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, 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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