I am a Dealer

I feel like a dealer. A lot of the characteristics are the same.  I constantly have product on hand. I was approached just yesterday by a repeat user in my parking garage.  I have people who started out with a modest purchase and then escalated into a two, three, four a day addiction.

I’m constantly dealing.  Looking for my next score.  3 p.m. office sugar drop? I’m your gal. Post-soccer match treat yo’ self? I’m there. Office elevator full of women at 5 p.m…I’m right there with my stash.

I made the mistake early in the game of sampling some of my own product.  I say to myself, “Just one.”  OK, maybe another. And another. Hell, it’s been a bad day, I’ll just do the whole thing, but then quit cold turkey tomorrow. Yes, I can do that.  How bad can it be for you anyways?   Soon, I’m up to a box a day habit.  Strung out, hiding in the bathroom, inhaling my own product at mind boggling speed.  The kids’ will never know.  My husband won’t find my stash.  Just a quick hit to take the edge off the day.

Yes, folks.  I am a Cookie Mom.  I have that yearly temptation  of sweet goodness boxed and stacked shoulder high in my garage. Samoas, Thin Mints, Trefoils, Tagalongs.  I’ve got them all.  Timed perfectly at the end of February each year – just about the time our New Year’s resolutions are fading fast and a tiny cookie doesn’t seem so bad.  Lent promises are quickly broken as soon as my daughter and I walk through that door.   We are wheelers and dealers with our cute slogans and uniforms.  You never had a chance.  Even Leo can’t resist.

We are coming.  Soon we will hit your street with our wagon full of temptation.  Innocently peddling our wares.  There goes the neighborhood.

Sorry everyone, but a girl has to pay for camp somehow.  It’s hard times we live in these days.   Girls gotta eat.  Don’t hate the playa, hate the game.

OK, this is getting out of hand.  I better leave it be.  But really, I still have a ton left. It does do really great things for the girls. Buy a box would ya?  Help a mother out?  Building strong leaders and diabetes, one box at a time.  That’s me.  I’m a freakin saint for what I do.

Love,

Jen

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PS – I hope to be back more often bitches!  🙂

 

 

An Introvert’s Mother’s Day

As I believe I’ve mentioned, Mother’s Day to me is a big deal. I don’t give a hoot about Valentine’s Day, Sweetest Day, or any other Hallmark holiday. Mother’s Day, however, I am dead serious in its execution.

Why? Because as an introvert, I need my alone time. Time to regroup. Time to let my thoughts sort themselves out in the quiet moments of boredom. Guess what NEVER happens during parenthood?  All of those things.

Now I am a lucky woman because I have a husband who understands me. Understands my need for alone time. I usually get a chunk of time, if we have it, to myself each weekend. Problem is, with kids comes obligations, responsibilities, and birthday parties, oh my God, the birthday parties. Not to mention baseball practice, Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts, and dance practice.

So what I ask of Mother’s Day is simple: No responsibility.  No one to need me.  I know, one day I’ll miss it, but now in the throes of life with youngish kids, STFU.

Parenting is tough for an introvert. We crave alone time. We like our routine, our schedules and control of our daily lives. Again, none of these things happen when you have children. We like the quiet. We hate meeting new people. We hate new, unfamiliar situations.  Parenting makes you experience these things all the time. And I have two people looking up at me to show them the way. Show them how to navigate social situations. Guess what I don’t do well?  All those things!

When placed in new situations, I am an awkward, stumbley mess and am usually overwhelmed by my surroundings. Add two kids to that unease who say and do whatever they feel like and I can no longer hide along the wall where I’m most comfortable. I have to jump into the fray, figure out the lay of the land, and do so dam quick, so I can assure my kids that contrary to my inner self’s musings, people are good.  You should want to interact with people, make friends, be a productive member of society. Not, like me, dread the sound of the doorbell. All of this is exhausting to an introvert.

Fortunately and unfortunately, my son is my mini me. He’s fine without people. He’s social and likes people, but given a choice, he’d be reading. Ha! No, I’m kidding, he’d be playing a video game. It’s me who’d rather be reading. When the two of us are together, it’s awesome. We each take a chair and experience togetherness doing our own thing in the same room. Relax, I push when needed, but I also understand my introvert kid doesn’t need to be on the go all the time.

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Now my daughter craves interaction. She’s an extrovert to the fullest. While I wouldn’t classify her father as an extrovert, I’d say they are similar. G needs people, loves them and wants to spend time with them every single second. Her dad, while not needing people as much, still enjoys entertaining and spontaneous get togethers. I would rather hide in my room or binge watch Grey’s Anatomy. This is why we are a good match. He makes me come out of my shell just often enough so that I don’t become the hermit cat lady and my family and friends still know what my face looks like and that I can be in fact a very sociable nice person. If he didn’t push, I’d be Martin Mull on that episode of the Golden Girls. (For non-fanatics and those under 22, Dorothy friends a man who hasn’t been out of his apartment in 20 years because he was agoraphobic.)

I feel like I’m getting off track. Basically, I take this one day each year to unleash my full introvert potential. I am like the fun aunt to my kids. I love them, laugh with them, and do the fun stuff, but when the hard responsible part comes up,  for today only, I get to hand them to their dad no questions asked. I get to go back to my book, or my mid-Mother’s Day nap. One day a year, there’s no mom guilt for how I’ve failed them. No feeling lazy for not wanting to pick dandelions with them. Every whine, every request, every need is answered with, “Go get your dad.” And it’s awesome.

Please don’t get me wrong. I love my kids. I even love the responsibility and the hard parts. It makes me a better person. It makes life worth living. It brings fullness to my life. But today, just today, I get to see the greener grass on the other side.  Just for 24 hours.  And you know, it’s actually too quiet in here…

That's better.

              That’s better.

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)

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.

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.

Birthday Post #2

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So apparently I only write on birthdays.

8 years ago today, in a hospital in Washington DC, I birthed my baby boy.  Well, they surgically removed him, but hey, I was there, and it wasn’t a walk in the park that way either.

We started excited to get up and go that morning to head over to the hospital that was an hour away from our apartment.  We were told to call first to ensure no emergencies had happened that would push the surgery back.  We called and were told that my 11:30 had been cancelled as I had already had the baby via emergency C-section.

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Wait…what?  I looked down.  I was pretty sure I was still pregnant.  Nope, he hadn’t fallen out feet first since that’s the way he was positioned.

Turns out when you have a very generic name, thanks Irish husband, other Jennifers also give birth on that very same day.  Apparently, with the very same birthday as well.  Except for the year.  SHE was older.  But hey, once you verify same name, month and day, the year is just an oversight.  Didn’t matter, this kid was COMING OUT TODAY.  I was done being pregnant.  I hadn’t eaten all day and wanted to meet my son.

So they squeezed us in and by 3 p.m. Bear was born.  It was not fun.  Unknown to me at the time, I had placenta accreta, which meant that my placenta had attached itself to my uterine wall.  Bleck.  So, if my stubborn son hadn’t been feet first and unwilling to move, I would have been in serious trouble after delivery.  So kid, I owe you one.  You saved me that day.

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The birth was just the beginning.  I had spent an immense amount of time reading about MY pregnancy, MY body, MY delivery, and so on, that I kind of overlooked the whole taking care of a brand new person task that was now staring me in the face.  They pulled him out, he gave the best wail I’d ever heard, and my husband looked at me the same way I looked at him.  With wide eyed terror.  What had we just done?!  There was no going back now.  This little person needed us to keep him alive.  What the hell did we JUST DO?

I panicked, like all good mothers.  Realized that the idea of being a mother comes instinctively is total and utter BS.  I had no idea what I was doing.  No instincts kicked in.  I was totally and utterly knocked off my feet.  I guess literally too because the anesthesiologist must have gotten to go home that day, because the idiots left my epidural in for 24 straight hours, which at the time I did not realize was not normal because hey, I was new to this whole motherhood, giving birth thing.

So there I was, numb from the boobs down, trying to take care of my son and be mother of the year just a few hours in.  Mark and my mom were there, but there was no place to sleep, so each night they left me and Bear to drive the hour back to the apartment.  Go ahead, I can handle it I assured them.  I am SUPERMOM!  I can’t feel my feet, but I can take care of this baby by myself!  That was the first time I tried to handle motherhood all by myself and failed miserably.

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By the second night, I hadn’t slept a wink because I was convinced he would stop breathing at any given moment, and tearfully called a nurse at 11:30.  Will you…sniff hiccup sob…take him to the nursery…sob…for just a bit???  Sob hiccup…I’m not a bad mom…hiccup…I swear….hiccup…will you love him if he cries???  She assured me he wouldn’t be ignored in a corner, to get some sleep, and they would bring him to me when it was time to eat.  Sure enough, they did.  I slept a few hours.  He hasn’t gone to therapy yet for the separation, so I think it was ok.

On the third day, they kicked us to the curb and I was happy to go.  I had hubby and mom to support me 24 hours a day and the security and comfort of home waiting for me.

After some bumps in the road, he was breastfeeding well.  Until I got a raging UTI from the catheter being in so long and had to go on some heavy antibiotics for 10 days.  Pump and dump they say.  Sure, no big deal, I’m three days in, I’m a pro.  So, every two hours, I pumped two boobs empty, and dumped that precious tainted gold down the drain.  10 days later, all clear of painful peeing, I went back to nursing my 7 pound bundle of joy.  Who, by the way DID NOT drink the 12+ ounces of boob milk I had been pumping and dumping every 2 hours for 10 days.  I was in so much pain I think I would have fed anyone who asked just for some relief.  I could have seriously supplied much of a third world nation with the supply I was generating.  Needless to say, we got some backup supply while my body and I figured out what he actually needed.

So that was my first 2 weeks of being a first time mother.  How did yours go?  After all that, I wouldn’t trade a day of it.  My son is one of the smartest, funniest, most handsome boys I know.  I am blown away each day at his wit, brains, and thought processes.  He is crafting his own brand of sarcasm that will one day rival my own.  He asks questions that would stump Stephen Hawking, let alone get an answer from me.

We had a rough start at the beginning, but it was well worth the blood, sweat and tears.  He’s my hero.  And one day, we’ll live in his guest house in Malibu, because he loves his parents and wants to share his millions.  Right Bear??

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PS – Trying not to freak out, but I went back to insert pics tonight and couldn’t find anything before 2008.  MARK!!!!  The computer’s broken!!!