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How to be the perfect parent…

21 Mar

Cheaters blog alert! Not every wise word written on parenting comes from me, didn’t you know?? ūüôā so every now and then I’ll re-post an awesome article or blog. It’s cheating and I have no regrets.

I read this today and felt like the words came straight from my addled, malnourished brain. Enjoy!

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/mobileweb/una-lamarche/how-to-be-a-perfect-parent_b_2888253.html

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Remind you of anyone?

13 Feb

A good friend passed this onto me yesterday. Hilarious.

http://www.scarymommy.com/when-mother-knows-best-its-the-worst/

Bob on K-Stew

27 Jul

Just because I was bored this morning, and it’s been a while since we’ve had a good Bobism….
Me: So what do you think about Kristen Stewart cheating on Robert Pattinson?
Bob: I think I can’t believe anyone with a life cares about it.
Me: Do you even know who they are?
Bob: Yeah, they are the vampire people. Aren’t they in high school?
Me: No, they are in their 20’s.
Bob: Who cares? Everyone cheats on everyone in Hollywood anyway.
Me: Yes, but she actually came out and made a statement. Someone must have had something on her for her to do that.
Bob: Whatever, they’re all stupid.

How to get Kicked out of Your Mommy Group

26 Jul

My playgroup friends and I were having a discussion recently about the topics that come up on a local listserv we all belong to. There seems to be a rotation of hot-button issues that come up every so often and are always sure to stir up strong reactions.  I often wonder if the poster realizes what a hot, messy shit storm he or she (usually a she) is about to start when they innocently ask a new mom question about breastfeeding, sleeping, pacifiers, behavior, eating, food choices, education and the like.

It usually goes something like this:

“My pediatrician/ mother/ friend/ nanny told me that Baby is having a reaction to cows milk/ formula/ a food/ my boob/ our shampoo/ sleeping next to me/ public education/ our pet/ our water supply/a recent vaccination/ ¬†his daycare/ his crib and I’m wondering if anyone has any advice on alternatives?”

*Sigh*  Poor Mom. She has no idea what questions like this to do the seasoned mothers on the other end of this message, just dying to opine on why what they did with their child was best, or what new research they uncovered from a study in the UK.   Of course, this is a broad generalization.  Most moms offer good, sound advice and keep their judgements to themselves.  But there are always a select few that start violently typing away, ready to explode with self-righteous indignancy.

Because of the latest crop of posts, I was inspired to develop a sure fire way for you moms to alienate your other mom friends.  Whether you are just tired of hanging around with them, or just feel like totally effing with someone that day, these are guaranteed to get you kicked out of your playgroup!  Trying just one or two is likely to get you a raised eyebrow here and there.  Three or four will get people whispering about you after you leave.  But if you incorporate at least five of these in the same playgroup, you are happily on your way to being black balled, and free to seek out other like-minded and enlightened moms such as yourself.

  1. “Why in the world would anyone use formula?¬† I mean, its absolute POISON.¬† Have you seen the ingredients in it?¬† Any mother that uses formula obviously hasn’t tried hard enough to breastfeed and doesn’t care about their baby.¬†”¬† Follow that up with a casual “I am planning on breastfeeding until Bobby is at LEAST three years old,” and you are instantly the judgemental hippie in the group.¬† Well done.
  2. “I just read an article in Canadian World Health weekly that said vaccinations are directly related to autism.¬† I have decided since everyone here is vaccinated, we are in no danger.¬† I’ve asked my pediatrician to send all of our health paperwork to my new Shaman, who will be my spiritual health advisor from now on.”¬† Throw on a dash of petchouli before you come to playgroup that day and you have nailed it.
  3. “What do you mean you still use a pacifier?¬† Don’t you know that hinders speech development and will cause buck teeth?¬† Get rid of that thing now!”
  4. Announce this just as one of your weary-eyed, sleep deprived mom friends is on her third cup of coffee, lamenting about how difficult its been to get her infant to sleep consistently “You should just let him sleep with you. Johnny still sleeps in our bed.¬† Its because letting a child cry is cruel and unusual.¬†Studies have shown that children who are left alone to¬†cry in their cribs develop psychological disorders in adulthood. ¬†I don’t understand how any parent can willingly sleep train a child or Ferberize or whatever.¬† Its getting a little cramped now that he is four, but we make do.”
  5. And while that mom is pouring milk or cream into her coffee… “We’ve just decided to switch Julia to Almond milk.¬† Do you know we are the only species on Earth that drinks ANOTHER animal’s milk?¬† Our digestive systems were not made for that.¬† And soy milk causes cancer.¬† That’s what my Shaman told me.¬† If you’re feeding your toddler the right things anyway, he or she won’t even need the fat from Cow’s milk.”
  6. “My sister in Manhattan only got 8 weeks of maternity leave.¬† Can you IMAGINE? She has a nanny coming to take care of her baby.¬†I mean, I give her credit.¬† I think its great that she is confident enough in herself as a woman to allow someone else to raise her child.¬† It must be so hard.¬† I don’t think I could ever do it.¬† We’ve had to cut back on a lot, but in the end, Brady’s well-being is what matters.”¬† Say this to the mom who is about to go back to work full-time and you have earned yourself a spot in the Bitch Hall of Fame!
  7. “Our public education system is so grossly out of touch with what our children need.¬† Sending your child to a public school is like sending them off to a germ factory.¬† And who can afford private school?¬† The Catholics all have an agenda.¬† What other choices do we have besides home schooling?¬† Socialization, shmocialization.¬† Look at the Japanese! They don’t care about socialization.¬† There is a reason their kids are way ahead of ours in all major subjects.”¬† Ooh, you’ve managed to insult three separate groups at once in this one–nice work.¬† And way to add insult to your country.
  8. After one mom talks about a late night run to the pharmacy to get Tylenol to bring a fever down: “Oh my God, you should try these homeopathic pills that I have.¬† I’ll give you some for next time.¬† They don’t have any dyes or carcinogens like Tylenol or other brand name drugs. Our children these days are over-medicated anyway.”¬† See: vaccination advice above.
  9. To the hostess:¬† “Wow, what kind of vacuum do you guys have?¬†¬† You practically got up all the pet hair from the carpet!¬† Toby’s allergies are barely acting up, it must be a nice one.¬†” Conspicuously pull out the Nasal Spray and administer to child.
  10. And finally… “Are these carrots organic?”

Things every parent has done at least once that you will never admit to anyone.

19 Mar

‚ÄĘ Let your child eat off the floor. You‚Äôre at Panera Bread, your kid drops his gigantic chocolate chip cookie and before you can say ‚Äúyuck,‚ÄĚ he is gnawing on it again. You look around; no one saw you. You make a mental note to watch for hives and fungal infections over the next 48 hours.
‚ÄĘ Forcing sleep Part 1: the swilling nurser. Your breastfeeding baby has been AWFULLY cranky the past few evenings‚ÄĒoops, was that your second glass of wine or your third? Oh well, no matter, its mostly metabolized, time for bed!
‚ÄĘ Let your child go more than 3 days without bathing. Life gets in the way. Its 30 minutes past bedtime, and you have to get up for an early meeting the next day. A wet washcloth with some hand soap will have to do for now. They stink all the time anyway, right, what‚Äôs one more day?¬† Its not like they’re trying to impress anyone.
‚ÄĘ Laughed when they cried: You‚Äôre usually not a cruel person. You love to see your child happy. But today you have been hit in the face 9 times, kicked in the groin, had your home cooked meal spit out, been told ‚Äėno‚Äô ad nauseam and now your child has the audacity to ask you for a snack before dinner? You say no, the tantrum begins; the tears start to flow and deep down you‚Äôre thinking ‚ÄúNow you know how I feel, buddy. Sucks doesn‚Äôt it?‚ÄĚ
‚ÄĘ Forcing sleep Part 2: the ‚Äėextra long‚Äô case of hives. Hell, I‚Äôll cop to this one. Beatrice had an awful case of the hives last fall. The doctor said Benadryl every 6 hours until the hives were gone for 48 hours. We all slept fabulously that week. But when the hives started to disappear, hmmm, well let‚Äôs just say I was being EXTRA cautious to make sure they were gone for good. ‚ÄúBob, don‚Äôt you think that looks like an itchy spot? We don‚Äôt want the hives to come back, do we? Its 7 pm, she needs some Benadryl.‚ÄĚ Time for bed!
‚ÄĘ Cheetos for dinner. Or cookies, or French fries, or cake. Cheetos is a metaphor for ‚ÄúI haven‚Äôt had time to go to the grocery store, husband is coming home late tonight, I have laundry to finish, the kids are at their wits end and I think they had broccoli two days ago.‚ÄĚ Sometimes, you have to make trade offs for your sanity.

Baby Making Rooms

13 Mar

I haven’t blogged in a while about my fertility journey.¬† I was recently recalling some of the things I encountered while going through it, and while a lot of it was painful (and a pain in the ass), some of it was humorous.

One of the funny things about infertility is just how, for lack of a better term, OUT THERE all of your business becomes! Literally and figuratively! Things that normally would not be spoken about under any circumstances suddenly become coffee talk.

“Oh, so did you have sex on the 14th day of your cycle this month? Any luck?”
“So, why can’t you get pregnant? Is something wrong with your plumbing or your husband’s?”
“Wow, how much does that COST?”

Yeah. Seriously.

The other side of the fertility coin is the one experienced by the man. Once you get past the less invasive treatments (namely drugs), you must enter the world of petri dishes, washing of sperm and questions like “will they fall out if I sit up too fast?”

At our clinic, there was a separate door (a back door wouldn’t you know) to the room where the man makes his ‘deposit.’ The Baby Making Room. Bob described it as the most unsexy room you can ever imagine, with porn of every type (Black, White, Asian, chubby…? They got em all).¬† And, of course, there was a VHS machine.¬† What other ways could they make this room feel skeevy?¬† Linoleum of course.¬† Well, I guess carpet is out of the question.

So, rather than parade these poor guys past the waiting room (I mean, really, what OTHER possible reason would they be going into a fertility clinic by themselves?)  they get to arrive and leave mostly anonymously.

I was back in an exam room one time with Bob when we heard “Ding Dong.”¬† Sorry, did you read that right?¬†¬†That was the sound of a doorbell, not a penis joke.¬†¬† Bob looked up and said “Ooh, someone’s going into the ‘room,'” I started cracking up. “You mean, the baby making room?”¬†¬† Bob confirmed that this was indeed the room in question.

The doorbell sound was nothing that could be heard from inside the waiting room, or even in one of the phlebotomy cubes.¬† I had never heard it before in all of my time going to the clinic.¬† And now I felt sorry for the poor guy on the other side of the door¬† for some reason.¬† I couldn’t see him obviously, but what an unsubtle way to announce one’s presence, eh?

The other funny thing I remember is the Social Security patrons.¬† My clinic was right next door to a Social Security office in Towson.¬† So, once in a while an older person would walk in (having missed the large sign on the door), and whoever was at the front desk didn’t even need to pause to let them get their question out.¬†¬†Again… KIND of obvious they don’t belong here, right?¬† “Social Security office is around the corner to the right, ma’am.”

I need to write about my next leg in the journey,   The IVF.  But if you were in my house this evening you would have witnessed a toddler possessed by the devil and an extremely exhausted Carrie.  So that will have to wait until another day!

Desitin is not poison, catfood is delicious and books are overrated

10 Feb

Before I had Beatrice, I used to think Playgroups and Mommy groups were just things that bored, rich housewives did.  After I had Bea, of course, I learned differently.  Finding a set of people who are wading through the same poopy muddy waters as you can be a mental lifesaver.  I actually found these fine ladies through a program that was hosted at a local church every week, and led by a Nurse/ lactation consultant.   AND, this wasn’t the first one I went to.  I tried one out when Bea was just two weeks old. My in-laws drove me because I wasn’t even cleared to drive yet (does that tell you how badly I wanted to leave the house?)  I left there feeling worse than when I came in, namely because I felt the woman running it was judging me for supplementing Beatrice with formula.

But anyway,¬†I found the second one¬†right here in Canton and met some great new friends, including the family that we now nanny share with.¬† We started going when Bea was just 3 weeks old. Many of us splintered off into our own Friday playgroup for babies born in summer/fall 2010. When I was hired at my new job over the winter, they asked what days I wanted to work. ¬†I HAD to have Fridays off so I could continue to come to playgroup!¬† As a new mom, I can’t tell you what an uplift it is to have a cup of coffee, some lunch that you didn’t have to prepare and adult conversation for a few hours.

Because the group was initially very large (lots of moms on maternity leave), we set up a Yahoo Group so we could email the whole group at once.¬† So now, from time to time, when someone has a milestone, feeding, behavioral question, or just something funny to say, we can email the whole group easily (and as one particularly lively southern gal has done from time to time, announce a craving for ‚Äúchikin,‚ÄĚ and invite anyone who‚Äôs free to join her for a Chick Fil-A run).

A few months back, someone started this email chain.¬† I found it again and had to repost. ¬†Maybe it‚Äôs not quite as funny to you reading it, because you don‚Äôt know the moms and the babies, but it‚Äôs one of those instances¬†as a parent¬†when you think you‚Äôre being a bad mom, only to realize everyone else does the same things, and all the other babies are going through the same stages!¬† So, I think we all¬†gained a little perspective on this particular email.¬†¬†These emails are copied verbatim… no creative license taken. Enjoy*.

Bree: Hello again ladies,

So here’s something we’ve been struggling with the past few nights- tell me if you have seen this in your kids too and what you did. For at least the last 10 months, every night at bedtime we¬†dress C in her jammies, lay her down with us on the guest bed in her room and read her “Goodnight Moon” and “How do I love you?”

We then pick her up, kiss her and snuggle a minute and place her calmly in her crib where she promptly falls asleep. Sounds like a dream kid, right?

Not so much. The past few nights she has wrestled us through the jammies process, squirming and wiggling her way out of whatever we’re trying to put on. Fine. But then, it gets personal when she won’t lay down and listen to the books. We’re good book readers and we share the responsibility by alternating the pages each of us reads. We’re great at bed-time We’ve tried
everything from giving her ¬†own book to letting her hold the book we’re reading to holding her down (gently) on the bed to get her to listen. Then she makes a beeline for the crib and won’t accept kisses or snuggles and promptly falls asleep.

Is this a phase? When will she get over it? Should we just  skip trying to do books and put her right in her crib? I mean, that sounds  barbaric!  Tell me what to do! Please!

Thanks and good night,

Bree and Ms. Bed Time Ruiner, C

Gwen: I mean this in the nicest way, but will you trade ¬†C for H for a few nights?? I could use just skipping his story ūüôā

Petra: So…she wants to skip all the reading/snuggling ¬†stuff and go straight to sleep? Still falls asleep no problem? And this is bad because? ūüôā

Layla: Ha ha ha!¬† If ¬†you could only see bedtime with S! ¬†I chase her and wrestle her for diapers and jammies.¬† I can’t believe you’ve had it so easy.¬† This is killing me.¬† But I’ll try to be helpful.¬† When S “hide-y” from me, ¬†I chase her and tickle her and then quickly ¬†put something fascinating and unexpected in her hands to get a diaper on.¬† The whole dressing process takes ten minutes ¬†or so.¬† Some nights, if she is really wild ¬†or uncooperative, I just put a leg over her chest to keep her in place.¬† Singing silly songs about the clothing or ¬†asking her to do it herself and then helping also helps. She also is more ¬†engaged if I first put her diaper and clothes on baby and then on her so she¬†knows what is coming, and she likes looking at the animals on her jammies.¬† I let her wander during books and then just¬†plop her in the crib all the same.¬† It’s not worth a battle to have it my way. Most nights she cuddles, but some nights just runs around and digs through toys and throws books from her shelves. Seriously, you have it good. I think C is just expressing her independence.

Me: Ha, Layla, I can’t tell you how fascinating a tube of Desitin ¬†or aveeno body lotion is for 30 seconds… just long enough to wrestle some fat legs into pajama bottoms!

So I’m not the only one who has a less than relaxing bed time routine?¬† I thought we were supposed¬†to have ‘wind down’ time but for us, it‚Äôs more like squirmy time. Don’t even get me started on brushing teeth.

Layla: Omg, carrie, I had to call the Dr last week because S¬†¬†ate the Destin.¬† FYI, it says seek¬†immediate medical attention; Dr wasn’t the least bit concerned.

Me: Bea almost drank hand sanitizer. Ooh this is great fodder for my blog!

Gwen: Ha ha ha!!! That’s awesome S!!! H continues to stand in his crib screaming all night. He fell asleep standing up again yesterday. I could not let him cry it out in the hotel this week so now that we are home mean mommy is in town! Pray this won’t last more than a few nights… Oh, and he ate more cat food today. Probably a bit drier ¬†than balmex but may have been tastier.

Petra: ¬†Carrie–You brush Bea’s teeth?! Please tell me Carrie is the only one (or that Bea has a whole mouthful of teeth). Hmmm, I think I was late brushing E’s teeth too, though she just had her first check-up and everything was fine…

Yep, I think Bree’s in the minority. It’s usually a wrestling match with P and I don’t even try reading to her (she still
nurses before bed but never to sleep–I leave her standing up in her crib). Tonight P kept trying to claw out of the tub while I washed E’s hair, ¬†twisted and screamed bloody murder while I put her diaper/jammies on, and ¬†repeatedly harassed the dog (who has bit her in the past) and tried to stick ¬†her fingers in an electrical outlet while I was brushing E’s hair. Before I
shut the door, she made a beeline for the stairs (she seems to think that since she can go up them she can also go down them–head first). I think I may have swore at both of them at one point (E was not much better than P but she responds to threats)!

Whew. Hubby is out of town. Can you tell?

Kristy: Also, I am super impressed/jealous that you both get  to do bedtime together each night. If Hubby happens to be home for bedtime I  hand over the reins immediately. That junk is exhausting. Br is a pretty good book reader, although he does go bonkers and start kicking and thrashing on the last page of ANY book unless you have already started saying  onemorebook?!
onemorebook?! onemorebook?!” as fast as you can before you close it. And he used to snuggle for a nanosecond when I sang a song and handed him his ¬†stuffed monkey right as I leaned over his crib, but now he has started slapping ¬†me and cackling.

PJs aren’t much of an issue here, but diapers have become a ¬†GIGANTIC war. Between his “I think it’s so funny to pull my knees to my ¬†chest and lock them there with inhuman strength so you can’t undiaper or ¬†rediaper me” to his “I found something interesting between my legs ¬†that I want to pull on” to his “oh, look what else, there is poop ¬†here I can touch” to his “hahahahahahah KICK MOM IN THE FACE” I ¬†just don’t have enough sets of arms.

Oh and I have brushed Br’s teeth all of one time‚Ķ really ¬†it’s the least of my concern these days. Side note on teeth- anyone else ¬†cutting the pointy ones? Because he’s getting his second or third starting ¬†yesterday and he is a JERK. I am not a fan.

After depositing him in the crib I wanted to sit on the  steps and drink wine until Dylan came home but we have no wine so I settled for a Coke and watched the neighborhood show.

Carrie: I think I need an update on poor H. When did  this vertical sleeping start?

Lee: Bree, I’m so jealous!! ¬†Getting pjs on T has become an Olympic event.¬† Also, where I used to nurse him to sleep and it was easy to just put him in his crib, now he immediately sits up in his crib ¬†and looks wide awake.¬† Bedtimes have been at 10 and 11pm recently and its driving me insane!!!

Gwen, the vertical sleeping thing is really funny.

Layla: Petra, I brush all 6.5 of S’s teeth.¬† But it’s a bit of a joke as she insists on ¬†holding the brush and basically just sucks the toothpastes off and chews the ¬†brush and then screams when I take the brush back.

Toni:¬†Hubby has decided that “we” need to start ¬†brushing El’s teeth.¬† I am letting him ¬†take the lead in that “we”. ¬†Our doctor said it will get harder to read for a while since they are so ¬†excited about moving on their own.¬† She suggested to keep reading like she was still sitting there because it was more ¬†about your tone and voice than the actual book.

El has also started getting impatient to be put in her ¬†bed.¬† She points and lunges toward the ¬†crib and doesn’t want her lullaby.¬† I am ¬†pretending that it is because she is tired and not because of my awesome ¬†singing.

Steph: Toni- S is starting to reject lullaby ¬†too……… and we harmonize!!!!!!!! He sees his crib and wants IN ASAP. I hope it‚Äôs just a phase because we love singing……and we are tooth brushers ¬†but it‚Äôs primarily because my husband comes from a serious dental family.

*Names have been (poorly) changed to protect the innocent.

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