Thursday, December 17, 2009


I am jumping the gun, I fully admit. But I couldn't help myself. And being super type-A, I had to be prepared.

Here are the outfits John + Lil Lady Lydon will be wearing home from the hospital (handmade by Rachel of Happy Hollis Design --
(Note to anyone who thinks this is bad luck: keep your trap shut!)

Monday, December 14, 2009

Poop question...'s a question I think all the mamas can relate to...

It's sneak into your sleeping child's room to check on him before you're off to bed...he's sleeping soundly...all cuddled up and smell poop.

Do you wake him up to change him?

- Healthy for the skin
- Maybe he'll sleep later in the morning
- It's just gross to sleep with poop!

- It is completely indeterminable if he will fall back to sleep easily
- If you wake him up, you may screw up his sleep pattern and he may wake up even earlier (yes, counter-intuitive, but true!)

And the winner is...

Thursday, December 10, 2009


I know there is a very limited time in which I will have control over what John wears and how he looks. And it's slipping away already. He's pretty much mastered the neck-bridge wrestling move (learned that name from his dada) which makes getting him into and out of clothes very challenging. (To see what I mean check this out: and imagine trying to get jammies onto a 20-month-old contorting in this manner).

And I figure if he's dressed, we're good. So when he pulled out the monkey pants from his Halloween costume and wanted to wear them, I was fine with it -- they're warm, he's getting to express his monkey-self, and why not?

So, while I still have my limited control over my boy's appearance, I think he's going to grow out his hair. We just went to get it cut a week ago (at a great place with Elmo videos, bubbles, balloons, lollipops, and prizes!), and I must say that the longer, floppy hair is preferred by the mama.

Here he is with his new shorter hair:

And with the longer, floppy hair (and a guacy face):
He even looks happier in the floppy-haired photo, don't you think? Maybe I like the longer hair because he was such a baldy for the 1st year of his life and I like the contrast.
Or maybe it's because he looks more like his mama with the blond locks. Hmmm...

Thursday, November 12, 2009


I'm at the 24 week depending on how you count, either 5 or 6 months pregnant (because women are actually pregnant for 10 months, not 9...since 40/4 is actually 10...not sure how that whole "9 month" thing came to be the popular rumor...). This is what I look like:
(Or a really close approximation since this photo was taken when I was pregnant with John...2nd baby is already getting the shaft.)

At this stage my normal clothes are too small...pants are mostly too tight (except the low-rise ones which I can still manage with a long-enough shirt) and my tops are too short (nothing less flattering than your stomach hanging out below your shirt hem...). But my maternity clothes are too big (pants are literally falling off me and shirts come down below mid-thigh...shirts would have been super-fashionable circa 1985).

So please accept my apologies for mooning you. I didn't mean it. (Except to that lady on the train -- I meant that).

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Pregnancy Brain

There is a phenomenon that happens to pregnant women called Pregnancy Brain. It's quite similar to sleep deprivation -- you seem fine to the casual observer, but have serious memory problems and often times will do things that just don't quite make sense.

Case and point:

I take the train to and from work, and drive to the train station. Since the train station's parking lot is tiny (and I feel you are also broadcasting that you've left your car there all day for anyone to take advantage of), I park on the residential streets around the station. Once a month the city preforms street cleaning so parking is banned on the south-bound side on Tuesdays and then on the north-bound side on Wednesdays. Parking on those days is especially difficult since there are only 1/2 of the usual spots available.

Yesterday was the first Wednesday of November, so parking was not allowed on the north-bound side. I drove around a bit and found a spot. Good to go, I parked and walked to the train, worked all day, took the train home and walked back to my car.

Or I should say I walked back to where my car had been.

As I approached my parking spot, I saw there was a Lexus parked there. I don't drive a Lexus. I looked at the spot, and then at the very large "NO PARKING 9am-12pm STREET CLEANING -- TOW ZONE" sign directly next to the spot. And I realized I am an idiot. I was parked perfectly well on the north-bound side of the street. Pregnancy brain.


So I start walking. It's like just over 1 mile to our house from the train station, so I figured I'd walk it and deal with finding where the heck my car had ended up along the way. (And have this time to vent and deal with the fact that I had just basically asked the city to tow my car -- please! I'll leave it right here for you!)

I called my boss, explained I am an idiot and would not be into work the next day (today). I called my nanny and told her I'd be late. I called my husband and complained to his voicemail (he was on a plane...which I knew but still wanted to drag him into the situation). Then I called 311 to find out how to get my car back.

They connected me to the District 6 pound. District 6 said they didn't have my car, and usually cars were just relocated for street cleaning and not towed (good to know). So I called the relocation people and they said no, they had not relocated any cars from where I had been parked.

Double crap. My car is gone. Lost. Because I'm an idiot. And have pregnancy brain.

I start thinking this all through -- I have the only car seat in my car. So we are going to have to buy a new car seat so we can get John around in Tom's car. But then what if they find my car? Can I return a slightly used car seat? Will insurance cover a rental car?

I get home, thank our nanny for staying a bit late (I think she was trying not to laugh at me), and start our night time routine with John. As John and I are sitting and watching Curious George (yes, he's under 2 years old and we let him watch some TV -- this is not a time to judge), I start telling him that I can't remember my walk from my car to the train that morning. I told him (yes, I told my 19 month old son) that I didn't remember turning the corner I would have to turn to get from my parking spot to the train...or walking up the street that I had parked on.

What was I doing while I walked to the train?
I was emailing Alexis.
What did I email to Alexis?
It was about the nose saline solution. And I told her I had just gotten rock star parking.


ROCK STAR PARKING?!?!?!?!?!?!??!????????????????????????

I was parked somewhere else!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

It all came back to me!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I KNOW WHERE MY CAR IS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Entirely a different street. And a different block.

And I am a clear sufferer of PREGNANCY BRAIN TO THE EXTREME!!!!!

Relief. (And annoyance!)

Tom drove me to my car this morning, and it was there, happily parked in a lovely spot with no restrictions what-so-ever.


Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Free candy!

I love dressing John up for Halloween! I am seriously considering having him wear his costume more often -- it's warm and he likes it (especially the feet), so why not?
And I had so much fun trick or treating with him and REFUSE to let the news story about what parents should really fear about Halloween ruin it for me. The news story that detailed that I shouldn't worry about people putting needles into popcorn balls, but what I should really worry about is all of the sex offenders and H1N1 laced candy that is going to be handed out.

Newspeople, please. We're all freaked out enough. Let us enjoy forcing our children to dress up like creatures and beg for candy from strangers.

They are just so cute doing it!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Dear Metra Rider (there may be cursing)

Dear Metra Rider,

When the train is packed full of commuters and every seat is taken, you do not have the right to take up an extra seat with your bag. And when the visibly pregnant lady asks you if she can sit in that extra seat, you definitely don't have the right to sigh and roll your eyes at her.

Allow me to assist in your confusion of where your bag should be placed -- you see that bag rack that runs the entire length of the train? Yes, the one about 1.5 feet from your lazy butt? It would love to fulfill it's destiny as the holder of your bag.

Consider this fair warning. If you do it again, the pregnant lady *may* sit on you.


One overly annoyed rider on behalf of all of your fellow commuters

Monday, October 12, 2009

Tough guy

My lil man has got me all figured out. One little "mama" out of his mouth and I'm ready to do whatever is needed. And if he adds his open arms reaching to me...well...let's just say some "parenting" experts would take exception to what they may see as the mama being played like a puppet.
But I'm ok with it. He's only going to be a baby for so long. So when he bumps his head and cries and rubs it while walking up to me for extra loving and sympathy, I'm ready to dish it out.

Some of you may be thinking, "But wait -- what if he really hurt his head?"

Well, take a gander at this:
One ripped off nail + Zero tears = He's got me all figured out.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Flu Shot

I hate the internet. I realize this is an ironic thing to say in a blog, but it's true. There's just too much information available, just sitting there ready to freak me out. And if you don't like the answer you found, you can always find another one to calm you down or freak you out more.

The most recent event topic I had to look up was the amount of mercury in a flu shot.

I got my flu shot a couple weeks ago, after my monthly OB visit where I was told to go get my flu shot. I completed the required form, indicating I am pregnant. Got the shot. Good for me and Lil Lady Lydon.

Next stop was Walgreens. While I was waiting at the pharmacy, another pregnant lady was talking to the pharmacist about her flu shot -- she needed one, and wanted to be sure she was getting the mercury-free type since she was pregnant.

What? Wait.

Was I supposed to specifically say I needed a mercury-free shot? First of all, I didn't know to ask for one. Second, I had already gotten the shot -- did I really want to know at this point if I had gotten a mercury-free one? No. Yes. I mean yes.

So I called the place where I got my shot and it turns out that no, I had not gotten a mercury-free shot. Even though I had indicated I was pregnant on the form. I was then told that the level of mercury in the shot was so low that there was more mercury in a tuna sandwich (which my doctor wants me to continue eating), and that the mercury-free shots are basically a marketing gimmick.

Well, what else was this mercury-shot-giver going to tell me?

So I called my doctor, and she confirmed -- nothing to worry about. So what do I do? Worry.

Then I go online to read about the levels of mercury on my own. And this is just one example of what I find:
Fucking internet.

So my next step was to email Tom and tell him what was going on and that I was told not to worry. Because I share my worry with those around me. He said not to worry.

So now I share my worry with you. But I'm not worried...

Wednesday, September 30, 2009


John and I are taking swimming lessons together because that boy needs to learn to swim (doesn't need to become a great swimmer or anything -- just needs to alleviate his mama's fears of him near water). So far he's liking the class enough -- likes throwing the toys into the pool, puts up with the lesson itself, and usually is done about 10 min before class ends. Good enough.

This past weekend as we entered the gym, we were told that the manager had decided that children were no longer allowed into opposite sex locker rooms.

Excuse me? Why?

Because, in the manager's ultimate wisdom, "indecent" things happen in a locker room that the opposite sex shouldn't see. This leads to several questions:
1. Does this manager have any idea where babies come from? John has seen it all -- trust me.
2. Does an 18 month old really have any idea what he is seeing? ...I mean come on.
3. What the heck is going on in that locker room?? Shouldn't that be policed a bit more rather than keeping the BABIES out?

And their solution -- use the family changing room. Of course. Because having naked women AND men together is MUCH MORE APPROPRIATE.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

For The New Baby!

What do you really need for a new baby? I mean when you already have 1 child, so you've gotten all of the basic stuff?

Not too much. Maybe a double stroller. A new set of bedroom furniture.

But not too much else...unless you have an Aunt who is *very* Aunt who insists that for the new baby what you really need is APPLIANCES! YES!

Welcome to our new dishwasher and refrigerator!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Lil Lady Lydon

The big news from the Lydon household is we're expecting a new addition (and I guess a new edition!) to join us in March. Our lil lady is due March 4, and caught mama and dada a bit by surprise!! We are SO excited, but honestly were not expecting the stork to drop her off so easily -- we had to go through IUI with John, and had an appt all set up to start our next round, when I started feeling a bit pukey...and food sounded gross...and I thought 'hey, wait a sec...' (well, actually one of my dear friends said to me "Are you pregnant?" while we were at lunch and I wasn't diggin' my turkey sandwich, to which I said "No no no. Can't be. Haven't started round 2 yet.") But I guess this lil lady takes after her mama and just wants to get things done. For which I am already grateful!

Now when I say we were not expecting this...let me really paint the picture for you. I was at work, after that lunch with my friend, and contemplating what I was going to have for lunch when I was pretty sure nothing would ever sound good -- and for those of you who know me well, you know I am not one to shy away from fact one of my favorite lunchtime conversations is "What are we going to have for dinner?"

So I decided on my way to Panera I'd stop at the CVS and get a pregnancy test. Just to see. And that way I could take it in the Panera bathroom because our bathroom at work is SO GROSS that I could NOT subject this moment to that environment. So, I ordered my sandwich, and while waiting headed off to the bathroom. Took the test. And there was no hesitation in that bugger.


I smiled and laughed...headed out to get my sandwich...with my little secret all tucked away in my head and solely mine for just a couple of minutes. Then I called Tom, asked him if he was alone or in a meeting (alone, good), and told him the news.

He actually said, "How did that happen?" Yes, shocked.

And apparently I was about 2 months along, which projected me straight to the top of the OB's "What the heck have you been doing? You must come in TODAY!" list. Hee hee. VERY happy to report all is A-OK.

Please meet Lil Lady Lydon:

Friday, September 11, 2009


Splash splash splash.

"Is something leaking?"

Lemme check.

"John! Take you hand out of the toilet. And your cell phone."

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Preparedness or trickery?

You need to be prepared. What if there's a flood? At night? And you need to be able to bring supplies to people who may be stranded in your living room? You just may need to wear rain-gear over your jammies while in a wagon. You never know.
Good thing we're practicing.
Or maybe your mama is just a little obsessed with cuteness and tricks you into these things.

Who knows.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009


Framing someone with a crime is easy. I've actually done it here, without even trying to. All you need to do is the set-up. Demonstrate that a person has motive and is capable of specific actions.

You all know John hates that damn White Sox gnome. (Motive -- check)
And you all know John threw him to the ground resulting in a broken gnome foot. (Capable of specific actions -- check check!)

After our fabulous nanny masterfully glued the gnome back together, somehow it ended up looking like this:

Now, whodunit??
All evidence points to John.
And John doesn't have an alibi (nor could he tell you one at this point).


(The plot-twist confession: Mama did it.)

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

The pain of teaching

It's so incredible and rewarding when your child learns something new from you. We're now working on teaching John where his eyes, nose, mouth, ears, fingers, toes, etc are. We have books about loving all the parts of him and as we read, we point out his features ("inside" is a hard one to point out -- any suggestions? Don't want to confuse it with "mouth" or "tummy"...).

And he's got a few of them down. He'll grab his toes, point to his tummy. But as I've said before, he is not the most delicate with his movements. He'll say "eye" and poke you right in the eye.
And then last night, while we were rocking in his chair and getting ready for bed, I was pointing his nose, and he reached up, and scratched a perfect little nail mark right into the bridge of my nose. Yes, he drew blood. But he's learned "nose"! Success.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Johnny Rotten

Even before I was pregnant with John, Tom proclaimed he wanted to name his next son John. Not Johnathan, but John. I like the name John, but needed some rationale before I agreed completely to this name. Tom's reasons were 2-fold:

(1) His first son's name is 'Sean', which is 'John' in Gaelic and since Tom is 1/2 Irish he thought that was cool.
OK...this seemed like a good reason to me. Sean's awesome, so sharing his name is perfect. And the whole heritage aspect was pretty neat. (BTW, I'm part Irish as well...which I added silently to his rationale.)

(2) Tom always respected John Lydon (aka Johnny Rotten), lead singer of the Sex Pistols.
Wow. Really? OK. How to not agree instantly...must learn more about this guy before I agreed to name my first born child after some random punk rock singer. I mean, come on, "Rotten" is in this guy's nickname! Is that really a mother's dream for her child?

So I read Johnny Rotten's biography (albeit quite skeptically at first, I admit), and I must say, he was a pretty cool guy. The type of guy who challenged authority not just because he didn't like rules, but he wouldn't accept rules if they didn't make sense. He dressed...well...uniquely.

He didn't like it when his fans imitated his style, but rather told them they should wear what they want to wear, not just copy him. I like that.

Our John Lydon may be well on his way to a music career as well. Not sure about the whole "punk rock" aspect...currently he's more of a "Stomp your feet, clap your hands, let's get ready for a barnyard dance" type of musician.

But you've seen the headband. So who knows!

Monday, August 3, 2009

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Mean Toys

Of course you want to give your child everything. All the cool new toys. Every great blinking/bubble blowing/self-propelled gadget around. All the fun educational toys that help him learn and also teach mobility skills and such. And once he has all the toys, you want to ensure he knows how to share. Playing is more fun if you share.

And then you meet the mean toys.

We have 1 new mean toy that taunted John yesterday. We were outside, and he spotted Tom's new White Sox garden gnome.

Cute right? And Tom had strategically placed him to peek out from our evergreen bushes. John saw him, picked him up, and hugged him -- so adorable!! Then carried the gnome to the walkway, gently put him down (well done -- 'gentle' is not always a word I would use for John's placement of objects), and then tried to play catch with the gnome. And I don't mean throwing the gnome -- I mean he wanted the gnome to share the baseball and let John play with it. John is a good sharer, and that damn gnome just wouldn't give up the ball! Mean mean mean.

John sought his revenge indirectly. He proceeded to walk over to our innocent second garden gnome (oh we have a collection?) and knocked him over. See? If you don't share, I'll beat up your friends.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Mama vs. Sheep

This weekend Tom and I took John to the Wicker Park Fest, where they had a Kids Fest section. Really cute, fun stuff like punk hair-dos and face painting...much of which John was too young for...but they had this music stage where John quickly became the dancer and made his mama and papa very proud...rock on.

And there was a petting zoo -- perfect! We paid our entry fee + the extra $1 for a cup of feed. We got into the "zoo" area and I had flashbacks to when Cindy and I were attacked by goats who had no problem jumping head-height on us to get that damn bag of food. And instantly I looked around and sized up the animals around us. Sheep, goats, huge geese, an enormous pig, and a hen. We were outnumbered. But I could take 'em.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Diapers, please.

Will someone please improve diapers? Seriously. The diaper companies know they've trapped us. There's really no good solution. And those suckers just don't work well.

When John was a bity baby, inevitably every day he'd poop up his backside. EVERYDAY. And often it was multiple times a day. Come on. And once his poop leaked out of the leg of his diaper and ended up INSIDE MY SHORTS. It's been years since I had poop in my pants, and there I was with someone else's poop in my pants (luckily I'd given birth to him, so it actually wasn't that gross...). And yes, we were putting the diaper on correctly. And no, he didn't poop more than the average baby (but he did spit up more than the average geyser).

And now, still, every morning, he wakes up with wet jammies. What a sad way to exit dreamland! This weekend he was SOAKED. Sheet and bedding included. And he wears what claim to be "overnight" diapers. I checked with 3 parents and all 3 said their kids have the same problem. So that means the diapers have a customer satisfaction rating of 0%. But we're all still using them since there's not an option.

At least John's a happy guy in the morning, after we get the wet clothes off of him. I got him into a clean diaper and t-shirt and he said "I'm ready!" which means time to go downstairs (no pants required!).

But he was in his "Born to Rock" shirt, so he had to wear a headband (which Tom puts up with...and I think secretly likes...).

Thursday, July 9, 2009

My son, Bob.

I must remind myself that not everyone is familiar with children's gear. And I (often) make statements that just don't make sense once the words have come out of my mouth. And I'm sure the lady on the street corner was very nice, and probably brilliant in other ways...

There John and I were, waiting for the light to change. As usual, he was in his super-cool BOB Revolution stroller.

For those non-parents in the crowd, the BOB strollers are everywhere right now. It's like they've figured out a way to reproduce and have multiplied like rabbits at the parks. The models mostly look the same, so they're easy to spot from a distance. And they all have a big "BOB" embroidered on the front.

So there we are, standing on the corner, next to a lady. She had a dog, so we were quite interested in her. She looks over at us, takes in the stroller, and then asks John, "Is your name Bob?" To which I say, "No, the stoller's name is Bob." She thinks I'm being flip. So she walks away. But I'm being serious. And she took her dog with her, which was sad.

This makes me wonder, does she think there's been a slew of children named "Graco" recently?

Monday, July 6, 2009

Eat me. Drink me.

You know how when you go to a restaurant and order dinner, the meal that your fellow diners ordered often times looks SOOOOOO much better? Eve if it's the same thing you ordered, for some reason they just got the better dish? Meal-envy.

And then you know how when you smell or taste something rotten (like spoiled milk), your reaction is to have whomever is with you smell and taste it as well? "EW! This is gross! Here, smell this."

These two things combine themselves in babies and you end up with these events:
1. Baby will insist your food is better than his, even when it's the EXACT SAME thing. Like Cheerios. The Cheerios in my bowl are just better. And there's no trickery here -- I cannot eat out of John's bowl to convince him that his cereal is really the better bowl. Nope. Mama's got the goods.

Really, I think his bowl is cooler, anyway. Maybe I should start eating off the Mickey dishes.

2. Baby will share food with you. And when I say "share food", I do not necessarily mean the food from his plate. Sometimes it's the food from his mouth. Pre-chewed turkey. Pre-sucked apple. I know sharing is an awesome thing to have a baby want to do. So we must encourage the turkey? Yes. This is especially amusing when done in public. Well, maybe not amusing.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Order and process. And pee.

While I was pregnant, I read all sorts of books about what a baby needs, and the overwhelming #1 recommendation from all of the experts was: A baby needs routine. (I think "love" came in a close 2nd...).

With this in mind, we've tried to set up a schedule for John, which John modifies as needed.

Our planned bedtime routine:
  • 6:30 pm -- bottle of milk and Curious George
  • 6:45 pm -- upstairs for a bath or to change into jammies
  • 7:15 pm -- in jammies, reading books
  • 7:30 pm -- bottle of milk (yes, another bottle), rocking, nighttime music, snuggling, bed
  • 8:00 pm -- asleep

John's morphed version of the routine:

  • 6:30 pm -- bottle of milk and Curious George (good start!)
  • 6:45 pm -- turn off the receiver, try to open the DVD player, try to play with the stones in the fireplace
  • 6:50 pm -- figure out why the office door is closed
  • 6:55 pm -- maybe time for a wagon ride??
  • 7:00 pm -- get picked up by mom or dad and race the other one up the stairs (mom's fast)
  • 7:05 pm -- escape the room dressed in a diaper and run into Sean's room to check and be sure it's all OK, and play the piano while there
  • 7:10 pm -- get locked into the bathroom for bath time, push all of the shampoo and soap bottles into the tub, move the trashcan
  • 7:15 pm -- Splash!!
  • 7:20 pm -- mom wraps John in a froggy towel and rushes to get him diapered, lotioned and jammied, John brushes his teeth (yes! brushes his own teeth!), dad rinses the tub
  • 7:30 pm -- comb hair and hang up towel
  • 7:35 pm -- read books, find the Snoopy Sox Pez dispenser that plays music and *insist* and hearing...a few times...
  • 7:40 pm -- help dad wind the clock, help mom select the CD and start the music (John is much better at pressing buttons than mom)
  • 7:45 pm -- bottle of milk, rocking, talking, sticking fingers up mom or dad's nose, more talking
  • 8:00 pm -- into the crib to "sleep"...most likely to talk more, since there is so much to tell George about the day!
  • 8:15 pm -- help George escape the free lil monkey!
  • 8:30 pm -- collapse and sleep with head pressed against the corner of the crib

And so you know the characters in this entry, here's George:

All in all, not a bad version of the original plan.

In the morning, we have a very quick routine. Tom and I alternate who gets John each morning (and we each wish secretly – and not so secretly – that John would sleep in more on our morning!). This morning was my turn. So it should have gone like this:

  • 6:30 am -- John starts talking, wakes mom up
  • 6:35 am -- mom has John's milk ready (after a very blurry trip to the kitchen), and gets greeted by a very excited boy who just LOVES the morning! WOOHOOO!
  • 6:40 am -- milk has been drunk, time for a quick diaper change
  • 6:45 am -- time to play!

But this morning, things did not go quite as planning. When I went to get John, he was not happy. His jammies were wet (I wouldn't be happy either). So I needed to change him. But he was crying. And didn't want to be put onto the changing table. So I tried to change him quickly. Which is so sad. Because then you have a crying boy who just wants to be held, but he's covered in pee and needs to be changed, and since he doesn't want to be changed, he's twisting and turning. Which is making the changing take longer and longer. And we're struggling with each other because he can't stay covered in pee but he just wants to be picked up. And it's *really* hard to change a baby while holding him. And I'm now sweating so I'm convinced he's too warm, but he's naked, so maybe he's cold. So if I could just get him diapered and dressed, I'm sure things would be better. But I've also convinced myself that I'm emotionally scarring him for life since he wants to be held and instead I'm pinning him to a table.

Of course, he recovers instantly. I am going to need therapy.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Sorry, John.

Having a baby is kind of like having an attention-deflector. It doesn't matter how I look, as long as John is looking super cute people seem to assume I am as well (and I mean really doesn't matter how I look...I'm honestly not sure if people notice if I shower). And if I can't find anything matching to wear, all I need to do is dress John like me and everyone thinks we're adorable (I use this tactic often...see the 1st picture I posted...)

It's usually easy to keep John scoring high on the cuteness-scale since he is one damn good looking kid (if I do say so myself!)

But then yesterday happened.

We had been playing in the splasher-sprinkler he was layered in sunblock and soaking wet, and his diaper had split so those annoying jelly-like ball things were falling out everywhere. We took off his swim suit, did a quick diaper change, and it was time for dinner (hot dogs and tater-tots...and ketchup...and yes, we know ketchup isn't a vegetable).

He ate in only his diaper and a bib (I hear his Aunt Cindy gasping...). After dinner we put a t-shirt on him.

And then our doorbell rang. It was our neighbors who are moving out from across the street, with their little girl.

Let me set the scene:

Neighbors' daughter: Matching strawberry tank top and skirt, pink sandals, outfit complete with a perfect bow in her hair.

John: T-shirt, sagging diaper, ketchup on his ear, dirt between his fingers and toes, hair standing up every-which-way thanks to the SPF 50 that mama layers on that pale-skinned boy.

I described the scene to our nanny this morning and she asked if I was embarrassed...poor John!
But I can see how this happened. Our dear friend (and kickass photographer) Missy came over a few years ago, and asked if she could take some pictures of us *as we were*. With no's what we looked like:

Awesome picture. (Notice the beer bottle...the Christmas wreath on the garage wall...the sprinkler...) This is what John's contending with.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

What goes up...

I think everyone knows when a baby comes into the house, things have to be rearranged. Furniture gets moved in, toys go everywhere, and all dangerous items have to be moved out of the reach of the lil hands. As the body that those lil hands are attached to gets more mobile and that mind gets more curious, the "danger" items have to be moved higher and higher and more into the center of tables rather than the edges. So your home ends up with not-to-be-touched items on display in oddly shaped piles. My best friend's husband calls this stuff "sit arounds," which I like. All these things do it sit there. But they're pretty. And completely non-functional.

(Disclaimer: you *may* just get annoyed one day at the piles and throw it all away...cuz I'm not organizing it...).
In addition to the "safety" reorganization that you do, your baby does some rearranging of his own. Now all the items left within his reach have been sanctioned for his touch, so he touches them all. And carries them. Room to room. And finds great new places for them. And since you have to wrestle any non-approved items from him and deal with the related "I can't live without that butter knife!" fit, you relent and let him play with whatever else he wants. Including the TV remote which you swore up, down, and sideways that you'd never do.

Let's take a quick tour of our home:
Starting in the master bathroom, we have a wooden candle holder on the floor, Mama's toothpaste in the shower (yes, we each have our own toothpaste due to an unfortunate incident in college which ended up with my needing a fake front tooth), the pull-stick from our drapes leaning against the wall, Mama's hairbrush on the floor (but it is SO cute to watch him try to brush his hair!)...moving to the bedroom we have one shoe on the dresser, the Who Says Quack book next to the TV, Dad's alarm clock on the bed...we get downstairs and find Dad's toothpaste on the kitchen counter, Mama's sunglasses in the wagon, and...where the heck is my right sandal?

Found it -- on the bathroom sink, of course. I need a map.

Monday, June 22, 2009

And behind door #2

I've heard before that for the 1st year of your kid's life you try to get them to walk and talk. Then for the next 17 years you try to get them to sit down and shut up. I even know a set of parents with 3 children who have decided they are not ready for their youngest to walk they knock her over when she tries (is it bad to laugh at that image?)

All those initial baby-firsts are so exciting...smiling, eating, rolling (which for my lil guy happened to be witnessed by the maid at our hotel in Galena -- such the show-off! And such the baldy too!)

First roll...

Then come the first steps. Awesome. He's able to move around so much more quickly...and able to fall so much further and faster! It's all a part of being a baby. I get it. Falls happen. Gravity's not a friend of baby-noggins. And it definitely won the battle yesterday -- 4 falls leaving multiple bruises on his entire face. Plus a scratch from who knows where.

(Yes, that's a bruise on his forehead.)

But then the real trouble starts -- the first DOOR OPENING. My lil man was always trapped in whatever room we were in. Like a jail of love and safety. Until last week.
Yes, he has broken out.
And this leads to 2 problems I encountered while showering:
1. Obvious safety concern of a boy on the loose.
2. Unfortunate alignment of our shower - bathroom door - front windows - neighbor's front windows.
Now I need to duct tape his butt to the floor. At least I like our neighbors.

Thursday, June 18, 2009


Father's Day is a friggin' gold mine for any retailer selling to moms of infants.

My son was born in March 08, so for his first Father's Day, he was 2.5 months old. My husband had *strongly* hinted that he wanted a new digital camera (to the point where the ad for a specific camera just happened to appear directly on top of our bar). Being the fabulous wife that I am (and because I, too, wanted a better camera, but don't tell him), I packed our lil guy up into his snap-and-go and off we went to our local camera shop.

When we pulled into the lot, my boy was sleeping happily in the back. Perfect! Snapped him out and go we did. Into the shop. The salesman acknowledged me immediately and indicated he'd be with us in just a couple minutes. This was a brilliant move on his part. I knew he saw me, and he knew I had a sleeping baby. His tactic provided just enough time for my son to wake up. Excellent. Introduction of the Gold Mine Customer. I had about 3 minutes until crying would begin. And the salesman, I am SURE, could see my tension. He walked over...

Salesman: Can I help you?
Me: This is going to be the easiest sale you've had all day. I need the camera. The one from the ad.
Salesman: I know which one you mean. Let me get it. Would you be interested in a package deal we are offering -- the camera plus its plush camera bag plus an additional lens.
Me (making eye contact with my 2.5 month old): Yes, yes. No problem. Sounds great.
Salesman (realizing he has hooked the ultimate GMC): How about a book we sell to introduce the various features of the camera? We also offer Nikon classes which will answer any questions about how to...
Me (seeing the squirming begin): Yes. I'll take it all. Please ring it up quickly.
Salesman: Great! Would you like help to your car? (Which he knew I needed since he had just sold me 2 huge bags of camera-related stuff and I was still carrying the snap-and-go. But at the same time, he didn't have to by extending this offer, he was somehow going above-and-beyond...helping the mom-in-need...which I knew then and still think is slimy. So I'm writing in green.)
Me: Yes. Let's go. Thanks. (Thanks? For taking advantage of the mama?)

Glad to report my husband LOVED the camera (so do I!). And he was thoroughly happy with and surprised by all of the bells and whistles...none of which have been used to date. All, please take this opportunity to admire the case + lens -- this is quite possibly the only time they will ever been seen...except by those who happen to be hunting for crumbs under our office desk:

And we're about to go through it again. My son is still not quite trustworthy enough to create some fabulous work of art for his dad. He'd at least taste the paint. He'd definitely eat the clay. So for one more year, I am the GMC. But this year I'm not going to the store. I'm sending my hubby with my credit card. Dangerous, yes. Easier, yes. And I'm all about the non-stress approach least I bought him a card.

Next year, he gets a hand-print.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009


I'm sure everyone has heard a million times that when you're a mom, it's absolutely impossible to not obsess over every tiny thing that could harm your baby. True. And there are thousands of things out there to obsess about -- Did the kid in the swing before your baby just cough*? It's 71 degrees...should he wear a long sleeved shirt? Now it's 72, maybe he's too warm? The first time he has nuts, should we be in an ER just in case?

And then there are those crazy circumstances which completely sneak up on you. You think you are in complete control. You are happily driving along...singing "I'm Having a Meltdown" (which, BTW, is a fabulous CD!!) with your lil one clapping encouragingly, safely secured in his big-boy car seat.

And you sneeze.

I have never in my life been able to keep my eyes open when I sneeze. I've heard if you do, your eyeballs will shoot out of your head (picture stolen from MTV page. Please don't sue me.).

So after all the preparations, all the baby classes, all the advice (and advice and advice) you've gotten...after you have accepted that your child will not be abducted by aliens in the middle of the night even if the monitor is turned is it that you have been completely blindsided by a sneeze that creeps up while you're driving?

I can only find one remedy to this situation (although I did have a vision of wearing goggles so that if I do happen to keep my eyes open, my eyeballs will hopefully remain somewhat intact. And I must admit that the current big sunglass trend isn't too far from this...).

I apologize now to anyone driving behind me. I am going to be that annoying driver you silently -- and not so silently -- curse for braking in the middle of the street for no apparent reason. Maybe I should get one of those tacky "Baby on Board" signs. (And coincidentally, the word for "thank you" in Lithuanian sounds very much like "Achoo". So achoo for understanding I had to achoo.)

*Shameless use of cute picture

Monday, June 15, 2009

et tu, Anita?

Let me preface this posting by saying I know my son will not be abducted by aliens, was not born into a radical cult, and that no one is stalking me because they are convinced my son is the savior of something or another. That said, I can no longer watch TV shows like CSI or Criminal Intent without nearly bursting into tears at any plot dealing with a child in any way...especially if that show resembles my life with any minute detail…say like the mom is blond, or the dad looks Italian. I used to watch these shows all the the point that I had seen all of the episodes available for free on On Demand. (My husband can vouch for this -- although I don't think you'd get him to admit he married a TV-cop-show-junkie.)

But I can still read all the books I want to...or so I thought. My favorite author is Anita Shreve. So Friday while at lunch (after the horror of the $75 t-shirt) I went to the bookstore for my fix. Got the new Shreve novel, and dove in on my commute home. It starts off with instant drama (won't ruin it for any fellow Anita-lovers). Fab. Then Chapter 2. A mom. She took a Wednesday off work to take care of her doctors' appts...3 of them...derm, dentist, gyno. And before she could start the day, she gets a call about her son. Not a good call.

OK. So this week, I AM TAKING WED OFF OF WORK for 3 DOC APPTS!! Yes...DERM, DENTIST, and GYNO! Are you kidding me?? Again, I am still somewhat grounded in reality and I am not going to do anything insane (although I did consider adding a 4th appt so I wouldn't have the EXACT same plan as this novel character), and I know this is just an odd coincidence, but what the hell?

Friday, June 12, 2009


It's finally a beautiful day (Mr. Sunshine has been winning a months-long game of hide-and-seek here) so I took a walk at lunch...and got sucked into a clothing store. The store's claim is that they are a "Lifestyle Shop for Moms". Supercute, right? Well. I'm pretty sure these women aren't moms. And they may not even have had moms. Case and point -- I walked up to the sale rack (because I always walk up to the sale rack)...started browsing...found a cuteish t-shirt top...DISCOUNT PRICED AT $75! OK. Maybe it was mispriced. I looked further...and found that I had actually spotted the best deal on my first try.

So. A Lifestyle Shop for Moms, eh? Really. Are these the moms who spend the morning in their jammies and only ever try to get dressed after leaving the house...say in the front yard? Or the moms with the kids that don't spill, eat with their fingers, use markers, or share pre-chewed yummies? I know lots of moms. And not a single one would pay $75 for a t-shirt (and I really do mean t-shirt -- I'm not exaggerating) since chances are nearly 100% that the shirt will end up with lots of 'love' on the form of syrup and mud.

Let me take a gander at my outfit today...sweater from Old Navy...jeans complete with a very fun Target belt...and my favorite purple Chucks.

That's how I roll.

Thursday, June 11, 2009


There's a great quote about parenthood which perfectly details that the main difference between life pre and post children is moisture -- the incredible amount of moisture you have in your life after having a baby in truly awe inspiring (and maybe a bit gross). I will attribute the quote to Robin Williams, but I'm really not sure if he said it...(that's another difference between pre and post children...I would have hunted the quote down and ensured it was validated and time stamped before I was a mama. Now I'm happy I've remember the basics of it...).

BTW, the one liquid that no one tells you about is your pee. After giving birth, you can't control your bladder for a couple days. At all. Every time you stand up you pee. Why does no one warn about this? It's critical information. After receiving a concerned text from my best friend after she gave birth, I asked my husband if he remembered how long it took me to stop peeing upon verticalness. It went something like this:

Friend: How long until I stop peeing when I stand up?
Me to Friend: 2 days. Then 1 week til you are comfortable that you won’t pee standing up. Then 2 weeks til you’re back to really OK.
Me to Husband: Hun, Friend just asked me how long it will take til she stops peeing when she stands up! Remember that?
Husband: No…

Me to Friend: Friend, don’t worry, your husband won’t remember.

My lesson here was it's OK to pee on the floor. As long as you have something more distracting to occupy your husband.

So the reason I'm writing about moisture is that this morning I had what I'm calling a 6th grade scientific realization.
Question: Are smooshed bananas a liquid? Let's see...

Do they maintain their mass? Yes. Check.
Do they maintain their shape? No. Check check.
Will they take the shape of whatever container in which they are placed? Check check check!
We have a liquid! (Mr. Phipps would be so proud!)

Needless to say, this experiment led to my need to change clothes, or at least some of my clothes...since I don't think you can tell my shirt has banana on it.

Luckily I wore a multi-colored yellow shirt today...kinda like walking around in a fruit-smelling water color painting.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Who's the mama?

It's the little things that keep me grounded. I come home after a day's work, and my son is so excited to see me he's nearly crying...and I reach for him...and he grabs my KEYS!! Yes! Mama brought home the keys! And I get my lovin' from him...keys in hand. Nothing against my keys -- they are nice...

Love it.
We have our special time before dad gets home, and lil man walks all over the place bringing me little boy treasures, calling me 'Mama Mama Mama' (melting my heart!) while he hands me a shoe, a puzzle piece, the empty milk bottle.

Then we see the garage door open and dad's home! And he goes running to the door (more like wobbling quickly) and the door opens and he calls to dad 'Mama Mama Mama'! And it still melts my heart. I've convinced myself what he's really saying to his dad is "I love you, too, just like I love my MAMA MAMA MAMA!!" I'm sure that's it.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

I'm a mama.

I'm a 34 year old woman/wife/sister/daughter/niece/in-law/cousin/friend/ninja-in-my-mind with an MBA and a black belt, and somehow I've managed in the past year to become an all-encompassed mama. That's my identity now. I am the mother of a boy who didn't exist 2 years ago...and I have no idea what I was doing with my time before he arrived. Somehow I filled it...I must have had hobbies I don't remember. It's kind of a funny rule -- give someone (OK, me) any amount of time or space and I can fill it up. I could live in a 10,000 square foot house and still need a bigger basement.

I briefly considered not posting my picture so I could remain somewhat anonymous to talk about things and people without being judged in my "real" life. And I say "somewhat" because it really isn't possible to remain completely downlow. Not when you have a 15 year old stepson who's pretty much figured out how to hack into NASA and doesn't think it's any big deal...easy peasy.

So this is me.