Thursday, March 31, 2016

My Children are a Pain in my Ass

Motherhood has broken me, literally. 
There's a very good chance that Motherhood will break you.  The sleep deprivation.  The food aversions.  The psychological manipulation.  

But did you know that motherhood can literally break you?

I'm not talking about the odd broken toe we've all suffered at the hands of a high chair or a rogue toy.  I'm talking about a fractured tailbone sustained by giving birth.  That's right, my friends, ushering my firstborn child into the world left me with more than roadkill vag, it also resulted in a hairline fracture to my coccyx.

According to my extensive research on Dr. Google, it's actually relatively common to break your tailbone during labor - your own super human strength coupled with bearing down puts a lot of pressure on your ass region - but no one warned me about this particular birth side effect.  Oh sure, they tell you that you'll be bleeding from your nether regions for nigh on a month, but where were all those well-intentioned busybodies ready to warn me about the fact that I would have to spend the rest of my life sitting on a donut pillow?!  How come nobody bothered to give me a heads up that while my vajayjay would someday return to a semblance of its original self, my tailbone would haunt me till the day I die?  And let's not even mention that fact that as a writer the primary thing I do all day is sit, which means my children are, quite literally, a pain in my ass.

Honestly, the Muffin Man's delivery was rough, but since I'd never given birth to a child before, I didn't know that it wasn't supposed to be quite so painful.  I just figured they called it "labor" because it's a shit ton of work and calling it something else would be like my ex-boyfriend referring to himself as a "producer" when he was really an "assistant": false advertising.  Heck, if you go the natural, un-medicated birth route, you figure it's probably going to hurt a little bit, even with all that self-hypnosis stuff, right? 

Noah was sunny side up, meaning that instead of coming out face down, he came out face up, which makes giving birth much harder and more painful.  If I'd had a different OB, one who wasn't as supportive of my hippie birthing choices and wasn't so experienced with natural birth, I would never have been allowed to have a vaginal birth with a baby presenting face up.  Long story short, getting a baby who is not in the optimal position to come out of a very small hole takes a lot of physical strength.  The last time I got that kind of whole body workout was sometime before I got married when I still cared what I looked like in a bikini.  The point is, when you're putting all of your 50 extra pounds of baby weight on a small, rather fragile bone on your backside, especially if you're kind of bony to begin with, you might fracture something.  You won't know it right away, but if you still can't walk six weeks after giving birth and it hurts to sit up, you probably broke your ass bone.  Trust me, it's as humiliating as it sounds.

Here's the bad news: there is nothing you, or your Doctor, can do.  Your ass will basically be broken for the rest of your life.  You will hate taking long car trips and riding in airplanes, especially if you are traveling with your children because you will suffer the double indignation of being stuck in a small space with your offspring and knowing that they are the reason your ass hurts.  There's a very good chance you will invest in a padded toilet seat, and you will probably end up purchasing a donut pillow and carrying it around with you like you are a 90 year old man with severe hemorrhoids.

But there is one (very small) piece of good news, as my OB pointed out: your next time at the labor rodeo will be a whole lot easier, because your tailbone will know to get the Hell out of the way.  

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Showered with Unrealistic Expectations

what to expect from motherhood
THIS is what Motherhood looks like.  It's definitely not Pinterest-worthy.  
One of my dearest friends is pregnant and I am throwing her a baby shower.  I originally planned to host the party at my home, and I had visions of a Martha Stewart-worthy shindig complete with handcrafted favors, but after falling over six piles of legos and nearly breaking a toe on the highchair, I’ve changed my tune and decided to do it at a local restaurant.  While I may dream of throwing a baby shower that’s pretty and perfect enough to get Pinned thousands of times, I have to be realistic about what I can handle, and the thought of having to get my house de-cluttered and guest ready makes me tired.  Not to mention all the crafting and cooking and decorating and, ultimately, cleaning that would go into such a fete.  

I. Just. Can’t. 

This got me thinking about the whole perfect baby shower phenomenon, though.  These days people really go out of their way to throw showers that are pretty and perfect and Pinterest-inspired.  Oodles of time and money are spent in order to give Mommies-to-be an idyllic idea of what Motherhood is like.  We shower these women with sweet baby clothes, soft blankets, and shiny new baby gear, but wouldn’t we all be better served by showing our friends the reality of what being a Mommy looks like?

I admit that I’m as much to blame as anyone.  Heck, I’ve decided to host my friend’s shower somewhere else so that I don’t have to worry about getting the chair that's covered in marker reupholstered, but maybe I’m doing her a disservice by not letting her see what it’s really like when you’re caring for a child.  Because once you have a baby, “perfect” pretty much goes out the window.  I’m sure if you are someone who can afford a night nurse and a nanny and a fulltime housekeeper you can still maintain a semblance of perfection in your post-baby life, but for those of us who don’t grace the pages of People or Town & Country, perfection after birth is pretty much a thing of the past. 

If I were to host a baby shower that’s reflective of the time I have available, it would look like this:

·      Invitations would be sent via email three days before, because I forgot to mail the paper ones I ordered a month earlier.

·      All food would be courtesy of Trader Joes and would include everything premade – cheese and crackers, crudités, hummus and pita chips, frozen quiches – pretty much Martha Stewart’s nightmare.

·      I would attempt to make cupcakes the night before the party, which would flop and would result in two sinks full of dirty dishes and me having to send the Hubster out the day of the shower to buy cupcakes from Vons.

·      All the beautiful floral arrangements I made would die the night before the party because I forgot to put water in the vases.  

·      All baby toys would be thrown into the coat closet in a towering pile, which would then fall on every guest who opened the closet to hang up her coat.

·      I would be so crazy trying to get ready for the party that I wouldn’t have a chance to shower or put on makeup and I would end up wearing yoga pants and a stained t-shirt with my dirty hair in a messy ponytail.

·      My house would smell like dirty diapers because I forgot to change the bag in the diaper genie. 

·      My pregnant friend, the guest of honor, would end up falling over a rogue baby toy and have to be rushed to the hospital because it made her go into pre-term labor.
So I think you can see why I’ve decided to host the party elsewhere.  I probably still won’t have time to shower before the shower (haha – I couldn’t help it), but at least if my friend trips it won’t be because I didn’t pick up all the toys.  And I’m pretty sure this place won’t be serving food from Trader Joes; at least they better not be considering what they’re charging me. 

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Tales of a Toddler Bed

kidkraft toddler bed
Big boy beds: great for cuddling, not so great for sleeping.
If there's one thing I've learned about parenting over the last three years, it's that the minute you find your groove with something - naps, schedules, food dislikes - it's bound to change.

For the last few months, the Muffin Man has been begging us for a big boy bed.  He's been very specific about what he wants - a red bed, because red is his favorite color - and very persistent.  I probably haven't mentioned this before, because it didn't really seem relevant, but now that Noah is almost three, I suppose it bears stating that my son still sleeps in a crib.  Unlike most kids, he's never tried to climb out and he's always been very content to hang out in his crib.  I don't think this is due to any superior parenting skills on my part, but has more to do with the fact that his crib is one of the old drop-side numbers that's illegal due to the threat of your child losing a finger, but very effective in keeping your offspring contained.  Before you call child protective services on me for negligent parenting I just want to point out that no one has lost a digit, and the crib was free, and I'm not one to turn down free furniture due to the vague threat of being maimed.  The point is that Noah has been happily contained inside his cell for over three years now and hadn't taken any issue with it until recently.

I personally had plans to keep him confined to his crib for as long as humanly possible, because there is nothing creepier than a small human sidling up to you in bed at night and breathing into your face, and also because the last thing I want is my kid being able to walk down the hall and climb into my bed when he wakes up in the middle of the night.  If you have not yet had the intense displeasure of sleeping with a toddler in your bed, let me just say this: while it sounds cuddly and sweet, it usually ends with one (or both parents) getting punched in the face by a flailing toddler limb.

However, now that the Muffin Man is three and we spend (almost) every weekend attending birthday  parties at his friends homes, he's started to notice that his peers no longer sleep in cribs.  I'm sure some asshole toddler probably also told him that only babies sleep in cribs, therefore ensuring that my son has a complex about his bed situation.  Thus began the period wherein Noah would constantly beg for a big boy bed - when he woke up in the morning, when I put him to bed at night - and I figured since we weren't getting a decent night's sleep anyway what with the whole napping situation, I might as well throw caution to the wind, say fuck it, and get the kid a bed. 

The red bed arrived, and in some sort of Purim miracle my Jewish husband and son not only put it together, but managed not to injure themselves with a power tool either.  Once it was all set-up, and Noah's initial excitement wore off, he even took a (short) nap in it.

Sunday evening I was feeling rather proud of myself for engineering such a successful transition from crib to bed...until it became evident that Noah was not going to fall asleep in his new bed.  He was having a wonderful time hanging out in it, but actually falling asleep in the thing was proving to be elusive.  After several hours (yes, hours) of stories, songs, and back rubbing, the only person who fell asleep in the new bed was me.  I finally asked him if he wanted to sleep in his crib instead, and he said yes.  So we moved the mattress back to his crib, put him in, and he fell asleep in less than a minute.  And he's been sleeping in his crib without complaint every night since then.

EPIC PARENTING FAIL.

The moral of the story: don't let your three year old make decisions about his life, because he has no clue what he is (and is not) ready for.  This is probably something I would know if I ever read any sort of parenting book. 

In the meantime, the Little Lady is putting the empty bed frame to excellent use as a stage for her daily karaoke shows.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

A Tisket, a Tasket, A Candy-free Easter Basket

non-candy Easter basket ideas
What's in your Easter basket?
I'll never understand how it's possible for my kids to naturally have more energy than I do after a gram of cocaine.  Are they just high on life?  Whatever their secret I could really use some of this magical energy elixir because the six cups of coffee I'm chugging on the daily really aren't cutting it.

With all the vitality that my kids seem to possess, I'm not too enthused about stuffing them full of sugar come Easter Sunday.  I can barely keep up with them on a normal basis, let alone when they're on a sugar high.  First off, let's just get the confusing stuff out of the way: yes, we're Jewish.  Yes, we celebrate Easter.  No, we don't go to Church.  We celebrate the fact that Christ is risen by hunting for colored eggs and drinking mimosas with our gentile friends.  Don't worry, our kids are probably as confused as you are.

For the last several years I've done candy-free Easter baskets for the kids.  Call me a party pooper if you will, but there's nothing I find less enjoyable than parenting sugared-up children.  Okay, maybe my annual mammogram.

But I digress.

The point is that there are plenty of fun things to put in Easter baskets that won't result in your kid having a sugar crash in the middle of Easter dinner.  Also, if you're an idiot and you have white furniture (like yours truly), the last thing you want on the loose is a toddler in possession of a chocolate bunny. 

Giant bubble wands.  I have yet to meet a kid who doesn't like bubbles, which is why we gave these out as favors at Noah's birthday party.  Sure, there's a 95% chance that your kid will dump out all the bubble solution about ten seconds after he gets outside, but if you keep the wand and just fill it up with Dawn dish soap, your kid will be entertained for weeks on end.  Perhaps the best thing about bubble wands is that your kid doesn't actually have to be able to blow a bubble to use them, because they are large enough to catch the air and create bubbles that way.  This frees up Mommy and Daddy to toast the resurrection of Christ with a delicious adult beverage.

Sidewalk chalk.  If you have not yet discovered the beautiful things hiding in the Target dollar spot section, I urge you to head over to your local Tar-jay and take a looksee.  They almost always have sidewalk chalk in their spring selection, and this year's packaging is super cute.  Grab a box for both kids to ensure that each of your offspring gets his or her favorite color.  I suggest you pick up a few extra boxes to have on hand for use after your kids inevitably leave their new chalk out in the rain.

Stickers.  I have a love-hate relationship with stickers.  On the one hand, I cannot stand how the stupid things always end up stuck to everything - car windows, rugs, toilet seats - and how much of a pain in the ass it is to remove every trace of the sticky stuff, but on the other hand I love that stickers are a dirt cheap way to entertain my kids for at least ten minutes.  Throw a couple of different sheets of stickers in everybody's basket and let the kids sticker their plastic eggs to their heart's content.  Pro tip: try to avoid getting stickers in any hair, or your kid may end up with a special holiday buzz cut, which is definitely not a great look for your annual Easter family photo.

Matchbox cars.  I like to think that we're all modern parents and can understand that girls like cars too.  If you have not yet learned how vital it is to carry matchbox cars for entertainment at restaurants, consider yourself educated.  They come in all different colors and types, they're inexpensive and portable, and they encourage your kid to use his or her imagination.  If your child is into cars and trucks, you can never have enough matchbox cars.  Double points for the fact that these little guys fit inside plastic Easter eggs, which means fewer jelly beans inside your kiddo's tummy.

Band-Aids.  In kid life, a week without an ouchie is basically unheard of.  We go through a lot of Band-Aids in our house, especially since my kids enjoy using them to accessorize their outfits.  Pick up a few boxes of your child's favorite superhero or princess, and let them enjoy wearing as many as they can all at once.  Believe me, I share your disgust when confronted with a used Band-Aid, but one box will keep your child occupied for quite some time, which is a win in my (lazy) parenting book.

Glitter stick.  I loved these as a kid, and even as an adult I find watching them to be rather zen.  Pick one up in your child's favorite color and enjoy their looks of wonder as they watch the glitter move from end to end.  Pro tip: keep an eye on older siblings who may be inclined to use the wand as a weapon.

Play-Doh.  The bane of every toddler parent's existence is opening up a jar of Play-Doh only to find it empty or, worse, dried out.  Sure, you can make your own for pennies on the dollar, but ain't nobody got time for that.  Order a giant batch of Play-Doh, throw a jar or two in each child's bunny basket, and stash the rest for emergencies.  If your kid enjoys eating Play-Doh as an appetizer like my daughter does, I want to remind you that the stuff is made with wheat flour, so if you have a kid with a wheat allergy you may have to spring for the fancy (read: expensive) gluten-free version.

Let me say this: I'm not a complete Grinch-who-stole-Easter.  I think you should absolutely put one high-quality chocolate bunny in each of your kid's baskets; that way you are guaranteed to have something decent to steal from their loot when a sugar craving strikes. 

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Fix My Wardrobe Bungalow Edition

Bungalow clothing review
I love having clothes delivered to my home!
The other day I was cruising the ol' Facebook, checking out the relationship statuses of my exes, when an ad for something called Bungalow Clothing popped up.  I'm not sure why the FB algorithm picked that particular ad, (perhaps it assumes that anyone stalking their exes on a Tuesday night at 7pm is a loser in need of a new wardrobe) but I was intrigued.  I'm a sucker for good fashion under the best of circumstances, but when it also mentioned that it's a box of clothes delivered to your home, I was sold.  You know there's nothing I love better than having things delivered, especially cute clothing.  I've been using Stitch Fix for a long time now, and while I was enamored of the service the first few times, the last couple of months I've been sorely disappointed in the selections they've sent.  The stuff in my box lately has been more "minivan Mom" than "MILF".  So, naturally I decided to give Bungalow a try.

Bungalow is different in that it's definitely a more high-end service - think Bloomingdale's rather than Macy's - and you don't have to pay a styling fee in advance.  You also get a lot more pieces in your box, and it's a more personalized service in that you email or text your stylist directly to communicate about size issues and to let them know when you're ready to send back your returns.

Once I requested my first "dressing room" the box arrived at my door a few days later.  Really, is there anything better than coming home to find a box full of beautiful clothes sitting on your doorstep?  Okay, maybe a back rub from your spouse without him pressuring you for sex. 

But I digress.

Bungalow clothing reviews
Inside the box is a print out with all the information on the clothes and their prices.  Each of the garments also has a price tag attached directly to it, which I LOVED, because with Stitch Fix I kept having to refer back to the price list every time I tried something on.  What Bungalow doesn't do, and what I loved best about my Stitch Fix boxes, is provide outfit suggestions.  The thing I struggle with the most in terms of dressing myself, aside from finding time to actually do so, is putting stuff together.  I really needed some expert guidance with a couple of the pieces in my Bungalow box, especially with a weird black lace kimono thing that really stumped me.

Let me reiterate, this is not an inexpensive service.  If money was no object, I probably would have kept most of the items in the box, but since I'm currently still paying off my student loans from that oh-so-lucrative degree in theater, I kept myself in check.  Personally, I'd rather spend more money on fewer, quality pieces that I know I'll wear over and over again, rather than $20 on something that's going to end up in a landfill.  Disposable fashion bothers the dirty hippie buried deep inside of me. 

So, here's what came in my box:

Bungalow Clothing review LNA Tank
LNA Slant Tank, $33.80
This tank is totally my jam.  It's super comfy, kind of edgy, and very practical for my life.  I'm wearing it here with this bralette and I know I'll wear it all summer long.  Great for the playground and casual date night with a pair of sexy heels.  KEPT

Bungalow Clothing reveiw Hudson jeans

Bungalow Clothing review
Hudson Ferris Midrise Flare, $83.60 and AS by DF Silk Cami in Gypsy White, $143.00
I actually thought this was a good price for Hudson jeans, and I was really torn about keeping them, but I just didn't think I would wear them enough.  They fit really well, and the flare is fun and different, but not really practical for my everyday life running around with kids.  The top is beautiful, but thanks to all that breastfeeding I did, I no longer have the boobs to make it work.  Also, I kind of thought it washed me out a bit.  RETURNED

Bungalow Clothing Review Bella Dahl jumper
Bella Dahl Drape Front Jumper, $207
This is basically like wearing pajamas in public, except that you don't run the risk of someone thinking you're an escapee from the local loony bin.  The jumpsuit is really comfortable, machine washable, and also flattering.  It was a little baggy in the chest area (thanks, breastfeeding) but the size they sent was a medium, so I emailed my stylist and they're sending me a small to try.  This is about $100 more than I prefer to spend on anything for everyday use, but I know I'll wear this all summer long and can even throw on a sweater for the cooler mornings that pass for "fall" in Los Angeles, so it will pay for itself.  Bonus points for the fact that I don't have to figure out what to wear with it, and it looks like I put in some effort getting dressed.  EXCHANGED

Bungalow Clothing review Paige Denim
Paige Edgemont High Rise Ultra, $229 and Gypsy 3/4 Sleeve Peasant Blouse, $154
The jeans are super cute, but I literally own three pairs of black skinny cropped jeans with zippers.  Hey, at least I'm predictable!  The top was absolutely gorgeous, but I didn't think I would wear it enough to justify spending that much money.  Also, it was silk, which means it's dryclean only and it stains easily, two traits that don't work so well for mom life.  I think that if I went to meetings with actual adults on a regular basis, and needed to look professional, this would be a good addition to my wardrobe.  Since my current work wardrobe is sweatpants and stained t-shirts, this one went back to Bungalow.  It was hard to part with, though! RETURNED

Bungalow clothing review Splendid drape front dress 
 
Bungalow clothing review Splendid drape front dress
Splendid Layered Dress, $138 and Chaser Lace Kimono, $128
Okay, so this outfit is a perfect example of why I hate, detest and abhor shopping for clothes.  I loved this dress when I pulled it out of the box.  Splendid is one of my favorite brands, especially when it comes to kids clothes, and I'm always a fan of soft knits in the color black, so I thought for sure this would be a home run.  Um, no.  The dress just looked like a big black sack and was super unflattering.  The kimono was weird to begin with and, as I said earlier, I had no idea what to pair it with, but together this outfit made me look like Morticia Addams.  Loose clothes don't work on my figure because I end up looking like a toothpick wearing a garbage bag.  RETURNED

Overall, I'm pleased with what Bungalow sent.  I also like that it's not a recurring service, and that you can request a dressing room whenever you want/need one.  I'll definitely use Bungalow again, and I think if I need something particular for an event (assuming I ever get a social life again) it would be a great way to find a great outfit.  I'm certainly willing to pay a bit more to look like a hot mom because #vain.  

Photos by the lovely and talented Amelia Borella for Misadventures in Motherhood. 

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Nap, Nap Gone Away

Why is he so bright-eyed and bushy tailed at 5AM?!
The Muffin Man is no longer napping.  Cue my tears.

Nap time is a stay-at-home Mom's favorite time of day.  Mainly because it's a welcome break from non-stop kid time, but also because it gives one a chance to get stuff done, like dishes, laundry, work, or, if we're being super real about it, watching the latest episode of The Bachelor.

What happens when the dreaded day arrives and your kid no longer needs a nap?

You run right out into oncoming traffic and throw yourself in front of a moving car!

I'm joking.  Though in a certain sense that does seem more pleasant than spending 12 non-stop hours with my toddler.

I know that the timing is appropriate - he's three years old, after all - but I'm loathe to give up the two hours of alone time that I've enjoyed for the past several years.  I know it sounds selfish, and that I should be happy to have two more hours during each day in which to enjoy my son's company, but this is reality, folks, and three year olds often act like the Devil's Spawn.  The only thing that's gotten me through the bad days thus far was the quiet respite of my hellion sleeping peacefully in his room.

The clues that we were in the twilight days of the afternoon nap have been creeping up on us for a while:

Later (and later and later) bedtimes.  I used to brag about having a kid who was fast asleep by 7:00pm every night, but Karma's a bitch.  In the last few months Noah wasn't falling asleep until 9 or 9:30pm.   Oh sure, the kid was in his bed, but instead of falling asleep in a matter of minutes like he used to, it became a two hour process of snacks and water and books and songs and monster searches and screaming at the top of his lungs to get out of bed.  You'd think all that activity would've worn the kid out, but it served to exhaust only one of us, and it wasn't him.  If you're falling asleep before your toddler, that's clue numero uno that it might be time to drop his nap.

Earlier (and earlier and earlier) wake up times.  I don't know about you, but I do not consider 5am to be an acceptable hour in which to start my day.  You can quote every study you can possibly think of about the circadian rhythms of toddlers and how it's natural for them to start their day before people are getting home from the after hours clubs, but Mama don't play that.  If you want to wake up before 6:45am, you better find a new family, kid.  On the days when Noah napped at school he would fall asleep super late and wake up super early and Mommy would be super grumpy.  If your kid is waking up before you used to get home from partying in your single days, it might be time to drop his nap.

Restless sleep syndrome.  When you have a newborn baby who wakes you up every 45 minutes, you dream of the mythical day when he or she will sleep through the night.  Your sexual fantasies no longer involve sex, just 12 hours of uninterrupted, life-affirming rest.  Once your kid starts sleeping through the night, you think you've reached the finish line of tiredness.  Oh, how wrong you are!  There are sick nights and nightmares in your future, and if your kid is sleeping too much during the day, chances are he's going to wake up every hour wanting to play with his toys.  Yes, this sounds cute but I promise it gets less and less cute every hour on the hour for six nights in a row.  If your kid is waking up and screaming about playing with Thomas the Train at 12am, 2am, and 4am, it might be time to drop his nap.

Three is the magical number.  Once kids turn three, they need less sleep.  I guess their brains and bodies aren't developing at as rapid a rate as they were when they were babies, so instead of requiring 16 hours of rest in a 24 hour period, they only need 12-13 hours.  If your kid is snoozing peacefully in the middle of the day for a couple of hours, then he's not going to need (or want) to sleep for very long at night.  Unfortunately, three is also the magic number when Mommy finally starts to think she's gotten the schedule all figured out, and then the nap dropping throws that all to sh*t.

This, therefore, leads to a fork in the road for toddler parents: do you continue with the nap, and let your kid sleep less at night, just to maintain the semblance of peace in the middle of your day?

Or do you power through, running on caffeine and willpower, all the while reminding yourself that it will be worth it when your kid falls dead asleep at 6:30pm?

I'm firmly in the latter camp.  Sure, I miss that respite from parenting in the middle of the day - my house is filthy, I've fallen behind at work, I haven't showered for who knows how long - but I'd far rather have my evenings to myself.  That 6:30pm bedtime gives me plenty of time to catch up on trashy TV, and The Bachelor is so much more enjoyable when viewed while drinking a large glass of wine.

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Doctor Delivery

Is there a doctor in your house?
Parenting is ruled by Murphy's Law, especially when it comes to sickness.  Children never, ever get sick on Mondays, they always (always) start running a fever at 4:30pm on Friday afternoons, when it's too late to get to the Pediatrician's office.  If kids do happen to come down with something at a normal time during the week, say Tuesday at 11am, that's sure to be the one day that you have an important business lunch scheduled that you absolutely cannot cancel in order to rush your child to the doctor.

Honestly, there's never really a good time for your kid to be sick, mostly because it makes you sad to see your child miserable, but also because kids who aren't feeling well tend to act like total assholes.  I get it - I'm pretty sure that I'm a raving bitch when I have a cold, and my Husband with his man cold is the worst - but whiny, screaming, bored-out-of-their-minds toddlers take the award for "people who make me contemplate homicide".

After a week and a half of sickness, when my kids weren't getting better and in fact, the Muffin Man was getting worse (fever of 103 for three nights in a row), I knew that I needed to take the kids to see a doctor.  I really couldn't face having to drag both of my sick children out in the car, not when I myself also felt like death warmed over.  The alternative, a trip to our local urgent care, meant sitting around for two hours getting coughed on by the neighborhood homeless population.  I was weighing my options: be a good Mother and take my kids to the doctor, or stay home and pray that whatever was ailing them would eventually clear up, when one of my Mommy friends suggested I use heal and have a doctor come to my house.  I think we all know that I am a huge proponent of having anything and everything delivered to my door (hello, Amazon Prime) and the idea of not having to drag my sick kids to the doctor's office sold me immediately.  Okay, well that and the coupon code that she gave me.

I downloaded the app, requested a doctor within two hours, and a Pediatrician from UCLA (accompanied by her Physician's Assistant) showed up at my door an hour and 25 minutes later.  They brought everything they needed in a giant bag - not one of those old fashioned doctor kits as I'd imagined - and within 15 minutes it was determined that Noah had a horrible ear infection, Rose had a double ear infection that had gone to her eyes too (!) and that I was a terrible Mother.

The Doctor was professional, charming, and just to reiterate: standing in my kid's room examining him in his pajamas.  She emailed two prescriptions to my local pharmacy, and the Doctor and PA were on their way.

I know, you're worried about how much it costs.  It's $99, but use the code misadven20 for $20 off your first visit* if you're Jewish cheap.  Our insurance plan even covers a portion of the visits and counts it towards our deductible (which is amazing, since it doesn't cover much else).  I am never again going to force my sick kids into the car to trek to the Doctor's office, not when I can just tap the icon on my phone, stick them in front of a few Daniel Tiger episodes, and enjoy a glass of Mommy juice until Dr. feelgood arrives.

*valid for first time customers using cash pay only.  Expires 5/15/2016

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Five Ways Kids Will Change Your Marriage

The Hubster's birthday was on Sunday night so we celebrated the way old married people do: by falling asleep before 10pm.

I was thinking, as I sat across from Chris enjoying a rare dinner alone, how much having a child changes your relationship with your spouse.  I feel as though I'm beginning to sound like a broken record and that every post here at the Misadventures is just "blah blah, children change everything, blah blah" but it's really true.  You pop out a kid and in then poof! life as you know it is totally flipped on it's head and you're left standing there, holding an infant and bleeding from your lady parts, wondering what the fuck just happened?!

In the case of my marriage, I didn't expect the changes that parenthood has wrought.

Disagreements.  I don't care how rarely you fought when you were a childless couple in the bloom of romance, once you introduce a kid into the mix, you'll be shocked at how often you spar verbally.  Prior to having kids we never fought, and while I wouldn't say that we have actual fights per se, we do snap at each other and disagree about things much more often.  Whatever foibles your spouse has that you find annoying will seem infinitely more aggravating when you are exhausted and have a child screaming "I want juice!!!" in the background.

Parenting styles.  This is not something that even crosses your mind when you're considering having kids, but once that baby arrives and you actually have to raise it, you might find yourself taken aback at how different your and your spouse's parenting styles really are.  It's not such an issue during the newborn months (unless one of you is firmly in the attachment parenting camp and the other is not), but once the terrible twos rear their ugly head and you have to discipline your kids, you'll often find yourself at odds with the one person who is supposed to be on your side against the little dictators.  In our case, I'm an authoritative parent, and Chris is a permissive one, and while I think in the long run this is probably a nice combination for our children, we do drive each other crazy sometimes.

Connection.  Trying to have a conversation when you have children is basically a total waste of time. Unless you are capable of holding a train of thought while being interrupted every ten seconds, it's almost impossible to finish a discussion with another adult.  There's also very little alone time when you have kids.  Sure, you'll eventually climb into bed next to your spouse, but you're both so exhausted at the end of the day the last thing you want to do is actually converse.  It's difficult to find the time to connect the way you did before having kids, which means you often feel as though you don't really know what's happening with one another.  On the flip side, when you do get a chance to go out alone and talk without someone yelling "'SCUSE ME!!!" it's a little bit like having the opportunity to get to know your beloved all over again.

Sex.  Let's get real about sex after kids.  I don't mean the actual physical act of it - I've written before about that - but how it's just so...different.  First of all it's so much less often (unless, of course, you're a better woman than I), but when it does happen it's kind of better.  I mean, when you have children who are going to get up at 6am no matter what, you don't have time to waste.  You have a mission - to have an orgasm - and you are going to complete that mission.  I also think that once you've given birth and had total strangers look at your lady parts, you're far less inhibited than you used to be.  Heck, if your spouse can still get the hots for you after seeing you push a human out of your vag, everything else is pretty much gravy.  Pro tip: I suggest you shave the three months of leg hair growth before reacquainting yourselves in the biblical sense.  

Love.  The biggest surprise for me, by far, was how much my love for Chris grew once we had a child.  Seeing him meet the Muffin Man and the Little Lady for the first time made me cry.  I'm not the mushy, emotional type, so I'm sure that was just the crazy pregnancy hormones, but nevertheless I did shed a few tears.  As the years have passed and I've watched him care for our children, my love for him has actually increased.  It's different, of course, than the way it was when we first fell in love and it was new and exciting, but it's better.  Seeing my manly husband gently comb Rose's hair, or clean one of Noah's boo boos, kills me.  He's so gentle and kind and I'm reminded of why I chose him in the first place.

Even if the way he bribes our kids lollipops annoys the Hell out of me sometimes.

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

All I Want for My Birthday is Sleep

what moms really want
Super exciting birthday celebration plan: sleep
I'm definitely getting old: I've gotten to that stage in my life where the only thing I want for my birthday is sleep.  Okay, and maybe a little bit of Botox. 

The Hubs didn't get me Botox this year because he says I'm naturally beautiful (which just goes to show you that he is going blind in his old age) but he did get me sleep; by booking us in for a night at a hotel. 

As I sat on the terrace of our hotel room enjoying a glass of wine, gazing at the stars, and savoring the silence, I realized how much my birthday celebrations have changed since those days of wine and roses I like to refer to as "my 20's".

Birthdays, then:
Throw a rager.  Invite every single person you've ever met to celebrate your birthday.  Of course all the people from your acting class, as well as your drycleaner, and your car mechanic would want to celebrate the occasion of your 25th year.  Like these people have something better to do on a Wednesday night other than drink cocktails at some fancy bar in Hollywood?  Puh-lease.

Buy a fancy outfit.  Who cares if you only made $83 this month doing some extra work on Gossip Girl?  It's your birthday, and that means you need deserve a new dress.  Money is no object when you have 30 days to pay and Mastercard is footing the bill!  You buy yourself something you cannot in the least afford, that's probably covered in some sort of sequin, and that you very likely will never wear again.

Stay out all night.  If you're not drunk or high enough to hit up an after hours club, then you have not properly celebrated your day of birth.  The birthday party isn't over until the sun comes up and you and your real friends stumble into the local diner for a plate of greasy hashbrowns and a glass of hair o' the dog.  If you don't carry a pair of sunglasses in your evening bag, you are an amateur. 

Sexy times.  It's not a birthday unless someone is getting laid, and hopefully that someone is you.

Birthdays, Now:
Party no-hearty. The only party you plan on attending is the slumber party happening in your bed.  The one person invited to this party is you and possibly your spouse.  Even if you wanted to invite people to your party you no longer have any friends because you have children and they have ruined your social life.

Black tie very optional. No need to get dressed up for this party because you're wearing pajamas and you are not leaving your bedroom.  Throw on your favorite sleepwear and think about all the money you're saving by staying in.

Ain't nobody with kids staying out all night.  This party ends at 9pm, and anybody who is not on board with that end time can sleep on the couch downstairs (ahem, spouse).  Thanks to your children you often get to stay up all night due to fevers, vomiting, teething, your kids generally being an all around pain in the ass, and the last thing you want to do on your birthday is stay up all night.  If you are awake to see the sunrise you have done this birthday thing wrong and you deserve a do over.

Sex?  Is this some kind of joke?  I want to sleep.  That is not a euphemism for sex.  I am being completely f*cking serious here, people.  I don't want to waste my special child-free birthday time having sex.  Do you know what happens when you have sex?  Children.  Children happen when you have sex and they are the whole reason you need to leave home to get a decent night's sleep in the first place.