Monday, April 29, 2013

Don't come a knockin'

I've officially been a stay at home mom for a year now and  I am either starting to be kind of ok at it, or my insanity has reached such a level that I just think that I'm ok at it.  One of the most surprising things about being at home all day is the enormous fleet of door-to-door foot traffic that happens during the afternoons. The Baptists, Mormons and Jehovah's Witnesses have all come on a mission to get us to heaven and I've turned down people selling magazines, pest control, lawn control, and among other things, MEAT.  I honestly don't know why anyone would ever buy meat from a random stranger who comes to your door but apparently it happens a lot because the meat sales people are still in business.  Any time one of these people comes to my door it sets off my dogs and they start barking like we are being robbed, which then upsets/wakes up the babies so they start screaming and I end up climbing over a mountain of barking dogs and crying babies to get to the door just to tell some sketchy dude that no, I do not want his meat/magazines/Jesus and it takes me a good hour to after they leave to get everyone calmed down again, and my kids sure as hell aren't going to go back to sleep.

Anyway, I thought I would stop this problem by using my previous passive-aggressive-office-post-it skills and posting this simple sign over my doorbell:

Of course I was so, so wrong in thinking that these people would get the hint and just turn around when they saw my sign.  Nope, apparently if you are asked not to ring the doorbell then you just knock on the door in  your quest to sell/save. So then, in addition to the sign over the doorbell, I put up this sign:

I thought it was witty and cute and a good way to say "thanks, but no thanks" to the porch pilgrims.

This sign however, did not serve its intended purpose. In fact, I think it just gave the door-to-door people a challenge to overcome.  The first person who disobeyed my request was a tweaker named Timmy from a company called Coastal Concept Sales. Timmy actually acknowledged my sign and told me how funny it was but  that he wasn't "selling anything" and was there to help our troops by collecting money to send them care packages. So while Timmy is giving me his pitch, talking at about 100 miles an hour and having a hard time staying on subject,  Luke is standing in the door with me only wearing a diaper alternating between demanding pizza and saying "bye bye"and trying to leave while Lily is in her swing screaming her head off.  So because I am a softy and I just wanted the guy to freakin leave, I gave Timmy 40 bucks and sent him on his troop-helping way.  It was only after he'd left that I got onto my computer to figure out that the whole thing is a scam. Coastal Concept Sales is a shady for-profit company that may not have ever sent a single care package to our troops but nobody knows because they keep changing their name and they don't report financials  So that ticked me off, you know, just a little.

The second offence was even more infuriating. It was a Saturday morning and Mike was on about day 13 of being out of town and somehow I'd got both of my kids to take a nap at the exact same time which is a HUGE victory in mom land.  I took this time to eat lunch (without having to share!!!) and take a shower that lasted longer than 5 minutes (and OH MY GOD SHAVE MY LEGS). I got out of the shower feeling clean and smooth only to hear somebody frantically pounding on my door. This is a full-fist house-shaking pound and my thoughts were "OH MY GOD THE NEIGHBORHOOD IS ON FIRE" and "PANTS, I NEED PANTS!!" Of course the dogs and babies started their chorus of barking/crying while I struggled to thrown on a pair of dirty yoga pants and simultaneously run to the door. I got there just in time to see a man closing my gate and to find a flyer stuck into my door inviting me to come to his brand new strip mall "church." JESUS CHRIST!!! Either the dude couldn't read or doesn't know the 11th commandment "THOU SHALT NOT RUIN MAGIC TANDEM NAP TIME." Needless to say I was furious and I spent the next 2 hours trying to get the kids back to sleep while writing a strongly worded email in my head to the church, which of course I never got around to sending because really who has time for that?

Anyway, that has provoked me to put up a THIRD sign:

If this one doesn't work, I'm getting a shotgun.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Two in Two

I was a little apprehensive about having two kids in just under two years, but when I first brought Lily home from the hospital I thought my fears were all for naught. I was so proud of her big brother for adjusting amazingly well. He was sweet and considerate and just an all around good boy.  I was proud of Lily too, she was a gentle calm baby, she ate well, slept well and our whole family just seemed so happy and perfect. Fast forward three months and I realize what a delusional moron I was.  I have to constantly ask Luke not to hit/microplane/smother/stab with the iPad/color on his sister. He has also adopted his (dog) toy monkeys as his own babies and they must be constantly diapered, dressed, undressed and fed throughout the day but since he lacks the coordination to do these activities himself I am now responsible for caring for the monkeys. Thankfully, Lily sleeps through the night but she REFUSES to be put down during the day.  She also has this problem where she will eat way too much and then projectile vomit all over the place leaving her hungry again and me with no milk left to feed her.  Anyway, I've been a little overwhelmed lately, but all of this is nothing compared to the tag-team effort that my kids pulled on me yesterday.

My husband, Mike has been out of town so I've been wrangling the two bamboozles by myself for the last week. So it's the end of the day and Lily had managed to do her throw up trick twice that afternoon and she smelled like frat house. For some reason I'd given Luke spaghetti for dinner (i.e. I am an idiot) and he was covered in tomato sauce combined with crayola marker from some artistic expression he'd engaged in earlier in the day. Plus I'd taken him to Chuck E Cheese the day before and I really should've hosed him off the second he'd gotten home but I got distracted, so it was time to give the kids a bath.  Because I am a stellar multitasker, I approached the chore with confidence.

I had just bleached the tub the weekend before and I was afraid that there may be some kind of residual bleach left in the tub, even though I'd rinsed the tub immediately after cleaning it and the parts per gallon of bleach to water had to be minimal, I rinsed the tub again extra good before I started to fill it up because I had an irrational fear of giving my son chemical burns to his boy parts.  Then I filled up the infant tub for Lily and put it on the counter so that I could wash her and watch Luke through the mirror play in the tub. I was so proud of myself for my genius plan. Look at me, using mirrors, bathing my kids in a super clean tub, being super mom. No big deal, I was born to do this.

When I put Lily into the infant tub she immediately began to scream because she wasn't being held but then got used to it and started to kick and splash and have pretty much the best time of her life, probably reminiscent about her time spent in my tummy before she was exposed to this cruel, cruel world. Luke too was having a good time, he had his approximately 127 bath toys engaged in some kind of epic battle where they would randomly scream out "OH NO!!!" and plunge into the Petersen Sea.  I was reveling at how awesome I was. Both of my kids were super happy, developing their little brains like champs and getting clean! Mama of the year.

I started to get disgusted by the fact that Luke's bath water had turned grey. Like, really, really grey, and I vowed to bathe him more often.  Then I noticed an unfamiliar bath toy floating among the boats and biplanes and whales. I felt the dread start building up in my stomach as got up the courage to take a closer look.  It was poop. Poop in my recently sanitized tub. Poop that was rapidly disintegrating into the bathwater and turning into our own personal sewer system. OH NO indeed.

I yanked Lily out of her tub and wrapped her in a towel and ran and put her in Luke's crib and she starts howling like she's been injured, but at least it's better than leaving her in the tub while I address the poop situation.  I get back to Luke and make him stand up in the tub and I slather him with half a bottle of Johnson's baby wash and then I take the shower nozzle and start to hose him down.  The problem is that I used all the hot water up rinsing the tub, filling the tub and filling the infant tub so it is ice cold.  Luke started to scream like he is getting murdered and reached down to grab a toy to defend himself with.  The toy that landed in his hand was the poop. He looked down at the poop and he knew EXACTLY what it was and started to scream louder and SQUEEZED THE POOP THROUGH HIS FINGERS. It took every single bit of restraint in my body not to vomit right then and there. Somehow I calmly finished hosing him off with the arctic water and removed him from the tub and took him back to his room. By this time Lily had stopped crying and was cooing happily in Luke's crib and I'm thinking "maybe I should give her more naked time, she seems really happy." I got Luke dressed in his PJ's and then picked up Lily and I figure out exactly what baby + cold air + no diaper equals.  Lily had peed all over her brother's bed.  So I reacted by screaming "OH MY GOD" which of course scares the hell out of both babies and they start to cry again and all three of us just sat there crying for a good five minutes.

Eventually I got up, got the sheets changed and got both kids down for the night.  I filled the tub up with more bleach water to soak overnight and made myself a strong vodka tonic which I got about 10% through before I fell asleep watching some idiotic romantic comedy Netflix thought I would like.  So far today Lily has not thrown up and Luke is only 25% covered in marker but if I have to bathe them again I will be ready for anything.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Get in Shape, Girl

I don't know if I've ever had a point in my life when I wasn't obsessed with losing weight or making my body better. I remember in first grade, at the height of 80's aerobics mania, I had a pair of leg warmers and a ballet barre attached to my closet door and I would pretend 'work out' when playing house. I didn't think I was fat, it was just what everyone on TV, etc. was doing. Later, in 4th grade, I actually did start to get chubby and people started to comment on it so I decided to do something about it. That's when I came up with my first ingenious diet plan. Not only would I walk the track every day at recess, but I filled a baggie full of my mom's powdered Slimfast mix and I planned on mixing it with my milk every day at lunch, if anyone asked I would just say I was making "chocolate milk." Yummy. This plan was quickly abandoned when I discovered that Slimfast tasted like dirty ditch water and the swings were much more fun than walking that boring old track. We all know that the story for girls doesn't get better from there. In middle school I made the Cheerleading team and I wanted nothing more to be a "flyer" rather than my sturdy self as a "base." I tried to give up anything that wasn't low-fat and often snacked on tablespoons full of honey. Nobody explained calories to me apparently. High School was a dream (i.e. nightmare) in which I would only eat salad for lunch, but I would skip lunch entirely if the salad was made of shredded lettuce or they didn't serve the right kind of dressing, mostly because I enjoyed being a total pain in the ass. In college I was actually kinda skinny for the first time in my life, only because I couldn't afford to eat. When I got my first real job I finally had enough money to join a gym and I spent a ridiculous amount of money on a personal trainer. Of course sitting at a desk for 8 hours a day with all the free soda and high stress and abundant snacks that I could handle took its toll on me and I steadily gained 10 lbs a year for the entire 5 years I was there. Then I got pregnant. I am pretty sure that the McDonald's corporation still owes me dividends from my first pregnancy because I single-handedly kept them afloat during that 'great recession' as their plain cheeseburgers were the only thing I wanted to eat. There was one day when I went through the drive through at breakfast and then the same one at lunch and the same guy was at the window and we both knew I had a problem. Of course after having the baby breastfeeding sort of helps you lose weight but not as much as you would think. I still had a significant amount of weight to lose when I got pregnant again and that leads me to now. It's spring, my doctor says it's cool to exercise and I can't pass a MickyDee's without a grimace and feeling like I'm going to vomit. So now I'm committing myself to getting into shape and actually eating right, and I hope that I am at time and place in my life that I'm not a total idiot about it. I'm less than a week into my latest 'plan' and I can't help but feel like the universe is conspiring against me.

Eating right.

One thing that I am trying to focus on is eating healthy grains and proteins so the other day I decided to whip up a batch of homemade granola. I was already feeling healthier as I mixed up a cocktail of nuts and fruits and oats and flax seeds that would make Doctor Oz weep with joy. Everything was going pretty well until it was time to take the tray out of the oven, and I forgot just how giant my belly still is and pulled the red hot pan right into my stomach resulting in what I am sure is a second degree burn. Thanks oven, you win this round. At least the scar will blend in with my stretch marks.

Strength Training.

Two c-sections in two years have left my abdominal muscles in a state that resembles over-cooked spaghetti so part of my plan is a daily ab workout. I figured I could do this while my newborn slept and my toddler was quietly playing in his play kitchen. My workout included using an exercise ball which I immediately realized was a mistake with a two-year-old in the room. Once mommy starts playing with a 'big bubble' then it becomes the most interesting toy in the world. After he took it away from me several times I decided to do an exercise where I was physically sitting on the ball so that he couldn't get to it. This just incited a tantrum that I was not in the mood to handle so ended up moving the ball to another room. If we can't share the ball, nobody can play with it. I was then relegated to floor-only exercises and I got about 10 crunches in when kiddo decided to make me 'coffee' and came over and dropped his toy coffee maker directly on my face. It hurt but I was determined to keep going while my left eye teared up and started to swell, then my concerned dog came over to fix my injury and started to lick my face. I was no longer feeling patient and shouted at her to go away, which of course woke up the baby who woke up realizing she was REALLY hungry so I had to stop what I was doing to feed her and by the time I was done it was time to make dinner and the workout was abandoned.


I know that the best way to burn calories and excess fat is to get running and I've always been sort of ok at running, mostly because I was always in trouble during my cheerleading years and running was always the punishment, and for some reason it stuck with me. Notably, I am a perpetual tortoise and I will always get my butt kicked by all the long-legged hares out there in any test of speed, but once I get going I can run and run for miles. Or so I thought. I used to be able to do a pretty decent mile in under ten minutes and I figured that with the excess weight, the lack of muscles and training that I would be around 12 minutes a mile, which I was ok with. I downloaded a running app on my iPhone, woke up before my kids and put on my running shoes, which were now way too small but I wasn't deterred, and I hit the road. I was out, the air was fresh, and even though I was jiggly in a way that I didn't know was possible, I felt great. About 2 minutes into my run I was huffing and puffing but I came up on a group of middle schoolers waiting for the bus and I didn't want to look stupid in front of them so I ran faster. Now my lungs felt like they were going to explode but I was going to keep going! I looked at my phone, 5 minutes into the run, it was ok to slow my pace. Only 7 more minutes til I hit a mile! I passed an old guy and tried to smile at him, and he yelled at me to put on a jacket. I was now wheezing, my face was red and covered in sweat and I started to run with weird gait because my shoes were too small and my feet were killing me. It became pretty apparent that every car that passed thought I was a psycho who needed a jacket and I'm surprised nobody called the police (or an ambulance.) But I kept going. Finally, finally I hit the first mile. Triumphant, I looked at my phone and was dismayed to see that it took me 15 minutes to run that first mile. 15 minutes. I'm sure my grandma can run faster than that. I could have walked a mile faster than that. I decided to turn around and run home, making it a solid two mile run. I got about a quarter into that second mile and my legs said 'no more' and I had to walk. So now I was crazy-sweaty-red-faced-jacketless walker lady. It's one thing to look crazy running, quite another to look the same walking, now I looked like a serial killer. I went home, and did pretty much the same thing the next day, and I'm getting a little better everyday.

So here I am, tired, sore and trying to get both my kids down for a nap at the same time so I can get an ab workout in, but if it doesn't happen there is always tomorrow and eventually I'll invest in a jacket/bigger shoes.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Got Milk?

Today as I was watching my daily dose of Anderson Cooper (love that silver fox!)  I saw this Luvs diaper commercial.  It opens on a "first time mom" sheepishly breastfeeding her child hiding behind a plant with a blanket over his head then it fast forwards to her being a "second time mom" sitting in a restaurant, boob out, feeding her baby like it's nothing, when a shocked looking waiter comes over the mom says "eyes up here."  And I laughed and laughed and laughed. Although I don't buy Luvs diapers because I don't like them, as a recent "second time mom" who is currently breastfeeding my kiddo, it really struck a chord in me. I immediately googled the commercial because I thought it was brilliant and I needed to make sure that the rest of the world thought it was brilliant, and I came upon a site called If you haven't guessed, this is a site where people get together and talk about commercials that they really, really hate.  And looking at the amount of posts that some of the users have, they spend a HUGE amount of their lives just hating on commercials. Anyway, I get that you can't really expect anyone to behave on an internet forum, but holy crap these people are nuts! The sad thing is that I think that they reflect the outrageous opinions that many people have on breastfeeding. Here are some choice quotes and ideas I'd just like to clear up here.

I would love to wipe that smirk off of her face with the back of a red hot shovel!

I really want to smack her. 

What a delusional bitch.

She was probably looking for a reason to get the innocent waiter fired to excert (sic) her control over others.

Wow, how dare this woman feed her child in public. Clearly the only solution is to violently assault her. She must be a radical feminist, with that breastfeeding and all, and by default it is her life's goal to ruin the lives of men (particularly waiters) everywhere.  What is really funny about these comments is that the posters seem to think that this actress in a commercial is somehow a real person.  Do they really think all those people live in their TVs? Do they expect the guys from General Hospital  to perform save lives when they go home for the day? 

Baby doesn't care if it's covered, being fed out in the open, in a restroom, etc.

Maybe the baby doesn't care, but I care. Public restrooms are disgusting, filthy places where people think they can anonymously get away with doing anything, much like internet forums. It's ridiculous to expect anyone to eat in a restroom, especially a child with a yet-to-be developed immune system.  You wouldn't expect a woman to bottle feed a baby in a restroom for this very reason, so don't expect a woman to breastfeed either. 

On the one hand, she doesn't want you to look.  But on the other hand, she demands you notice what she's doing.

Hell, if public breastfeeding is supposed to go unnoticed, and the guy's simply admiring a cute baby, what can Mom say?

It's really hard to not look at a woman breastfeeding.  It's like trying to not look at a woman's cleavage. 

NO. NO. NO. Breastfeeding women are not exhibitionists, they are not trying to turn you on with their milk ducts, again the emphasis on feeding. Surprisingly, women, and their body parts, do not exist solely male sexual pleasure. Jeeeesus. We are in the twenty-first century you'd think we'd get it by now. And nobody is asking you not to notice a breastfeeding mother, just don't turn it into a sex thing and sit there oggling her like you are at a strip club. You wouldn't stare at, or be offended by a mother spoon-feeding a child applesauce in a restaurant would you? 

Anyway people just need to get over themselves. We are MAMMALS. Deal with it, it's natural. This is how we have always fed our young and will continue to do so. But hey, if you're really that offended by it, next time you have a glass of cow's milk, why don't you just enjoy it in a bathroom stall?  

*Let me note I am a breastfeeding advocate for myself but I don't have an opinion on how other women feed their kids. Whatever, do what is best for you and I'll do what is best for me and we can just stay out of each other's business, mmmmm'kay? 

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Five Idiotic Things the Internet Thinks you Should do When Having a Baby

For those of you who have not been subjected to my most recent instagramific narcissism, LOOK WHAT I DID: I just had my second kid.  Last April I quit my job mainly because I wanted to start trying to have another baby and I thought it would be a good idea to spend some quality time with my pre-existing child before another vessel of my genetic blueprints entered the world. Apparently I am one of those people who can get pregnant just by walking down the diaper aisle at Target and I was knocked up by May 1st.  And I got SIIICK. Nothing helped, not even a prescription for Zofran which is a pretty powerful anti-nausea med, and I pretty much spent the entire summer in bed, passing my toddler off on whoever would take him, and reading about babies on the internet between trips to the toilet to vomit.  My conclusion is that the internet has ever had a baby because some of the things that it thinks you should do when you have a kid are downright outrageous. For example:

When you go into labor, get on your hands and knees and scrub the floors before you go to the hospital. 

Apparently modern technology has the mentality of a fifties housewife. The logic behind this tip is that it will give you a distraction so that you don't end up going to the hospital too early while getting the baby in the perfect position to be born, as an added bonus you will come home from the hospital to nice, clean floors. How fun is that? After sharing your body with another human for 9 months, just top it off by doing grueling housework while trying ignore the contractions that indicate in just a few short hours you are going to be ripped to pieces by something that wont stop demanding things from you for the next 18 years. Personally, I think a better distraction would be pour yourself a glass of wine, turn on some trash TV and make your husband clean the damn floors.

Before you go to the hospital, bake the nurses some cookies. 

Again, the idea here is to distract you but this you win bonus points with the tired overworked nurses.  And I kind of get it, nurses work their asses off and they definitely don't get the respect that they deserve.  However, I don't believe that you should spend your last moments of peace, possibly for the  rest of your life baking cookies for somebody else.  Plus, logistically which nurses are you baking cookies for? The L&D nurses or the recovery nurses?   Also, if most nurses are like me, I don't eat food from strangers, I have seen one too many "normal looking" people on Hoarders to trust somebody else's kitchen, so there is the distinct possibility that the cookies get thrown out. It's a hospital, not a bake sale.  I will note that this particular tip gave me major anxiety in the hospital, "DO THE NURSES HATE ME BECAUSE I DIDN'T BRING THEM COOKIES?" Well, if they did they were very, very nice about it.

Bring your doctor a gift basket at your 6 week postpartum appointment.

Don't get me wrong, I loved my OB/GYN, she was a very sweet considerate lady and she did an outstanding bringing my baby girl into the world. That said, If I was standing next to her at Trader Joe's and my water broke, she would have no idea who the hell I was.  This really isn't her fault because she probably sees about 100+ patients and come on, newborns and their mothers all kinda look the same. I just don't feel a ton of loyalty to her and the feeling is mutual. Considering that between my insurance and myself we're paying the hospital over twenty grand for this latest little miracle and I think that will go a long way towards paying off my doctor's BMW. I brought her a birth announcement and she really wants some Pepperidge Farm I don't think it will break the bank if she stops by the mall on her way home from work. 

Don't forget to pack your makeup bag to bring to the hospital so you can look pretty in your first pictures with the baby.

I understand where this one comes from because I see pictures of women who just gave birth holding their little bundles of joy looking like they just won Miss America.  I just don't know why this keeps happening. After having my kids I just wanted to sleep and eat sushi and take painkillers.  I couldn't fathom putting on a full face of makeup just to wash it off again, because that required energy. And if you don't wash it off right away, gross.  9 months of water retention plus hormones plus laying in a bed all day leads to major sweating, meaning any makeup job would melt into a puddle in your nursing bra within an hour.  For this reason every picture of me and my hours-old kiddos are bloated-face-pony-tail-dirty-glasses-eyes-half-opened disasters. And they are beautiful. Save the makeup for a family photo session when everyone is a little bit more recovered.

Bring along several copies of your 'birth plan' so that everyone is on the same page. 

Uh... so I actually did this with my first and I am embarrassed, thankfully things got chaotic and the plan never left my hospital bag. If you really want to show some respect to your nurses instead of baking them cookies why don't you treat them with dignity and don't assume that you are the first person ever to ever have a baby, ever, and that there is no way these peons know how to deliver your baby. I can't imagine what a slap in the face it would to a medical PROFESSIONAL to be handed your dinky Microsoft Word document telling them how to do their job after the years of education and experience they have gone through. If you want daddy to cut the cord, fine, if grandma isn't allowed in the delivery room, fine, if you don't want an epidural, fine (and good luck with that by the way).  Just speak up. These are for the most part good good people who will do what is best for you and your baby (even if it is not exactly what you want).