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Thursday, March 31, 2011

This One's For the Girls!

Today is Mother's Day.  Why?  Because I said so.  I'm a mom and I say that just because someone picked some random day in May to celebrate what moms do every single day of the year, does not mean that I can't give a shout out to my home girls any damn day I want.  ( I do realize that the "home-girl" statement only proves that I need to leave my house more.)  At any rate:  THIS ONE'S FOR THE GIRLS!

For the one who realizes that although neosporin and band-aids do help, a kissed boo boo is likely to heal much faster.

For the one who used to have nice boobies and now has knee warmers.

For the woman who can look in the mirror and see bags under her eyes, stretch marks, and sweatpants and know that today is gonna be a good day because she got a shower. (and it wasn't even shower day!!)

For the one who used to dream of seeing her name in lights, but realizes that seeing it in crayon is pretty great too.

For the mom who is kept up all night long feeding, diapering, and scaring away monsters and still manages to remember the good-bye kiss at the school drop-off.

For the one who gets out of her vehicle carrying a baby, a diaper bag, three bags of randomly discarded clothing, a sippy cup, a popsicle stick, and a shoe and DOES NOT kill her empty-handed 7 year old son when he asks if she'll carry his coat.

For the mom who remembers that today is not just "Thursday" it is also show-and-tell, a doctor's appointment, playdate, and gymnastics day.

For the one who trades her stilettos for some softball spikes so that her daughter knows that "throwing like a girl" isn't necessarily a bad thing.

For these and all of the other amazing women out there who do this job today and everyday, Happy Because I Said So Mother's Day!!!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Memories and J-E-L-L-O

So, I'm kind of getting into this blogging thing.  It's fun and simple, and every once in awhile a grown-up tells me they like what I do.  This is vital to the survival of the only part of my brain that hasn't turned into jello.  Part of this blogging experience has been to check out other mommy blogs.  There are some really great ones out there.  Some are funny, some are sentimental, some endorse certain products.  I feel like the best information is obtained from someone ACTUALLY doing the job.  Knowledge is best obtained through experience.  And my experience tells me that some of the sentimental blogs are humorous even if that wasn't the intention.

I recently read a blog by a woman who is recording every moment of her child's life.  The blog chronicles every smile, step, milestone, giggle, etc.  She has even posted monthly pictures of her daughter so that you can see how she's growing and changing.  She records playdates, mealtimes, and any other everyday occurrence in her young child's life.  She plans to collect all of the blog entries at some point and make them into a book for her daughter.  She'll have it bound in leather and plans to give it to her later in life.  The woman is an excellent writer, and I think the idea is a beautiful one.  However, I think it is quite obvious that this is the woman's first child.  All I kept thinking the entire time I was reading was BOY ARE YOU SCREWED!!!

Remember when you were pregnant with your first child and you had all of these ideas about momentos and keepsakes you'd be saving for your child?  This is partly due to the fact that all of the blood that used to go to your brain has now been redirected to your uterus, but it's also because you are FREAKING CLUELESS!  Don't get me wrong, I did exactly the same thing.  I've got at LEAST 5 or 6 albums of my first son.  I think if I were to look back, we could make a flip book of every drool droplet the kid ever produced.  It's cute, and sweet and wonderful until you have your second child.  You begin to realize around month six that you've taken approximately 3 pictures of your youngest and those don't even really count because the older sibling is in all of them.  You look at the empty album and feel guilty, so you start to create a "scrap book" for them.  Scrap book is just another way of saying, "Yeah, I had to cut your pictures so that you couldn't see that we were actually taking pictures of your brother's first bike ride.  But, look!  There you are in the background eating a rock....don't get so eventually passed it."

Well, now I have four children and although the digital age has made photography much easier, I still actually have to PRINT the pictures.  Who has time for that?  Don't worry, they're all safe and sound on my hard drive.  What happens if my computer crashes you say?  Well, I have great plans to copy them to a zip drive and eventually to a cd so that our memories will never be lost.  Have I done that yet?  Well, no, but if we're ever faced with such an unfortunate event as hard drive crashing we will simply move to Plan B...which includes burning all of our first child's albums.  Who needs pictures when I've got all of the memories stored in my brain?

Monday, March 28, 2011

Mommy Trivia

My husband and I usually get to go out once or twice a year, and lately those outings have included local music trivia nights.  I am, of course, completely useless when it comes to current music trivia because if it doesn't include the words, "twinkle twinkle, hot dog hot dog, or we did it lo hicimos"  I've never heard of it.  I do know some pop music, but my knowledge of song lyrics is limited to what my 5-year-old has interpreted, and I believe that this morning's serenade went something like this:  "Chili pie, Chili pie, don't you hear about a poke her face?"  Somehow I don't think I'll get any points for that rendition.

I blame the catergories.  I think I'll have my own trivia night just for moms.  Of course the questions would look a bit different than what the mainstream crowd is used to, and the answers would inevitably have two or three parts apiece.  Perhaps it would look a little something like this:

Q:  What items can you expect a mother to carry in her diaper bag? (Any seasoned mom knows that this answer actually has 2 parts.  One for first time moms and one for the rest of us)
A1:  A first time mom will have diapers, wipes, pacifiers, extra clothing, toys, snacks, medications, a desk lamp, a bowling ball, a weed-eater...pretty much everything but the kitchen sink (and sometimes that too.)  She will be prepared for any crisis, real or imagined.
A2:  The mother of four will have forgotten the diaper bag and will be instructing her children to either "not pee too much for the next 4 hours, or live with the saggy diaper."

Q:  Which diapers are the best?
Accepted Answer:  Pampers swaddlers
Answer if you don't want to spend your life savings on shit collectors:  White cloud

Q:  What is the best way to potty-train a child?
Accepted Answer:  The first time the child expresses an interest you introduce them to the toilet and follow them around for the next year and a half asking them if they need to go potty.  (some mothers actually consider their children trained when this happens.  My question would be, who is the one that's being trained?)
Actual Answer:  Don't even entertain the notion until the kid walks up to you, underwear in hand and tells that he already went on the toilet himself.  He'll probably begin driving the next day, but at least you won't have wasted your time.

Q:  What is the best snack for your toddler?
Accepted Answer:  A nice sliced apple, banana, or steamed broccoli
Actual Answer:  Anything as long as it already matches the color of their shirt.  (This saves on laundry)

Q:  How long should a child nap?
Accepted Answer: An hour and a half to two hours.
Actual Answer:  However long it takes for mommy to regain her sanity.  Sometimes that takes a couple of days.

Q:  How often should you bathe your child?
Accepted Answer:  Once daily
Actual Answer:  When you can't remember the last time you did. (and the hose isn't an option)

Q:  What is the best way to get your baby to sleep?
Accepted Answer:  Rock him gently, and sing soothing songs until his little eyes flutter shut.
Actual Answer:  Put him in the bed, turn off the monitor and go outside.

Q:  Do mothers ever show preferential treatment to one child over another?
Accepted Answer:  I love all of my children equally.  They are each special in their own way.
Actual Answer:  Whoever didn't wake mommy up all night is getting a pony.

See, I would KICK BUTT at this trivia night.  But for some reason none of these questions are included.  I guess I'll just have to stick to being the eye candy for my team.  This means I'll have to dig up the bra that still has the wire in it, and locate my "going out" sweatpants.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Love that new car smell

Have you ever opened the door of a vehicle belonging to your single/childless friend?  Do you kind of pause, and look around wondering if you should be taking your shoes off before getting inside?  This is because, as a mom, you've completely forgotten about the "new car smell."  Hell, let's face it, at this point you'd settle for driving a ten-speed if didn't smell like an outhouse.

It's alright to admit it.  If you have children your vehicle probably requires you to wear a hazmat suit upon entering.  You probably have at least 1 kool-aid stain, 1 dirty diaper, and 3,000 cheerios somewhere in your car at any given time.  And we've all had that EXTREMELY unfortunate experience of opening the door and getting knocked backward eight feet because someone thought it was ok to leave their milk-filled sippy cup under the seat.  Of course, the rule of the spoiled milk cup is that it can only occur in the middle of July when it is 115 degrees outside.  This allows for the optimum temperature for proper congealing, and gives it that signature,  "I think I just threw up my stomach" smell.  If you are a rookie, you will likely locate said sippy cup, reach in and grab it bare-handed, and head for your kitchen sink to begin the cleaning process.  (NOT recommended)  Those of us who have been there and done that will put on the rubber gloves, double bag that thing and throw it in the dumpster outside.  No need to clean it, just buy a new one.  Nothing is worth assaulting your nostrils in that way (and we're moms, we've smelled alot of nasty crap.)

If you happen to be reading this and saying to yourself, "Oh, I will never/have never had a vehicle that looks like that,"  one of two things are true.  You are either childless or you're lying through your teeth.  We all know how the "clean car" thing works.  If I ever have 10 minutes to clean my van, I do so under the premise that it will be destroyed in about 10 minutes.  I usually try to clean it right before I go to pick my kids up from school.  That way, when my kids get in the van, everyone sees how clean I keep my vehicle.  Of course, you can usually tell if I've made it that far that day.  If it's clean, I open it up and loudly announce to my children to get in the van.  This ensures that at least 2 other moms will look in and see how amazing I am! Someone will undoubtedly make a comment about how great my vehicle looks and I'll be like every other mom looking for some positive reinforcement.  I'll put on a smile and pretend like hell that it looks like this all of the time.  However, on most days I can be seen driving by at about 15 mph, throwing kids in through the back window.

The point is that we've all been there.  We know that no matter how hard we try to clean, or how much effort we put into faking it, we are most likely doomed to spend a few years driving a trash heap.  I'm sure that eventually we will miss those kool-aid stains.  We'll wonder where all the noise went, and why the steering wheel isn't sticky anymore.  But, something tells me I won't miss walking into church with a french fry stuck to my ass.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

And the Emmy goes to...

Entertainment.  You wanna see REAL entertainment?  Observe a group of women discussing the latest blockbusters.  I guarantee you it will take all of 5 seconds to discover which of these women is the mommy in the group.  Oh, sure she'll pretend to know what you're talking about.  She'll even throw in some noncommittal statement about her latest trip to the "theater."  You  may even see some feigned interest at the mention of famous actors.  However, she doesn't actually recognize THEIR names, she probably remembers their MOTHERS and has confused the two.

It's not that she hasn't watched any television in the last decade, but I can tell you that if you are discussing movie/tv trivia with a  mother of young children, she will know THESE things:

1.  Someone needs to call DCFS because Ruby has been the legal guardian for her two-year-old brother for entirely too long.  Sure, grandma comes to "visit" every once in awhile, but not before Ruby has cleaned the house, baked a cake, and sent Max to his room at least 8 times.  The girl is seven.  Not even rabbits should have that much responsibility at such a young age.

2.   And if a certain latina girl and her pet monkey appear on the screen, you can pretty much put the tv on mute and the neighbors up the street will STILL hear what's going on in Doraland.

3. Every mom secretly wishes that her handyman were half as sexy as Manny.  (Don't know you can't deny that heavenly accent.)

4.  The mom in the group will be the one doing the not-so-nonchalant check of her watch and wondering if she remembered to set the DVR to tape the new "Bubble Guppies" episodes.  It doesn't matter that it will be on 300 times in the next month...the premiere episode is ALWAYS better.

I will admit it.  This is me.  I've seen a few movies over that past few years though. Do you know what movie I saw in the theater most recently?  Mars Needs Moms.  I did not take my children.  Why did I go see this movie when I had a couple of free hours to myself, and could pretty much have chosen ANY movie?  Because this is what I've seen advertised.  THIS is my life.  THIS is the latest "blockbuster" for me.  And you know what?  I thought it was great.  I bawled like a baby, but to be fair that was probably because I realized that I'd just spent two hours without having to change any diapers, wipe any noses, or flip my boobs out of my shirt.

I also recently discovered that Team UmiZoomi's "Bot" has the same voice as "Joe" on the old Blue's Clue's show.  And really there's nothing wrong with that discovery, except that I actually go around telling people this little piece of information as if I've unearthed the Holy Grail.

Anyway, I'm sure I'll rejoin the entertainment industry someday, but for now I'll just sing along to the tune in my head.  (Hot Dog, Hot Dog, Hot Diggity Dog)  It may be lame, but I'm actually ok with that because to be honest, at the end of the day, I'm too tired to give ANYTHING two thumbs up.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Beautiful Day

It's true that I spend most of my time cracking jokes and making fun of the craziness of motherhood, and with good reason.  It's because with every positive pregnancy test, a few more brain cells pack their bags and invite sanity along for an extended getaway...we're talking one-way ticket vacation.   Talking about the crazy, funny, obnoxious things about parenting actually keeps me teetering on the brink of sanity.  And, being a parent means making sacrifices. It means at least temporarily forfeiting the more glamorous parts of life. It also means being so irritated, depressed, and trapped sometimes that you wonder what it was that ever made you think you could do something like this.

But, what I realized today is that in the grand scheme of things, these moments are fleeting.  Today was full of all of the great reasons to be a parent.  I'm not exactly sure why today was special.  Perhaps it had something to do with the appearance of that big "happy lamp" in the sky.  Sunshine can fix many things. Or maybe it's because I had a little cocktail with dinner.  Alcohol also has magical powers.  Either way, I know that today would have been very different if I weren't a mother.

I wouldn't have known what it felt like to have a three-year old climb in bed with me early in the morning.  I wouldn't have seen her trace the outline of my hair with her chubby little finger, and stare at me as if she were trying to memorize every line of my face.  I wouldn't have seen how many worms could be dug up in our backyard, or how many side-walk chalk daisies would fit on our driveway.  I wouldn't have been able to see a 5-year old put so much trust in her father that she felt she could cast away both her fears and her training wheels and take her first solo bike ride. 

Apparently, you don't "give up" the glamorous parts of life when you became a parent.  You don't experience the "good" parts of life DESPITE your parental responsibilities.  Instead you get to redefine "beautiful" because you are called Mommy.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Spring is HERE!

Do you know how you can tell that it's springtime in Quincy, IL?  Drive around and take a look at the neighborhood parks.  They are PACKED with people on the first nice day.  And, if you want to get the full effect, take a look at all of the smiling faces.  I'm NOT talking about the kids.  I'm talking about the moms who are giddy with excitement.  They get all wild-eyed and crazy just THINKING about being able to go outside.  This is because they've spent the last 5-6 months in a veritable hell on earth. They've just experienced some sort of psychotic reverse-hibernation.  I, for one, have been awake since August.

Winter means cold. Cold means being trapped inside.  Being trapped inside means germs, and sickness and cranky-ass kids.  It's one thing to hear the words, "my child is sick."  But, you cannot fully appreciate the magnitude of that statement unless you've taken care of an ill child.  Those four words do not explain the fact that now you have to decide whether or not it is worth the co-pay to take your kid to the doctor.   If you finally do decide to take them, the worst two words you can ever hear are "it's viral."  GREAT!  Now, I spent $35 for someone else to tell me that my days are going to suck for the next week and there isn't anything I can do about it.  On the other hand, if you do get an antibiotic for some kind of bacterial infection you get to play a whole new game!!  First of all, you now get to wait in the car with your sick child while the pharmacy decides whether or not your time is worthy of their efforts.  But first you have to actually get to the drive-thru window.  That's right people, the drive-thru window!!!  I'm not gonna take a sick, screaming kid into the store to wait 1/2 an hour to get a prescription.  So, if you're not over 80 or have a vehicle full of children, get your ass out of the car and make the trip inside!!  (perhaps I need to phone my therapist)

Anyway, I now get to decide what kind of flavoring will aid me in my quest to give this sticky, messy antibiotic...TWICE a day.   I go with grape, because why the hell not?  I mean, we're gonna be washing out nasty clothes for a week anyway, why not add a nice purple?  Of course, this isn't the end of said fiasco, because as soon as that child finishes the antibiotic, another child starts coughing.  This is the rule, by the way.  You absolutely CANNOT have more than one sick child at a time.  They MUST take turns, dragging out illness for at least 3 weeks, making you a prisoner in your own home.

I guess this blog is giving a little insight into what I've been up to the last few months...seriously need to call that therapist.  But, you now know the signs of spring and I can tell you that if you want to know when winter is coming, just come by my house.  I'll be the one in the corner, twitching and chewing on my own socks.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

All things great and small

I have two daughters and two sons, which is great but I often get the comments about having a complete family because of the "balance" in gender.  I don't understand why having two sons and two daughters is any more "complete" than a family of four daughters.  Most of the time, kids are just kids and for the most part the parenting is identical for both sexes.  Having said that, I have noticed a few differences over the years that I feel deserve to be brought out into the open.  Of course, I'm talking about the most obvious difference...the plumbing.

I'm not one of those women who has a son and claims that she's "afraid" to change his diaper.  Oh, because getting peed on by your daughter was so much more enjoyable?  However, it does become a bit different when the source is  more out of control. I've always said that there is something wrong with a gender that can piss in their own ear.  You know what I'm talking about, moms.  You turn your head for one second to either A.-reach the wipes/diapers, or B. to bend over and wipe the butt of the three-year old who inevitably had to poop at exactly the same time as her brother and has had her ass sticking up in the air for 10 minutes now waiting for you to complete the job.  But, I digress.  So, when you look back and begin donning the new diaper you notice a few droplets on your sons stomach...and his face...and the freakin' wall.  Great.  I'll pretend that what  I do next is get some disinfectant for the wall, remove all of the wet clothing and give my son a bath as quickly as possible.  But, in all likely-hood I've just used a wipe to take care of the "problem areas" and rubbed a little lotion on the boy for good measure.

As if this isn't enough fun, my youngest son has just "discovered" himself.  The other day when I was changing his diaper, his arms were flailing about as usual, and then by pure chance he found the promised land.  The kid is only 9 months old, but somehow he managed to give me that look of awe that grown men still feel is necessary.  I had an overwhelming urge to explain to him right then and there that it's a good thing he was impressed with himself because although he, like all other men, will assume that everyone else is equally ecstatic, the results may be disappointing. 

It doesn't stop here though.  I know this because my oldest child is also a boy, and I remember not-so-fondly the first time he came out of his room with a terrified expression on his face.  I knew immediately what the problem was because his face wasn't the first body part to enter the room, if you know what I mean.  OF COURSE my husband wasn't home.  Why is that, by the way?  Why is it that every single time a boy has a penis issue, his father is nowhere to be found? My education is sufficient on most "mom" subjects, but this isn't one of them. What the hell are you supposed to tell your 2-year old when he comes out saluting and crying for you to make it "go away"?  My husband tells me to try to make him forget about it at the moment by distracting him with something else.  So, I give it my best shot.  "Hey, buddy, let's just try to forget about it and play with these blocks instead."  And then, somehow, like he's been waiting for this moment his whole 2 1/2 years of life, he says in all seriousness, "But Mommy!  It's so big!"...Yeah, ok son, can I give you a little advice?  That statement will get you the same result now as it will 20 years from now...nothing more than an exaggerated eye-roll.  

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Brownies fix everything.

I have several well-meaning friends who tell me that I need to MAKE time for myself.  This is probably true, and everything I say about it hereafter will probably fall under the "excuses" category.  But, you know me...I'm still gonna talk/bitch about it. 

I would really LIKE to exercise. Unfortunately, this is as far as I ever get.  Well, that's not entirely true.  I THINK about exercising all of the time.  In fact, if I actually worked out as much as I thought about working out, I'd be 95 lbs and sporting nothing but a thong 24 hours a day.  However, somewhere between thinking about it and actually doing it my life jumps in and takes over.

Let's just explore my options here. I know that I could get up early and get a workout in before anyone wakes up, but that would mean forfeiting the only solid two hours of sleep that I've been getting lately.  And even if I do start sleeping more, anyone who breastfeeds knows that Zumba just isn't all that comfortable when you're trying to throw around the two bowling balls under your milk-stained shirt.  So I guess I'll have to wait until my next "down time." (small chuckle)  Ok, no big deal.  I'll just make breakfast for the two that have to go to school.  Then I'll do their hair, find their shoes (because closets are so overrated), make their lunches, get their book-bags, talk Morgan (the three year-old) into at least wearing underwear for the trip to school, wake the baby up (because of course he's exhausted after being up all damn night), and then get in the van.  I always think, "when I get back I'll have time."  So, we drop them off and head back home.  This is my "positive, go get'um time" because the whole way home I'm thinking about what a great workout I'm going to get when I get home.  But, then of course I actually get home and have to feed the baby, clothe the three-year old (although to be honest, this step is optional and probably useless), give whatever medications we're currently taking, and make breakfast for Morgan.  Usually Easton (baby) gets fussy about this time and needs his first nap.  AWESOME!...I can workout when he goes to sleep!  Except that he decides he isn't taking a nap today because he just doesn't feel like it, and instead he would like for me to be up his ass all day.  Somehow time flies at this point and it's time to pick the two older kids up from school.  So, when we get home, we do homework, play outside (when possible) and start supper.

Again, I know that I should just MAKE the time, but why can't  I just be one of those lucky people instead?  You know, the kind you want to kill?  I love my sister beyond words.  She is one of my biggest supporters, and quite frankly I wouldn't be the person I am today without having been able to lean on her every once in awhile.  But, she is one of THOSE people. I know it bothers her when I talk about it so I'll just leave it at that.  Ok, no I won't, but  she'd expect nothing less!  She's the girl who finds "great deals" on all kinds of clothes.  Yes, there is a reason for that.  No one actually wears a size 0 after having three kids.  Meanwhile, I was getting into the shower today and realized that there are several phases of cellulite, and I believe that I've reached the "I think my own ass just winked at me" stage.

I realize that this is probably just a phase of life that everyone hits from time to time.  So, I'll just have to deal with it like any rational, sleep-deprived mother would...right after I finish this brownie.

Friday, March 11, 2011

When I grow up...

Sometimes I wonder what I will be when I grow up.  But, then that gets me thinking about what I could possibly put on a resume.  Sure, I was a nurse for a couple of years, and I've got my BSN but my real education didn't take effect until I saw those first little pink lines. Motherhood is sort of backwards in that way.  For some reason, you're given the position and THEN the schooling begins.   While my education in this field is ongoing, I feel as though at this point I should have some kind of impressive title.  But, what is it that I do?  I imagine an interview going something like this:

Prospective employer:  What kind of experience can you bring to this job?

Me:  Well, I believe I've given a whole new meaning to the word multi-tasking.  I have been known to carry on a relatively stimulating phone conversation, make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich (with the crust off of course), wipe a dirty bottom, and change a load of laundry simultaneously.  You may also be impressed to know that I do all of this with my breasts hanging out because the youngest always ABSOLUTELY NEEDS to eat when I've got six other things happening.  Sir?  Where are you going?  Was that too much information?  Perhaps "impressed" wasn't the best choice of words.

But seriously, what am I supposed to say?  That I have no idea what the hell it is that I do all day?  That I know, despite my best efforts, supper will end up being hot dogs with mac and cheese, and my house will inevitably be declared a natural disaster by 9 pm?  I don't know.  All I know for sure is that at the end of the day, I am exhausted.  Completely and utterly exhausted.  Is that enough to warrant a raise?  Is it sufficient to count toward a glowing evaluation?  My guess is probably not, but for some reason it is good enough for my three-year old.  And I know this because every night before she goes to sleep, she wraps her arms around my neck, squeezes as hard as she can and says, "I love you Mommy."  That sounds like a promotion to me.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Can I get a price-check on resentment?

Can anyone tell me why men get a medal of honor everytime they run even the smallest errand with children in tow?  My husband can go to the grocery store, and come back Man Of The Year.  I have a few issues with this.  First of all, he took TWO children...we have four.  Secondly, he takes them in their pajamas, last night's dirt still on their faces (that's right, they don't get baths every night of the year, but you keep telling yourself that yours do if it makes you feel better) with a "daddy hair-do" that I can't even discuss.  Still, he comes out smelling like a rose!

My husband is great, but he's great because we are great for each other.  We're a team.  We both pull our weight.  We both make decisions, we both make mistakes, and we will be equally responsible for our children's need for therapy. Do I think it's great that he took a couple of them to the store with him to lighten the load a little?  Sure, but I don't know that it warrants a Pulitzer.  It's not like I'm sitting at home eating a bowl of ice cream and watching Dr. Phil while he navigates a cart through wallyworld with TWO (remember there are two more at home) of HIS OWN children.

So when he comes home and begins putting groceries away, you can imagine my disgust as he explains the "funny thing that happend at the store today."  Because I have a pretty good idea where this is going, I stare at him and try to get him to understand, telepathically of course, that this may not be the best time to bring up how amazing he is.  But, he is a man so he plows ahead.  He looks at me with child-like innocence and says, "the funniest thing happend when we were getting diapers today."  Here it comes..."these two old women came over and looked at the girls and told them how lucky they were to have such a great Daddy.  They were really impressed that I had brought BOTH of them to the grocery store with me. Isn't that funny?"  Now, I know that any response I give related to this topic will result in nothing less than a brain aneurysm, so I simply look at him and say, "well, Mr. forgot the tampons."

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

A friend in gonna have to wait just a damn minute.

A friend of mine recently sent an advice column article for me to read.  It was about a single woman with no children asking why her friends with kids seemed to ignore her, or "not have enough time" for her.  My obvious reaction was a minor brain explosion.

Nothing annoys me more than having to "work" at a friendship.  I don't mean that you should never have to give a little in order to maintain a great relationship with someone, but I also don't need any more "children" to look after.  I've got plenty of work already without having to constantly make sure that everyone around me has enough attention.

The woman in the article even went so far as to make the complaint that she is busy too.  She doesn't understand why her mom friends make excuses about running errands, working, and being too tired at the end of the day to go out for a drink with a friend.  She claims that she works 8 hours a day, goes to the dry cleaners, the library, and the grocery store too but still manages to have time for her friends.  Well, let me tell you something's an example of how running errands goes for us moms:

Ok, dry cleaners.  No big deal, right?  Just go in and drop it off and get back in the car.  Yeah, well not so fast.  First you have to actually get to your car.  If you've somehow found the time to pick up the toys that normally litter your living room then you get to skip tripping eight times down the hallway to find your three-year old's left shoe.  When you finally do find the shoe, it isn't the one she wants and so you get to talk her into wearing the shoes that actually cover her toes because it's 10 below outside and you're the one that will be in trouble if her toes fall off due to frostbite.  Now that's accomplished and you can move on to the coat.  She'll want to zip it herself, and you wouldn't want to stifle her abilities to do things on her own, so you stand there and wait as her pudgy fingers attempt the near impossible. Don't worry, you're not bored while this is happening because the baby is crying in the other room.  He just woke up and is going to need to eat before you leave. So you get him up, change his diaper (oh wait, he has pooped through all of his clothes and his sheets).  You run the bath water, change the sheets, and put his new clothes on in order to begin feeding him.  As you're feeding him you notice that he's been coughing and it's been a few days without relief, so you call to make a doctor's appointment.  The only appointment you can get is during your three-year old's naptime.  So, the only 1/2 hour you were going to get to yourself during the day has now been destroyed.  But, you're a good mom, so you'll take your sick child to the doctor and forfeit  your moments of sanity.  Now you're ready to leave the house...where are we supposed to be going again?

I've got some amazing friends.  They understand that I may not call for months, or that when I do call I may just drop the phone mid-sentence in order to take care of some kind of catastrophe (i.e.-fishing the keys out of the toilet). I cherish these friends because they love me for who I am, and they know that I love them and will be there for them when needed.  You don't have to be a mother to realize that this job is time consuming.  It is LITERALLY raising human beings.  Who thinks that's going to be easy?  It is physically, emotionally, financially, and spiritually exhausting work.  So, if I don't have five minutes to text you, you're gonna have to give me a break.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Always leave things the way you found them...

It is very important to me that my children always clean up after themselves after a playdate.  I tell them that we must leave things the way we've found them out of respect to our hosts.  However, I really wish that I could have instilled this little nugget of wisdom while my kiddos were in utero.  I mean, I realize that it's partly my fault that they were in there in the first place, but I don't remember giving anyone permission to go rearranging parts of a once relatively decent body and therefore rendering it unrecognizable to anyone with two good eyes.

I distinctly remember a time when I could put a bra on without rolling my boobs up from my knees and tucking them in for the day.  Now I have to listen to my 5-year-old question when exactly it was the my "boobies fell down."  And who said that it was okay to stretch my body to unimaginable distances, so that my stomach now resembles some kind of roadmap to hell?  I understand that changes are going to happen.  You're bringing another life into the world.  I just think it could be done with a little more respect to the female form.

The problem is, it doesn't stop there.  I'm also a breastfeeding mother.  Don't get me wrong, this is a choice I made and honestly wouldn't have it any other way.  However, it is NOT necessary when searching for the source of every sound in the room to bite down and take my boob with  you.  It isn't going anywhere. And frankly they are too tired and overworked to come back from that kind of trauma.  I've reluctantly accepted that I will be sporting the "tennis ball in an old sock" look for the rest of my natural life.

Oh I've heard all of the claims of true beauty as a mother.  You know what I'm talking about...those people that walk around calling their stretchmarks "battle scars"  or "badges of honor."  In fact, I'm guilty of saying such things myself.  Let's cut the crap people.  I love my children more than anything else in the world, but I want my ass back.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

First time for everything

We have a lot of "firsts" in our lives.  First words, first steps, first dance, etc.  However, nothing is more beautiful than first-time parents.  And by beautiful, of course, I mean entertaining.  As an RN on the labor and delivery floor, I was fortunate enough to experience MANY firsts!  One of my all-time favorites was a cute little Mom be-bopping up the hallway toward the labor desk with immaculate hair and perfectly manicured finger nails.  Before she even opens her mouth we are CERTAIN that this is her first time.  She practically skips up to the desk with a smile on her face and makes the announcement..."Hi!  Today is my due date!  Where do I need to go?"  Now this  has become of those situations where you use every ounce of self-control that you can muster, and simply say something to the effect that you actually need to BE in labor to be here.   We all know what you really want to do is roll around on the floor pissing yourself, because this cute little pixie has no freaking clue what's about to happen to her life.  You also know that when she does actually come in for the real thing, she will be the one telling you her pain is a 10 because the blood pressure cuff is squeezing her too hard.

  Another favorite moment in OB was when an amazingly doting father brought his brand new son to the nursery for the night.  When I opened the door, he handed me a list of feedings and record of pee pee, poo poo, burps, farts, blinks, etc.  I believe he had even recorded times, smell, consistency, and hell...even taste for that matter.  I must have seemed surprised to be receiving such wonderful information, because he also thought it necessary to add that although he knows we like to swaddle the "other" babies quite tightly, HIS son didn't like being restricted like that.  Wow, dude it's amazing that you got all that from this kid that you just met for the first time 45 minutes ago.  But, again I just smiled and rolled the bassinet into the nursery, and once behind closed doors swaddled the kid up (yes I did it anyway, get over it) and wished him the best of luck on the rest of his life.

Don't get me wrong, I don't say these things because I was so much better as a first time parent.  I was just as insane.  I distinctly remember almost breaking my damn back trying to wedge the bassinet into the bathroom so that my son would be only inches away from me as I showered.  And, of course, at the slightest whimper I'd jump out soaking wet and tend to his every need.  Since then, I've had three more children and recently got out of the shower, dried off, got dressed, texted a couple of friends and listened briefly for signs that my fourth child may be needing me at that moment.  Then I immediately thought, "Shit!  Where did I even put him?"  Maybe he's in the living room.  First time for everything, right?

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Rip Van Winkle...that guy had it made.

Remember when your entire existence didn't revolve around the next time you would get some actual sleep?  I long for those days of ignorant bliss.  Those days that I thought that staying up past 1 a.m. to cram for the next day's exam was a "rough" night.  Now my entire day is spent "planning" a nap schedule.  The upside to this is that it gives the illusion of being a great mom.  I pack my kids up and take them to the park on nice days and we stay for hours just playing and running.   Of course this is a healthy activity, but that's not the reason that I, or any of the other moms for that matter, are out enjoying the sunshine.  You see, it's all part of the plan.  If you let your kids run until they fall over, you have a much better chance of snagging a couple of hours of sleep yourself.  That's right're not fooling anyone.  We all know the drill because we're all plotting the same thing!     You can also take it up a notch by bringing a healthy snack to the park.  Throw a few strawberries and sliced apples in a bag and you can sit back and smile smugly as Momma To The Right is fishing out french fries and burgers to her poor malnourished children.  She doesn't need to know that you spent all day yesterday in your bathrobe preparing meals like "deep-fried hot dog smothered in cheese sauce." (sure to be a crowd favorite by the way). It doesn't matter, because TODAY you are super-healthy, super-rested, super-mom!  You chase your kids around the park and giggle with them as if just last night you weren't threatening to put a lock on the outside of their bedroom doors.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Bored, and avoiding thoughts of mounting hospital bills...

Well, this blogging thing is something new.  I'll give it a try...for today at least.   I mean, I have four kids and let's face it, the odds of this being my first/last/only post ever are pretty good.  I just happen to be sitting in a hospital room with my youngest darling, and quickly becoming bored to tears.  Of course, being a mother of four I have "cleaned" our room about 12 times today and it's only 10 am.  Gotta love that mommy guilt complex.  I assume that if I keep the room clean that good karma will somehow seep in through the windows and get us the hell out of here.

Since this is my first post, I will admit that I have "stolen" this idea from a very dear friend.  However, I would like to replace the word stolen to "have been inspired by" my friend, Kate.  Basically, because that sounds better and eases my conscience a little.  Kate is one of those friends that I know I can call on a particularly "bad mommy day" and expect to hear support, love, and words of encouragement in her voice.  (I'm also likely to hear sarcasm dripping from nearly every word, and this is why we are such great friends!)  So, today I will dedicate my first blog to a woman who has taken the word "supermom" (yes it's a word) to a whole new level.  Thank you, Kate for your inspiration today and everyday!