Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Exhaustion is the Best Birth Control. Ever.

Two weeks ago I had my final baby-related doctor appointment with my OB.  In case you've not yet taken your turn at the childbirth rodeo, around six weeks postpartum you see your Obstetrician to make sure that everything is all healed and back in working order, so to speak. It's been my experience that the main reason for this visit with your baby doctor is not only to make sure that your lady parts are a-okay, but mostly to discuss birth control.  Look, I get that it's important to talk about contraception options, but when one has just pushed a small human out of her vag, is completely sleep deprived, and has nipples that look like some sort of crime scene, it's hard to imagine there will ever again be a need for birth control. At six weeks postpartum the only penis I want within 100 feet of me is the one attached to my toddler son.

And therein lies the problem.

I personally think that it's totally ridiculous to expect a woman who is still bleeding from her lady parts to have a rational conversation about future pregnancies.  I'm going to go out on a limb here and assume that most new Mothers at six weeks postpartum can't imagine that they will ever want to have sex again.  Even if, by some miracle, there is a woman walking this Earth who has a newborn and a rug burned labia and leaky boobs yet still finds herself in the mood for sex, she's probably so sleep deprived that any information relayed to her about contraception is not going to be retained.  There's a reason its called "Mommy Brain"; there's only so much space in the postpartum brain, and most of it is being filled with trying to remember which side the baby nursed on last and what the names are of your other children.  The last thing any new mother in her right mind wants to think about is having sex.  Chances are she's still sort of pissed off at her husband and the really good bottle of wine that lead her to this Doctor's office in the first place.

Look, I've been down this road before and I know that I will, eventually, want to have sex again.  There will come a time when I'm no longer a sleep-deprived zombie, and I will be excited to resume getting down and dirty with the Hubs.  But right now, when I haven't showered or changed out of my pajamas for going on four days, and I still have a rather vivid memory of the pain of childbirth, there is nothing I want to do less than get busy in the bedroom.  My Husband, of course, is the eternal optimist, so he's stocked up on condoms until we get around to scheduling his vasectomy.  Because while we may not be able to agree on how soon we should resume our sex life, our mutual love for good wine remains intact, and neither of us are interested in having a third kid.
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Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Monday on Tuesday

I'm running a day behind, as per the usual.  If you're a loyal follower/stalker of the Misadventures on Facebook or Instagram, then you might have noticed the photos of my Monday morning routine that I shared yesterday.  I had every intention of publishing a companion piece here on the ol' blog, but time got away from me what with my return from Las Vegas and the whole having two kids under two and no childcare thing.  So I'd love it if you would humor me and pretend that today is Monday and that I'm actually getting sh*t done on time.  Because only in my fantasy world does that happen.

But I digress.

Several months ago I found out that I was randomly selected to participate in the amazing "Monday Mornings" series that's been going on over at Mommy Shorts.  The chief Mommy over there, Ilana Wiles, is pretty much my blogging idol, which means that I make sure never to miss one of her posts.  When she put out the word that she was looking for Mommas who wanted to have their morning routines photographed by the amazing and wonderful Raquel Bianca, I threw my hat in the ring.  I figured it was a major long shot.  I mean, what would people find interesting about the life of a stay-at-home Mom living quite possibly the most unglamorous life to be found in the City of Angels?  When I received the email that I'd been chosen to participate, I started to panic.

Here's a condensed version of my thought process:

I look horrible in the morning.  I need to do some research on how dangerous it is to get Botox while nine months pregnant.

My house is a dump.  I wish I had the money to buy new dining room chairs and living room shades.  And when people see my bedroom they'll be shocked that anyone got pregnant in such an unattractive space.

I'll still be carrying around my baby weight and bleeding from my lady parts when she comes to photograph us.  WHAT WAS I THINKING?!

Somehow, I managed to get my anxiety under control (despite the fact that I was unable to pop a Xanax), and I agreed to let Raquel come and photograph our family.

You guys, I am so glad I did.

What a gift, to have these photographs.  The kids are growing so fast - the Lady Bug looks completely different now than she did even those few weeks ago - and to have this photographic time capsule of our lives right now is incredible.

Perhaps the even greater gift has been the response I've received from other Mommas thanking me for my honesty about not being able to do it all.

Thank you for sharing my morning.

Thank you for making me feel less alone.

Thank you for not telling me I need Botox (even if you think I do.)


Sunday, September 7, 2014

Nothing Happens in Vegas When You're a Parent

No party animals here. 
Las Vegas has been totally wasted on us, my friends. There was no late night partying, we didn't set foot into a strip club, and we didn't even do any day drinking.  That's just a shame right there.  Here we are, sans children, in the city where you're pretty much expected to act irresponsibly, and we did nothing untoward.  Other than some overzealous gambling of a small chunk of our children's college funds, we have been model citizens, which is just...sad.  It looks like parenthood has completely beaten any desire to put the "sin" in Sin City out of us.

Here's what our wild Saturday night in Las Vegas looked like:
  • Dinner at 6:30pm.  You want to know who else is eating dinner at that hour in Vegas?  People over the age of 60.  We were the youngest diners in the restaurant by about 25 years.  Any respectable person in his or her 30's was still at the pool maintaining a decent buzz.
  • We each had a glass of sake with our meal.  There were no cocktails consumed prior to dining, and neither of us were even tipsy afterwards, thanks to our boring, yet responsible, drinking habits. 
  • We spent the entirety of dinner discussing how much we missed our kids and then looked at pictures of them on our iPhones.  This is just beyond pathetic.  We hadn't even been away from them for 24 hours and we were practically bereft without them.  Considering how much lip service I give to our wanting to escape from spending time in their presence, this is embarrassing to admit.  At one point we repeatedly watched a 30 second video of the Muffin Man putting napkins on a table, something we would find incredibly boring under normal circumstances, but that we found absolutely riveting this weekend. 
  • We didn't order dessert.  There we were, with all the time in the world to enjoy a leisurely meal and with no baby sensitive to dairy or chocolate to worry about, and we didn't even want to order something indulgent!  They had soft serve and donuts and s'mores on the menu and we wanted none of it.  Apparently we've lost our taste for sugar as well as fun.
  • We played two hands of blackjack and then called it a night.  There was no bar hopping, no clubbing, no after hours partying.  Nope.  We were back in our hotel room and were in bed, reading on our Kindles, by 9pm.  

I'd like to tell you that we're going to make up for this utter travesty of a weekend by living it up tonight, but after spending the entire day at a trade show I'll be lucky if I can stay awake until dinner time.  Honestly, I'm a little bit concerned that Las Vegas is not going to invite us back.  

Friday, September 5, 2014

Vegas, No Babies

I'm ditching my kids and running off to Las Vegas for the weekend!!!!!!!!!

That amount of excitement really seems inappropriate, especially since I'm actually going for work, but nevertheless I am pretty darn thrilled to be leaving my offspring in the care of my parents and getting the heck out of town.  I'm counting the hours until I'm relaxing in the airport lounge, enjoying an alcoholic beverage in the middle of the day and reading a trashy magazine without interruption.  My God, that sounds heavenly.

I'm taking the Hubster along with me, primarily because he likes to gamble and because I want him to foot the bill for an expensive dinner or two, but I confess that I'm looking forward to our having two days alone together.  The last time we went away sans children was for our anniversary last year, and that was only for one night, so this will be a real treat and a half.  I don't know how romantic said trip will be, since I'll be bringing my breast pump, wearing a nursing bra, and sporting my postpartum girdle, but I think at this time in our lives we both consider two nights of uninterrupted sleep to be pretty darn hot.

Feel free to follow me on Instagram for photos of us partying it up* in Sin City.

Have a great weekend!


*eating dinner at five, and going to sleep by 9pm

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

It Sucks Being the Second Kid

She's psychologically damaged from being a second child, I'm sure.
Our neighbors across the street are expecting their first child next month.  They are the epitome of the perfect Hollywood couple - she's a svelte, gorgeous blonde, he's a handsome and charming guy with a hipster first name - and they have that wide-eyed excitement that you often find in first time expectant parents.  The other day, as we were walking down the block on our way to the farmer's market, we passed their shiny new Prius station wagon, complete with a brand new carseat installed in the back and a "baby on board" decal already hanging in the rear window.  I love their hopeful eyes full of fantasies about parenthood and the baby that's soon to be living with them.  It's so encouraging to see a couple who are still optimistic and who have not yet been beaten down by the realities of life with children.  Oh, I remember those days, back when I was pregnant with the Muffin Man and I made an effort to look stylish and attractive despite my giant baby bump, and when I had a finished nursery a month before he was scheduled to arrive.  Those were the days, folks.

Because this is what it looks like when you have your second kid:

Your husband installs the carseat while you are in labor.  The first time around you made sure to have the carseat installed six weeks before your due date, and you made an appointment with the CHP to have them check to make sure it's installed correctly.  Ain't nobody got time for that! Slam that base on one of the passenger seats, do a cursory check to make sure the indicator on the seat isn't pointing to "certain death" and call it a day.

You print out all the hospital paperwork while you are in labor.  When I was pregnant with the Muffin Man I had a folder of paperwork packed in my hospital bag several weeks before his due date.  The folder was carefully labeled and contained my hospital registration, a copy of my advanced directive, typed out answers to any questions the staff and nurses might have, and my birth and baby care plans on brightly-colored paper.  This time around there was no folder, no brightly colored paper.  I sat at my computer at 5:30 in the morning, contracting every three minutes and praying that my water didn't break all over my Macbook Air, while trying to focus on changing the gender on my baby care plan from "he" to "she".

You do not have a shiny new car.  You drive an old car that hasn't been washed in over a month, and the backseat is full of stale snacks, dirty sippy cups, and headless toys.  Why spend the money on a new car when your offspring will make sure to trash the upholstery in just a matter of months?  Besides, those stale snacks have come in really handy while stuck in traffic on the 405.

The carseat is not new.  In fact, it may even be expired!  It's also been sitting in the garage for over a year and it's full of dirt.  You have every intention of washing it, but all of the sudden you're in labor and you just scream for your husband to wipe it down with a dishcloth and call it a day.  It's good for babies to be exposed to germs and dirt, right?

The nursery is not finished.  There are no pictures on the walls, you don't have a changing pad, and the crib is still not put together.  You should be able to find time to get everything done right before your kid leaves for college.

Further reading on the topic of second children being shafted: An Apology Letter to My second Child

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Get Some Sleep

That was then...
this is now.
How much more rested do I look???
Let's talk about how different this whole Motherhood thing is the second time around, shall we?  Oh my goodness it is so much easier, people.  Yes, it's exhausting, and I completely admit that there have been days and nights during which I've found myself sobbing uncontrollably, but for the most part this parenting-of-a-newborn encore has gone relatively smoothly.

I've heard from quite a few of you that my hospital bag tips have been helpful, so I thought I would share five things I wish I'd known the first time around.  Here's my disclaimer: the only thing I'm a doctor of is comedy, so this by no means constitutes medical advice, it's simply a few things that have worked for me with my babes.  Be sure and talk with your pediatrician before beginning any new routine with your little one.  

1. Momma don't f*ck around with newborn size diapers.  Newborn diapers are teeny tiny, which means they don't hold very much pee.  You know what's guaranteed to wake up a baby?  Peeing through her diaper.  Hey, I don't blame the kid - I wouldn't want to sleep in a soaking wet onesie either.  Skip the small diapers and stock up on some size three overnight diapers right away.  Your infant will look completely ridiculous wearing a diaper that reaches up to her armpits, but that doesn't matter if it buys you a few more hours of precious, life-giving sleep.

2. Do not, I repeat DO NOT change your baby's diaper every time she wakes up in the middle of the night.  If you change her diaper the only thing you are doing is waking her up more, and the last thing you want is a baby who is ready to party.  The more awake your kid gets, the longer it will take to get her to go back to sleep once she's been fed, and being awake for more than an hour in the middle of the friggin' night is pure torture.  Throw that kid in a night diaper, slather on a sh*tload of diaper cream and wait to change her diaper until she wakes up at a reasonable morning hour.

3. You do not have to hold your baby every single second of every single day.  I am pretty sure that I only put the Muffin Man down four times during the first three months of his life.  Seriously - I even held him while I was in the bathroom going pee.  Do yourself a favor: invest in a bouncy chair and use it.  Your child will be fine.  You will not damage him by expecting him to entertain himself for a few minutes of every day.  Plus you're starting to smell and could really use a shower.

4. Give your baby a bottle.  Yeah, yeah, we all know that breast is best, but sometimes Mommy's boobies need a rest.  As soon as your baby latches well, pump some milk (or use formula if you prefer) and let your spouse/Mother/Mother-in-Law/nanny/any stranger willing to hold your child feed that kid.  The longer you wait to introduce a bottle, the less of a chance that your kid will take one, so start ASAP.  Trust me, the last thing you want is to spend the next six months of your life being unable to leave your child for longer than an hour and a half because she refuses to take a bottle.  And forget about taking any sort of vacation without your baby - if he doesn't drink from a bottle you're tethered to that kid for at least a year without a break.  I love my kids, but for the sake of my own sanity I need to be able to spend time without one of them attached to my boob.

5. The "dream feed" is your friend.  Learn about it, start it early, and use it.  This is the key to getting your kid to sleep longer.  The more milk (or formula) you shovel into that kid at bedtime, the longer he or she will snooze.  I've personally found that bottle feeding is the most effective with this technique, as it's difficult to get a sleeping child to nurse, but however you choose to roll, feed your kid as much as possible before you go to sleep.  As your kid gets older this technique will become more effective, but I have a six week old who is sleeping for 6-7 hours at a stretch, so believe me, it works.

If all else fails just remember that the first six weeks are the hardest.  It does get easier and your kid will eventually sleep through the night.  Until then, I suggest you avail yourself of caffeine in any form.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Mommy and Me Reject, Part Deux

No one wants to sit with us at snack time.  
I have a problem.  Apparently, I have some sort of special talent for getting involved in Mommy and Me programs where people hate me.  If you're a longtime reader of the site you know that I've already "been there, done that" with the original VIP Mommy and Me, but I guess I didn't learn my lesson that first time around because I am once again at the tail end of yet another class where I am the odd woman out.

In my defense, I signed up for this class because it takes place at one of the preschools we were considering for the Muffin Man.  This is a very well-respected school.  It also happens to be within walking distance of our house, which I'm always a fan of, as I have these fantasies of being able to stroll Noah to and from school every day like I live in some sort of small, Norman Rockwell-esque town instead of in the land of cement and broken dreams which constitutes my reality.  Anywho, according to the word on the neighborhood street, it's vital to sign up for the Mommy and Me in order to even be considered for one of the valuable preschool spots at this institute of lower learning.  Hey, I'm willing to try anything once (except for some of those positions in the Karma Sutra that no human should be able to do) so I signed Noah up, sent in my check, and looked forward to pleasant afternoons spent bonding with other parents over snack time Goldfish crackers and endless rounds of Row, row, row your boat.  Well.  This is the worst mommy and me class ever.  Really.  I didn't think they could get crappier than the original VIP class, but low and behold it is entirely possible to pay a ridiculous sum of money for your child to attend a class once a week that is terrible.  The other parents aren't friendly, the activities are ridiculous, and Noah wants nothing to do with any of this.  They do, however, serve Goldfish crackers at snack time which is the only thing this group has going for it, since I refuse to buy that crap for consumption at home.

Okay, so the class sucks, fine. I was willing to give it one more try just to ensure that my son received a decent shot at one of the 3 available spaces in the class of 2031, but here's the kicker: I WASN'T INVITED BACK.  Seriously.  I wasn't even given the option to sign up for the next session (I asked and was firmly told "no").  Yes, you read that right.  I was rejected from possibly the worst Mommy and Me class in the entire city of Los Angeles.  Honestly, all I can do is laugh.  I assume their intention was to make me feel bad about myself, but I'm going to remind you here, friends, that I AM 36 YEARS OLD; not 26 or 16 or even six, when one is more apt to put up with just this kind of bullsh*t.  Mama is old and tired and she just don't play that anymore.   I guess I've finally had enough therapy that I no longer spend my life attempting to join clubs that don't want me as a member.  On the plus side, I'll be happy to spend that $250 preschool application fee on something more practical, like all the toilet paper I plan to throw into their trees on Halloween right after I get wasted, pee in the school's bushes, and yell "screw you!" from my car window while blaring The Doors.  Hey, I've matured, but not that much.

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