Friday, May 30, 2014

Drink Up, it's the Weekend!

Cheers to the weekend, my lovelies!  So far we've managed to weather our temporary homelessness without incident.  In fact, I think that the Muffin Man has handled the whole thing better than his parents, which leads me to believe that despite my frequent and varied Motherhood failings I haven't managed to completely mess him up.  I think we might head to the beach this weekend, as the weather is hot and perfect for a day spent repeatedly telling a toddler to not eat sand.  What exciting things do you have planned?

Here are a few goodies that caught my eye on the interwebs this week:

I loved this piece on being the Momma of boys.

Vacations for the do-gooder in all of us.

I really, really want to see Fed Up.  Right after I curb my pregnancy sugar cravings...

How to raise a moral child.

Admit it, Mommas, there are days you've seriously contemplated going on strike.

Further adventures in making Ikea furniture look fancy.

Carrot and crisy chickpea salad might be happening this weekend. 

The warm weather has me contemplating retiring my usual all-black wardrobe and donning eyelet.

The paranormal can be hilarious, as Ghost Shrink proves.

Drink up: a Spiked Arnold Palmer is easy and delicious.

Have a great weekend!


Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Motherhood FAIL of the Week: Chickens and Cows and Pigs, Oh My

The last week has been a bit of a sh*t show around these parts, my friends.  Just in case it wasn't stressful enough to have to pack up the house and make ourselves scarce for three weeks to facilitate a bathroom remodel, the Hubby is in the midst of opening another new restaurant location, which means he's working around the clock and unable to be of much assistance in either the parenting or moving departments.  As we've learned in the past, me being left to my own devices for days on end never turns out very well, despite my attempts to rally.  I'm ashamed to admit that this weekend was no exception.

Sunday morning I made plans to meet up with a friend and her daughter at a place called The Gentle Barn.  If you're not familiar with this venue, it's essentially an animal rescue organization that functions as a sort of petting zoo, where you can brush cows, feed horses, and hang out with pigs or chickens.  It was my friend's idea to take the kiddos there, and I wholeheartedly agreed, assuming that the Muffin Man would absolutely love seeing all the animals that he reads about in his Peek a Who? book in living color.  And so, Sunday morning I slathered both myself and my son with sunscreen, packed up some snacks, and made the trek out to Santa Clarita.

Shockingly, the 40 minute car ride went off without a hitch.  Noah took a little nap, I didn't run out of gas or get lost, and we arrived only about half an hour late to meet up with our friends.  When I opened the car door we were greeted with a blast of desert air and the odor of barnyard.  I strapped Noah into the Ergo, stuck a hat on each of our heads, and queued up for what I assumed would be an unforgettable experience.

I should've realized right away that the day wasn't going to be a huge success when I reached my had into my purse to pay our entrance fees and discovered an inch-deep puddle of almond milk.  While this wasn't exactly an ideal situation (and one from which my cell phone is still trying to recover), I knew I could quickly mop up the mess with the package of baby wipes I always have on my person... jsut as soon as they finally let us in.  Twenty minutes and one screaming toddler later, we made it in the gate and then were corralled into some sort of pen to hear a spiel about the animals and how they find them and blah blah blah.  Look, I'm all for rescuing abused animals and not eating meat, but I would prefer to discuss it when I'm not 45 months pregnant and standing in the blistering sun with a wailing child strapped to my chest.  A few minutes into the presentation my mothering instincts overtook my politeness, and I escaped the lecture to try to connect with our friends and clean up the lagoon of milk in my handbag.

After cleaning up the mess, waiting on line for ten minutes to buy a bottle of water and a tofu dog, and stopping to use the port-a-potty, it was time to see the animals.  We started with the horses, because everybody loves horses, right?  Wrong!  It turns out my son is absolutely terrified of horses, unless they happen to be a charming illustration residing solely in the pages of The Little Blue Truck.  Noah cried and hid his head when we even came within 10 feet of one of the beautiful equines in their stalls.  Even the miniature horse was a total bust.  Okay, no problem, there were lots of other barnyard creatures to choose from.  Next, we tried the cows, since they're lazy and don't move and every other kid in the whole place seemed to be having an amazing time brushing them.  Strike two.  Noah couldn't get away from those stinky beasts fast enough.  Finally, we decided to try the pigs and the chickens.  We waited another 20 minutes until our allotted porcine-viewing time slot, and climbed the steep hill to the pig pen/chicken run.  I'm sorry to tell you that "the other white meat" wasn't a hit either.  In fact, Noah was so desperate to get the heck out of that animal pen that he actually tried to run away (remember now, my kid doesn't even walk yet), fell over his own two feet, and landed right in a puddle of chicken poop.  Abject terror combined with a shirt full of chicken sh*t does not for a happy toddler make.  My kiddo screamed at the top of his lungs, scaring the crap out of pretty much every man, woman, and livestock at the Gentle Barn.  I grabbed my sobbing kid (trying to avoid getting chicken poop on myself as well) and hightailed it out of there before we caused further trauma to those poor, abused animals.

Needless to say, the experience was a total bust.  Thankfully, Noah seems to have recovered from his afternoon on the farm.  My car, however, may never quite be rid of the stench of chicken poop, which I suppose will simply serve as a reminder that my son prefers his animals in illustrated form. 

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Musings on Motherhood with Lipgloss and Crayons

This month, I'm bringing you a series of personal stories about being "born a Mother" in order to help generate some buzz for the incredible work being done through Every Mother Counts.  If you'd like to learn about ways you can help make pregnancy and childbirth safer for all women, click here

Today I'm excited to welcome my final guest blogger for the month, Carly from Lipgloss and CrayonsCarly and I actually went to high school together, and thanks to the world of the interweb we reconnected.  Carly works as a teacher, has a fantastic fashion blog and is a new Momma of a little girl, so I'm thrilled and honored that she found time to share her experience.  
How do you become a mother when you've been a "kid expert" for years?  I started teaching elementary school when I was 23.  I gave piece after piece of advice in parent conferences, at back to school night, in IEP meetings for children with learning disabilities, I found homes for homeless families, I helped uninsured children attain medical care, I talked to social workers, I helped with homework, I watched children read for the first time……but I became a mother at 34, sort of.  

Our path to motherhood / parenthood wasn't exactly as smooth as I had hoped.  It took a little longer than expected, and we had a few bumps along the way.  After two years, one miscarriage, and one misshapen uterus diagnosis (lucky me!)…….our darling daughter was due December 10, 2013.  The minute I found out we were having a girl I began to plan.  How would I raise her to be a strong woman? Firm in her own beliefs? Confident? This was a huge priority to me.  I imagined teaching her about body image.  Dating.  Education.  Career goals.

My first chance to get a glimpse at her strong personality came a little earlier than her 13th birthday. At our 32 week appointment, our doctor informed me that our daughter was breech.  Yup, backwards.  Apparently, not only did she get my sense of independence….she also inherited my horrible sense of direction.  I was presented with two options.  Schedule a c section, or try a manual turning procedure.

I had felt her kicks, seen her sweet face in the ultrasounds, bought her clothes, decorated her room, but at this moment I realized…..I had become a MOM.  I'm not exactly great with pain.  In fact, pretty much everyone in my life was afraid of how I'd handle labor.  I went home after our appointment, and Googled the procedure.  BIG mistake.  Videos.  Lots of them.  Women screaming in pain.  I was NOT happy.  But about five minutes later, I felt confident.  I was willing to try.  I called and scheduled the procedure.

A week later, I checked into the hospital…….and we gave it a shot.  It was the MOST painful experience I've ever had…….and it was totally unsuccessful.  But, I was fine.  Our baby was healthy, and she decided to enter the world in her own fashion……to an audience of doctors via a C Section.

After years of giving advice, I received tons of it during the final weeks of my pregnancy.  Parents of students and former students told me stories of their c sections.  I felt like I'd been welcomed into a secret club.  The parents I had advised had become my advisors.  And I had become one of them………a mom.
Thanks for sharing, Carly, and welcome to the Mommy club.  We're a motley crew, sister, but happy to have you join our ranks.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Have a Great Weekend, Please

It's Memorial Day Weekend, which I think is supposed to signal the beginning of summer or something.  You'd never know it around these parts, as our summer weather is long gone, and the last few days have been cool and gloomy - I even broke out my Rag and Bone booties last night due to the chill in the air (no complaints on this last one).  I have super exciting weekend plans that include wrangling a toddler while simultaneously packing up our house to get ready for our temporary move due to a bathroom remodel.  I know, the excitement is killing me.

Here are a few things that cheered me up despite my impending homelessness:

Waffle iron eggs is such a cool breakfast hack.

You really can cook anything on a BBQ, including corn on the cob.

Have a great holiday weekend, my lovelies!


Thursday, May 22, 2014

Third Trimester Terrors

I'm bitching and moaning over at Laughing My Vag Off today, kids, so head on over there if you're in the mood for some whining about how much I hate the third trimester.

Also, if you haven't had a chance to check out this week's guest post from The Better Half Blogs, now is an excellent opportunity to use some of your paid work time to catch up on Nicole's Motherhood musings.



Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Motherhood FAIL of the Week: Heel Me

As I mentioned last week, another one of my nephews had his Bar Mitzvah this past weekend.  Let me state for the record that being called to the Torah is a big freaking deal, and as members of the extended family we were required to not only attend a whirlwind of related events, but also to read a small snippet of Hebrew during the actual service.  I was determined to not have an epic parenting failure akin to the one experienced earlier in the year at my other nephew's Bar Mitzvah, so I made a concerted effort to prepare myself and my diaper bag accordingly: I had snacks, a few little toys, and a change of clothes; I was ready for (almost) anything.

I managed to find myself a dress that looked passable on my carrying-a-watermelon shape, I didn't forget to pick up the Hubby's suit at the dry cleaners, and I even put together a snazzy little outfit for the Muffin Man.  I was damn proud of myself and ready to rock this Bar Mitzvah.  Let me remind you that I am currently seven months pregnant with my second kid, which means that I have gained 30 pounds and essentially have a giant baby bump and a wide ass perched on little toothpick legs.  Given the state of my figure at this moment in time, one would wonder what on Earth would possess me to choose to wear the highest heels in my entire closet.  We're talking four-to-five inch nude-colored platform heels.  Yes, they are gorgeous, and they did look fantastic with my dress, but apparently I have completely lost my mind as well as my svelte figure because this was not at all a wise choice for a woman who is, under the best of circumstances, barely able to walk in flats without falling over her own two feet.

When we arrived at the venue and saw the bimah (or stage, if you will), I noticed that there were about five carpeted steps leading up to it.  This would not have been a huge problem had there also been a handrail, but I guess Bar Mitzvahs don't have to be ADA compliant, because those stairs were just floating in space laughing at my footwear choice.  I gave myself a little "you can do this" pep talk, reminded the Hubby that he would have to hold my hand to help me get up the stairs, and settled in for some Sephardic music and my nephew's recitation of the Torah.

An hour or so into the ceremony it was time for our big entrance.  I got to my feet, marshaled my balance, and picked up Noah to take him up with us.  Here's the part I didn't exactly count on: after sitting in a chair for over an hour, my feet were sweaty.  Like so sweaty I may as well have been wearing ice skates, because with each step I took my sopping feet slipped in and out of my shoes and made this weird squishing noise.  There I am, with a 20-pound toddler balanced on my hip, barely able to stay upright and attempting to walk up a stairway without losing a shoe.  I made it up the first three steps without incident but that fourth step got me.  My slippery foot came completely out of the shoe, which I then subsequently tripped over, sending myself, my son and my unborn child teetering on the edge of a stair several feet from the ground.  I clutched Noah with all of my might, hoping that somehow I could protect him from crashing head first into the cold, hard cement floor, and let out a string of curse words that were not very appropriate given the religious circumstances.  I don't think the microphone caught my colorful language, so at least only the first few rows got a taste of my toilet mouth.  Thankfully, the Hubby caught me and my precious cargo just before we were about to tumble off of the stage and into the first row of guests.  I did my best to gather what was left of my dignity, calmed Noah, and made my way up to the podium for our reading.

The good news is that no permanent harm was done to either of my offspring.  My poor nephew, on the other hand, may never recover from having an Aunt who is a hot mess and came this close to turning his special day into a crime scene.  However, I do think it's time to retire my high heels until after I give birth, because I highly doubt the term "killer fashion" is supposed to be taken literally.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Musings on Motherhood with The Better Half Blogs

This month, I'm bringing you a series of personal stories about being "born a Mother" in order to help generate some buzz for the incredible work being done through Every Mother Counts.  If you'd like to learn about ways you can help make pregnancy and childbirth safer for all women, click here

Today I'm excited to welcome Nicole from The Better Half Blogs.  Nicole is hilarious, and I always enjoy her no-holds-barred approach to parenting and life, so I'm thrilled to have her sharing her story for such a great cause.

Two days after my daughter turned two I walked into my OB/GYN's office to have my IUD removed.  Immediately upon walking out I had a panic attack while on the phone with my best friend because oh my God, what was I THINKING?

Becoming a mom wasn't something that I had time to anticipate or plan.  No, motherhood was happily thrust upon me in a wave of cheap beer during a weekend on a disgusting river.  Our bundle of joy was a surprise, is what I'm saying here.  And even when the initial shock wore off I was still unable to enjoy the process, as I was too buys revisiting breakfast again, and again, and again.

In the months after Audrey made her grand entrance there was a sharp realization that I was in over my head in the worst way.  I spent many a night crying and wondering how it is possible that planetary overcrowd could even be a thing.  Yet here we are, a short four years later and, believe it or not, she's still alive and happy!

It's now been two and a half years since that panic outside my probably very confused doctor's office, and in that time I have endured a very sad miscarriage, a D&C, six rounds of clomid, countless doctor visits and, just recently, an extremely painful HSG...all to replicate what came too easily and accidentally during one blurry weekend.  I have been diagnosed with Secondary Infertility, which is an umbrella term for "we have no idea what's wrong with you since you seem to have been able to do this before."  Every month is hard, some harder than others.

Having experienced both sides of the mothering coin, which is having motherhood thrust upon me and now having it just out of reach, I can honestly say that I was born to be a mother.  I was born to do this.  I know this because I've had a lot of time to think.  That's the gift of infertility - nothing but time.  Time to really look inside yourself, inside your marriage and ask "is this really what is best for me and my family?"  My answer is always a resounding abso-frickin-lutely.

This is me and this is what I live for.  I was born to be a mother, just ask my daughter.  (She may not feel that way now...or in 10 years when she's a teenager, but try when she's a mother herself, that's when they usually appreciate their mothers.  Yeah, ask her then.  I'll wait.)

Thank you so much for sharing, Nicole!  

Friday, May 16, 2014

Have a Cool Weekend

This guy can really rock a yarmulke.
The weekend is upon us once again, my friends.  This week was so insanely hot here that I honestly thought I might melt like the Wicked Witch in The Wizard of Oz.  All melting incidents seem to have been averted (thank God for central air) and I'm counting the hours until more temperate weather makes an appearance tomorrow.  We have a busy weekend full of Bar Mitzvah celebrations and visiting relatives, so let's hope preggo isn't completely crippled after three days straight of wearing high heels.

Here are a few things that caught my eye on the web this week:

In defense of the princess..

Coffee table books that are gorgeous and interesting.

It's totally okay to judge these five types of parents.

A new and healthier twist on peanut butter cookies (and so easy to make).

Further adventures in how to buy the right-fitting bra.

Scorching hot weather calls for an ice cold cucumber martini, am I right?

How to make your crappy Ikea bookshelves look like built-ins.

My new favorite parenting website.

My obsession with gladiator sandals continues apace.

Have a fantastic weekend!  You can follow me on Instagram if you're just dying to see the Muffin Man rocking a seersucker blazer and a yarmulke (and really, who isn't?).


Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Motherhood FAIL of the Week: Walk the Line, Please

Well my friends, it appears as though the Muffin Man has inherited more than his fair share of my subpar genes.  At the ripe old age of 16 months, my kiddo is still not walking.  To be honest with you I wasn't all that concerned about it, mainly because I'm a Beta Parent and it's just not in my nature to worry about stuff like that, but also because I'm exhausted and I can barely keep up with a kiddo who crawls, let alone one who walks.  Our Pediatrician, on the other hand, is concerned about it, because, well, that's his job.  When I took Noah in for his check-up last week and delivered the news that no, in fact, my son is not running into the street or even walking into the street, I was told in no uncertain terms that I needed to get Noah some physical therapy.  Oh, fantastic.  I'm currently 40 months pregnant, it's hotter than Hell outside, and now I have to somehow find the time and the energy to get my remedial walker some physical therapy?!  Just shoot me now and put me out of my misery.

Despite outward appearances, I do try to be a good parent, so I've bitten the bullet and made some phone calls.  The nice thing is that until the age of three all children in the state of California are eligible for FREE physical therapy, so that does soften the blow a little bit, as I had visions of $60 insurance co-pays three times a week dancing through my head.

Here's the real crux of the situation however: I'm afraid that my adorable, sweet, lovely little boy just might be as uncoordinated and unathletic as his Mother.  I shudder to think that I may be facing a future of my kiddo being picked last for sports and being made fun of because he falls over his own two feet.  I sincerely hoped to avoid this fate for my children by procreating with a man who has natural athletic ability and was not, unlike yours truly, the first one pegged during Dodge Ball.  I assumed that my uncoordinated dork genes would be no match for the Hubby's sporty ones, and I would end up the proud parent of an athletically-inclined son destined for an awesome high school sports career and all the pussy that seems to go hand in hand with that.

I will, of course, support Noah on whatever path he chooses to take (except acting or the restaurant business, natch) and will proudly show up for art shows or computer science fairs or whatever other nerdly pursuit he might be drawn to if his remedial walking skills turn out to be an indicator of his athletic ability.  I'm really putting a lot of faith in this whole physical therapy thing, though, because I would hate to miss out on an entire four years of checking out cute high school boys in their baseball uniforms. 

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Further Adventures in Shopping While Pregnant

You mean this look isn't appropriate for a bar mitzvah?
I am, once again, faced with going Shopping While Pregnant.  If you are a longtime reader of the blog (as you really should be) you know that I almost had a nervous breakdown when I was gestating the Muffin Man and had to buy myself a dress.  I can't even express to you how absolutely horrible it is to try on clothing under fluorescent lighting when your body shape can best be described as a wide load with a basketball-under-the-shirt front bumper.  If only I could pop a few Xanax with a vodka chaser beforehand but, alas, this is not an option.

The only reason I'm hitting the mall in my current state of body shape is because another one of my nephews is having his Bar Mitzvah this weekend, and it turns out that the event calls for something a bit more dressy than leggings and a tank top.  I will, of course, be trotting out the aforementioned maternity dress for another appearance, but since we have a weekend of events to attend and I no longer fit into anything that's not yoga pants or a burlap sack, I'm being forced to man up and go purchase a dress.  Here's the problem: I am in the final stages of what will absolutely, without a doubt, be my last pregnancy.  Therefore, I really cannot justify spending any money on another maternity dress that I will wear once, maybe twice, before sending it on its way to someone interested in remaining fertile.  So the mission is to find a normal dress that looks flattering on my giant bump, but that I will also want to wear once I have returned to my more svelte shape.  This means that not only will I be Shopping While Pregnant, I will have to do so in the presence of other women who do not have a baby on board.  At first pass this doesn't sound like such a big deal, right?  Let's keep in mind, however, that I live in Los Angeles, where it's practically considered a crime to weigh more than a carrot stick, and the clothing choices in my local store reflect this.  Picture me, if you will, waddling around Bloomingdale's bumping into racks of clothing while attempting to avoid taking out one of my anorexic-looking fellow shoppers with my giant baby bump and leaving a trail of flatulence in my wake.  This is the stuff of fashion nightmares, my friends.

I promise to report back on my shopping expedition... assuming I don't completely lose my shit and end up in the Psych Ward sporting an oh-so-flattering hospital gown.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Monday Musings on Motherhood with Carriage Before Marriage

This month, I'm bringing you a series of personal stories about being "born a Mother" in order to help generate some buzz for the incredible work being done through Every Mother Counts.  If you'd like to learn about ways you can help make pregnancy and childbirth safer for all women, click here

Today I'm excited to welcome Amy from Carriage Before Marriage.  I'm a BIG fan of Amy's, as she is hilarious, self-deprecating, and totally honest about her parenting foibles, so she's certainly a kindred spirit.  

The Day I Became a Mother

We thought we were out of the woods.  After several early miscarriages, I was finally pregnant with a healthy baby girl who had passed her amnio with flying colors.  I’d stopped fearing the worst and was enjoying my second trimester, especially eating for two and flaunting my bump.

Then, during the 22-week ultrasound, I heard the technician say “Uh oh.”  The baby was still fine, thank God, but my cervix wasn’t.  It had shortened and funneled (I pictured the tornado from The Wizard of Oz) and could not be relied upon to keep my baby safe in the womb until her due date.  I was at high risk for preterm labor.

It wasn’t good news, but I didn’t realize how serious my condition was until my doctor strapped me to a monitor to check for contractions. When I offered him a peek at our new ultrasound picture, he glanced away, muttering, “I probably shouldn’t look at that just yet.”  I could tell he thought my baby might not make it, and I dissolved into tears.     

The only hope for my baby was strict bed rest.  I quit my job and settled into the couch on the first floor of our townhouse apartment.  I was allowed to get up only to use the bathroom or grab a drink, and was told to avoid the stairs.  Sex was forbidden. I couldn’t even do kegels. 

Bed rest might sound like a nice holiday, but when you’re healthy and energetic, laying still 24/7 doesn’t feel right.  I was antsy and tense, unable to concentrate on television and magazines because I was so scared.  I spent most of my time with my iPad propped on my belly, googling “incompetent cervix” and studying viability rates for premature babies.  I knew I had to do whatever it took to save my daughter.         

My first day home alone on the couch, I was startled by a loud, insistent beeping coming from my bedroom. I realized that amid all the bed rest panic, I’d forgotten to turn off my alarm clock.  Since I couldn’t walk upstairs, I had to listen to it beep at top volume for a full hour, and I felt like I was being driven slowly insane. 

Later that night, my heart started racing.  It seemed to be beating outside my chest. I called my doctor and told him I might be having a heart attack.  He said it was probably a panic attack, and suggested breathing into a paper bag.  When I asked my partner to hunt one down, he brought me plastic—at which point, I may have accused him of trying to murder me.  I could barely make it through one day on bed rest.  How could I possibly manage four months?

Answer: I had no choice.  I was a mommy now. 

There were good days – like when I befriended my postman, and he started hand delivering the daily mail straight to the couch (it had its own zip code).  And bad days, like a punishing late summer heat wave with no air conditioning.  (I filled a bathtub with tepid water and spent hours pruning inside it—the world’s least glamorous spa.)  Each night, I scratched off another date on our wall calendar, Shawshank style.

As I got closer to my due date, the fear faded, replaced by an intense excitement to meet my daughter.  By some miracle, she arrived just four days early, perfect in every way.  I wanted to name her “Get out of jail free card” but it didn’t fit on the birth certificate, so we went with “Vivien.” She’s three now, and my high risk pregnancy is but a distant memory.  I still pee when I sneeze though.  If only I’d been allowed to do kegels.

Thank you for sharing, Amy!  And if it makes you feel any better, I pee when I sneeze, too.

Friday, May 9, 2014

Happy Mother's Day!

Well, hello there, Friday.  I hope you all have something lovely planned for this Mother's Day weekend.  It's supposed to be in the 90's here again, so currently my weekend activities include parking my pregnant self underneath the air conditioning vent and training my toddler to bring me glasses of ice water with lemon.  Have a beautiful weekend and be sure and show your Momma how much you appreciate all she does for you, preferably by letting her sleep late and then presenting her with a hot cup of coffee and a terrific gift.

Here are a few goodies that caught my eye this week:

I am proud to be a Beta Parent.  

Your Monday morning may be a shit show, but it's beautiful.

Some people need to shut the f*ck up with their parenting advice.

The Muffin Man might actually eat asparagus if I cooked it this way.

Inspiration for when I finally get around to that bedroom makeover I've been meaning to do for three years.  

I feel like a happy mug might sort of make up for never getting enough sleep.  Sort of.  

Only a few more weeks before I can enjoy a delicious cocktail again.  I'm salivating already.

Happy Mother's Day!


Thursday, May 8, 2014

I've Got Mad (Parenting) Skillz, Yo!

All of the fun is happening over at Laughing My Vag Off today, kittens, so head on over there and check out my latest nonsense on Motherhood.

Don't forget that Mother's Day is this Sunday, so be sure and pick out something nice for your Mother  - you can check out my little gift guide if you're hard up for ideas.


Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Motherhood FAIL Favorites

In honor of Mother's Day this weekend, I thought it might be fun to take a trip down memory lane and revisit some of my more popular Motherhood FAILs.  I'm currently taking bets on how many of these will be repeated with Baby Girl - leave your guesses in the comments!

You should be in pictures, kid.

la clase de música fallar

Call me!  On second thought, don't, as I probably won't answer.

Shopping list: toilet paper, kleenex, germs.

You mean there are Mothers who remember to bring food for their children when they leave the house?

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Putting it Together...

Well my lovelies, I think you'll be proud of me: I've made some big steps in the past two weeks in terms of getting ready for Baby Girl's arrival.  As you well know, I've been just a teensy bit in denial about the fact that she's supposed to arrive in the next ten weeks or so, and I've put off doing much of anything to prepare for this eventual conclusion.  I was counting on getting a big burst of energy during my second trimester and using it to kick my (ever expanding) butt into gear, but that never happened.  When I was pregnant with the Muffin Man I went on an insane organizing rampage that began with a ridiculous amount of money spent at the Container Store, and ended with my entire house being an OCD's dream.  I don't know if I used whatever burst of energy I did get simply trying to keep up with Noah, or if I didn't get one at all this time around, but I have had no energy to accomplish anything.  Honestly, just thinking about washing all of Baby Girl's clothing made me so tired I considered lying down on the laundry room floor and taking a nap.

Thanks to a few extra cups of coffee (wheeee!) and some help from Gramma, I finally got my act together and made some progress.
- Nursery is painted
- Blackout Shades are up
- Crib and changing table are put together and moved in (this was a MAJOR Craiglist score)
- Curtain fabric is ordered
- Rug arrives on Friday
- Chair arrives in a few weeks
- Baby clothes are washed and put away

I'm going to refrain from listing all the stuff that still has to be done mainly because I've discovered that napping on my desk just isn't very comfortable.

You can follow me on Pinterest if you're interested in my further adventures in nursery inspiration.

Monday, May 5, 2014

I AM a Mother

This month, I'm bringing you a series of personal stories about being "born a Mother" in order to help generate some buzz for the incredible work being done through Every Mother Counts.  If you'd like to learn about ways you can help make pregnancy and childbirth safer for all women, click here.  

I would like to tell you that I was "born a Mother" when I got pregnant with the Muffin Man, but that really wasn't the case.  I've always been kind of ambivalent about the whole Motherhood thing, and I vacillated between wanting to have a kid and not wanting to have a kid on a daily, sometimes hourly basis.  I'm a narcissist at heart, so the thought of putting all my desires and needs aside in service to a small, helpless human being didn't exactly sound all that appealing, but I figured I'd probably regret it if I didn't at least give it the ol' college try, so I took a leap of faith and stopped using my diaphragm regularly.  Fast forward a bit - through my initial panic at actually getting pregnant, nine months of weight gain and flatulence, and a natural birth - to a labor and delivery room at Cedars Sinai hospital where I was dazed and in shock and expected to know what to do with a squalling infant who had apparently just made his entrance into this world downstage vagina.  I guess that technically I was "born a Mother" the day the Muffin Man arrived, but it took a while for that reality to sink in for me.  As I've related ad nauseam here on the blog, I'm not a touchy-feely, highly emotional person, so the rush of love and whatever else some women feel post-birth didn't happen for me.  Yes, of course I loved my son, but I mostly felt a lot of pain and an outsized concern over the incredible swelling of my lady parts.  

I personally feel that I am "born a Mother" again and again.  The first time that I really consciously understood that I had become a Mom was when I was alone for an entire day with my infant son and no help.  The subsequent times of really having my eyes opened to being a Mom are varied: changing a bed full of vomit in the middle of the night and feeling more concern for Noah than for the fact that I had regurgitated peas in my freshly-washed hair; canceling a night out with friends because my kiddo was teething and not caring that I was missing two for one margarita night; and, on a daily basis, making decisions about what to do based on what's best for my kid instead of what I desire.  That, my friends, is how I know I am a Mother.  The narcissist still resides somewhere inside of me, but I manage to keep her under wraps in the context of Motherhood.  My poor Hubby, on the other hand, may see a lot more of that selfish little bitch than he ever bargained for.

Monday Musings on Motherhood: Give Me 2 Minutes

I know I spend a lot of time here on the blogosphere bitching about Motherhood.  Heck, if you're looking for someone to tell you all the reasons you shouldn't become a parent, I'm your gal.  I can come up with at least 100 valid examples of why being a Mother sucks, but in the end I am truly and completely blessed to have the opportunity to experience just how crappy it is to no longer get a chance to sleep past 7am or to have a social life that consists solely of birthday parties for toddlers.

This year, 287,000 women will be denied the opportunity to complain about their kid because they will not survive pregnancy or childbirth.  To put that number in perspective, that means that every two minutes a woman dies because she does not have access to adequate maternal care.  During the time it took for the Barista at your local coffee shop to prepare your decaf soy latte this morning, three children lost their Mothers to preventable complications.  Every Mother Counts is working to change this troubling statistic through their work educating caregivers, providing desperately needed supplies, and even offering transportation to women who live several days travel from the nearest health clinic.  In the United States, we have the luxury of debating the merits of home birth versus hospital birth, natural versus medicated labor, and the comfort of knowing that if something goes wrong, clean, well-staffed facilities exist to assist in an emergency.  I'm sure many of the women who give birth in huts would laugh uproariously were they to read my birth plan which revolves mainly around my refusal to have  an IV and not wanting constant fetal monitoring.

In order to help EMC raise awareness about this issue, I'm going to be doing something a little bit different this month here at MiM (that's my new, super dorky, moniker for the blog).  Every Monday during the month of May I'll be bringing you a post related to the theme "the day I became a Mother".  I'm going to be kicking off the party today with my own tale of Motherhood madness, but I have special guest contributors all lined up for the next three weeks, and I think you're definitely going to dig what these awesome ladies have to share.

In the meantime, please join me in spreading the word about Every Mother Counts 2 Minutes Campaign, and Take 2 Minutes to Take 2 actions.

Upload 2 photos of the day you became a Mother on the EMC Facebook page.

Run 2 miles using the Charity Miles app, which will donate $0.25 per mile to EMC.

Share 2 facts about maternal health on 2 of your social media networks.

Donate 2 dollars to Every Mother Counts.

Give 2 gifts by making a purchase that also supports maternal health programs around the world.

Invite 2 friends to take two actions of their own.

It really only takes 2 minutes of your time.  Besides, just think how great it will make you feel knowing you've helped make it possible for some other woman to bitch about how much her kids annoy her.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Girl Crazy

I love this boy.
Well my friends, the newest addition will be here in about ten weeks (give or take) and I am completely shitting myself.  Not literally, of course - that doesn’t usually happen until one is actually giving birth, but I digress.  If you happen to be a close friend of mine and, let’s be realistic here - who else would take the time to read my BS – you know that I’m not exactly thrilled about having a girl child.  I know it’s probably not PC for me to say that (except in China) but it’s the truth, and you can always count on me to tell the truth, however unpleasant it may be.  Honestly, I’m not really all that thrilled to be having another child of any gender, but add in that she happens to be a female and it’s just adding insult to injury.  I will, without a doubt, love her once she makes her entrance downstage vagina, but until we actually meet face to face I’m afraid I’m feeling rather panicked about it.  

The thing is that being the Mother of a boy really works for me.  I like cars and airplanes, and that my son’s response to seeing a doll baby is to make a face and throw it across the room.  I can totally relate to that.  I don’t have to worry that my issues about the way I look and my negative body image are going to adversely impact Noah’s own personal self-image, ultimately leading him down some horrible path of self-destruction.  My sub-par parenting skills might have the same effect, but at least it won’t be because of something as superficial as the way I look.  According to what I’ve heard, my son will always think I’m beautiful whether I decide to head down the Botox route or not.   

Not so for Baby Girl.  I think I’ll get maybe three good years out of her before she hates me and blames me for all of her problems.  It’s a very real possibility that she could be trying on clothes at the age of three and already detest her stick figure because I have inadvertently passed on my self-loathing via my amniotic fluid.  Plus girls always want to talk about their feelings, and emotions are not in my wheelhouse, folks (which is probably why I was drawn to comedy).  This girl child of mine is going to come home from school and expect me to commiserate about boys who don’t like her and some little brat who snubbed her at lunchtime and offer advice about how to deal with these schoolyard slights.  I’m not equipped for that!  I’ll have to be an actual adult and instead of telling my daughter to exact some sort of Mean Girls-style revenge on whichever little bitch is giving her a hard time I’m going to have to take the high road, when what the offender really needs is a right hook to her (surgically altered) nose. 

Oh, and let’s not even mention the whole sex and birth control aspect of this parenting-a-girl situation.  Boys are so much easier is this regard: hand the kid a box of condoms and send him on his way to prematurely ejaculate all over town.  Assuming Baby Girl takes after me in any way shape or form, she will end up sleeping with every loser in the United States while simultaneously wasting my heard earned money on a dead end career.  Folks, THERE IS NOT ENOUGH XANAX IN THE WORLD FOR ME TO HANDLE THIS. 

At this point all I can do is pray that the fact that this child has an adoring and wonderful Father will help to negate all of my neuroses.  If not, at least there’s always cognitive therapy. 

This site was made with love by Angie Makes