Watch Me Woo

Yay us!

Yay us!

So – I’m trying to woo Toledo Area Parent, so I can be a guest blogger on their online edition for the next few months, so here goes…

If you pick me, I can be serious.  I can talk about how post partum depression kicked my butt for over two years after my first (and second) baby, and how it took a huge, almost marriage ending, fight for me to realize this is was actually PPD.  I just thought this was how all new mothers felt.  Boy was I wrong.  It sucked.  I got help, got medicated and finally realized having kids can be fun.   Who knew? 

I can turn on the serious if need be, but I tend to be a bummer, so I don’t do it often.  I wrote a post about cancer a few months back, after it seemed like every good person I knew in life was getting their butt kicked by it, but I let my husband read the draft, and he felt like jumping off a cliff after reading it, so I left it in the draft stage, so as not to have my very few, but loyal, readers jumping out their windows in hopelessness.     

But, I can also be funny!!!  This is where I feel I really shine! So I was thinking what I might write about parenting that everyone could relate to.  And with the coincidence of some of my most favorite people getting ready to jump into procreating, I thought I’d offer some honest, been-there-done-that parenting advice. 

 I love my kids.  They are the best things that ever happened to me.  When I go into their bedrooms at night and watch them sleeping peacefully, my heart swells in my chest until I think it’s going to burst.  When I hear their peal of laughter at something simple they find utterly delightful, I have to stop to catch my breath.  Watching their minds work while they try to figure out a puzzle or new gadget, I am in awe that these beings were created by us.    

But then, real life intrudes and I am left wondering, “What the hell was I thinking?!”  People laugh and say enjoy your sleep while you can (wink wink) to every pregnant woman they see, but I think it’s way more than that.  For me, both my kids slept through the night fairly quickly and have always been good sleepers.  It was the awake time that had me freaking out. 

I remember driving my son home from the hospital 6 years ago.  My first thought was, why on God’s green earth are they just letting me walk out with him???  I would say it was pretty clear we had no idea what we were doing.  But no, they just wheeled us out, upended the wheelchair, dropped me on my ass, and ran back in as fast as possible.  Meanwhile, I was a hot mess – a sore, hormonally charged, freaking out woman with a husband who was looking at me with the same deer in the headlights look that I mirrored back, all while this poor innocent baby slept peacefully in a carrier – completely unaware of the danger he’s just been put in by having these two completely clueless adults now solely responsible for his well being. 

 We had to figure out how to feed him, change him, dress him, wash him (thank God the Johnson & Johnson baby wash came with instructions, which yes, we totally read step by step for the first bath) and so on. 

They also assume just because I have had boobs all my life, I was now supposed to know how to feed another human being with them.  “It’s the most natural thing in the world,” they say.  Yeah, say it again, lactation consultant, so I can rip your eyes out.  My introduction to breastfeeding is a whole post in of itself.  Let’s just say I wasn’t a natural and ended up in crazy pain, with scabby nipples and a hungry kid who I didn’t want to feed because it hurt too bad. (Relax, I figured it out, he didn’t starve.) 

You also get a glut of advice.  From everyone.  Even the lady in the supermarket will tell you in a tsk tsk tone that your fussy kid should be in bed by now (at 5:30 in the evening).  They’ll tell you to watch out for the boys, they’ll pee all over.  No one ever mentioned that they can also kick out some pretty awesome projectile poo whenever the diaper is off.  The stuff that hits EVERYTHING.  We called it CODE BROWN, which meant, all hands on deck.  When we got rid of it (4 years later), his nursery lamp still had brown stains on it. They also never tell you girls are just as bad.  Gracie peed every single time I took off her diaper, and without the convenient hose that boys have for aim, gravity took a better hold and everything below her got soaked.   Every. Single. Time.  That’s a lot of clothes, onesies, diaper changing pads, blankets, not mention the carpets and/or beds that may have been underneath her at the time too. 

There are also no instructions for introducing solid food, which is a great mystery to the first-timer.  Watch out for allergies!  Don’t give them honey or you’ll give them botulism (which totally sounds scary), nothing too big or too small, make sure you cut everything up!  Start with veggies, no start with fruits, no start with kale and sushi so they will like all foods and have a diverse appetite!  We have failed in this area, that’s for sure.  My 6-year-old is what you would call “picky.”  And by picky, I mean his ONLY food groups consist of chicken nuggets, pizza, rolls/biscuits, peanut butter and jelly, and of course, any dessert imaginable.  I know, judge away, but if you are like me, and have attempted the food battle every single night without fail for months on end, you know that your “when I have kids, they’ll eat what I give them and that’s that” bravado will be quickly thrown out the window in a desperate attempt to get them to eat ANYTHING of nutritional value.  If Will ever ate kale, sushi, or hell, even a cheeseburger, I’d faint on the spot.  And probably hold my breath until he was done eating, just in case my breathing would distract him from eating something different and possibly, healthy. 

And don’t get me started on the sleeping thing.  Do you co-sleep, let them cry it out, wear them for 4 years like the tribes in Africa do, or something else that forgets that mothers and fathers also have to survive these first years as well? 

If you’ve read my most favorite book, Created to be His Help Meet, you’ll know that this loony toon thinks mothers should NEVER be away from their children.  Ever.  No solo shopping trips, no girls night out, nothing.  You are created to serve your husband and raise his kids.  God I love that lady.  Let’s hope we never meet. 

In essence, there are extreme viewpoints coming at you from all angles when you finally take the plunge into parenthood.  Everyone has an opinion, and everyone is judging you, no matter what you do.  Therefore, after 6 years of experience I have realized one thing.   I have no idea what I am doing.  The one thing I can say to all parents with confidence is this – Trust your gut.  If your gut says go to the ER at midnight on a Sunday because you can’t figure out why they’re crying – GO.  If your gut tells you something isn’t right about their behavior – GET HELP.  If your gut tells you that maybe that last nugget that just dropped on the floor can be salvaged by the 3 second rule to avoid complete anarchy – GIVE IT BACK TO THEM FOR THE LOVE OF GOD. 

Trust your gut.  Get some good supportive friends and family. Ditch the negative judgy people.   Laugh.  At everything.  Because if you don’t, you’ll end up hiding in the closet in tears, which won’t stop them, they’ll find you no matter what, so keep laughing and enjoy the small moments of joy, because you’ve got your work cut out for you. 

 

 

 

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You’ve Got a Friend in Me

Being an introvert has its challenges. Being that any sort of unknown scares the hell out of me and the fact that I avoid large gatherings like the plague, finding and making friends is not a skill I possess naturally.  It also doesn’t help that I also have a slightly introverted husband who, as a means of introduction, tells new people we meet that we are “socially awkward and don’t have a lot of friends.”  aawwwkkward.  

But, the perk of being an introvert is, the friends I have made, are long-time, loyal ride and die beotches.   The people I have opened up to have, over time, come to love me in all my weirdness.  Most of my friends, I’ve had for 15+ year, and I will have them forever.  (Mainly because they remember me when I was thin.  Never forget!!!!!  The skinny girl is trapped in there somewhere!)

The best part of these friends is that even though most of them are scattered across the country, we can pick up where we left off and after a lengthy catch up session, we are back cracking the same jokes and acting like we live next door to each other.   

Before we go any farther, I don’t mean to shortchange my close range friends on this post.  Know I love you all, old and new, and am so thankful you are HERE with me in this God forsaken frozen tundra we call northwest Ohio.  NEVER LEAVE ME!!!   We have lost too many already!!!!  Two of my best friends are right here and know I couldn’t live without you.  One gets to see me in all my crazy glory EVERY. SINGLE. DAY.  Give this woman an award because let’s face it, I can get seriously annoying when exposed to in large doses.  The other gets to see my lovely face mostly on Sundays and Mondays, when I put on my most angelic face and pretend I am not cray cray.  But, she sees through the facade and loves me anyways.  These girls make me laugh daily and I pray they never abandon me for greener pastures, or say, popular parks ruled by a big mouse.  And I can’t leave out my blood related friends, my sister, but she already got a post, so quit yer bitchin.  And my sisters by marriage, who have put up with me almost as long as my actual sister, I love you three more than you’ll ever know.   (But, seriously SK, when are the Girl Scout cookies coming???) 

This post is for my long distance friends, two of which I had the wonderful pleasure of escaping this freakin freezing weather for a few days and hiding out in Florida with.   

I met these girls in college (remember THIN) and 5 minutes after meeting them, I knew we were soul mates.    Ever meet someone and it just clicks?  Well, that was us.  That was 1997 and even though we are all grown up, we are still closer than ever. 

We couldn’t be more different.  One is a super positive save-the-world social worker, who is seriously the world’s biggest extrovert.  This girl attracts friends like flies.  PEOPLE LOVE HER.  She is one of the most genuine real people you’ll ever meet.    The other is an extremely successful PR genius who is beautiful inside and out.  The one who’s always put together, even when she’s hot and sweaty after a workout.  The one who, after 16 years, still let’s us tease her mercilessly for taking over an hour to get ready every single day.  And me, the neurotic, introverted, long married, mother of two who makes jokes CONSTANTLY.  Especially during the inappropriate moments – that’s when I really shine. 

We have been through it all.   College, hangovers, graduation, job hunts, crazy boyfriends, big moves, promotions, career changes, falling in love, marriage, infertility, sickness, death, postpartum depression, babies.   We are basically married because we hit all the vow highlights.  Love/cherish, sickness/health, good/bad, you get the gist – we are in this until the end that’s for sure. 

I have watched these women grow more beautiful, stronger and smarter with each year.  They make me laugh, help me cry, build me up and support me no matter how far apart we are or how long the time passes between conversations.   We are very different, but share the same love and respect for each other, which makes the bond strong no matter our differences.  Even if one of us did vote for Romney. 

I’ll take these sistas before mistas anyday.

I love you girls and hope this post does you justice. 

Marriage…Loud Breathing and Other Trials

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Rockin the sexy specs.

After 11 years of marriage and 17 years of togetherness, I think I can safely say I am the foremost expert on relationships  Yeah right.

 In trying to get a flow for this post, I posed a simple question to my dear husband:  “What things annoy you about me?” 

For some reason, he didn’t want to answer this question.  SEE HOW DIFFICULT HE IS TO LIVE WITH? 

So, I started. 

  1. Sometimes he breathes REALLY loud.  It’s annoying.  I wish he would stop.  Sometimes I feel like I’m sleeping next to a horse who’s being sat on by a fat lady.
  2. He has a constant need for sex.  I mean, every second of the day.  Give the vajay a break would ya?!  That’s how infections start. 
  3. His ADD is off the charts.  Sometimes it’s just fun to sit and watch him bounce from one thing to the next.  Other times, it’s a bit annoying.  Ever see UpWe have a longstanding joke in our house that he’s the dog.  I would love to clean up the dishes and help…SQUIRREL!    

So after this rapid fire list came at him, he finally had some thoughts of his own. 

  1. I never finish anything I start.  Gardening.  Organizing the house.  Tons of printed cleaning lists pasted all over the fridge that have never been attempted.  Tons and tons of printed recipes.  Crafts for the kids.  Thousands of photos stashed in every corner of the house.  I have long asserted that I am a totally organized person trapped in a disorganized person’s life.  I can’t help it.  I have grand ideas and fabulous plans, but hey, wait…a rerun of Friends is on.  Maybe later.  Alright honey, score 1 for you. 
  2. I always have my nose in an electronic device, and apparently, this includes magazines.  ??  Well lover, you my dear are a world-class enabler.  Last year’s AWESOME Christmas gift?  Kindle Fire.  This year’s?  An iPhone.  Quit buying me these shiny new toys and maybe I would keep my nose out of them.  Besides reality sucks.  Why be present in life when I can be planning the perfect one via Pinterest or reading about the perfect guy in a smut novel (ahem, Unidentified RedheadSeriously READ THIS). 
  3. Apparently I complain about my weight a lot.  This is annoying to him.  I think it’s funny.  Apparently it’s not funny to complain and then NEVER DO ANYTHING TO FIX IT.  Yeah well, I like pie and hate exercising.  SUCK IT.  Good thing he likes squishy, so really, the pressure’s off anyways. 

So – I think we are a successful couple because the above conversation made us crack up at each other while discussing the above items.  Really, we know it’s all true, but we put up with each other anyways.  Because really, who else will? 

Penises, Swastikas, Big Chickens…Oh My!

What to post.  What to post…

 

Hmmm. 

 

OK – Funny kid stories.  I know some of you are walking away already, but come on, my kids are freakin adorable.  But, I may be a bit biased.   Anyways, here are our latest cute stories.

 

A rare moment of togetherness

A rare moment of togetherness

Mark and Grace were tooling around Costco today just talking.  And unloading the kind of cash you can only unload at Costco, buying totally needed things…. like head lamps.  But honey, they were only $10!!!  Anyways, Mark says, “OOOO Gracie, I want a big TV!”  as they were passing the tempting TV aisles.    Grace says, “OK…. and a big chicken too?”  Mark says, “Whaaat??”  “A big chicken that shoots umbrellas at you?” 

Of course.  Who doesn’t?  How did she know?   

My kick ass girl

My kick ass girl

And then….Will made Mark and me a Christmas present (or holiday, or Hanukkah, or Kwanzaa, depending on the lesson that week) and he made us this.   

Walking in a winter wonder...whaaa?

Walking in a winter wonder…whaaa?

Awww!!!  It’s adorable.  It’s Will outside, playing in swastikas!  OK, not really, don’t send out the troops, they are supposedly snowflakes.  OHHH.   

My boy the goof

My boy the goof

AND finally….We have a lot of trouble with potty words at our house.  This may be because Mark and I cannot contain our glee when some rips a big fart when all else is peaceful.  I guess we’ve dug our own graves.  We are working on it teachers, we promise.  Unless you fart unexpectedly, because THAT is funny.  So anyways, we were discussing when we could use potty words and when not, specifically the word “penis.”  Will tells us you cannot say the word penis outside.  We say…sure that sounds about right.  Then Gracie very matter-of-factly looks up from her coloring book and replies, “Well, unless you see one.  Then you can say it.”  Yep.  Girl, I pray you NEVER see a penis outside.  EVER.  Hell, you can’t see one inside until you’re at least 25, no make it 30.  And circumcised please.  No hoodies. 

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So – there’s my cute stories for the day.  Good night! 

PS – My new favorite song.  Take Note:  I found this BEFORE it got annoying.  LOVE IT.  NSFW.  Watch me imbed this bad boy!!!

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Bathroom

I keep trying to think of an intro that eases you into this story.  Some gentle Family Circus humor before I get all gross.  But…I got nothing.  Subtlety is not really my forte in writing.  So here goes nothing… an Honest -To-God True Story about why sometimes it sucks to be a woman. 

 

Having a period in an office environment can be a bit challenging.  Every 30 days, I get a visit from Aunt Flo that’s not so much fun for about 48 hours, and I need to quietly excuse myself every 3 hours or so to stop the epic dam that’s about to burst and bleed out in front of my co-workers.  Gross.  I told you, but hey babies don’t come from storks, magic pixie dust and fairy wings.  It’s nature people.    

 

No matter our age, women have to figure out a way in public to get hygiene products into a bathroom for a quick spruce up and to stop the dam from breaking.  In high school, that meant suddenly carrying your purse to the bathroom for one week a month.  In college, you had to plan for long class days and pack your bag accordingly, and not get stuck in a 3-hour class and feel gravity take over halfway through.  Eww I know, but hey ladies, you all know what I’m sayin…you’ve all been there, and it sucks. 

 

So then you get to be an adult with a job with a nice clean bathroom and more leniency on when you can get up and pee.  (Unless, you work in a call center like I did once for 8 tortuous months, then it’s like breaking out of prison to go to the bathroom.)  If you carry your purse, everyone wonders where the hell you’re going, and in my office, they ask.  So instead of coming up with a lie every four hours, “Uh, I just have to get something out of my car,” which some in my office would totally keep track of, and soon I’d be hearing, “You know, you go down to your car a lot, maybe you should plan ahead and bring it all up at once.”  Thanks.  I’d never thought of that. 

 

See, our bathrooms are not in our suite.  They are at the end of a LONG hallway and shared with other offices on our floor, which is awesome for total anonymity when you need to go drop a bomb after some KILLER Lebanese food or you know you will be making some sweet noise after a round of refried bean Mexican dip.  This is not so great when you have to RUN to them after some really good milkshakes, which really, all they do to me is make my boys run FROM the yard.  Lactose intolerance sucks and milkshakes are SOOO good – it’s such a double edge sword.    And yes, every time I hear that song, I think of diarrhea.  Not quite what Kelis had in mind I think.   

 

Anyways, God, I could talk about poop all day, but that’s not what I’m telling you today.  So, I had my monthly friend visiting and it was time to do some necessary business.  Now, I have created my own little secret stashing place for my unmentionables, ok, let’s just get this out of the way, TAMPONS.  There, now I can stop thinking of delicate words for it.  Hell, I’ve already confessed to running diarrhea so I am not quite sure what I am so embarrassed about.  This secret place doesn’t require an obvious purse or pockets, which I’ve discovered my work pants usually never have, or if they do, they are decoys and uselessly shallow and only there to showcase the fact that your hips are making them stick out at wierd angles.  My genius spot?  The waistband of my slacks.  I just need 2 uninterrupted seconds to place said tampon and pull my shirt over it and VIOLA!  I can discretely go to the bathroom with no one the wiser. 

 

Now when I say 2 uninterrupted seconds, really, that’s all I need.  But, in my office, much like my home, I have very little privacy.  2 uninterrupted seconds is damn near impossible.  Over the years, I have summed up the difference between home and work is that I don’t wipe butts at the office.  That’s the ONLY difference.  And don’t tell my sales associates I am a fairly good ass wiper because then that will be the next request from them.  So as I was saying, I was in the process of discretely placing said tampon in secret traveling location when unbeknownst to me, behind me magically appears a partner asking for something to be done.  I jump like an idiot and try to quickly stash said tampon into the waistband and then try to casually act like I totally wasn’t doing anything just then.  Standing there for no reason. 

 

He gives me a weird look, pauses, then proceeds to give me the task at hand.  He walks away and I breathe a sigh of relief and hope he didn’t see what I had in my hand.  Then I look down.  And see that the tampon has not slid into the waistband as hoped, but instead did this.    

Recreated just for you...

Recreated just for you…

So, while one of our partners was trying to nonchalantly ask me to do my job, I was not so casually sporting a tiny thin PENIS from the top of my shirt.  Awesome.  I am the COOLEST person ever. 

 

 I will probably never know if he saw it.  I’m too embarrassed to ask.  And he won’t mention it.  Ever.  Trust me. 

 

 AND ….SCENE. 

 

PS – HEY!!  I just learned to embed something.  Baby steps.  Maybe one day, I’ll figure out how to make this blog somewhat readable.  In the meantime, enjoy some Milkshake…