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.