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.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

OMG they're a CULT!

I probably should have started this blog, oh, 14 months ago. But you know how it is, with a newborn and keeping a clean house while entertaining an endless stream of visitors who just "want to help" while you hobble around the house tending your fresh C-section incision and dealing with the weepiness of postpartum blues and completely losing it because one of your well-meaning visitors ate your last Ferrero Roche and cluster feedings and remembering to give your diabetic cat her insulin and pediatrician appointments and OH MY GOD WHAT IS THAT IN HER DIAPER and finding childcare and dropping the baby weight and finding time to go to the supermarket and cook a healthy dinner and saying "Screw it, let's order Chinese" for the 8th night in a row and remembering to call back everyone who left you a voicemail and write back everyone who sent you a Facebook message and scouring for a new job because you can't bear the thought of returning to your crappy job...

Wait, where was I?

Oh yeah. La Leche League.

I say that I should have started this blog earlier because it would have been easier to tell my whole breastfeeding saga as it happened. I'm sure I'll get to it eventually, but I wanted to explain why (for now) La Leche League is the only link over there in my little "Parenting Links Box."

It's because I credit them fully with saving my breastfeeding relationship with my daughter.

I was warned about LLL. I was told the horrors of LLL Leaders barging into hospital rooms and forcing the boobs of formula feeding mothers into their babies' faces. That if you provided them with any sort of contact information, they'd swarm upon you like locusts and steal the Enfamil from your pantry in the dark of the night.

Long story short, Baby LaLa had some allergy issues early on. Nothing crazy, but she had specks of blood in her diaper that started off minor and got pretty alarming after a couple weeks. After eliminating dairy from my diet, my pediatrician mandated me to stop breastfeeding immediately and put her on Neocate formula, despite my desperate, tearful pleas. I was willing to do whatever it took to save my breastfeeding relationship because I knew, in my heart of hearts, that it was the right path for Baby LaLa and I to take together. Nope, he said, you HAVE TO stop breastfeeding immediately and switch to Neocate.

So, after spending two hours driving through two snowy New Jersey counties stopping at every pharmacy searching for friggin' Neocate, I gave up and decided to breastfeed for the night, do some research, and decide what to do the next morning.

The next morning, I reluctantly called a La Leche League leader because I didn't know what else to do. I knew I needed to find another doctor that was more supportive of my decision to breastfeed and that would help me exhaust all the options before giving up, but I had no idea how to find that person. I was scared to death that they'd suck me in and call me every day to keep tabs, but I had no other choice.

The woman I spoke to was friendly and understanding. She sympathized with me and thanked me for reaching out to her. She recommended, "off the record," a doctor who also was a lactation consultant. She shared her experiences with me, and wished me luck.

I visited the doctor and she gave me a list of foods to cut out of my diet, one by one. It was very difficult, at one point I was off dairy, soy, fish and eggs... but we eventually discovered that eggs were the culprit. The blood in Baby LaLa's diaper vanished and never came back, and we are still nursing at 14 months.

I only spoke to the La Leche League leader one more time - when she called a couple weeks later to see how I made out with the doctor. She suggested I attend meetings if I could, but didn't pressure me. I never heard from La Leche League again.

I know that other peoples' experiences with LLL are different, but I wanted to share my story to get it out there that they're NOT ALWAYS the cult that people make them out to be.

The end.

Monday, February 28, 2011

A Mother's Woe

My daughter can...

Moo like a cow. Oo-oo-oo like a monkey. Bok-bok like a chicken. Rawr like a lion or dinosaur. Neigh like a horse (this is the cutest ever). Make her Itsy Bitsy Spider go up the water spout. Outrun me. Identify a hundred different things around the house, including specific books. Smell pretty flowers. Almost feed herself with a spoon. Give kisses and hugs on command. Say "gub-gub-gub" when she wants to read her Yo Gabba Gabba book or when it comes on TV. Throw all her stuffed animals over the baby gate into the kitchen. Walk backwards. Find her feet, belly, hair, ears and tongue, as well as other peoples' noses. Brush her teeth (with help). Dance.

My daughter cannot...

Say "mama."


Obligatory Introduction Post

I fucking hate "mom blogs."

So naturally, I have to start one.

Here's the thing about mom blogs and mom bloggers, in general: They're all full of shit. Stay-at-home, organic, cloth-diapering, vegan, Ferberizing, coupon-clipping, attachment parenting, holier-than-thou Earth Mommies that boycott Nestle and don't own a TV. Whatever, man. You have fun with that.

Me? I'm a REAL mom. I have a 14-month old. I work 40 hours a week. I feed my kid hot dogs. She watches Nick Jr. Her clothes, while clean, are not organic or dye-free. I proudly wrap her butt in Pampers or Luvs. I haven't read a single parenting book. I do it my way, I do what feels right, I set limits on what is important to me.

What's gonna be here? Product reviews: not of Mama Nature's Organic Crispy Kale Puffs or Marissa & Dave's BPA-Free Wooden Learn-A-Ma-Jig, but of chicken nuggets or Fisher Price Little People or shampoo I treated myself to. Recipes: Not of Vegan Tofu Enlightenment Burgers, but macaroni and cheese and crock pot chicken. Amusing Anecdotes: Not of yesterday's adventures at the afternoon Mommy-and-Me class, but of what the hell really happens if you try to take a 14-month old to a restaurant for a "nice dinner out." ...and whatever the hell else I want. There might be curse words. There might be TMI. But there won't be any granola preachy crap that makes me roll my eyes.

Take it or leave it.