Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Mom Purse

I've got it...I've got it real bad. 

Mom Purse.

'Mom Purse' is a chronic condition that once acquired lasts for approximately 15 years or until child can feed/entertain itself reliably or is too cool and/or embarrassed to talk to you. 

Which ever comes first.

Our moms had it, their moms had it.  Now we too will have it. 

Circa 2005 my purse contained:

1.  A wallet (real, actual money rarely, if ever, was housed in the wallet.  Mostly, it was stuffed with various bar ATM receipts.)

2.  Hairbrush and bottle of dry shampoo. (Preferably in miniature sizes...because they're just cuter.)  A girl can't be caught with greasy roots.

3.  Deodorant. (Also preferably in a cute miniature size.) 

If you haven't already gathered, I have a...thing...about personal hygiene.

4.  Make-up kit. (Including, but not limited to:  lip stick, lip gloss, pressed powder, oil blotting sheets, lip gloss, hair ties, bobby pins, lip gloss and...more lip gloss.)

5.  Gum and/or breath mints.

6.  Cell phone.

7.  Sunglasses.

Tuesday May 17th, 2011 my purse contains:

1.  A wallet.  (Stuffed with Babies r Us receipts.)

2.  Cell phone.  (With ringer on HIGH, in case babysitter needs to contact me in an emergency.)

My once cute, bedazzled case is cracked and gone, having fallen onto the driveway from my clenched jaws while I was trying to carry Henry and 6 bags of groceries in from the car.  Now it is extremely scratched and Henry drool has seeped into the mechanism, blurring part of the screen and making the caps lock button stick...SO I AM ALWAYS YELLING AT PEOPLE IN TEXT MESSAGES.

3. Spare pacifiers.

4.  Paci wipes. 

I am ashamed to admit that I have never actually used these and Henry has probably swallowed a few pieces of dirt and gravel from having the paci replaced after it fell on the ground in the Target parking lot.  Just having them makes me feel like I'm a good mom though. 

Which is important.

He is currently still alive.  So, no worries.

5.  Toys. 

I pull these out at key moments.  When I start to see Henry sprouting fangs or the tell-tale horns.  Sometimes his head spins around, but I usually know when the moment is right.  The toy will usually buy me a little time to get the hell outta where ever we are, and reach a secure location.

Safe from the Henricane.

6.  A diaper and mini wipe packet (never fear, motherhood hasn't stolen my love for all things miniature.)

I spit in the face of tradition and quit carrying a diaper bag for errands about a month ago.

Risky, I know...

I can be a real bad ass.

I am not saddened by this new phase, I'm actually strangely proud of it.

Like stretch marks, saggy boobs, fat thighs or sweat pant weeks...it's a motherhood right of passage.  I feel like if I was still in Girl Scouts I would have earned my "Mom Purse Badge."

I am just picturing the day in the future when I, like my mom, will be able to produce just the right thing, at just the right moment.

Henry and I will be running errands.  God forbid, I may have made him come to the mall with me; 

He will be frustrated, hungry, on the verge of collapse...no doubt whining.

At the crucial moment, like manna from the Heavens, I will unearth some sort of delicious, yet nutritious snack and diversionary activity.   

Balance will be restored to the universe and all will be well.  Henry will view me as some kind of fantastic magician. 

All thanks to my mom purse.


I can't wait.

On a semi-related note; I am almost entirely sure that the cure for cancer will be found in the lint-fur stuck to a half unwrapped piece of hard candy....

In the bottom of a mom purse.

Friday, May 6, 2011

The Griswolds

Going on "vacation"...

With an infant. 

1.  Gone, are the days of whisking off to an exotic locale on a lover's whim. 

Enter, the age of the car topper:


Your husband may begin to resemble Clark Griswold.

2.  Gone, are the days of a few t-shirts and bathing suits. 

Here, are the days of endless packing lists:

Baby will need:


3.  Infants do not appreciate being relocated.  Upon relocation, the infant will lose all previous sleeping abilities.

4.  #3 will turn average wife/mother into raving bitch-lunatic.  As one might imagine, vacations are hard to enjoy with a raving bitch-lunatic.

5.  If you are lucky enough to have a fair-skinned, red-haired infant you will have to guard the infant from the sun.  Think of the baby as a tiny vampire that will start to smoke and/or spontaneously combust if one errant ray of sunlight hits its porcelain skin. 

This is an enormous task...especially if you have chosen a beach destination.

6.  Going to the beach will require a caravan of heavily muscled people, and possibly a few camels. 

You will need:

a.  A sun tent.
b.  Cooler with drinks. (Not the fun kind.  Mostly water for the vampire baby, and protein-packed foods to fuel up for the trek back from the beach.) 
c.  Toys.  (May give you a few peaceful moments.  A precious few.)
d.  Towels. (Many, many towels)
e.  Beach chairs.
f.  Diaper bag. (Packed for every eventuality.  In a bizarre chain of events, that will undoubtedly unfold, you will have need for:  a lighter, 2 ounces of prune juice, a pair of socks, one pair of infant sunglasses and a small Pakistani man.)


7.  Once all items have been transported to beach and assembled, you will have exactly one to one and one-half hours before infant will need to have a nap and/or exorcism.  Set your stopwatch.

8.  Infant will eat sand. 

9.  "Swim Diapers" are purely decorative and serve no actual functional purpose.

10.  Unless you like the surprise warm sensations that will result, put infant in real diaper.  See #9.

11.  Around you, people on real vacation will cavort and drink cocktails merrily.  This will result in feelings of anger/jealously/frustration. 

12.  Prepare yourself for these feelings.  Adjust expectations of the meaning of "vacation" now that you have an infant.

13.  Wife/mother will require several 'attitude adjustments' throughout week. 

14.  Average loving husband/father may file for divorce. 

15.  The baby will not remember this "vacation"...

 But you always will. 

16.  You will remember that you got to show him dolphins and watch the sunset over the ocean together.

17.  You will remember that you took him (when he was awake in the early morning hours...see #3) and got to watch the sunrise on the beach. 

18.  You will remember dipping his toes in the ocean.

19.  You will remember helping him back-float in the swimming pool, and teaching him to kick his legs in the water.

20.  You will remember your first real "Family Vacation."


You are not a bad parent if this adjustment is hard for you, and several times you consider trading the infant for a large rum-runner at a nearby beach tiki bar. 

You're only a bad parent if you do it. 

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Glad Ware

Henry has so many toys.  He has a whole room full of toys.  

He wants the blue Gladware lid.  He loves the lid.

We take it to the grocery store, we take it when we run errands, we take it when we go on walks.  The lid is a hit.

He holds it in his chubby little hands and feels the bumps and ridges, and waves it around.  He passes it from one hand to the other and inspects it like a scientist.  This lid is like a rock from one of Saturn's moons.

The coolest thing.  Ever.

At home he waves his lid with such joy.  Grinning all over the place, babbling like crazy and looking at me.  Obviously trying to convey what is so wondrous about the lid. 

Unfortunately, when we run errands with the lid everything changes.

He still clutches the beloved lid, but gone are the grins and mad waving babbles that the lid evokes at home. 

Oh no. 

In public, he takes on a look like a puppy that has just been kicked.  Very sad.  With a sad Gladware lid in place of a real toy.

So, as we cruise around the grocery store, with Henry looking like I just farted in his pudding...grasping his little lid...I am judged.

Moms judge other moms.

FACT.

I can only imagine what they think when they see my poor, sad, pathetic faced little Henry with his lid...

"God, she couldn't even get the poor boy a real toy...what a disgrace to the word 'mother'..."

"I bet she doesn't even have him on a schedule..."

"I wonder if I should call Child Protective Services..."

I'm sure of it.  If I were another mom, I would judge me too...Henry is a terrific actor.  (One of his many talents, I assure you.)

I am willing to stand up to the mental ridicule I can feel radiating from fellow mothers.  I am willing to stand up to the withering stares and stink eyes. 

Because I love Henry. 

And I know as soon as we get in the car he will grin like a fool and wave his lid in my face as I try and strap him in his car seat throne. (Which is like wrangling an octopus in heat.)

So Happy Mother's Day to all the moms out there, willing to do anything for their kids.

You are amazing.  And you are loved.

Waking up extra refreshed from a nap...with the lid.


Life is more fun with a lid.

Before you turn me in to CPS...please note that Henry does sleep in a sleep sack.  No chance of blanket suffocation.

That has to count for something.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Transitions

I'm back bitches.

So. I had been talking with a few friends lately and I always get the same inevitable question.

What happened to the blog!!?? Why don't you blog anymore!?? I'm sad that you don't blog anymore!

A.  I love you all for loving me that much that you want to read my mental waste product on a daily basis.

B.  I had a baby.  **checking my watch** About 7 months ago... 

This baby grew (no one told me that would happen) and now plays, babbles, yells and gets frustrated when every iota of my attention is not intently focused on him.  I can not type in front of him with out him wanting to get in my lap and hit the keyboard.  I can't have my cell phone in front of him with out him lunging for it, and promptly gnawing on it.  The tv remote generally suffers the same fate.

So all in all.  I haven't had much of an opportunity to blog.  Michael gets home from work and we laugh and play and put the weasle to bed.  Then we get time together.  Time together I don't want to waste blogging. 

I just realized the phrase "put the weasle to bed" could be misconstrued.  Possibly a very bizarre sex act. 

One I'm sure I've never taken part in. 

What I meant was... put Henry to bed.  Get your mind out of the gutter people.

So I just wanted to let everyone know that I'm still here, and I'm sure the blog will resume again...at some point.  When I hire a live in nanny and can sleep in until 10 am and poop with out a baby sitting in my lap. 

Umm...TMI.

Sorry.

Most of my friends now know that I'm going through a transition at work.  I am transfering units and moving to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit or NICU, and I will be full-time again.

So, the second inevitable question I get is:

"What's Henry gonna do!?"  Usually the questioner has a very concerned look on his/her face.  Like I was just going to sit Henry in his crib with a toy, a gerbil feeder full of formula and a jar of baby food and take off into the sunset.

And me, the questionee...tries to quickly explain the situation and justify that I AM a good mom and I DO in fact still love Henry.  I'm just changing our schedule a little bit. 

So let me take this opportunity to answer the question.  For everyone all at once...

I accepted a second shift position, which is from 2:30 pm to 11 pm, 4 days a week.  This is only 32 hours a week, but I am still considered full-time, and hence get my benefits and PTO back.  Around here that's what we call sweet-ass.

Mike's insurance is great...but we could all use a trip to the dentist.  That's where I come in.

One of the other doctors that Mike works with used a nanny for a while with their baby boy, and they gave us her information. 

Her name is Chris and she is wonderful. I knew I liked her when she swept in, scooped up Henry and started lovin' on him.  She really cares about Henry and I know he is in good hands when he is with her.  So she will be watching Henry from the time I leave for work in the afternoon until Mike gets home from work at 6 pm. 

I love this arrangement because I still get all my mornings with Henry.  We get our family weekends back, and I get to live my dream of working where I've always wanted to work.

I said a lot of prayers about this transition, and shed a few tears.  Okay, let's be honest.  More than a few tears.  But I am ecstatic about this new position and I think it will offer me just the balance that I feel may have been lacking before. 

ME.  ME.  ME.  I know it seems like it's always ME around here. 

Michael was the key factor in this decision, as was the well-being of our carrot-headed offspring.  I could not have made this decision or embarked on this new phase with out his complete support and reassurance that we will "make it work". 

So for that I say:  I love you more than words could ever convey.  I thank you for supporting this decision, even though it will mean some of our evenings together are scratched and you may have to 'put the weasle to bed' yourself now and again.

ha.  ha.

So this is the new Bu family arrangement.  Henry is excited about it.  I am excited about it.  Daddy is excited about it...or at least he is great at pretending.

Thanks again everyone for your support, your encouraging words and your love.

It means everything.


See, I told you Henry was excited about it.


Saturday, February 26, 2011

The Lumbering Grizzly

The most marvelous thing happened today!

I ran on the treadmill for 20 whole minutes!!! That's a 2 and 0, put together!! 20 minutes.

So, this whole 20 minutes may seem dreadfully insignificant to you, but this is a pretty big deal for me, I'm not gonna lie.  Back in the day...like 4 years ago I was a running fool.

If I wasn't studying (which takes up a shitload of time in optometry school, by the way), I was most likely on the treadmill, or running on the lake front of downtown Chicago. (Which they make seem a LOT more glamorous/cool in movies then it really is in real life.)

Not once did I run into Oprah, or Jennifer Anniston and Vince Vaughn (back when they were a couple).  I felt severely ripped off.  And still do, thank you very much.

Back then 20 minutes was nothing.  It was like the warm up before I went out and ran 20 miles. 

Seriously. 

Now you're asking yourself.  Is she really crazy enough to do that. 

Yes.  Would be the answer to that question.

In 2007 I got the brilliant idea to run the Chicago Marathon. 

Awesome!

There are a few things I wish I would have thought about before registering for that race:

1.  Training for it would require running in the dead, sweating balls heat of summer, for hours on end.
2.  The lake shore path has some real shady parts.  (Which I happened to live near.)
3  There are not enough bathrooms on the lake shore path.  Nothing will make you shit your pants faster than training for a marathon. (I know you're learning TONS of things you didn't used to know through this awesome post.)
4.  I would have to get up at 5:00 in the morning EVERY Saturday for 3 months, to run my ass off and try and beat the dead, ball sweating heat and get my weekly mileage in.
5.  When I went back home to visit my parents in the summer, I would have to figure out where I could get in a "quick 15-miler". 

My calves ballooned up to super-human size.  All of these miles proudly put me in a position to earn the nickname "calf-zilla" from my husband.

Now, I know I'm making myself sound like a real athlete.  Which is a very far stretch and not my intention at all. 

My "run" looked more like a slow, lumbering grizzly bear suffering from a stroke.  My miles were far from fast...quite slow actually.  But I was out there.  I was doing it.

And I was proud of myself.

So on October 7th, 2007 I was SO ready. I was SO pumped.  I was going to destroy that marathon. 

One arduous 11-minute mile at a time. 

That particular October day it was going to be 95 degrees.  And they weren't going to have enough water.  And they weren't going to have enough Gatorade.  And people were going to drop like flies. 

If you aren't in the running community, you probably never heard about what a (ear-muffs) raging cluster-fuck the 2007 Chicago Marathon was.

My first clue was running through my first COMPLETELY EMPTY water station at the 3-mile mark. 

Oh crap.  This was not in the plan.  This was not what they told me was going to happen. 

Cut to me, frantically trying to figure out how I was going to get through the next 24.2 miles with no water or Gatorade. 

The future looked bleak. 

But never fear. The good people of Chicago came out en mass with their garden hoses.  So armed with a discarded, empty water bottle (that I picked up off the ground).  Yes, I was desperate. 

I got some hydration and kept on chuggin' along.

Who got passed by more than a few grandpas?

Me.

Who got passed by a very tall man running in a testicle costume in 97 degree heat?

Me.

Who kept going?

Me.

Until I got to mile 18 and I was confronted by police officers with bull-horns.

"STOP running. STOP running. You must STOP and reroute to the finish line.  The race is being called."

Ummm. Excuse me.

I've spent the last 3 months of my life getting ready for this.  I've already schlepped 18 miles, like a jogging corpse through this city, and you're telling me I can't finish it. 

I can't cross the finish line. 

I can't triumphantly run across that line and wave my arms in victory, like I've visualized every day for the last 3 months.

The ONLY image that kept me going when I was riding the EL in Chicago at 5 am on a Saturday to get to the "not creepy" part of the path.  An act that in itself I am shocked did not get me murdered and/or molested.

Are you kidding me!?

I sat on the curb and balled my eyes out for 5 minutes.  Then I picked myself up and walked the rerouted path to the finish line.  Where they directed me to cross it and collect my medal.

I summoned all the strength in my body, and I didn't hurl the medal at that poor volunteer who handed it to me.  I just took it and laughed at him as he congratulated me.

Congratulations?

For what. I didn't finish the race.  I don't even want this medal.  Since it's taking every ounce of self control I have to not shove it down your throat right now, I will probably just throw it in the dumpster on my way home.  Or leave it on the EL platform for a homeless man to pee on. 

Why don't you save your congratulations for the geniouses that put on this race.  Apparently, they are incapable of checking the weather channel like every other American.  Apparently, they were the only ones that didn't know it was supposed to be 95 freaking degrees, and they may need extra water for the 40,000 people registered to participate in this event.  Apparently they are the only ones that don't know what happens to people trying to run a marathon in a tropical heat-wave when you don't give them water.

Some of them die. 

And then you have to call the race.

F*&^ing dream stealers.

Congratulations.

This experience left me with a sour taste in my mouth, and a wee-bit bitter.

Can you tell?

I always promised myself that I would do it again.  I would finish what I started.  I would cross that finish line someday and be able to pump my arms victoriously. 

So, today I ran for 20 minutes. 

I felt a little light-headed, and more than a little like vomiting. 

But I did it. Like I said, it may not seem like much. 

But to me.  It's a start.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Thanks Friends.

I have to give a huge heartfelt thank you to all my mom-friends and dad-friends that gave me some much needed encouragement after that last post. 

Sometimes you just can't prepare yourself for the emotions that come with parenthood.

I just tend to get very crazy/high-strung/psychotic when my sleep is unpredictable and not what I consider up to par. 

FYI:  Nothing banishes a good night's sleep faster than an infant.  Keep that in mind folks. 

Most people are like, duh!  But surprisingly this did not factor into my thought process in our decision to start a family.  And in case you are wondering...Yes, I am kind of selfish.

It was more like, "Babies are cute.  I want a baby.  Look at their little socks.  I want a baby.  It's so cute.  I want a baby...Let's have a baby."

I encourage you to look beyond the cuteness trance that baby-clothes can induce and consider whether you are really down to never have a guaranteed night of sleep...ever again.

That's the thing about babies.  They love to keep you on your toes. 

"Ha ha, I'll show her.  I'll sleep through the night at 3 months.  Then I'll stop.  Then I'll do it again and give her hope.  Then I'll stop.  Then I'll start waking up at 5:30 am.  Then I'll sleep through the night. 

Then I'll stop.

This unpredictability is enough to necessitate the building of a padded room onto our house. 

Not for Henry...for me.

I'm really working on the whole 'just go with it' thing.  Easy for some people.  Not so much for this gal.

When I do get the pleasure of hearing silence from Henry's bedroom after our 4 A.M. snack, I am finding it increasingly difficult to fall back asleep.  What can be keeping me awake when I could be sleeping at this ungodly, horrific hour, you ask!?

Oh nothing, I'm just visualizing myself winning 3 million dollars on a scratch-off ticket in the North Carolina Lottery. 

Yes, I am serious.

Michael and I caught this TV show the other day about lottery winners, and ever since I have had lottery on the brain! 

That very night I made Michael go out and buy us five Powerball tickets. 

I just had this feeling.

And I was right!  We did have some special picks.  So special that we managed to get NOT ONE single number on any of our five tickets.

So I blamed Michael,

"We totally would have won if you would have bought ten tickets!"

"I was buying a Mt. Dew, Slim Jim's and five Powerball tickets...how much more White Trash would you have liked me to look?"

"Umm.  Five tickets more.  We could have 46 million dollars right now.  I hope you can live with that."

I hope he can sleep at night.  That jackpot was ours to lose.

I realized just how much of a lame adult I have become when I realized all of my fantasizing about winning the lottery didn't even include fancy houses, cars, diamonds or a life time supply of Oatmeal Creme Pies. 

It just involves writing a few ENORMOUS checks to the bank.  And being student loan and mortgage free.

Lame.

I'm even boring in my fantasies. 

My lottery fantasies that is...

Holla!

So in this pointless mess of a post I just wanted to let you know that I am still here.  Still loving Michael and Henry to pieces. 

Even if it makes me go to pieces.

I'm back on the horse.

Gert's found her way back home.  Well, she just sits in the sticky bottom of the recycling bin in the drive way.  But at least I know where to find her.

The men in my life.


Helping me raise Gert from the bottom of the sea.

One day at a time.


Friday, February 18, 2011

Gert!? Gerty!!? Where are YOU!

So.  I'm not going to lie.  I'm not going to sugar-coat things.  It has been a rough couple of weeks in the Bu Household.

Mostly due to the fact that I am a raving lunatic/bitch that can not be satisfied.  But I'm sure we've been over that about 100 times.

We started OTSASCB a few weeks ago.

And then through NO fault of my own and due mostly to that whore, mother nature...I gained four pounds.

Yes.  Four.  Pounds.  I didn't capture that gem on camera because my toes are still snaggly and even I have to maintain some shred of dignity.

I know those four pounds were temporary and they would have gone away within a matter of days, but for some reason it began a self-esteem nose dive that plummeted so deep my SE (self-esteem.  Lets call her Gerty.  She feels like a Gerty) is now buried somewhere beneath the ocean bedrock.  I have been in contact with numerous scientists about how we can forge an expedition to bring Gerty back from the inky black depths. 

James Cameron made a new movie about the voyage.  It's called Sanctum.

Anyway.  When faced with the disappearance of Gerty, I mostly have one of two reactions:

A. I drown myself in massive amounts of salt and chocolate.  Little Debbie is in cahoots with mother nature and they both can go straight to H-E-L-L as far as I'm concerned.  (She does make a damn good Valentine's Day heart-shaped cake though).

B.  I spend one hour looking for G-Dawg at the gym.  When that doesn't work (which it never does) I resort to Plan A. 

So roughly half of the last couple of weeks I have been sitting around.  Staring at Henry.  Feeling my chins getting fatter. 

That is fun, let me tell you.

The other half of the time, that would be after the numbness of the chocolate binges wore off, I have been wrestling with the massive 16 headed, fire-breathing monster-dragon: 

Mom Guilt.

I love Henry more than anything.  But I don't know if I can spend everyday with him.

That thought makes me cry.  And cry.  And then cry some more.

Aren't I supposed to want to spend every waking moment with my precious baby. 

Aren't his cries supposed to sound like wind chimes and kittens meowing to my bleeding eardrums.

Aren't I supposed to relish in all of this time we have together.  Watching him grow and reach new milestones in his development.

Then someone tell me why I feel like I am about to go to the grocery store and buy a whole living lobster for the sole reason that I can place it in a pot of water and boil it to death and hear its innocent screams.

Somehow, I don't feel like that is the reaction I should be having to being a SAHM. (that's stay-at-home-mom) for all you who didn't spend three entire months on Babycenter.com and aren't down with the lingo.

Maybe I'm not cut out to be a SAHM...(cue the bone-rattling guilt and sobbing session that ensues while Henry naps.)

So between crying jags I try and problem solve. 

Maybe I could go back to work full-time. 

But then I would have to leave Henry somewhere or with someone else.  I wouldn't get to play with him, and read to him, and make sure he gets his tummy time, and practices his sitting up and see him smile at me when he wakes up from a nap. 

Even if that nap was only 15 minutes long.

Yes. We've been on a real winning streak with the naps lately. 

(Cue another bone-rattling sobbing session.)

So what is a mother at her wit's end to do? 

She doesn't want to leave her baby, but she is literally going stark-raving mad being with him all day, every day. 

Until she has to go to work and take care of someone else.

The problem-solver in me is pretty persistent.  So I got the name of a person who watches children in her home from one of the nursery ladies at the Y (someone who knows someone, friend of a friend type deal.  No guarantees).  Maybe I could drop Henry off one afternoon a week. 

So I give this "lady" a call and Henny and I go visit her. 

NEVER in a MILLION years.  Not even if I had Ebola and the only other option was to leave Henry in the care of an intelligent band of gorillas. Would I leave Henry in this house.  Under the care of this lady.

She was dirty.  Her house was dirty.  Her baby was dirty.  They had a nippy little puppy. 

She answered the door and I already wanted to get the Hell outta Dodge, but of course I didn't know what to say. 

She goes on to regale me with tales of her child-watching experience (As I perch on the edge of her dirty couch and watch as her 13 month old nearly chokes on a cookie). 

True Story.

So somehow I politely got out of the situation, got in my car, drove away, and when I was a safe distance from her home, I cried. 

That's just how it's been folks.  It ain't pretty. 

I better go, I hear Henry starting to squirm.

He has been asleep for a record breaking 35 minutes.

The cherry on this sundae of awesomeness is that Michael never gets frustrated with anything.  Never gets irked, never needs a little time to himself.  Never flips out.

He's a better mom than me.  He's more patient with Henry.  He's just better. 

Oooops.  There goes Gerty again.  

I'm going to post some fliers round the neighborhood.  If you see her, could you tell her I desperately need her to visit sometime soon. 

Have you seen this Self-Esteem?

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

The Worst Discovery in History

My hatred for the former owners of our home multiplied today.  By a zillion.

They can't tile a bathroom correctly.  They can't insulate a basement correctly. 

But, it seems they can manage to pick out a bathroom mirror that disguises every possible flaw in one's face.

Sounds awesome, right!? 

You put on your make-up, get yourself done up and think you're lookin' pretty good.  Ready to strut the aisles of Target like a Milan runway.

You feel thousands of miles away from that girl that lives in her pajama pants, leans back and funnels chip crumbs into her mouth and picks her feet.

Until.  (Oh yes, there is a BIG until...)

You decide to get out the hand mirror and stand by the window in said bathroom to make sure the new shade of foundation you just bought matches just right.  (And you don't look like those hideous women with orange faces and white necks.  I mean, are they blind?).

And there it is.

How long has it been there?  How many people have seen it, and not said anything?  What must people think of me!?  Are people talking about me behind my back? 

I had NO idea.


HOLY sweet Mary mother of Pete, goodness gracious Guss.

I HAVE A MUSTACHE.

When did this happen!!!?

What do I do?  Can I pluck it!?

No, I hear my mother's voice echoing in my head..."When you pluck something it just grows back thicker and darker honey!"

Oh shit.

WHAT DO I DO!!????

Cue me, frantically calling the salon five minutes away.

"Hello...Salon Blah Blah Blah. How can I help you today!?"

"Umm.  Do you do waxing?  Like...(gulp) whisper...lip waxing?"

"Sorry sweety, I didn't hear you.  What was that?"

"Lip waxing"

"Pardon?  We must have a really bad connection."

"LIP WAXING. DID YOU HEAR THAT.  I'M A HIDEOUS FREAK AND I NEED HELP.  ARE YOU HAPPY! Do you have any openings this afternoon?"

"Can you be here by 3:45?"

"YES. Done. I will be there."

I am going to blame this on the crazy hormones of pregnancy, childbirth, breastfeeding, stopping breastfeeding, periods and woman things.

And never speak of it again.

Until I have to go back in 2-3 weeks.

Henry Galore

Henry got wind of my plan to firm up his daytime routine. 

So he laughed in my face and hasn't stopped since I wrote that post. 

So we just went back to the 'go with the flow' method of parenting.

Ehh.  Whatever.

In other news, I noticed Henny hasn't gotten much face time on the ol' blog as of late.  So I thought I'd update you on what has happened thus far in this uber exciting fifth month of life.

My, how time flies!

Henry starting noticing the beasts.  Now he watches them like a hawk, and likes to pet Fatty and pull out handfuls of his hair.  Which I'm fine with because it saves me having to brush him to get out all the loose hair.  Ha.

(You can see Fatty looking at him like, "Not this kid again.")


He loves hanging out in the jump-up


(So he doesn't look super pumped in this picture, but I promise he likes it.)


Henry enjoys private trombone concerts with Daddy.


(Babies R Us vomited all over this room.)


Henry keeps getting bigger.  Big surprise.




Getting pretty good at sitting up with out toppling over.



I recognize that I am biased, but my kid is freaking cute.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

To Do List

I saw a hugely pregnant intern at work yesterday.  She is due in 7 days. 

Seriously.

I have serious respect for women that work up until their due dates.  Not me.  No way.

We talked about due dates and babies and fat pregnant face, and it brought me back to what I was doing one week before my due date.


 I wasn't gonna let one minute of good eatin' time go to waste.

In all seriousness.  I could not believe she was still schlepping around the hospital.  It was always my plan to work up to the very last possible moment.  Of course, Henry got wind of that plan and flipped the script, tried to shoot out early, and then I had to lay by the pool all summer.

Bummer. 

Even if they would have let me work, I would have been completely useless.

I was dizzy.  Ridden with constant acid reflux. 

And no, I'm going to tell you the same thing I told Michael. 

The platters of buffalo wings had nothing to do with it. 

Here are some things I recommend for the hugely pregnant...




1.  Get a pedicure.


Pretty up those toes.  It will draw the eye from the cankle.  The pretty toes also help you to retain some shred of dignity as your legs are flung three feet above your head, spread five feet apart, and your bits hang in the wind for everyone, including the janitor, to gawk at.

I promise it will feel like a dream to have your feet rubbed. 

You can also add a mani to your spa day! I know it's tempting to get your regular...


But I find sticking to short and unpainted is the best way to go.

Less surface area for seedy poop to get stuck under, and you don't have to worry about chipped polish and the dreaded 'snaggle fingers'.

2.  Get a massage. 

Pre-natal massages are the best...

Don't go getting the wrong idea though.  I know it will be tempting to ask the massage therapist to do everything in her power to get the ball rolling, but I must refer back to an earlier post of mine...

The goal here is to pamper yourself and take advantage of these last precious days you have to yourself.

The goal is not to induce labor.

Just trust me on this one.

3.  Personal grooming.

Pluck your eyebrows, shave your legs (I know it seems like a circus-freak flexibility acrobatic act, but you will also be a lot less self-conscious if you don't resemble Chewy when you check into the hospital). 

Take a 30 minute shower.  Relax, enjoy.  Shortly you will have to keep the curtain propped open so your baby can see you from the bouncy seat, and you will have to half-step out (dripping wet), every 3 minutes to pop the paci back in. 

4.  Stock up on the essentials. 

Dog/cat food, toilet paper, diapers, wipes, etc.

I just found it really hard to get out the door in the beginning, even for quick errands.  Make sure you have the pesky things you tend to run out of.  Then you don't have to be stressed when you run out of something you absolutely need, and your first trips out can be on your own time. 

The "essentials" includes ingredients for your Undie Sundae ...

Buy in bulk.




You won't be forced to run to Walgreen's at 11 p.m. on a Wednesday night and politely explain to the store clerk that you are indeed not pregnant.

In fact you just had a baby...but somehow you still look pregnant.

Major buzz kill.

5.  Take naps. Lots of naps. Uninterrupted, 4 hour long naps. 

Period.

These are some things I did, and some things I sure wish I would have done.

You bought tickets for a pretty wild ride, so don't feel bad about pampering yourself before you get on, they strap you in and you can't turn back.

I promise you won't want to get off.

Most days.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Schedules

Is your baby/toddler on a schedule?

If so, when did you start this schedule?  How did you develop it?

Is it constantly evolving, or has your child stayed pretty consistent with the schedule? (by evolving, I mean, number of naps, feedings, etc.)

I am a lover of a schedule and I believe that kids do well with them. 

I mean I really have no evidence or knowledge to back that up.  I guess it's just something I heard somewhere and it made sense to me. 

??

Henry has fallen into a fairly predictable pattern, so I'm kind of just trying to solidify what he already does naturally, but here it is...

(I don't stand around with a stop watch and whistle, but we try to stick to it if we can.)

Henry's Schedule

6:30 a.m.:  Henry wakes up                                                              

7:00  – Henry has an 8 ounce bottle

7:00 – 7:30/8:00 – Playtime

7:30/8:00 – 9:30/10:00 – Nap time

9:30/10:00 – Henry has oatmeal cereal

10:00 – 12:00 – Playtime (tummy time, bath, errands, gym, etc.)

12:00 – 8 ounce bottle and baby food (If he can stay awake long enough. If he’s too tired move baby food to when he wakes up.)

12:15 – 3:00 – Nap time

3:00 – 4:00 – Playtime (baby food if he was too tired at noon)

4:00 – Henry has 8 ounce bottle

4:00 – 6:00 – playtime (May need a short cat nap or quiet time in swing about 5:15.)

6:00/6:30 – Henry has baby food

6:45/7:00 - Henry has 8 ounce bottle

7:00/7:15 p.m. -  Bedtime

Moms out there.  Does this sound about right?

Henry will be 6 months on Feb. 26th.  Do you think he is eating enough or too much?

He is still waking up in the night about 2 or 3 a.m.

(Cut to me, banging my head against the wall.)

I think it is now a habit, and we are set to try and begin this sleep training biz on Tuesday night (I don't have to work the next day.)  I am dreading/looking forward to this. 

I feel like it is in his best interest.  I just hope it doesn't make me jump out a window. 

Or toss him out one.

Any advice is HIGHLY welcome!!!!

Thanks ladies and gents.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Workin' It OUT

What did you do this morning?

Me?

Well.  I started off the morning with my daily bowl of Raisin Bran.  MmmMmm, Good.

Nothing like keeping yourself regular.

Then, I hula-hooped with a room full of elderly women for 45 minutes.

No big deal.

It's called Hoopdio.   And it is as amazing as it sounds.

Channel the little girl inside you as you hula-hoop yourself into a frenzy. 

While jammin' to old school funk and modern Christian pop. 

With old women. 

It was epically awesome.  What a great way to start the day.

They sold me with the description:  Low impact cardio workout for all fitness levels.

Sign me up!  It didn't sound intimidating. It didn't sound like I would drop dead before we'd even gotten out of the warm-up phase of the class. 

AND, like a cherry on top of the sundae, the hoops are bedazzled and wrapped in prismatic, glittery mirror tape.

Umm.  Sa-weet.

After that amazing experience I was on a hoopin' high and didn't want to call my workout quits.  Henry was chillin' with his posse in the nursery, and I stumbled upon this beast...




It's like a step machine, elliptical and tread mill all in one. 

You shorten or lengthen your stride and step so you can go from stepping to jogging to a full-on sprint.  

All on one machine!  Pretty awesome.  

Hold on to your butts.  I'm about to reveal an amazing cardio secret that I have discovered.

Wait for it....


That's right... 

JUUUSSSTTTTIIIN BIIIIEEEEEBBBBBEEERRR (shake your arms and yell like Oprah and you really get the full effect.)

I know your laughing at me, but it works.  I speak the truth.

The helmet-haired little twerp can hammer out a phat beat.   Really pumps up your workout!!

That's really all I have for now.  Keep your eyes peeled. 

Hoopdio.  DO IT.  You know you want to.


Thursday, February 3, 2011

Bad Momitude

As a parent I think it's pretty natural to question the job you're doing.

Am I good enough?  Do I play with Henry enough?  Does he know how much I love him?  Am I doing everything I can for him?

Catch me on a good day and I'll tell you, Yes.

 I think I am doing a pretty good job.

Catch me on a bad day and I'll just direct you downstairs to where I left Henry, "playing sandbox" in Fatty and Skinny's shitter.

Just kidding.  I would never do that!

I would at least make him scoop it before I let him play in it...

I think I am doing a pretty good job with Henry. 

Well, if I'm not at least he knows I love him from the frequency with which I slobber all over his face and nibble his toes.

Don't look at me like that.  He likes it. 

Sometimes when I have a bad momitude and I'm really questioning myself, I just think of how many stupid people there are in the world.

I mean, there are a LOT of stupid people.  Many of these stupid people have spawned.

1.  Britney Spears.


Not just once, but twice!

She has two children.  Who are alive.  Against all odds. 

She goes barefoot in gas station bathrooms...

If that doesn't make you believe that kids must be resilient, I don't know what will.

2.  Kate Gosselin.


There is a whole lotta crazy under those extensions.  And she's kept 8 children alive. 

Well...her nannies have. 

3.  Courtney Love.


I think the picture really says it all.

4.  Dina Lohan


The depth of this mothering ineptitude is staggering. 

I can't even make fun of her because it's just sad.

I think we all know how that one is going to play out.

5.  Michael Jackson


Three times.

Prince.  Paris.  Blanket.

Yep. 

Can't you just feel your parenting confidence starting to soar.

6.  Last, but SO not least...

The Stewart Family.



Michael and I caught this gem on Wife Swap.

(With out fail, Wife Swap will revive your parenting confidence like an adrenaline shot to the heart.)

With a firm belief that the Mayans know their stuff, these 'Parents of the Year' believe the world will end in 2012.  So it only made sense to relocate their entire family to a remote area of the Midwest.

(Grrreat. Just what the Midwest needs to help its image.)

You can find them out on the farm, training their children in survival skills and performing hazmat drills with the little ones.  Because of course you've got to be able to get your suit on before the alien bugs can infiltrate your brain.

These children may not be able to spell rabbit, but rest assured they can skin one and grill it up for you!

When they take a break from woodland foraging lessons, you can find them in town...

Buying everything they need on credit, and No payment-No Interest 'till 2012 plans. 

Man, they sure have outsmarted the system.

There are four children in that photo.  The combined brain trust of Dawn and Grover (mom and dad) have managed to keep four children alive. 

The mind boggles.

So when I'm feeling more 'Peg Bundy' than 'Carol Brady', I just think of these people.

I can't be that bad.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Pick a Diet, Any Diet.

I got a comment on my post from yesterday about weight loss.

"Are you on a diet?"

I can trace back the last 12 years of my life in diets.  It's a gift. 

In high school it was mostly about deprivation.  Some people may have called it 'anorexia', but I find that term to be very harsh and a slight exaggeration.  It always makes me picture Portia de Rossi circa 1999...
  

Nasty.

I called it 'being diligent'. 

Anyhow, it involved a lot of pretzels. 

In college I had an affair with Dr. Atkins. 

(Anyone else a little confused by their logo...this came from the official website!!??
Sweet. Sexy. Science.  What?)

Most people order pizza when they get home from the bars.  I ate turkey and cheese slices with ranch dressing. 

Ewwwwwww.

Ranch dressing only has 1 carb per serving. 

Bettcha didn't know that.

But still. Gross!

Can you believe I didn't lose any weight!?  I know, it's a shocker.

Towards the end of college...when I got fat-fat, I tried keeping food diaries, but we've been over how that works for me. 

Not well.

I would always use up my calories by dinner time, so I would carry over my calories from dinner and subtract them from the next day.  I know, I know.  It's a twisted kind of logic.

So you can see how that would be a vicious cycle, and by the end of the week I would be taking calories from some meal I was going to eat 3 weeks in the future. 

Also unsuccessful.  Are you sensing a pattern!?

So then I actually made an audition video to get on The Biggest Loser (back when they had semi-normal people, and not just 700 pound couples), and I almost made it.

But the producers deemed me 'not fat enough'.  Probably for the best.  They would have eaten me alive.  No pun intended. 

They would have booted me in the first week. 

So that left your average co-ed, not fat enough to be considered fat.  But not thin enough to be considered hot on the average college campus. 

What to do?

The answer had to be Slim Fast. 

I would find my inner thin girl with two shakes a day and a sensible dinner.

Not. 

What they don't tell you is that you can't decide you're still hungry after your shake and have a hot dog.  

Another FAIL.

What's up next.  Weight Watchers.  I did that one too!


That one actually worked! I adored going to the meetings.  I know I'm weird.  It was like AA for fat people. 

I probably lost around 10 pounds.  Which brought me into a healthy weight range for my height. 

I still played around with the points though, and would end up borrowing points from the next day.

What is my deal!?

So that brings us to probably 2005/2006.

I hovered around 160 for a few years.

Then I fell in love with running and lost 10 pounds. 

I guess that brings us to the last 3 years, which I've spent with Michael.  

And I've been happy.  

Add Henderson to the mix, and I've been really happy.  (Despite all of my bitching and moaning).

I don't have to hide my bad food habits.  I don't have to hide my bingey moments.  I don't have to pretend to be something I'm not.  Someone I'm not. 

The number can move.  Or it can stay where it is.  I know two people who won't run away from me at the beach.  No matter how fat my ass is.  The idea of being around for them as long as I can is really my only motivation to move the number anyway. 

So, no. 

I'm not on a diet, I've already been on them all.

Damaged Goods

The bastard Cheese Its have me in a death grip.

I hear their quiet whispers all the way from up stairs.

Eat me.  I am the most delicious snack cracker ever conceived by man.

Eat me.

Eat me, damn it.

So I do.

I am better though.  I think.  I didn't eat half the bag.  Just maybe a quarter of the bag.

It's a start! 

We made it to the Y again this morning!! Whoa, I know. 

Close your mouth.  It's not that shocking.  Henry had fun playing and dwarfing every other infant in the room.

Then we had to go to WalMart. (groan)

Michael bought a bigger car seat for Henry.  One that will last until he's a toddler and can be back-facing and then transition to forward-facing.  The man-child is looking a wee bit cramped in his old one.  So we thought we'd give it a go.

Michael gets extremely amped about things when he makes his mind up about them.

So when he decided to get this car seat and it wasn't at the WalMart in Winston he decided to drive 20 minutes to the next town over to get it from that WalMart. 

Turns out they only had one of the particular kind he had picked out.  Isn't that always the way?

The box looked like it had fallen off a semi-trailer, subsequently gotten run over by a few cars, caught in a stampede of wild boars and then massively wrapped in tape by the 15 year old stock boy. 

He bought it anyway. 

It was slightly damaged.  He was fine with it.

I was NOT.  I am not fine with it just on principle. 

WalMart can kiss my fat ass. 

So, I returned it.  I was so ready to pitch a fit if they questioned me about it.  I even talked to my mom on the way to get me fired up. 

I'm like a prize fighter, and she is like my coach.  She gives me pep talks before going into situations like this.  I am so serious. 

(I guess my mom would be the burly African American man in the photo?)

"Be firm, honey.  Don't take no for an answer."

My mother and grandmother are legendary.  They can get pretty much anything or return pretty much anything at any time. 

What's that?  You have a sweater that you got 2 years ago, and it has a hole in it...and you don't have a receipt. 

Bam.  Done.

They can return it for you.  Cash in hand.  No measly store credit here.  And they can probably get something else thrown in just for their trouble.

Needless to say, I was ready and rarin'.

It was all for naught.  They took it back, and I didn't even have to cry or demand to see a manager.

Not that I am the kind of person that does those things. 

All the time. 

Sometimes you just have to take a stand. 

That's all I'm saying.

I guess I love that Michael bought that car seat.  He looked past the crumply, broke-ass exterior and saw a nice, functional product.  Slightly scratched and dinged, but full of promise. 

Do I have to spell it out.  I am that car seat. 



But he bought me anyway.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Snaggle Toes

We made it to the YMCA this morning.

In the car on the way over I tried to rehearse what I was going to say if the nursery ladies asked why we hadn't been there in so long.

Specifically since sometime before Thanksgiving.

I spun some really elaborate tales, but to my dismay no one asked.  They just took my baby and shooed me away. 

The ugly truth is we've been holed up in Ft. Henry.  Eating Cheese Its and watching bad TV.

I did my little jog/walk interval workout until I got bored.  Which took 10 minutes.  Then I went to the window to check on Henry.  He was playing and charming some lady.  As usual. 

Darn, I can't use him as an excuse to leave. 

So then I got on the Elliptical.  Until I got bored.  So that was like another 10 minutes.

Checked on Henry...still good.  Sitting in a bouncer, trying to ward off a fellow inmate who was currently wiping all of her baby goo on him.  I told myself it was fine.  We were just building up his immune system.

So then I pretended to lift some weights for about 5 minutes.

Then I did some crunches on the balance ball. 

That had to be at least 30 minutes, right?

So I went to the locker room and there it was.

The Scale.

Scales don't bother me.  I just wish they were all calibrated the same so I could get some kind of consistent answer to the question, "How fat am I today?"

The scale at the doctor's office was always 4 pounds heavier than our scale at home.  Not cool.

This is the same scale that very rudely informed me I had gained 11 pounds in one month when I was pregnant.

I am convinced that Satan took a vacation from Hell and somehow possessed that scale, and so I consider its readings invalid. 

Just like I am convinced that the nurse operating the scale went to school somewhere in the Caribbean and was not properly trained in how to take an accurate weight.  I know she was always in a hurry but she played it a little too fast and loose with the little nobby.

She would just haphazardly knock it up with her knuckle.  Definitely not taking the time and concentration required to get the little floaty thing exactly in the middle.  So I am convinced she was consistently 5 pounds off.  Bitch. 

I always had to bite my tongue,

"Hey, Hey, Hey, Nudgey.  Let's slow down and focus on the task at hand.  I know someone is like crowning or something in the other room, but this is important.  Every pound you record in that little chart is one less whole pizza I can rationalize eating by myself."

So the scale at the gym was 3.5 pounds less than our scale at home.  Sweet Jesus, how I wish it were true.

So I guess I'm going to use our scale at home as the official authority. 

Shield your eyes, what I am about to do is for me.  Not you.


Try to overlook the hideous, chipped polish snaggle toes.

I am getting a pedicure soon (which is a great segue into a post I want to do about 'Things to do before you go into labor').

We are going to Florida April 9th and I would love for that number to be 145. 

Or at least for that number to be 145 on the scale at the Y.  I would take that as well. 

This is 'Operation Try not to Scare Away Small Children at the Beach.'

OTSASCB.  It doesn't really roll off the tongue.

So now that you all know the number.  You are officially my best friends and allowed to ridicule, harass and insult me into reaching my goal weight.

Between your hurled insults I would appreciate any weight loss tips or tricks you have.  It's the least you can do...

I showed you the number.

P.S. I debated on showing you the number, But then whenever I referred to OTSASCB I would always have to be really mysterious, and just talk in terms of general pounds up or down, and for some reason I find that annoying.  I owe you more than that.  Besides hiding the number from you doesn't make my ass look any less fat. So maybe by laying it all out on the line I can garner some support.  Or pity.  I will except either.

Hopefully, weekly updates will follow.  Unless I gain and then I will be too ashamed to post it.

: \

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Hot Mama Minute # 4

Please excuse me, I get a bit rambly.  But I strongly believe the message is a good one...


video




The Baby Buffer

Sometimes a person has a certain way of doing things.

Like making the bed, washing the dishes, folding the laundry, etc.  And it can be mildly annoying when another person steps in and does things a different way. 

That is marriage.

I love it.  Every second of it.

But just for a moment take these things about your husband/wife/girlfriend/boyfriend/life partner that you laugh off, learn to live with and eventually love. 

Have a baby. 

And then multiply those things by 587,360.

It is bound to happen when two intelligent (hopefully, somewhat), independent adults come together to face the most wonderful, difficult, stressful, joyful and confusing endeavor of raising a baby. 




You are going to have differing opinions on some things.  Expect it.  Embrace it.

Little things. Niggly little pissy details.  (With luck you've already come to stand on even ground about the big stuff).

Making bottles, dressing the baby, clipping finger nails, bathing and yada, yada, yada.

Do not fall into the trap of using the 'Passive Aggressive Baby Buffer'

I am a PABB repeat offender.  I am currently in recovery. 

The PABB allows one to voice complaints/nags/frustrations in a sing-song voice (while holding baby) and pretending that baby said it.

Examples:

"Mommy always overfills the bottles...sheesh."

"Daddy makes the rice cereal too thick."

"Daddy never puts clothes back in the right spot."

"Mommy is an obsessive-compulsive cleaner.  She needs to relax."

You didn't say it.  The baby said it.

The nag is null and void.

This is a terrible practice to adopt because:

A.  It is highly annoying.

B.  It makes you want to strangle someone.  Namely your husband/wife/girlfriend/boyfriend/life partner.

C.  You sound stupid.

D.  In reality the nag is multiplied by 1000.

So just take it from a recovering PABBer.  Just throw your shit out there.  Like you did before you had a baby. 

Hash it out and move on.

If you are a perfect couple and don't have any shit to throw out,

Congratulations, I guess.