

Step 4:  After the sausage is browned and the quinoa is cooked, mix them together in the pan used for the sausage and stir in half the can of tomatoes.
 
Step 5:  Pour the other half of the can of tomatoes in the bottom of the crock pot.  Stuff the peppers with the mixture and sit them in the crock pot.   Put the crockpot on low and cook for approximately 6 hours or until the peppers are soft.
 


When done, it should look like this.
 

Enjoy!
 
Nutrition information below was obtained by plugging in all the ingredients into My Fitness Pal.  This is also using the exact brands I used.  If you alter the recipe, it will be different.   I have no idea how accurate it is, but hopefully it is pretty close.   Don't blame me if it is not.  You were warned.
 
Per serving:
Calories
Carbs
Fat
Protein
Sodium
Sugar
397
57
8
24
918
14


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Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Quirky DNA

As I watched my child make sure every door was shut (including his baby gate), that his cookies were lined up in a row and that his blankie was hanging on the back of the chair; I rolled my eyes and muttered "crazy kid" under my breath.   That is when my husband reminded me that I really shouldn't talk.

Hello pot?  Meet kettle.

I have often wondered if I have a bit of OCD in my veins.  I do have a few quirks.  Idiosyncrasies.  Odd habits, if you will.

I can hear my husband saying "a few?" right now as he reads this.

OK.  So maybe I am down right weird.   Is that hereditary? 

For example...

We have two light switches in the living room that control one light.   It is very important to me that when the light is off, they are both in the down position.   The switches in the kitchen got messed up and now one is always up and one is always down, regardless if the light is on.  Have you ever tried to correct that?  You can't!  Once it is screwed up, it is screwed up.   And I will be damned if the same thing will happen in the living room.   It drives the husband nuts that I will walk across the room to turn the light off just so that both switches are in the off position.   Honestly, I am surprised he hasn't gotten up in the middle of the night and screwed them up just to end the insanity.

Then there is food.   I realized I have a lot of eating particularities.

I separate my candy by color.    I am talking about things like Skittles and M&Ms.   How I eat them depends on the candy.   Skittles are a rainbow of flavors.   I believe they should all get equal attention. Therefore, I make little piles with one color each in them (red, orange, yellow, green, purple).   If there is uneven number of colors, some piles may have less colors than others.  But still only one of each color.   I then start with the smallest pile and eat one at a time.  This way I am not left with a bunch of one flavor at the end.  Nothing is worse than getting to the end and having 3 greens left.  When possible, I try to always leave a purple for last.

M&Ms, on the other hand, all taste the same.  So I separate them by color and eat them in this order:  all of the browns, then yellows, then oranges, then reds and then greens.  Ugliest to prettiest.

Moving onto Oreos.   I must separate the chocolate cookies, making sure the cream stays intact on only one of the sides.  I then eat the side without creme before eating the other side.   I personally feel that the ratio of of two cookies to the filling doesn't taste right.  It hides the tastiness of the cream.  A one to one ration of cookie to cream?  Just right.  Double stuffed?  Even better!

Hostess Cupcakes?   I peel off the chocolate top, split the cupcake in two and lick out the filling.  I then eat the cake and save the yummy top for last.

Moving away from food, I love making lists.   I make them for everything.  However, if I do something that is not on my list?  I must add it to the list,  just to mark it off.  I have too.  It makes me feel more accomplished.

I can't stand all the notifications we have in our high tech world.  I have alerts for email, text, voicemail, missed phone calls, Facebook, Twitter and many more.   It drives me nuts.  I cannot leave a notification just sitting there.   All my emails must be read or deleted.   The SPAM and Trash must be emptied.  I must look at every Facebook alert just to get the number to go away.   I have been known to call myself and leave a voicemail message so I can go back in and delete it just to get the stuck voicemail icon to go away.    I can't wait until I get a legitimate voicemail from someone.  God knows, how long that would take while the little envelope just sat there at the top of the phone mocking me -- knowing all along I don't really have a new voicemail.

I could go on, but I think you get the picture.   I have a special way of doing things.  Life would be boring if we all could just eat a bowl of ice cream without swirling it with their spoon first until it becomes soft serve.

Leave a comment if there is something you do that others may find weird.

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Friday, September 13, 2013

Mommy Confessions

There came a point in my life that I looked around and realized at almost 40 years old, I had accumulated a lot of junk.  Knicknacks.  Magazines.  Receipts. You name it.  Fancy dust collectors, making me feel claustrophobic and imprisoned in my home.  OK.  Maybe that is a little exaggerated, but I did need to throw some things out.  

Then, just when I started de-clutter my life and simplify the amount of paper sitting around the house – I had a kid. 

I thought I would have years before having to even thinking about the amount of artwork that would come home.   The thought, honestly, didn’t even cross my mind as I changed diapers and spoon fed him applesauce.

Then he turned 1 year old and the daycare removed him from the infant room and placed him in the toddler room.

The first time something he made came home, I got teary eyed.   It was the most adorable giraffe and tree literally made with own two hands.  No, literally.  Really.  They used his hand prints for the legs and branches.




Then things started coming in fast and furious.  Xeroxed copies of coloring book pages with a few squiggly lines were stuffed in his backpack at the end of every week.  

 
As the pile grew and I filled one box, I started to wonder:  what exactly do I keep and what do I throw away?  He was only 12 months old.   At this point, I am bound to be on the A&E show “Hoarders” by the time he is 3.    

Then they sent home something made of glitter.   I have my limitations.  Glitter is one of them.  I am a glitter magnet.  Somehow those little speckles get stuck to me for days.  They get in places no glitter should ever be.  That is when I knew it was time to start trashing some things.

I also realized that I needed to devise a plan before he was old enough to realize what was going on.   His self-esteem could be crushed if he knew I kept losing lottery tickets, gas receipts and toy manuals longer than I kept his artwork.  

I felt so guilty the first time I trashed something; I decided I needed to put more effort into being the perfect mom.   So, I did what every non-perfect mom does.   I went on Pinterest to see what perfect moms do. As I scrolled past decoupage Ikea tables, binders, decorated Rubbermaid bins, frames that store 100 pieces of art, and various keepsakes you can get made from pictures of his creations; I started to have an anxiety attack.

I had a choice to make.  I could waste another hour of my time looking at this Martha Stewart wanna be crap that I would pin on a board and then never look at again, much less do, or I could spend that time thinking of excuses of why his orange elephant isn’t on the refrigerator.

I picked excuses.  

I could say the art fairy took it to her castle to share with her kingdom.  That sounds believable, right? Especially the glitter infested crap.   Fairies like glitter.

I could tell him I recycled them to make the Earth a better place.   I could actually put them in our recycle bin, thus making me a good person and balancing out the bad karma of throwing my child’s artwork away.

I could give them to Grandma, instead of throwing them away, and dare her not to be over joyed about it. 

I guess I also could get the digital camera and take a picture before throwing it away.   But that requires me to actually download it and burn it to a disc at some point and that is almost as stressful as Pinterest – especially if I get the “disk full” error and have a conundrum on my hands about what to delete.

Whatever I do, I probably shouldn’t submit any of it to the many websites I found dedicated to making fun of kids’ drawings.   You think school bullying is the cause of low self-esteem?  Wait until little Johnny finds the picture he drew in the 2nd grade on the Internet with his dad commenting that his talentless son’s Tyrannosaurus Rex looks like a drunk dog wearing a dress.   Yes.  These websites really do exist.

I don’t look so bad now, do I? 

In the end, I decided to keep anything with hand and foot prints or anything made for special occasions, like Mother’s Day.   Anything that depicted a special moment in time would stay.

Of course, they will remain in a box.   You know, until I finally get around to all those awesome perfect mommy Pinterest projects I pinned.


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Thursday, September 12, 2013

Blogger Idol 2013

Ugh!   I am so nervous! I just applied for Blogger Idol 2013!   If I don't make the top 12, I might stick my head in my oven or eat myself to death.   Death by ice cream isn't a bad way to go.

If I do make it?   I think I will give myself an anxiety attack every week trying to meet the assignments.   Either way, this doesn't look good for me.   But hey!  You have to try new things in life!

What exactly is Blogger Idol?  Follow the link above to find out.

But if you are lazy like me:

It is blogging contest for bloggers. Based on the popular singing reality show, American Idol, the contestants audition by submitting previous blog posts and then narrowed down to a Top 12 by judges. If chosen, they compete weekly, using writing assignments created by the panel of judges. Each week, someone is eliminated. The final contestant is crowned the ‘Blogger Idol’, and wins the Grand Prize.

What can I win?

Gift certificates to some really cool services to improve my blog.

But most importantly, I could get more readers for my blog, discovered by a agent, have a movie written about me, get Meg Ryan to play me (without her lips inflated) in the movie and become rich and famous.

Or, I could just get a few more readers for my blog.

Follow the progress of the contest on Blogger Idol's Facebook and Twitter!

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Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Back to School, Back to Flu

It is that time of year again.   I can close my eyes and smell the newly sharpened pencils and remember the feel of unwrinkled wide ruled paper.  I can see the markers, crayons, folders and backpacks.

And…
Snot
Coughing
Sneezing
Hacking
Yes.   When the kids go back to school, germs spread.  How does school affect someone with a one year old?  Those school aged kids have daycare aged siblings.  And my child’s daycare once again becomes a huge petri dish.

After a relatively sickness-free summer, I can almost guarantee my little one will get sick within a week.  With parents going back to work, the center is packed to capacity.  Dozens of new pre-K germ monsters doesn’t help.  Add the afterschool program, and you have a bubbling cesspool.
That dreaded call from the daycare is what every mom fears.   And rightfully so!  If your child is sick too often, your employer may not be sympathetic that you need to leave work early. 

If your boss is unsympathetic, you may lose your job.  If you lose your job, you may lose your house.  If you lose your house, you may need to live under an underpass.   You won’t even be able to call one overpass “home” because you will have to keep moving to prevent your car from being repossessed.    To buy food, you will have to make flowers from palm leaves and pass them out on street corners for donations.  You will only be able to afford $.99 burgers and your teeth will fall out. 
See, there is a lot to worry about when you think your child is getting sick.  

On the plus side, you won’t have to pay for daycare if you lose your job!

Some say I am fortunate since I work from home.  I say that just means I am doubly screwed.   That means everyone thinks I can do it all.  They think I can run a conference call, take him to the doctor, finish that TPS report by 3pm and clean up puke -- all at the same time.   Oh, and while I am at it, do the laundry and start dinner.
There is a reason he is daycare, folks.

But yes, I suppose I am lucky.  It also helps to have his retired Grandma living only 10 minutes away and willing to watch him while I work in the other room.
But what if you don’t work from home, nor have family members close by that can help?

You take them to daycare anyhow and hope you don’t get caught.
Every time I find out a parent dropped off a highly contagious kid, my childless friends are appalled.  They blame the daycare for allowing it.  What they don’t realize is moms get desperate when it comes to choosing between living under an overpass without teeth and staying home with their sick kid. 

So how can you get away with dropping your sick kid off at daycare?
  1. Tylenol (or Motrin) is the daycare’s nemesis.  You can take your child into daycare and honestly say he doesn’t have a fever.   You aren’t lying.  He doesn’t.  At that moment in time.  It buys you at least around 6 hours before the fever returns and they know something is wrong.  But by then, you have put in almost a full work day.  Score!
  2. Know your daycare’s busy drop off period.  Strive to avoid it 99% of the time, but use it as your ally when you need it.  With all the commotion, you can easily sneak in, do a drive by drop off and leave before they see that mysterious “rash” on Johnny’s arm.
  3. Once you have passed the hardest hurdle, getting them to accept your child, you aren’t home free.   They could still figure it out and call you to come back and pick him up.  This is why you never answer the first call.   EVER! Now here is where it gets a little sticky.  They may call other people on your emergency contact list if you do not answer.  It is important those people do not know your child is sick.  They need to sound genuinely shocked and either agree to pick up the kid in your absence or offer to try and get a hold of you.  Either way, it buys you more time.
  4. If you do have to eventually go pick up your child, it is imperative that you play dumb.  If they feel you have purposely done it too many times, you could be banned from the establishment.   You need to think of alternative reasons for the symptoms.   Vomit?  Maybe food poison.  A rash?  Perhaps it is just the heat.  Fever?  Teething.  Runny Nose?  Teething.  Cough?  Teething.   Deny everything!
Now, please do not think I am condoning this practice.  I am not.  But I understand it. 

It is hard being a working mom.  You have put up with judging looks from your childless co-workers. 
If you lose your job, not only are you hurting your family, you are hurting the economy.  That is a lot of pressure!

Furthermore, some other kid probably gave it to your kid.  All you are doing is paying it forward.  Besides, you are helping them build their little immune systems.  That is a good thing, right?
But let me make one thing clear.  If I find out you purposely dropped your sick child off at daycare and he gets my child sick?   I will lick your child each and every time I have the sniffles.  

Karma is hell douche bags.
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Monday, August 12, 2013

80s Sitcom Moms

I was flipping through the channels one day and realized something about all the beloved family sitcoms I used to watch as child.   I am about the same age as most of the moms on those shows.  How depressing is that?!

It feels like just yesterday, I was drooling over Mike Seaver and Alex P. Keaton -- and now I am old enough for them to be my sons.
 
Am I really an 80s mom?

No.
 
Because when I look back at those shows, I realize what crap they were drilling into my little head.   Crap that would grow over the years into a distorted version of what being a mom was like. 

I will never be an 80s mom.

The 80s were the years of the TV Super Mom.   They were perfect.  Perfect liars that is.

For example...

Clair Huxtable.   If you take a poll of most memorable moms, I bet Bill Cosby's on-screen wife would win hands down.  You know why?  Because she is a mystical creature, that's why!   You seriously want me to believe that in her mid-40s, she had five kids and was still a successful practicing lawyer?   Not to mention I am supposed to be believe in doctor husbands that hand you a glass of wine, turn on a little jazz and rub your feet at the end of a stressful day?   She is the elusive unicorn mom.  
 
Elyse Keaton.  The ex-hippy, go with the flow, work from home mom of Michael P. Keaton, Republican extraordinaire.    She handled everything with grace and wisdom.  Three kids, totally different, and she accepted and encouraged all of them while designing buildings and attending PTA meetings.   Somehow, no one spilled soda on her drawings or colored them with Crayola's burnt sienna.   She had the perfect marriage and knew the perfect thing to say when Mallory found out a friend was pregnant.   It really doesn't surprise me that after 7 years of kum-ba-ya TV moments, Meredith Baxter-Birney divorced her husband and announced she was gay.

Maggie Seaver.  Another mother effortlessly juggling mommyhood and a career when she went back to being a TV reporter.    Not only did she go back to work, but she left her husband home to take care of the kids AND used her maiden name.   That might not seem like a big deal now but it was a big deal back then.  During all this, she still had time to solve any serious issue in thirty minutes. She was super clever and witty and always had a cool comeback for her bad boy son, Mike.  Her biggest problem seemed to be keeping Alan Thicke out of her hair spray and not giggling every time she had to say Mike's friend's name, "Boner".

Somehow, after each of these ladies got done saving the world at work; they went home, cooked a nutritious meal, helped the kids with homework and had no trouble getting them to sleep by 8pm.  It all looked effortless. 

They never had to raise their voices. 

Saying their kids "disappointed them" was all they had to say to get them back in line.

There was no blended family drama or bat shit crazy ex-spouses to deal with.

Laundry didn't stay in the basket until the wrinkles were permanently affixed.

Dishes didn't stay in the sink until they started to smell.

They were never neurotic, depressed, anxious, or struggling with their decisions.

They were perfect.

Everything I am not.

With role models like these, it is no wonder I am a hot mess. 

80s TV really screwed me up.


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Thursday, August 8, 2013

Radio Anxiety

Yesterday's car ride home from the daycare went a little something like this.

Radio:  The way you grab me, Must wanna get nasty.
[Then T.I came on and I blushed]
Me:  Ummmmm....I probably should change this.

Radio:  She's up all night 'til the sun, I'm up all night to get some 
Me:  Ugh.  How long before my little boy understands what this is referring too?

Radio:  We don't give a f*ck 'cause that's just who we are, we are, we are we are, we are we are 
Me:  Sigh?  Seriously?

Do you know one of the things I miss about pre-motherhood?   Hearing a good song on the radio, cranking it up and singing at the top of my lungs with abandonment.

Now?  The first thing that goes through my head?  Is this song appropriate for my child to hear? 

Huh?  What?  Am I that person now?

Am I just like those 1950s parents that felt Elvis Presley and all his gyrating wasn't fit for television or kids' ears?  Yeah.  I think so. 

Elvis' lyrics were tame compared to today's songs.   I started thinking back to the 70s when I was born.

Air Supply
Bee Gees
Elton John
Barry  Manilow

I don't recall Barry asking "Mandy" to back that ass up to him.

And in the 80s?   We may have thought something was up with Boy George.  We knew Madonna and Prince weren't saints.   Not to mention listening to Motley Crue and Ozzy was sure to send you straight to hell....or jail.  But I don't remember it being this bad.

I remember my mom jumping on the hair metal bandwagon.  To this day, I think she still has a crush on Jon Bon Jovi.  But I don't recall her being overly concerned about popular radio songs.  I don't recall her changing the channel suddenly when a certain song came on.  I could be wrong.

Maybe, because other than having to explain what a virgin was (thanks Madonna) the songs were a little more covert.   Honestly, looking back, I had no idea what Warrant was singing about when they talked about Cherry Pie.  For all I knew, they were just hungry and had a sweet tooth.

Now?  There is a whole market for CDs that make Top 40 songs "kid friendly".

Seriously! 

Here is an example from The Lazy Song by Bruno Mars:

Original lyrics:
Meet a really nice girl
Have some really nice sex
And she's going to scream out
This is great, oh my God, this is great.

Kidz Bop lyrics:
Meet a really nice girl
Send a really nice text.
And she's gonna write back
You're so great OMG you're so great!

I don't know if I am upset that this even has to exist, how ridiculous the kid friendly lyrics are or that I didn't think of it first.

Maybe I am just an old fuddy duddy, but when I hear my 7 year old stepson singing Can you blow my whistle baby?  I squirm.  I want to yell to the world, "we only have him 8 days a month!  I promise he didn't learn the song from us!"

I know he doesn't know what it implies, but it is still cringe worthy to me.

Am I just more up tight than other moms?  Than my mom?

Am I the only one worried that, thanks to Bruno Mars, my son's first complete sentence might be "Baby squirrel, you’s a sexy motherf*cker"?  

Anyone?

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Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Things I Googled This Week

Did you know Google is now a verb in the dictionary?  That is how much of an icon it has become.  It is the epitome of researching useless knowledge you will never use again.  It is how millions of people become self-made doctors without actually going to medical school.  It is how some real doctors actually get through medical school and their daily practice.

How did we get through life without Google?  My son will never know the pain of walking into a library and flipping through an actual card catalog for 5 minutes, looking for a specific reference book.   And thankfully, he will never know what it is like to find the card, go to the location and discover the book is not available – only to be relegated to do it all over again.   If you are under 25, you probably don’t either.  Damn you!
But I digress.

Back to Google.
You can Google anything and everything.    Searches tell a lot about someone.  Are they brainy?  Clueless?  Horny? Guilty? Sometimes search history can even lead the authorities to where the body is hidden.

I wondered what would my last few Google searches say about me?
Hand, Foot, Mouth Disease.   There was an outbreak at my son’s daycare and I was a little paranoid.  I admit, I Googled this at least four times in one day.  Because, you know, the symptoms might change.  Having a child running balls to the walls with cars in his hand and drool dripping from his mouth could have been added.    This behavior might illustrate that I have a bit of OCD.  

Orange belly snakes.    Heed some advice.  If you pick something up and discover a snake under it, running inside hysterically so you can Google if it is poisonous may seem like a good idea at the time.   However, by the time you go back outside, the snake will be long gone.  Or you hope it is long gone.   It might just be in the bush next to you waiting for you to pull a weed.  Or in the garage that you left open while running.   Or hanging from the tree you are standing beside.   Perhaps I have Ophidiophobia.
How to grow cacti.  Hopefully, you have my past posts.  If so, you know I have a brown thumb and my son is lucky to still be alive.  My thumb is so brown, I have to research how to keep my cactus alive.  This might say that I will never be a horticulturist. 

Twerking.   In someone else’s post they mentioned “twerking”.   They mentioned it so nonchalantly, like I should definitely know what it is.  I didn’t.  My friend Google did.  This means I am old.  If you don’t know what it is, you are old too and I am not going to tell you.  Google it yourself. 
How to spell Ophidiophobia. Well, first I had to Google what being deathly afraid if snakes was called for the entry above.  Then I had to Google it again to remember how to spell it.  Truth be told, I Google a lot of things (including horticulturist) just to get the correct spelling.  I butcher some things so badly that spell check in applications have “no spelling suggestions”.  But Google does.  This makes me feel that Google gets me like that no other Bill Gates application could.  Because of this, my Google history is all over the place.  I will either look like a very curious person or just an uneducated fool.

Let’s face it, Google is how people get information they are just too embarrassed to ask another person for fear of them thinking they are an idiot, or contagious, or a freak.
I really don’t know what my searches say about me as a person - other than I couldn’t come up with a parenting post to write about.

What have you Googled today?

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Wednesday, July 24, 2013

My, how vacations have changed!

I am spoiled.  There, I said it.  I have been fortunate enough to have travelled many places over the years.   Usually, traveling involves me throwing some things into a suitcase, buying whatever I forgot when I get there and living on the edge - ready for an adventure.

My, how things change after having kids.   Vacations now take more planning than my wedding day and to be honest, I challenge calling it a "vacation".   According to Dictionary.com, vacation is defined as "a period in which a break is taken from work or studies for rest, travel, or recreation".

I call bullshit.   I don't recall having rest or any breaks.  For instance...

Before Kids.  I packed my suitcase in 30 minutes or less.  Clothes?  Check.  Medicine? Check.  Contacts? Check.  Cell Phone?  Check.  Wallet?  Check.  There is nothing else I really need that can't be bought at the local CVS if I forget it. 

After Kids.  I can't believe how much thought has to go into packing.  How many clothes?  I need to plan for accidents.  How many diapers?  I need enough to get through until we can get to the store, but not so many that I am lugging them back with me in already stuffed suitcases.  Sippy cups, toys, airplane entertainment, snacks, bibs, sunscreen, swimmy diapers, more toys, infant Tylenol, nail clippers, bubble bath, lotions, blankies, pacifiers, and more toys.   Yes, many of this can be bought at our destination but did I really want to deal with that?  

In the end, we checked in four suitcases and a car seat and took three carry-ons.   On our honeymoon, me and my husband checked in one suitcase and had one carry on.  Total.  Not each.  The math just doesn't make sense.   We only added two children.  Thank God for Southwest and no baggage fees; otherwise, we would be taking out a bank loan just for our flight.

Before Kids.  I could relax on the plane.  I would snuggle up to the window and day dream into the clouds.   I have never been able to sleep sitting up, but I used to close my eyes and listen to some music.   I would buy a new e-book and look forward to turning on my iPad and losing myself in someone else's life for a couple hours.

After Kids.  There is no window seat day dreaming.  Even if I was lucky enough to score the window seat, it came with a 7 year old leaning over me trying to see.    I spent every moment trying to keep a 16 month old from touching a million germy substances that will eventually make it to his mouth.   The flight brochures, the pull down tray, and seat belts are all a source of stress for me now.   Forget about reading on my iPad.  The moment it came out, it was snatched up by one of the kids needing entertaining.  I saved it as a last resort after all the books, toys and DVDs lost their interest.  I used all my energy trying not to be that parent that everyone shoots dirty looks at before quietly passing the Benedryl across the aisle.  Honestly? I secretly wished I could take Benedryl.

Before Kids.  I had no agenda.  Yes, I knew some of the highlights I wanted to accomplish, but I did them on a whim.   I had no sense of time and just enjoyed "being".  When I was tired, I had downtime.  When I was bored, I went out and looked for adventure. 

After Kids.  Things are planned down to the minute around naps and meal times.   There is no downtime.  Have you noticed that with kids, you can do things non-stop for 8 hours and as soon as you get back to home base, they are bored?   What is there to do they ask?  It makes me want to tell them to go play in the street.    Not to mention, the baby just started walking running.   He cannot be left alone for a second and never stops moving.  It is ironic that in 20 years, they will be begging to just do nothing.  Begging! I tell you.  That's when I will laugh and drag them antiquing.  Paybacks are hell.

Before Kids.   I slept in as long as I wanted.  It is a vacation for God's sake! 

After Kids.   The kids don't care what time you got home from seeing old friends or the fact that your aging body is recovering from chasing them around the amusement park.  They will still rise at 6am asking for breakfast.   I slept with the little one, while my husband slept with my stepson.   We are lucky if we got 5 hours sleep a night with all their tossing and night sounds.   And it was not 5 hours uninterrupted sleep.   I honestly do not know how I functioned some days.  I am pretty sure one day I was so tired I wore my underwear inside out.

But somehow, while the days seemed to drag on and on, they still seemed to go by too fast in the end.   I might have complained the entire time, but the fact is we made memories.   Hopefully, when I look back at the silly videos and "artistic" pictures, I won't remember that at the time I just wanted to crawl under a park bench and sleep.



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Thursday, July 11, 2013

Why so negative?

My hubby read the last post and asked me why I was always so negative. 

Huh?  What?!

Is my blog really that negative?

He feels all I do is complain about motherhood.

Well, ummmm, "whine" is in the title of the blog.  Duh.  It is sort of my shtick.   It is what I do.  My gimmick.

I am really not miserable being a mom.  I love it.  I am just being honest when I write.   Parenting is hard.   It is frustrating.  It is a pain the ass sometimes.  But I wouldn't trade it for the world.

But maybe he is right and I should talk more about the joys of mommyhood.  Maybe I should list out all the things I think are enjoyable about being a parent.

OK.  Maybe I should just list my top 20.

That is a lot of writing. 

Maybe I should list 5 things a week.

That takes commitment to writing about it once a week.  That is causing stress just thinking about it.

Maybe today I will list 5 things I love and think about following up with more another time.

Yes.  I think I can manage that.

Five things I love about being a mommy:

  1. I love that every day, he sits in his Jake couch and demands I lay next to him.  Then makes me smell his "stinky feet" while he giggles and giggles and giggles.
  2. I love watching him do things he couldn't do just a few months ago.  He amazes me.  Some times I tell him to do things just to see if he will.  "Knock on a door".   "Touch your toes".   "Go find the cat".  "Pick up mommy's clothes".   It is fun for me.  Annoying to him probably.  And the cat.
  3. I love that no matter how grumpy I am in the morning, he is excited to see me and puts a smile on my face.
  4. I love that the ordinary, mundane things in my life are exciting and new again when I see them through his eyes.
  5. I love knowing that no matter what else is happening, I have at least one purpose in life.   To be the best mommy I can be to a fantastic little boy.

See, not everything is about annoying daycare parents, bathtub poops or stretched out body parts.


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Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Pool Season

It is that time of year again.  Pool season.   It takes on a whole new meaning after having kids.  Before kids (also known as BK), it was my favorite time of year.  The sun, the drinks, the water, the tan.   I. loved. it.

BK, when I wanted to go to the pool I just jumped into my suit and flip flops and grabbed my sunglasses, a towel and my iPod.   This time of year, most of those things were already in my beach bag by the door.   I could walk out of the house in less than 15 minutes.

Now?  There is so much more to do!  I need to put the little guy in a swimmy diaper.  But I need to time it just right before leaving or do it at the pool because those things don't have the best track record on leaking. 

Then I need to put on his swim shirt, trunks and shoes and pack extra clothes for later.   I need to make sure I have at least 50+ SPF sun screen because although my own skin health apparently isn't important to me, I would be mortified if he got too much sun.  

I need to remember his towel.  And his float.  And his swimmy vest.  Then there are the toys to keep him occupied.  And snacks.  Extra juice.  And his sippy cup.   I also need to make sure his diaper bag is stocked and ready to go with everything else we might possibly need.

Then there is my bathing suit.   BK, I wore bikinis.   Don't get me wrong, I was still body conscious, but there was less body to be conscious of.    I also wasn't running around the pool in full view of everyone.   In the past, if I laid down just right and kept still, gravity pulled my belly fat down and I looked somewhat skinny.   Now, it wiggles and jiggles all over the place as I chase a small child.  

Therefore, the dreaded mommy bathing suit had to be bought.   Not only to keep all my wobbly parts in check, but to keep my boobs covered.   It became evident really quick that traditional bikini tops don't stand a chance against a grabby toddler.

I still couldn't commit to the one piece, black, wide strapped, scrunchy middle, stereotypical mom suit we all know and hate.   I settled on a strapless, colorful tankini.  Yes, technically it covers everything like a one piece but what is left of my pre-child ego can still say it is a two piece.   It is the little things that make me happy.

And walking to the community pool is not an option anymore.  Did you read what I have to bring?  Now, I have to pile it all into the car just to drive 8 houses down the street.  By the time I get there, I am out of breath from packing and unpacking, a sweaty mess and in serious need of a dip in the pool.

But there is no relaxing swims in my future.   First, I have to battle putting the sun screen on my little man.   I think kids learn at a very young age that it is their duty to be a pain in the ass when putting on sun screen.   They wiggle.  They run.   They whine.   Until you finally give up and hope that at the end of the day your kid doesn't have red ears or a Monet looking design on his back from your splotchy application.

At 15 months, my little man doesn't know how to swim.  I keep saying I am going to sign him up for classes, but most classes are only offered for the stay at home mom who can get to the pool on weekdays during the hours of 9am to 4pm.   That is, unless I want to pay double the price for private lessons at someone's house.   I know it is a poor excuse, but it is currently my only excuse.  That, and the fact that I heard having kids that know how to swim doesn't make it that much easier.  You still don't relax.  You are busy screaming "stop running" and worrying they are going to hit their head and bleed out or still drown in the deep end.

More mobility, more problems (in my best Notorious B.I.G voice).

Since he can't swim, that means we have to have one hand on him at all times.   He has a little tug boat float that he likes to be in for about 5 minutes.  I bought it with dreams of him floating around the pool, laughing like the kid in the picture, while mommy sipped on a frozen concoction.




But not so much.   He would prefer to be untethered. 

BK, my biggest worry was getting even tan lines.  Now?  It is that I don't drown my kid in the pool.   I was so worried that I would drop his wiggly butt, that I bought him a little swim vest.   However, any hopes that he would bob up and down in the pool laughing loudly while mommy relaxed were quickly dashed again.    It became apparent that the vest was nothing more than a death trap as he quickly floated every which way but up.  

It became even more apparent that my BK days of pool relaxation are over.

Pool season.  It is not what it used to be.


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Monday, July 1, 2013

Brown Thumb

I used to buy plants.  African violets, a Christmas cactus, ferns, English ivy, orchids, a snake plant, money trees, ficus trees.  I killed them all.  Well, the Christmas Cactus is holding on since it doesn't require much attention.  Hell, it requires NO attention but never bloomed again.  I can also keep a strand or two of philodendron and pothos alive, although I am really not sure the difference between the two other than color.   Dieffenbachia?  I can't even pronounce it, how am I supposed to grow it?

I have a brown thumb.
 
So, this weekend I was looking at my son and thinking how amazing it was that he is still alive.

No one asked me any questions or took a survey to ensure I was a fit parent before letting me take a helpless little human being home.   The hospital gave me a breast feeding pamphlet, a chart to track his poop and showed me a 30 minute video on shaken baby syndrome.    They then slapped a bag filled with free samples of diapers and formula (which ironically contradicted their breast feeding pamphlet) on my back and sent me on my way.

They never asked me about my education.  Had they, they would have know my degree is in business administration.  I can help you create a business plan, but unlike a doctor, educator, or even psychology major; I didn't take any classes that would help me with kids.

They definitely never asked me if was I capable of keeping a houseplant alive.

My track record with pets isn't exactly stellar either.  Truth be told, you probably want to keep your fish and hamsters away from me.   I have a cat, but cats are easy.  Especially, when you fill their food bowl a mile high and invest in a pet water cooler and self-scooping litter box.   I only have to remember he is around a couple times a week.

I have never adopted a rescue dog, but I have heard the vetting process to adopt a greyhound or boxer is more thorough than what I went through to take a kid home.    I was told there is an extensive questionnaire and possibly a house visit to ensure you are responsible enough to take care of a dog.  

But a baby?   I guess hospitals take "mother's intuition" to heart and they assumed if I didn't know what to do I would quickly get the hang of it.

Looking back, what were the thinking??!

I was clueless.

Thank God he isn't a Dieffenbachia.


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Friday, June 28, 2013

You know you are a mom when.....

One of the other mommy bloggers I follow was collecting feedback from moms on how they know they are a mom.  The Honest Mommy was looking for witty examples of the crazy things that happen to moms that you know would never occur if you were childless and fancy free.

Although her post was to be for laughs, it got me to thinking.   When did I feel like a mom?  This may be a controversial post and some may look down on me, but it is also an honest post.

I didn't feel like a mom the moment my son was born.  I didn't get that mother duckling, bursting emotional "I would die for you" feeling when they handed him to me.  If I am honest, it was more of a "what the f*ck do I do with this?!" feeling.

I told myself I was exhausted from 12 hours of labor, overwhelmed by all the hospital antics and I just don't do well with change.   I told myself I would feel like a mother soon.

I didn't.

I read somewhere that this is common with C-sections.   The hormones, or whatever, that are normally released during a vaginal delivery are not released during the surgical procedure.   Maybe it is just the fact, when giving a vaginal birth, you are just so damn glad for it to be over the elation is bursting from your every seam.   In the meantime, in the operating room, I felt nothing from the waist down.   If they gave me a bowl of ice cream and played the Real Housewives on the ceiling, it would have been like an ordinary day laying on the couch for me.

Don't get me wrong.  I love my son more than anything.  Eventually he started to grow and so did my feelings towards him.   They grew exponentially.  It was like my feelings were catching up for lost time.  It took almost a year.  But it happened.

In the beginning, I felt like a "provider" not a mommy.   He just laid there but somehow needed me 24 hours a day.  Feedings, rockings, diaper changes.   It was overwhelming.  I often referred to myself as the nanny, cook and maid.  Perhaps it was just the baby blues or postpartum depression -- who knows?

I really don't know the exact day I really felt like a mom.  Just one day I realized I felt like one.  And it was a really good feeling!

Alrighty then...enough seriousness!   Here are five items from my "you know you are a mom when" list:

  1. You buy children's music CDs for the car and then realize you have been listening to one for 15 minutes....alone.
  2. You have 500+ pictures of your kid on your cell phone and not one selfie, doing the duck face.
  3. You make your plans around snack time, lunch time, nap time, dinner time, bath time and bed time because God forbid you get off schedule and ruin the entire day for everyone.
  4. You used to put on make up and cute shorts to go to the grocery store.  Now you are lucky to slather on some moisturizer and find clean yoga pants before heading out.  Plus, you don't care because you are just so damn happy to have time alone.
  5. You have made macaroni and cheese more in the past month than you did your entire life before kids.
There are more but I need material for future posts.  When do you feel like a mom?

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Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Baby Genius

Yesterday was little man's 15 month checkup.   Is it just me or are children's exam rooms twice as small as normal doctor offices?  I know they are little people but adults do bring them in.  Kids don't just walk in themselves, slap the insurance card on the counter and ask for a shot of penicillin.   And considering many parents have to bring the entire brood in when one child is sick, I would think they would be built bigger.   Anyhow, I digress.

We proceeded to answer all the same questions we do every time.   No, we don't smoke.  Yes, we have smoke detectors in the home.  No, we don't have a pool.  Yes, he sleeps in his own crib.  No, the new car seat does not face backwards.  Yes, I know the recommendation now is until 2 years old and I am a horrible mother who doesn't care that my son may get hurt in an accident because it is more convenient for him to face forward so I no longer slam his head into the roof of my car getting him in and out.   

Hmmm...I seem a little defensive.  Hostile even.  Don't judge me.

Then she asked a question that stumped me and the hubby. 

"Does he touch his nose, ear, eyes, mouth, etc. when you ask him too?"

Ummmmm.   Are we supposed to be asking him too?   Great!  Now, not only am I the mom with the prematurely installed forward facing car seat, but I am also the mom who is going to raise a kid that doesn't know where his eyes are.   Sheepishly, we both admitted we never asked but we would start.

So, of course the first thing we do when my son gets home from daycare is ask "Baby L!  Where is your nose??!"

And know what?!

He touched his nose immediately.

Me and the hubby suddenly got silent and stared at each other.   Amazed.  Proud. 

Just to be sure it wasn't a fluke, we asked again.  "Baby L!  Where is your nose??!"

He did it again.

And a third time.

Whoo hoo! We have a baby genius!   We were not going to raise a child that needs to wear a helmet when he goes outside.

Then we asked him where his ears are.  He touched his nose.

We asked him where is eyes are.  He touched his nose.

We asked him where is mouth is.  He touched his nose.

Oh.

So to end on a high note, we asked him where his nose was again.

That is when we realized he just didn't touch it.  He was sticking his finger up it.    We realized that we have been telling him to stop picking his nose a lot lately.   Hence, why he know where his nose is.

Ummmmmm......baby genius?  Nevermind.  Just kidding.


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Monday, June 24, 2013

Frenemies

Meet my frenemies:  Lightning McQueen and Chick Hicks.

 
 
I don't know if I love them or I hate them.  They flip.  They spin around.  They go fast, fast, fast!
 
My little boy loves them.   If he could, he would play with them all. day. long.
 
The thing is, he is only 15 months old.   He doesn't quite have the strength, dexterity or reasoning to make them work properly.   So, who gets called to the rescue? 
 
Yes.  Me. Maaaa Maaaa!
 
For hours.   And hours.   Of torture fun!
 
That is why I hate them.   That, and just look at Chick Hicks' eyes.   He always looks pissed at me. 
 
But I also love them.   They are often my saving grace.  
 
"Where are your cars??!!" can turn a potential meltdown into a cause for excitement as he scurries into the living room looking for them.
 
  • He wants his pacifier during a non-nap time?  --- "Where are your cars??!!"  --- tantrum averted.
  • He can't eat the cat's food?  --- "Where are your cars??!!"  --- tantrum averted.
  • He can't rearrange all the furniture in the house?   --- "Where are your cars??!!"  --- tantrum averted.
  • Not allowed to climb into the toilet?  --- "Where are your cars??!!"  --- tantrum averted.
 
You get the picture.
 
Unfortunately, that phrase is often followed with him bringing me the cars or demanding that I sit on the floor with him -- making whatever I was trying to get done, impossible.
 
Which is why sometimes, just sometimes, I think about letting him eat the cat food.
 
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