Sunday, November 27, 2011


So, now that I'm not working full-time I'm officially trying to get back into some sort of shape.  The main hurdle most moms face is not having anyone to watch the baby while they work out.  And yes, you need someone to watch the baby.  People will tell you, "oh, just do a workout DVD in the living room."  Um, have you tried that yourself?  Pre-baby I too thought that was a no-brainer solution, until I bought a bunch of DVDs and gave it a whirl.  Concentrating on yoga poses while your baby rips leaves off the fake plant and throws CD cases at your head is not exactly relaxing.  Now that Audrey is a toddler she's figured out how to turn the TV on and off as well.  And when she isn't doing these things she's eating the dog food or sticking things in the toilet.  I could go on, but the point is there's really no working out at home while she's awake.  And when she finally takes a nap and I have a few minutes to myself I usually want to do something that I used to take for granted -- like shower.

I did make an attempt to run outside with her in the jog stroller but then we moved to TX and encountered the HOTTEST.SUMMER.EVER. and that plan was shot to hell too.  So, we decided to join the YMCA because they on-site childcare!  Score, right?  I immediately started fantasizing about the precious "me" time I would get at the gym, taking yoga and pilates classes and maybe even making a mom friend or two, until of course our first visit when the reality fairy showed up.  I met new-friend Amanda, who has two kids of her own, for a quick workout.  We dropped all the kids off at the childcare and started working out.  I expected some tears from Audrey so didn't think much of it when she started wailing as I walked out the door.  Fast forward 30 minutes and I look up to see a Y employee walking toward us.  "Who's baby is Audrey?" she asked.  "Mine," I replied.  "Okay," she says, "she's been crying since you dropped her off so it's time for you to come get her."  Is it bad that my first thought was, "can't you just keep her for 5 more minutes?!"  Don't get me wrong, I don't WANT Audrey to scream and cry and be miserable while we're there, but I'm also DESPERATE for some "me" time, even if it is spent on a treadmill watching reruns of Who Wants to be a Millioniare on mute.  So, our first visit was a bust.  Subsequent visits over the past 2 months haven't improved too much.  Audrey has been kicked out twice more for excessive crying and the hub is telling me to  Since this was my get-back-in-shape grand plan I'm not ready to throw in the towel quite yet.  What do all of you in-shape moms do?!  (And don't say 'personal trainer' or' nanny' because we're poor, okay?)

Saturday, November 26, 2011

A plug for charities

I've always been a sensitive, cry-at-the-drop-of-a-hat kind of gal (just ask the Hubs...I doubt he'd mention a steely personality as one of my primary traits). But nothing pulls at my heartstrings more than needy kids (and animals....and old people...ok, I'm a bit of a mush).

The Salvation Army Angel Tree went up the other day and I have to make a little plug for it. This is my fourth year to participate in it through work - and I completely love it. Basically, you just pick a needy kid and buy their Santa's Wish List. How cool is that? Not only can you satisfy your own shopping compulsion but you get to make a random kid happy in the process.

So when you're out shopping to spoil your own kids this holiday season (and by all means, go nuts!*), spoil someone else's kid who wouldn't otherwise get that flying-off-the-shelves Doggie Doo under the tree without your help. (Seriously people, did we REALLY have to invent a pooping dog for kids to play with? And do we really think it has to be a must-have toy?)


*Especially you, mom. :)

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Break out the camera

It's that time of year again! Awkward family photo time! Came across this article on holiday pictures and I couldn't help but relate. Pre-T, I made the Hubs collect our menagerie of animals and pose for a holiday card each year. That was always an interesting one - since the cats would see the camera and think we were trying to torture them (well, maybe we were) and the dog couldn't sit still for more than a minute. And the Hubs, he has something against smiling on film, so getting him to share more than a grimace with the world was interesting in itself.

2009 2010

This year, our original fur-babies (Hubs hates this word, but I can’t help but use it), the cats, were kicked out of the picture. Logistics got to be a bit of an issue – our dog isn’t allowed upstairs and our cats aren’t allowed outside, so the square footage of usable picture-posing space is pretty small. And since we’ve been taking holiday card pictures in the same space for 4+ years now – coming up with ways to make each year’s picture slightly different from the year before is just taxing my creativity (which ok, is pretty lacking to begin with).

So, I managed to dry and straighten my hair for 2 weekend days and the Hubs managed to put on a non-t-shirt shirt for 2 weekend days so that we’d have a collection of pictures (and outfits) to choose from. And the result?
Still totally awkward. Sigh. Nice looking family shots are just not in our cards.

I think we’re just going to have to aspire to be THAT family, you know, the one whose holiday card you just stick on the fridge for the pure entertainment embarrassment factor? Like these people.

Sunday, November 20, 2011


Yes, I'm still here.  Rough week.  Since I like to do things backwards, I decided to finally decorate Audrey's room when she was about 14 months old.  This was because I a) finally had time b) was secretly jealous of the cute room my friend here did for her daughter and c) feeling lame/guilty that my child was over a year old and I hadn't bothered to get even a single piece of artwork for the walls. 

I really need to stop going into Michael's and Hobby Lobby because for some reason whenever I do I get amensia, forget that I don't have a crafty bone in my body, and get the ridiculous idea that I can do things like re-cover gliders or sand and stain IKEA particle-board bookcases.  (And the bookcase has been collecting dust in the hallway for a month.)  Anyway, I decided to push on with re-covering the glider, mostly because it's navy blue and really throwing off my pink, orange and green color scheme.  Us type-A's like everything 'just so.'  I decided on this fabric and of course ordered too little I see, once I spread it out on the floor and started working. 
Nevertheless I forced the hubs to help me re-cover the ottoman tonight since that is by far the easiest part and at least makes me feel like I have half a chance of ever doing the rest.  Here's the before:

And the after:

Not bad, right?  Just don't look underneath :)

Check back next year and I may have even done a cushion or two (*gasp!*).  And who knows, maybe I'll have the whole thing done by the time Audrey's off to college...

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Mommy's blonde parking lot moment

What's better than getting locked out of your car in the Target parking lot? How about getting locked out of your car in the Target parking lot WITH your cold-symptomy child AND your frozen goods around your baby's typical lunch time while your hubby had plans to spend the day at a football tailgate 30 minutes away? Yes, totally fab.

I meant to take a totally quick trip to Target before lunchtime to try to get a few little things and exchange some baby food that seems to be wreaking havoc on my little guy. SInce I'm very proficient in the art of shopping, I am in and done in about 20 minutes. That's when the fun starts. I start to do the little "walk and dig around" for the car keys dance as I'm getting closer to the car. Hmmm. I don't feel them. So, I dig more and more in my bag in front of the car. Still don't seem them. I empty what is now my mess of a diaper bag into the shopping cart, with T (and some fellow shoppers) looking on curiously. Still. Not. There. So, we take a trip back inside. I go to customer service, where I exchanged the baby food. Nope. The girl was even nice enough to look through the plastic bag trash to see if they got mixed in with a bag I got rid of. No dice. Did I leave them at the check out? No. I retrace my steps through the entire store. Now, T is starting to get majorly unhappy with me. I mean, it's past lunch time and we're doing the same exact shopping route we did 30 minutes before. I check back with customer service to see if in the past 45 minutes, anyone has turned in keys to lost and found. Another no. So I call the hubby to give him a glimpse into my activities at the moment. Every the helpful man, he offers suggestions like "Did you check your bag?" "Check the grocery bags too." Thanks, honey.

So, what seems like a zillion hours later (but actually more like 2), I'm feeding T food I just bought with a random spoon found in my diaper bag (go me!), my aunt is almost to the parking lot to deliver the spare set she got from my house, and the Target security guard who is zipping up and down the parking lanes starts to mosey along by me. (Yes, I'm waiting by the car with a child and melting frozen foods rather than inside because that little cynical side of me was waiting for someone to "find" my keys and plan to drive off in my car. I don't really believe in this southern hospitality stuff) Turns out, security guard man on the segue is my hero! He found my car keys, somewhere in the parking lot. Called them shiny. Of course, he didn't report them as missing because he doesn't seem to believe in this southern hospitality stuff either and was afraid some good samaritan would put the keys to good use and keep the car. So instead of anyone at customer service knowing that the store did, in fact, have my set of car keys, they were locked in his office. I'm thinking that if I hadn't run into him in the parking aisle, there's a pretty good likelihood that I wouldn't have ever gotten these keys back - but the crisis was averted. And within 5 minutes of one another, I had not 1 but both sets of keys back in my hand. Now, mommy just needs some wine for her troubles and all will be better.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Advice for the shoelorn

Why in the world is baby shoe shopping so complicated? And why in the world am I stressing out about what kind of shoes to put on my kid, when he can't quite make it across the room yet on two legs? At this point, he looks more like a drunken sailor when he comes to me in his walking stance, so I doubt he cares too much about what goes onto his feet.

But I've been told that winter is coming, so the boy needs some shoes to keep his socks on. T loves to pull off his socks. And eat them. Shoes might prevent it. Everyone suggests Robeez. The early ones, that have elastic around the ankle to keep the shoes on. Sold. Now if only I could find them. I'm on day 5 of the hunt for these stinkin' shoes and everywhere I look is sold out in his size. (His size being what his squirmy foot kind of looks like measured against my hand. I know, bad mommy, haven't actually taken him to an actual shoe store yet.) And yes, the thought has not escaped me that I'm spending more time looking for shoes for my barely-walking baby than I have for myself lately. Momma needs some shoes too, you know.

So I get to the KID shoe store (oh well, next time) today, all ready for my purchase of Robeez Soft Soles. Alas, shoe man, AKA the foot expert, convinces me that those will actually be a "step back" for him, since he's already taking steps*. Now, the idea that I could be hindering my baby's mad skillz = quelle horreur! But none of my friends who've sworn by Robeez have mentioned that I'm going to make my kid a slow poke in the development arena by having him wear them. The nice shoe man did not seem to realize that he is giving advice to the most INDECISIVE WOMAN ALIVE and he has inadvertently thrown a wrench in her carefully formulated plan. Now what? Stick with the advice of friends? Or follow the advice of shoe man with lots of supposed foot experience and many "foot doctor friends"? What to do? I don't know. I've never had a kid before, I just don't know!

End result - the kiddo got some super cute overpriced shoes based on my handprint on the foot measuring machine (which among other little known facts I learned today, is called a Brannock Device) and I am back on the internet browsing some early Robeez with the ankle elastic.

Sigh. Indecisive me strikes again.

*10 steps at the moment, to be exact.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

New mommy list

I just got home from the second stop of the meeting-newborns East Coast tour today. I am once again (1) amazed at the itty-bittiness of these little ones and (2) convinced that there is no possible way T could have ever been so tiny. It wasn't even a year ago that he was born - yet it seems like an eon ago - and it really is hard to remember what life was like when he was so new to the world. (Ok, maybe a sleep-deprived haze has something to do with that).

Anyway, if you're anything like me (which may or may not be a tad anal), I collected lists of newborn must-have items from basically all my friends for every new-mom situation. Of course, I learned really quickly that every baby and every mommy are completely unique, but there are a few things that seemed to be universal baby-pleasing tools. Since I have newborns on the brain from the weekend, I thought it might be fun to dive into the depths of my memory and list what I remember as my top ten must-haves for the first few months.

  1. Cradle Swing
    Some of T's best naps were in this contraption. I'd pay a million bucks for it, that's how amazing it was for us.
  2. Fisher-Price Rock and Play Sleeper
    Because T moved around way too much in his sleep I needed to confine him so I wouldn't have to wake up every 2 minutes to make sure his swaddle wasn't suffocating him. We tied a string to it so that we could rock it from the comfort of our bed when he seemed like he was stirring. Plus, it was really easy to move this sleeper everywhere we were, so he wasn't more than 2 feet from his brand spankin' new parents at any given moment. A new parents' dream.
  3. Soundspa Sound Machine
    I heart this thing. I admit that I might have a teeny addiction to it since I'm so used to hearing it on the baby monitor - and I might just travel with one for myself these days.
  4. The Sleep Sack
    Once we realized our swaddling skills were no match for T's acrobatics, this blanket gave us some peace of mind with the suffocating fear too. Not that he didn't break out of it, but at least we wouldn't fear it getting stuck over his cute little nose in the process.
  5. Happiest Baby on the Block and On Becoming Baby Wise Two of my favorite sleep books. Do you sense a sleep trend here?
  6. Baby Bjorn
    Sometimes you just need a little break from holding the little munchkin.
  7. The Kindle
    I know this is a mommy-tool and not a baby-tool...but momma needs something to do during those late night feedings when HGTV gets old. And Castle. And NCIS. And Bones. (And mommy loves herself some Bones). Holding a book AND flipping the page with one hand = pure awesomeness, especially at 3AM.
  8. Probiotics
    These wonderful little drops came directly to my door on some excellent advice from Erika - and I couldn't sing their praises more. They really seemed to help T's sensitive tummy - more than the standard Mylicon and Gripe Water did.
  9. Burp Cloths
    One of those things I didn't really understand the importance of until T was born and then I really couldn't have enough of. My little man was a happy little spitter. All. The. Time.
  10. Desitin
    New baby tush. 'Nuff said.
So whatcha think? Am I missing anything?

And as an aside - sorry about those annoying white boxes. In my need to try to be helpful and show you visuals for my Top 10....I added an annoyance factor. Oops. Pretend you don't see them.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Baby genuis

Everyone thinks their kid is a genius.  But mine really is, and let me tell you why:

1.) She waves "bye bye" when we flush the toilet (crucial social skill)
2.) She intentionally farts, looks around the room for a reaction, then bursts out laughing (comic genius - 'nuff said)
3.) She's renamed all animals "gongahs," and really, why do we need "bird," "cat," "dog," and so on?  This is SO much easier.
4.) Yesterday I found her digging the remains of a strawberry out of the trashcan and eating it (#momfail, although she could be the next [female] Bear Grylls, right?)
5.) She thinks Sonic tator tots are awesome.  AND THEY ARE.

Harvard, here we come!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Toys for the tot

It's getting to be that time of year. Time to figure out what Santa will bring T on his very first Christmas and what sort of goodies we should get him for his birthday AND for Hanukkah. (Poor kiddo's present-getting opportunities are condensed into 2 weeks of the year.)

I'm thinking this.

Or this.

(both gift ideas care of

Yes, they're pet toys. But T seems to gravitate towards anything that the cats and dog might carry around in their mouths. He literally runs (ok, crawls) with a purpose directly for the cat toy collection (which incidentally, is at his eye level in the family room).

But who needs bikes and trucks when he can have squeaky toys and feathered catnip?

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Body after baby

If you're the mom of a toddler like me then in order to take a shower you likely have to lock yourself and baby in the bathroom and give her things like makeup brushes to play with while you shower as fast as you can and periodically check to make sure that she's actually playing with those brushes and not guzzling hand sanitizer instead (oops).  And then you get out of the shower and try to avoid glancing at the WALL OF MIRRORS that your bathroom randomly has so as to avoid looking at your post-baby body.  And then your toddler sees you naked, stops what she's doing, stares at your mid-section for a really long time and gives you this "WTF is THAT?!" look and it's all for naught.  And then if you're me you find yourself telling her that actually those handfuls of sagging stomach skin are from her stretching your stomach out for 10 months and that scar is from her not managing to find the exit on delivery day and that you DIDN'T ALWAYS LOOK LIKE THIS.  And then you realize you're sounding kinda crazy and wonder if your mom had this conversation with you when you were little and maybe someday you'll win the lottery and spring for one of those "mommy makeovers."  Am I right or am I right?  And after all that you give her a kiss and remember that it's all worth it.  Until she grabs a handful of that stomach skin and bursts out laughing.