Bringing Home Baby

Baby!

Baby!

So after eons of waiting, my best friend finally brought home her baby last week.  And after a crazy nightmare adoption story that happened just shy of Thanksgiving, this Christmas surprise came as a fast, but very welcome, surprise present.

Yes, my friends, with just about 3 days’ notice, my BFF and her husband had to get ready to bring home baby.  My other BFF and I both got slightly joyous, but panicky calls from deep within a Babies R Us, where we assured her, yes, everyone freaks out in Babies R Us, and no you don’t need half the shit in there, but you do however want ALL THE THINGS.

Since we 3 are separated by a few hundred miles give or take, we all couldn’t quite jump in the car to come say hello to Baby C.  Plus, it was 10 days until Christmas, and for the thousandth year in a row I’d run out of sick/vaca time, plus everyone in my house was sick in various forms, so needless to say, the trip has been postponed until January, when BAM! vaca time resets and the bugs will be eradicated from my home and family (hopefully).

I can assure you we are anxiously awaiting the time to jump in the car and come smell all the baby goodness.  And to help.  Yes, to help.  Because let’s face it, no new parent wants you to hold their baby, they want you to cook, clean and organize, and maybe just maybe, let you take a slight snooze.

So, since I am this close to coming, but not quite there yet, I wanted to send a few words of wisdom along to my friend via the interwebs.  This means she can roll her eyes in the privacy of her own home and I can get a few reminiscent chuckles out of the rest of you 10s of readers.

1st – Stare at your baby.  Stare away.  Watch him sleep, watch him look at you or the shiny lights, or the ghost over your shoulder (you know they can see them).  They are fascinating.  You know what’s not fascinating?  What won’t grow up and leave you for another person who is waaay smarter/funnier/prettier than you?  Your dishes.   Those babies will be there until the day you decide to eat dinner strapped into your wheelchair.  Your baby, however, will grow.  Will grow so fast it will make your head spin.  Watch him. Eat his toes.  Smell his head.  Nuzzle his neck.  Because it goes fast.

2nd.  This leads me to my next point.  Sleep.  Ha!  Sleep.  She said sleep.  Whatever.  This is the one thing that seems like it will never be normal again.  This phase too will go by, but not quite as fast as the first part I described.  In fact, 3 hours straight of uninterrupted sleep is a FREAKIN MIRACLE at this stage of the game.  Not only are you waking to cries and feedings and poopings, but you have convinced yourself that if you don’t watch him every second, he will forget to breathe.  This fear is pounded into you everywhere you turn as a new mom, and a valid one, but let’s face it, you’ve done all you can to keep him safe.  Your unblinking worried stare won’t keep him alive.  But maybe your mother’s or your husband’s stare can take over for a few hours so you can get a few moments of sanity back.  Back to dreamland, where Vin Diesel rescues you and changes his own pants.  Just for a bit.

3rd.  Your baby won’t remember shit in this stage in the game.  Yes, snuggling and kangaroo time are imperative, but let’s be honest.  If you accidentally pinch him while putting him into his car seat, he won’t need therapy later.  If you have no idea what you’re doing during bathtime, he won’t remember your bumbling attempt.  He won’t know you didn’t have the most current Baby Einstein (do they still do that?) collection or that you watched the Daily Show while feeding him.  He won’t remember a thing.  Ease up on yourself a little.

4th.  Take help when offered.  Seriously.  Be the bitch here.  People come into your house, hand them a Swiffer.  Don’t just stand there, vacuum!  You come without a dish to freeze?  Go make me dinner!  Yes, be thrilled they are here to share in your joy, but for the love take full advantage of the slave labor.  Because, all these people, mothers included, will go away very very soon.  And if you don’t have 6 months of stockpiled frozen dishes, you’ll starve.

5th.  You don’t have to have it figured out by the end of Month 1.  Set your bar lower.  Lower.  No, lower.  Keeping you and baby alive is a good goal.  Occasionally look at your husband to make sure he’s breathing, but other than that, he’s on his own.  I was a bit behind the curve.  It took me a whole freakin year to feel semi-normal again.  This was because my bar was set too high, and my baby boy was in a holy terror of colicky, you took me out too early, state of hysteria.  I wish I’d stepped back and breathed a bit more back then.  And just loved him.  Well when he was good, and then invested in a good set of earplugs the other 23 hours of the day.

Ok, that’s a good start.  Congrats my friend.   After a very long time, I am so excited to welcome you to the club with open arms. This is the best unpaid job you’ll ever have.  Laugh often.  Cry when you need to.  And call us anytime.  I promise not to one up you with my own tails of woe.  I will listen…and probably make inappropriate jokes, but hey that’s why you keep me around right?

Love,

Jen

Friends Who've All Gotten a Full Nights Sleep.  (Old photo)

Friends Who’ve All Gotten a Full Nights Sleep. (Old photo)

12 Gifts of Christmas

On the 1st day of Christmas, 2014* gave to me:

*read twenty fourteen

1 giant cold

2 hospital visits

3 blankets deep

4 pounds of beans

5 minutes to wrap

6 holiday parties

7 layers of dip

8 kids to buy for

9 boxes of wine

10 bed bath coupons

11 trips to the store

12 hours of Mariah Carey

Merry Christmas all! They Nyquil is winni…..zzzz

Reasons My Son’s Not Eating

Some of us are blessed.  Their kids are adventurous.  They will eat all types of foods.  All types of textures.  For some lucky parents, this food can even touch other food. 

Nope.

                     Nope.

We are not blessed in this way.  This is our burden.  Our 8 year old son is a total pain in the ass when it comes to food.  Unless of course, it’s ice cream, then he’s good, but anything else, there are a set of rules that change almost daily.

Therefore, we give you:  THE REASONS OUR SON IS NOT EATING:

1. The pizza has sat out for longer than 5 minutes.

2. The macaroni and cheese is NOT Kraft. Homemade?  Big macaroni noodles?  No go.  Kraft M&C must also not sit on the stove longer than 5 minutes.

3. The noodles are too wide.

4. The noodles are a different color.

5. The noodles are mixed with something.  Anything, even broccoli, which he actually likes.

6. The carrots are mixed with peas.

7. The pizza has bubbles on it.

8. The bread has nuts in it.

9. There’s parsley on it.

10. The grilled cheese has a tiny brown “burn” spot.  (Not really, just browner at that place than he’d like)

11. The jello has fruit in it.

12. It has gravy on it.  Clearly, not my kid.

13. It has any sauce or seasoning on it.

14. It’s breaded with something other than nugget.

15. It touched the ranch.  Which he’s using to dip, but it touched before he’s dipped it.

16. Too much cinnamon on the applesauce.

17.  The carrots have crinkles.

18. It’s leftovers. Of anything. Pizza included.

19. It’s hot dogs. Of any sort.

20. It’s tacos.  Food touching all over the place. And lettuce, don’t forget lettuce. Ick.

21. It’s not the right meatball.

22. The noodles are too wide.

23. The potatoes are mashed.

These are just off the top of my head.  And there are rules on top of that. And if you do find something he likes that is remotely healthy, for the love of God, don’t over serve it.  No more than once every other week.

Now, on the list of Go foods are a few foolproof items, none of which are healthy.

Rolls

PB&J

Ice cream

Candy

Dessert, anything natch.

Every time.

Every time.

And that’s about it.

One might read this and think, “Hell, if that were my kid, I’d make him eat what I give him.”  You, my dear, DO NOT have this kid, because I can guarantee you no parent of a fellow picky eater follows this rule.  We get firm and we choose these food battles fairly often, and sometimes, we do the worst, meanest, most horrible thing a parent can do:  we withhold dessert. For the most part, we desperately try to put something on the table they might just eat a few bites of, but our hopes are dangerously low on the best of days.  We scour the internet, church and family cookbooks, and foolishly click on all the articles about “picky eaters,” but we are always disappointed, because I don’t know anyone whose picky eater will eat “Baked Polenta Fries,” cause mine sure as hell won’t.

Not gonna work bud.

Not gonna work bud.

But we keep on the fighting the good fight.  We pin the hell out of Pinterest.  But, most days, it’s PB&J or nuggets, with the hope that one day, one day soon, they’ll look up and say, “How about Mexican/Italian/Indian food?”

Until then, stay strong picky parents!

Cause he's cute, that's why.

Cause he’s cute, that’s why.

My Big Gay Wedding

So my best friend finally got married.  I’ve wanted to write about the experience for over a month now, but couldn’t quite make up my mind on the tone I wanted to prevail throughout the post.  Balls to the wall political rant? Sweet, sappy version?  Or through my most comfortable form of communication…humor and self-embarrassment?

Me and my handsome best friend.

Me and my handsome best friend.

Naturally, I choose the last option.  For those of you not lucky enough to be invited to a gay fall wedding, here’s an inside peek.

Attendees came from all walks of life.  Some wearing their finest leather assless chaps. Some decked out in bedazzled sequins and feather boas.  Some with not many clothes at all.  The grooms shashayed down the aisle while Voguing in their rainbow suits.  Disco balls and club lights flashed the crowds as they recited showtune quotes for vows.   The ceremony concluded with groping and sloppy kisses while It’s Raining Men played riotously in the background.  White doves were released and condoms were shot out of a canon.  After the ceremony the guests lubed up appropriately and jumped into the big ole gay orgy pile.

Sound about what you’d expect?

Nah.  Clearly none of that happened.  Although sometimes I think that’s what some of my coworkers think I attended.    What I did get to be a part of and experience was nothing short of beautiful.  What it really was was an elegant, picturesque ceremony atop a swank hotel overlooking the Bay Bridge of San Francisco.  Not a dry eye in the house as two of my favorite men on the planet exchanged heartfelt vows after waiting a decade to commit their lives together officially.   Family and friends surrounded them for a delightful dinner followed by an epic reception, where toasts and well wishes abounded.  Wine flowed freely while we danced the night away to a meticulously planned (and awesome) playlist of music.  Cake was phenomenal.   Best of all was my best friend’s dad, who like most dads on their kids’ wedding days, became quite sentimental and stood up and stole the show with a touching toast on how proud and happy he was for his son and his new son-in-law.

I had the privilege of reading a wonderful poem by Walt Whitman and the even better privilege of being an official witness to the nuptials.  It was a wonderful heartfelt day, painstakingly planned down to last detail as most couples do to ensure one of the most important days of their lives is remembered fondly.

Desi Jay Speech

Awkward speech time

Desi Jay cake

Holy Batcakes!

Desi Jay Dad

Scene stealer.

Desi Jay Journey

This moment delightfully brought to you by Journey.

 

But alas, it would not truly be a story of my own if I did not in some way humiliate myself and bring up some form of bathroom humor.   Now, if you’ve ever seen the SNL Gay Summer Wedding Xanax spoof, you’ll have some idea of the pressure I was under to look fabulous for this wedding.  Too bad I had hopped off the diet wagon a full month earlier and was a bit disappointed the Spanx I chose did not completely transform my curves into the likes of Kim Kardashian.    The Spanx, although $40, did not quite squeeze my baby food belly around to plump up my ass, nor did it hoist the girls back up to their original pre-children spots.

Dammit.   Oh well, I was just happy to be a part of the whole experience.  No one was looking at me anyways.

Then, due to a forgetful photographer, my boys were late to dinner.  Which meant my wine glass kept getting topped off on an empty stomach, and before I knew it, I was three sheets to the wind.   And I had to pee.  Sort of dizzy and light headed, I stumbled down a flight of stairs to the ladies loo.

Now girls, we all know Spanx are not the easiest to get off for a quick pee right?  And this one piece do-joby clasped at the crotch.  Joy.  Not easy to undo when sober, let alone 3+ drinks in.  I had a genius idea, which I’ve accomplished before many times with swimsuits and said Spanx accoutrements that I proceeded to try once again.  Just pull my undies and that fat grasping apparatus aside, hold it, pee quick, wipe and done!  Thorough hand washing and I would be good to go.

Not so much.  About halfway through I realized something was amiss.  My tush started to feel wet.  OH MY GOD, in my drunken state, I couldn’t feel my panties and didn’t pull them aside with the Spanx!!!!  I was peeing right through my underwear.  With a loud, “SHIT!”  I went into emergency planning mode.  Dress was clear of wetness, thank God, but undies and Spanx were soaked.  I was alone, no phone, no purse, no girlfiends to call because hello! I was at a GAY wedding.  Lots of men, most of whom are already extremely uncomfortable with girl parts, let alone ones in peril.  I had to think fast.  Undies gone, natch.  I’ll just wear the Spanx, that’s fine.  SHIT.  Spanx soaked up the back.  The whole apparatus had to go.  Off comes the dress, then the spanx, then the underwear.  I started to throw the underwear away, a causality of war, but then I realized I had nowhere to put the Spanx.  This puppy was $40 freakin dollars!!!  No freakin way was I going to throw this thing away to save myself a few moments of embarrassment.  I have given birth for God’s sake!  This is nothing on the humiliation scale of my life.

So I wadded up my wet undergarments into a paper towel and tried to make it fist size without much luck.  I escaped the bathroom and had to walk down the side of a bar full of patrons into our private room, where not a few eyes glanced toward the conspicuous wad in my hand.  I quickly threw it into my purse as my husband exclaimed loudly, “Hey, what’s that in your hand?”  SHHHH!  Not now!  LATER!

I then got to spend a still awesome night surrounded by wonderful men (and some lovely chicks too I might add) who would have been totally skeeved out their #1 fan was without her britches and complete with nothing but the sheer will of God keeping my stomach sucked into a dress that really could have used some girdling power.

So there you have it.  A wonderful wedding, turned into a story all about me and peeing my pants!  It has to be embarrassing or I clearly wasn’t there.   It was a wonderful night, a wonderful trip and a true joy to see my best friend marry his perfect match in life.  And just over a month later, they are still married, so already they are beating many straight marriage success rates.

Love you both.  Congrats Jay and Desi!

Desi Jay E Desi Jay Desi Jay 2

And now, if you need tips on attending a gay wedding, I give you expert advice by Key & Peele.

Cat vs Husband

Good news!  After a trial week working from home, my husband has been given the green light to work every other week from the “home office.”  Yes, folks Fun Dad is coming home, at least fortnightly.  No, that’s not right, but I really want to use that word, so go with it.

He will be setting up an elaborate bat cave downstairs, whereupon he will put out nationwide construction fires and calm down very panicky subcontractors and clients.  He’s my Bruce Wayne of Project Management.

One problem.

Mark doesn’t leave the house.  Ever.  Mark is also somewhat allergic to cats, or something in the house anyways, and by the end of his trial period last week he was barely breathing and was a snotty, red-nosed, wheezing mess.  I think this has been made worse since he really hasn’t lived at home in roughly 5 years, so any tolerance he had built up prior to has been blown away by weeks away with regular housekeeping, mints on pillows and other such luxuries.

So, the question becomes this.  What can I do with my kitty-cat?  My Ezra.  My snuggle bunny since 1999.  My beautiful black cat, who’s not once peed outside her litterbox, and outside of an occasional runny nose and poop danglers, has been an exemplary cat?

Here’s where your help comes in.  Below I have outlined a complicated point system determining husband and cat’s attractions and detractions.  At the end, we can decide which one will have to go.

Point Husband:  Husband takes up less of the bed at night than Cat.

Point Cat:  Husband snores louder.

Point to each:  BOTH have the annoying trait of poking at me for attention after the kids have gone to sleep and I finally have 2 minutes to myself.  Both eventually bite if they are overstimulated.

Point Husband: I don’t have to scoop husband’s poop.

Point Cat:  Cat does not take 30 minute poops 3X a day.

Point Husband:  Husband sheds less. Unless he’s shaving, then the sink looks like a yeti trimmed his pubes. Wash it down the drain MAN!

Point Husband:  Husband helps around the house more.

Point Cat:  Husband does not get excited when I take naps, whereas Cat is thrilled.

Point to each:  Both hate dogs.  Con.  Neither would pick up poop if we finally grant my oldest’s wish to give him a dog.

Point Cat:  Cat loves my new boots.  She rubs her face on them in appreciation.  Husband goes, “WHERE’D YOU GET THOSE?!” Dang, I didn’t think he’d notice since I still have the boxes hidden in the car.

Point Husband:  Husband is a pro traveler.  Not once during our last trip did he howl from his cage.

So, there you have it folks.  Who do I keep?

How about some who’s cuter pics?

143 IMG_1647 IMG_1559 128 014 012 209 174

I don’t know, it’s a tough call.

The Un-Crafty Mom’s Guide to School Party Planning – Halloween Edition

Step 1:  September-October

Pin every cute, adorable idea you see on Pinterest that is Halloween related.

Step 2:  Beginning of October

Narrow pins down to ones that can be done in 3 steps or less and with 5 or less ingredients.

Step 3: Beginning to Mid-October

Forget about it all.

Step 4:  3 Days Before Fall/Halloween Party

Frantically run to Michael’s only to find the Halloween stuff picked over, all in haphazard piles of broken pumpkins and melty witches.

See Christmas stuff already in place.  Freak out.  Grab all the pipe cleaners and construction paper you can find, and dejectedly get in line with the other procrastinators.  Hold back tears.

Step 5:  2 Days Before Fall/Halloween Party

Free form cut 30 pumpkins and 30 monsters out of construction paper at midnight.  Propped up only on the hidden candy you’ve discovered your husband hid from you unsuccessfully.   Try to make spider legs out of pipe cleaners that won’t support the weight of the Tootsie Pop body.  Cry.  Xanax.

Step 6:  1 Day Before Fall/Halloween Party

Awake lying face first on candy wrappers with construction paper glued to your cheek.  Get kids ready for school only to find it’s Spirit Week and they need special “crazy” socks.  Take a pair of socks and Sharpie the word “CRAZY” on the side of their socks.  Thank God for rainbow Sharpies. Wish you would have thought of this for Crazy Hair Day.

Step 7:  Day of Fall/Halloween Party

Throw said items in a plastic bag. Run in through the cold and rain.  Try to explain to 30 kindergarteners what to do without just doing it for them.  Run and hug the mom who just brought in a piñata.  Find a seat in the back of the class and enjoy the show.  Just stay away from the 5/6 year olds with a stick.

Girl Power

Sigh.  Finished my first Daisy Scout meeting today.  I only had 5 girls, but it was still pandemonium.  Lesson #1 of the Day:  5/6 year old girls are just as nuts as 1st grade boys playing baseball.  As usual, the scene I pictured in my head didn’t match up at all with what actually transpired.

The scenario in my head:

Five nice, quiet girls sit down, eat a quiet snack, do a quiet craft (neatly), and then sit in a circle to learn all about Girl Scout traditions.  Do the friendship circle to close and disperse.  (God, typing that I do realize what a total moron I am.  I mean, I do have one of these creatures don’t I?)

Actual scenario:

Girls running throughout our meeting place (the school cafeteria), constantly having to go to the bathroom, only to be found playing with water and paper towels.  Throwing a beach ball at each other, even when said ball never did get used for its original name game ice breaker purpose.  Diving right into the craft upon entry to learn Lesson #2 of the Day:  Glitter glue NEVER dries, but will get on EVERYTHING.  Which leads into Lesson #3 of the Day:  Bring paper towels to arts and crafts times.  Which leads to Lesson #4 of the Day:  YOU SUCK AT ARTS AND CRAFTS JENNIFER.  WHAT WERE YOU THINKING?!  You bought a hole puncher that was too small.  You brought glitter glue for 5 year old girls to use.  You didn’t buy enough rainbow yarn for the necklaces and for the love, seriously girl, glitter glue?!

Then we dive into snack.  Everyone chugs juice boxes like they are going 10 rounds with Mike Tyson.  Cheez-Its are ravaged.  (OK, I’m being dramatic, they just ate the crackers and juice quickly, but it was NOT IN THE ORDER I HAD PLANNED.)

Then, what the hell, there are 20 minutes left, let’s just go to the playground and run around.

I did manage to cram 10 minutes of actual Girl Scouting into the last tiny bit of our meeting.  We did the friendship squeeze, learned the Girl Scout Pledge (crap, Promise, I will get this vocab down soon I swear) and got our hands to do the motto thingee (again failing at the vocab.)  They all seemed to like the squeeze thing, so it gave me hope that with a little control and organization, they may just like this whole thing.

Apparently, the guide books that told you to establish rules at the onset were on to something.  It’s like I’ve never met a kid before.  Yeesh.

Overall, the parents were nice, grateful that I took the helm and seemed ok with the fact that this first meeting was not the finely tuned, efficient machine I had envisioned in my head.  Thank God.

Thank God also for Pinterest (which just made me panic at my inadequacies and lack of planning, but which I think will prove helpful for the future), a great program and support system by our local Council and most importantly, for the mom who promised to be my second in command and who also seemed genuinely excited to help come up with arts and crafts after I professed how bad I suck at them. GOD BLESS YOU MY NEW BEST FRIEND!

SIDEBAR:  Are we noticing a trend in my volunteering?  Girl Scout Troop Leader who sucks at arts and crafts.  Boys baseball coach who can’t catch or throw a baseball.  Why can’t I stick to volunteering at what I’m good at?  Is there even a school age club for dirty books and napping?

Guess I have to stick to things outside my comfort zone, which is why I continue to make these seemingly awful decisions.  Cause let’s face it, if I don’t, I will end up the hermit cat lady who is dead for a month before anyone notices she’s gone. I will constantly strive to break out of my introvert shell to avoid this grime fate.

So to sum up, glitter glue + insane expectations = a humorous tale to make you feel better about your own lives.

Hope you enjoyed!

This is what an idiot looks like.  And yes, I do have glitter glue on the butt of this new shirt.

This is what an idiot looks like. And yes, I do have glitter glue on the butt of this new shirt.