Friday, January 18, 2013

This happened.

"Brian said that I'm a DUMB BABY."

"Did you tell him that's not very nice?"

"Yes and he just kept saying it and saying that I was a DUMB BABY."

"You know that's not true, right?  You know you're a very smart big girl, right?"

"Right. Yes. I think that he's WRONG."

It's already started.  I cried, because it's already started, and because she's so naively, beautifully self-confident and I wish I could be sure that in 10 years when they're calling her so much worse she'll have that same confidence.

I would also like to hold Brian against the wall by his neck and tell him through clenched teeth that if he ever calls my daughter a dumb baby again, he won't live to see another birthday.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Product Review: Mommy Necklaces

Check out this brilliant "design."
Such artistry.
I've been a fan of Mommy Necklaces for a really long time.  They made beautiful necklaces perfect for moms made of non-toxic beads and featuring a breakaway clasp.  Great for grabby toddlers and twiddling breastfeeders, I considered Mommy Necklaces a must-have accessory for every mom.

Until recently.

Mommy Necklaces is a strangely run company.  They shut their entire operations down and close their website for weeks at a time at least twice a year, usually coinciding with a major holiday or gift-giving occasion.  (This year, they were closed for Mother's Day.)  While they're closed, they taunt their Facebook fans with "preview photos" of what's coming up, half of which won't ever make it to production or will be changed so drastically they'll be unrecognizable.  Then, they reopen with much fanfare about the "new line", illustrated with lots of smileys, less-than-threes, misspellings and horrible grammar on their Facebook page.  They delete any negative comment made by fans, even something as benign as "I don't like the colors in this necklace."  The owners of this company believe that their necklaces have souls, contain actual unicorn tears, and bestow upon the wearer a sense of peace and well-being.  Any comment other than sunshiny rainbows and showers of love deeply affects the women that wear the necklaces to the point that, if a random Facebook stranger doesn't like the plastic on a string that THEY like, they will spiral into a deep depression the likes of which only high doses of antipsychotic meds and electric shock therapy will cure.

Their last launch was a revamp of the entire line of necklaces.  Their new line features strands of plastic beads that look like something my toddler strings together in daycare on craft day.  Where before, ALL the necklaces had varying color and shape beads and spacers and were designed using actual brain power and had depth, dimension and interest, much of the new collection consists of strands of one type of one color bead on a string.  How this is supposed to be enthralling and attractive to a child, I do not know.  Now, I understand that old lady strings-of-pearls may appeal to others, they're just not my bag.

If the revamp ended there, my review would still be quite positive.  However, Mommy Necklaces also changed every other thing about their necklaces, and not in a good way.  The new line is terrible for moms who don't keep their hair in a ponytail every day or have a very short haircut.  They pull at the little hairs at the base of your neck so that it feels as though you're being stung by bees all damn day.  I'm sorry, I don't care if I look as beautiful as Sofia Vergara in my Mommy Necklace, if they're going to yank out my hair, I'm not going to wear them.

They also remolded their breakaway clasp so that it doesn't breakaway anymore.  The owner of the company actually posted a video to their Facebook page before the launch explaining exactly how to open the clasp, using your thumb as leverage.  Uh, what?  Aren't breakaway clasps supposed to... just break away?  Why the instruction manual?  You think my toddler paid attention to her seven-minute video?  No, she didn't.  She still yanks at the necklace on my neck like she always did, except now instead of cleanly popping open with no harm done, the necklace now holds tight, only breaking away when she exerts such force that she falls backwards on her ass, painfully pulling chunks of my hair along with it.

And, a few times, when I thought that the clasp had "broken away," it turned out that it had just... broken.  Because of the nature of the construction and material of the new clasp, it tends to snap at a weak point in the closure, popping one end of the clasp in two.  I'm able to snap the two pieces together so the necklace is still wearable, but every time the toddler pulls on it, the clasp pops open, and two sharp choking hazards go flying across the room that I have to scramble to retrieve before the toddler or a cat does.

If I'd written this review a year ago, like I had planned to before I got lazy, it would have been glowing and filled with the hearts and rainbows that Mommy Necklaces loves so much.  I'm glad I waited, because now?  Mommy Necklaces are shit.  And to top it all off?  They're expensive shit.  They charge upwards of $30 for ONE of these non-functional plastic hunks of junk.

And the thing about them is... nursing necklaces are SO EASY to make, you guys.  The components are inexpensive and easy to find (especially the older-style clasps that actually DO breakaway), the knots are elementary, and even if you've never attempted a craft in your life, you can make something way nicer than anything you could buy from Mommy Necklaces.  In a coming post, I'll show you how, complete with links to vendors where you can buy cord, clasps and beads, and step-by-step photos on how to tie the necklaces off securely so you won't have to worry about Mommy Necklaces' little grey choking hazards flying all over your house.

Until then, and if you're not a DIY type, I suggest you check out etsy and search for nursing necklace or breastfeeding necklace.  Don't waste your money on these!

Real Mom Rating: (zero Cheerios)

Not dead

Well, hello.

Yeah, so I let this blog go for a while.  You want to fight about it?

I went and got myself knocked up so I resurrected it, because if I didn't have time or energy to keep up a blog with one kid running around, I DEFINITELY will have time with two, right?

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Skinned knee.

It happened so fast.

I'm bored. It's nice. Let's go for a walk. She's hot. Too hot. Pants are hotter. I'll find shorts. Shorts on. Socks too hot. Put on newer shoes that she's not as used to than her sneakers (idiot). Let's go. And she's running and she's running and she's running and she's running and she's running and she's down. She cries and she shakes her leg, she shakes it and shakes it and there's blood. She's screaming and we're rushing back inside and she's screaming and screaming. Tears. Blood. Tears. Peroxide. More tears. Sippy. Ball. Backyard. Smiles and laughter.

And it was over.

But every time I look at her scabby, raw right knee, it happens all over again.

I feel like the worst mommy ever, like anyone else would have seen it coming a mile away. I feel like I can hear the voices of our neighbors watching from their windows, "Look at those assholes, that kid's going to skin her..."


Friday, April 15, 2011

Product Review: Sally Hansen Salon Effects

I've always been blessed with awesome fingernails, when I'm not biting them. For years before I had Baby LaLa, my nails were always strong and long, I loved to paint them funky colors. Forget about when I was preggo - prenatal vitamins made them thick like acrylics. Once I had the baby, I had to say good-bye to my long nails, so I took to biting them again. I bit them until she was a year old, and it was one of my New Year's Resolutions to stop biting them and let them grow again.

So, for the past four months I've been really good about it, and my awesome nails are back. I've been keeping them short, but I haven't filed them in a while so they're a little on the longer side. I was going to treat myself to a special manicure, but who has the time for that? I saw these Salon Effects things in Harmon a few weeks ago and thought they were neat, but had since forgotten about them until yesterday, when a girl at work was showing off her awesome-looking lacy fingernails. I thought that this would be the perfect opportunity to give them a try.

I drove over to Harmon and perused the selection. These things are hot - At least half of the choices were sold out. They come in a whole bunch of cute-as-hell patterns, as well as neon colors and glitters. The patterns are a no-brainer, and I can get the neon colors because it's hard to get an even application of a bright color like that with regular polish, but I kind of don't understand the glitters. Glitter polish is easy. Yeah, it chips, but ... so? Paint another coat on. At about $9 a pop, I would think that a $2 bottle of glitter polish would be a more economical choice.

On the price point: I did hesitate on picking up the box because, really? $9 for nail polish? But I justified it because I haven't gotten a manicure in a long time, and that would be over $20, so. Yeah.

Anyway ... I digress.

I picked up a box of them yesterday, in the pattern called "Girl Flower." I totally forgot about them until 10:00 last night, after The Man got home from class and we'd finished dinner. I wasn't sure I would have enough time to put them on, but I was psyched for my new girly fingernails so I gave it a whirl. The pack comes with 16 strips, and even comes with a little manicure stick to smooth the strips, and a little nail file with three textures - to shape the nail, to smooth, and to file off the excess paint strip.

They took about a half hour to apply. Super easy. You want to make sure that your nails are clean and you swipe some nail polish remover over them just before you apply. These are little strips of actual nail polish that come in 8 different sizes. Just match the size to your finger, pull off the protective clear plastic layer and apply, pressing down to kind of stretch the strip over your nail. Fold the strip over the top of your nail (it's totally pliable so it fits perfectly) and file the excess off.

I've read on other sites that the strips dry out once they're opened. I had some strips left over, and if it wasn't so late I definitely would have had plenty to put on my toenails as well. I'm thinking about foregoing my summer pedi in favor of these, but I think that's one luxury I'll keep. Maybe once my toes start to grow out and chip in July, I'll give these a whirl on my toes.

I am SO impressed by this product!! The box claims that it'll last up to 10 days, so I'm determined to not be my usual picking-and-peeling self and let them be. (I'll come back in a week and update how they've held up.) They look so pretty! As a busy, frazzled mom, it's not often that I feel super-cute and feminine, and these really are doing the trick. I love them so much, I'm actually distracted by my nails on the keyboard at work this morning. I can't wait to try out some of the other patterns, and rock a neon to the beach this summer. This is truly a breakthrough in beauty (not that I'm an expert in beauty, or anything) and really provides a fantastic solution for the mom that want to treat herself and look pretty, but doesn't have the time to sit in a salon for an hour for a manicure.

Update: They lasted 10 days, and only on the 9th day did they start to chip and crack, but very slightly. I would been fine wearing them to a special event up until about day 8. These things are WIN.

Real Mom Rating: ooooo (five Cheerios)

Monday, March 7, 2011

Consistently Inconsistent

I don't know what I'm doing with this whole "parenting" thing. I'm just doing what feels right, as I go, with no rhyme or reason. For what it's worth, Baby LaLa is the happiest, cutest, most delightful child anyone who's met her has ever known, so I guess I must be doing something right?

I was discussing this with the husband last night, how I'm neurotic about some things but apathetic about others.

-I will only feed the baby organic oatmeal cereal. Only very recently I started buying Gerber; until then it was only Earth's Best.
-But then I'll give her a plate of animal crackers.
-I won't give her Kraft singles. There's something about feeding her "processed cheese product" that doesn't sit right with me, so I only give her real cheese, sliced from the deli counter.
-But I'll happily microwave her up some chicken fingers for dinner. Or a hot dog. I do, however, always make sure the hot dogs are 100% turkey (no lips and assholes for MY little girl, thankyouverymuch) and that the chicken fingers are 100% white meat.
-When Baby LaLa first made the transition from baby food to solids (also note I never made my own baby food... but I was pretty strict about the jarred food I did buy: no weird ingredients) I was feeding her canned vegetables because, as I said, I have no idea what the hell I'm doing. My BFF instilled a fear of OMGSODIUMOMG into me, and now I only feed her frozen veggies.
-And then give her some ice cream for dessert.

A friend of mine is a big believer in Tylenol, and she'll dose up her kid with it if she thinks she might be teething or something. I avoid Tylenol, and will only give it to Baby LaLa if she's obviously in pain or has a fever of 101 or higher. That same friend is neurotic about not putting her kid in the car seat with bulky clothing on, while I strap Baby LaLa into her carseat in full snowgear.


Friday, March 4, 2011

A Weekday in the Life

6:15 am: Pee. Husband retrieves stirring baby.
6:17 am: Nurse baby in bed. Husband showers. Cuddle with baby. Watch TV with baby.
6:50 am: Change baby. Dress baby. Husband takes baby downstairs.
7:00 am: Curse at scale. Pluck obvious grey hairs. Brush teeth. Find clean(ish) clothes. Throw hair into ponytail. Apply deodorant.
7:20 am: Go downstairs. Pack breakfast and lunch. Prepare coffee. Put on shoes. Inject diabetic cat with insulin. Put on baby's shoes. Put on baby's coat. Entertain baby while husband packs car.
7:30 am: Kiss baby. Kiss husband. Drive car to work.
8:00 am: Work.
4:30 pm: Stop working.
5:00 pm: Retrieve baby from sitter.
5:30 pm: Arrive home.
5:31 pm: Clean diabetic cat's shit off bathroom floor.
5:32 pm: Yell at diabetic cat and chase her up the stairs.
5:35 pm: Tickle baby. Eat baby. Love baby.
5:45 pm: Prepare baby's dinner.
5:50 pm: Feed baby.
5:51 pm: Explain to baby that we do not throw food onto the floor.
5:52 pm: Start doing last night's dinner dishes while baby eats.
5:55 pm: Pick baby's food up off the floor.
5:59 pm: Explain to baby that we do not squish our food between our fingers.
6:00 pm: Finish last night's dinner dishes.
6:03 pm: Clean food from between baby's fingers.
6:15 pm: Clean baby's dinner off baby.
6:20 pm: Greet husband. Discuss dinner.
6:30 pm: Leave baby with daddy.
6:35 pm: Shower.
6:50 pm: Cook dinner.
7:10 pm: Feed cats.
7:20 pm: Inject diabetic cat with insulin.
7:30 pm: Snuggle baby. Cuddle baby. Eat baby. Throw baby. Chase baby. Be chased by baby. Read to baby. Sing with baby. Play with baby. Dance with baby. Kiss baby. Love baby.
8:00 pm: Vitamins and toothie brush.
8:10 pm: Change baby. Put baby into pajamas.
8:20 pm: Nurse baby. Put baby to bed.
8:40 pm: Put away baby's toys.
8:45 pm: Eat dinner.
9:30 pm: Relax. Watch bad tv. Play Picross 3D or Angry Birds. Check e-mail, Facebook and Twitter.
10:30 pm: Bed.

And that's an easy day.